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WHEN CALCULATING ANTI-SEMITISM, A DOUBLE NEGATIVE EQUALS A POSITIVE (IS THERE A NEW “NEW ANTI-SEMITISM”? Part 3)

Norman G. Finkelstein photo
Norman G. FinkelsteinBrooklyn, NY
WHEN CALCULATING ANTI-SEMITISM, A DOUBLE NEGATIVE EQUALS A POSITIVE (IS THERE A NEW “NEW ANTI-SEMITISM”? Part 3)
A careful review of the evidence allegedly proving a “New Antisemitism” reveals little support for its existence.

A vast complex of Jewish and philo-Jewish organizations (often affiliated with Israel) purports to document an explosion of anti-Semitic incidents. Consider the annual report issued by Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center, Antisemitism Worldwide. It recorded 25 anti-Semitic incidents involving a weapon in 2013 among a global population of seven billion. In this writer’s living memory (circa 1990), more than 40 New Yorkers among a population of seven-and-a-half million used to fall victim to homicides every week. On close scrutiny, many of the alleged anti-Semitic incidents it documents are trivial or errant, nebulous or inconclusive, exaggerated or dubious. Judging by previous research, it’s also probable that many of the alleged incidents are outright fabrications.[1] The report spotlights escalating European criticism of ritual Jewish slaughter and circumcision, which “may well serve traditional antisemitic stereotypes,” and, in the case of the circumcision debate, “could be understood as a veiled attempt to force Jews to leave Europe since, while one can import kosher meat,…Jews cannot forgo traditional circumcision.” In the absence of corroborative evidence, however, this ominous speculation “may well” be, “could be,” indeed, is baseless. In fact, in the infamous German court verdict banning circumcision, the defendant was a physician who had circumcised a Muslim boy.[2] In the report’s bookkeeping, the verdict of a British court exonerating a university union accused of anti-Semitism gets reckoned as further proof of anti-Semitism. When calculating anti-Semitism, a double negative equals a positive.

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[1] Finkelstein, Beyond Chutzpah, pp. 66ff.

[2] “German Court Bans Circumcision of Young Boys,” Reuters (27 June 2012).  

#Norman Finkelstein, #Anti-semitism, #Israel, #Palestine

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