“As long as there have been Jews,” blogger Elder of Ziyon observes in his new book, “there has been hatred toward Jews.” His new book, “Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism,” chronicles the many ways the virus of antisemitism has mutated.
Elder’s blog has been widely acclaimed – and for good reason. In addition to his scoops, his work is always well-researched, well-researched, and well-written. His book, thankfully, is no different.
Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest, both academic and popular, in the subject of anti-Semitism. And not without reason – anti-Semitism has skyrocketed in the West, largely disguised as anti-Zionism, a more socially acceptable form of hatred.
Yet, as Elder points out, there is no difference between the two.
“People don’t hate Israel and Zionism because of the Zionist philosophy or the actions of the Israeli government,” he observes. On the contrary, they “hate Israel because it is Jewish”. This may seem obvious to some, but sadly, it is far from obvious to our congressional representatives in the “Squad” or their apologists in the press, among others.
As George Orwell once observed, “To see what is in front of one’s nose requires a constant struggle.” And in this, Elder’s new book offers an important contribution.
The writing is clear and concise, and the arguments are compelling. Almost every chapter contains a quotable line or thought. And there is admirable candor in the points he makes.
The book is also refreshingly honest. Chapters such as “Modern, Wise Anti-Semitism Disguised as Jewish Studies” and “Arab Anti-Zionism Has Always Been and Remains Anti-Semitism” are frank and instructive.
One of the main factors contributing to the rise of anti-Semitism has been its politicization. Elder, however, does not play politics, acknowledging that such games undermine the ability to fight anti-Semitism. There have been, he points out, “many flavors of anti-Semitism throughout history.” But how they are confronted – or, more often, not confronted – is a good barometer of a society’s health and future. And, as this new book tragically shows, that future looks rather bleak.
The author describes anti-Semitism on campus, much of which uses “anti-Zionist goals as cover,” he notes. The proliferation of anti-Semitism in universities – even in primary and secondary education – is part of the reason why the Committee for Accurate Reporting and Analysis in the Middle East (CAMERA) recently launched the Institute of Education, which seeks to combat anti-Semitism in education.
As he does throughout the book, Elder helpfully hypothesizes to underscore the absurdity and injustice of anti-Semitism. For example, he specifies:
If pro-Tibetan activists were followed, harassed and sworn at regularly during their day on campus, and anti-Tibetan graffiti was scrawled over the areas where they congregate, I don’t think anyone would dispute that they are victims of hatred. However, only one group is subject to hatred for their political beliefs, and those are the people who openly support the State of Israel.
Indeed, Elder displays a knack for confronting another of the telltale accompaniments of anti-Semitism: hypocrisy. “Justice,” he observes sadly, “apparently does not require the dismantling of any other state. »
“Protocols” also offers other advantages. The book functions as a reference on the history of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks the destruction of the Jewish state and stigma. Useful information is provided about loyal BDS supporters and activists, making the reader not only a more informed defender of Israel, but also a more informed opponent of anti-Semitism.
Elder is also ruthless towards those he sees as misleading the public or, at best, missing out on the skyrocketing trend of anti-Semitism. Journalists, celebrities and academics, among others, are being singled out – as they should be.
“Rhetorical attacks on Zionist Jews…can and do lead to murderous attacks on Jews around the world. Accordingly, “they must also be eliminated as unacceptable in any society”, writes Elder. But “for that to happen, modern anti-Semitism must be exposed for what it is – hate.” The sharp delivery and scathing truth of “Protocols” is, like the blogger himself, an important tool in this fight.
The author is senior research analyst for CAMERA, the 65,000-member Boston-based Committee for Accurate Reporting and Analysis in the Middle East.