Jewish Current Issues

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Friday, August 29, 2003

This Week's Portion: Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9

Gary Rendsburg, the Paul and Berthe Hendrix Memorial Professor of Jewish Studies at Cornell University, has a fascinating article in this week's Forward, comparing the portion with an anecdote from the modern Middle East:

In 1931 . . . a young archaeologist [was] working at an excavation in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. . . . Each morning the archaeological team would awake to find that its Jeep had been overturned.

The men would turn the Jeep right side up each time, but the next day they would find that the Jeep had been overturned again.

After several days of such activity, the archaeologists complained to the local mukhtar (the Arabic word for "mayor," though in the typical village he serves as mayor, chief of police and magistrate all rolled into one). The mukhtar said he would take care of the matter.

Later that day the mukhtar came to the archaeologists and said, "Your Jeep will not be overturned again."

The excavators asked, "What did you do?" The mukhtar pointed to the nearest house situated atop one of the nearby hills and said, "Do you see that house up there? My men went in there and roughed up the place."

The archaeologists asked, "Are they the ones that overturned the Jeep?" And the mukhtar replied, "No, but they will find out who did it, and they will take care of them. . . . .You see, we have a different sense of justice than in your society. In your society, you punish criminals. In our society, we punish crimes."

. . . Deuteronomy 21:1-9 describes a situation whereby a slain corpse is found in the open field between two cities and the identity of the slayer is unknown.

The elders of the two cities are to measure the distance between the site and their cities, and the residents of the closer city must perform a ritual of expiation and atonement. . . . [They] are to wash their hands over [a sacrificial] animal and declare:

"Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it done. Absolve your people Israel whom you redeemed, O Lord, and do not place innocent blood amidst your people Israel."

. . . [I]t is interesting to note that a crime has been committed and thus expiation is necessary. One need only compare what would occur under similar circumstances in the United States. Obviously, the police would do all they could to investigate the crime. But if no murderer were found, that would be the end of the case. . . .

In our society, we punish criminals. If no criminal is found, then the case does not proceed further. But in the Near East, crimes are punished. . . . [T]he story [of the archeologists' jeep] . . . explains the law in Deuteronomy more adequately than a dozen scholarly monographs on biblical theology and law.

A society bears responsibility for the crimes that are committed in its midst.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

We Certainly Don't Want to Be Unfeelingly Mean

Arthur Hertzberg, the Bronfman Visiting Professor of Humanities at New York University and Professor Emeritus of Religion at Dartmouth, publishes an article in today's New York Times urging "punitive economic measures" against Israel, as "tough love" to "force the end of settlement activity."

We could . . . [deduct] the total cost of the settlements each year from the United States' annual allocation to Israel. To show that we were not being unfeelingly mean, the United States should . . . hold $1 billion a year in escrow to help those settlers who would peacefully move back into Israel's pre-1967 borders. . . .

Nothing if not even handed, Hertzberg also proposes "comparable tough love" for the Palestinians:

What American influence can achieve is to dry up the financial and military support of the Palestinian war-makers . . . . [T]he United States can . . . insist that other countries -- both our allies and enemies -- freeze the financial accounts of militant groups . . . .

In the real world, this is a call for pressure on Israel, and only Israel -- since it is dependent on the United States, while the "Palestinian militants" (the word "terrorist" does not appear in Hertzberg's article) get financing from Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, the EU and others who are not likely to respond to "insistence" from the United States.

The U.S. State Department cannot even get the EU to stop meeting with Arafat -- much less get them to "dry up the financial" support of Hamas. Maybe the State Department didn't insist.

Hertzberg also notes that "tough love" for Israel is necessary because "there will be an Arab majority in at most 20 years" and at that point Israel will effectively be either a binational state with an Arab majority or have to subject Palestinian Arabs to "a rule resembling apartheid in South Africa."

This is not exactly a new insight. Indeed, it is quite possible that it was precisely this insight that led Ehud Barak three years ago to make a sweeping offer of a Palestinian state on 97 percent of the West Bank with a capitol in East Jerusalem, and led Ariel Sharon to formally declare this year that it "is time to divide this land" with the Palestinians.

