Historian Paul Johnson: The Anti-Semitic Disease:
What strikes the historian surveying anti-Semitism worldwide over more than two millennia is its fundamental irrationality. [SNIP]The great thing about reading this historian’s work is that you don’t have to be a PhD to understand it. He doesn’t talk down; he merely talks sense. Here he indicts Queen Isabella’s fifteenth century Spain for its antipathy towards the Jews, along with the rest of Europe, from that era up to the end of the Third Reich. Then there is nineteenth and twentieth century Russia/Soviet Union. Lastly and presently, there is nearly the entire Arab/Muslim world.
Asked to explain why they hate Jews, anti-Semites contradict themselves. Jews are always showing off; they are hermetic and secretive. They will not assimilate; they assimilate only too well. They are too religious; they are too materialistic, and a threat to religion. They are uncultured; they have too much culture. They avoid manual work; they work too hard. They are miserly; they are ostentatious spenders. They are inveterate capitalists; they are born Communists. And so on. In all its myriad manifestations, the language of anti-Semitism through the ages is a dictionary of non-sequiturs and antonyms, a thesaurus of illogic and inconsistency.
In pointing out these phenomena, Mr. Johnson isn’t shy about stating what the outcome usually is for those who scapegoat the Jews for their own misfortunes and bad judgment. At the very least, the nation or tribe that hates on the Jews becomes a shadow of itself if it had any greatness—see Spain. At most, it is obliterated or conquered brutally and partitioned—see Ancient Egypt or Nazi Germany.
Coming to his point, Mr. Johnson compares anti-Semitism to anti-Americanism, and states his fear of Europe returning to its old ways—especially Germany, for obvious reasons.
[A]nti-Semitism and anti-Americanism have proceeded hand in hand in today’s Europe just as they once did in Hitler’s mind (as the unpublished second half of Mein Kampf decisively shows). [SNIP]Read it and learn something.
Especially disturbing is the spread of the cult in Germany. There, in the 1920’s, anti-Semitism was a feature of the social demoralization produced by defeat in World War I. Germany is now becoming demoralized again, for a variety of reasons: appallingly high unemployment; falling living standards relative to the U.S., Britain, and other advanced nations; declining population figures, giving rise to anxiety about the future of the workforce and the security of the pension system; and the inability of the country’s leaders to address any of these problems.