Secularized Anti-Semitism

British novelist Martin Amis in an interview in the British left-wing Independent. The interviewer asks Amis:

…imagine that at the time of the 2006 Lebanon war, also unfolding that summer, a prominent novelist had adumbrated harassing and deporting Jews until they got “their” house in order. What would you have said, Martin? “It’s completely meaningless,” he replies. “Jews aren’t blowing themselves up in London.” But Muslims en masse aren’t blowing themselves up either; a handful of individual Muslims are. The point of the “thought experiment” is that both scenarios – yours and mine – punish innocent people who have nothing to do with the crime, and no power over it.

He rides over this, talking instead about Israel. “I know it’s a great tradition of the British left to support Palestine, but when you come up against this question, you can feel the intelligence and balance leaving the hall with a shriek, and people getting into this endocrinal state about Israel. I just don’t understand it. The Jews have a much, much worse history than the Palestinians, and in living memory. But there’s just no impulse of sympathy for that… I know we’re supposed to be grown up about it and not fling around accusations of anti-Semitism, but I don’t see any other explanation. It’s a secularised anti-Semitism.

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