The paradoxical “proof” that Jews are the Chosen People

How the Moral Perversity of Progressives Reveals their Unconscious Fears of Jewish Chosenness


The deeper motives of anti-Semitism have their roots in times long past; they come from the unconscious, and I am quite prepared to hear that what I am going to say will at first appear incredible. I venture to assert that the jealousy that the Jews evoked in other peoples by maintaining that they were the first-born, the favorite child of God the Father, has not yet been overcome by those others, just as if the latter had given credence to the assumption.”

(Sigmund Freud, Moses and Monotheism)

It’s well known that the thing about the Jews that most grates on gentiles – especially derivative monotheists and post-monotheists – is the notion that Jews are the chosen people. And yet, the claim is specifically enunciated in Jewish scripture that God chose the Jews to be mankind’s moral leadership.

Observe these laws carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” For what nation… is there so great, that has statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? (Deuteronomy 4: 7-8).

The pretension to be “the chosen people” has inspired both hatred and emulation. Both Islam and Christianity, the two religions most likely to generate Jew-hatred, are also claimants to the status of God’s chosen people, replacing, erasing the Jewish claim.

Recently, modern progressives have expressed if not anger, then exasperation at so primitive and pretentious a notion. Nobel-prize author Jose Saramago deplored “the monstrous and rooted ‘certitude’ that in this catastrophic and absurd world there exists a people chosen by God…” Science writer Jostein Gaarder declared (in the royal “we”):

We do not believe in the notion of God’s chosen people. We laugh at this people’s fancies and weep over its misdeeds. To act as God’s chosen people is not only stupid and arrogant, but a crime against humanity. We call it racism.

Among those attitudes most associated with antisemitism is a hostility to, a resentment of the Jewish claim to be a chosen people. Indeed, a good progressive Jew views that problematic claim with great wariness if not scorn: ‘we are the same as everyone else.’

Of course, even if one rejects any divine claims, biblical or otherwise, about the Jews being chosen, there is historical evidence for the claim. Studies of the resilience of Jewish communities over time, of Jewish success in societies based on merit, certainly indicate that there is something special about Jews, whether God chose them, or they imagined that God chose them, or they chose a God they invented. The very survival – and vigor – of Jews to this day suggests that something unusual is at work.

But I think the most striking proof that the Jews are the chosen people comes from what social scientists call “non-reactive” evidence, that is from a pattern of evidence produced by agents who do not behave in reaction to being seen, but whose behavior nevertheless unconsciously reveals evidence they might deny, even vigorously, were they aware. And the proof, in our day, for the chosenness of the Jews, comes from the dual phenomenon of the extraordinary obsession gentiles display over Jewish behavior, on the one hand, and the extraordinary inversion of reality – both moral and empirical – that obsession takes, on the other.

The obsession is not hard to document. If one were to weight the international news coverage of countries by their population, then the coverage of the only Jewish state by international news organizations is skewed by several orders of magnitude. One study published in 2013, found that, aside from the US (“the uncontested world news hegemon”), articles about Israel and Palestine rank the highest, literally pushing out China, Russia, and Europe. If one factors in size and population, this means over a hundred-fold greater attention to this particular Middle East state and its behavior with its hostile neighbors, than any other global story including the entire US. Similarly, if one factors in casualty figures, then Israel/Palestine media footprint is the exact inverse of the Democratic Republic of Congo: about ten thousand dead in twenty years (1989-2009) has filled global media, whereas about four to six million dead in the same period in the Congo, remains nearly invisible to the world―one of many stealth conflicts.

Death vs Media footprint

Moreover, the obsession here is specifically about Israel. When Palestinians are suffering at the hands of fellow Arabs – in Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait – interest drops precipitously. Even more than the general pattern, the focus on victims of Israeli deeds vastly exceeds any other victims. One might even argue that the obsession with Israel lies with the interest in, concern about, Jews with weapons; and the focus on victims of Jews, lies at the heart of that obsession.

