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The Return of Anti Semitism Hardcover – January 15, 2004

3.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This is the story of how, "virtually unnoticed, and unremarked, a lethal hatred of Jews has once again come to play a large part in world events." Schoenfeld offers a pungent, well-written, argumentative analysis, drawing upon essays he wrote for Commentary (where he is a senior editor) and other right-leaning publications. Schoenfeld divides his methodical analysis into three geopolitical spheres-the Islamic world, with an increase of "a particularly virulent brand of anti-Semitic hatred"; Europe, with the resurgence of a physically violent anti-Semitism; and the U.S., where for the first time anti-Semitism may be finding strong roots "in... the left-wing radicalism that came to the fore in the late 1960s and 1970s." Schoenfeld carefully, if selectively, makes a disturbing, and at times convincing, argument that the past two decades have seen a volatile conflation of generalized anti-Semitic fury with critiques of Israeli policy. Schoenfeld's conservative leanings are evident-he mounts a strong defense of Bush's Iraq policy as a sound counter to Islamic anti-Semitism-and some readers may find some of his arguments flimsy or debatable. In particular, his dismissal of Jewish progressives-such as Rabbi Michael Lerner, Susannah Heschel and Marc Ellisas "a coterie of preening left-wing Jews" who play a "sordid role" in tacitly promoting anti-Semitism with their criticisms of Israeli social and political policy-will rankle his critics. Schoenfeld's book is part of a wave of new critiques of anti-Semitism. While more nuanced than Phyllis Chesler's The New Anti-Semitism, Schoenfeld's work is more polemical and will find a smaller audience than Abraham Foxman's Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism.
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"An anti-Semitic contamination is now world-wide. This sad truth is brilliantly evoked in Gabriel Schoenfeld's important study. Necessary reading." -- Elie Wiesel

"Anyone wishing to understand the problems in the relationship between Europe and America today should read this book." -- Francis Fukuyama

"Gabriel Schoenfeld's scrupulously documented chronicle of the contemporary rise of an old disease invites urgent attention and honest introspection." -- Cynthia Ozick

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books; 1 edition (January 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893554899
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893554894
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,084,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. D Roberts on February 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this exceptionally, well written, in-depth study further to my own research into anti-Semitism (hatred of the Jews) spanning many years.
Replete with specific references, the text of this work provides a compelling and deeply disturbing investigation as to how, virtually unnoticed by large elements of the International community, a lethal hatred of the Jews has once more come to the fore and depicts how it has been so influential in manipulating public attitudes through the media & also it's influence within political realms pertaining to circumstances in the International arena.
At the outset, the book declares that to anyone even modestly acquainted with current events, it is readily apparent that the Islamic World is today the epicentre of what is cited as a particularly virulent brand of anti-Semitic hatred.
The reader is shown how throughout the Islamic world, Israel has been allegedly transformed from a country into a malignant force, cited as embodying every possible negative attribute - aggressor, usurper, occupier, corrupter, infidel, murderer and barbarian, with the Israelis themselves being allegedly viewed as foot-soldiers of the same dark force instead of human beings, parents, students, civilians, women & children. The book demonstrating how this hatred depicts the Jews themselves as constituting what is described as the sinister force behind almost every significant event in the World.
Through a seemingly endless, inexhaustible supply of material, the historic and underlying causes of this irrational hatred are discussed. Individual readers must make up their own minds upon the many aspects of this investigation, some aspects of which may be seen as controversial by some.
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Format: Hardcover
As explained in the editorial reviews, Gabriel Schoenfeld analyzes resurgent antisemitism and presents an interesting thesis about it.
THESIS part 1: As is well known, in the 19th century, European antisemitism underwent a radical shift, from a religious and economic basis to a racial and pseudo-scientific one. Conspiracy theories abounded. Schoenfeld argues that the new European antisemitism of the 19th century migrated to the Middle East and blended with pre-existing Judeophobia (which was not as virulent as the European variant). Compounded with the growing Palestine conflict and Arab frustration at losing out in the process of modernization, Arab peoples looked for a scapegoat. Here is where the imported European antisemitism comes in. Rather than blame themselves for falling behind the West in terms of economic and scientific progress, it was easier for Arab elites to blame "the Jews" or "the West" controlled by a Jewish conspiracy. Religious leaders and authoritarian political leaders (such as Nassar) resented that the Jews thrived in the West and that Israel became a successful, wealthy, democratic state while Arab states grew ever more poor.
THESIS part 2: The Muslim Middle East distilled racial and conspiracy theories and -- in the post-Holocaust world -- reimported them to Europe. Why do Europeans buy them? There are some radical right-wing antisemites left in Europe, and their nationalism and xenophobia merges with antisemitism. This is particularly true in eastern Europe, Germany, and England. *However*, more dangerous is the fact that antisemitism has found favor with many on the political Left. The generation of 1968 (anti-war demonstrators, envionmentalists, Greens, etc.) is now in power in Europe.
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Format: Hardcover
This wonderful new book sheds light on the scourge of renewed anti-Semitism. The author looks at two main elements in the new rise of hatred that the world has not seen since the days of Nazi Germany. Focusing on the radical left and fundamentalist Islam the author clearly demonstrates this new alliance that holds hatred of Israel at its center but which publishes anti-Semitic literature and fans the flames of terror. Here the book examines the recent pogroms in France where religious Jews were assaulted whenever they ventured onto the street and Jewish centers were bombed, although not reported, this rise in evil is clearly shown to be the shame that now overhangs Europe.
The book draws two major reasons for the rise in anti-Semitism. First the author explores the Arab-Israeli conflict and shows how the catharsis of anti-Zionism has grown into full blown hatred through the government sponsored publication of Elders of Zion by many regimes such as Saudi and Egypt. Then the book looks at the fact that many leftist Europeans us Israel as an excuse to be anti-Semitic, in affect attacking the holocaust survivors so as to remove themselves from the shame of not preventing the Holocaust. This two pronged offensive is uncovered in this excellent book which rivals in its directness the `Never Again' work of Foxman. A must read for anyone interested in Intolerance, diversity, anti-Semitism, Islam or Israel.
Seth J. Frantzman
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Format: Hardcover
In the 1930s, antisemitism was a serious problem. It manifested itself in widespread defamation of Jews, attacks on European Jews in particular, a series of horrible anti-Jewish laws, and an environment in which the combination of attacks on Jews and anti-Jewish propaganda caused Jews in general to become increasingly despised. So despised that it was possible to murder millions of them in World War 2.

That is not exactly what is happening today. For the most part, Jews are faring well, and very few have been murdered. But anti-Jewish propaganda (much of it "antizionist") is widespread, especially in the Arab world. This book describes where things stand, and it notes the intensity of anti-Jewish propaganda in the Arab world, clearly showing that "the parallels between Nazism and the current Arab-Muslim brand of anti-Semitism are striking." It also shows how Arabs are training many of their children to be antisemites.

A chapter on Europe shows a striking correlation between Arab attacks on Israelis and local attacks on European Jews. I hadn't realized the extent to which terrorist attacks inspire violence elsewhere, but the author also explained that "the September 11 terrorist attack on America led to a sharp increase in European violence against Jews," with dramatically increased incidents of violence in England and France in the months of September and October, 2001.

The author says that antisemitism is a grossly delusional view of the world and its implications continue to reach far beyond the fate of the Jews. I agree, and that's a reason I think this book is important for everyone.
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