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Those Who Forget the Past: The Question of Anti-Semitism Paperback – May 11, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
The growing concern about a global revival of anti-Semitism has been reflected in a number of new books, from Abraham H. Foxman's Never Again? to Phyllis Chesler's The New Anti-Semitism and Gabriel Schoenfeld's The Return of Anti-Semitism. All discuss the shift in geopolitical attitudes and events toward Jews and Israel since September 11; each also reflects its author's own political perspective. Rosenbaum's outstanding compilation of nearly 50 sharp essays has the advantage of not only displaying a wide range of views but juxtaposing pieces in debate with one another. Harvard president Lawrence Summers's critique of academic anti-Israeli sentiment, for instance, is answered by postmodern philosopher Judith Butler's pointing out the chilling effect of calling criticism of Israel "anti-Semitic." Rosenbaum (Explaining Hitler) focuses his collection on specific debates: three essays discuss the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl, and another three discuss the controversy surrounding the alleged massacre by Israelis of Palestinians at Jenin. The selections are balancedâ"anti-Semitism and freedom of speech on college campuses, for instance, are discussed by Jeffrey Toobin, Todd Gitlin and Laurie Zoloth. Rosenbaum is also attuned to new aspects of old issues: "The Greatest Story Ever Sold" presents Frank Rich's thoughts on the controversy surrounding Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, while in "Who Did Kill Christ?" Nat Hentoff describes Christian rightists' ongoing promotion of the charge of deicide against the Jews. It's rare to find a book that includes essays by both Gabriel Schoenfeld and Edward Said, Ruth R. Wisse and Bernard Lewis. This is an estimable collection and may find a place with course adopters as well as common readers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Repeated attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions in France, the constant drumbeat of slanders against Jews in the Arab media, and even the unveiling of swastikas at anti-Israel demonstrations on American college campuses all document a recent resurgence of anti-Semitism. But this anthology is hardly redundant. Rosenbaum, who examined efforts to "explain" evil in Explaining Hitler (1998), has compiled a cross section of outstanding, thought-provoking, and deeply disturbing articles and essays on the revival (or resurfacing) of the "longest hatred." Jeffrey Goldberg looks behind the moderate facade to uncover the depth of Jew hatred in Mubarak's Egypt. Bernard Lewis analyzes the links between European and Arabic anti-Semitism. Tariq Ramadan offers a hopeful piece that pleads for tolerance, respect, and interreligious dialogue. Cynthia Ozick provides devastating examples of how the "big lie" technique is used to demonize Israel (of course, under the guise of sympathy for the Palestinian people). This is an important and vital contribution to efforts to comprehend what is new and what is the same in this ancient virus of ignorance and hatred. Jay Freeman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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and its consequences in the Middle East, Europe, the United States and the rest of the world in the 20th and 21st centuries.
A must-read lest we forget the tragedies borne out of bigotry, ignorance and hate.
This digest edited and put together by Ron Rosenbaum, author of the momentous Explaining Hitler (text only) by R. Rosenbaum, brings together essays by key thinkers and writers on the topic of the New Antisemitism and anti-Israel hate.
Some very palpable observations by the writers here make this essential reading for those concerned about the newest form of the oldest hatred.
In his article in The New Yorker article entitled 'Behind Mubarak' , Jeffrey Goldberg cites an example of Islamic admiration for and determination to emulate Adolf Hitler. A columnist in a 'moderate' Cairo newspaper wrote 'Thanks to Hitler of blessed memory, who on behalf of the Palestinians took revenge in advance on the most vile criminals on the face of the earth...WE do have a complaint against him [Hitler] for his revenge was not enough'.
In his essay 'Something has Changed' Paul Berman refers to the Judeophobic Portuguese novelist Jose Scaemango who claimed when he victed Ramallah in 2002 to observe the Israeli siege of arch terrorist Yasser Arafat's terror compound in Ramallah, referred to this siege as 'a crime comparable to Auschwitz'. The only thing comparable to Auschwitz was the bloody campaign of terrorist atrocities - mainly homicide bombings killinmg hundreds of Israeli men, women and children (they made no boned about the fact of especially targeting children) that led to Israel besieging Arafat in the beginning.
