In the United Kingdom, Anti-Semitism Is on the Rise

According to an annual report issued by the Community Security Trust (CST), 2016 saw a record number of anti-Semitic incidents in Britain. Moreover, comprehensive analysis suggests that the latest statistics are not a one-time spike but reflect an increase that is here to stay:

The 1,309 anti-Semitic incidents recorded . . . in 2016 were spread uniformly throughout most of the year. The highest monthly total came in May, with 135 incidents; the second highest was in December, with 133 incidents recorded. Every month from May to December returned a . . . total above 100 incidents, an unprecedented run of consistently high monthly incident totals over an eight-month period. For comparison, in the decade prior to 2016, monthly totals above 100 incidents had only happened six times.

Previously, record-high annual incident totals had been dominated by anti-Semitic reactions in the UK to sudden and specific “trigger events.” For example, the two previous record-high annual totals came in 2014 and 2009, when conflicts in Israel and Gaza acted as sudden trigger events that caused steep, identifiable spikes in anti-Semitic incidents. In contrast, there was no single sudden trigger event in 2016 comparable to those of 2014 and 2009, nor was there a temporary, large spike in incidents that stands out from the rest of the year, causing and explaining the overall record high.

Rather than a single trigger event causing the 2016 record total, it appears that the high number of recorded anti-Semitic incidents may be due to the cumulative effect of a series of relatively lengthy events and factors that, taken together, created an atmosphere in which the number of incidents . . . has remained at a high level over a sustained period of time.

This pattern in fact precedes 2016, dating back to the last major trigger event, the conflict in Israel and Gaza in July and August 2014, when CST noted a then-record high number of anti-Semitic incidents. In the two-and-a-half years since then, from July 2014 to the end of 2016, CST has recorded an average of 105 anti-Semitic incidents per month, compared to an average of 50 incidents per month over the same period prior to July 2014 (i.e., from January 2012 to June 2014). Thus CST is currently recording, on average, more than double the number of anti-Semitic incidents per month than was the case four years ago.

Read more at Community Security Trust

More about: Anti-Semitism, British Jewry, Jewish World, United Kingdom


Hannah Arendt, Adolf Eichmann, and the Jews

Feb. 23 2018

In 1963—a year after Adolf Eichmann’s sentencing by an Israeli court—reports on the trial by the German-born Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt appeared in the New Yorker and were soon published as a book. This “report on the banality of evil,” as the book was subtitled, outraged many Jews, including many of her erstwhile friends and admirers, on account of her manifest contempt for the entire preceding, her disgust for the state of Israel, her accusation that a wide array of European Jewish leaders (if not the majority of the victims) were complicit in their own murder, and her bizarre insistence that Eichmann was “not a monster,” or even an anti-Semite, but a mindless, faceless bureaucrat. While extensive evidence has been brought to light that Arendt was wrong both in her claims of Jewish passivity and her evaluation of Eichmann as the head of the SS’s Jewish section, her book remains widely read and admired. Ruth Wisse comments on its enduring legacy:

When Arendt volunteered to report on the Eichmann trial, it was presumed that she was doing so in her role as a Jew. . . . But Arendt actually traveled to Jerusalem for a deeper purpose—to reclaim Eichmann for German philosophy. She did not exonerate Nazism and in fact excoriated the postwar Adenauer government for not doing enough to punish known Nazi killers, but she rehabilitated the German mind and demonstrated how that could be done by going—not beyond, but around, good and evil. She came to erase Judaism philosophically, to complicate its search for moral clarity, and to unseat a conviction [that, in Saul Bellow’s words], “everybody . . . knows what murder is.”

Arendt was to remain the heroine of postmodernists, deconstructionists, feminists, relativists, and internationalist ideologues who deny the stability of Truth. Not coincidentally, many of them have also disputed the rights of the sovereign Jewish people to its national homeland. Indeed, as anti-Zionism cemented the coalition of leftists, Arabs, and dissident minorities, Arendt herself was conscripted, sometimes unfairly and in ways she might have protested, as an ally in their destabilizing cause. They were enchanted by her “perversity” and were undeterred in their enthusiasm by subsequent revelations, like those of the historian Bernard Wasserstein, who documented Arendt’s scholarly reliance on anti-Semitic sources in her study of totalitarianism, or of revelations about her resumed friendship with Martin Heidegger despite his Nazi associations.

At the same time, however, the Arendt report on the Eichmann trial became one of the catalysts for something no one could have predicted—an intellectual movement that came to be known as neoconservatism. A cohort of writers and thinkers, many of them Jews from immigrant families who had turned to leftism as naturally as calves to their mother’s teats, but who had slowly moved away from the Marxism of their youth during the Stalin years and World War II, now spotted corruption and dishonesty and something antithetical to them in some of their very models of the intellectual life.

They and their Gentile colleagues had constituted the only European-style intelligentsia to flourish in America. Most of them were only one generation removed from Europe, after all, so what could be more natural than for them to serve as the conduit of European intelligence to America? Arendt’s ingenious twist of the Eichmann trial showed them how Jewish and American they actually were—and how morally clear they aspired to be.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Adolf Eichmann, Hannah Arendt, History & Ideas, Holocaust, Neoconservatism, New York Intellectuals