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The Politics of Anti-Semitism Paperback – October 1, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
The first essay is by Michael Neumann, who raises numerous "taboo" issues, including the most fundamental: Is Jewish identity fundamentally religious, racial, or a `cultural entity'? He addresses overall Jewish complicity in Israel's crimes against the Palestinians. In Cockburn's essay, I found an aside, concerning the application of moral standards, informative, and it had nothing to do with Israel. Billy Graham had apparently given his imprimatur to the killing of a million Vietnamese by bombing the dikes in northern Vietnam; for bombing the dikes in Holland in World War II, the German high commissioner in Holland, Seyss-Inquart, was sentenced to death at Nuremberg.
St. Clair's essay on the Israeli attack on the American warship, USS Liberty, in 1967, which left 34 US sailors dead, and 174 wounded, needs to be read by every American, particularly those who have a predilection for wearing the flag in their lapel. The actual attack was one horrendous crime, but the efforts to cover it up within the United States were at least a magnitude worse. As St. Clair says: "For the first time in history, an attack on an American ship was not subjected to a public investigation by Congress." From the highest level, to the smallest, far more than normal human pathos was operative: "When a small town in Wisconsin decided to name its library in honor of the USS Liberty crewmen, a campaign claiming it was anti-Semitic was launched... and when the town went ahead, the U.S. government ordered no Navy personnel to attend, and sent no messages."
Norman Finkelstein, who lost almost his entire family in the Holocaust, has been a long-standing critic of the misuse of Jewish suffering to support Jewish wrong-doing, in particular against the Palestinians. His book, The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering, New Edition 2nd Edition is an essential read. In his essay, "Counterfeit Courage," which is in this collection, he concludes by addressing the German people: "The challenge in Germany today is to defend the memory of the Nazi holocaust and to condemn its abuse by American Jewish elites; to defend Jews from malice and to condemn their overwhelmingly blind support for Israel's brutal occupation. But to do this requires real moral courage- not the operatic kind that politically correct Germans so love.
Much is this book is imminently quotable. The 1-star reviews underscore the importance of lifting the embargo. 4-stars.
This book, a collection of essays from a variety of left-wing Jews, Arabs/Muslims, and (assimilated) Americans, does a decent job of exposing all three dangers, primarily from a Marxian, pro-Palestinian point of view.
For example, both establishment political parties cater to organized Judaism, both from internal pressure by Jewish members, and from immense external pressure from Jewish organizations, giving Israeli Americans disproportionate influence over foreign policy, and they use that dominant position to funnel tens of billions of dollars of American taxpayer -- and borrowed -- monies to Israel, as well as to create Judeo-centric legislation.
Additionally, Jewish dominance in the legal industry enables Israeli Americans to both profit from, and quash, dissent. The threat alone of being sued by powerful Jewish groups and Jewish lawyers is often enough to prevent critics from speaking out.
Jewish ethnocentrism and corporate concentration have allowed Israeli Americans to assume control of every major media and publishing company. The Israeli-American media establishment then shapes coverage of Israel-Palestinian affairs to downplay Israeli atrocities and play up Palestinian bombings, as well as to neutralize criticism and to brand critics (and non-compliant politicians) as "bigots," "Jew-haters," "self-hating Jews," "anti-Semites," "Nazis," and the like. (Fascinatingly, even pointing out that Jews comprise a dominant elite within the media is often enough to get one blacklisted.)
Of course, the New Left in American politics is in fact an outgrowth of Jewish socialism, not European socialism, and Israeli Americans continue to maintain a dominant role on the Left. When those Israeli Americans criticise Israeli politics or actions, however, they are typically branded "self-hating Jews." By trivializing their concerns and labeling them "anti-Semitic," pro-Israeli Jews are able to overcome even the formidable power of the victimization, and class-based, politics of the Jewish Left.
Taken together, the essay authors assert, the three rails of organized Judaism work to continually reinforce Israeli hegemony in both the Middle East and in America, and even subvert the actions of Jewish activists with other leanings. This dominance and bullying engender a (typically) private hatred of all Jews and a contempt for their interests, even when those interests are morally defensible. For example, Israeli atrocities embolden and legitimize global anti-Semitism, and Zionist Jew-hatred divides the Jewish community. If European and American onlookers perceive Jews to be always profiteering via the Holocaust industry, or always existing as a militant, parasitic nation using American lives in the defense of Israel, will they come to the aid of Israel or the world Jewry in the event of another Nazi state?