#155 – We Don’t Understand

Why are groups who having nothing else in common united in their dislike or hatred of Jews? Bari Weiss, an editor and opinion writer at The New York Times, in her book How to Fight Anti-Semitism has a chapter on the anti-Semitism of the left, one on the anti-Semitism of the right and one on the anti-Semitism of radical Islam.

To her credit Weiss understands that the hatred expressed by members of these three disparate groups has its origin in the process called projection. Ironically, most of these people who are engaging in these projections don’t even personally know any Jews. Their imaginary Jew represents their image of the other. “He is whatever the anti-Semite needs him to be.” (1)  They believe he is the source of the particular fears that they all have.

The unfolding tragedy in the world today is that the source of anti-Semitism has nothing to do with the behavior of Jews. What the people in these three groups fear is the unconscious content of their own shadows. Most of them don’t know any Jews nor do they even know who they are.

What is this “shadow” mentioned above? “Negative emotions and behaviors—rage jealousy, shame, lying, resentment, lust, greed, suicidal and murderous tendencies—lie concealed just beneath the surface, masked by our proper selves.” (2)  By definition, we are not aware of our shadow or why we find ourselves trying to get rid of it by projecting on the other. “The shadow is projected in two forms: individually, in the shape of the people to whom we ascribe all the evil; and collectively, in its most general form, as the Enemy, the personification of evil.” (2)

So when American liberals project on Jews for their behavior toward Palestinians, or American evangelicals  project on liberals for not supporting Israel, or Palestinians project on Israeli Jews no one mentions the shadow, the other or projection. That’s because we don’t understand.

Those of you who do want to understand can click on the link below.

Insight # 155:  “The realization that you are projecting is the most important aspect of awareness.” (3)

Link:

References: 

  1. Halkin, Hillel. “The Oldest Hatred.” The New York Times Book Review, September 29, 2019, page 17.
  2. Zweig, Connie and Jeremiah Abrams. Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature, 1991, pages xvi and 43.
  3. Ruskan, John. Emotional Clearing. New York: Broadway Books, 2000, page 110.

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