Non­fic­tion

How to Fight Anti-Semitism 

June 1, 2019

On Octo­ber 27, 2018, eleven Jews were gunned down as they prayed at their syn­a­gogue in Pitts­burgh. It was the dead­liest attack on Jews in Amer­i­can history.
 
For most Amer­i­cans, the mas­sacre at Tree of Life, the syn­a­gogue where Bari Weiss became a bat mitz­vah, came as a total shock. But anti-Semi­tism is the old­est hatred, com­mon­place across the Mid­dle East and on the rise for years in Europe. So that ter­ri­ble morn­ing in Pitts­burgh raised a ques­tion Amer­i­cans can no longer avoid: Could it hap­pen here?
 
This book is Weiss’s answer.
 
Like many, Weiss long believed this coun­try could escape the ris­ing tide of anti-Semi­tism. But now the luck­i­est Jews in his­to­ry are begin­ning to face a three-head­ed drag­on known all too well to Jews of oth­er times and places: the phys­i­cal fear of vio­lent assault, the moral fear of ide­o­log­i­cal vil­i­fi­ca­tion, and the polit­i­cal fear of resur­gent fas­cism and populism.
 
No longer the exclu­sive province of the far right, the far left, and assort­ed reli­gious big­ots, anti-Semi­tism now finds a home in iden­ti­ty pol­i­tics and the reac­tion against iden­ti­ty pol­i­tics, in the renew­al of Amer­i­ca First iso­la­tion­ism and the rise of one-world social­ism, and in the spread of Islamist ideas into unlike­ly places. A hatred that was, until recent­ly, reli­ably taboo, anti-Semi­tism is migrat­ing toward the main­stream, ampli­fied by social media and a cul­ture of con­spir­a­cy that threat­ens us all.
 
Weiss’s cri de coeur is an unnerv­ing reminder that Jews must nev­er lose their hard-won instinct for dan­ger, and a pow­er­ful case for renew­ing Jew­ish and Amer­i­can val­ues in uncer­tain times from one of our most provoca­tive writ­ers. Not just for the sake of America’s Jews, but for the sake of America.