August 15, 2023

Saul Goldman praises Bret Stephens’ essay on antisemitism

To the Editors:

Bret Stephens’ essay on antisemitism is the most insightful comment about it that I have ever read. Especially true is the acknowledgement that we can never eliminate antisemitism. On the contrary, it has become a major Jewish industry inasmuch as organizations like the ADL have become wealthy because of their “heroic” battles against antisemitism. But, ideas, especially ideas derived from the primary process dynamics of theology and religion, will prevail. It might be fair to say that Jew-hatred is as much an article of faith as the allegation of deicide.
The author’s answer then is simply to become stronger and more devoted. We develop an intellectual resilience to Jew hatred by acknowledging that we are the “chosen” people; not because we are genetically superior but because superiority is a moral value; it negates mediocrity. Loyalty to each other and to Israel transcends political squabbles. It is intrinsic to the notion of covenant. We participate in a covenant, a social contract of brother and sisterhood, that began in history and anticipates an era described by some of the world’s most inspired thinkers, as an “end of history”. Indeed, we worship the unseen God of history and must always be aware that its events (such as Jew hatred) may contain messages beyond its manifest and irksome contents.