The Decline of Philo-Semitism in America

(New York Times) Ross Douthat - Unlike many places, America has always had important strains of philo-Semitism; there is a long American tradition, with both Protestant and Enlightenment roots, of really liking Judaism and the Jews. The story of the Jews in post-World War II America is the story, not just of anti-Semitism's marginalization, but of philo-Semitism's triumph. Jewish Americans attracted a particular sympathy and admiration, rooted in Holocaust remembrance, affection for Israel, and a distinctive pride in the scope of their success. Those defending Rep. Ilhan Omar, the Muslim congresswoman who keeps using anti-Semitic cliches in her criticisms of the American-Israeli relationship, want and I suspect will eventually get a politics that remembers the Holocaust as one great historical tragedy among many, that judges Israel primarily on its conservative and nationalist political orientation, rather than on its status as a Jewish sanctuary, and that regards the success of American Jews as a reason for them to join white Gentiles in check-your-privilege self-criticism, ceding moral authority to minority groups who are more immediately oppressed.

2019-03-11 00:00:00

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