Wednesday, July 18th | 6 Av 5778

January 6, 2012 9:47 am

Why Anti-Semitism Is Moving Toward the Mainstream

avatar by Alan Dershowitz

Email a copy of "Why Anti-Semitism Is Moving Toward the Mainstream" to a friend

Anti Semitism. Photo: Luigi Novi

For the first time since the end of World War II, classic anti-Semitic tropes—”the Jews” control the world and are to blame for everything that goes wrong, including the financial crisis;  “The Jews killed Christian children in order to use the blood to bake Matzo; the Holocaust never happened—are becoming acceptable and legitimate subjects for academic and political discussion.  To understand why these absurd and reprehensible views, once reserved for the racist fringes of academia and politics, are now moving closer to the mainstream, consider the attitudes of two men, one an academic, the other a politician, toward those who express or endorse such bigotry.  The academic is Professor Brian Leiter.  The politician is Ron Paul.

You’ve probably never heard of Leiter.  He’s a relatively obscure professor of jurisprudence, who is trying to elevate his profile by publishing a gossipy blog about law school professors.  He is a colleague of John Mearsheimer, a prominent and world famous professor at the University of Chicago.

Several months ago Mearsheimer enthusiastically endorsed a book, really a pamphlet, that included all the classic anti-Semitic tropes.  It was entitled “The Wandering Who” and written by Gilad Atzmon, a British version of David Duke, who plays the saxophone and has no academic connections.  Atzmon writes that we must take “very seriously” the claim that “the Jewish people are trying to control the world.”  He calls the recent credit crunch “the Zio punch.”  He says “the Holocaust narrative” doesn’t make “historical sense” and expresses doubt that Auschwitz was a death camp.  He invites students to accept the “accusations of Jews making Matzo out of young Goyim’s blood.”

Books and pamphlets of this sort are written every day by obscure anti-Semites and published by disreputable presses that specialize in this kind of garbage.  No one ever takes notice, except for neo-Nazis around the world who welcome any additions to the literature of hate.

What is remarkable about the publication of this hateful piece of anti-Semitic trash, is that it was enthusiastically endorsed by two prominent American professors, John Mearsheimer and Richard Falk, who urged readers, including students, to read, “reflect upon” and “discuss widely” the themes of Atzmon’s book.  Never before has any such book received the imprimatur of such established academics.

I was not shocked by these endorsements, because I knew that both of these academics had previously crossed “red lines,” separating legitimate criticism of Israel from subtle anti-Semitism.  Mearsheimer has accused American Jews of dual loyalty, and Falk has repeatedly compared Israel to Nazi Germany.  Both were so enthusiastic about Atzmon’s anti-Zionism—he has written that Israel is “worse“ than the Nazis—that they were prepared to give him a pass on his classic “blood libel” anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.  No great surprise there.

What was surprising—indeed shocking—was the fact that Mearsheimer’s relatively apolitical colleague, Brian Leiter, rushed to Mearsheimer’s defense.  Without bothering even to read Atzmon’s book, Leiter pronounced that Atzmon’s “positions [do not mark him] as an anti-Semite [but rather as] cosmopolitan.”  Leiter also certified that Atzmon “does not deny the Holocaust or the gas chambers.”  Had Leiter read the book, he could not have made either statement.

Atzmon himself credits “a man who…was an anti-Semite” for “many of [his] insights” and calls himself a “self-hating Jew” who has contempt for “the Jew in me.”  If that’s not an admission of anti-Semitism, rather than “cosmopolitanism,” I don’t know what is.  As far as the Holocaust is concerned, Atzmon asserts that it is not “an historical narrative.”  And as to the gas chambers, he doubts that the “Nazis ran a death factory in Auschwitz-Berkanau.”

Leiter went so far as to condemn those who dared to criticize Mearsheimer for endorsing Atzmon’s book, calling their criticism “hysterical” and not “advance[ing] honest intellectual discourse.”  And he defended Mearsheimer’s endorsement as “straight forward.”

