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Goldhagen, Daniel Jonah. The Devil that Never Dies, The Rise and Threat of Global Antisemitism.

Goldhagen, Daniel Jonah. The Devil that Never Dies, The Rise and Threat of Global Antisemitism. New York: Little, Brown, and Co., 2013.

Daniel Jonah Goldhagen a former professor at Harvard University and author of a classic work entitled: Hitler's Willing Executioners presents us with his latest study: The Devil that Never Dies.

This new study examines anitsemitism in Europe and well beyond into the western world (the Third World), concluding that "Jew Hatred" to the point of "eliminationism" has radically increased. This reviewer fully agrees with his assessment, but not with some of Goldhagen's reasons for this unprecedente, age-old, global hatred.

The Devil that Never Dies is a dense collection of anti-semitic literature, much of it drawn from newspaper accounts, old and new-from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to the curent Islamic clergy. Much of this study is repetitive blaming the Christian faith for anitsemitism (the Christ Killers scenario) and the recent Islamic fundamentalist hatred of all other religions (pp. 218-242).

There are, at least, two issues that I would take umbrige with for lack of accuracy. The first deals with a vague reference to Mel Gibson's 2004 film The Passion of the Christ which I saw several times. The film is not "Blantantly antisemitic" although the Gospels do blame the Hews for their role in the incident.

No doubt, the church has been antisemitic in the past, but since the 1960's they have powerfully fought that attitude.

In regard to Islam and its fundamentalists, there exists some deranged individuals who have a pathological hatred of all other religions. This may never change but there are similar extremists in other religions as well, including Judaism and Christinity. However, the greatest "inaccuracy" in Goldhagen's analysis is to blame it on the Quran, Islam's Holy Book. It is true that some Jews sided with the Prophet Muhammad's enemies, and that they were executed. But, on the whole, Islam treated the Jews far better than the Medieval Christian World. As I have shown in my own recent book: Another Look, One God and Three Faiths (UPA, 2014) Muhammad saw the Jews and Christians as his allies against the Arabian pagans. He did not have a negative psychological predisposition toward them, nor does the Quran.

For the most part, antisemitism in the non-western world is derived from an anti-Israeli perspective; it is more political in nature, than religious. It supports the inalienable rights of the Moslem Palestinian people which all Moslem states support on the basis of common faith. And, for the non-Moslem states in the Third World, they see Israel as a "colonial-settler state"--a situation they despise.

If antisemitism is to disappear in the non-western world, the Israelis and the Palestinians must resolve the 1948 refugee problem in a just and lasting way. American intransigence and Israeli rejectionism on the right of return of the 1948 DP's is greatly responsible for the rise in global antisemitism.

A.J. Abraham

John Jay College (CUNY)

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Author:Abraham, A.J.
Publication:Journal of Third World Studies
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 22, 2015
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