How hatred plays a role in politics (November 29 2012) How hatred plays a role in politics (November 29 2012)

Niza Yanay the 61 year old Israeli Professor of Sociology and Anthropology has been interviewed by Neve Gordon in an Aljazeera article titled ‘The Ideology of Hatred’ discussing how ‘hatred’ plays a role in politics. In the interview Yanay states “…distinction between hatred as an experience and hatred as ideology underscored the need to ask new questions about the relation between politics and hatred. And these new questions, I believe, need to focus on power relations between different groups, such as coloniser and colonised, ruler and subject, and not so much on the personal experience of specific individuals who experience hatred (though such questions are still important too). …Most people consider “suicide bombings” as motivated by hate, while very few people consider air strikes on populated areas to be hate crimes. The media often describes the suicide attack as a hate crime, but I have never come across a report describing the US drone attacks in Pakistan – that have killed over 3,500 people – as hate crimes. This suggests that hatred as ideology is at work. And this ideology helps determine who is blamed for being the initiators of hate, who becomes the target of hatred, and, in fact, when hatred counts as hatred at all. Let me give you an example to help clarify my claim. Think about a young adolescent Jewish girl in Israel who leads a comfortable life and has never interacted face-to-face with Palestinians. This is a very reasonable assumption, since Israel is a totally segregated society. Why, it is interesting to ask, would a girl who has never met a Palestinian speak with such vehemence and personal hatred against Palestinians and Arabs in general? Why do so many Jewish citizens of Israel, who have never been hurt by Palestinians, openly admit to intense hatred? This articulates a national ideology of hatred and not merely a personal hatred.”


Inspired by Redress image source Neve Gordon