The Atlantic

Socially Acceptable Anti-Semitism

It is the religion of people too lazy to accept the complexity of reality.
Source: FJO via Facebook / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Marburg, Amt fuer Presse-und Oeffentlichkeitsarbeit

On Sunday, a float rolled down the streets of Aalst, a Belgian town, for carnival. It featured two grotesque caricatures of Hasidic Jews, hooked noses, hands reaching out for money, and a rat sitting on money bags. That’s 2019. A second float, pictured above—in Marburg, Germany, in 1936—featured celebrants dressed as Orthodox Jews. The only real difference is that the former was more elaborately and professionally executed, and if anything more grotesque.

Anti-Semitism, or, to speak more plainly, Jew hatred, is the animus that never dies. Like some malignant virus, it always lies dormant, ready to wake. Like other viruses, it may be, at various times, more or less virulent, more or less lethal. There probably will not be a massacre of Jews in Belgium in the next few years. What happened a few years after the float rolled down

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

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic4 min readWellness
The Real Danger of Booze-Making Gut Bacteria
Microbes can produce so much alcohol that people become drunk—and sustain liver damage—without touching any booze.
The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
It’s Too Late for David Cameron to Apologize
The former prime minister’s newly released book, For the Record, points to a leader trying to reshape the narrative of a seismic moment in Britain’s history, and the role he played in it.
The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
Why I Cover Campus Controversies
Each fall semester, America’s long-running debate about campus politics begins again. And I’ll take part this year as I have in years past, especially when the debate concerns matters of free speech. Critics say my energies are misplaced. There is no