In this seminal work that has spent more than 30 years in print, Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin explain the reasons behind anti-Semitism, the world’s preoccupation with the Jews and Israel, and why now more than ever the world needs to confront anti-Jewish sentiment.
Why have Jews been the object of the most enduring and universal hatred in history? Why is the Jewish state the most hated country in the world today? Drawing on extensive historical research, Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin reveal how Judaism’s distinctive conceptions of God, law, and peoplehood have rendered the Jews and the Jewish state outsiders and labeled them as threatening. But as Prager and Telushkin are quick to point out, anti-Semitism is not just another ethnic or racial prejudice and is not caused, as so many people falsely believe, by Jewish economic success or the need for scapegoats. Rather, anti-Semitism today, as in the past, is a reaction to Judaism and its distinctive values.
Prager and Telushkin examine in detail how anti-Semitism is a unique hatred – no other prejudice has been as universal, deep, or permanent – and how the concept of the “chosen people” spawned that hatred. They also explore the role of non-Jewish Jews, such as Karl Marx and Noam Chomsky, in provoking anti-Jewish animosity.
In Why the Jews?, Prager and Telushkin identify the seven major forms of anti-Semitism – pagan, Christian, Muslim, enlightenment, leftist, Nazi, and anti-Zionist – and explain why it is impossible in today’s world to be an anti-Zionist without being an anti-Semite.
With an eye on the larger picture, Prager and Telushkin express why anti-Semitism threatens more than just Jews and what kind of changes are necessary to achieve a world without hatred.