The "new" anti-Semitism is fueled largely, but by no means altogether, by radical Islamists. The liberal and left chattering class in Europe indulge in "anti-Zionist chic" with articles and books disparaging Israelis specifically and Jews in general.
"We failed to appreciate that after the defeat of Nazism the poison of anti-Semitism only went into remission," writes Isi Leibler, senior vice president of the World Jewish Congress, in the Jerusalem Post. "Admittedly much of this is a byproduct of post-modernism, which has been imbibed by European culture, creating an environment of moral equivalency that trivializes every distinction between good and evil."
But it's more than academic amorality. The moral defense of Muslim terrorists, while denying any appreciation for the burdensome duty of Israeli soldiers defending the only democracy in the Middle East, is an exercise of a double standard that reduces the Jewish state to the role of scapegoat.
Some of the most shameless perpetrators of this double standard are Jewish intellectuals, eager as always to make common cause with enemies of the Americans and their allies in the West. If the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were to disappear overnight, can anyone believe that anti-Semitism - or hatred of America and the West - would disappear with it? Resurgent anti-Semitism is merely camouflaged by conflict in the Middle East.
Natan Sharansky, the Israeli cabinet minister whose defense of human rights once lifted the hopes of the millions yearning to breathe free in the old Soviet Union, reminded the ambassadors and representatives of 25 nations for the Auschwitz observance at Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust Museum, that "history has taught us that anti-Semitism starts with the Jews, but it doesn't end with them."
Simon McDonald, the British ambassador to Israel, agreed: "Anti-Semites are anti-Semites because they are 'anti-Semites.' It is a completely unreasonable and irrational position. It's our duty as governments to make sure that they cannot act on their anti-Semitism."
Civilized men and women mark this anniversary with uneasy hope, chilled by the breath of fear.
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