Scaramngo does not end his absurdity there, but traces Israel's policies to Biblical Judaism. According to Scaramango the story of David and Goliath was that of a blond person (David) employing superior technology to kill at a distance a helpless and supposedly non blond person , the unfortunate and oppressed Goliath. Berman go's some way towards analyzing the demonization of Israel and glorification of terrorist murder.
Harold Evans succinctly and accurately in his talk 'The View from Ground Zero' , what is and what is not Antisemitism dealing effectively with the idiotic cliche that defenders of Israel silence the critics of that nation with accusations of Antisemitism. Evens points out that while it is not necessarily Antisemitic to question specific Israeli government actions or policies 'It is Antisemitic to vilify the State of Israel as a diabolical abstraction, reserving tolerance for individual Jews but not the collective Jew ; It is Anti-Semitic to invent malignant outrages ; It is Anti-Semitic to constantly condemn in Israel what you ignore or condone elsewhere; It is above all Anti-Semitism to dehumanize Judaism and the Jewish people so as to incite and justify their extermination. That is what has been done thousands and thousands of times over on a preposterous basis.
Evans deals with some of the vile Anti-Semitic propaganda in the Islamic world and of the left in the media and universities. Included in these are numerous reports in the Arab and Iranian media that Jews use the blood of gentiles to make matzoh for Passover or pastries for Purim. Or the Pro-Palestinian students as San Francisco State University who put up a poster of can labelled 'Palestinian children's meat slaughtered according to Jewish rights under American license'.
Evans explores the adoption by Hamas and Hezbollah and across the Islamic world of the Tsarist forgery 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion'
He also describes the brutal exhibition at al Nayhar University in Nablus entitled 'The Sbarro Cafe Exhibition' celebrating the bombing by Hamas of of a family Pizza restaurant in Tel Aviv,where mostly Jewish children were killed.
In his essay on The Old-New Anti-Semitism Robert Wistrich describes how Israel embodies the collective Jew. Wistrich rightly points out that 'Despite the incessant hair-splitting over the need to separate anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, this has in recent decades become a distinction without meaningful difference. Whatever theoretical contortions one may indulge in- The State of Israel is a Jewish State. Whoever wants to defame or destroy it, openly or through policies that contain nothing else but such destruction is in effect practicing the Jew-hatred of yesteryear, whatever their self-proclaimed intentions'.
I might add that Israel being the largest Jewish community in the world and the fact that Israelis are Jews makes the 'We are anti-Zionist but not ant-Semitic' lie perfidious.
Gabriel Schoenfeld goes further in getting to the heart of hatred of Jews and Israel. He quotes a Saudi cleric, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute who , in a government sponsored sermon, exhorted his followers 'Not to have mercy or compassion of the Jews. their blood, their money, their flesh. Their women are yours legitimately. God made them yours. Why dont you enslave their women? Why dont you wage Jihad? Why don't you pillage them?'
More recently a female Palestinian lawyer, with strong connections to the Western left has exhorted Palestinians to use rape as a weapon against Israeli women.
Other essays dissect the perverted and bizarre Holocaust inversion, the staple diet of the Islamists and anti-Zionist left whereby the Jews , descendants of Holocaust survivors, are now branded Nazis and the Palestinians (who aim to slaughter every last Jewish man, women and child in Israel) are awarded the status of the Jews of the Holocaust.
Laurie Zoloft describes the violent attack at San Francisco State University by a mob of Pro-Palestinian students on a group of Jewish students who had gathered for a peace rally. The university administration refused to intervene. Zoloft correctly points out that had it been Palestinian or Black students under attack, the university administration would certifiably have gone to stand by their side.
The venomous culture of Jew and Israel-hatred on American universities is analysed by various other writers also.
In her piece Fiamma Nirenstein points out how worldwide the killing of Jews whom live in Judea and Samaria, and who lived in Gaza, 'the settlers' is presented in the media as justified, as if 'they asked for it' , even small children. While when a Hamas commander is killed although he obviously 'asked for it' opens up a flurry of finger pointing on the perfidy of extra-judicial death sentences.
Daniel Gordis points out in a letter to a Pro-Palestinian extreme left Jew that 'the concern for people trying to kill them is a luxury I suspect even our uncorrupted children wont have'.
This digest is a penetrating and chilling , educational , eye opening and sometimes harrowing read which cannot be ommited by anyone seriously interested in the subject.
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For example, I am a palestinian who lost his home, which was given to three jewish families came from Morocco, by force, and hence I...Read more