Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Professor Ruth R. Wisse is the Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University, who recently wrote a book entitled "Jews and Power", asks in this excellent Washington Post Op-Ed "Are American Jews Too Powerful?" Wisse debunks those who, like John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, accuse modern Jews of having excessive clout and concludes, "in the real world, Jews have too little power and influence."

But you don't want to tell that to the enemies of the Jews including those anti-Semites who go out of their way to convince themselves and others that they really aren't but then proceed to treat Israel and the Jews differently to any other of the world's 200 nations! After all, as Wisse states, "there is nothing quite as fun - or as lucrative - as baiting Jews.”

Sadly, the usual suspects among Jews are sometimes included with the baiters; people like Chomsky, Finklestein, Pappe and our own execrable Loewenstein whose shoddily researched, "My Israel Question" fleetingly attracted some attention here among the chattering classes until even they realised that it was such a total crock.

Wisse has a response for such a phenomenon.

"I understand why some Jews and Israelis try to escape this assault through assimilation or denial, or even by joining their assailants. It's seductive to hope that by accommodating our enemies, we will be allowed to live in peace. But the strategy of accommodation that historically turned Jews into a no-fail target is the course least likely to stop ongoing acts of aggression against them. Indeed, anti-Jewish politics will end only when those who practice it accept the democratic values of religious pluralism and political choice - or are forced to pay a high enough price for flouting them."

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