Religion & Beliefs
Notes on the “New Anti-Semitism”
There is little doubt that antisemitism in Britain, continental Europe and the USA, is on the increase, with attacks on Jews, synagogues, Jewish schools and the like on the rise (see, for example, the Report of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry Into … Read More
There is little doubt that antisemitism in Britain, continental Europe and the USA, is on the increase, with attacks on Jews, synagogues, Jewish schools and the like on the rise (see, for example, the Report of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry Into Antisemitism in 2006). However, racial antisemitism, of the kind prevalent in Europe from the nineteenth century until the Holocaust, is still limited to fringe groups, mainly on the far right. This has led some to postulate a ‘new antisemitism,’ a hypothesis that others have denied and, in some cases, decried as an attempt to demonise legitimate criticism of the State of Israel. Part of the problem is that, as I suggested in a previous post, Jewish identity is multi-faceted, and any kind of anti-Jewish prejudice may concentrate on a single aspect of it. However, I would like to make some general points that help identify the new antisemitism, or rather new antisemitisms.
The first of these, not often identified as antisemitism, is a kind of replacement theology among Christians, Muslims and militant atheists. Replacement theology strictly defined, is the belief that one religion has replaced all others. In the past, this was directed at Judaism by Christianity and Islam; increasingly, militant atheism is adopting the same approach (not literally a theology, of course, but the effect is the same). However, uncomfortable though this can be, it is not in itself antisemitic. One of two factors can turn it into antisemitism:
1) Calls to convert or die (increasingly present from fundamentalist Islam);
2) Lying about Judaism to discredit it. These can include claims that Judaism encourages Jews to put their interests ahead of the good of society as a whole; claims that Judaism allows or even requires Jews to harm non-Jews, to the point of ritual murder (blood libels); claims that Jews lie about Jewish law to cover these things up. As I mentioned in a previous post, this type of argument is increasingly appearing from militant atheists).
The second type of antisemitism is the kind more often identified as ‘the new antisemitism.’ It is harder to define precisely, perhaps because being related to Jewish national identity, it is more closely related to political issues, and hence its definition can become something of a weapon. Nevertheless, it is increasingly clear that it does exist and needs defining. However, this is not intended as a definition (a task that is beyond me), but as a checklist of attitudes, a list of symptoms rather than a diagnosis of the disease. While displaying some of these attitudes does not necessarily make a person an antisemite, the more of them a person exhibits, the more likely it is that he or she is antisemitic, even if that person has no racial or religious prejudices against Jews:
1) Denying Jewish national/ethnic identity. It is worth stressing that British law considers Jews to be an ethnic group as well as a religious one, so Jews are covered by race hatred laws. Nevertheless, a trend has developed over the last couple of years whereby Trade and Student Unions pass resolutions affirming that Jewish identity is only religious. As a result, it is declared that anti-Israel sentiment can never be antisemitic, even if expressed in the crudest terms; and that university Jewish Societies have no right to challenge anti-Zionist motions even in debate – a serious curtailment of free speech, and one carried out quite deliberately by those wishing to present anti-Zionist views without debate.
2) Denying the Jewish right to national self-determination. Strictly speaking, this would only be suspect if only the Jewish people were singled out for such treatment. However, since the failure of Marxism, few people in the west openly support the abolition of all nation states. While the Jews are not the only group claiming a right to national self-determination that is not unanimously accepted, it is rare indeed to hear Basque, Kurdish, Chechen or even Palestinian national aspirations decried in violent terms (for example, being dubbed inherently racist ideologies) in countries not directly affected by their existence.
3) Denying that the land of Israel is the only legitimate place for Jewish self-determination. This involves one of two subsequent claims:
(i) Denying the existence of Jewish states in Israel in the past. There is abundant archaeological and historical evidence (not just the Bible) for the existence of Jewish states in Israel in the past, and no evidence against it, but people still make this claim. The claim that most Ashkenazi Jews are descended from the Khazars of Eastern Europe is simply absurd (and irrelevant: most Israelis are Sephardi and Mizrachi Jews of Spanish, North African and Middle Eastern descent, even if political Zionism did originate among Ashkenazim).
(ii) Denying the continuous Jewish presence in Israel for thousands of years. For example, The Guardian website’s brief history of the Israeli-Palestinian problem begins with the creation of the Ottoman Empire and gives the historically inaccurate impression that there were no Jews in the region before the 1880s, and that most of the Jewish immigration to Israel was a result of the Holocaust.
