As World Leaders Gather to Remember the Holocaust, They Should Ask How Anti-Semitism Differs from Ordinary Hatreds

January 22, 2020 | Fiamma Nirenstein
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Today, an international conference titled “Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting Anti-Semitism” opens in Jerusalem, attended by representatives from some 40 governments, including the presidents of France, Russia, and Italy and the vice-president of the United States. While ample attention will no doubt be paid to the anti-Semitism of the extreme right, Fiamma Nirenstein fears that less will be paid to that of the left, and still less to the Islamic variety. She also fears that those in attendance will give in to a related, and dangerous, temptation to subsume anti-Semitism into an amorphous “hatred”:

Strangely, some in the Jewish world, and their friends, renounce the obvious uniqueness of anti-Semitism, and the upcoming leaders’ conference . . . in Jerusalem must avoid this attempt to dilute anti-Semitism as just another hatred or bias. Some groups on the left dissolve anti-Semitism into an intersectional cauldron to fight “all the politics of hate,” demanding that whoever seeks to fight anti-Semitism must be part of the great “intersectional” alliance against white oppression and colonialism, while supporting open borders, feminism, transgender activism, etc. In the end, this political platform slips into an uncertain terrain where violence, terrorism, and the culture of political correctness blur the contours of evil and immorality and deny the uniqueness of the persecution of Jews—and perhaps even that of the Shoah.

Throughout my career as a journalist and a member of [Italy’s] parliament, I have always been a liberal proponent of many feminist, equal-rights, and gay-rights aims. But anti-Semitism has its own unique dimensions: the Jewish people have been persecuted for thousands of years, [and] accused of everything.

The British author Douglas Murray reports in his book, The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race, and Identity, on a leaflet distributed at the University of Illinois: it says that on top of the 99 percent of the oppressed people in the world there is one percent that is white. The leaflet argues that ending white, male privilege starts with ending Jewish privilege.

Is this anti-Semitism? Certainly, it is. Should the world leaders in Jerusalem target this way of viewing the Jews? Certainly, they should. But I am afraid this will not happen.

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