Self-hate, in the Jewish context, is assailed by traditionalists, quantified by sociologists, catalogued by hobbyists, ribbed by comedians, feared by parents.
It is also underrated.
Simply put, we have much to learn from the self-hating Jew. Like the paranoid who is under actual surveillance, the Jew who is viciously critical of matters Jewish - or for whom Jewishness and Israel are sources of shame - may shed light on issues we may wrongly choose to ignore or accept.
That is the thesis of Bradley Burston’s piece earlier this week in Ha’aretz. It’s worth a read, as are some of the blog posts responding to it. He argues that Muslims learning a little about self-hate would do more stability in Israel than peace talks.
May we, Muslim and Jew, have the wisdom to address our own failings with the vigor with which we attack each others’.
Let’s hear it for healthy self-hate. It may just be what the world needs now.