A Good Year for the Jews

[Ha'aretz] Anshel Pfeffer - The Jewish year 5768 was the year in which anti-Semitism, while not dying out completely, certainly lost most of its vital signs. When you read the annual reports of various organizations and research centers, you will notice that even the experts are having trouble differentiating between attacks and acts of vandalism that specifically target Jews and those that are just regular juvenile street crime. The conflict in the southern Caucasus could have produced a major anti-Jewish backlash, but so far, there is not even the remotest sign. The easiest thing, and perhaps the most natural based on historical precedent, would have been for the Russian government to point out the prominent Jews in Georgian leader Saakashvili's administration and the close defense ties between Georgia and Israel, stirring up the nationalistic and anti-Semitic feelings that have never been far from the surface in Russia. Why did Putin not use the Jewish card? Putin is ruthlessly instrumental; if he did not foment anti-Semitism as part of the anti-Georgia campaign, he must have reached the conclusion that it just does not work anymore. Of course anti-Semitism is not disappearing, but it is steadily becoming irrelevant in Western society and international politics. More than anything, it is a sign of backward thinking, depraved culture and societies that are still stuck in the Middle Ages.

2008-09-26 01:00:00

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