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5.0 out of 5 stars Something has Changed, 4 May 2013
This review is from: Those Who Forget the Past: The Question of Anti-Semitism (Paperback)
Something has Changed

Published in 2004 in the 4th year of the Palestinian terror war against the Israeli population, known by the terrorists as the Al Aqsa Intifada.

This digest edited and put together by Ron Rosenbaum, author of the momentous Explaining Hitler (text only) by R. Rosenbaum, brings together essays by key thinkers and writers on the topic of the New Antisemitism and anti-Israel hate.

Some very palpable observations by the writers here make this essential reading for those concerned about the newest form of the oldest hatred.
In his article in The New Yorker article entitled 'Behind Mubarak' , Jeffrey Goldberg cites an example of Islamic admiration for and determination to emulate Adolf Hitler. A columnist in a 'moderate' Cairo newspaper wrote 'Thanks to Hitler of blessed memory, who on behalf of the Palestinians took revenge in advance on the most vile criminals on the face of the earth...WE do have a complaint against him [Hitler] for his revenge was not enough'.

In his essay 'Something has Changed' Paul Berman refers to the Judeophobic Portuguese novelist Jose Scaemango who claimed when he victed Ramallah in 2002 to observe the Israeli siege of arch terrorist Yasser Arafat's terror compound in Ramallah, referred to this siege as 'a crime comparable to Auschwitz'. The only thing comparable to Auschwitz was the bloody campaign of terrorist atrocities - mainly homicide bombings killinmg hundreds of Israeli men, women and children (they made no boned about the fact of especially targeting children) that led to Israel besieging Arafat in the beginning.

Scaramngo does not end his absurdity there, but traces Israel's policies to Biblical Judaism. According to Scaramango the story of David and Goliath was that of a blond person (David) employing superior technology to kill at a distance a helpless and supposedly non blond person , the unfortunate and oppressed Goliath. Berman go's some way towards analyzing the demonization of Israel and glorification of terrorist murder.

Harold Evans succinctly and accurately in his talk 'The View from Ground Zero' , what is and what is not Antisemitism dealing effectively with the idiotic cliche that defenders of Israel silence the critics of that nation with accusations of Antisemitism. Evens points out that while it is not necessarily Antisemitic to question specific Israeli government actions or policies 'It is Antisemitic to vilify the State of Israel as a diabolical abstraction, reserving tolerance for individual Jews but not the collective Jew ; It is Anti-Semitic to invent malignant outrages ; It is Anti-Semitic to constantly condemn in Israel what you ignore or condone elsewhere; It is above all Anti-Semitism to dehumanize Judaism and the Jewish people so as to incite and justify their extermination. That is what has been done thousands and thousands of times over on a preposterous basis.
Evans deals with some of the vile Anti-Semitic propaganda in the Islamic world and of the left in the media and universities. Included in these are numerous reports in the Arab and Iranian media that Jews use the blood of gentiles to make matzoh for Passover or pastries for Purim. Or the Pro-Palestinian students as San Francisco State University who put up a poster of can labelled 'Palestinian children's meat slaughtered according to Jewish rights under American license'.

Evans explores the adoption by Hamas and Hezbollah and across the Islamic world of the Tsarist forgery 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion'
He also describes the brutal exhibition at al Nayhar University in Nablus entitled 'The Sbarro Cafe Exhibition' celebrating the bombing by Hamas of of a family Pizza restaurant in Tel Aviv,where mostly Jewish children were killed.

In his essay on The Old-New Anti-Semitism Robert Wistrich describes how Israel embodies the collective Jew. Wistrich rightly points out that 'Despite the incessant hair-splitting over the need to separate anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, this has in recent decades become a distinction without meaningful difference. Whatever theoretical contortions one may indulge in- The State of Israel is a Jewish State. Whoever wants to defame or destroy it, openly or through policies that contain nothing else but such destruction is in effect practicing the Jew-hatred of yesteryear, whatever their self-proclaimed intentions'.

I might add that Israel being the largest Jewish community in the world and the fact that Israelis are Jews makes the 'We are anti-Zionist but not ant-Semitic' lie perfidious.

Gabriel Schoenfeld goes further in getting to the heart of hatred of Jews and Israel. He quotes a Saudi cleric, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute who , in a government sponsored sermon, exhorted his followers 'Not to have mercy or compassion of the Jews. their blood, their money, their flesh. Their women are yours legitimately. God made them yours. Why dont you enslave their women? Why dont you wage Jihad? Why don't you pillage them?'
More recently a female Palestinian lawyer, with strong connections to the Western left has exhorted Palestinians to use rape as a weapon against Israeli women.

