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Anti-Semitism Has Not Evolved

Reader comment on item: Anti-Semitism Evolves

Submitted by Daniel Weil (United States), Feb 15, 2005 at 20:30

There is a need, which this article addresses, to relook at anti-semitism in its classical mode but Dr. Pipes is correct that the term has become nonsensical, or at least, not useful- any more than the term anti-Zionist. Essentially, it has evolved out of existence so it is a puzzlement why it is the headline of the analysis.

The problem is that Jews as individuals and as a people are being merged or melded conceptually with Israel, whose supporters demand that Jews be loyal. Israel has undeniably had an enormous impact on Jews but it is not the core or the defining element of being Jewish. Five thousand years of history is what Jews are about
What is important is to see how Jews have evolved over the past century and the role Israel has played in this drama - with the analysis geared toward providing a framework to understand the issues going forward.

Accordingly, it may be worthwhile for someone (DP) to rewrite the article with the distinction Jews are by choice a distinct entity (whether seen as ethnic, racial, religious matters not) - Jews are defined by being separatists.

The formation of Israel was not fully supported by American Jews and many prominent people argued vehemently that it would create a new and more virulent kind of anti-semitism. They also contended that by being responsible for creating, defending and sustaining a new nation, especially in the heart of Muslim/Arab lands, would cause Jews to lose their specialness and pose unsolvable problems. Those people had to quietly fade into oblivion, haveing engendered a firestorm of antagonism making any discussion impossible.

As for the discussion of drift from left to right, definition is necessary. Totalitarianism is not left or right - nor are Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot or other dominant inherently evil dictatorships, regardless of their so-called ideology. Socialism, born of concern for the underclass, was deeply linked to American and Jewish intellectuals and activists, who tried to avoid the clash between liberalism (individual rights) and social democracy (emphasizing group-good) whereas the mainstream - Christians - held for the status quo.

The recent phenomenon of strong support for Israel from American conservatives ( neo-conservatives, with a large Jewish base, are a different issue) may not be all that it appears on the surface since there is a melding of conservative with Christian and reborn Christian ideology. All conservatives are not alike, even if they pretend they are. We may not be witnessing a new appreciation or support for Jews but rather that American/Christian/Western civilization is confronting Islam and Israel is the gate holding the barbarians at bay.

Israel, located in the heart of the Middle East (Arabia some might say), was founded and populated by Europeans its early decades. Support for Israel ought not be confused with neo-attitudes toward Jews. Most of America still thinks Jews control the media, investment banking and Hollywood - and don't like it. It may be the threat posed by Muslim fundamentalists has overshadowed people's attitudes toward the "elder breatheren". But this ain't evolution, just mirrors.

Except for fundamentalists, which distort the position of every religion, it seems Muslim anti-Jewish or Semitic attitudes are the product of anti-Israeli as opposed to religious sensibilities. But we cannot escape that,in most cases, the phenomenon is merged - by both sides.

In that regard, the statement that Christians have come to terms with Jews - appearing, ironically, a few paragraphs before explicating a 2003 poll showing Europeans overwhelmingly think Israel a threat to world peace - does not bear much weight.

At risk of being declared an enemy combatant, it is unclear how the current Administration compares, in its Texas heart, with Lindburgh's America First. Or it maybe that, like Muslims, words like "crusade" are taken by us too serioudly.

Unlike most others, I am convinced that the core of the Bush Administration's goals are domestic, and involve essentially redefining the Constitution. By the end of his second term (preceding Bush III) he will, I predict, be the most influential and powerful religious leader in America. That's troublesome but I do accept that his support for Israel will not waver.

The final comments are incendiary and reek of fear-mongering, something Bush II has raised to a fine art. The hail of nuclear bombs cannot occur without massacring millions of Muslims and making much of the Middle East uninhabitable. And discounts that Israel has its own little stockpile that can do even worse damage. Whatever else one's attitude toward Israel may be, no one questions that it has brought intelligence to new levels.

Eventually, when dependence on fund-raising and grants is no longer dependable, Israel can solve its ecnomic problems by simply privatizing its intelligence operations. They have proven time and again they can do it better and cheaper.

Lastly, it is doubtful, though I defer to Dr. Pipes as scholar, that the Muslim nations, including those who are Arab, conclude that the destruction of Israel - in fact as oppposed to popular propaganda - is in their interests. History in so many ways tells us differently. Israel's neighbors (except for the extremists, but Israel has them too) hate each other more in most circumstances than Israel. If anything, Israel has brought relative peace to the Middle East, a statement I am sure will be roundly condemned by all.

