terça-feira, 12 de outubro de 2010

Israelisms - day one

According to Jean-Claude Milner, a unified Europe could only constitute itself on the basis of a progressive erasure of all divisive historical traditions and legitimizations; consequently, a unified Europe will be based on the erasure of history, of historical memory. Recent phenomena  such as Holocaust revisionism, or the moral equation of all victims of World War II are the logical outcome of this tendency: all specified limits are potentially erased on behalf of abstract suffering and victimization. And this Europe in its very advocacy of unlimited openness and multicultural tolerance, again needs the figure of the "Jew" as a structural obstacle to this drive to unlimited unification.

Contemporary anti-Semitism, however, no longer takes the same form as the old ethnic anti-Semitism; its focus has been displaced from Jews as an ethnic group onto the State of Israel: "in the program of the Europe of the 21st century, the State of Israel occupies exactly the position that the name "Jew" occupied in the Europe before the rupture of 39-45"*. In this way, the anti-Semitism of today can present itself as anti-anti-Semitism, full of solidarity with the victims of the Holocaust; the reproach is just that, in our era of the gradual dissolution of all limits, of the fluidification of all traditions, the Jews wanted to build their own clearly delimited nation-state.

Here are the very last lines of Milner's book: If modernity is defined by the belief in an unlimited realization of dreams, our future is fully outlined. It leads through absolute theoretical and practical anti-Judaism. To follow Lacan beyond what he explicitly stated, the foundations of a new religion are thus posited: anti-Judaism will be the natural religion of the humanity-to-come.

In his views, are Jews not caught in the same paradoxic predicament as, say, British Muslims? They were offered civil rights, the chance to integrate into UK society, but, ungrateful as they are, they persisted in their separate way of life? Plus, again, similarly to Muslims, they are perceived as being excessively sensitive, seeing "anti-Semitism" everywhere. Milner's point is thus that the official anti-anti-Semitism, which issues prohibitions is but the form of appearance of anti-Semitism.

*Jean-Claude Milner, Les penchants criminels de l'Europe démocratique

in Living in the end of times, Slavoj Žižek