(4) Stating that Israel exists on sufferance. This tends to involve stating that the world could withdraw Israel’s ‘right to exist’ if it does not ‘behave itself’. Since World War II, no state in the world has ever lost its right to exist in this way. Even Germany’s post-war dismemberment was reversed with the end of the Cold War. If the Holocaust did not make Germany lose its right to exist, and if Japan’s wartime atrocities did not cause it to forfeit its right to exist, it is difficult to imagine what any state could do to lose its right to exist. Many states are currently in violation of international law without this threat being levelled against them. It is difficult to see why Israel deserves special treatment (for the argument that the Holocaust should have ‘taught the Jews a lesson’ see (10) Other inappropriate rhetoric below).
(5) Telling lies or misleading half-truths about the State of Israel. Popular lies include portraying it as undemocratic; theocratic; harbouring expansionist, imperialist ambitions; and denying civil rights to non-Jews. Being completely untrue, these attitudes have to be ‘proved’ with falsified evidence or left as mere assertion. In Arab propaganda, it is common to claim that in the Knesset, there is a map showing a future ‘Greater Israel’ reaching from the Nile to the Euphrates. Needless to say, no such map exists, nor is there any such plan or desire for such an empire, but the myth will not die.
Half-truths can be spread through photos and news footage with inadequate or misleading commentary to produce an emotional response that would likely not be produced if the images were placed in context; the stationing of combatants among civilians to increase the chances of photogenic civilian casualties; threatening journalists who try to photograph such illegal use of civilians with violence (during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Hezbollah made it quite clear to journalists that it was "not safe" to photograph their emplacements in civilian areas).
Some things can straddle the divide between half-truth and outright lies, usually by using the fog of war to ‘enhance’ the story with faked photos or footage, or by making headline-grabbing claims of war crimes in the knowledge that such claims can make the front-page, while articles disproving them, months later, will be a few small paragraphs inside the newspaper (or equivalent in the broadcast media), by which time most people will have lost interest and will assume the original reports to have had at least an element of truth.
A good example of the way government bodies, supranational agencies and the press can collude in such lies and half-truths is the massacre that wasn’t. In spring 2002, after a series of suicide bombings that killed more than one hundred people, the Israeli army launched a series of incursions into the West Bank in an attempt to destroy the terrorist network there. This prompted allegations of war crimes, even ethnic cleansing. In particular, operations in Jenin were alleged by the PA to have led to 500 deaths, while the British press reported war crimes, even a "massacre" (see here for a subsequent evaluation in The Guardian of the way the British broadsheets reported the story compared with Israeli and American newspapers). However, the UN report into the matter found the Palestinian death toll in Jenin to have been around 52 (compared with 23 Israeli soldiers), of whom at least half were combatants (given that Palestinian combatants do not wear uniforms, the exact number of combatants will never be known; neither will it be known how many died in the crossfire as a result of the terrorists deliberately hiding among civilians).
Nevertheless, the annexes to the UN report contain wild, unsubstantiated allegations that "it is probable that a massacre and a crime against humanity might [emphasis added] have been committed in the Jenin refugee camp – a probability that was enhanced by the statements made at some point[emphasis added] by the occupying forces about hundreds of Palestinians being killed in the camp." (PA report on events) and that "On 10 April, the Israeli army attacked the camp and began a systematic operation to destroy houses, killing hundreds of young people. Eyewitness accounts have confirmed that the Israeli army carried out summary executions of captured Palestinians" (information from the Jordanian Representative to the UN – information which shows its neutrality by referring to alleged casualties as "martyrs"). Although the body of the report does not support these assertions, they are nevertheless now on the UN record, and available to be quoted as ‘evidence’ against Israel (incidentally, The Guardian website still alleges "unconfirmed reports" of Israelis removing bodies for mass burial; the findings of the UN report are not mentioned, nor are the absence of such mass graves).
