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The Return of Anti-semitism [Hardcover]

Gabriel Schoenfeld
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Jan 2004
"Although our government hardly acknowledges the fact, and fails to orient its policies accordingly," begins Gabriel Schoenfeld in this profoundly disquieting book, "the United States is today locked in a conflict with adversaries for whom hatred of Jews lies at the core of their beliefs." To anyone with even a modest acquaintance with current events, it is clear that the Muslim world is today the epicenter of a particularly virulent brand of anti-Semitic hatred. But anti-Semitism has also reawakened dramatically in Europe, where it was long thought to be completely dormant if not entirely extinct. And as Schoenfeld shows, it is also making unprecedented headway in the United States, a country where it has never before found truly fertile soil. "The Return of Anti-Semitism" traces the confluence of several lethal currents: the infusion of judeophobia into Islamic fundamentalism; the rise of terrorist movements (including al Qaeda) that are motivated in large measure by a pathological hatred of Jews; the deliberate and well-financed export of anti-Semitism from the Muslim world into Europe and from there into the United States; and the rebirth of older anti-Semitic traditions in the West that were thought to have ended along with Nazism. Schoenfeld shows that the most vicious ideas about Jews today are not voiced by the downtrodden and disenfranchised fringe elements of society, but by its most highly educated and "progressive" segments. This is true in the Islamic world, and it is even truer in the West. One is less likely to find anti-Semites today in beer halls and trailer parks than among the mass media and in faculty lounges. And while yesterday's anti-Semitism appeared in periods of economic and political stress, its alarming return comes at a time when the Western democracies are secure and free from the social turmoil that contributed to the rise of fascism. An old disease, one that many assumed was permanently eradicated, has reappeared in our world. "The Return of Anti-Semitism" is a profound analysis of a great and growing danger.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books,USA; 1 edition (1 Jan 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893554899
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893554894
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 15.9 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 854,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Gabriel Schoenfeld --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Over the past several years, I have watched as ever tighter security restrictions have been set up in and around the building where I work in New York City. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
In this highly informative and fascinating book, Gabriel Schoenfeld traces the various currents that have led to the endemic proportions of neo-Anti-Semitism today in the form of an implacable and bottomless Israel-hatred, that is endemic in the world today.
He points out that the most likely place to find anti-Semitism in Western countries is among the elite opinion-makers among academia, the arts and the media. The author also points out that paradoxically, because Jews are so heavily overepresented in the Left, one finds a large contingent of Jews who themselves are nakedly anti-Semitic/violently anti-Israel.
The second chapter of the book is about the Islamic strain of anti-Semitism, traces this phenomenon form Malaysia and Pakistan to Iran and the Arab world.
The Tehran times of 2001, in a dispatch typical of thousands reported "There is no documentary evidence for the gassing of even one human being in a German camp".
In the words of an Iranian government official " As long as Israel is not burned and wholly destroyed peace and tranquility will never prevail in the region".
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah ali Khamenei 'Israel is a cancerous tumour" that must be excised.
Now you ask yourself who are the aggressors in this conflict?
According to the regular columnist of the popular Egyptian government-sponsored daily Al Akhbar, Fatma Abdallah Mahmoud: " With regard to the fraud of the Holocaust...many French studies have proven that this is no more than a fabrication, a lie and a fraud!! That is, it is a scenario, the plot of which was carefully tailored, using several faked photos completely unconnected to the truth. Yes, it is a film, no more and no less.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing. Required Reading !!! 8 Feb 2004
By M. D Roberts VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I purchased this exceptionally, well written, in-depth study further to my own research into anti-Semitism (hatred of the Jews) spanning many years.
Replete with specific references, the text of this work provides a compelling and deeply disturbing investigation as to how, virtually unnoticed by large elements of the International community, a lethal hatred of the Jews has once more come to the fore and depicts how it has been so influential in manipulating public attitudes through the media & also it's influence within political realms pertaining to circumstances in the International arena.
At the outset, the book declares that to anyone even modestly acquainted with current events, it is readily apparent that the Islamic World is today the epicentre of what is cited as a particularly virulent brand of anti-Semitic hatred.
