The Devil That Never Dies: Global Antisemitism by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen

(Washington Post) David Nirenberg - Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's first book, Hitler's Willing Executioners (1996), had the blunt thesis: Inspired by a uniquely German "eliminationist anti-Semitism" inherited from the Middle Ages, ordinary Germans killed millions of Jews during the Holocaust because they wanted to. "Eliminationist anti-Semitism" is also the subject of Goldhagen's new book, The Devil That Never Dies, but now the entire world is in its grip, with the possible exception of the U.S. Goldhagen offers numerous examples of individuals - from human rights advocates and French ambassadors to any number of Muslim politicians - who openly advocate the elimination of the State of Israel and its people. Today it seems acceptable, even praiseworthy in many circles, to move from criticizing Israel to suggesting its disappearance. That move seldom occurs in our thinking about other nations, no matter when they were founded or how loathsome we find them. But many apparently express the wish that Israel would disappear, although it is (by Goldhagen's creative reckoning) the sixth-oldest continuous democracy in the world. In many parts of the Muslim world, surveys suggest that more than 95% of the population has a "very unfavorable" view of Jews. The one notable exception is among Muslims who are citizens of Israel, for whom the rate is 35%.

2013-11-08 00:00:00

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