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Why the Jews?: The Reason for Antisemitism [Paperback]

By Dennis Prager (Author) & Joseph Telushkin (Author)
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Item description for Why the Jews?: The Reason for Antisemitism by Dennis Prager & Joseph Telushkin...

A revised edition of the classic volume on the history and current state of anti-Semitism features a new chapter on common misconceptions about Jewish people and Israel, and also provides coverage of anti-Semitic behaviors by Jewish people. Reprint. response to Jews and their way of life, based upon its very foundations--God, Torah, and Peoplehood. Original. 40,000 first printing.

Publishers Description
From the bestselling authors of The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism comes a completely revised and updated edition of a modern classic that reflects the dangerous rise in antisemitism during the twenty-first century.

The very word Jew continues to arouse passions as does no other religious, national, or political name. Why have Jews been the object of the most enduring and universal hatred in history? Why did Hitler consider murdering Jews more important than winning World War II? Why has the United Nations devoted more time to tiny Israel than to any other nation on earth?

In this seminal study, Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin attempt to uncover and understand the roots of antisemitism -- from the ancient world to the Holocaust to the current crisis in the Middle East. This postmillennial edition of Why the Jews? offers new insights and unparalleled perspectives on some of the most recent, pressing developments in the contemporary world, including:

• The replicating of Nazi antisemitism in the Arab world

• The pervasive anti-Zionism/antisemitism on university campuses

• The rise of antisemitism in Europe

• Why the United States and Israel are linked in the minds of antisemites

Clear, persuasive, and thought provoking, Why the Jews? is must reading for anyone who seeks to understand the unique role of the Jews in human history.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Touchstone
Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.4" Width: 5.45" Height: 0.71"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Simon & Schuster
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0743246209  
ISBN13  9780743246200  

Availability  16 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 24, 2016 07:54.
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More About Dennis Prager & Joseph Telushkin

Dennis Prager Dennis Prager is one of America's most respected radio talk show hosts. He has been broadcasting on radio in Los Angeles since 1982. His popular show became nationally syndicated in 1999 and airs live, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to Noon (Pacific Time) from his home station, KRLA. Widely sought after by television shows for his opinions, he's appeared on Larry King Live, Hardball, Hannity & Colmes, CBS Evening News, The Today Show and many others. Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual, was published in February, 1998 by HarperCollins and was best seller for fifteen consecutive weeks on the Los Angeles Times best seller list. Think a Second Time contains 44 essays on 44 different subjects. Bill Bennett called it "one of those rare books that can change an intelligent mind." USA Today columnist and professor of law Susan Estrich called it "Brilliant, a tour de force." The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism, co-written with Joseph Telushkin, has been translated into nearly a dozen languages, and is the most widely used introduction to Judaism in the world. It is still a best-seller in paperback over 20 years after it's release. Dennis has engaged in interfaith dialogue with Catholics at the Vatican, Muslims in the Persian Gulf, Hindus in India, and Protestants at Christian seminaries throughout America. For ten years, he conducted a weekly interfaith dialogue on radio with representatives of virtually every religion in the world. New York's Jewish Week described Dennis Prager as "one of the three most interesting minds in American Jewish Life. Mr. Prager was a Fellow at Columbia University's School of International Affairs, where he did graduate work at the Middle East and Russian Institutes. He has taught Russian and Jewish history at Brooklyn College; and was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the U.S. Delegation to the Vienna Review Conference on the Helsinki Accords. He holds an honorary doctorate of laws from Pepperdine University.

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Reviews - What do customers think about Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism?

The reason for Antisemitism  Mar 8, 2007
A comprehensive explanation of Antisemitism through the ages. All the lies and myths really answer the root question.
The roots and reality of Jew-hatred/Israel-hatred  Feb 2, 2007
In the last six years in particular, since Arafat launched a war of terror against Israel's people, I have often wondered what the reasons are for the intense hatred and violent rage, especially by Moslems and the Left, of Israel and her people.
The country where I live, is periodically rocked by nationwide paroxysms of vicious rage and murderous hate of the tiny nation of Israel,encouraged by the ruling party and it's allies, civil society, universities and the media.
This is the world's latest incantation of Jew-hatred, the world's longest and most intense hatred, as Dennis Prager explains in this fascinating and illuminating work.
Prager begins by outlining some of the violent attacks on Jews and Israel in Europe and elsewhere, which has become the disease permeating the world as we begin the 21st century.
Prager mentions the United Nations-sponsored World Conference on Racism, in Durban, South Africa in August 2001, which, while failing to mention human rights abuses and genocide in China, Rwanda or anyplace in the Arab world, turned into a violent fest of hate and rage against Israel.

