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May 12, 2023 9:11 am

‘No Form of Hatred is So Apparent and Yet So Denied’: New Book Analyzes Seven ‘Deadly Myths’ Fueling Antisemitism Worldwide


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Berlin, Germany in 1937. Photo: Thomas Neumann/Pixabay.

A book published on Tuesday traces the origins of antisemitism to present day and examines the most dangerous conspiracy theories and falsehoods used to inspire antisemitic attacks around the world.

The 7 Deadly Myths: Antisemitism from the Time of Christ to Kanye West is written by Alex Ryvchin, co-chief executive officer of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. The title of each chapter corresponds with a different untruth about Jews that is addressed in the book: blood libels, christ-killers, global domination, superiority for being the “chosen people,” obsession with money, dual loyalties and people turning from being the oppressed to oppressors. Each “deadly myth” is examined in terms of their origination and evolution, who started them and how they spread over time.

The book also details events — historic and present day — related to the development of antisemitism and how it continues to flourish, inspiring pop stars, athletes and others today. Ryvchin aims to show how some variation of these myths are behind every antisemitic attack that has taken place in history and the the book includes examples of such incidents, including the 2006 murder of Ilam Halimi in Paris, the rant against Jews last year done by rapper Ye (also know as Kanye West) and basketball player Kyrie Irving’s promotion of an antisemitic film.

“I wanted to show that Kanye West’s campaign against the Jews was not the product of mental breakdown or the ranting of a wealthy eccentric,” Ryvchin told The Algemeiner. “He was invoking every antisemitic conspiracy theory — Jewish money, Jewish power, Jewish filth and pornography [and] Jewish enslavement of Blacks.  Only by tracing these theories to their origins, showing how they work and how they manifest today can antisemitism lose its power and its hold on society.”

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Ryvchin said confronting and educating the world about antisemitism was a personal mission of his.

Born in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1987, his family fled the former Soviet Union when he was a child. Antisemitism, he said, was always a “looming dread” for his parents and grandparents, who had “a tendency to experience joy only while waiting for the next disaster; fear that seemed to always lurk in the eyes.”

Ryvchin said that even in his new home in a middle-class neighborhood in Sydney, Austrlia, antisemitism remained persistent in his life.

Antisemitism, Ryvchin emphasized, is different from other forms of hatred because it is constantly “dismissed, erased, downplayed.”

“For all the ruin and destruction it has brought to the world, for all the pain it continues to bring to our communities, for all the
statistics and intelligence reports clearly showing how threatened the Jews remain,” he said. “No form of hatred is so apparent and yet so denied. This occurs even in today’s climate of hypersensitivity to racism and discrimination. But the Jews are seen as too white, too successful, too organized, too assertive and too rich. These are qualities associated with perpetrators not victims. This denial of antisemitism is perhaps the ultimate insult and the greatest challenge to overcome.”

Ryvchin added that combatting antisemitism must begin with education and then move towards engagement with the non-Jewish world and strong enforcement of policies against Jew-hatred.

“The more Jews engage with non-Jews, particularly from a young age, the real Jew, diverse, complex, humane as he and she is, can dislodge the mythical Jew,” he said.

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