The reader is shown how throughout the Islamic world, Israel has been allegedly transformed from a country into a malignant force, cited as embodying every possible negative attribute - aggressor, usurper, occupier, corrupter, infidel, murderer and barbarian, with the Israelis themselves being allegedly viewed as foot-soldiers of the same dark force instead of human beings, parents, students, civilians, women & children. The book demonstrating how this hatred depicts the Jews themselves as constituting what is described as the sinister force behind almost every significant event in the World.
Through a seemingly endless, inexhaustible supply of material, the historic and underlying causes of this irrational hatred are discussed. Individual readers must make up their own minds upon the many aspects of this investigation, some aspects of which may be seen as controversial by some.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Schoenfeld investigates the resurgence of the ancient hatred by surveying its latest sources, carriers and ways of dissemination. Identifying the Islamic world as one of the largest hosts today, he uncovers its ancient roots in that culture, looks at the reasons why a particularly malignant strain is flourishing there and how it is being transmitted to Europe and the Americas. Unfortunately a European native variety is on the rise as well whilst some or other mutation has taken root on college campuses in the USA. A complex pathogen, antisemitism's latest manifestation is composed of many strains, ancient and modern, religious and racialist, rightwing and leftist. Like Phyllis Chesler in The New Anti-Semitism and Bernard Harrison in The Resurgence of Anti-semitism, the author argues that today the greatest danger comes from the left, from a tradition rooted in the Enlightenment.

In the Middle East where the plague is driven by state-sanctioned media, it is a blend of the indigenous with a variety imported from Europe. And it has spread beyond that region throughout the Islamic sphere to places like Malaysia. Most noteworthy about this type is the blatant lack of distinction between antisemitism and anti-Zionism. Schoenfeld provides many examples from countries like Egypt, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority. Further evidence is available in Peace: The Arabian Caricature of Anti-Semitic Imagery by Arieh Stav.
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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing. Required Reading ! 8 Feb 2004
By M. D Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I purchased this exceptionally, well written, in-depth study further to my own research into anti-Semitism (hatred of the Jews) spanning many years.
Replete with specific references, the text of this work provides a compelling and deeply disturbing investigation as to how, virtually unnoticed by large elements of the International community, a lethal hatred of the Jews has once more come to the fore and depicts how it has been so influential in manipulating public attitudes through the media & also it's influence within political realms pertaining to circumstances in the International arena.
At the outset, the book declares that to anyone even modestly acquainted with current events, it is readily apparent that the Islamic World is today the epicentre of what is cited as a particularly virulent brand of anti-Semitic hatred.
The reader is shown how throughout the Islamic world, Israel has been allegedly transformed from a country into a malignant force, cited as embodying every possible negative attribute - aggressor, usurper, occupier, corrupter, infidel, murderer and barbarian, with the Israelis themselves being allegedly viewed as foot-soldiers of the same dark force instead of human beings, parents, students, civilians, women & children. The book demonstrating how this hatred depicts the Jews themselves as constituting what is described as the sinister force behind almost every significant event in the World.
Through a seemingly endless, inexhaustible supply of material, the historic and underlying causes of this irrational hatred are discussed. Individual readers must make up their own minds upon the many aspects of this investigation, some aspects of which may be seen as controversial by some. One issue examined is how Islamic anti-Semitism perhaps draws and meshes seamlessly with it's Christian and Nazi "cousins" in Europe where similar patterns of anti-Jewish hatred were practised, taught & richly developed for centuries in some areas of Europe.
Further discussed is how such teachings may have found an entrance corridor and a sympathetic audience amongst the Arab/Islamic world surrounding the re-birth of Israel in 1948. Nazism's ideology cited as having been defeated on the battlefield but the book showing how named Arab leaders had already been thoroughly steeped in it's doctrines and eager to embrace it's ideological package in relation to the Jews. The study declaring that the Arab world's hatred of the Jews now equals that of Nazi Germany at it's peak and discusses how that seldom will you find anyone opposing or discrediting anti-Semitism in the Islamic world or even amongst it's supporters.
References are also provided of the dissemination of hatred through official Arabic Government channels and publications where Jews are depicted as "apes and pigs" and the "worms of the entire World". In one example, tthe book illustrates how what are described as Iranian anti-Semitic propagandists, erase all distinctions among Israel, Zionism and the Jews. These sources cited as describing the State of Israel as being not merely Zionist but a "bunch of Jews" and that the ridding the World of this "bunch of Jews" is a prime Muslim obligation. Israel being further described by Iranian leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as a "cancerous tumour that must be excised".
