Some Americans apparently believe that we are going to war with Iraq "because of the Jews." Having written a book explaining anti-Semitism (Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism, Simon & Schuster [buy book]), all I can do is marvel at the durability of anti-Semitism and the eternality of the charge that the Jews are responsible for everything anti-Semites fear.
No group in the world has been the target of nearly as many twisted and ludicrous accusations.
Tens of millions of European Christians once believed -- and tens of millions of Muslims believe today -- that Jews kidnap and slaughter non-Jewish children before Passover to use their blood for baking matzo.
Vast numbers of Europeans believed that Jews caused the Plague.
Much of France believed that the near-bankruptcy brought on by its failure to build the Panama Canal was caused by the Jews.
The great majority of Arabs believe that Jews knew about the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center and that 4,000 Jews who worked there stayed home that day.
The great majority of Arabs and tens of millions of Muslims believe that the Jews (i.e., Israel) are responsible for the poverty, tyranny, absence of freedom and brutality that pervade the Arab world.
And now Pat Buchanan and other Americans believe (or at least say) that America is going to war against Iraq "because of the Jews."
Many groups have been hated in history, but their haters never made up as many lies -- let alone such grandiose lies -- as have Jews' enemies.
It is worth analyzing this latest libel -- if only to understand anti-Semitism and the enormous role it plays in the world.
First, the charge is demonstrably a lie. There is not a single Jew in this administration's Cabinet, and the president owes nothing to Jews, the great majority of whom voted for his Democratic opponent.
George W. Bush is an evangelical Christian from Texas; Dick Cheney is a conservative from Wyoming (not a state with an influential Jewish community); Condoleezza Rice is of Jamaican stock with no discernible ties to Jews; and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was secretary of Defense under the first President Bush, in the same Cabinet as James Baker, noted for saying "F--- the Jews."
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