The Brian Leiters of the world are an important part of the reason why anti-Semitic tropes are creeping back to legitimacy in academia.  His knee-jerk defense of an admitted Jew hater—who, according to Leiter is not a despicable anti-Semite but an acceptable “cosmopolitan”—contributes to the legitimization of anti-Semitism.

The same can be said of Ron Paul, who everyone has heard of.  Paul has, according to The New York Times, refused to “disavow” the “support” of “white supremacists, survivalists and anti-Zionists who have rallied behind his candidacy.”  (These “anti-Zionists” believe that “Zionists”—Jews—control the world, were responsible for the bombing of the Oklahoma federal building, and caused the economic downturn, because “most of the leaders involved in the federal and international banking system are Jews.”) He allowed his “Ron Paul survival report” to espouse David Duke type racism and anti-Semitism for years during the 1990s, claiming he was unaware that they were being promoted under his name.  Edward H. Crane, the founder of the libertarian CATO Institute, has said, “I wish Ron would condemn those fringe things that float around” his campaign, but he refuses to reject the support of these anti-Semites who form a significant part of his base.  The New York Times has criticized Paul for his failure to “convincingly repudiate racist remarks that were published under his name for years—or the enthusiastic support he is getting from racist groups,” including those that espouse “anti-Semitism and far right paranoia.”

Even now, Paul continues to accept contributions from Holocaust deniers, from those who blame the Jews for everything and from other bigots, thus lending some degree of legitimacy to their hateful views.

It has been said that “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”  Leiter and Paul may or may not be good men, but they are guilty of more than merely doing nothing.  They are, by their actions, helping to legitimate the oldest of bigotries.  Shame on them!

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter Email This Article

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner
  • Johnny Doogle

    You’re really scared this house of cards is going to fall down, aren’t you?

  • Joseph Korf

    Dr Dershowitz:

    Without beating around the bush I blame you and those like you for much of the anti-semitism currently making its ugly comeback. What I would’ve thought impossible seems to be possible and even probable. While you now write articles lambasting the academic and political Jew-haters it may however be too late. And that’s the shame.

    Your tunnel vision and blind loyalty to the Democrat party and its liberal wing has caused you to ignore their poisonous mantras and dangerous elements as it pertains to Israel and Jews in America today. The Democrat party you, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, John Kerry, the Congressional Black Caucus all inhabit, and on top of it all our dear POTUS, have been at the forefront of ushering in this new age of velvet and disguised hate. Now you come and cry crock tears.

    There’s so much more to say the problem is you never listen and you still won’t. You’re too high and mighty. So I won’t waste my time.

    However, dear brother, you better start praying for Mashiach because it’s our only way out of this slime pit that makes up Europe and Democrat/Progressive America. You better hope that the harm you and your many pals on the left have wrought this last 50 years will be wiped away in the nick of time. Or else you’ll end up no different than all your Jewish brothers.

    I think it’s time to pray! And time to commit to acts of kindness! Let’s help our brothers and sisters. What do you think?

    Mashiach NOW!

  • doru

    ??????moderation ??????

  • Alex

    Almost every paragraph either contains a smear against the person who would DARE speak out against Jewish control or a descriptive that (according to Jews) are supposed to make our collective jaws drop in indoctrinated outrage.

    Prof. Dersh supposes the world QUAKES in FEAR at even the prospect of being labeled the manufactured term: “anti-Semite.”

    You suppose wrong, sir.

    Did you really think people would notice that anything in the world can be discussed openly EXCEPT “The Holocaust®” and not put two and two together? Did you really think you could stifle ALL of the videos on YouTube that show “survivors” getting their stories wrong even to the point of being caught in bold-faced LIES?

    Mein Kampf has recently begun to be recirculated in areas that for DECADES it was unlawful to do so. (Of course, it’s been annotated by Jewish editors but that helps drive home the point!)

