On CBC’s “Sunday Morning” today (January 19th), Michael Enright had a long interview with American academic Daniel Goldhagen, author of “The Rise of Global Anti-Semitism”. Mr. Goldhagen argues that anti-Semitism is a latent and endemic condition in the Christian world, always there, ready to press forward from time to time. He adds to that what he calls the Muslim Anti-Semitism of the Arab world. This anti-Semitism, while today often directed against Israel, is much more deep rooted than that. The attacks on Israel are solely “a new form of anti-Semitism”.
Goldhagen’s argumentation is the basis, of course, of Jason Kenny’s thesis that the world is awash in the “new anti-Semitism’ and that Canada should struggle against it.
He also argues that Canada is not exempt from this phenomenon, and cites worrying statistics mostly from the annual Bnai Brith survey of anti-Semitism in Canada.
I admit to being a bit surprised by how far Enright went in seeming to agree with Goldhagen. Instead of questioning his empirical evidence, Enright seemed most of the time to be asking “what are we going to do about it?”
I have three questions I wonder about:
1. How extensive is anti-Semitism in Canada today
2. Is it really growing?
3. To what extent can the Goldhagen/Kenny argument sway the Canadian public (especially those Canadians who are worried about social justice (including justice for Palestinians).
I would be interested in your opinions on any of these topics. Contributions from Canadian Jews would be especially welcome.