Such an obsession does not prove the Jews are chosen by God, or choosing themselves. But it does suggest that those involved in this kind of coverage and their reader-viewership are choosing the Jews. That information professionals choose to pay so much attention to the Jews becomes especially striking when one considers the nature of this “coverage.” Obviously in so large a field of players such as journalism and academics in free (democratic) socieities, the coverage ranges widely, but not nearly so much as one might have expected. On the contrary, coverage of Israel is so negative that, by some reckonings, it ranks fifth on the scale of unpopular countries in Western opinion.

In current discourse, identifying Israel as “apartheid,” “war criminals,” and “genocidal” are common tropes among the “activists.” And news coverage, while not engaging in such language themselves, gives full reign to those who do, and runs stories that offer evidence that confirms such claims. And yet…

  • Apartheid: Israel is not only the least racist country in the Middle East, it has done a vastly better job of integrating its very large Arab minority (20% vs. 10-15% for France in second place) into its society, under the most difficult of circumstances. Only the most ludicrous redefinitions of “apartheid” by Israel-obsessed “human rights” NGOs make it possible to accuse Israel of the crime, and by the extremely lax definition, every Arab state, indeed every state in the world, qualifies as apartheid. Indeed, by that definition (and more appropriate and rigid ones) the entire Muslim world is guilty of both religious and gender apartheid.
  • War crimes: again we run into an inversion of reality, this time enthusiastically and explicitly embraced by the news media. The eagerness with which the legacy media (CNN, BBC, NYT) chase after examples of Israeli military atrocities was on full display on October 17, 2023 when a errant Jihadi rocket landed in the parking lot of a hospital in Gaza killing some dozens of people. Only ten days after Hamas had shown the world its savage and sadistic face, they used the cover of night (and the cooperation of Arab media) to claim an Israeli missile had hit the hospital killing 500 innocent people. The legacy media, apparently assuming Hamas might massacre over a thousand Israelis, but wouldn’t lie to them, picked up the story, and clung to it well into the next day after sunrise revealed the shallow crater and half a dozen mangled cars in the parking lot of an intact hospital. Jeremy Bowen, the BBC’s longstanding Middle East chief correspondent spoke repeatedly of the Israelis “flattening” the hospital, and when confronted with the reality, was unrepentant. It got him a promotion. Nor did the catastrophically incompetent coverage slow the legacy media down. To this day they repeat as accurate the clearly flawed Hamas supplied statistics on civilian deaths which turn out to be half of what they claimed. As a result, numbers that fueled accusations of genocide turn out to reach very low civilian casualty rates.
  • Genocide: the widespread accusation against Israel for committing genocide, and against anyone helping her for “abetting genocide,” literally stands reality on its head. Since the late 1930s – before there was an Israel – Muslim supremacists have invoked the genocidal hadith of the “rocks and trees” to incite genocidal hatred against the Jews. The hadith is in the Hamas charter as a pious wish (1988) and constantly preached from Caliphator pulpits the world over. It became a programmatic strategy with the suicide terror war (2000) and is now on full display before the world (7/10/23). Every chance they have, Hamas shows an immediate desire to slaughter every last Jew they can – man woman and child. And yet, somehow, Israel is the one accused of genocide, based on statements that pale before the vituperation of Palestinian preachers and politicians and acts of war that bear no resemblance to any serious definition of genocide.

Ironically, precisely because Israel has refused to commit the genocide their enemies deserve, and that they have the power to carry out, have refused to identify the Palestinians as Amalek with all its implications, they are stuck living intimately with people who not only want to exterminate them, but accuse them (successfully!) of trying to commit genocide against them. The role of progressives in giving this malevolent projection credibility showcases their bad faith. By identifying the Palestinians as noble resisters to colonial oppression, they essentially condemn Israel to accept and placate an enemy that admires the wishes to imitate the Nazis. It’s hard to imagine a more sadistic exegesis.

Israel, by far the most progressive state in the Middle East by any objective standards, and, especially given the circumstances, among the most steadfast progressive polities in the world, somehow registers on a broad consensus of progressive screens as the embodiment of far-right-wing, racist, supremacist, fascist, genocidal evil: unser Unglück.