    The Jews have NO reason to expect to be treated as “The World’s Most Persecuted Minority” for much longer. The lies are falling apart, the character assassinations are making otherwise sympathetic eyes glaze over, and the truth is coming out.

    I hope you live to see all of this unfold.

  • It’s not disreputable presses that publish this kind of garbage-it’s AMAZON. They sell over 20 pages of Nazi memorabilia, as well as Mein Kampf.

  • Yohon Subation

    Meanwhile a 102 years ago: Where is the law that United States “actually passed in 1913” requiring Americans to pay income taxes? Point to the page where it’s at (date & time) in the US law book statutes or IRS code showing that the 16th amendment (the income tax law) was actually “legally ratified by ALL the REQUIRED states.” Research former IRS criminal investigator (turned IRS whistle blower) Joe Banister, HE FOUND NO LAW HAS EVER EXISTED!!!

    All of your/our “income” taxes goes straight over to Europe into banksters pockets. Schools, roads, military, Medicare and other regular services here are paid for out of local and corporate taxes NOT income taxes… CHASE THE EVIL…

  • anthony Lefco

    The latest incarnation of the Jews as controllers of the United States is the hatred and envy of the !%. This is quickly being conflated with the traditional Jew Hatred including the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Some of this is from “normal” anti-Semites. Some Left Wing radicals are involved but most importantly this is a propaganda boon for Radical Islam and its conjoined BDS fronts.

  • Semites are anti-white.

    • doru

      Replaces with muslims… better !

  • duPont

    I see a level of ignorance throughout the world that was not as obvious some 50-70 years ago. For people to still believe that Jews use the blood of Christian children for matzoh is laughable! Their fantasies are juvenile and yet continue unabated. The Jew has been the perennial scapegoat. Wherever they go, they usually demonstrate some level of success, however, it has been demonstrated repeatedly that Jews do not own the newspapers, banks, etc., etc. They are not the leaders of countries. The number of Jewish millionaires is dwarfed by those who are non-Jews. Still, the fantasies persist. By and large, Jews are better educated, more successful and more charitable than average because they work at it and it is part of their culture. The non-Jewish world just has to get over it. Wake up, open your eyes. Matzoh is not red, not even pink- buy a box and see for yourself. How stupid do you have to be to believe something like that- a fairy tale that was thought up in the dark ages! Don’t like a Jew? Hate him as an individual, not because of his religion. Hate a Christian or Muslim? Don’t hate his religion. Holocaust deniers? They are an uneducated, stupid, ignorant lot who won’t read history or listen to survivors or those who liberated the concentration, extermination and death camps. If only all these Jew haters would just grow up and get beyond the high school level of intelligence!

    • daphne

      thanks for pointing things as they are. little education would not hurt .

    • ellen

      I don’t see that happening any time soon, our government is also antisemitic. they have brought into our once great country Killers posing as refugees who are wanting to kill all jews and all christians. They have allowed an open door policy when it comes to out illegal citizens that they now want to give amnesty.
      they have given our money to antisemitic so they can get nuclear
      materials to bomb us and Israel with. they have allowed the colleges to do what they wanted to do with their chanting jew hating signs. This is more than education It is more like a war on jews


    South Koreans are becoming mad due to facing default,
    Pd.Park Geun-hye increases Arab and Korean moslem soldiers around Seoul. Koreans with Arabic mask painted are demonstrating for anti Israel.
    In Japan here are 600,000-2mil Korean asylum families, they belong to S.Korea who mostly are criminal gangs, who tore and broke Anne Frank books at many shops suddenly to spread forged article to say Japan is criminal.
    Asylum Korean sent 2 men from Tokyo to IS for their kidnap fraud to get Yen200million from Japan, Japan refused then they uploaded fake photoshopped behead images.
    Please check always the antisemitic movement in South Korea linked with Korean American linked with Korean Japanese.

