The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Whoville

by Scott McLemee on December 17, 2006

The one thing I enjoy about this season is watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Some part of me always hopes things will turn out differently this time — that maybe the Grinch won’t go back to Whoville and return the stuff. (Of course I do know better; still, it’s my holiday wish.) Also, it is impossible not to admire the Grinch’s efficiency.

From the blog Intellectual Conservative, I learn that my green hero is being Semiticized. Who knew?

In a post titled “The Jewish Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” we are informed (spelling and robust comma usage all sic):

The dirty little secret in America is that anti-Semetism is no longer a significant problem in society; it’s been replaced by a rampant anti-Christianity….When it comes to pushing the multicultural, anti-Christian, agenda, you find Jewish judges, Jewish journalists, and the ACLU, at the forefront.

And man, are they pushy! It seems that “too many Jews won’t be happy until they pull off their own version of the Spanish Inquisition, forcing Christians to either deny their faith and convert to agnosticism or suffer the consequences.”

Yeah, that’ll happen. What keeps this from being your garden-variety nutsoid screed is that the author, Burt Prelutsky, is Jewish himself. Bet you didn’t see that one coming. He’s all contrarian and “unpredictable” — just the most provocative “well I can’t believe he actually said that!” kind of commentary. Is that stuff ever stimulating to read. It really makes you think.

In a followup, Prelutsky reports on the reactions to his gutsy, take-no-prisoners willingness to speak truth to etc.–including the accusation that he is a “self-hating antisemite.”

I am glad to have discovered the blog, if only for that particular turn of phrase, which is wonderful. For “self-hating antisemite” is a genuine (if quite unintentional) bit of verbal creativity; the words combine to conjure up something more, and other, than the author meant. You can almost imagine the support group:

“It’s true that I had a great time at the Holocaust-denial conference in Tehran. But now I really despise myself for attending….”

Prelutsky has a new book out, with one of those edgy and/or parodic titles that the culture-war clip-jobs always have. (It’s called Homo Erratic: The Lesbinazi War on SUVs. Either that or It Takes a Village Idiot to Racialize a Nation: Barack Obama’s Secret Ties to Al Sharpton. Something along those lines; after a while, it all sounds pretty much the same.) Can a talk show be far behind?

No, I do not think it can be. We will hear more of this Burt Prelutsky. My heart grows three sizes at the thought.

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12.22.06 at 1:21 pm



paul 12.17.06 at 2:36 pm

Has there always been a jewish equivalent of the token black reactionaries who make their careers by opposing affirmative action, or is this a new market niche?


SF 12.17.06 at 4:00 pm

Scott, is your article a foil for agnosticism? It’s difficult to see what the point is. So a Jewish guy thinks there is a movement among some other Jewish guys in the ACLU to dechristianize Christmas. What’s the problem? Here is a quote from the author’s response:

The sad fact is that the ACLU is made up in good part of Jews, and it is that organization and its lawyers who are leading the assault against Christmas…when every ACLU lawyer who appears on TV to announce the latest attempt to remove Christian symbols and traditions from America seems to be Jewish, and when it’s a rabbi in Seattle who threatens a lawsuit if a menorah doesn’t take its place among the airport’s Christmas trees, it’s all too easy for Christians to assume the rest of us support this obnoxious campaign.

The motivation doesn’t seem to come from self-loathing, but from concern about how members of a group that he identifies with might be seen by others. After reading your post, I initially thought that it was a feel-good piece for the offended; but then, after reading the author’s response, it seems now to be a poorly written misrepresentation of someone else’s view.


abb1 12.17.06 at 4:23 pm

…rampant anti-Christianity…

The fella is confused: the doctrine is called “Judeo-Christianity” and it’s currently under attack by multicultural pinko Islamo-fascists, activist judges, liberal journalists and anti-war left.


KCinDC 12.17.06 at 5:08 pm

Maybe Prelutsky has been going to Dennis Prager for advice on being a Jew, or vice versa.


marcel 12.17.06 at 5:37 pm

Paul asked “Has there always been a jewish equivalent of the token black reactionaries who make their careers by opposing affirmative action, or is this a new market niche?

