Best Of The Web
“Deborah E. Lipstadt, a professor of modern Jewish history at Emory University, is perhaps best known for the libel suit filed against her, in the United Kingdom, by the Holocaust denier David Irving. Lipstadt won the case in 2000. She went on to write a book about it, “History on Trial,” which was the basis of the 2016 film “Denial,” starring Rachel Weisz as Lipstadt. In Lipstadt’s latest book, “Antisemitism: Here and Now,” she examines the recent rise in anti-Semitism in the U.S., the U.K., and Europe. There has been a sharp uptick in hate crimes against Jews, and prominent politicians and heads of state, including Donald Trump and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, have wooed voters with anti-Semitism (and, perhaps, just expressed their honest opinions).
Lipstadt’s book takes the form of a series of letters between Lipstadt and two fictional characters—a Jewish student and a non-Jewish colleague—whom Lipstadt describes as composites of people she knows who are worried about anti-Semitism. Lipstadt herself is very troubled by its resurgence, and is virulently opposed to both the Trump Administration’s dalliances with anti-Semitism and its embrace of a right-wing government in Israel that seems happy to ally itself with nationalist, anti-Semitic regimes like Orbán’s. At the same time, Lipstadt is worried by what she sees as the “subtle—and sometimes not-so-subtle—antisemitic attitudes and behaviors that one encounters in groups that are connected with progressive causes.”
I recently spoke with Lipstadt by phone. During our conversation, which has been edited and condensed for clarity, we discussed the differences between right-wing and left-wing anti-Semitism, why Israeli leaders are willing to make alliances with anti-Semites, and whether “the negation of Jewish nationhood” is always anti-Semitic.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"After five years of war with the Islamic State, the biggest problem for the winners is coping with the losers. The aftermath has produced one of the world’s most perplexing postwar challenges..."
"What do we mean when we say that the “soul of the city” is under threat? Often, it’s really about politics, nostalgia, and the fear of community change."
"...the pendulum of history never stops moving. Indeed, one of the few constants of history is unceasing change. While we seem to be heading in one direction, we must remember that there will surely be pauses, turns, and reversals."
""Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé," premiered early Wednesday and it was the fulfillment of all the ancestors' hopes and dreams. Beyoncé also dropped "Homecoming: The Live Album.""
"Seven in 10 adults ages 18 to 34 received financial support from their parents in the last year, including more than half of those in their early 30s. Almost three in five millennials said they couldn’t afford their lifestyles without the support."
"Social media influencers have helped turn public lands into tourist-infested swamps. And one cantankerous man is fighting back."
"One particular myth that attached itself to Ledger was that his death was somehow a result of immersing himself in the character of the Joker."
"In 2018, for the second year in a row, American publishers released fewer translated titles: 609 books were published, down from 650 in 2017 and the industry high in 2016 of 666."
"Egg freezing had become so routine among my single peers that when I hit 35, I never thought twice. Here’s what I wish I had known."
"When it comes to Passover cuisine, most home cooks know to avoid wheat, oats, rye, and other forbidden ingredients. But what consumers might not realize is just how much cotton they eat during the holiday."
"A masked figure looms over your recumbent body, wielding power tools and sharp metal instruments, doing things to your mouth you cannot see."
"Passover is a holiday that commemorates the Jewish people escaping slavery in Egypt. It is often referred to as the “festival of freedom.” My Passover in prison was at a place called the Wallkill Correctional Facility..."