Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chic antisemitism

The Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens reviews here a play he just saw in New York, where it arrived after a run in London. Entitled "Seven Jewish Children," the play traces the history of a family from the Holocaust to modern-day Israel, depicting the Jews in the story as having morphed from victims into perpetrators.

Stephens reports that the play, which has been appeared in "small but respectable venues to sophisticated audiences," is being well-received. He doesn't claim that its theme is yet mainstream fare, but warns that it can nevertheless poison the American cultural and intellectual scene.

As he puts it: "Racism has become taboo in American society, and that's a very good thing. Anti-Semitism used to be taboo, but that's been eroded by an obsessive criticism of Israel that seems to borrow freely from the classic anti-Semitic repertoire ('tell her they're filth') while adopting the brilliant trick of treating Jewish victimization as a moral ideal from which modern Israel has sadly deviated."

(Thanks to Libby.)

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