It is also noteworthy that in 1991 the Syrian Ambassador to the UN stated in a session of the UN Commission on Human Rights that Jews kill Christian children and use their blood to make matzot. It was months before this was struck from the record, and then only after intense US pressure. In 1997, the Palestinian Representative told the Commission on Human Rights that the Israeli government had had 300 Palestinian children injected with HIV. Needless to say, this allegation is totally unfounded, but no action has been taken to remove it from the record, despite Israeli and US protests. Note also the lack of protest from the rest of the free world. Such propaganda seems crude, but harmless, but it has a slow, cumulative, almost unconscious effect on public opinion, like drops of water slowly eroding a stone.
(6) Abusing the public’s lack of knowledge. I have taken the time to read the Geneva Conventions (here, here, here and here), the Balfour Declaration , the Hamas Covenant , the PLO Charter and the Hezbollah Programme . Most people will not. They therefore accept what is said by ‘trustworthy’ people: academics, broadcasters, journalists, politicians. Obviously few people are so trusting as to believe everything these people say, but when enough of these people repeat the same thing enough times, it begins to have an effect on even the most cynical person. The kind of statements I mean fit many of the categories I am listing here, for example, using terms like "war crimes" when these did not occur or denying the ancient Jewish presence in the region. Also relevant are statements that can only be proven false with access to documentary evidence, for example claims that Hamas are willing to negotiate if only the Israelis would let them, while in fact the Hamas Covenant calls, not just for the destruction of Israel, but for the death of all Jews worldwide. Similarly, it is often stated that Israel is in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 242 , which, it is alleged, calls for an immediate withdrawal from territory occupied in the Six Day War. Actually, the resolution merely calls the Secretary-General to send a Special Representative to the region to promote a peace settlement, and to report back to the Security Council on progress. True, it asserts that a just and lasting peace will be based on an Israeli withdrawal (although it does not say total withdrawal – a deliberate ambiguity included to allow the drawing-up of defensible borders for all parties), but it states that such a peace will also be based on recognition and guarantees of the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of every state in the region (meaning Israel, as no one disputed the Arab states’ sovereignty).
(7) Moral flexibility. In recent years, Israel has been criticised for causing civilian casualties, for stopping and searching ambulances at checkpoints and for using cluster bombs. The Geneva Conventions explicitly state that "all feasible precautions in the choice of means and methods of attack with a view to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects" must be taken, but that attacks likely to harm civilians (e.g. those being used as human shields) are only forbidden if civilian casualties are likely to be "excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated". Likewise, ambulances can be stopped and searched by the army if there are grounds to suspect they are being used for military purposes (they were used to move arms during the second Intifada, and suicide bombers have used them to gain entry to Israel ). Cluster bombs are also legal. Now, it may be argued that these things are immoral and should be made illegal (I would certainly support a campaign against cluster bombs), but to criticise Israel for acting within the letter of international law is unfair; to criticise Israel alone for doing so is doubly unfair. Occasionally, this argument is countered with outright antisemitic claims such as "you Jews think you’re better than the rest of us; why don’t you act like it?"
On the other hand, those who want to hold Israel to the strictest standards of morality, far beyond the letter of international law, frequently excuse clear breaches of law and morality when committed by the enemies of Israel. The antisemitism of Hamas and Hizbollah is ignored or ‘justified’ by supposed Israeli actions. Attacks on civilians (Israeli, Lebanese or Palestinian), hostage-taking, the use of human shields, disguising combatants as civilians, hiding military installations in civilian areas and using ambulances for military purposes (all war crimes under the Geneva Convention) can all become permissible when performed by Fatah, Hamas or Hizbollah.
(8) Fair-weather humanitarianism. Many critics of Israel claim to be motivated not by anti-Israeli feeling, but by humanitarianism or love of the Palestinian people. Strangely, many of these ‘humanitarians’ are indifferent to the Darfur genocide, the oppression of the Burmese people or the Chinese invasion of Tibet. Likewise, these friends of the Palestinians uttered no protest when the Lebanese were shelling the Palestinian refugee camps in 2007, or when civilians were being killed in the crossfire of the Fatah-Hamas civil war. Nor did they protest against the illegal brutality of that conflict (people being thrown to their deaths from tall buildings etc.).
