When the totalitarian regimes of the Eastern bloc collapsed in 1989, some predicted a return of virulent anti-Semitism. Certainly, it has not disappeared. But the new governments have been overwhelmingly less hostile toward Jews than their predecessors. Paul Berman argues that this is because anti-Semitism and liberty are incompatible:
The anti-Communist revolutions of circa 1989 turned out to be one of the greatest moments of liberation the Jews have ever known: a magna-event in the history of anti-anti-Semitism, and likewise in the history of anti-anti-Semitism’s political subset, which is anti-anti-Zionism. . . .
It was liberalism that brought [this] about. Naturally not everything that took place during the East-bloc revolutions drew on liberal inspirations, which meant that, here and there, populists and priests with old-fashioned manias about the Jews rose to prominence and issued denunciations in a 1930s style, or in a 12th-century style. But the manias did not seem to get anywhere. The larger trend in Eastern Europe veered in liberal directions, even if vaguely; and a malign obsession with the Jews is antithetical to the liberal principle.