Antisemitism: Historic Tool Towards Tyranny

In the Washington Post, author Ruth Wisse ("Jews and Power") responds to the 1 in 6 Americans (exposed in a recent ADL survey) who feel that Jews have too much power in the U.S. (an opinion shared by over half of Europeans surveyed).

"We are all Jews now," former CIA director R. James Woolsey Jr. said after the September 2001 attacks. "We should all reflect upon the historic reality that when anti-Semitism raises its head, the rest of us, unless we are willing to live with a foot on our necks, will be the next targets."

Since the days of Pharaoh, Jews have functioned as a lodestar of religious and political freedom: The Jews' attackers oppose such liberties, and their defenders promote them. The attackers have included Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, extreme nationalist parties from France to Poland, Arab autocrats trying to hold onto power and Islamist challengers trying to seize it.

This rule of thumb has less to do with Jewish actions than with those who deal in anti-Jewish politics. A small people whose foes are prone to hugely inflate their image, Jews make a handy scapegoat for dictators.

Here is a 5-minute reminder of the products of your complacency towards antisemitism. The horror of the Nazi concentration camps were documented by the British Army in this film, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and restricted from U.S. public showing until recent broadcast on PBS' "Frontline" series.

In its August meetings, according to the Hudson Institute, the "revamped" U.N. Human Rights Council directed three-quarters of its indictments of individual states against Israel -- but just 2 percent against the thuggish regime running Burma.

I understand why some Jews and Israelis try to escape this assault through assimilation or denial, or even by joining their assailants. It's seductive to hope that by accommodating our enemies, we will be allowed to live in peace. But the strategy of accommodation that historically turned Jews into a no-fail target is the course least likely to stop ongoing acts of aggression against them. Indeed, anti-Jewish politics will end only when those who practice it accept the democratic values of religious pluralism and political choice -- or are forced to pay a high enough price for flouting them."

(The entire 53-minute film is viewable at Atlas Shrugs).

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