Other essays dissect the perverted and bizarre Holocaust inversion, the staple diet of the Islamists and anti-Zionist left whereby the Jews , descendants of Holocaust survivors, are now branded Nazis and the Palestinians (who aim to slaughter every last Jewish man, women and child in Israel) are awarded the status of the Jews of the Holocaust.

Laurie Zoloft describes the violent attack at San Francisco State University by a mob of Pro-Palestinian students on a group of Jewish students who had gathered for a peace rally. The university administration refused to intervene. Zoloft correctly points out that had it been Palestinian or Black students under attack, the university administration would certifiably have gone to stand by their side.
The venomous culture of Jew and Israel-hatred on American universities is analysed by various other writers also.

In her piece Fiamma Nirenstein points out how worldwide the killing of Jews whom live in Judea and Samaria, and who lived in Gaza, 'the settlers' is presented in the media as justified, as if 'they asked for it' , even small children. While when a Hamas commander is killed although he obviously 'asked for it' opens up a flurry of finger pointing on the perfidy of extra-judicial death sentences.

Daniel Gordis points out in a letter to a Pro-Palestinian extreme left Jew that 'the concern for people trying to kill them is a luxury I suspect even our uncorrupted children wont have'.

This digest is a penetrating and chilling , educational , eye opening and sometimes harrowing read which cannot be ommited by anyone seriously interested in the subject.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The spreading mental virus, 22 Jun 2006
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Those Who Forget the Past: The Question of Anti-Semitism (Paperback)
It never went away. It was hiding in the West, but in the Arab World it has been very prevalent and open throughout the last few decades. The evidence of its resurgence includes the terror onslaught on Israeli civilians, the desecration of Jewish cemeteries in Europe, the twisted habit of some media to equate Israel with Hitler's Germany and Zionism with Nazism, the lunatic conspiracy theories in best-selling books and on the internet, the torching of synagogues in Europe, the rise in attacks on European Jews, the filthy propaganda in the Arab media and the recent pronouncements of the president of Iran.

This valuable collection of essays explores the history and current state of the oldest hatred from different perspectives. A wide range of opinions from across the political spectrum is represented here, including those of Melanie Phillips, Gabriel Schoenfeld, Martin Peretz, Bernard Lewis, Paul Berman, Nat Hentoff, Todd Gitlin, Amos Oz, David Brooks and Robert Wistrich. Those essays that impress the least or come across as insincere or unconvincing are by Judith Butler, Edward Said and Tariq Ramadan.

The essays address a range of topics including the differences and similarities between Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism, old and new manifestations of Anti-Semitism, the situation in various European countries and in the Arab World. In Europe, this plague is found amongst the mainly Leftist cultural and government elites and the non-integrated immigrant populations whilst in the Arab sphere it is openly promoted and disseminated in the media and the mosques. Even in the USA, the snake is rearing its head amongst leftwing academics on campus.

The most vivid and shocking descriptions of the madness appear in Jeffrey Goldberg's essay on Egypt just after 9/11, Marie Brenner's piece on the situation in France, Fiamma Nirenstein's history of how the Left turned against Israel during the 1967 Six Day War and Ruth Wisse's frightening comparison between now and the 1930s. She points out how the New York Times ignored the Holocaust then and how the same Old Grey Harlot prefers to blame Israel for every act of Islamic extremism. It is ironic in that the aim of the the new Anti-Semitism is the delegitimization and ultimate destruction of the Jewish state.

One of the best descriptions of the new manifestation is by Harold Evans, who makes a lucid distinction between valid criticism of Israel and the frenzied and pathological condemnation of this brave little country by those who ignore atrocities and oppression everywhere else in the world. Historian Victor Davis Hanson has called this resurgent Medusa of Jew-hatred "the worldwide moronic convergence" and its three heads are the Left, the lunatic Right and fanatical Islamism. The political spectrum is not linear, but a circle where extreme Left and Right meet.

The book opens with an illuminating introduction by Ron Rosenbaum and concludes with an afterword by Cynthia Ozick in which she observes that the new Anti-Semitism proceeds in the guise of Anti-Zionism and through the abuse of the language of human rights. And it goes hand in hand with Anti-Americanism. I also recommend The Contract Of Mutual Indifference by Norman Geras, The New Anti-Semitism by Phyllis Chesler and Unholy Alliance by David Horowitz, for a better understanding of these perilous times.
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Those Who Forget the Past: The Question of Anti-Semitism
Those Who Forget the Past: The Question of Anti-Semitism by Ron Rosenbaum (Paperback - 31 May 2004)
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