So here we are, a quarter of a century into the third millennium, and the Jews are, once again, near-universally condemned for what they precisely do not do, while it goes unmentioned that their enemies aspire to do those very things to them. The Great Projection. Just as Hitler, whose ambitions were world conquest, convinced German racists that the Jews wanted to conquer the world and enslave mankind (them), so today the Jihadis, whose goal is Global Caliphate, embrace the same projective accusations about their targets, the Jews. The only confusing issue here is: Why would secular Western progressives, want to help the Jihadis with their terrible war strategy? Why would people who claim to be “anti-war” systematically repeat the Jihadi accusation with a Westplaining lexicon that translates unacceptable discourse (Jihadi hadith of “rocks and trees”) into acceptable secular terms (freedom, dignity, human rights)?

One of the more striking manifestations of this progressive participation in so malevolent an inversion – a tale well worth close examination – concerns the response of the feminist community to the rapes, torture and mutilations of Israeli women on October 7, 2023. Of all the ominous silences from liberals and progressives about Hamas’ behavior, that of feminists – both individuals and as organizations dedicated to protecting women – denouncing Hamas rapes was by far the loudest. Having acquired great prominence and influence with the “MeToo” movement, it insisted on both the validity of any woman’s claim to male abuse (“believe women”), and on significantly increasing the range of deeds considered inexcusably abusive (masturbation in front of a woman). And yet, when the most savage and sadistic attack on women ever recorded in such grotesque detail took place, women’s groups around the world disbelieved Israeli women and failed to denounce the heart- and mind-boggling behavior of the Gazans.

This has been widely analyzed in terms of a failure of nerve on the part of feminists who could not break with a “progressive” consensus that the Gazans are the victims, Hamas the resistance, and anything done to fight Israeli oppression was legitimate, despite the betrayal of so many progressive and feminist principles that entailed.

Here, I’d like to consider another aspect, namely, what this behavior shows in terms of attitudes towards Jewish power. In today’s world of moral emergencies and indignation, being “believed” is power, especially power to do damage to the accused. When the accusers of Harvey Weinstein or Bret Kavanaugh or Kevin Spacey are “believed” it can mean the end of their careers. Indeed, the NYT celebrated the 201 major figures brought down by #MeToo and the fact that half of their replacements were women. #MeToo vaunts its empowerment of women, especially at the expense of abusive men.

So what was the problem with denouncing vastly more “sexually abusive” behavior from Hamas? By any of the moral values and programs embraced by #MeToo, the Jewish women – many of them heavily invested in reaching out in peace to their Palestinian neighbors – who suffered the Gazan attack of 7/10 should have gone to the top of the list of priorities.

The problem lay not in the moral or humane universe. The problem lay in the political and religious universe, where believing Israeli women would have meant empowering them (and their men), justifying Israeli retaliation, canceling Hamas as a progressive cause. Indeed, had the Jewish women been embraced, their tales might have changed the minds of the other “feminists” about the current own-goal consensus that rules feminist and gender studies groups: Muslim women’s problems with their men need to take a back seat to the Palestinian struggle for freedom.

Now one can argue that that aversion to empowering Israel arises from a fear of increasing the “cycle of violence,” or even just a fear of the disapproval of so many Muslims who support Hamas, and would consider empowering their enemies inexcusable, indeed worthy of retaliation. Or, it comes from some (misplaced) solidarity with their political allies like BLM, whose members easily slide into hate rants. Given the tight relations between BLM and the Palestinian “cause,” any empowering of Israeli women would certainly be seen askance. And what are we if not the sum of our alliances for the good?

But I think at another level, one might ask, to what extent do the feminists also share the Caliphator’s fear of “Jews with power”? Granted, the Caliphator phantasm of an empowered Judaism destroying Islam, reflects a highly vulnerable and brittle identity. But this fear of Jews with power is also one of the major tropes of infidel gentile hostility to the Jews as well. In some cases, that fear rested on a (deservedly) bad conscience: an armed Jew is someone who could take vengeance on gentiles with their long record of indiscriminate attacks on those very Jews. Indeed, they might even try to enslave the gentiles. This is, of course, the great paranoid fantasy of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which Hamas cites as an historical document in its Charter (1988).

