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Why the Jews?: The Reason for Antisemitism Paperback – 1 Dec 2003

3.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Reissue edition (1 Dec. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743246209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743246200
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 400,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"The wisest, most original and provocative book on the subject I have ever read." (Harold Kushner)

About the Author

Dennis Prager, one of America’s most respected thinkers, is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host and syndicated columnist. He has written four books, including the #1 bestseller Happiness Is a Serious Problem. He has lectured on all seven continents and may be contacted through his website, DennisPrager.com.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Overall this is a very informative read and answered most of the questions I had on the subject. Whilst not a long read at 200 main text pages, it covers an awful lot of ground on the subject. It is well written and easy to digest. The book is written by a Jew about the Jews so it is bias to their arguments / views. Nevertheless, you have to start somewhere and I think this is a very reasonable starting point if you want to learn more about this particular subject. This book is concise and to the point in the main. Whilst I couldn't see some of their solutions working, I did find the read very interesting. It was constructed and presented in a very professional and thoughtful way.
After reading this book you could be forgiven for thinking the Jews are a `pacifist' race who has been unjustly persecuted throughout their history? In some cases of course that's certainly true.
The other side of the coin is their conflict with Palestine in the Gaza & West Bank? They are certainly not as blameless as this book would lead you to believe and are more than capable, as a nation, of looking after themselves.
This Anti-Semitism subject is very complex. Even then I think it unlikely that the reader will get to the real truth as both sides - that of that of the Arab and Jew, both seem stuck in hatred, denial, claim and counter claim. Deciphering the two is very problematical!
On a personal note some of the theories / myths put forward are somewhat unconvincing from a `Westerner's' point of view, for example, the killing of non-Jews and the use of their blood in Jewish food for ceremonies? Who could possibly believe that in today's modern society?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dennis Prager is Jewish so he's given the matter some thought - understandably. He says that the Jews stand out because they insist on standing out and have done for three thousand years. They are chosen in the sense that they are judged very harshly by their own God. They can't get away with anything. Worship the golden calf for a bit and Moses will find out and give then what for. Their sin is to remain distinctive. Prager and Telushkin are brave to discuss all this.
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Very enlightenimg. It should be read mainly by antissemites and Israel difamators. It may teach them something regarding their twisted comvictions.
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By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
In the introduction, the authors point out the rising tide of antisemitism in European society and media by citing specific examples, the warning of Lawrence Summers about the eruption of the plague on campus, the 2001 UN conference on racism in Durban where Israel was demonized, the hatred emanating from the Arab and Muslim worlds, from Muslims in Europe and from the political Left around the globe.

The aim of this book is to confirm the age-old Jewish understanding of the condition, which the authors consider to be a response to Judaism. The intention is to refute attempts to deny the particularly Jewish reasons for the hatred and its contemporary manifestation of anti-Zionism.

Part One: The Explanation, demonstrates the uniqueness of antisemitism as the hatred of Judaism and ethical monotheism, considers other theories like the Chosen People concept, the higher quality of Jewish life, plus other theories and the frightening phenomenon of the hatred of Judaism by non-Jewish Jews like Marx, Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg, Abbie Hoffman, Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky.

The Historical Evidence is assessed in Part Two, from the Hellenic and Roman eras through the Christian, Islamic and Secular (Enlightenment) varieties, Leftist, Nazi and Anti-Zionist Antisemitism.
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Format: Paperback
For a long time I did not read this book because I thought all the arguments were so extensively covered elsewhere. I was wrong. The thesis of the book is that it is the Jewish religion rather than economic or racial factors to which antisemites react. Though this idea is not new, it is covered extraordinarily well for such a brief account. Sources are given for those who want to probe further. Though I would also be interested in the mindset of the haters, the book focuses on why it is the Jews they hate. This clear focus is in the end a merit. The remedies for antisemitism which the authors discuss will be controversial, but should at least provoke thought. Strongly recommended.
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This book seeks to examine the very roots of anti-Semitism, the term used to describe the hatred of the Jews. Many avenues are explored such as why the Jews have been the object of the most enduring and universal hatred directed towards any people group in history. Additionally, the book discusses why the Jewish state of Israel has now become the most despised country in the World today.
The inherent hatred of the Jews within some elements of the Church and Islam are also studied, both from a historical perspective and also pertaining to the present day.
Sections are also devoted to the anti-Semitism of the Nazi era and how it is also present today in relation to those who support or profess Zionism. A particularly interesting section discusses how much modern day anti-Semitism is hidden beneath a more respectable veneer bearing the anti-Zionist label.
One such example given is that on page 172 which quotes from the statement by Shukairy, who was the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation before Yasser Arafat. Shukairy used to openly declare that "the Jews should be driven into the sea". The book proceeds to describe that when such a statement no longer became politically expedient or served the Arab cause, the statement was promptly changed to "the Zionists should be driven into the sea".
Indeed many differing lines of thought are discussed and a variety of issues investigated. This book will certainly make the reader think and contemplate the real roots of this ongoing issue, which is described as being more prevalent now than at any time since the Nazi era.
The book however does not address the spiritual aspect behind anti-Semitism which underlies the Christian Gospel message.
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