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on 13 February 2006
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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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. For Christianity, the evidence encompasses the hate-filled words of Church Fathers like John Chrysostom of Antioch and Ambrose of Milan, massacres during the crusades, medieval libels, the Catholic and Protestant versions and the abominable words of Martin Luther. For a full treatment of this, please consult Our Hands Are Stained With Blood by Michael L Brown if you're not too sensitive to the description of atrocities.

Islamic Antisemitism looks at the history of Muhammad and the Jews, the actions of Islamic leaders from the prophet's death up to the modern period, the modern era with reference to Egypt, Syria and Palestine, the 20th century and Muslim hatred of Israel. Further evidence is available in the book Peace: The Arabian Caricature of Anti-Semitic Imagery by Arieh Stav.

Secular Antisemitism: The Enlightenment, demonstrates how the shape-shifting phenomenon re-emerged through Voltaire, De Mirabaud and D'Holbach; virtually every major figure of the French Enlightenment was hostile to Judaism. In Germany there were people like Johann Fichte and Immanuel Kant, but mercifully England proved to be a partial exception where the milder manifestations never led to violence.

Like all the aforementioned, socialism and Marxism were born with Jew-hatred. Marx's writing is full of it, but it was even more virulent amongst French intellectuals like Charles Fourier, Pierre Leroux, and Proudhon, with a few exceptions. Then followed Soviet antisemitism and that of the Western Left, including Leftist and Far Right churches and bodies like the World Council of Churches.

Nazism was not an outgrowth of racial ideology which was fundamentally irrelevant to Nazi antisemitism. Equating it with racism is just an attempt to dejudaize the phenomenon. It was the other way around; in their war against the Jews the Nazis employed racist arguments. The authors provide plenty of facts to substantiate their case. Nearly every popular ideology in German history contributed to the ideological roots of Nazi antisemitism. Furthermore, Europe has always harbored a widespread and profound strain. This was revealed during the Second World War when the only continental governments that protected their Jewish citizens were Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Bulgaria.

After the Holocaust, open anti-Semitism became taboo so a change of rhetoric took place following the rebirth of Israel in 1948. Anti-Zionism had its origin in the Soviet Union. The authors argue convincingly that Anti-Zionism is antisemitism in theory and practice. Examples are given from the writings of American Leftists, the Italian media, the UK author AN Wilson, the Arab media and the statements of Arab leaders.

In chapter fourteen, eight common lies about Israel are refuted: the accusations that Israel refuses to compromise for peace; stole the land from the Palestinians; is morally obligated to absorb the 1948 refugees and their descendants, that Jerusalem is as holy to Muslims as it is to Jews, Anti-Zionists being distinct from antisemites, that Jews and Christians in the Holy Land were well-treated under Islamic rule, that Israel illegally occupies the West Bank and that Palestinians embraced violence out of desperation.

Part Three considers The ways of dealing with the problem, like assimilation, Zionism, making converts and combating specific outbreaks. The authors believe that Jews should resume their original mission of spreading ethical monotheism, helping to bring mankind to a universal God-based morality. In the tradition of the Hebrew Prophets, they ought to promote the concept of goodness tied to faith as God's major concern while also opposing secularists advocating political systems devoid of religious moral values. Antisemitism is a moral failing that can only be prevented by the moral values of non-Jews. It is significant that in the USA it currently issues overwhelmingly from the Left - religious like Jimmy Carter and secular academics like Walt & Mearsheimer - whose deceptions are brilliantly exposed by Abraham Foxman in The Deadliest Lies.

In the Epilogue, the authors warn that antisemitism never remains just a Jewish problem; as it metastasizes it inevitably brings terrible suffering to all societies under its spell. In history, treatment of the Jewish people has always served as a reliable barometer of humanity's moral state. Nowadays those who hate the Jewish nation are most likely to be Uncouth Nation too. Authoritarian regimes resent American success and covet the country's power and wealth; this hatred is shared by some Western Leftists and particularly the parasites infesting transnational bodies like the United Nations and the EU bureaucracy. It should now be clear to thinking people that Arab antisemitism forms part of a deep-seated hatred of the West that fuels jihad in many forms.

