Monday, October 20, 2003
I am particularly amazed that there should be a flap over the Easterbrook comments the same weekend that the Prime Minister of Malaysia reminded the world what anti-Semitism really looks like.
It's touching that the New York Times was surprised to discover that, in the Muslim world at large, it is taken as a given that Jews control the world by underhanded means. (I might add that it's a widespread opinion in Japan as well. I wonder what the Chinese and the Indians think; perhaps a majority of the world believes this?) This notion is so uncontroversial that no one in the audience for the PM's speech even *noticed* that he said anything controversial. Indeed, the speech was received as a strikingly moderate, progressive and enlightened piece of work, its point being that Muslims should learn from the Jews and apply their brains rather than blowing themselves up futilely. That the Jews had applied their brains to achieve world domination was so obvious to the audience that they didn't even consider that it could be controversial.
This is the reality out there, the reality that comfortable Jews like Tony Judt and Abraham Foxman seem to have lost sight of.