Both Likud and Labor are now formally on record as supporting a Palestinian state; but not even Mahmoud Abbas will commit himself to Israel as a "Jewish" state.

Professor Hertzberg might consider the possibility that it is precisely his insight that explains why Yasser Arafat is not interested in peace.

Why should he be, when he can simply wait until Arabs overwhelm Israel demographically, or make it a pariah "apartheid" state, if it isn't terrorized into unilateral withdrawal first -- all the while enjoying the spectacle of American Jews calling for punitive economic measures against the Jewish state, in the middle of a war.

Monday, August 25, 2003

The So-Called Hudna

The Jerusalem Post reports on the final results of the "hudna:"

Since the hudna, there have been about 280 different attacks, of which 192 were shooting incidents. During this period, 27 Israelis and a foreign worker were killed, and 152 people were wounded.

Caroline Glick, writing after Israel struck at the leadership responsible for the Jerusalem bus bombing, which killed 20 (now 21), including six children, minces no words:

Reacting to the IAF's strike in Gaza that took out Hamas terrorist Ismail Abu Shanab yesterday afternoon, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas minced no words.

The man who had cautiously explained Tuesday that the massacre of children and their parents traveling on a bus on their way home from the Western Wall "did not serve the national interests" of the Palestinians, referred to the killing of Shanab, a murderer, as "a heinous crime" . . .

What, really, was this hudna? The hudna was a plan that was concocted by Egypt, the EU, the PA, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. Its declared purpose was to allow terrorist organizations to flourish, operate, and grow unmolested by IDF counterterror operations.

The hudna was also geared toward enabling Abbas to continue to exact concessions from Israel, including statehood, without its ever lifting a finger against terrorist groups. That is, the hudna aimed to establish a Palestinian terrorist state run jointly by the PA, Hamas, Fatah, and Islamic Jihad . . .

Is that too harsh? Consider this evaluation of Yasser Arafat, in an article in the New York Review of Books by Hussein Agha and Robert Malley:

He sees himself returning to the Palestinian political scene as the head of a more powerful, and larger, coalition including the majority of his own Fatah organization, secular radical Palestinian groups, independent personalities, most of the Palestinian diaspora, and, a novel acquisition, Islamist organizations like Hamas and Islamic Jihad. . . .

Around him much has been going on—from the launching of the roadmap for peace to the naming of a Palestinian prime minister and the conclusion of a Palestinian cease-fire, from the dismantling of a few settlement outposts to reform of Palestinian institutions.

How little it all matters to him. Others consider these events politics. He considers them to be mere side-shows for which he has little patience . . . .

Others measure the usefulness of a Palestinian cease-fire, of a limited security deal with Israel, of the roadmap according to whether the outcome will invigorate a new peace process. Not he. The present moment is not about the peace process for he is convinced that nothing of use can be achieved by it. It is about the power relationships by which all that matters will be decided.

Ze'ev Schiff writes in Haaretz that Arafat:

. . . on Wednesday, even before Israel's hit on Abu Shanab, rejected a request that he transfer control of two major PA security services to Abbas and his security chief, Mohammed Dahlan.

When, following Tuesday's bombing, America and Israel pressed Abbas and Dahlan to act against the terrorist infrastructure, they first asked for time to convene the PA cabinet. Then they said they had to bring the plan to the PLO's executive committee, headed by Arafat. But Arafat failed to approve it, saying it required additional discussion. And all of this happened before the assassination of Abu Shanab.

. . . Arafat is the man who decides, while Abbas, incapable of doing anything on his own, must wait on Arafat's word.

Buried in last Sunday's communique issued by the Israeli cabinet after its weekly meeting -- two days before the Children's Bus Bombing -- was this report:

Defense Minister Mofaz discussed the fragility of the process with the
Palestinians, which was underscored last week by the attacks in Rosh Ha'ayin and Ariel.

He said that behind the escalation are terrorist bodies that have
accepted the hudna but which have formulated dangerous rules-of-the-game.

Arafat is giving signals that . . . are being interpreted by those around him and the Tanzim as hidden encouragement of terror . . ."

Wednesday, August 20, 2003


From James Lileks' remarkable blog:

. . . it’s one of those days where your own boon and bounty seem unearned, unfair, because other people are dealing with so much horror and sadness. . . .