There are 23 pages of bibliographic notes, a 9 page bibliography of cited works and an index. I fear the hour is late; I urge all Christians who love our Jewish Redeemer to pray without ceasing and to consider supporting organizations like Christians United For Israel, Christian Friends Of Israel and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.
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VINE VOICEon 4 March 2004
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. Something which many may dispute, but which describes the real roots of this hatred as being demonic and which sets itself against the whole Jewish race, the coming & return of the Jewish/Christian Messiah together with the message of redemption to all mankind. A demonic hatred whose end is described in the book of Revelation within the Bible.
In addition to this book I would respectfully recommend the books entitled "Jesus Was A Jew" by Arnold Fruchtenbaum & "The Anguish Of The Jews; Twenty Three Centuries Of Anti-Semitism" by Edward H. Flannery.
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on 19 June 2012
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?
The Western world's waning of religion and the falling support for the church puts a question mark against some of these religious theories for me but I say that as a person who is not in the slightest way religious! For someone with a `devout' belief - a Jew or an Arab, then yes, of course, they would have unbending views /opinions on this subject.
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on 4 February 2007
In the last six years in particular, since Arafat launched a war of terror against Israel's people, I have often wondered what the reasons are for the intense hatred and violent rage, especially by Moslems and the Left, of Israel and her people.
The country where I live, is periodically rocked by nationwide paroxysms of vicious rage and murderous hate of the tiny nation of Israel,encouraged by the ruling party and it's allies, civil society, universities and the media.
This is the world's latest incantation of Jew-hatred, the world's longest and most intense hatred, as Dennis Prager explains in this fascinating and illuminating work.
Prager begins by outlining some of the violent attacks on Jews and Israel in Europe and elsewhere, which has become the disease permeating the world as we begin the 21st century.
Prager mentions the United Nations-sponsored World Conference on Racism, in Durban, South Africa in August 2001, which, while failing to mention human rights abuses and genocide in China, Rwanda or anyplace in the Arab world, turned into a violent fest of hate and rage against Israel.

While anti-Semitism was traditionally associated with rightwing populists, vicious anti-Israelism is becoming the culture and raison d etre of 'progressive' intellectual communities.

Prager illustrates that:

* Thousands of academics around the world, have called for an end to support for Israeli researchers, though not an end to support for researchers from any other nation.

* Israeli scholars in Spring 2003 were forced off the board of an international literary journal.

* And many at universities across the world, including North America, have called for their universities to single out Israel among all nations as the lone country where it is inappropriate for any part of the university's endowment to be invested.

Prager marvels how in a world filled with enormous evils-such as totalitarian states that make their countries into large prison camps (Iran and North Korea); that massacre and enslave millions of citizens (Sudan) , that wage deadly war against their own populations (Zimbabwe and Myanmar) that destroy entire cultures (As China is doing in Tibet), it would seem a puzzle as to why the Jewish State and America are the two most villified countries in the world.
Prager points this out as being a violent rejection of the American and Jewish values of Judeo-Christian civilization, justice, freedom, democracy and humanity as a source of light to the world. He explains the reason why the USA supports Israel as being because of the USA's Judeo-Christian values and her realization that Israel is a tiny island of democracy and human rights in a sea of totalitarianism.

It is against this background that Prager delves into the roots of Jew-hatred to attempt an explanation of this phenomenon.
The basic source of ancient Jewish history, the Bible, depicts two attempts at anihilation of the Jewish people: that of Pharaoh and the Egyptians (Exodus 1:15-22) and that of Haman and the Persians.
On three occasions in the last 350 years, anihilation campaigns have been waged against the Jews, the Chmelnitzky massacres in Eastern Europe in 1648-1649, the Nazi destruction of Europe's Jews between 1939 and 1945 , and the current decades long campaign to anihilate the Jewish State by it's enemies.

Prager holds out four basic reasons for Jew hatred (and it's latest incantaion, Israel-hatred)
* The hatred of Judaism and ethical monotheism
* The chosen people idea as a cause of Jew-hatred
* The moral challenge posed by the Jews for a better world.
* The higher quality of Jewish life as a cause of Jew-hatred

Chapter 5 deals with the topic of Non-Jewish Jews and anti-Semitism. This is particularly interesting to me, because leftwing diaspora Jews who hate Israel, are a major source of anger and disgust for me.
Prager is also vexed by the question of explaining Jews who devote their lives to hurting Jews. He points out that "Among no group in the world are there so many individuals who so single-mindedly attempt to damage the group into which they were born".
He gives as examples the loathsome Noam Chomsky who has dedicated much of his life tro defending those who wish to destroy Israel, and to demonize Israel and her people, frequently comparing Israelis to the Nazis; and Norman Finkelstein who lectures throughout the world , calling Israel a Nazi State and demanding it's destruction.
Indeed many Jewish ultra-Leftists lead the "burn Israel" movement, sponsoring pro-Palestinian hate rallies, leading campaigns for divestment from Israel, and demoinzing Israel and her people in the media and universities.

The author expalins this phenomenon as being that Jewish radicals, like other radicals, lack roots, and hate Jews (such as the Jews of Israel) who do have roots and a national identity.
"The Ubermensch, which is how they see themselves, rises above such parochial indentities."
Also they likely believe that if they side with those who hate Jews, they will not be hated by them.

