ideal of self-mortification. With due respect to Nietzsche’srn”liberal” interpreters, these criticisms are not directed at Christiansrnfirst and at Jews secondarily. True, Nietzsche deploredrnanti-Semitism, but he also leveled numerous attacks, particularlyrnin his correspondence, on Judaism as the source of Christianrnself-debasement. He also mocked Jewish cunning and lackrnof aristocratic virtue.rny^ s for the debatern/ – f about the femitrn_ ^ / K y nization of Jewishrnmales, it might be best to pursue itrnunder different auspices. Toughs andrnsofts are both Jewish victimologistsrnwearing interchangeable masks, likernfeminists and men’s rights groups.rnAs a recently published French anthology of essays, De Sife-rnMaria a Jerusalem: Nietzsche et le juddisme (edited by DominiquernBourel and Jacques Le Rider), makes clear, Nietzsche’srnridicule of the Jews made a deep impression on earlyrnZionists, who were drawn to Nietzsche for his lyrical style andrnanti-Christian neo-paganism. For these Zionists it was importantrnto meet Nietzsche’s criticism by reconstructing Jewishrnidentity in a Jewish homeland. Even the socialists amongrnthese Zionists thought Nietzsche had made valid observationsrnabout the unnatural mentality of their fellow Jews, even if hernhad also rejected socialism and liberalism.rnIt is not surprising that the candidly self-hating Jew OttornWeininger, in Sex and Character (1903), should dwell turgidlyrnand splenetically on the problem of feminized Jewish men.rnMore interesting, in 1905 the father of what later became thernZionist right, Vladimir Jabotinsky, proposed as basic to his nationalistrnmovement the achievement of Jewish remasculinization:rn”Our starting point is to take the typical Yid of today andrnto imagine his diametric opposite. Because the Yid is ugly, sickly,rnand lacks decorum, we shall endow the ideal image of thernHebrew with masculine beauty. The Yid is downtrodden andrneasily frightened, and, therefore, the Hebrew ought to be proudrnand independent.”rnFreud also read Nietzsche on the Jews and believed what hernread, to the point that he sought physiological explanations forrnthe “feminization” of Jewish males. According to Sander L.rnOilman in Freud, Race, and Gender, the father of modern psychologyrnlong agonized over the “proneness to hysteria” andrnother “female qualities” that he thought typical of Jewishrnmen. He found these qualities, which he identified with hisrnown father, embarrassing, and he speculated on how theyrnmight be removed provided they were not part of an “immutablernbiological construction.”rnIn recent years this issue of feminized Jewish males hasrnreemerged in a different context: an intramural Jewish disputernover contemporary Jewish identity. Neither side in thisrndispute is particularly pro-Western: both view Western Christianrnsociety as a continuing fount of anti-Jewish sentiment. Butrnfor one side Western Christian hostility is responsible for Jewishrnfeminization, while for the other it produced the forcedrnmasculinization of a once “sensitive” Jewish culture. The sidesrnare presented (or present themselves) as “tough” vs. “soft,” orrnin Yiddish, “starke” vs. “schwache.” Meir Kahane’s Never Againrnand Ruth Wisse’s If I Am Not for Myself: The Liberal Betrayalrnof the ]ews are representative of the “tough” Jews; Paul Breines’rnTough Jews: Political Fantasies and the Moral Dilemma of AmericanrnJewry and the writings of Jewish feminist Letty 0. Pogrebinrnexemplify the “soft” thinking.rnHaving forced myself to read such polemics, I am struckrnmore by the similarities than by the differences between therntwo sides. Both are fixated on the insidious presence of anti-rnSemitism and express Jewish alienation from Gentile society,rnbut both also reveal no positive religious elements. Wisse andrnKahane, though residing in North America, scold other Jews forrnnot recognizing Israel as their only homeland. For both of theserntoughs, Arab opposition to Israel is derivative of Christianrnanti-Semitism, which also informed the Nazi movement. AsrnWisse, a frequent Commentary contributor, puts it: “The Arabrncharge that the creation of Israel is a crime against an Arab peoplernhas much in common with the earlier Christian charge thatrnthe Jews denied the son of God, or that of the Nazis that thernJews polluted the Aryan race. These charges are unanswerablernexcept through dissolution of the Jewish religion, the Jewishrnpeople, the Jewish state.”rnThough the softs seem to like what Wisse condemns, arn”Jewish civilization of self-blame,” and what Kahane presentsrnas the “victory of Hellenism over the Jewish people,” clearly therntwo sides agree on other matters. For toughs and softs, the victoryrnof the left throughout the West would not be a bad thing,rnas long as leftist anti-Semitism were controlled. For the softs,rnconservative movements are inevitably unkind, anti-feministrnand anti-Jewish. In Breines’ words: “A critique of tough Jewsrnought, then, to begin and end with a summons gently to abolishrnthe conditions that generate toughness.” A continued alliancernwith international socialism and feminism, argue thernsofts, helps Jews and other oppressed minorities. It weakens traditionalistrncultures in which Jews have been disadvantaged, andrnso Zionists should aim at cooperation with social and culturalrnprogressives everywhere. Though Breines is more sympatheticrnto “feminized” Jewish males than Wisse or Kahane, his reasoningrnis also anchored in an appeal to Jewish self-interest. Likernthe toughs, Breines thinks Jewish interests are best protectedrnwhere Gentiles are not allowed to be their unruly selves.rnIn a perceptive review of Wisse’s book, Allan C. Brownfeldrnmakes the point that “for an academician of note, Wisse’s discussionrnof liberalism is largely superficial. She does not properlyrndifferentiate between the classical liberalism of the 19thrncentury . . . and the statist liberalism of the 20th century.”rnMoreover, “what seems to disturb Wisse most is the classicalrnliberalism which ended the theocratic exclusion of Jews fromrnthe life and culture of Western Europe. She seems to long tornrestore the ghetto walls, which maintained the kind of artificialrnJewish unity she would like once again to impose.” WhatrnBrownfeld might have added is that Wisse and other Jewishrntoughs are producing their own Jewish counterpart to black separatism:rnpresenting Jews as Western victims, who are to be indulgedrnno matter what they demand, whether it is the right torn24/CHRONICLESrnrnrn