The bomber was a father of two. A man who has children who walks down the aisle of the bus, looking at the children whose small short cheerful lives he is about to destroy, contenting himself with the knowledge that they are mere Jews - such a man has abdicated his humanity.

The fact that he died in an instant and 100+ victims survived to live with the pain for the rest of your days makes you wonder which side God is on. Or it makes you certain there’s a hell. Or it just makes you not want to think about these things at all.

Whenever I hear “never again!” I remember when that seemed a possibility.

But nowadays the phrase never again is met with sneers: of course again. And again and again, as often as possible. Fascists in thrall to a death-god, again. Creed-addled men who shrug at the death of babies, again. Poison-fed people who pass out candy to celebrate the murder of Jews, again.

Never again has become please, not tomorrow.

Here it is, again:

(deep breath)

The antidote to this post, and the reason pictures like the one above just stab me in the heart, is here.

God grant them peace.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

The Cowardice of Amos Oz

Ten years ago, at the beginning of the Oslo process that he has championed to the present day, Amos Oz wrote that:

If the Palestinians want to hold onto Gaza and Jericho, eventually assuming power in other parts of the occupied territories, they will have to prove to us, to themselves and to the whole world, that they have abandoned violence and terror, that they are capable of suppressing their fanatics, that they are renouncing the destructive Palestinian Charter and withdrawing from what they used to call "the right of return."

They will also have to show that they are willing to tolerate in their midst a minority of Israelis who may choose to live where there is no Israeli government.

Ten years later -- after the Palestinians have proved to the whole world that they have not abandoned violence and terror, that they are incapable of suppressing their fanatics, that they have not withdrawn from the "right of return" but have expressly reserved it and intend to implement it, and that they are unwilling to tolerate any Israelis in their midst -- Amos Oz writes an article in The New York Times blaming the situation on the "cowardice" of . . . Ariel Sharon.

It takes a certain amount of courage to admit you were wrong.

Monday, August 18, 2003

More Israeli Steps Along the Road Map

Yesterday's Israeli Cabinet Communique describes the government's decision to transfer additional cities to Palestinian control:

Regarding the transfer of Palestinian cities to the PA, the Defense
Minister emphasized that he views the issue as important and not a
concession on Israel's part.

It entails assigning the PA with responsibility of dealing with terror infrastructures.

To this end, he met twice with PA Minister Muhammad Dahlan and . . . stressed that if the PA fails to assume responsibility and deal with terror, it would then bear responsibility for the security escalation, possibly entailing the collapse of the process.

Defense Minister Mofaz said that . . . Israel has no intention of making concessions
on its security needs and demands.

The Independent Media Review Analysis (IMRA), an Israeli news organization, comments as follows:

To the credit of the Sharon Administration, the text of the cabinet communique makes no attempt to cover over the fact that the very same politicians who were transferring the control of additional cities to the PA out of hope that the Palestinians might honor commitments in the future were well aware that the Palestinians had not yet honored their obligations in the areas already transferred to their control.

This will spare future analysts from spending time on the question of whether the decisions of
these politicians can be explained by a lack of information rather than a lack of judgement.

Thus, these analysts will not have to ponder if, [when] DM Mofaz . . . announced the transfer of security control to additional cities and at the same time stated that "Israel has no intention of making concessions on its security needs and demands," it could be argued that anyone sitting at the table actually believed him.

Israeli blogger Sha! posts his reaction to the road map so far:

. . . it's hard to shake off the feeling that this whole hudna/roadmap combo is playing itself out exactly like the failed Oslo process. The same mistakes are out in plain view:

Pressure on Israel to make concessions, coupled with cutting the Palestinians slack for not doing what they're supposed to do;

The same obsessive focus on moving the process forwards as an end in itself without stopping to contemplate where any of it is leading.

Saul Singer summarizes the "hudna" so far:

The IDF has arrested 19 terrorists who were planning suicide bombings after the "ceasefire." In this same period, there have been about 200 attempted terror attacks and the number of attack warnings has stood at about 20 per day.

Last week, the IDF arrested 18 people belonging to Palestinian Authority security organizations who manufactured Kassam rockets in Jericho, which have been openly tested under cover of the "ceasefire."