(9) Traditional antisemitic rhetoric. Traditional antisemitic rhetoric has made a disturbing return recently, sometimes with ‘Jew’ simply replaced with ‘Zionist’ (the Parliamentary Inquiry Into Antisemitism noted that this has been happening in particular among both the far right and Islamic fundamentalists). It has been seen in the form of blood libels; allegations that Jews are a fifth column who look after themselves and hate non-Jews (far right, militant secularist and Islamic fundamentalist rhetoric all overlap here); conspiracy theories that Jews/Zionists control business and finance, the media, political parties and governments (an allegation made at a fringe meeting at the Liberal Democrat conference last year); assertions that the War on Terror or the invasion of Iraq are ‘Jewish/Zionist wars’ (despite the fact that Israel advised against the invasion of Iraq , and that al-Qaeda was formed primarily to remove US bases from Saudi Arabia), whether by arguing that Israel’s existence or actions have given legitimate grounds for Islamic terrorism or through conspiracy theories alleging that Jews or Zionists control western governments or even that terrorist attacks in the west, including the September 11 attacks, were staged by Israel and/or Jews/Zionists in the Bush administration (again, far left, far right, Islamic fundamentalist, militant secularist and even moderate liberal opinion all meet here). The absence of evidence is taken as ‘proof’ of the success and awesome power of the conspiracy.
It is worth pausing to debunk two conspiracy theories that are increasingly becoming part of mainstream discourse, despite their ancient antisemitic lineage. Firstly, there is, of course, a Jewish lobby, just as there is a Muslim lobby, a human rights lobby, a business lobby, a trade union lobby, an environmental lobby and so on. Organisations that put the views of a group of people to politicians and bureaucrats are a legitimate, healthy part of every functioning democracy. What there is not is The Jewish Lobby, a sinister, secret organisation dedicated to controlling the governments of the world in the interest of the Jewish people or the State of Israel. There is no Jewish lobby exercising any kind of conspiratorial control over the news media or politicians in any country. The fact that a couple of comparatively minor figures in the Bush administration happened to be both Jewish and pro-Israel in their sympathies does not mean that they either put Israeli or ‘Jewish’ interests ahead of US interests or exercised some kind of hold over more powerful, non-Jewish, figures like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell and Rice. Such allegations are the product of classic antisemitic conspiracy theories, with no factual basis whatsoever.
It is also sometimes claimed that Israel the amount of aid Israel receives from the USA is proof of an unhealthy relationship between the two states, an indication of a malign Israeli influence over the US budget and sympathies, taking unnecessary money and diverting US aid, attention and friendship from Arab and Muslim states. However, this claim does not stand up to scrutiny. Initially, Israel received relatively little aid. It was the very real threat to its existence, proved by the wars of 1967 and 1973 that increased US aid (see figures here ). The USSR was supporting the Arab states that were determine to destroy Israel; supporting Israel was therefore justified on the grounds of both morality and Cold War strategy. The demise of the Soviet Union and the peace treaties between Israel and Egypt and Jordan changed the state of affairs somewhat. While Israel remains the only stable democracy in the region, and while states like Syria and Iran maintain their eagerness to destroy it, it is both moral and pragmatic for the US to support it. However, it is a less pressing priority than previously. Aid to Israel has been decreased, while that to Arab states has been increased. For example, in 2006, US military aid to Israel was $2,257,200,000. US military aid to other states in the Middle East and North Africa alone was $1,557,269,000 (country by country breakdown here page 104). However, concentrating on military aid alone gives a distorted image. True, until recently, Israel has been the top US aid recipient (Iraq has replaced it). However, its aid is being reduced, while other Arab and Muslim nations receive significant amounts of aid. For example, in 2004, Israel received $2.62 billion, while Iraq received $18.44 billion, Egypt $1.87 billion, Jordan $0.56 billion and Turkey 0.15 billion. Pakistan received $0.39 billion, Sudan $0.14 billion, Afghanistan $1.77 and Indonesia $0.13. This is just to mention predominantly Muslim countries; a look at the other recipients of aid show that it is distributed according to a mixture of humanitarian and strategic reasons, but that there is no reason to suspect the malign of the mythical all-powerful Jewish lobby taking money from worthier states to bankroll Israel. (figures here page 17) It is also worth stressing that Israel, unlike most other countries in the Middle East, has no oil reserves (the PA owns off-shore gas, incidentally). Although it developed oil fields in the Sinai peninsula after the Six Day War, when the region was returned to Egypt as part of the peace deal, the oil rigs were left intact for Egyptian use. In itself, this goes some way to explaining the reason so few Arab countries need aid, even if their economies are otherwise undeveloped. It is also worth noting that while US aid to the Palestinians is far smaller than that to Israel, or even to Egypt and Jordan, it is still quite substantial, especially given the relatively small Palestinian population and the understandable desire of the US government that aid should be used for the purposes for which it is intended, and not embezzled by officials or used for terrorism. Although levels of aid have fluctuated substantially, $72,000,000 was given in 2002, $134,484,000 in 2003 and $74,558,000 in 2004. More recent contributions have been complicated by Hamas’ formation of a government in 2006, but in 2006 alone $300,000,000 of aid was given, primarily for humanitarian purposes.
