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Christopher Hitchens

“But the Jews of the Arab lands were expelled again in revenge for the defeat of Palestinian nationalism in 1947–48, and now the most evil and discredited fabrication of Jew-baiting Christian Europe—The Protocols of the Elders of Zion—is eagerly promulgated in the Hamas charter and on the group’s Web site and recycled through a whole nexus of outlets that includes schools as well as state-run television stations.

This might license the view that the sickness [of anti-semitism] is somehow ineradicable and not even subject to rational analysis, let alone to rationalization. Anti-Semitism has flourished without banking or capitalism (for which Jews were at one time blamed) and without Communism (for which they were also blamed). It has existed without Zionism (of which leading Jews were at one time the only critics) and without the state of Israel. There has even been anti-Semitism without Jews, in states like Malaysia whose political leaders are paranoid demagogues looking for a scapegoat. This is enough to demonstrate that anti-Semitism is not a mere prejudice like any other: Sinhalese who don’t like Tamils, or Hutu who regard Tutsi as ‘cockroaches,’ do not accuse their despised neighbors of harboring a plan—or of possessing the ability—to bring off a secret world government based on the occult control of finance.

Paradoxically, then, there is something almost flattering about anti-Jewish racism. To have been confined in the ghetto for so long, and then to be held responsible for Marx, Freud, and Einstein, to say nothing of Rothschild… Yet the outcome is always the same: to be treated as human refuse and to be either deported or massacred. Jean-Paul Sartre’s essay profiling the anti-Semite has many shortcomings, but it’s hard to argue with his conclusion that such a person must necessarily carry a thirst for murder in his heart. Yet this is perhaps true of other racists as well. What strikes the eye about anti-Semitism is the godfather role it plays as the organizing principle of other bigotries. The Nazis may well have thought of Slavs and Poles as less than human, but it was the hatred of Jewry that cemented their worldview (and, horribly enough, gave them something in common with many of their Slavic and Polish victims).”

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From Christopher Hitchens’s short article Chosen.

Watch Hitchens give the annual Daniel Pearl lecture on anti-semitism below. This is one of the best speeches you’ll ever watch.