From “A guide for the Bedevilled”

Ben Hecht’s book “A guide for the Bedevilled” is an excellent expose of antisemitism.   With the frequent crossover to those who obsess about Israel, here are a few well written words from the book (p30) which can help undertand the anti-Israel railing.

“The study of antisemitism is no more than a sidelong look at the human genius for prejudice… True prejudice is not opinion at all and cannot be influenced by the things that make up opinion, knowledge, or sanity.  True prejudice is an inner unreason as necessary to us as our outer reasonableness… Evolution – the same evolution that changes with godlike slowness our bones and tissues – is its only schoolmaster …

Prejudice is the bandage that protects a sore segment of the brain.  Judgement can neither unwrap it nor enlightenment pluck it away.

Prejudice is our method of transferring our own sickness to others.  It is our ruse for disliking others rather than ourselves.  We find absolution in our prejudices.  We find also in them an enemy made to order rather than inimical forces out of our control.

By our prejudices we pardon ourselves; we excuse our defeats, we increase our stature, we utilize our ignorance which is our major equipment.

Prejudice is a raft onto which the shipwrecked mind clambers and paddles to safety.

The human ocean bottoms where prejudices are formed are too deep for the educators or the precept bringers.  There no light can shine.  It is into this dark place that the word Jew has fallen.  It has become a word, not of historical or religious meaning, but a symbol of obsession – one of the mystic forces by which men are able to outwit this insufficiencies.

The word Jew has in two thousand years been promoted from the name of a people to the name of a symptom.”

The book is well worth getting a hold of .. a few links to the book, which was published during WW2 are here and  here While getting a copy of the book can require a major search, it is available as a download here.

Ben Hecht was a remarkable man of many talents

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