“Although our government hardly acknowledges the fact, and fails to orient its policies accordingly,” begins Gabriel Schoenfeld in this profoundly disquieting book, “the United States is today locked in a conflict with adversaries for whom hatred of Jews lies at the core of their beliefs.”
To anyone with even a modest acquaintance with current events, it is clear that the Muslim world is today the epicenter of a particularly virulent brand of anti-Semitic hatred. But anti-Semitism has also reawakened dramatically in Europe, where it was long thought to be completely dormant if not entirely extinct. And as Schoenfeld shows, it is also making unprecedented headway in the United States, a country where it has never before found truly fertile soil.
The Return of Anti-Semitism traces the confluence of several lethal currents: the infusion of judeophobia into Islamic fundamentalism; the rise of terrorist movements (including al Qaeda) that are motivated in large measure by a pathological hatred of Jews; the deliberate and well-financed export of anti-Semitism from the Muslim world into Europe and from there into the United States; and the rebirth of older anti-Semitic traditions in the West that were thought to have ended along with Nazism.
Schoenfeld shows that the most vicious ideas about Jews today are not voiced by the downtrodden and disenfranchised fringe elements of society, but by its most highly educated and “progressive” segments. This is true in the Islamic world, and it is even truer in the West. One is less likely to find anti-Semites today in beer halls and trailer parks than among the mass media and in faculty lounges. And while yesterday’s anti-Semitism appeared in periods of economic and political stress, its alarming return comes at a time when the Western democracies are secure and free from the social turmoil that contributed to the rise of fascism.
An old disease, one that many assumed was permanently eradicated, has reappeared in our world. The Return of Anti-Semitism is a profound analysis of a great and growing danger.