Prager refutes the Marxist view of anti-Semitism that it is caused by Capitalism, pointing out that in Communist societies anti-Semitism has often been at it's worst.
He also easily refutes the myth that anti-Semitism is purely a rightwing phenomenon, pointing to Soviet persecution of Jewry , and the new anti-Semitism of today, which eminates mainly from the Left.
Prager go's on to examine the historical evidence of anti-Semitism with histories of ancient anti-Semitism, Christian anti-Semitism, Islamic anti-Semitism, Secular Enlightenment anti-Semitism, Leftist anti-Semitism, Nazi anti-Semitism and anti-Zionist anti-Semitism.
He continually draws parralels between historic anti-Semitism and today's new anti-Zionist version, for example discussing the mediaeval libel that Jews poisoned wells, and deliberately spread disease , to lies by the Palestinian Authority and Leftist NGO's that the Israelis have poisoned Palestinian water supplies and deliberately infected Palestinian children with the HIV virus.

In the section on Islamic anti-Semitism, he outlines bloody pogroms carried out against Jews in Arab countries, in the 20th century. He also explains the real reason behind Arab hatred of Israel. The idea of Jews as free people in their own state cannot be tolerated, they can only be tolerated as subordinate or degraded. The basis of Arab hatred of Israel is the hatred of Jews refusing to accept an unequal, inferior status, that they lived under for centuries of Arab rule.
He also deals with the Arab-Nazi connection of World War II, and beyond.
In the chapter on Leftist anti-Semitism he observes how the further left one goes the greater the Jew-hatred. The propaganda peddled by far-left ideologues, academics and journalists today is a reproduction of the propaganda manufactured in the old Soviet Union, during the Cold War, when the USSR was persecuting Jews and working for the destruction of Israel.

Letwing anti-Semitism revolves around the denial of Jewish nationhood, and therefore of Israel's right to exist, leading to a hatred of all Jews who affirm Jewish nationhood and particularly of all Jews who live in the Jewish homeland. It also involves a gross Orwellianism whereby Israel is accused of genocide, when the truth is that the Arabs and their allies are the ones pushing for the destruction of Israel and thereby a second holocaust against Jews.

Because anti-Zionism's goal would lead to a second holocaust against five million Jews, it cannot be distinguished from anti-Semitism.
Furthermore there is only one posible reason why people isolate Israel of all the countries of the world to deny it's right to existence. Because Israel is a Jewish State. Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.
Finally Prager deals with the 8 most common lies about Israel, and the truth behind them, examines what the solutions are to Jew-hatred, and his epilogue ends with a warning that anti-Semitism/anti-Israelism is the problem not only of Jews, but of all decent human beings because what begins with the Jews seldom ends with the Jews. Jew-hatred and Israel-hatred is the moral litmus test of nations, regimes and individuals.
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on 15 November 2009
Having read the reviews, I was expecting in-depth analysis and argumentation. What I found in this book was a pure propaganda and populism, not an objective analysis. A bit disappointing...
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on 14 February 2013
As a jew this is a subject that perplexes me, why are we singled out for such opprobrium and not just recently but for hundreds of years? This book presents interesting insights to the subject and offers well researched and intelligently presented explanations and justifications.
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on 1 March 2015
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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on 8 January 2011
I was looking, and still am looking, for an unbiased book which attempts to explain in a fair and intelligent manner why the jews have been so consistently hated through the ages. This book, written by a rabbi, is biased and fails badly. The rabbi concludes by suggesting the way to combat antisemitism is for people to convert to the jewish religion. He is critical of christianity but is appreciative of America, one feels due to the massive financial and political support given to Israel.Sadly this book is too biased and was a huge disappointment.
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on 22 March 2004
Historically, Judaism itself has been regarded the root cause for antisemitism. The four components of Judaism, God (ethical monotheism), Torah (laws and teachings), Israel (nationhood) and Chosenness have always challenged and threatened the Jews' neighboring cultures wherever they have settled.
The authors support this view, and oppose general views of antisemitism caused by socio-economic, political or psychological factors. Initially, the book was interesting and caught my attention, but unfortunately, the authors give a far too shallow analysis of explanations for antisemitism. The historical account of antisemitism in part two of the book gives few answers to the question of "Why the Jews?".
An important question that is poorly treated by religious- conservative Americans far out on the political right wing. In their world, everything is either black or white, so finding a balanced, unbiased account of the Israeli-Palestinean conflict or antisemitism in general in this book is quite useless.
However, it gives insight to pro-Israeli/conservative American thoughts and arguments. Their agenda is as follows: "Israel and America offer contemporary Jews unique opportunities to reduce antisemitism and to "repair the world under the rule of God"" (p. 192). Israel and the United States are chosen nations, and should influcence the world with their superior values.
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