Friday, August 15, 2003

Some Shabbat Humor

A Jewish actor, so desperate for work he's willing to settle for anything, finds a classified ad that says: "Actor needed to play ape."

"I could do that," he says.

To his surprise, the prospective employer turns out to be the local zoo.

The zoo is so low on funds, they can no longer afford to import an ape to replace their recently deceased one. So they need an actor to put on an ape suit until they can raise the needed money. The actor accepts.

Over the next few days, he warms to the job, putting on a show for the unknowing spectators, hanging upside-down from the trees, climbing the walls, and roaring with all his might. He starts drawing quite a crowd.

One day, while swinging from the vines, his hand slips and he goes flying over the fence into the lion's cage.

Terrified, he backs up against the wall, covers his eyes with his paws, and prays at the top of his lungs: "Shma Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad!"

The lion opens its powerful jaws and roars: "Baruch Shem K'vod Malchuto L'Olam Va-ed!"

Wow. "Thank you, God -- I'm saved!"

From a third cage, a panda bear growls, "Shut up, you schmucks. You'll get us all fired!"

* * * * * * * *

Some more Jewish jokes from Beliefnet are here (no warranty -- haven't read them all).

* * * * * * * *

Shabbat Shalom.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Would You Buy a Used Peace Process From This Man?

From Phase I of the Performance-Based Roadmap ("Ending Terror and Violence"):

Palestinian Authority . . . begins sustained, targeted, and effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. This includes commencing confiscation of illegal weapons . . . .

From Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas's speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City on July 24, 2003:

In terms of the peace process, we remain committed to the implementation of the road map without any changes. . . . In our statement launching the road map in Aqaba, we did not hesitate. We sent a clear, uncompromising message to our people, Israel and the whole world regarding our intention to uphold our road map obligations without compromise. . . . Without bold steps we will not succeed.

From Today's Jerusalem Post:

The Palestinian Authority has no intention of arresting members of Hamas or Islamic Jihad or confiscating their weapons in the aftermath of Tuesday's suicide bombings, PA officials told leaders of the terrorist groups. . . .

PA Culture Minister Ziad Abu Amer, who serves as a liaison officer to all the Palestinian factions, said Wednesday that the PA has no plans to disarm the local militias or arrest their members. "We have no internal conflict with the opposition," he stressed.

Deputy Information Minister Ahmed Subuh categorically denied statements attributed to PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, in which he is said to have warned Hamas and Islamic Jihad following Tuesday's attacks.

Without Any Changes. Bold Steps. Peace of the Brave.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Murdered Israelis a Setback for Palestinians

The indispensable "Little Green Footballs" posts the following headlines from the Christian Science Monitor:

LGF focuses on "Bombings May Hurt Palestinian Effort to Stop Israel's Barrier." The bombings may hurt Palestinian efforts to stop Israel?

LGF says the article itself is even worse:

. . . the article is . . . outrageous in its total lack of sympathy for the Israeli civilians murdered by jihad bombers: . . . What the hell is wrong with the Christian Science Monitor? Where are their souls? Where is their empathy for murdered innocents?

LGF has received more than 70 comments from its post.

Silflay Hraka asks (and answers) a pertinent question: "How are groups like Hamas still able to operate in Palestinian territory?"

Israeli Guy has this comment:

I don’t recall previous attacks in Rosh Ha’ayin though the town is right on the green line. Why Rosh Ha’ayin now? The first segment of the Security Fence, which is semi finished, that begins in Salem (near Megiddo) ends near Rosh Ha’ayin. The fence pushed the suicide bomber south even though he came out of Nablus further north. There is no escape from fencing all of the West Bank.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

The Best and Worst of Times

Paul Breines, who teaches European intellectual history at Boston College, reviews three new books on the Holocaust in Sunday's Washington Post Book World.

The books are micro-histories of a family's experience of the Nazi attempt at annihilation. Breines finds each book "fast-paced and deeply moving" and he makes a striking observation about the context in which they have appeared:

Their common goal is not to instigate new thinking about Nazi genocide . . . but, by including in our knowledge of the Holocaust the detailed stories of these specific families, to cause us to remember.

