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  • Torah Reading: Naso
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Irrational Anti-Semitism

I recently saw that a full-page advertisement honoring four Israeli women (Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch, and some others) was rejected by the editors at Ms. magazine. Why the double-standard of hatred against the Jews?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

For a publication that fancies itself at the forefront of women's rights, the rules are apparently different when the women are Israeli.

It never fails to amaze me. Israel is a bastion of pro-Western liberal democratic values, in a region dominated by dictators and fundamentalists. So why is the world constantly attacking Israel? It seems to me so irrational, and just another in the long line of historical anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism is definitely unique in its universality, intensity, longevity and irrationality - falling outside of normal sociological bounds.

Maybe the following will help explain. In 1987, President Chaim Herzog of Israel commissioned a colloquium on anti-Semitism. Professor Michael Curtis of Rutgers University spoke there about the reasons for anti-Semitism:

"The uniqueness of anti-Semitism lies in the fact that no other people in the world have ever been charged simultaneously with alienation from society and with cosmopolitanism, with being capitalistic exploiters and also revolutionary communist advocators. The Jews were accused of having an imperious mentality, at the same time they're a people of the book. They're accused of being militant aggressors, at the same time as being cowardly pacifists. With being a chosen people, and also having an inferior human nature. With both arrogance and timidity. With both extreme individualism and community adherence. With being guilty of the crucifixion of Jesus and at the same time held to account for the invention of Christianity."

And there you have the total irrationality of anti-Semitism!

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