...[For Tony Judt] to equate any criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism is silly and perhaps dangerous. But it is equally dangerous to overlook, which is what Judt seems to be doing, the enormous destructive role that anti-Semitic theories play in anti-Israeli sentiments in most of the Middle East, be it in populist or intellectual guises. Jews may be doing well in Holland, the US, and Germany, but the attempts to downplay the potency of anti-Semitism will not aid in addressing the "problem of evil" anywhere.
That was Marat Grinberg, Assistant Professor in the Department of Russian and Humanities at Reed College, Portland, Oregon.
And Judt replies:
...anti-Semitism among Palestinians and other Arabs is stupid and deplorable. But far from fueling anti-Israeli sentiment, it has frequently been spawned by it. [?]
Anger and frustration at Israel's actions disposes people to hate all Jews and believe ill of them - as we have seen in Europe's own Muslim communities in recent years. I don't downplay this development. On the contrary, I see it as a new and dangerous twist in the long history of anti-Jewish prejudice. One hundred years ago, anti-Semitism was "the socialism of fools" (Bebel); today it is the consolation of losers. Those who complacently attribute the Middle Eastern tragedy to resurgent anti-Semitism among dispossessed, displaced, and humiliated Arabs should know better. They are blaming the victim.
No, Tony Judt, the Arab is not the victim except, perhaps, the victim of his own stupidity, stubborness and desire to make the Jew the victim, again.