While anti-Semitism was traditionally associated with rightwing populists, vicious anti-Israelism is becoming the culture and raison d etre of 'progressive' intellectual communities.

Prager illustrates that:

* Thousands of academics around the world, have called for an end to support for Israeli researchers, though not an end to support for researchers from any other nation.

* Israeli scholars in Spring 2003 were forced off the board of an international literary journal.

* And many at universities across the world, including North America, have called for their universities to single out Israel among all nations as the lone country where it is inappropriate for any part of the university's endowment to be invested.

Prager marvels how in a world filled with enormous evils-such as totalitarian states that make their countries into large prison camps (Iran and North Korea); that massacre and enslave millions of citizens (Sudan) , that wage deadly war against their own populations (Zimbabwe and Myanmar) that destroy entire cultures (As China is doing in Tibet), it would seem a puzzle as to why the Jewish State and America are the two most villified countries in the world.
Prager points this out as being a violent rejection of the American and Jewish values of Judeo-Christian civilization, justice, freedom, democracy and humanity as a source of light to the world. He explains the reason why the USA supports Israel as being because of the USA's Judeo-Christian values and her realization that Israel is a tiny island of democracy and human rights in a sea of totalitarianism.

It is against this background that Prager delves into the roots of Jew-hatred to attempt an explanation of this phenomenon.
The basic source of ancient Jewish history, the Bible, depicts two attempts at anihilation of the Jewish people: that of Pharaoh and the Egyptians (Exodus 1:15-22) and that of Haman and the Persians.
On three occasions in the last 350 years, anihilation campaigns have been waged against the Jews, the Chmelnitzky massacres in Eastern Europe in 1648-1649, the Nazi destruction of Europe's Jews between 1939 and 1945 , and the current decades long campaign to anihilate the Jewish State by it's enemies.

Prager holds out four basic reasons for Jew hatred (and it's latest incantaion, Israel-hatred)
* The hatred of Judaism and ethical monotheism
* The chosen people idea as a cause of Jew-hatred
* The moral challenge posed by the Jews for a better world.
* The higher quality of Jewish life as a cause of Jew-hatred

Chapter 5 deals with the topic of Non-Jewish Jews and anti-Semitism. This is particularly interesting to me, because leftwing diaspora Jews who hate Israel, are a major source of anger and disgust for me.
Prager is also vexed by the question of explaining Jews who devote their lives to hurting Jews. He points out that "Among no group in the world are there so many individuals who so single-mindedly attempt to damage the group into which they were born".
He gives as examples the loathsome Noam Chomsky who has dedicated much of his life tro defending those who wish to destroy Israel, and to demonize Israel and her people, frequently comparing Israelis to the Nazis; and Norman Finkelstein who lectures throughout the world , calling Israel a Nazi State and demanding it's destruction.
Indeed many Jewish ultra-Leftists lead the "burn Israel" movement, sponsoring pro-Palestinian hate rallies, leading campaigns for divestment from Israel, and demoinzing Israel and her people in the media and universities.

The author expalins this phenomenon as being that Jewish radicals, like other radicals, lack roots, and hate Jews (such as the Jews of Israel) who do have roots and a national identity.
"The Ubermensch, which is how they see themselves, rises above such parochial indentities."
Also they likely believe that if they side with those who hate Jews, they will not be hated by them.

Prager refutes the Marxist view of anti-Semitism that it is caused by Capitalism, pointing out that in Communist societies anti-Semitism has often been at it's worst.
He also easily refutes the myth that anti-Semitism is purely a rightwing phenomenon, pointing to Soviet persecution of Jewry , and the new anti-Semitism of today, which eminates mainly from the Left.
Prager go's on to examine the historical evidence of anti-Semitism with histories of ancient anti-Semitism, Christian anti-Semitism, Islamic anti-Semitism, Secular Enlightenment anti-Semitism, Leftist anti-Semitism, Nazi anti-Semitism and anti-Zionist anti-Semitism.
He continually draws parralels between historic anti-Semitism and today's new anti-Zionist version, for example discussing the mediaeval libel that Jews poisoned wells, and deliberately spread disease , to lies by the Palestinian Authority and Leftist NGO's that the Israelis have poisoned Palestinian water supplies and deliberately infected Palestinian children with the HIV virus.