What would the “bad conscience” of feminists towards Jews and Israelis consist of? Would that include throwing them to the wolves at a series of UN conferences in which the subordination of women’s issues to the Palestinian agenda first took place, climaxing with the morally disastrous Durban conference of 2001? Would it include taking the embrace of the Palestinian cause so tenaciously that Jewish women, who played so prominent a role in the early movement, even those who accepted the Palestinian narrative, got pushed aside, to the point where, in 2016, one of the leaders of the mass movement for women’s rights declared that one could not be a feminist and a Zionist? Would it strike at the current morally fragile and politically vehement “feminist” identity that, in betraying Jewish feminists in order to assert their militant, triumphant identity, they also betrayed themselves?

So how does this pattern of behavior – obsession with Jews, perverse need to invert moral reality where they are concerned – offer proof, or even evidence, that the Jews are the chosen people? The obsession indicates that many people are exceptionally interested in Jews and given the place of this attention in the public sphere, that some of the most educated people share that interest. Some of this, however, could be attributed merely to how riveting war is, and (for interesting reasons), Israel’s conflict is easiest to report on (the only place one can be a pregnant war correspondent). Therefore, invoking the obsession alone offers only weak if, still interesting evidence that at least some people are convinced that there’s something special about the Jews… that whatever crazy stories these Jews tell about the past, they’re now worthy of attention. In a sense that’s a reflection of Moses’ final address to the Israelites when he spoke of how Jews would appear “in the eyes of the gentiles.”

Of course, for Moses, if they kept the laws and statutes (big if), it would be evidence of their wisdom and understanding, a source of moral admiration among the nations. Which brings us to the second phenomenon examined here, the moral inversion that the “whole world” operates when viewing Israel. Here we come up against a revealing perversion. It would be one thing if the gentiles were to say,

Oh Israel, in our eyes, you’re not that hot. Your army may behave better than most anyone’s, but you still do very nasty stuff; you may be the only genuine democracy in the Middle East, but you don’t even have a constitution; you might have gay and women’s and workers’ rights and no death penalty, but you’ve got problems of prejudice and discrimination against your minorities; your medical system may be a world standard for integration of Muslim minorities into a system based on merit, but that’s just one area of public life. I don’t think you get that high a mark in upholding progressive values, maybe a 70, on a curve, 85 out of 1000… definitely not in the 90s.

Small-minded, ungenerous, but still not pathological.

The inversion, however, suggests something else, something more is at work. In order to paint Israel not with a deprecating but a demonizing brush – racist, genocidal oppressors, war criminals – one literally has to invert the evidence for the sake of the narrative. Take, for example, the Jenin operation in April 2002, where Israel had an unprecedented and probably never-to-be-matched record of 3 combatants to one civilian death in urban warfare, and yet the operation was widely described as an IDF massacre of hundreds if not thousands of civilians… a wave of lethal journalism that mainstreamed the Palestinian genocidal projection – “the Jenin Massacre.”

This pattern of behavior, revealed by the near unanimous consensus among the chattering classes (information professionals) that Israel is to blame for the conflict, that it targets babies and is downright genocidal, offers more troubling and suggestive evidence for chosenness. The fact that the moral compass of progressives starts to spin wildly and then settle on inversion when it comes to this obsessive interest in Israel’s conflicts with her neighbors, suggests that the problem is precisely what the God of the Hebrew Bible (“Old Testament” to Christian supersessionists) said it was: Israel’s moral behavior in the land twixt river and sea, “in the eyes of the world.”

Compounding this dimension’s significance, this moral inversion is neither innocent – ‘Gee, we didn’t know’ – nor sane. It’s not as if this inversion happens in a circumstantial vacuum. On the contrary, even as they turn on Israel, these warriors for justice promote her enemies by empowering their “victim narrative” and their accusatory projections. “Progressives” playing the Caliphator hard-zero-sum game: in order for Palestinians to win, Israel must lose… completely. In order for Palestinians to be innocent victims, Israel must be evil. In 2003, at the height of the Palestinian suicide-terror war, Paul Berman tried to explain how the Palestinian cause could become the litmus test of liberal (!) credentials:

Each new act of murder and sucide testified to how oppressive were the Israelis. Palestinian terror, in this view, was the measure of Israeli guilt. The more grotesque the terror, the deeper the guilt.

