Something has changed.
After the horrors of World War II, people everywhere believed that it could never happen again, but today the evidence is unmistakable that anti-Semitism is dramatically on the rise once more. The torching of European synagogues, suicide terror in Israel, the relentless comparison of the Israelis to Nazis, the paranoid post–September 11 Internet-bred conspiracy theories, the Holocaust-denial literature spreading throughout the Arab world, the calumny and violence erupting on American college campuses: Suddenly, a new anti-Semitism has become widespread, even acceptable to some.
In this chilling and important new book, Ron Rosenbaum, author of the highly praised Explaining Hitler, brings together a collection of powerful essays about the origin and nature of the new anti-Semitism. Paul Berman, Marie Brenner, David Brooks, Harold Evans, Todd Gitlin, Jeffrey Goldberg, Bernard Lewis, David Mamet, Amos Oz, Cynthia Ozick, Frank Rich, Jonathan Rosen, Edward Said, Judith Shulevitz, Lawrence Summers, Jeffrey Toobin, and Robert Wistrich are among the distinguished writers and intellectuals who grapple with painful questions: Why now? What is—or isn’t—new? Is a second Holocaust possible, this time in the Middle East? How does anti-Semitism differ from anti-Zionism?
These are issues too dangerous to ignore, too pressing to deny. Those Who Forget the Past is an essential volume for understanding the new bigotry of the twenty-first century.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Those Who Forget the Past|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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Those Who Forget the Past
The Uncomfortable Question of Anti-Semitism
When i was growing up, my father would go to bed with a transistor radio set to an all-news station. Even without a radio, my father was attuned to the menace of history. A Jew born in Vienna in 1924, he Xed his homeland in 1938; his parents were killed in the Holocaust. I sometimes imagined my father was listening for some repetition of past evils so that he could rectify old responses, but he may just have been expecting more bad news. In any event, the grumbling static from the bedroom depressed me, and I vowed to replace it with music more cheerfully in tune with America. These days, however, I Wnd myself on my father’s frequency. I have awakened to anti-Semitism.
I am not being chased down alleyways and called a Christ killer, I do not feel that prejudicial hiring practices will keep me out of a job, and I am not afraid that the police will come and take away my family. I am, in fact, more grateful than ever that my father found refuge in this country. But in recent weeks I have been reminded, in ways too plentiful to ignore, about the role Jews play in the fantasy life of the world. Jews were not the cause of World War II, but they were at the metaphysical center of that conXict nonetheless, since the Holocaust was part of Hitler’s agenda and a key motivation of his campaign. Jews are not the cause of World War III, if that’s what we are facing, but they have been placed at the center of it in mysterious and disturbing ways.
I was born in 1963, a generation removed and an ocean away from the destruction of European Jewry. My mother was born here, so there was