St. Paul is probably the archetype. Johannes Pfefferkorn is a 16th century instantiation, and in the last 20 or so years, at least one American Nazi leader, and one other, more generic right wing racist (anti-black, anti-semitic, pro-white) leader had at least 1 Jewish parent. So I think the answer is “always”.


mtraven 12.17.06 at 5:37 pm

Wow, that site is a treasure trove of fun. The only thing more laughable than your standard-issue mouthbreather conservative is a conservative with pretensions of intellectualism…and the willingness to slap the label on themselves.

More self-hating antisemitism can be found here…this is by one David Yerushalmi, who is very concerned that the white Christians are getting a raw deal:

America of the 21st Century is now fully controlled by the Elites. Whether the professorate at the universities inculcating our youth with the “scientific” version of what they have learned in the MTV culture, or the organizations hyper-financed by the Open Society billionaires like George Soros, or even the “conservative” Republican politicians and media talking heads who disdain the “religious fanaticism” of the Christian right, religious conservatives are on the run everywhere. For the conservative Christian, politics have become an insane game of voting to stay one step ahead of the “democratic” mobs looking figuratively to lynch the last white Christian American who dares sneak outside his home in a timid effort to lay claim to some small corner of the civic domain.


Russell Arben Fox 12.17.06 at 5:38 pm

…including the accusation that he is a “self-hating antisemite.” I am glad to have discovered the blog, if only for that particular turn of phrase, which is wonderful.

You’ve really never heard “self-hating antisemite” before, Scott? Maybe I’m misremembering, but I swear that Woody Allen once had a whole routine (written up in one of his early books, maybe?) about that label, particularly as it supposedly applied to himself.


bi 12.17.06 at 11:17 pm

“pretensions of intellectualism…and the willingness to slap the label on themselves.”

w00t, another bit of contrarianism. Don’t conservatives hate intellectuals?


Down and Out in Sài Gòn 12.18.06 at 1:55 am

So this post’s not about power-strumming? Damn. Just a teenage wasteland.


Rich B. 12.18.06 at 9:22 am

I had always heard “self-hating Jew” (prominently, in Arthur Miller’s “Broken Glass”), not “self-hating anti-Semite”, which doesn’t actually get to the meaning you would want to.

There’s a joke somewhere about someone who converted from “anti-Semite” to “self-hating Jew”, usually told immediately before the one about transitioning from heterosexual male to lesbian.


The Modesto Kid 12.18.06 at 9:59 am

Note that he has not one but two books both titled “Conservatives are from somewhere, Liberals are from somewhere else and are probably faggots”, but with different subtitles.


Barry Solow 12.18.06 at 11:33 am

I don’t think you people are being entirely fair. There was a Conservative temple just a couple of blocks from where I lived growing up and many of the Conservatives were quite intellectual. Broad-minded, too. The guys who went to the Ultrua-Orthodox temple a few blocks further down, on the other hand…


Grand Moff Texan 12.18.06 at 12:27 pm

(spelling and robust comma usage all sic)

Actually, it’s a code. If you take all the spellng errors and the letter following each comma, it spells “NEED HOT GAY SEX.” Can’t you people recognize a cry for help when you see one?


bi 12.18.06 at 2:42 pm


Doesn’t Prelutsky himself agree to the “self-hating anti-Semite” label?

And I like this:

What I found most telling was that those who damned me didn’t, as a rule, refute what I had written […]

Hmm… “as a rule”. Since most people don’t refute my arguments, that means we can just ignore those who actually do refute them. Suddenly, being an intellectual is so easy.


Shelby 12.18.06 at 3:35 pm

Is there any way we can lock Prelutsky in a room with Glenn Greenwald? For, say, a few months?


marcel 12.18.06 at 4:17 pm

Shelby (15): sounds kind of cruel to Glenn Greenwald. What’s in it for him?


Shelby 12.18.06 at 8:11 pm

I don’t care what’s in it for him, just what’s in it for me. They seem roughly equivalent in terms of idiocy, annoyance and capability of polluting mental space.


Karen 12.19.06 at 6:47 am

The term “self-hating anti-Semite” just serves as another example of the vicious War on Words being carried out in this country.

Such attacks fall into various categories. This one is of the type: Adding a word or affix that’s already part of the meaning of the original word just to show the fancy-pants word that it’s not all that!

Other popular examples of this type of assault include: He had a poor self-image of himself, Now let’s all exhale out the air (never used that Yoga tape again!), and Please write the definition of what each word means (found on an English test.)

I mean, this literally angers me!

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