Anti-Semitic poster
Anti-Semitic posterIsrael news photo

Anti-Semitism in the United States is “limited to the private domain” and is marginal, claimed US News & World Report editor-in-chief Morton Zuckerman, speaking at the annual Facing Tomorrow conference in Jerusalem.


“The Holocaust made anti-Semitism disreputable, and it exists only in marginal elements in America and is limited to the private domain. It no longer affects where Jews work, learn and go to school,” he said in the last of four speeches at the opening session of the presidential conference


Zuckerman declared that the United States has shared values with Israel but never experienced the Holocaust, partly because “America lacks an obsession with religion." He also cited the “melting pot” history of the United States, “where virtually every ethnic group has dual loyalty,…which is why we have so many ‘hyphenated’ Americans,” such as Irish-American  and Spanish-Americans.


The magazine editor also noted that the two countries now share the common enemy of terrorism.


He said a major challenge for Israel and a country around the world is to “cope with the fact that images can dominate emotions.” Zuckerman pointed out that images “conveyed through television or visual media may tell a specific truth but they can also alter the truth.”


Blair's Speech Peppered with Jokes


Preceding his speech, Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair spoke about terrorist countries having a "closed attitude" that shuts out communication. He prefaced his comments with several light remarks, joking about octogenarian President Shimon Peres’s health and vitality.


He also described Israeli democracy, based on a supposed incident at the KingDavidHotel, when he was dining with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during his first term of office in the late 1990s. “The waiter spilled soup on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s lap,” Blair told the 1,500 guests at the conference.


"In many countries, including quite a few in this region, the waiter would have been in trouble. But this is Israel. Although I do not speak Hebrew, I could tell what the waiter was saying to Bibi: ‘Why were you so stupid to put your lap where I was going to put the soup.' His [Netanyahu’s] reaction was, ‘I am really sorry,’ and then I realized this is a real democracy.”