The emancipation of the Jews meant that they were free to pursue careers, go into business, and do their best to succeed.
And that was exactly the problem. The Jews were making their way into the middle class. And the people who opposed a middle class saw the Jews as their wedge issue.
To use a term that’s under attack today, the issue was meritocracy.
The success of the Jews was the best evidence that meritocracy worked. The Jews were a great argument for equality. But if you were, say, Karl Marx, you didn’t want a good argument for equality. You wanted a good argument against an open society creating equality. And that was antisemitism. …
The new antisemitism began in 1948:
The apologists for the new antisemitism argue that there’s a dividing line between the past when Jews were oppressed, powerless victims.
They draw that line in the few years between the end of the Holocaust and the rebirth of Israel.
In 1945, the Jews were still powerless victims, but three years later, in 1948, we suddenly became the oppressors. In three years, according to the anti-Zionists, Jews went from being good victims to bad oppressors. In three years, we somehow went from being undeserving of antisemitism to deserving of antisemitism. …
It’s all about economic competition, and nobbling successful rivals:
What happened in Israel is that Jewish agriculture and businesses outperformed Muslim agriculture and businesses triggering pogroms and massacres.
When the Jews rose up and created their own country, Muslim nations sent in armies to throw them into the sea. The Jews had a shortage of basic military equipment and they still held out in small settlements against attacks by artillery and armored vehicles.
The Jews won their War of Independence against superior numbers and firepower.
Jordanian artillery shelling Jerusalem in 1948.
The small number of Jews in that outmatched country, some Holocaust survivors just off the boat with numbers on their arms and rusty rifles that barely worked, held out. In a short time, they built a military that became the envy of the world. And they won war after war.
And just like their grandparents in Europe and Russia, who went from starving peasants to doctors and small businessmen, they became the oppressors. …
Only losers complain about the competition:
Antisemitism has always been an ideology of losers, of movements and groups that are afraid of competition and of a free society, who use Jews as their argument against a free society.
Jewish underdog success in America, in Europe, or in Israel was based on being able to compete and win. Yet Jews are drawn to politics that would change society to make it impossible for Jews to compete.
Jews are both the best evidence for meritocracy and its biggest opponents. …
The Jews are just the easiest target if you’re going to attack a free society. Antisemitic conspiracy theories are a great way to argue that society is unfair, that it’s rigged, because if it’s not rigged, then how do you explain Jewish success?
And how do you explain the relative economic failure of blacks in the West? The answers to both questions are forbidden by the left, but there are clues in a book of statistics that the left cannot abide, The Bell Curve by Herrnstein and Murray.