Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The grand accusation

On the 'Z' Word site, a remarkable interview by Michelle Sieff with Terror and Liberalism author Paul Berman. At one point, Berman discusses the historical underpinnings of contemporary anti-Semitism:

The Nazis are generally regarded as the worst, most evil political movement in all of history - a political movement that not only committed crimes but stood for the principle of crime. By comparing Israel to the Nazis, people mean to suggest that Israel is likewise one of the worst, most evil political institutions that could possibly exist. The accusation is cosmically huge. And the cosmically huge accusation makes perfect sense - if you keep in mind the venerable idea that the Jews stand in the way of mankind's achievement of a perfected system of universal justice and happiness.

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