Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fake Threats and Real Ones

Yesterday I posted the Globe and Mail's "scary" photo gallery of Calgary neo-"Nazis." Apropos of the "Nazi threat," the one that galvanizes various Jewish groups and "human rights" lawyer Richard Warman, I am posting these words from Deborah Lipstadt's new book which reassesses the trial of Adolf Eichmann as its 50th anniversary fast approaches (it takes place next month):
Some people, particularly in the Jewish community, will tell you, year in and year out, that anti-Semitism is always increasing in intensity and danger, and that this year the situation is exponentially worse than during the preceding one. These repeated assessments--it's always terrible, and getting more so--have, until recently, been contradicted by reality. Simply put, they were wrong. In North America and Europe, the pessimists based their claims on minor acts of vandalism and rather inane expressions of anti-Semitism. One cannot dismiss these acts, but they never constituted an existential threat... 
However, in the past decade matters have changed dramatically. With the marked exception of North America, the level of anti-Semitic rhetoric has reached new proportions. Though anti-Semitism still emanates from the far right, its increase is due to an embrace by select portions of the Muslim community and by parts of the left as well. In Iran, the ability of a man who is an overt anti-Semite and Holocaust denier to wreak havoc in the world increases daily. Distasteful and historically absurd comparisons are made between Israelis and Nazis. The existence of this anti-Semitism, while deeply troubling, surprises me far less than that so many people accept it with great equanimity...
To sum it up: the scary markers of doom, the graffiti in bathroom stalls, the "Nazi" boychiks of Calgary, while ugly and kitschy, amount to a hill of beans in this crazy Jew-loathing world. The real scary threat--no scare quotes required this time--is the 'Slamo-lefty-UN Zionhass that's all the rage with the smart and beautiful, the rich and famous (far too many of whom, alas, are Jewish--and Israeli). For it's that hatred that does pose an existential threat, as it threatens to reprise, perhaps even complete, what Eichmann and his Nazi confreres started.

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