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Atlantics Jeffrey Goldberg intervjuer Christopher Hitchens og Martin Amis. Hitchens er preget av kreftbehandlingen, men er intellektuell sprek. De analyserer antisemittisme: jødene var historiske vitner til Jesus og Muhammed, og tok ingen av dem til seg. Det er ikke en «slight», en avvisning som hverken glemmes eller tilgis. Of course not.

Vi skulle gjøre mer for å leve opp til det antisemittismen bygger på, sier Hitchens, og med det mener han: jødene oppfant monoteismen, men ingen har gjort mer for å tilbakevise og undergrave monoteismen og alle etablerte systemer. Dette er en av de viktigste drivkrefter bak antisemittismen. Stikkord: Karl Marx, Freud og Einstein. De ødela vår selvtilfredshet, vår hvilen i det naturlige, tradisjonen, det «organiske». Derfor kunne mennesker tro på at jøder sto bak både kapitalisme og kommunisme: de var ødeleggere. Men at dette innebar stort intellektuelt fremskritt kunne de ikke se. De kunne ikke se jøders store bidrag til moderniteten.

Det er et faretegn når venstresiden (ytre høyre har alltid gjort det) «teller» jøder, og snakker om jødisk lobby og jødisk makt. Dette er blitt klisjeer som feks. NRK har antydet, bekreftet og bygget opp over mange år, og det går «inn» uten at man merker det. Det bygger nemlig på gamle stereoptypier. At det skjer samtidig som Norge og Europa har fått en stor muslimsk befolkning med sterke innslag av antisemittisme, gjør dette langt mer alvorlig.

Man kan si at venstresiden i Norge har valgt å ta parti for the underdog, ikke bare i Midtøsten/Israel, men også i vårt eget samfunn. Det skjer en identifikasjon med palestinere og arabere, både i Israel og i vårt samfunn. Dette er en farlig konstellasjon. For jødene i Europa, men også for muslimene, og ikke minst for samfunnsfreden. De venstreliberale og ytre venstre kan gjenta så mye de vil at muslimene i Europa er vår tids jøder. Argumentet lider av samme kognitive dissonans som islamismen og mye av islam. Motsigelsene er for store, og vekker snarere motvilje og polarisering.

HONORED RECENTLY WITH an invitation from the family of Daniel Pearl to give the annual memorial lecture that bears his name, I tried to speak about the protean character of the world’s most ancient and tenacious prejudice. The Passover Haggadah speaks of Jew-hatred or attempted Judeocide as something that happens in every generation, but as true as this may be, it is of little help in making distinctions. There is, probably first and certainly foremost, religious anti-Semitism. Unlike other nations or peoples, Jews were among the witnesses to the alleged lives and preachings of Jesus and Muhammad, and turned away from men they deemed false Messiahs. It is inconceivable that they will ever be quite forgiven for doing so. Most medieval Christian anti-Semitism was of the “Christ killer” sort, usually enriched by lurid allegations about ritual slaughter and the ineffaceable nonreligious but actually racial deformities (body odor, birthmarks) that branded the Jew as outcast. After the deportation of Jews from Christian Spain, the Muslim Ottoman Empire kept up a tradition of “tolerance,” allowing large Sephardic communities in European cities as diverse as Salonika and Sarajevo as well as on the North African littoral. But the Jews of the Arab lands were expelled again in revenge for the defeat of Palestinian nationalism in 1947–48, and now the most evil and discredited fabrication of Jew-baiting Christian Europe—The Protocols of the Elders of Zion—is eagerly promulgated in the Hamas charter and on the group’s Web site and recycled through a whole nexus of outlets that includes schools as well as state-run television stations.

This might license the view that the sickness is somehow ineradicable and not even subject to rational analysis, let alone to rationalization. Anti-Semitism has flourished without banking or capitalism (for which Jews were at one time blamed) and without Communism (for which they were also blamed). It has existed without Zionism (of which leading Jews were at one time the only critics) and without the state of Israel. There has even been anti-Semitism without Jews, in states like Malaysia whose political leaders are paranoid demagogues looking for a scapegoat. This is enough to demonstrate that anti-Semitism is not a mere prejudice like any other: Sinhalese who don’t like Tamils, or Hutu who regard Tutsi as “cockroaches,” do not accuse their despised neighbors of harboring a plan—or of possessing the ability—to bring off a secret world government based on the occult control of finance.

Paradoxically, then, there is something almost flattering about anti-Jewish racism. To have been confined in the ghetto for so long, and then to be held responsible for Marx, Freud, and Einstein, to say nothing of Rothschild … Yet the outcome is always the same: to be treated as human refuse and to be either deported or massacred. Jean-Paul Sartre’s essay profiling the anti-Semite has many shortcomings, but it’s hard to argue with his conclusion that such a person must necessarily carry a thirst for murder in his heart. Yet this is perhaps true of other racists as well. What strikes the eye about anti-Semitism is the godfather role it plays as the organizing principle of other bigotries. The Nazis may well have thought of Slavs and Poles as less than human, but it was the hatred of Jewry that cemented their worldview (and, horribly enough, gave them something in common with many of their Slavic and Polish victims).

TRIALS OF THE DIASPORA: A HISTORY OF ANTI-SEMITISM IN ENGLAND
By Anthony Julius
Oxford

A LETHAL OBSESSION: ANTI-SEMITISM FROM ANTIQUITY TO THE GLOBAL JIHAD
By Robert S. Wistrich
Random House