(10) Other inappropriate rhetoric. It has become common to use Holocaust imagery with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian question. This is completely inappropriate. Even the most anti-Israeli reading of the evidence must acknowledge no comparison between the Holocaust and current events on the West Bank. There are no death camps, no roaming murder squads, no programmed genocide, no slave labour. UNICEF figures show Palestinian infant mortality to have fallen since 1990, while population has been growing at over 3% p.a. since 1970. Life expectancy at birth in 2006 was 73 years. The WHO report for 2006 stated that, "Effective health services have prevented any major outbreak of disease or significant deterioration in terms of health indicators." It adds, "The Palestinian population in the occupied Palestinian territory is undergoing a demographic transition as the result of relatively low infant mortality and under 5-year-old-mortality rates (28.3/1000 live births), a high fertility rate and an increase in life expectancy." Infant mortality is higher than in Israel, but lower than the average for the Middle East and North Africa. The 2008 UN Human Development Report puts "Occupied Palestinian Territories" at 106 (of 179), only just behind Iran (84), Jordan (90) and China (94) and Syria (105) and ahead of Egypt, Morocco, India, Pakistan, Yemen and many, many more. Palestine is not Paradise; its economy has stagnated as a result of the conflict – but that has taken its toll on Israel too. Still, it may not be Paradise, but it is not Auschwitz either, not even the Warsaw Ghetto, and there are plenty of worse places in the world.
Using Holocaust imagery in this context is not only unsupported by the facts, it is hurtful to many Holocaust survivors and, indeed, to other Jews. The Holocaust was a unique tragedy, unique in both its destructive force (six million lives, one third of the Jewish population, the virtual destruction of the most culturally vibrant part of the Jewish world) and its ruthless, mechanised nature. To take it from us and appropriate it for other causes is tasteless at best; to use it against us in such an unjustified way is cruel and sadistic.
Similarly, the use of apartheid imagery is also distasteful. Again, it can not be supported by the facts. Even former American President Jimmy Carter, author of a highly critical book on Israel calledPalestine: Peace Not Apartheid admits that the term ‘apartheid’ in the sense that it was actually used in South Africa can not be applied to Israel. The security measures Israel has introduced in the Palestinian territories in response to terrorism are a regrettable necessity, but they are not comparable to South Africa under apartheid, nor (the real litmus test) are they paralleled in Israel-proper, where Arab Israelis enjoy full rights and citizenship. As with the use of Holocaust imagery, it is not just a cheap debating trick that polarizes opinion among people who have not got the time or inclination to investigate the matter independently, it is a calculated insult to the many Zionist Jews who were active in the campaigns against segregation in the USA and apartheid in South Africa.
(11) Redefining ‘Zionism.’ It has become routine to redefine ‘Zionism.’ As the Parliamentary Inquiry Into Antisemitism put it, "in some quarters an antisemitic discourse has developed that is in effect antisemitic because it views Zionism itself as a global force of unlimited power and malevolence throughout history. This definition of Zionism bears no relation to the understanding that most Jews have of the concept; that is, a movement of Jewish national liberation, born in the late nineteenth century, with a geographical focus limited to Israel." In this way, Zionism is redefined as a racist, imperialist, conspiratorial ideology. Not only is this insulting, it is an effective way of preventing debate. Many forums for debate, especially universities, have a ‘no platform for racists’ rule. Zionism is redefined in such a way that Zionists can no longer identify themselves as such and hope to have their case heard, effectively silencing them and passing victory to their opponents automatically. Indeed, ‘Zionist’ frequently seems to be used to mean ‘lying apologist for Israel’ to prevent debate. The former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, never seems to use it in any other sense. This redefinition of Zionism also feeds in to antisemitic conspiracy theories of Jewish attempts to control the world and subvert non-Jewish civilization. Just see the way that Ken Livingstone, once the darling of the militant left, is now being championed for his views on the website of Ku Klux Klan head David Duke.