In relation to the Palestinian-Israeli issue, the reader is shown clearly that central to the signing of the Oslo Accords was an agreement to cease the propagation of hatred towards the Jews, but that the hate has instead been constant and unceasing through the official Palestinian media as well as the schools and the entire Palestinian education system where an implacable hatred of Israel & the Jews is shown to be included in many school books. Alongside this, the reader is shown how the doctrine of Holocaust denial has been ever present reality. Something which the book reveals to have been reinforced by the recent Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, (cited as being portrayed by the West as a moderate & a suitable �peace partner' for Israel), who is shown to have written a doctorate on Holocaust denial & the alleged secret relationship between Nazism and Zionism.
The book illustrates whenever reference is made in the Islamic world to the Holocaust, it is nearly always in the context of the "final solution" not being final enough or that the Holocaust never occurred at all. The book, in no uncertain terms, declares that these passions in the Islamic World are not the end of the matter, with anti-Semitism also reawakening dramatically in Europe whilst also making unprecedented headway in the United States. Anti-Semitism cited as now finding ready acceptance on many college campuses and among the "opinion makers" of the media elite. Even a significant contingent of Jews are themselves shown to be promoting what are cited here as nakedly anti-Semitic ideas.
The book declares that it is foolish to dismiss the potential of this new anti-Semitism outlining that few observers comprehended the depth of Hitler's obsession with this hatred of the Jews until the World was confronted with a catastrophe of unprecedented dimensions. It being further illustrated that the modern day champions of this hatred either possess or are working assiduously to obtain weapons of mass destruction whilst simultaneously proclaiming their desire to murder Jews and destroy their State. Seldom has a book had such a profound effect upon me in recent years. Highly recommended. Five stars is not enough.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a thorough look at a troubling new trend 3 May 2004
By Yaakov Ben Shalom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As explained in the editorial reviews, Gabriel Schoenfeld analyzes resurgent antisemitism and presents an interesting thesis about it.
THESIS part 1: As is well known, in the 19th century, European antisemitism underwent a radical shift, from a religious and economic basis to a racial and pseudo-scientific one. Conspiracy theories abounded. Schoenfeld argues that the new European antisemitism of the 19th century migrated to the Middle East and blended with pre-existing Judeophobia (which was not as virulent as the European variant). Compounded with the growing Palestine conflict and Arab frustration at losing out in the process of modernization, Arab peoples looked for a scapegoat. Here is where the imported European antisemitism comes in. Rather than blame themselves for falling behind the West in terms of economic and scientific progress, it was easier for Arab elites to blame "the Jews" or "the West" controlled by a Jewish conspiracy. Religious leaders and authoritarian political leaders (such as Nassar) resented that the Jews thrived in the West and that Israel became a successful, wealthy, democratic state while Arab states grew ever more poor.
THESIS part 2: The Muslim Middle East distilled racial and conspiracy theories and -- in the post-Holocaust world -- reimported them to Europe. Why do Europeans buy them? There are some radical right-wing antisemites left in Europe, and their nationalism and xenophobia merges with antisemitism. This is particularly true in eastern Europe, Germany, and England. *However*, more dangerous is the fact that antisemitism has found favor with many on the political Left. The generation of 1968 (anti-war demonstrators, envionmentalists, Greens, etc.) is now in power in Europe. Many of its members have not abandoned their anti-Americanism and excessive admiration for so-called Third World liberation movements, the PLO included. They distrust America; they resent America's support for Israel; they perceive Israel to be an apartheid state or genocidal regime; and they claim that American Jews control the policy of the US government. Anti-Zionism becomes antisemitism. Hatred of Israel and its policies translates into dislike of Jews in Europe. Another important factor is the very large Muslim population in contemporary Europe. Jews make up a minuscule percentage of Europe's population, but countries like France are 10% Muslim, and that percentage is increasing. That's a lot of voters in the future. For now, however, Muslim Europeans are disproportionately unemployed and resentful. Their frustration and anti-Israeli sentiment has led to numerous attacks on European Jews.
STRENGTH: Schoenfeld's catalogue of incidents is not exhaustive, but it is very thorough. Moreover, his thesis seems to be very compelling. That European antisemitism migrated to the Middle East, has returned, and mixed with preexisting attitudes on the far Right and not-so-far Left is certainly food for thought. This reader found his thesis quite convincing overall.
