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Antisemitism: The Longest Hatred Paperback – March 15, 1994
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The greatest weakness here is that while the author gives us many facts, he offers very little in the way of explanation. We learn almost nothing about why antisemitism has been so prevelant or so intense, or why, like a natural disaster, it flares up in cycles every so often. No one expects Wistrich to have the final answer here, but he should have made at least some attempt to discover the reasons for the 'longest hatred'.
Part One examines its pagan roots, its lethal and influential infection of Christianity at an early date and the course it took in Western Europe until the early 1990s. This section includes the medieval legacy when the phenomenon took a particularly ugly turn, Martin Luther, the Holocaust and post-war attitudes in Germany and Austria where it evidently never died. Previously neither the Reformation nor the Enlightenment put an end to it. It instead just mutated along lines acceptable to the Zeitgeist. After World War II the pattern of European guilt-denial has led to increasing anti-Zionism in a process of displacement and projection. Hatred of the Jewish people is being transferred to the Jewish State.
Part Two looks at the history in Britain, France, Hungary, Rumania, Czech, Poland and Russia. Of interest here is how the thing persists even in the absence of Jewish people like in Poland in the late 1980s, and how the US strain has mercifully always been less virulent than the European. I am afraid that things have deteriorated since the publication of this book. The long history of popular and state antisemitism in Russia has been revived, with the country's open support of rogue states and terrorist groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran.Read more ›
By now I have read more than a hundred books on this subject and the Holocaust. But no author has convincingly answered the question: "Why
the Jews?" The Hebrew deity is obviously not a suitable guide for moral behavior. The Hebrew god is also not the first expression of monotheism. Other people felt superior and chosen. Other people had restrictions on food. Others are separatists ... so what gives? The Jews are not the only - or even the first monotheists. And why did Islam accept some of the most gruesome aspects of the Hebrew Bible? If the dream of Islam to eradicate Israel and all Jews is fulfilled then will the world be a better Place? And after the Jews comes the eradication of the Christians, etc. until 'Allah (THE god) is obeyed all over the world. And why is it possible for some to say that Islam is a religion of peace? It is obviously not. The word "Islam" means "submission" to the will of 'Allah and the giving up of your own will. And who says what the will of 'Allah is?
Part One explores its roots in the pagan world, its lethal infection of Christianity at an early date and the course it has taken in Western Europe until the early 1990s. William Nicholls has thoroughly dissected Christian Antisemitism in his book by that title. The virus proliferated in the Middle Ages and during the reformation infected Martin Luther whose writings contributed to creating a climate that made the Holocaust possible. Not even the Enlightenment put an end to it. Post-war attitudes in Germany and Austria show that it never died in Europe. After World War II the pattern of European guilt-denial has enabled the growth of anti-Zionism in a process of displacement and projection. Hatred of the Jewish people is being transferred to the Jewish State. Anti-Zionism may even be considered the typical form of the virus in the 21st century.
In Part Two, Wistrich looks at the history in Britain, France, Hungary, Rumania, Czech, Poland and Russia. It is remarkable how the thing persists even in the absence of Jewish people like in Poland in the late 1980s, and in a place like Japan.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is well researched and well written, and provides an Interesting history for those who have wondered about the causes of anti-Semitism.Published on March 28, 2013 by Diane Plotkin
for my Masters degree, a must have book about Antisemitism , as it was a used book, i paid only 1 cent instead of 150 dollarsPublished on November 30, 2012 by goldstof orna
.. I haven't read this book (3 stars is the mid-point, not intended to mean anything), but would point out that, following this book, Lady Jane Birdwood in Britain published 'The... Read morePublished on September 7, 2010 by Rerevisionist
Well written, but so way-off. This book's title can be used to address the long hatred that the Jews have towards the Gentiles. Read morePublished on June 5, 2008 by Michael Santomauro
This is a very learned and convincing study of the history of Anti- Semitism. It is especially illuminating in its understanding of the new anti- Semitism which has come to the... Read morePublished on February 3, 2005 by Shalom Freedman