One might even venture to say that these good folks need Palestinian victims. Why else, in 2023-4, would they endlessly deplore the loss of civilian lives in Gaza but make no effort to get the civilians out of harms way. Does that “open-air prison” they so energetically deplore despite its facetious existence, serve a key role in their identity as progressives? Are they addicted to the opportunity Hamas’ strategy of atrocity affords them to weep over Palestinian victims of Israeli brutality. Palestinian victims of Arab brutality? Not interested. Gazans escaping a war started by Hamas? Not interested. Somehow, the progressive left seems to need victims of Jewish crimes. And at the same time, they seem committed to preserving those who wish to exterminate the Jews.

This is, by any sane measure, an indication of a deep distortion in the soul: progressives, who never cease to speak about the sacredness of life, and the importance of empathy for the other, actually embrace policies that victimize the very people they so pity, just so they can stick it to the Jews for their moral failure. Human sacrifice by proxy.

This is all evidence of a classic Christian and Muslim supersessionist moral disorder. The “competition” with Judaism is so intense, the envy so destructive, that rather than claim to be “one of the chosen people” alongside Israel in a positive-sum destiny, they must replace, erase the obnoxious Jews with their arrogant claims to chosenness, even as they make that same claim in the most obnoxious, zero-sum way. And this invidious identity formation seems so strong, that progressives would rather empower the most regressive, savage and sadistic forces on the planet – who hate them almost as much as they hate Jews – rather than let the Jewish state live in peace.

It’s commonly claimed that the opposite of love is not hatred but indifference. In the case of the “progressive left” this indifference is directed at Palestinians and their morality: as exemplars of humanitarian racism, “progressives” have no expectations about Palestinian moral behavior, and therefore have no serious revulsion about their moral failings, no matter how egregious. On the other hand, they genuinely hate Israelis, because they fail to live up to their highest moral expectations. Thus, the world is treated to a radical corruption of the World Criminal Cult as Israel is accused of genocide for making a few remarks, in the heat of anger, about Hamas that resemble what any nation at war with a vicious enemy might say (calling them animals is an insult to animals), while not a word is spoken about the long and terrifying genocidal discourse and behavior of Hamas. Few of the many possible examples one could choose illustrate more clearly the extraordinarily high standards to which “progressives” hold Jews, and the rage they feel when they feel Israel has “let them down”… in other words, how merciless and relentless their competition with their moral rivals. It is a characteristic of moral narcissism that it does serious damage to those they claim to support.

So let me put it this way: although we can never know on the one hand, if there is a God and if so did that entity actually did choose the Jews to set a moral example to the world, or, on the other hand, was it just the Jews’ (impressive) collective fantasy that their chosen… we can observe that over the past two millennia, the people with the greatest pretense to be the moral leaders of the global community (Christians, Muslims, men of the Enlightenment, post-modern secular progressives) do think – indeed fear – that the Jews may, in fact, be chosen. After all, there are plenty of nations, peoples, and religions that think they are their gods’ chosen people or nation – the French, the British, the Germans, the Japanese, the Chinese, the Arabs, the Muslims, etc. etc. – and yet, somehow, that doesn’t seem to bother progressives very much, even in the case of the Muslims, whose claims to supreme status are currently so dangerous to the health of infidels especially progressives. And yet, the only claim that visibly, deeply, bothers them, is the Jewish one… the only one whose claim they take seriously enough to become both merciless and suicidal in their effort to deny it.

Erasing Jewish chosenness is the cornerstone of the invidious identity formation of supersessionists.

All this offers a fine illustration of the game-theory conundrum God revealed to Abraham at the first “choosing.” Alongside declaring the extraordinarily positive-sum nature of His choosing Abraham – “through you all the families of the world will be blessed,” God explained: “those who bless you I will bless, and those who curse you I will curse…” In other words, those who meet you in the positive-sum world will win alongside you; those who meet you with their envious zero-sum world, will lose after victimizing you. Who knew that blessing the Jews was so difficult for so many? Will it be the epitaph of this troubled age whose cursing of the Jews could prove lethal to everything genuinely progressive, humane values promote?

People of another, sounder age, will look back in astonishment

At the folly now on display, so loudly proclaimed, so scarcely resisted, so blithely repeated.