Conclusion: Dr. Pipes has opened a very important door in forcing dialogue about the evolution over the past decades of attitudes toward Jews. It now needs a vigorous debate, begining with the premises that Jews, Israel, anti-Jewish sentiments are here to stay. Jews are still in a Golden Age over the last decades, compared to the past thousand years, and safer and more secure as a result of the Holocaust. In other ways, however, they are more threatened, especially considering that so many, as Dr. Pipes points out - as did the anti-Zionists, live in awesome vulnerability.

The Jews survived the Holocaust - and would have survived had America not entered the war. It is hoped that their survival into the next millennium will not be dependent on America.

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (87) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
2demographics will be the cause of the demise of Jews. [73 words]ZevOct 12, 2010 10:54179193
The nuclear bombs shall be dropped on Israel, yet... [207 words]MarsJul 27, 2007 04:53104951
The problem with this article [142 words]Johnny CarpatiNov 13, 2005 19:3628336
what about? [20 words]Frederic ThornMar 6, 2005 21:3620710
Human nature [23 words]Diana LiniadoMar 6, 2005 17:0620708
hm... [21 words]E.DMar 6, 2005 00:4220701
EU "Threat to World Peace" poll [267 words]Bruce McKenneyMar 5, 2005 14:0320699
Dr. Pipes has it right except for..... [153 words]Stuart GoldMar 2, 2005 12:4120623
1The Catholic Church, Anti-Semitism, Islam & the Holocaust [709 words]Arlinda DeAngelisFeb 27, 2005 20:0620555
Why stop there? [140 words]August WestSep 28, 2006 08:5320555
Jews and Hindus [95 words]S.C.PandaFeb 26, 2005 04:5220533
responce to SC Panda [80 words]lakhanMay 23, 2008 06:4820533
Hate is Alive and Well [255 words]Scott HarlowFeb 25, 2005 19:0320529
Another one of Jewry's golden ages [89 words]Olga StefanFeb 24, 2005 23:5020517
"Christ Killers" [150 words]MichaelFeb 24, 2005 15:1420513
Response to Michael [276 words]Dennis MoranMar 10, 2005 12:0620513
What is a Christian? [338 words]erinJan 9, 2006 02:3420513
The roots of anti-Judaism [652 words]Marcos BerensteinFeb 22, 2005 00:5320453
In response to Mr.Harlow's remarks [269 words]Marcos BerensteinFeb 27, 2005 07:5520453
My Response to commenter Marcos Berenstein [400 words]Scott HarlowFeb 28, 2005 19:4220453
Thanks [75 words]Alexander M SmithFeb 20, 2005 18:5020445
Nazis and Left [148 words]RBFeb 20, 2005 16:3220443
The Armenian Holocaust [73 words]Octavio JohansonFeb 20, 2005 12:1220440
Antisemitism: A Psychological Disorder [744 words]J. PedenFeb 20, 2005 10:3520438
Hope Defeats Prejudice [38 words]Timothy B. RobertsFeb 20, 2005 02:0320436
Canadian Islamic Congress [215 words]Todd PlantFeb 19, 2005 20:2820434
Please Don't Blame Christians! [278 words]Mike RamirezFeb 18, 2005 00:4220421
What do you mean by anti-Semitism? [97 words]Brad DennisFeb 17, 2005 23:5320420
Defining Christianity [109 words]Rob JamesFeb 17, 2005 21:5420417
90th ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE [458 words]Marcos BerensteinFeb 17, 2005 19:0520416
Response to Marcos Berenstein's comment [133 words]Rachelle AssoulineFeb 19, 2005 12:1720416
Response to commenter Marcos Berenstein [468 words]Rob JamesFeb 20, 2005 02:2720416
Response to commenter Mr. Berenstein [55 words]DaisyFeb 20, 2005 15:1720416
ABSOLUTELY - Response to commenter Marcos Berenstein [15 words]RonFeb 25, 2005 01:1820416
As an Armenian... [149 words]Nejdeh HovanessianApr 19, 2005 09:0620416
NEVER AGAIN, NEVER BEFORE [262 words]Lee ShinettApr 19, 2006 13:3120416
Christians [147 words]CynthiaAug 5, 2007 06:2420416
Tired Gentiles? [115 words]Tony FigueroaFeb 17, 2005 06:0720408
Israel's enemies don't need nuclear bombs [149 words]Gilbert SimonsFeb 17, 2005 02:4520407