But we remember in a disconcerting context. We read these books amid reports of a post-Sept.11, Middle Eastern-centered but global resurgence of anti-Semitism. . . . It can happen again.

. . . One considers their stories also in an American context in which, given that no one is safe, Jews, as Jews, are as safe and secure as anyone, a development that is without precedent in Jewish and American history. . . .

In remembering the Holocaust with the aid of these three new books, then, it is also worth remembering that we do so in circumstances in which a Jewish senator is a presidential candidate and in which, outside of some Jewish comics and neo-Nazis, no one seems to have cared that one party to the biggest sexual-political scandal in recent American history -- Monica Lewinsky -- was Jewish.

A strong case could and should be made that remembering the Holocaust and opposing anti-Semitism are becoming attributes of American identity.

The books are:

Ruth David, "Child of Our Time: A Young Girl's Flight from the Holocaust;"

Peter Duffy, "The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Saved 1,200 Jews, and Built a Village in the Forest; and

David Clay Large, "And the World Closed Its Doors: The Story of One Family Abandoned to the Holocaust."

Monday, August 11, 2003

"Ask Not . . ."

Rabbi Mordecai Finley, rabbi at Ohr Ha Torah in West Los Angeles, writes about his son Kayitz, 21 years old, Marine corporal with the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 1st Marine Division in Iraq.

In "Jewish Values Guide Marine's Life in Iraq," the religious lessons of childhood guide a life and a mission:

. . . he was taught over and over again the meaning of the "Mi Chamocha" prayer in the siddur, where we celebrate God delivering us from Egypt. He asked me as a child, as all children whom I teach ask me, why God does not directly liberate the oppressed any more.

I gave him the same answer I give other children: God did it once to show us what God wanted. Now it is up to us.

While on the ship en route to Iraq, my son wrote movingly of that thought: a Jew, an American, willing to risk his life to bring liberation to Arabs. Whether they were grateful or not, he wrote, he knew it was his duty, as an American, as a Jew. God redeemed us so that we could redeem others.

. . . When Kayitz was in grade school, I would drive to school to help him and his brother, Lev, memorize liturgy.

Several times a day, I think of that little 8-year-old boy, sitting behind me in my car, reciting prayers. Then I think of the Marine in Iraq living them out, making prayers come true.

Courageous son. Courageous parent. Wonderful teacher.

Worth reading in its entirety.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Counting Blessings in Israel

From Not a Fish, a blog by a 38-year old woman in Israel -- "your regular split personality Israeli mother trying to make sense of current insanity" -- in her post entitled "My Cup Runneth Over:"

I love Tel Aviv on Shabbat. I love running errands with Bish on a Friday morning. I love listening to Youngest playing the piano . . . . I love watching Eldest being an infuriating adolescent and fearlessly doing things at nearly twelve that I didn't dream of doing until I was fifteen and more.

I could go on and on.

Occasionally someone remarks how brave we Israeli bloggers are. Our life is so dangerous and still we laugh.

What are they talking about? My life is wonderful. I am the luckiest of people (Tfu tfu tfu. Sorry, it's a reflex). I have enough to eat and drink. I am healthy (Tfu tfu tfu again).

The sun shines every day and I am surrounded by love. What more could anyone possibly want? (A guarantee of immortality, you suggest? No, I pass.)

If I get blown up tomorrow, don't reread this post and shake your heads in sorrow. Be happy for me. I may be dead, but the day before I died was a great day. Who could ask for more?

Shabbat Shalom.

Thursday, August 07, 2003


Today is Tisha B'Av -- the ninth day of Av -- the saddest day in the Jewish calendar, commemorating the destruction of the first and second Temples in Jerusalem, as well as other tragedies in Jewish history.

Amy Hirshberg-Lederman, a free-lance writer from Tucson, has an article in the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix that conveys the essence of the holiday as one of mourning, memory, hope and defiance.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

The Genesis of Wisdom

Rabbi David Wolpe reviews Leon Kass’s extraordinary book, “The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis” (Free Press).

[T]his is a book not merely rich, but prodigiously rich with insight. Kass is a marvelous reader, sensitive and careful. His interpretations surprise again and again with their cogency and poignancy.

