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Never Again?: The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism Hardcover – October 21, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
"Everybody's afraid to touch anything that's religious because most of the people out there [in Hollywood] are Jewish, and it's a frightening thing for them to promote Christianity," claimed Dolly Parton, unable to develop a TV miniseries about a born-again Christian folk singer. Such a casual reiteration of the myth that Jews control Hollywood is one example Foxman, the longtime national director of the Anti-Defamation League, cites in showing what he claims is a new acceptance of global anti-Semitism. Arguing that this new anti-Semitism is not "a handful of incidents... but rather a little-noticed, under-the-radar pattern of repeated attacks, often violent, occurring in country after country," Foxman presents a frightening tally of hate crimes and hate speech in both Europe and the U.S. With examples at once shocking and predictable, such as the Arab press's caricatures of Israelis based on "imagery drawn from Nazi propaganda" and the president of the Southern Baptist Convention stating, "God doesn't hear the prayers of the Jews," Foxman's enumeration of such cases is frightening and important, but his presentation is problematic, in part because of his lack of political nuance. In the opening chapter, he repeatedly speaks of an anti-Semitic coalition of "extreme left-wing and right-wing groups," when what he is describing is similar anti-Semitic rhetoric coming from each separately. Another difficulty is that Foxman details his own experience (and that of the famous people he meets) so often that the book feels self-aggrandizing, like the struggles of one man against an anti-Semitic world rather than a political analysis. These problems don't seriously injure the book's credibility, but make it far less potent than it might be.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The recent splurge of desecrations of Jewish temples and cemeteries in Europe as well as the constant drumbeat of criticism of Israel in European publications and on American college campuses has fueled fears of a massive outbreak of anti-Semitic violence. Foxman, a Holocaust survivor, describes, with chilling effect, some of the outrageous, violent attacks against individual Jews as well as some of the blatantly anti-Semitic comments by public figures. He analyzes causes for this upsurge, including Holocaust denials by "respectable" scholars and, of course, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Foxman declares that criticism of the policies of the Israeli government is not necessarily anti-Semitic, although "unfairly" criticizing and singling out Israel is. Here, he is on shaky ground; such criticism is often unfair and motivated by strong ideological bias, but it is not clearly anti-Semitic. When he sticks to analysis of undeniably anti-Semitic acts and policies, Foxman presents a frightening picture. He illustrates that what has been called the "longest hatred" may morph into new forms, but it remains as a malignant and potentially deadly virus. Jay Freeman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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As blind horses we were led to the slaughter when most of the World was watching or did not watch at all. Thank you Mr.Foxman I bought your books after I saw you on Fox & Friends one morning
The new anti-Semitism is a combination of anti- Semitisms. It is the old right wing Fascist anti- Semitism now embodied in neo- Nazis and their ilk, and it is the Islamic world's anti- Semitism which is a wall to wall hatred of Jews and Israel, and it is also ( and here Foxman fails to be strong enough) the anti- Semitism of the radical extreme left which has turned against the Jewish world . The new anti- Semitism often tries to disguise itself as ' Anti- Zionism' only but as Alan Dershowitz pointed out this is a deception.
Foxman's work is admirable by and large. To my mind he places far too much emphasis on Christian anti- Semitism , and does not give credit to the vast number of Christian groups and individuals who are allies of Israel and the Jewish people. He too as I have said under-emphasizes the role of the Left. And this when it is precisely the radical Left which should be confronted more vigorously by the ADL ( and this even when members of this radical left are Jewish.) On the whole however this is a valuable book.
Jews and Christians have indeed been traditional enemies. Obviously, that isn't good for either of them, particularly for the much less numerous Jews. Matter of fact, Jews and Pagans have also been traditional enemies. Anyway, Foxman explains some of the history of Christian antisemitism and its effect on Jewish attitudes today.
But there is a point to what might otherwise look like mere whining. Jews are looking for reasonable behavior from others. And Foxman makes it clear what sorts of things one can do to be polite and reasonable. No matter what religious views one has, one does not need to be an antisemite, nor does one need to look like an antisemite. That's important to know if one wants to socialize with Jews or support human rights for Jewish Israelis.
Can we criticize Judaism without being thought of as antisemites? Absolutely. Can we criticize Israeli policies without being thought of as antisemites? Yes. Foxman's "sensitivity" is a blessing in that respect. Let's not forget that everyone is offendable, not just Jews. If we're not socially adept enough to avoid offending Jewish friends, maybe we need to read this book.
Of course, Foxman shows that there is more to it than this. Antisemitism, while it can start out as simple fun and games, has had serious consequences for over fifteen centuries. The latest metastasy of this phenomenon has passed itself off as "mere" antizionism. But if it involves calling Zionism a form of racism, or denying Israel (and only Israel) a right to nationhood, it is simply more of the same taunting, baiting, and dishonesty that has traditionally led to violence - first against Jews and later against others.
Finally, we ought to think twice before we dismiss all concerns about antisemitism. While it is true that there have been very few deaths caused by antisemitic attacks during the past few years compared to the number of Jewish deaths during World War 2, there have been quite a few recent attacks and the number of dead is not negligible. In addition, anti-Jewish propaganda in the Arab world is as intense as anything seen before. Foxman shows the extent to which some of it has become a part of our global culture. That's a valuable warning and lesson for all of us.
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Foxman uses the common comment that the world has learned its lesson during World War II and will "never again" let hate do what it did to the Jews...Read more