Saturday, February 10, 2007

There's No Problem with Antisemitism in the United States

Nobel Peace laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel told Haaretz on Thursday he escaped a kidnap attempt in a San Francisco hotel last week.Wiesel, 78, whose novels deal with his experience as a Holocaust survivor, said he was grabbed by a stranger in an elevator at the hotel he was staying at for a peace conference and ordered to follow at the risk of violence...

A driver's license in the name of Harry Hunt, a member of a Holocaust denial group, was found in a car parked near the hotel. Hunt has not been located since the event.

A posting on a virulent anti-Semitic Web site Tuesday by a person identifying himself as Eric Hunt claimed responsibility. "I had planned to bring Wiesel to my hotel room, where he would truthfully answer my questions regarding the fact that his non-fiction Holocaust memoir, 'Night,' is almost entirely fictitious," Hunt wrote on the site. The poster also said "I had been trailing Wiesel for weeks and had hoped to get Wiesel into my custody, with a cornered Wiesel finally forced to state the truth on videotape."
I really don't know what to say about this. Its scary and psychotic and not at all surprising. I do remember a time when there didn't have to be security guards in front of synagogues in the town where my parents live. I think American Jews have, in some ways, consented to a slow deterioration in their situation. I have my own ideas about why this is, one of them being that the Jews in America have totally lost their capacity for communal violence, whereas other ethnic groups have managed to maintain it and therefore retain some deterrance capacity against this sort of thing. I realize that this isn't a pleasent thing to hear, but one ought to be realistic when people are out there trying to kill you. Whatever the reason may be, it worries me greatly.