Saturday, September 30, 2006

Essay 1152

Just in time for Yom Kippur, this editorial appeared in newspapers nationwide…


The new anti-Semitism

Victor Davis Hanson, a senior fellow and historian at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University: Tribune Media Services

Hating Jews, on racial as well as religious grounds, is as old as the Roman destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Later in Europe, pogroms and the Holocaust were the natural devolution of that venom.

Anti-Semitism after World War II often avoided the burning crosses and Nazi ranting. It often appeared as a more subtle animosity, fueled by envy of successful Jews in the West. “The good people, the nice people” often were the culprits, according to a character in the 1947 film “Gentleman’s Agreement,” which dealt with the American aristocracy’s social shunning of Jews.

A recent third type of anti-Jewish odium is something different. It is a strange mixture of violent hatred by radical Islamists and the more or less indifference to it by Westerners.

Those who randomly shoot Jews for being Jews--whether at a Jewish center in Seattle or at synagogues in Istanbul--are for the large part Muslim zealots. Most in the West explain away the violence. They chalk it up to anger over the endless tit-for-tat in the Middle East. Yet privately they know that we do not see violent Jews shooting Muslims in the United States or Europe.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promises to wipe Israel “off the map.” He seems eager for the requisite nuclear weapons to finish off what an Iranian mullah has called a “one-bomb state”--meaning Israel’s destruction would only require one nuclear weapon. Iran’s theocracy intends to turn the idea of a Jewish state on its head. Instead of Israel being a safe haven for Jews in their historical birthplace, the Iranians apparently find that concentration only too convenient for their own final nuclear solution.

In response, here at home the Council on Foreign Relations rewards the Iranian president with an invitation to speak to its membership. At the podium of that hallowed chamber, Ahmadinejad, who questions whether the Holocaust ever took place, basically dismissed a firsthand witness of Dachau by asking whether he really could be that old.

The state-run, and thus government-authorized, newspapers of the Middle East slander Jews in barbaric fashion. “Mein Kampf” (translated, of course, as “Jihadi”) sells briskly in the region. Hamas and Hezbollah militias on parade emulate the style of brownshirts. In response, much of the Western public snoozes. In the last two decades, Islamic terrorists have bombed and murdered thousands inside Europe and the United States. Their state supporters in the Middle East have raked in billions in petro-windfall profits from energy-hungry Western economies. For many in Europe and the U.S., supporting Israel--the Middle East’s only stable democracy--or even its allies in the West has become viewed as dangerous and costly.

In addition, Israel is no longer weak but proud and ready to defend itself. So when its terrorist enemies like Hezbollah and Hamas brilliantly married their own fascist creed with popular left-wing multiculturalism in the West, there was an eerie union: yet another supposed Third World victim of a Western oppressor thinking it could earn a pass for its murderous agenda.

We’re accustomed to associating hatred of Jews with the ridiculed Neanderthal right of those in sheets and jackboots. But this new venom, at least in its Western form, is mostly a left-wing, and often an academic, enterprise. It’s also far more insidious, given the left’s moral pretensions and its influence in the prestigious media and universities. The renewed hatred of Jews in the Middle East--and the indifference to it in the West--is a sort of “post anti-Semitism.” Islamic zealots supply the old venomous hatred, while affluent and timid Westerners provide the new necessary indifference--if punctuated by the occasional off-the-cuff “Amen” in the manner of a Louis Farrakhan or Mel Gibson outburst.

The dangers of this post anti-Semitism is not just that Jews are shot in Europe and America--or that a drunken celebrity or demagogue mouths off. Instead, ever so insidiously, radical Islam’s hatred of Jews is becoming normalized.

The result is that the world’s politicians and media are talking seriously with those who not merely want back the West Bank, but rather want an end to Israel altogether and everyone inside it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Finally, someone got it right! Thank goodness for this forum. Yes finally here in some lonely corner of the internet, I see what my friends abroad and what Right-Wing broadcaster Michael Savage has been saying; There is a new anti-Semitic movement. Supported by self-loathing Hollywood and New York Jews and apparently it is wide spread across Europe. And generally there is a "Modern Humanist" or read atheist movement that cuts down not only Jews but Christians as well.Witness the recent stabbings of Catholic Priests just this last week. Yes there seems to be a pact among Islamic extremists and the West to do away with Israel and all institutions of Western Religion. The followers of Robert Welsh referred to these unlikely bedfellows as "Fellow Travelers" travelers on the road to that Marxist Utopia that has not diminished with the falling of a wall in East Germany. On the contrary. Stalinist have forged an alliance with, judging by the adaptation of the ideals of the "Brown Shirts".And so they are appropriately named Islam-o-Fascists. One can hear the dislike of this new moniker in our moribund 'Old Grey Lady' and other periodicals that are quickly losing readership. But what these groups lose in circulation is certainly compensated for in the doubling of their common efforts to what the author has referred to as the Iranian "Final Solution". I asked a Army-Air-Corpsman what he did in Europe during W.W.II He answered "I made the world safe for Communism." His little joke. To those too young to remember their history, we were
"Making the World safe for Democracy" Note the use of the upper-case "C" in my spelling of the word communism. Because the brand which this world will receive is not the ideal written of by Marx. No, rather it is,was and will be that type that enjoys a stance with jack boots. Boots of it's own or of their so-called antithesists
Fascists. Islam-o-Fascists, or South-American Fascists and Petro-Dollar-Fascists. 'Jack Boots' borrowed from the wardrobe of history to stand once again on the throats of humanity. While we in the West are made busy and drowsy by the slight-of-hand artists soon to be known as The Government/Media Complex. With due respect to Eisenhower's beware of the Government/Industrial Complex. Maybe we will have to resort to an acronym, something that we found so handy in the Soviet's of the 1950's How about G.I.M.C. or "gimmick" Government Industrial Media Complex. Beware my friends. Do beware! B.B.Barron