Is There a New Anti-Semitism?
AMERICAN JEWS have been experiencing “a certain anxiety” since about 1967. General political violence was then at a peak. The 1967 war in the Middle East exposed some unsettling trends on the American Left. So did aspects of the black revolution, as in the 1968 New York teachers’ strike. Street anti-Semitism crept out of the closet for the first time since World War II. The image of the Democratic party as a safe harbor faltered at the 1968 national convention, foundered at the 1972 national convention. Official classification of people by race and ethnicity was apparently becoming a way of life. The 1973 war in the Middle East, its outcome, the Arab oil embargo, and the energy crisis raised some additional uncertainties for American Jews.
Reporting on those years, Arnold Forster and Benjamin R. Epstein of the Anti-Defamation League have concluded that there is a new anti-Semitism abroad in the land.* They are right: there is a “new” anti-Semitism, and they provide hard evidence of its existence, although their portrayal is made the less convincing by a vagueness of definition.
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