The "new" anti-Semitism is as virulent as ever, but it's often easy for Americans - Christian and Jew alike - not to notice.
Christians and Jews get along here. Evangelical Christians have become some of the best friends Jews have, and, for their part, most Jews are not as suspicious of Evangelical motives as they once were. Since the anti-Semites abroad regard America as the great Satan and Israel the little Satan, we all feel equal-opportunity hate.
Anti-Semitism is no longer the preserve of the Ku Klux Klan, the uneducated, the outcasts and the bigots of the night. The bigotries at home are nurtured now on the left, by domestic radicals allied with the usual suspects abroad. This is not easy for some of us to get used to.
Phyllis Chesler, a left-wing feminist, was a reluctant candidate to become a "professional Jew," as she puts it in The New Anti-Semitism: The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About It.
The role was thrust upon her by men and women she thought were her intellectual, emotional and social comrades in arms against injustice, but who took an irrational detour into vicious mendacity, spouting demented politically correct propaganda against Jews and Americans everywhere.
"I now find it necessary and sane to think tribally as well as internationally to think as an American and as a Jew who is concerned not only with justice for all but also with the survival of America and of the Jewish people," she writes. "Islamic reactionaries and Western intellectuals and progressives who may disagree on every other subject have agreed that Israel and America are the cause of all evil. Israel has fast become the Jew of the world - scorned, scapegoated, demonized and attacked."
Angry words, but amply documented. She shows how the new antiracist (so called) anti-Zionist shares a common hatred with the old anti-Semite. She won't separate anti-Zionism from anti-Semitism, but cuts to the core of obfuscation and hypocrisy, recalling how Martin Luther King, Jr. responded to a student who attacked Zionism: "When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You're talking anti-Semitism."
She gets to the point of why Israel's enemies abroad, with no appreciation of the pluralism on which democracy thrives, hate America, too: "In many ways the state of Israel towers above its neighbors both morally, politically, and in terms of religious freedoms."
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