Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Sword of the Ashkenazim

Right now I’m still recovering from my latest battle with a vicious, persistent and all-too-familiar stereotype. The aftershocks have continued for almost two weeks since then, giving rise to a series of brainstorming e-mails between me and a few of my close friends. Those of you who have been involved in this e-mail exchange or who were witnesses to the brawl itself already know what I’m talking about, but for everyone else a few words of explanation are in order.

I got myself embroiled in yet another flame war with a couple of anti-Semites recently. Yes, I should know better by now, and I do. The fact that I’m well acquainted with my sparring partners--having crossed swords with these two cranks on a series of discussion boards for almost 15 years now—only made the outcome that much more predictable. I knew going in that I’d come out of the battle angry, exhausted and a nervous wreck. And worst of all I’d still be the loser, because regardless of my historical knowledge and my lifelong familiarity with Jewish culture, I would totally fail in my objective of waking them up. And they would be the winners no matter how false and slanderous their arguments, because they’d emerge from the battle as triumphantly obtuse as ever.

And yet it was almost inevitable that I’d get sucked in again, because this tiny skirmish—doubtless one of thousands of that take place on the Internet every day--was a microcosm of the ongoing war between Judaism and Christianity. That war has been raging for almost 2000 years now, with only a few rare and brief periods of truce. I’m not going to waste my time on the standard qualifiers here or try very hard to spare anyone’s feelings. I am well aware that the majority of Christians in the 21st century don’t hate Jews, but that doesn’t change the historical track record. I also know that the possibility of interfaith dialogue exists, but true dialogue can only take place after a certain very difficult bridge has been crossed. The battles like this flame war I was involved in all happen on this side of the bridge, and on this side it’s strictly a case of irreconcilable differences.

Most of the regulars on the discussion board where it all hit the fan have learned to avoid any topic started by either of these two cranks, except to throw the occasional spitball in passing. That leaves the two of them to what you couldn’t really call a dialogue, although it may look like one on the surface. But it’s actually an endless, droning dual monologue on the subject of biblical prophecy related to the “end times,” or what Christians call the Second Coming. I have no problem at all with the archetype of the Second Coming, and there was a time years ago when I joined the two cranks occasionally in their speculations. For a while, I was an uneasy ally of the female one. That’s because it makes no difference to me or whether you call it the Second Coming, the Messianic Age, the New Age, the Age of Aquarius, the Great Turning or by any other name. I feel the wind in my face too, and I have felt it all my life.

The problem is that these two millennialist whackjobs are Christian fundamentalists. They have decreed unilaterally that there is only ONE acceptable spiritual language for the Great Turning, and anyone who dares to use a different one is an “antichrist.” Worse yet, one of them is a Christian Zionist. The Christian Zionists are closet anti-Semites, and possibly more dangerous than any other anti-Semites for that very reason. They go to great lengths to appear the opposite of what they really are. The most frightening thing about them is that they have a very specific script for the events leading up to the Second Coming. Their script calls for the active participation of the Jewish people, because among other things it calls for the rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple. Even the most rabid Christian fundies know they have to enlist the cooperation of at least a few Jews for that little project, although I really believe they’d build themselves if they could get away with it. But the vast majority of Jews have no interest in following their script because we know how it ends. The end of their millennial spectacular calls for the violent death of most of us and the conversion of the small remnant that remains, traditionally numbered at 144,000.

Under their “Judaic” trappings and their loud and ostentatious support for Israel (translation: the expansionist neocon Israeli right), the true goal of the Christian Zionists is not the coming of the New Age under any name. What they hope to bring about is the end of Judaism as a religion separate from Christianity, and above all their ultimate revenge against the Jews. Revenge for what exactly? For knowing the truth about the origin of Christianity, and being able to reveal it at any time, given the opportunity. The entire blood-soaked history of Christian anti-Semitism can be read as the collective effort to make sure we never got that opportunity.

But I’m getting a little ahead of myself here. What I just said is one of my conclusions, which came into focus gradually (and with a little help from my friends) after the smoke cleared. What I should really be describing now is the path that led to those conclusions, and the revealing little oddities I noticed along the way. I noticed them first out of the corner of my eye, and then front and center as I turned my full attention on them. Even in the heat of battle you notice small details out of the corner of your eye, and noticing those small details can very well save your life.

Last but not least, I should say something about the presentation on Ashkenazi intelligence I attended on October 16, 2009, after my enemies had gone flying for cover. That was when I learned that the sword that sent them flying, passed down to me as a legacy from my ancestors, was forged originally by the enemies of my ancestors in Christian Europe. Out of their relentless efforts to “protect” themselves from us, marginalize us, and above all silence us--the self-appointed defenders of Christendom forged the sword of the Ashkenazim with their own hands. And they couldn’t have done a better job of it if they tried! I’m still laughing at the delicious irony of it all.

This New York Times article was published the same day that a groundbreaking University of Utah study on Ashkenazi intelligence was released--June 3, 2005. It does a good job of explaining as succinctly as possible how the process worked:

Ashkenazi Jews occupied a different social niche from their European hosts, and that is where any selective effect must have operated, the Utah researchers say. From A.D. 800, when the Ashkenazi presence in Europe is first recorded, to about 1700, Ashkenazi Jews held a restricted range of occupations, which required considerable intellectual acumen. In France, most were moneylenders by A.D. 1100. Expelled from France in 1394, and from parts of Germany in the 15th century, they moved eastward and were employed by Polish rulers first as moneylenders and then as agents who paid a large tax to a noble and then tried to collect the amount, at a profit, from the peasantry. After 1700, the occupational restrictions on Jews were eased.

As to how the disease mutations might affect intelligence, the Utah researchers cite evidence that the sphingolipid disorders promote the growth and interconnection of brain cells. Mutations in the DNA repair genes, involved in second cluster of Ashkenazic diseases, may also unleash growth of neurons.

In describing what they see as the result of the Ashkenazic mutations, the researchers cite the fact that Ashkenazi Jews make up 3 percent of the American population but won 27 percent of its Nobel prizes, and account for more than half of world chess champions. They say that the reason for this unusual record may be that differences in Ashkenazic and northern European I.Q. are not large at the average, where most people fall, but become more noticeable at the extremes; for people with an I.Q. over 140, the proportion is 4 per 1,000 among northern Europeans but 23 per 1,000 with Ashkenazim. [My emphasis]

In other words, through a relentless process of natural selection--for the most part imposed upon them by their enemies--the mathematical and verbal abilities of the Ashkenazi Jews increased with each generation. While there are many types of intelligence, these two faculties are the primary ones measured by standard IQ tests and the SAT. At the end of the process they (we) emerged from the evolutionary pressure cooker as the most intelligent ethnic group on Planet Earth, at least by the traditional measurements. We retain that status to this day, both because the process is self-perpetuating and because the direction of evolution is ever onward and upward.

Of course in order to accept this hypothesis you have to accept the theory of evolution in the first place. The two cranks I was fighting with are as militantly anti-evolution as they are anti-Semitic. They refuse accept any truth they dislike in any area, as if truth actually depends on your likes and dislikes or what your church teaches. They refuse to believe you when you tell them what the Hebrew really says, as opposed to what they want it to say. They put forth a tremendous effort trying to make true appear false and vice versa. That’s the real reason they can never be a match for any smart Jewish girl who has just had her turf violated. But it doesn’t hurt to have the added advantage of the sword of the Ashkenazim. That’s one thing I’m grateful to Christian Europe for--although not for a whole hell of a lot of anything else