“All the World Wants the Jews Dead: An Overwrought View from the Peak at the Bottom”

Before Dara Horn’s People Love Dead Jews, and before Bari Weiss’s “Everybody Hates the Jews,” there was Cynthia Ozick’s still powerful and urgent essay in Esquire.

A bereaved mother hugs the tombstone of her son, who died in the Yom Kippur War in 1973. David Rubinger/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images.

A bereaved mother hugs the tombstone of her son, who died in the Yom Kippur War in 1973. David Rubinger/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images.

Ruth R. Wisse
COLUMN
Oct. 18 2021
About Ruth

Ruth R. Wisse is a Mosaic columnist, professor emerita of Yiddish and comparative literatures at Harvard and a distinguished senior fellow at the Tikvah Fund. Her memoir Free as a Jew: a Personal Memoir of National Self-Liberation, chapters of which appeared in Mosaic in somewhat different form, is out from Wicked Son Press.

“All the World Wants the Jews Dead: An Overwrought View from the Peak at the Bottom”—a 7,200-word essay by Cynthia Ozick published in Esquire magazine in November 1974—is still as powerful and urgent as on the day it appeared. Now that Dara Horn and Bari Weiss, two of America’s most dynamic young writers, have given us their own updated versions of this theme—Weiss in How to Fight Anti-Semitism and her recent Substack entry, “Everybody Hates the Jews,” and Horn in her compelling book People Love Dead Jews—it is worth returning to see whether anything has changed since Ozick’s blast.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel & Zionism, Politics & Current Affairs