, 11 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
It's no accident that antisemitic stereotypes so often are used when talking about Israel-related issues, nor is it (wholly) a matter of conscious intent to deploy them.

The reason they're used is b/c they work; and they work b/c antisemitism remains a powerful social force./1
The art of persuasive speech is largely a project of finding out what resonates. What tracks people's intuitions. What "sounds right".

And in an antisemitic society, the easiest way to "sound right" when talking about Jews or Jewish institutions is to talk antisemitically./2
Antisemitic stereotypes are deeply-rooted and therefore familiar.

An argument which tracks one of those stereotypes will, all else equal, "ring true" in a way that an argument which avoids those stereotypes won't. Antisemitism makes it intuitively "make sense" to the listener./3
A speaker, looking for a way to make her stance on a Jewish topic connect with her audience, will often find that a formulation which trades on antisemitic tropes is the one that clicks best. It'll resonate, mobilize, and persuade most. So naturally, that's the one she'll use!/4
Ex: describing anti-BDS laws as "Israel loyalty oaths".

These laws have many faults, but they aren't loyalty oaths. And I imagine most who oppose them don't oppose them because they actually think they're "loyalty oaths". That language is used, rather, because it resonates./5
But WHY does it resonate? It's not it's descriptive accuracy. It's because it tracks a well-trod channel: that of The People forced into subservience to illegitimate their masters, the foreign-international Zionist/Jewish cabal./6
The stereotype makes the language resonate; and it helps make choate the grievance by linking it to this fantastical image of global Jewish domination.

It's hard to imagine any other formulation that could generate that degree of antipathic resistance; hence its popularity./7
And I want to suggest that this need not be cynical either. Yes, those aware of these stereotypes can wield them opportunistically--deliberately trading on this power (perhaps in a purely cynical fashion--they don't hate Jews, they're just political operatives with a job to do)/8
But the same sense of familiarity/resonance that makes these stereotypes work on listeners also operates on speakers. The well-worn grooves of antisemitic stereotypes feel "natural", they offer a way to articulate what otherwise may be hard to render choate./9
Point being: Yes, sometimes antisemitic stereotyping is an accidental blunder. And yes, sometimes it's the product of depraved hearts. But both of these views undersell the embeddedness of antisemitism as a *mobilizing force* in our society./10
Simply put, the best explanation for why antisemitism is so often used is that in an antisemitic society antisemitism is what's familiar, what's resonant, what's intuitive & what "sounds right".

Or put differently: when speaking of Jews, antisemitism is our natural language/end
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