Sorry History; 'Chosen' Animosities

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), July 1, 2008 | Go to article overview

Sorry History; 'Chosen' Animosities


Byline: Tulin Daloglu, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Over the course of centuries, many groups of people have claimed to be "chosen" by God. But the Jews are the only ones targeted for it, argues Avi Beker, the former Secretary General of the World Jewish Congress. In his wisely researched, well-documented new book, "The Chosen," Mr. Beker, a visiting professor at Georgetown University, compiles all the stereotypes, conspiracy theories and accusations about Jews throughout history.

While the current situation in the Middle East - especially since the attacks on September 11, 2001 - has created an undeniable Islamophobia that deeply offends Muslims, Beker turns the tables and describes in detail the well-established Judeophobia throughout the world. Like the accusations of the Saudi minister of interior, Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz that Israelis and Jews were behind the attack. While the Jews and the state of Israel have been largely perceived as the root cause of all the trouble in the Middle East, and while Jews have been accused of controlling not only American policies, but also the world's economy and the media, this book really is a must-read for anyone interested in the topic to put this mindset in a historical, political and substantive context.

Mr. Beker argues that people who believe in the Abrahamic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - represent a little more than half of the world's population (excluding China, India, and Japan) but the arena of their contention for the titled "Chosen"covers 90 percent of the world's inhabited continents. He looks back to when anti-Jewish policies were at their height in Europe - when Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492. And the goal of that expulsion, Mr. Beker writes, was to create the "Chosen" mantle in Spain. Centuries later, Adolf Hitler chose a different path for the "Chosen" - not even allowing them a chance of escape from death. "The struggle for world domination will be fought entirely between us, between German and Jews," Hitler said. "There cannot be two Chosen People. We are God's people." Mr. Beker also examines the issue of Jewish loyalty and allegations about Jewish influence in the United States. "In France, observed Walter Russell Mead, one of the most durable components of anti-Americanism is the deep belief that the American financial system is controlled by the Jews," Mr. Beker writes.

"The mix of anti-Semitism with anti-Americanism has been a central element in political campaigns at the beginning of the new century. It reflects the changes in the international system, the still undefined balance of power, and the growing resentment against America, which brings in its wake anti-Semitism. …

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