Ethnic hatred of Jews by the left

George Will:

"It used to be said that anti-Catholicism was the anti-Semitism of the intellectuals. Today anti-Semitism is the anti-Semitism of the intellectuals.

"Not all intellectuals, of course. And the seepage of this ancient poison into the intelligentsia -- always so militantly modern -- is much more pronounced in Europe than here. But as anti-Semitism migrates across the political spectrum from right to left, it infects the intelligentsia, which has leaned left for two centuries.

"Here the term intellectual is used loosely, to denote not only people who think about ideas -- about thinking -- but also people who think they do. The term anti-Semitism is used to denote people who dislike Jews. These people include those who say: We do not dislike Jews, we only dislike Zionists -- although to live in Israel is to endorse the Zionist enterprise, and all Jews are implicated, as sympathizers, in the crime that is Israel.

...

"Like traditional anti-Semitism, but with secular sources and motives, the political version, which condemns Jews as a social element, is becoming mainstream, and chic among political and cultural elites, mostly in Europe. Consider:

"• A cartoon in a mainstream Italian newspaper depicts the infant Jesus in a manger, menaced by an Israeli tank and saying, "Don't tell me they want to kill me again." This expresses animus against Israel rather than twisted Christian zeal.

"• The European Union has suppressed a study it commissioned, because the study blamed the upsurge in anti-Jewish acts on European Muslims -- and the European left.

"• Nineteen percent of Germans believe what a best-selling German book asserts: The CIA and Israel's Mossad organized the Sept. 11 attacks.

"• On French television, a comedian wearing a Jewish skullcap gives a Nazi salute while yelling, "Isra-Heil!"

"• If Israel is not the Great Satan, it is allied with him -- America. European anti-American demonstrations often include Israel's blue and white flag with a swastika replacing the star of David, and signs perpetuating the myth, concocted by Palestinians and cooperative Western journalists, of an Israeli massacre in Jenin: '1943: Warsaw / 2002: Jenin.'

...

"Europe's susceptibility to political lunacy, and the Arab world's addiction to it, is not news. And the paranoid style is a political constant. Those who believe a conspiracy assassinated President Kennedy say: Proof of the conspiracy's diabolical subtlety is that no evidence of it remains. Today's anti-Semites say: Proof of the Jews' potent menace is that there are so few of them -- just 13 million of the planet's 6 billion people -- yet they cause so many political, economic and cultural ills. Gosh. Imagine if they were, say, 1 percent of Earth's population: 63 million."

Read the whole commentary.

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