In the section on Islamic anti-Semitism, he outlines bloody pogroms carried out against Jews in Arab countries, in the 20th century. He also explains the real reason behind Arab hatred of Israel. The idea of Jews as free people in their own state cannot be tolerated, they can only be tolerated as subordinate or degraded. The basis of Arab hatred of Israel is the hatred of Jews refusing to accept an unequal, inferior status, that they lived under for centuries of Arab rule.
He also deals with the Arab-Nazi connection of World War II, and beyond.
In the chapter on Leftist anti-Semitism he observes how the further left one goes the greater the Jew-hatred. The propaganda peddled by far-left ideologues, academics and journalists today is a reproduction of the propaganda manufactured in the old Soviet Union, during the Cold War, when the USSR was persecuting Jews and working for the destruction of Israel.

Letwing anti-Semitism revolves around the denial of Jewish nationhood, and therefore of Israel's right to exist, leading to a hatred of all Jews who affirm Jewish nationhood and particularly of all Jews who live in the Jewish homeland. It also involves a gross Orwellianism whereby Israel is accused of genocide, when the truth is that the Arabs and their allies are the ones pushing for the destruction of Israel and thereby a second holocaust against Jews.

Because anti-Zionism's goal would lead to a second holocaust against five million Jews, it cannot be distinguished from anti-Semitism.
Furthermore there is only one posible reason why people isolate Israel of all the countries of the world to deny it's right to existence. Because Israel is a Jewish State. Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.
Finally Prager deals with the 8 most common lies about Israel, and the truth behind them, examines what the solutions are to Jew-hatred, and his epilogue ends with a warning that anti-Semitism/anti-Israelism is the problem not only of Jews, but of all decent human beings because what begins with the Jews seldom ends with the Jews. Jew-hatred and Israel-hatred is the moral litmus test of nations, regimes and individuals.
How old are the kids now, Isaac?  Aug 5, 2006
The doctor's four, the lawyer's seven.

That joke, cracked by a Jewish buddy, goes some way towards explaining the 'traditional' dislike of Jews in general, which has sometimes tragically spilled over into outright persecution and genocide.

One of the reasons I have always clicked with Jewish contacts, who later became friends, is that they are highly intelligent and goal driven.

Yet this desire to be the best they can be, in business, in education, has often triggered jealousies in others, who resent the successes of the Jews, even though they have been honestly earned.

I agree with Lucien, that the idea that Jew haters have somehow been driven by some theological wranglings regarding the nature of 'the Jews' God' and the requirements of worship, never enters the head of most knee-jerk Jew bashers.

While some of Prager's ideas regarding the early development of anti-Semitism are worthy of attention, I think he perhaps underestimates how much of it has now and for centuries been literally the result of habit and 'passed down' hate mongering.

Everybody knows everybody hates the Jews, so they still do.

Also, the suggestion, however worded, that only anti-Semites see America as being Israel's big brother and protector, is very shaky, as historically alone, the US has always clearly and unequivocally supported Israel, the landmark act being the unprecedented airlift of weapons to bolster a flagging Israel, during the Yom Kippur War (Operation Nickel Grass).

It's a good book, and Prager is a fine writer who does his homework; I'm just not sure that all of his conclusions are bang on.

Brilliant  Jul 27, 2006
Dennis Prager is emerging as one of the single most insightful and important conservative thinkers in the country. His analysis of Jew-hatred is by far and away the best organized, comprehensive, and compelling account I have ever seen. In an age in which Islamic radicalism seeks to kill the Jews all over again, Prager's book couldn't be more timely.
Best explanation of anti-Jewish sentiment  Jul 15, 2006
I won't give up my copy of "Why the Jews..." but I have purchased copies for other people. You might think you know the reasons for anti-Jewish sentiment, but you need to read this book to know for certain. If you believe that you understand the conflict surrounding the Zionists, you need to read "Why the Jews..." to be sure. The age-old mistrust of the Jews, the reasons the Muslim and Semitic attacks on the Jews is all explained in this thought-provoking and well-written book.

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