Darkness of Anti-Semitism Descends on the West

Certainly, the evidence of mounting anti-Jewish sentiment not only among the European intellectual classes but among the European laity as well cannot be doubted. Recent polls and studies reveal a sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Western Europe, with Holland taking the lead, followed by France, Britain, and Belgium. Other surveys have pointed to Spain, Norway, and Sweden as aspirants to the tainted crown.

That Israeli officials are subject to impeachment if they set foot on British soil, or that a Spanish court is presently considering, under the principle of "universal jurisdiction," prosecuting Israeli leaders for "war crimes," is only par for the course. Yet, with the sole exception of Sudanese strongman Omar Hassan al-Bashir, whose crimes became too massively conspicuous for the world to continue to ignore, not a single major Islamic political figure, responsible for promoting jihad or for committing terrorist provocations, is under pending legal threat in Spain, the UK, or any other European country. Terror-sponsoring and genocidal advocate Ahmadinejad, for example, travels freely.

But the form in which anti-Semitism reveals itself most conspicuously in the current historical moment is the political and media quarantining of the state of Israel, chiefly under the septic influence of the ubiquitous Left. Jew-hatred has been lateralized, so to speak, as ostracism of the Jewish state. The notorious Mohammed al-Dura affair is a prime example of the media and official complot against Israel. The Palestinian 12-year-old, ostensibly shot by the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) at the Netzarim Junction in Gaza on September 30, 2000 -- an "event" circulated by the government-controlled-and-financed France 2 TV and picked up by every major news outlet in the world -- was almost certainly staged by pro-Palestinian interests.

That eight years after the original episode the French Court of Appeals overturned a lower court decision against Philippe Karsenty, head of the Media Ratings website, who had been sued for defamation after he challenged the veracity of the France 2 scoop, has not had much effect on demythologizing the scandal. The mainstream media have been eerily quiet about the second trial and its verdict in Karsenty's favor, giving the news not even a fraction of the coverage it lavished on the original event, which it accepted at face value. Burying the calumny plainly has face-saving value, but it also allows the media to shelter its overt anti-Israeli docket from public scrutiny.

Significantly, the media have refused to recognize that the true story, with all its emblematic implications, is not al-Dura, who was either shot by his own people as a "martyr" for the cause or not shot at all but spirited away after the event. The true story is the case of the Egyptian child suffering from cystic fibrosis who could be cured only by a medicine produced in Israel, called Creon 1000, which the Egyptian Ministry of Health has refused to import or accept. The fact that a child who might be saved by an Israeli product is left to malinger and possibly die is the true story of the Muslim Middle East.

This is in the nature of things. Whether it is Mohammed al-Dura, or the clueless Rachel Corrie who was accidentally killed when she placed herself before an Israeli bulldozer blocking an arms-smuggling tunnel and was immediately beatified as a victim of Israeli "brutality," or any of the innumerable fabricated episodes during the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead in Gaza intended to demonize Israel, all exposed by accurate scrutiny as complete frauds, the topers in the meadhall of the Israel-bashing consensus will not be easily persuaded to end the party. They are having far too good a time of it. For the Jew has once again been gibbeted, in the shape of an Israeli, a Zionist, or a member of some immoral "lobby" subtly dominating the public arena -- today's detergent version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

We can detect the influence of this attitude throughout the American press corps as well. While providing hourly updates on the terrorist rampage in Mumbai in November 2008, it took them two days to report that the Lubavitcher Chabad House had been struck and its occupants butchered. For the New York Times, the scene of the attack was an anonymous "office building."

Even on a more benign level, the anti-Jewish bias is evident. Many of our media conglomerates refuse to sell Internet promotional space to the Jewish Agency on the grounds that its message is "political." They have doubtlessly forgotten that the message inscribed on the Liberty Bell, from Leviticus 25:10, is also political: "Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." I suppose we should be grateful, too, that they have not agitated to remove another political message, that of the Jewish poet Emma Lazarus' sonnet, "The New Colossus," which graces the Statue of Liberty. But they have not lifted their lamp beside the golden door.

The lies and slanders continue to proliferate. In the miasma of popular sentiment, fiction and truth can scarcely be distinguished. From the standpoint of anti-Jewish sentiment in particular, fiction and truth are epistemological isomorphs and cannot be separated from one another. Which is to say, fiction becomes truth and truth, fiction. Unfortunately, the malediction of Isaiah has been forgotten or dismissed: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness."

This inversion has now become standard procedure. And Israel and its people, whom Isaiah called "a light unto the nations," are now threatened by an encroaching darkness. But so, as it turns out, are we all.