The Devil That Never Dies: The Rise and Threat of Global Antisemitism by Goldhagen Daniel Jonah

The Devil That Never Dies: The Rise and Threat of Global Antisemitism by Goldhagen Daniel Jonah

Author:Goldhagen, Daniel Jonah [Goldhagen, Daniel Jonah]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9780316250306
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Published: 2013-09-03T00:00:00+00:00


Millions Upon Millions of Antisemites

LOOKING AROUND THE world to assess antisemitism’s extent and intensity, the picture is extremely disturbing. The sheer number of antisemites, the global prevalence of the foundational antisemitic paradigm, the many public discourses, the character of the antisemitism that people are readily exposed to and that is available for people, including the young, to latch on to, and the more explicit agitation for action against Jews compose constellations of prejudice that, individually in country after country and in sum around the world, have no equal. Then there is the digital media of satellite and cable television and radio, and especially of the Internet. The Internet in particular is available to everyone all the time anywhere, with the power of fueling and sustaining prejudice that is vast, new, in this respect revolutionary, and continuing only to increase in scope and intensity.

Let us begin our exploration of global antisemitism’s extent by speaking plainly about antisemitism’s constitution, which means first establishing an appropriate baseline for identifying it and for identifying those who harbor it. What would you think if you overheard someone say: Blacks are lazy? What would you say about someone who says: Hispanics are not good Americans? What would you think about a college admissions officer who commented: Asians are sneaky? Would you call them prejudiced or racist?

What else would you think of such people? Would you expect that they hold other prejudicial or racist notions about the groups they so describe with their single remarks? Would you be confident that such people could impartially judge and treat fairly people who fall into the groups they describe with such disdain or suspicion? Would you expect that such people might be hostile toward the people whom they have described in such ways and be receptive to believing other prejudicial or racist things about them?

All this would be many people’s reaction, probably including yours, to hearing such single remarks. And in prejudice and racism’s annals, being dubbed lazy, not an authentic American, and sneaky are hardly the worst things that prejudiced people have widely said and believed. Imagine hearing more damaging accusations, such as blacks are criminals, or Hispanics are drug dealers, or Asians unfairly make it impossible for others to advance educationally and professionally. Would you say that people who characterize entire groups in these ways are prejudiced, bigoted, or racist?

Why then do many people write off analogous or even more damaging views about Jews as not so consequential or indicative? The world is awash in the most damning views about and hostility toward Jews, embedded in widespread, elaborate prejudicial and hate-filled narratives and discourses, and yet so many people deny, often vehemently, that there is much antisemitism! Some people are so used to prejudice against Jews that the views barely register. Others find the truth too disturbing to acknowledge. Still others think there is validity to such views about Jews, so they do not want to admit the comments’ real antisemitic nature. And others, usually the most vehement


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