What is anti-Semitism? II

August 8, 2012

“The Jews, a prime example of nomadism, showed the world the productivity of a wandering culture. … And yet in their search for origins, these decidedly intransigent people who imagine themselves to be the absolute originals … are the Jews not eternal crusaders fighting tooth and nail now more than ever to remain the one and only group of settlers in the Holy Land, their land, which nevertheless also belongs to Muslims and Christians? It’s not the same thing at all, you snap back: they’re just getting back the land that was taken from them and building a secure place for themselves after the horrors of the Shoah. OK, but the Palestinian kamikazes make exactly the same claim about exactly the same land and base it on their own origin story, know what I mean?”

Julia Kristeva, Murder in Byzantium (2006, p. 96).

“a short explanation, scientific in tone, horrifying in its details. The Jews were creatures of an alien race. They needed blood—the baptised blood of innocent Christian children—to sanctify their pagan rituals. Their rabbis would defile the blessed Host, stolen for the occasion, then eat the sodden mess to perpetuate their own sort in orgies of unthinkable brutality. They were animals, human in appearance only. How long would the Jews go unpunished for their crimes?”

Michael Gregorio, Days of Atonement (2007, p. 150).

“Who was left? The Jews, for heaven’s sake! Deep down I thought it was only my grandfather who had been so obsessed, but after listening to Toussenel I realised there was an anti-Jewish market not just among all the descendants of Abbé Barruel (and there were quite a few of them) but also among revolutionaries, republicans and socialists. The Jews were the enemy of the altar, but also of the ordinary people, whose blood they sucked. And they were also the enemy of the throne, depending on who governed. I had to work on the Jews.”

Umberto Eco, The Prague Cemetery (2011, pp. 188-9).

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