Bashing Israel and Timeless Bias
Like most American Jews of my post-Holocaust generation, I’ve never suffered significant harm from anti-Semitism. Sure, I’ve experienced the random rude remark, or expression of distaste, or hints of ethnic and religious hostility, but Jew-hatred in no way has interfered with my success, happiness or sense of well-being in this grand, glorious and good-hearted nation.Go read all of this excellent post.
Recent debates about the Middle East war, however, make it inescapably clear that anti-Semitic attitudes remain a significant factor for an embittered minority of Americans, emerging with special force at times of stress. When callers to my talk radio show insist that Israel remains at fault for the current fights in Gaza or Lebanon, traditional Jew hatred (or delusional psychology) probably plays a role in the analysis.
It doesn’t matter that Israel withdrew from both areas—occupying no square inch of Gaza, nor of Lebanon’s internationally recognized territory. It doesn’t matter that the Israelis endured daily Qassam rocket attacks from Gaza, and frequent (and much more deadly) Katyusha rocket assaults from Lebanon: even if Israelis go to war to defend their innocent civilians, for some people it’s still the Jews who must be at fault. The instinct for “blaming the Jews” flourishes alongside the similar instinct for “excusing the terrorists” – as long as their chief targets happen to be Jews.
Callers to my talk show have fingered the long-retired Henry Kissinger, Paul Wolfowitz (head of the World Bank), AIPAC (The America Israel Public Affairs Committee), the Illuminati, “international bankers,” “the Rockefellers”(in the mistaken belief that they’re Jewish and somehow connected to Israel),” “the media elite,” and other traditional anti-Semitic bogeymen in their efforts to discredit the Israeli response.