U. of Toronto Posts Anti-Semitic Tripe

The University of Toronto has accepted and posted a master’s thesis called “The Victimhood of the Powerful: White Jews, Zionism, and the Racism of Hegemonic Holocaust Education.” As the title might insinuate, it is actually an anti-Semitic screed displaying the lowest academic standards.

The author, a young Canadian Jewish woman named Jennifer Peto, gives the psychological background of her views in the introduction:

I had been attending Orthodox Jewish schools since kindergarten and all along I had been questioning the worldview that was being presented to me. In the first grade, after having been told that I could not play the lead in our school play because I was a girl, I decided that god was either sexist or nonexistent.

It’s worth pausing over this. The “logic” is clearly that of a six-year-old girl; yet Ms. Peto considers it worth presenting in her thesis!

She continues:

Over the years, both my atheism and my feminism only grew stronger within the sexist, gender-normative and heterosexist educational institutions I was forced to attend. That all these values were reinforced at home only made me more convinced of my own beliefs.

It all came to a head when she was 15 and a history teacher in her “private Jewish high school in Toronto” appeared to praise Baruch Goldstein, the American Israeli who massacred 29 (Ms. Peto gives the number as 50, but why quibble in a master’s thesis) Palestinians in Hebron in February 1994.

When Ms. Peto questioned the teacher’s attitude, he “became enraged” and sent her to the principal’s office. This led her for the first time to “start questioning” the Zionist attitudes that had been instilled in her. These included the belief that “all Palestinians were violent terrorists who wanted to kill all Jews, just like the Nazis had tried to do.”

Of course, intelligent Jews in today’s world do not think that, and in the context of a mature mind -- let alone an academic thesis -- it is not an issue at all. And as Werner Cohn notes:

All sections of world Jewry, with only tiny exceptions in very restricted ultra-religious circles, reacted with shame and horror at the deeds of Baruch Goldstein. Why didn’t it occur to Ms. Peto to examine ... the record of world Jewry’s reaction to Goldstein?

The answer is that she had already embarked on her thrilling rebellion, and wasn’t about to be deflected -- and isn’t to this day -- by mere facts and reasoning. No, after a while she:

... began to read about the history of Palestine, [and] started to understand the violence that was necessary to establish the Israeli state. ... The Second Intifada began shortly thereafter, which only accelerated my shift from supporter of Israel to Palestine solidarity activist.

So now it was Palestinians murdering Jews, over and over again, en masse. Ms. Peto was launched on her path! After all, she was “already an outcast in the Jewish community, and estranged from my family for being atheist, queer, gender-queer, feminist, and generally outspoken in a highly normative, Orthodox setting.” Revenge is sweet!

From now on the epiphanies came one after another. Among them: Israel is an apartheid state based on ethnic cleansing! Ashkenazi Jews in the United States, Canada, and Israel all take part in privileged “whiteness” and, hence, in oppression and genocide of “people of color” -- even when these Ashkenazi Jews try to impart lessons about tolerance based on the Holocaust!

As Ms. Peto goes on to explain, after World War II “Jews and other European ethnics [in the United States] became integrated into the white middle-class.” Notwithstanding “the myth that American Jews succeeded simply because of hard work,” they were now “firmly on the white side of the black/white divide in the United States.”

And yet, because “seeing themselves as part of an oppressive white majority was like seeing themselves as goyim” (that phrase quoted from a scholar named Eric Goldstein), Jews, according to Ms. Peto, turned the focus to their own ethnicity instead. That enabled them to “enjoy the privilege of whiteness, while still feeling like an oppressed minority that is not complicit in American racism.”

What a clever trick. It came in handy for disguising the phenomenon of “Jewish racism” -- a phrase Ms. Peto uses 21 times (as noted by the blogger Elder of Ziyon) in the course of this very nasty master’s thesis.