Tuesday, July 25, 2006

In Every Generation...

Something struck me about the statement by Sheldon Drobney in the previous post. It points, I think, to a generational issue which may be significant regarding leftist antisemitism. It is this:
Most of the anti-Semitism comes from racism and most of the racism I have experienced has come from the far right, not the left.
The first statement betrays only Drobney's total ignorance of the history and development of antisemitism. The second, however, may or may not be actually true (liberals have a remarkable capacity to ignore political evil in their own camp) but it is very telling. Because I, a generation or more younger than Drobney, have had the exact opposite experience. All the racism I have experienced has come from the far left. And not only the far left. A liberal preacher at Boston University, a Unitarian church member, an anti-war activist, a professor of political science, all liberals or leftists, all made unmistakably antisemitic statements to me personally. What I have witnessed vicariously, through the media and my own studies, is equally absolute. Every single one of the public figures and movements I have witnessed making antisemitic statements are from the left. The only right wing antisemitism I have encountered has been from brain-impaired skinheads and the occasional statement by David Duke. I did not and do not consider these an active threat to my existence. Liberal and leftist antisemitism, on the other hand, howls at us from organizations and institutions which are prominent, effective, well-financed and influential. The rabbis said that in every generation our enemies rise again to attempt our destruction. They were right. But they should also have mentioned that quite often they wear new and very different masks.