  • Maybe we can counter anti-Semitism [sometimes] by defending Israel from unfair media bias and refuting inaccurate Israel-bashing reporting.

    A list of web sites that help do that:

    • There is also the
      We went to a Stand With Us event last night and were very impressed with David Suissa, the publisher of the journal.

  • The Evil genie is out of the Bottle. It all began in 1967 when the Israeli Forces reclaimed all of Jerusalem but in a moment of weakness and misguided secular-Jewish largesse decided to allow the Muslim’s Al Aksa Mosque to remain undisturbed on Temple Mount. Temple Mount is a Spiritual Vortex, given to the Jewish Nation to safeguard by the Holy ONE, the Omnipotent Force of all Forces in the Universe, with strict instructions as to what is allowed and forbidden on this most Awesome and powerful Spiritual Powerplant on planet earth. Since 1967 the cancer of Radical Islam has metastasized world-wide, threatening every civilization with physical and spiritual destruction. The 9-11 attacks, Islamic unrest and Sharia in Europe, everywhere Islam has a presence, the dread and unspeakable menace of two nuclear armed Islamic States, Pakistan and soon Iran just to name a very few nightmares. Is this a coincidence? Is it a coincidence that all three major religions hold Jerusalem as sacred ground to be fought and died for? A coincidence that Jerusalem is never mentioned in Islam’s holiest book, Koran? The truth is that nothing can stop this Cancer from spreading. Not Armed forces, Drone assassinations, Civil laws or security checkpoints. These are nothing but band-aids on soon-to-be terminal cancer. Unless…The Jewish Nation will do what should have been done in 1967. Remove the Al Aksa from Temple Mount. Restore the balance to the Spiritual Vortex as was intended by the Holy ONE. There Is No Other Way. Yes, it will be painful. The region and world will bleed with Muslim fury and world-violence. For a while. And then, the cancer will die as the Genie of Spiritual imbalance is returned to the Bottle. There Is No Other Way. And Time Is Running Out.

    • charlie johnson

      I guess every ethnic group has been under attack by those who have favor with the media.The anti hillbilly crowd moved on because they had no reaction to contend with. The Earthling finds amusement in placing certain ethnic groups on a pedestal and throwing rotten tomatoes at them. Humans were the only mistake the great creator admitted to making. Don’t expect much out of the Earthlings.I deal with my own kind here daily. There are some who like to play a game. “I am a roaring lion. You are just an Earthworm.” That goes on awhile until the corporate CEO decides to cut cost and dump a few of his useless eaters.

    • Joe Kelsall

      I admire your optimism.

  • Dr. Dershowitz…You would have far more credibility on the subject of anti-Semitism if not for the fact that you supported Obama in ’08 and then against all logic again in ’12. Your continued support of the Left in spite of its blatant and obvious disdain and opposition to the Jewish State is remarkable. Like the other 70% of American Jewish voters who continue siding with the Left I believe that you, Sir, see yourself as a liberal first and foremost by choice , a Jew secondly and only by chance. You claim to be a great friend of the Jewish State and yet stand beside those who are Israel’s harshest critics and advocates for boycott, sanctions, and divestment against the one small corner of earth the Jewish People have. How confused and conflicted liberals like you must be, standing side by side with the likes of Ayers, Chomsky, ,Soros, the J-Streeters, and the Norman Finklesteins of America ! You Jewish Liberals need to make up your minds whether you support Israel or its incideous detractors, most of whom are undoubtedly found on the Left. Events show us that time may be running out for the Jewish State. Choose a side, Alan. One side. You cannot be on both.

    • Alison Isadora Frutkin

      ditto. just saw the movie, AMERICA. a must see. a must see. everyone in college is a liberal, or like I was, G-d forbid, a leftist. But then we get jobs and families and do real life and grow up. Chomsky and friends are a travesty to humanity. Dershowitz plays both sides of the fence.

      I urge everyone to see the movie. The Reality Show adaptation to Orwell’s 1984.