Explains why criticism of Gibson's THE PASSION was off target [62 words]Debra TFeb 16, 2005 16:4320403
True Christians never hated Jews [85 words]VWoodFeb 16, 2005 15:3920401
Condemnation of "Christianity" [116 words]Rosemarie JaroszFeb 16, 2005 14:1320398
Response to commenter Brutus on so called Christians. [288 words]JFeb 16, 2005 13:4520396
Christians Killed Jews? [147 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Mark FisherFeb 16, 2005 13:1120395
The Left-Wing Evolves [199 words]Octavio JohansonFeb 16, 2005 12:1120392
Provocative [99 words]DaisyFeb 16, 2005 10:5520390
Thne essentials of collectivist conflict [72 words]Ralph C. Whaley MDFeb 16, 2005 07:4320386
The Golden Age [1001 words]Arlinda DeAngelisFeb 16, 2005 06:1020384
Courageous Article-American Jewry Golden Age is Over [187 words]Y. Ben-DavidFeb 16, 2005 04:3120383
My support and honour is for Jews forever! [83 words]Heather BronkhorstFeb 16, 2005 04:2720382
Sorely needed article: Congratulations [52 words]Shlomo SharanFeb 16, 2005 03:2920380
Why? [77 words]Robert B. ArbetmanFeb 16, 2005 00:2120376
The Indestructible Jew [201 words]Richard BowersFeb 15, 2005 23:2920375
02-1505 NY Sun Opinion [5 words]Alon ReiningerFeb 15, 2005 21:2320372
Anti-Semitism Has Not Evolved [1006 words]Daniel WeilFeb 15, 2005 20:3020371
Anti-semitism evolves [8 words]Mort ReichekFeb 15, 2005 17:1620368
Columbia University [61 words]JimFeb 15, 2005 16:1320367
Rationalising Jew-hatred [71 words]Leon PoddebskyFeb 15, 2005 15:3920366
"Golden age of Jewry is a misnomer" [548 words]Mike McKeeFeb 15, 2005 15:2220365
Article feedback [219 words]John SchwartzFeb 15, 2005 13:4520363
Anti-Judaism [267 words]Marcos BerensteinFeb 15, 2005 13:1820361
First and fourth points [89 words]Joe HylandFeb 15, 2005 13:0720358
7Historically Christians killed most Jews [201 words]Ron GreenFeb 15, 2005 12:2820357
Response to commenter Ron Green. So-Called Christians? [221 words]BrutusFeb 15, 2005 20:1220357
Maybe [93 words]Karen PeraltaSep 5, 2012 13:1420357
1Immanuel Kant - Father of the Irrational [288 words]Paul SaundersFeb 15, 2005 12:0820356
Back to the earliest days of civilization [200 words]WilliamFeb 15, 2005 12:0720355
Antisemitism [346 words]Hesse MeilchFeb 15, 2005 11:4120353
Still is the Golden Age [125 words]Arthur KittayFeb 15, 2005 11:3220351
Anti Semitism Evolves [156 words]Mr. M. DunskyFeb 15, 2005 11:2720350
RE: Antisemitism Evolves [27 words]Miriam WilliamsFeb 27, 2005 14:1320350
Don't lump all Christians together as anti-semitic [180 words]DeniseFeb 15, 2005 11:2120349
Reply to commenter Denise [340 words]Peter J. HerzFeb 16, 2005 02:5120349
Left and right [45 words]Lewis HodgeFeb 15, 2005 11:1820348
Clearvision of Mr. Pipes [79 words]Elena SorinFeb 15, 2005 10:4920347
Golden Ages ? [123 words]Gudrun EussnerFeb 15, 2005 10:3820346
Assilimation is a greater threat to Judaism than anti-Semitism [175 words]SimonaFeb 15, 2005 10:3520345
Response to commenter Simona [85 words]brtzgFeb 15, 2005 11:3420345
Anti-Semitism [230 words]Dan KatcherFeb 15, 2005 10:3320344
Cause and Effect [436 words]Richard E. SykesFeb 15, 2005 10:3120343
Response to Richard E. Sykes and others [143 words]Peter J. HerzFeb 16, 2005 02:1420343
Second Point [171 words]Randy WilliamsonFeb 15, 2005 10:1120341
History of anti Semitism [124 words]Dave MitchellFeb 15, 2005 09:3120340
Hitler was not a member of the right [105 words]MarkFeb 15, 2005 08:5420339
May I dare to disagree? [167 words]Octavio JohansonFeb 15, 2005 07:5420337
RE: comment "May I dare to disagree?" [372 words]Benjamín Muñoz MateuFeb 27, 2005 17:1920337
Judaism is not a race [50 words]Fred BinkleFeb 15, 2005 07:5120336

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