The Atlantic

Europe’s Ubiquitous Anti-Semitism

It’s like the flu: uncomfortable, occasionally deadly, but constantly with us.
Source: Thomas Peter / Reuters

Growing up, I used to think anti-Semitism was like the black death: tragic, nightmarish, and historic. It had wiped out millions of people. It was theoretically terrifying. But only occasional outbreaks in poor and faraway countries remained. It had ruined the life of my grandmother, but it would not be part of mine.

But now I realize that anti-Semitism is actually like the flu: uncomfortable, sickly, occasionally deadly, but constantly with us. Every few decades, it mutates into an epidemic. The rest of the time it lingers, producing headaches, sweats, and dizzy spells. Not killing us, just wearing us down.

As a British Jew, with dual French citizenship and Jewish family in

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
The Atlantic Politics Daily: Impeachment Comes to a Screen Near You
The witness to watch today was William Taylor, who showed up with new information. Plus, a new candidate for Obama’s heir—and for the 2020 Democratic primary?
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
Conservatives Should Want to Impeach Trump
Outsourcing U.S. diplomacy to Rudy Giuliani was a constitutional violation—one whose gravity Republicans might see if they weren’t so busy making excuses for the president.
The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
Erdoğan Defies Trump. So Why Do They Get Along?
He defied the United States repeatedly, bought Russian weapons, and assaulted American partners in Syria. Now Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is headed to the White House for a meeting with Donald Trump. So will he get away with it? Probably.