WEAKNESS: This reader, who is a professional academic, found Schoenfeld's documentation to be disappointing. An example: "in one recent novel, the antihero, a Jewish entrepreneur, is presented sipping champagne while contemplating a plan to take the blood and organs of healthy [Russians] and to sell them to medical centers in Israel" (p. 75). While this sentence is footnoted, the note refers to a report in which the novel is mentioned, not to the novel itself. I wanted to know the name of the novel and the author, not the name of some EU or WJC report on antisemitism. Unfortunately, the book is full of such citations. Often, one does not find the original item, but rather secondary literature about it. Schoenfeld has certainly done his research, but it seems that he has trolled Associate Press reports, newspaper articles, websites, and NGO reports rather than archives and academic sociological studies. This may not bother the casual reader, but an academic would demand more rigorous documentation. (Hence, only four stars.)
CAVEAT: Some readers will not agree with Schoenfeld's personal politics or views on the West Bank/Gaza question, but I think that one may overlook these aspects of his book and still learn a lot, regardless of one's political persuasion.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A report on the popularity of antisemitic ideas today 21 Oct 2004
By Jill Malter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In the 1930s, antisemitism was a serious problem. It manifested itself in widespread defamation of Jews, attacks on European Jews in particular, a series of horrible anti-Jewish laws, and an environment in which the combination of attacks on Jews and anti-Jewish propaganda caused Jews in general to become increasingly despised. So despised that it was possible to murder millions of them in World War 2.

That is not exactly what is happening today. For the most part, Jews are faring well, and very few have been murdered. But anti-Jewish propaganda (much of it "antizionist") is widespread, especially in the Arab world. This book describes where things stand, and it notes the intensity of anti-Jewish propaganda in the Arab world, clearly showing that "the parallels between Nazism and the current Arab-Muslim brand of anti-Semitism are striking." It also shows how Arabs are training many of their children to be antisemites.

A chapter on Europe shows a striking correlation between Arab attacks on Israelis and local attacks on European Jews. I hadn't realized the extent to which terrorist attacks inspire violence elsewhere, but the author also explained that "the September 11 terrorist attack on America led to a sharp increase in European violence against Jews," with dramatically increased incidents of violence in England and France in the months of September and October, 2001.

The author says that antisemitism is a grossly delusional view of the world and its implications continue to reach far beyond the fate of the Jews. I agree, and that's a reason I think this book is important for everyone.
23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful account of the ageless evil 22 Jan 2004
By Seth J. Frantzman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This wonderful new book sheds light on the scourge of renewed anti-Semitism. The author looks at two main elements in the new rise of hatred that the world has not seen since the days of Nazi Germany. Focusing on the radical left and fundamentalist Islam the author clearly demonstrates this new alliance that holds hatred of Israel at its center but which publishes anti-Semitic literature and fans the flames of terror. Here the book examines the recent pogroms in France where religious Jews were assaulted whenever they ventured onto the street and Jewish centers were bombed, although not reported, this rise in evil is clearly shown to be the shame that now overhangs Europe.
The book draws two major reasons for the rise in anti-Semitism. First the author explores the Arab-Israeli conflict and shows how the catharsis of anti-Zionism has grown into full blown hatred through the government sponsored publication of Elders of Zion by many regimes such as Saudi and Egypt. Then the book looks at the fact that many leftist Europeans us Israel as an excuse to be anti-Semitic, in affect attacking the holocaust survivors so as to remove themselves from the shame of not preventing the Holocaust. This two pronged offensive is uncovered in this excellent book which rivals in its directness the `Never Again' work of Foxman. A must read for anyone interested in Intolerance, diversity, anti-Semitism, Islam or Israel.
Seth J. Frantzman
22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, and terrifying 17 Jan 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is an extraordinary book; I couldn't put it down, and when I finished it, I was filled with despair about the direction of events. The book clearly shows that the menace of anti-Semitism is becoming ever more deadly and pervasive. I haven't seen any reviews yet, but I suspect it will be the focus of much attention; among other things, the author pulls no punches in discussing the purveyors of the new anti-Semitism, including various leftwing Jews, many of them tenured academics. The picture painted here--meticulously documented and written in a voice of urgency--is alarming in the extreme. It is certainly easy to see why Elie Wiesel wrote a blurb calling this book "necessary" reading.
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