There are many players on the Left who have fanned the flames
It’s been many years since anti-Semitic motifs — like cartoons showing money-obsessed Jews lusting after power — have been part of mainstream culture here in North America. Yet in other parts of the world, such offensive notions are flourishing.
Extreme Judeophobia is widespread in the Middle East, where many Arabs imbibe it at home, school and mosque. All educated people know that. But many readers might be shocked at how acceptable openly expressed Jew-hatred has become among some people in the “civilized” countries of Britain, Europe and Scandinavia.
Since 9/11, many reliable polls have revealed rampant credulity in these nations around anti-Semitic myths, fraudulent reports and conspiracy theories. Often the culprits disseminating them are intellectuals and the media. According to the Simon Weisenthal Center, six out of 10 of the world’s most virulent anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli slurs are of European origin.
Anti-Semitism thrives in the far left and the far right. But the latter has no credibility with ordinary citizens. The far Left, however, finds respectable conduits for its anti-Semitism, sometimes thinly veiled as anti-Zionism, through academia, the media, NGOs, some Christian organizations such as the World Council of Churches, trade unions, “peace” activism, far-left Jewish academics and the UN. Some political centrists trustingly sip their toxic Kool-Aid, its poison dissolved in sugary compassion for Israel’s enemies, who are always, for the far left, the victims.
Evidence for these assertions can be found in the newly published book “Demonizing Israel and the Jews,” a useful compendium of interviews with scholars, politicians, journalists and artists from a wide variety of countries and professional domains, edited by the Israeli writer Manfred Gerstenfeld. Gerstenfeld, an expert on anti-Semitism attached to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, focuses half of his interviews on the demonization of Israel, and half on the demonization of Jews. Highlight contributors to his volume include Canada’s Irwin Cotler on Iran; U.S. lieutenant colonel and psychiatrist Daphne Burdman on the indoctrination of hatred and incitement to violence in Palestinian children; Harvard Medical School psychiatrist Kenneth Levin on the “psychology of Jews who embrace their enemy”; and Norwegian academic Hanne Nabintu Herland, who has declared that Norway is “the most anti-Semitic country in the West.”