(12) Acting oppressed. It is common among critics of Israel to claim that Zionists use claims of antisemitism to stifle legitimate criticism of Israel. Actually, I would say that the reverse is true. Granted, some individuals can be overeager to make accusations of antisemitism in letters or on blogs, but institutions like the Board of Deputies are very wary of accusing anyone of being antisemitic (if nothing else, doing it indiscriminately could lead to expensive libel suits). In my experience, it is much more common for anti-Zionists to stifle any legitimate defence of Israel by ‘warning’ audiences that their opponents hide behind allegations and implications of antisemitism. In that context, even denouncing anti-Jewish conspiracy theories can be made to seem like an over-reaction to hide the existence of a real conspiracy. This is not just my opinion. The Parliamentary Inquiry Into Antisemitism stated, "most of those who gave evidence were at pains to explain that criticism of Israel is not to be regarded in itself as antisemitic. It is perfectly possible to be critical of the policies and actions of the government of Israel without being antisemitic. The Israeli government itself may, at times, have mistakenly perceived criticism of its policies and actions to be motivated by antisemitism, but we received no evidence of the accusation of antisemitism being misused by mainstream British Jewish community organizations and leaders."
(13) Doubting the rise of antisemitism. Unsurprisingly, the new antisemitism further covers itself by casting doubt on its existence. Antisemitism is often restrictively defined as Nazi-style race hatred, so that far left, Muslim and liberal figures are automatically removed from suspicion. In more extreme cases, even figures showing the rise in antisemitic crime over the previous decade or so can be ridiculed. For example, Norman Finkelstein has claimed that reports of the rise of antisemitism are unreliable simply because they are compiled by Jewish agencies who would have a vested interest in exaggerating them. This is analogous to saying that statistics about fires are unreliable, because the fire brigade records them. True, when dealing with any statistics, one should exercise caution and remember the likely motives of the people recording them, but one should not dismiss them out of hand, especially not when a growing amount of government data seems to support them.
The following is speculation. While most of the new antisemitism seems to be due to Islamic fundamentalism, neo-Nazism, militant atheism, anti-capitalism, revolutionary chic and so on, some, especially from Jews, seems to stem from bizarre, almost philo-semitic views. This viewpoint sees the Jews as the ultimate outsiders, powerless, hated and, as a result, holding the superlative moral high ground. From this point of view, true Judaism consists of being persecuted. In this context, any use of power by Jews, even having a state, is an abuse of power. In a way, this view of the wandering Jew as moral arbiter of mankind is flattering, but it is ultimately infantilising and discriminatory. It is tantamount to saying that Jews should never have a state, or even hold positions of power in other countries, that they should rely on the policies of others and merely critique them righteously. It effectively ghettoises intelligent Jews who care about the world into academia, journalism and the arts – which is where most of the Jews who think like this are to be found.
One final thought. One horrible statement by antisemites (old and new) is that so many people have hated the Jews that there must be something wrong with them. If you have got this far, you will have read through five thousand words or so challenging views held on the right and left and continually disseminated (by accident or design) by the media, in all its forms. Despite the fact that I have attempted to give references from impartial sources wherever possible, it would not be surprising if you were still sceptical of some of my claims. After all, if so many people say Israel is so irredeemably bad, if so many people think the Jews have too much influence, perhaps there is something in it after all. I therefore close with a thought from Ahad Ha’am (pen-name of Asher Ginsberg), writing about blood libels, which, as I have shown, have made a frightening return in recent years:
"This accusation is the solitary case in which the general acceptance of an idea about ourselves does not make us doubt whether all the world can be wrong and we right, because it is based on an absolute lie, and is not even supported by any false inference from particular to universal. Every Jew who has been brought up amongst Jews knows as an indisputable fact that throughout the length and breadth of Jewry there is not a single individual who drinks human blood for religious purposes… Let the world say what it will about our moral inferiority: we know that its ideas will rest on popular logic and have no real scientific basis… ‘But’ – you ask – ‘is it possible that everybody can be wrong and the Jews right?’ Yes, it is possible, the blood accusation proves it possible. Here, you see, the Jews are right and perfectly innocent."
Cross Posted at Yisrael: Struggling with God.