Jack EngelhardJack Engelhard’s classic international bestselling novel Indecent Proposal, which later became a worldwide hit movie, has been republished to meet readers’ demands. His other major works include Compulsive: A Novel, his award-winning post-Holocaust Montreal memoir Escape from Mount Moriah, plus Slot Attendant: A Novel About A Novelist. His website: www.jackengelhard.com
I choose to look at the bright side. But meantime…
A survey just released by Abe Foxman’s ADL (Anti-Defamation League) and making big headlines shows that one of four people around the globe hates the Jews.
I was having a pretty good day. I needed this information?
Well that’s what you get when you ask too many questions. Where I come from a shayleh iz trayf.
This means that if you ask the rabbi about the red speck in the egg, he will take the shortcut and automatically declare it un-kosher, just because you asked.
So the rule is to leave well enough alone. Let that be a lesson for Abe and for the rest of us. Shut up.
What’s most shocking about this survey is that it is not shocking. Anti-Semitism is just another day at the office. This is supposed to be the most comprehensive study ever done on the topic but seems to me that I have read this before, about once a week. People are always surprised and alarmed by the figures…as if what?
As if one morning we will wake up to read that Farrakhan has apologized and converted?
Without spending all that money and wasting all that time, I could have told you that anti-Semitism is highest wherever Muslims are found. (Ninety percent and counting in “peace-loving” places like Gaza and Abbas’ part of the “West Bank.”) This is not news.
I also know that Eastern Europe comes in second in that dubious distinction; why Ukraine alone tips the scales. (Welcome to Laos where anti-Semites are few.)
I find it apparent that when you ask leading questions you will get leading answers. I understand that 11 negative Jewish stereotypes were presented to 53,100 people in 101 countries. This is asking for trouble. People who don’t give us a second thought, suddenly you ask them if Jews are too rich, and it gets them thinking.
Ask them if Jews have too much power, as the ADL survey apparently did in thousands of interviews, and it gets them wondering.
By the way, if Jews are so smart (another stereotype) how come so many of our people are moving back to Germany?
The ADL questions, put before respondents who may not regard us either way, can unintentionally serve as answers. People like Roger Waters wait for such headlines to satisfy themselves that they are not alone; but rather that they are in good company.
Maybe it’s the novelist in me that objects to an Oy Gevalt “plot twist” that is sprung with such force that it causes the reader to lose sympathy. Victims don’t play well before an audience and losers earn no respect. The pity-me sad sack never gets the girl.
I am all for being informed but a study like this serves no purpose except to invite another round of hand wringing…and with no solution in sight.
What am I to do with this information so scrupulously assembled by the ADL’s pollster? Worry? Yes. That you can count on.
The world does not respond favorably to our troubles.. But it does respond favorably to the sight of Israeli jets zooming overhead. Strength is the only answer.
We worry about our children and our grandchildren. We fought the fight and thought that with a powerful Israel at our side we had made some progress.
But now this? For our kids it starts all over again.
That was my first reaction when the ADL story came in. The kids. Next came a strange disappointment.
Why broadcast this to people who already know anti-Semitism first-hand and, worse, to people who will surely rejoice? Why call attention?
The world does not respond favorably to our troubles; does not say, “Oh dear, we are so sorry. We apologize.”
But it does respond favorably to the sight of Israeli jets zooming overhead. Strength is the only answer.
I’ll take a small measure of comfort in the other part of the survey, that three out of four respondents were not deeply or demonstrably anti-Semitic. Okay!
I can always use a hug, so I’ll take that slice of the pie.
One more thing: It is unclear, according to Abe’s survey, the actual polling done by another firm, how much of the anti-Semitism centers around Israel. Well, it’s enough for me to know that had there been an Israel back in the 1930s there would have been no Holocaust.
The bad news is that there was a Holocaust. The good news? Never again!
Jack Engelhard writes a regular column for Arutz Sheva. New from the bestselling novelist, the bonus edition of his award-winning post-Holocaust memoir Escape From Mount Moriah. Website: www.jackengelhard.com