The Magazine

Blaming the Jews

Do we face a new anti-Semitism, or the return of the old anti-Semitism?

May 10, 2004, Vol. 9, No. 33 • By WERNER J. DANNHAUSER
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That may be wise, for both authors know to beware the insidious view, so chic in many circles, that where there are executions the victims are at least in part to blame. Nevertheless, one must occasionally ask what it is about the Jews that has made them such targeted victims from time immemorial. When one delves into their mysterious history, one begins to suspect that they are chosen--chosen, as Gershom Scholem once put it, by somebody for something. Many Jews have trouble believing that. Sometimes they have more trouble believing that than their enemies.

Werner J. Dannhauser is a writer living in Evanston, Illinois.