Why The Jews?
by Staff Reporter
Why the Jews - The Reason for Anti - Semitism (A Touchstone Book, Simon and Schuster, NY 2003) by Dennis Praeger and Rabbi Joseph Teluskin, two prolific writers on Jewish topics, is boring. Why? There are so many books about "why they hate us." Who cares? In order to attract new readers one must develop a new approach or reveal a new case of hate somewhere in the world.
Do we need new assessments of anti-Semitism? Yes! Is there a dynamic to the libels and stigmas of Jews? Yes! But these two authors ignored this issue. For example: Prof. Dina Porat, in Tel Aviv University, is the most distinguished expert on anti-Semitism and the Arabs. She is the head of Tel Aviv University's only research center on anti-Semitism in the entire world. The authors did not even refer to her in their bibliography. As to dynamic: There should be a chapter on imported anti-Semitism: Japan. Books were published over there by famous writers which used The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. By the way: Nazism is only one chapter in this book (Neo-Nazism?)
One more chapter is missing: "Internet anti-Semitism. And they discussed self-hate Jews but what about the post-Zionists in Israel who have influenced the Jewish left in America? This is a dynamic which cast a shadow on the State of Israel as a victim of modern anti-Semitism especially in Europe (the intellectual boycott of Israel's scholars and science as well).
It is also strange that two American Jewish writers in a survey on anti-Semitism, illuminating perse, have ignored to dedicate at least one chapter on American anti-Semitism. Perhaps they believe that it can never happen here. Henry Ford, admirer of Hitler, is only a footnote in this book. Anti-Semitism in this country was native as well as imported from Europe. Many Jews here still remember the avalanche of anti-Semitism in the 1930's, in the "Age of Roosevelt."
Others still recall the 1915 Atlanta lynching of Leo Frank (a version of Mendel Beili's Case, 1913, Russia's Blood Libel). How can one balance a book on hate, the hate of Jews because they are Jews. One writes a chapter of those who love Jews. There is a universal tribe of Jews and Gentiles who have defended the Jews. There are many gentiles in history who came to help the Jews: The Philo-Semites. Why do we, the Jews, not reveal their legacy or heritage? They even justified the claim that Palestine belongs only to the Jews. The authors who revised and revised this text book should have enriched the readers with something new, more original than to use Sarter's essay on anti-Semitism in the following conclusion of this book:
"Anti-Semitism is a Jewish problem, but non-Jews make a most self-destructive error when they dismiss it as only the Jews" problem. For reasons explained in this book, treatment of the Jews has served as one of humanity's moral barometers. Watch how a nation, religion, or political movement treats Jews, and you have an early and deadly accurate picture of that group's intentions toward others.
Moral non-Jews who fail to act against anti-Semites inevitably suffer from them. Nothing about Jews-hatred is clearer than this. Jew-haters begin with Jews but never end with them, as anti-Semitism is ultimately a hatred of higher standards. The anti-Semites first wish to destroy the perceived embodiment of that higher call to the good, the Jews. But they do not hate the Jews alone. They hate whatever and whoever represents a higher value, a moral challenge. Whoever sees anti-Semitism as only some aberrational hatred on the part of an otherwise morally acceptable group does not understand anti-Semitism. So long as there are good people, the Jews will never be the only targets of anti-Semites."
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