For example, following the elegant example of Maurice Samuel, Kass thinks little of the moral character of Joseph. He sees Joseph as representing Egypt and the values of Egypt.

The last word in Genesis, Kass notes, is "b'mitzrayim, ("in Egypt") -- it is an end, a dead end.

Then he continues:

“The last chapter of Genesis begins with the burial of Jacob at Machpelah and ends with the mummification of Joseph in Egypt. The contrast between burial and embalming/mummification reveals a crucial difference between Israel and Egypt: the difference between the acceptance and the denial or defiance of death . . . . The way of Israel is the way of memory, keeping alive not the bodies of the dead but their ever-living legacy in relation to the ever-living God.”

Eloquent and apt.

Kass’s book is 720 pages long, representing the accumulated learning of more than 20 years of teaching Genesis at the University of Chicago. It is "addressed to believers and nonbelievers alike:"

What I am suggesting is that Genesis is a coherent narrative that conveys a moral whole, in which the opening part prepares the philosophic reader to take seriously, when it comes, the arrival of God's new way for humankind, while the rest enables him to learn along with the patriarchs what it might offer and require of him. . . .

Long dwelling with the book of Genesis, and ever marveling at its beauty, its profundity, and above all, its power to illuminate and lift the soul, this exhilarated reader of Genesis stands before it on his intellectual knees, filled with awe and gratitude . . .

Rabbi Wolpe notes the book skips over important classical, Christian, Hassidic and modern commentators, and "would have been a richer book if it had acknowledged that [it] was not, in the long history of biblical study, the beginning of wisdom."

In an essay that is both complimentary and challenging, he manages to convey not only the magnitude of Kass's remarkable achievement, but also the fact that, after 720 pages, there is so much more to learn.

Essential reading (both the review and the book).

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

New Collection of Jewish Short Stories

Paul Zakrzewski is the editor of a new volume of Jewish short stories: "Lost Tribe: Jewish Fiction From the Edge."

The collection has stories by Nathan Englander, Myla Goldberg, Jonathan Safran Foer, Dara Horn, Ehud Havazelet and many others -- most previously published, but re-published here with end notes by the authors.

The book is worth buying for Havazelet's beautiful and moving story, "Leah," alone -- reprinted from his 1999 book "Like Never Before" (a review is here).

Zakrzewski describes the story as an "uncanny . . . [and] particularly modern" evocation of "two very different paths (one secular and rebellious, the other religious and obedient);" Havazelet in his end note more simply calls it a story of "family contradictions and battered loyalties that still abide."

Absolutely wonderful story.

Monday, August 04, 2003

The New Anti-Semitism

Samuel G. Freedman, Columbia University professor, reviews "The New Anti-Semitism: The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About It, " by Phyllis Chesler:

When the Al-Aksa Intifada erupted [in] September [2000] . . . it did more than just shatter the peace process. It restored the public respectability of Jew-hating, particularly if conducted under the rubric of "anti-Zionism."

Since then, Egypt has broadcast a 40-part television series based in part on the notorious forgery "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." Protesters at San Francisco State University, invoking the medieval blood libel, have passed out posters depicting a can of "Palestinian Children Meat" that was "made in Israel" according to "Jewish rites." European scholars have banned Israeli academics, even those of impeccably dovish politics . . ."

. . . Chesler's thesis rests largely on her perception of anti-Semitism flourishing among elites. "What's new about the new anti-Semitism," she contends, "is that acts of violence against Jews and anti-Semitic words and deeds are being uttered and performed by politically correct people in the name of anti-imperialism, anti-racism, and pacifism. Old-time anti-Semitism was expressed in the name of ethnic, Aryan, white purity, superiority, and nationalism . . . . "

More specifically, the new anti-Semite inflicts the language of the Holocaust on its targets. The Irish poet Tom Paulin, she points out, termed the Israeli military the "Zionist SS." Nobel laureate Jose Saramago declared that "the Jews endlessly scratch their own wound to keep it bleeding, to make it incurable, and they show it to the world as if it were a banner." Neither author's career, it might be added, has notably suffered as a result.

The book's Table of Contents is here.

The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism has issued a call for papers on the image of the Jew in Arab thought, literature and media. Christian Action for Israel has a website on anti-semitism here.