Andrew Sullivan's Antisemitism Watch II (see also I)
From the Daily Dish: Another email sends chills down my spine
I attended a doctor's party the other night with my partner. A film-maker myself, I always find this other world interesting to say the least - another "bubble."
I settled into a chat with a young doctor, born in the US of Egyptian parents. He was charming and very 'LA' - well-coiffured, soft-spoken and well-dressed. We chatted a while about his world in the forensics department at LAPD which I found interesting as a film-maker. We started chatting a little about the Middle East. I assumed he knew I was Jewish. And I thought, wow, what a great place America is - I can chat with an Egyptian as a Jew without any of the sorry overtones of the current crisis in the mid-East; Jew and Arab are bonded by our common Western upbringing.
I expressed reasons why I supported Israel, we both agreed Arafat was a bandit, but he explained why the Palestinian cause had such support in Arab countries. It was a very civil, pleasant conversation despite our differences...
And then it started coming out... I listened, because I wanted to hear what anti-Semitism was about, and also because I was in a situation where my partner's professional colleagues were involved and I didn't want to cause a scene... Clearly, this doctor was fooled by my South African accent, and didn't conceive of the fact I could be Jewish.
The diatribe began with the stuff about how Jews truly control the American government and society - how policy in the mid-East was completely driven by Jewish American interests - this was the same man who had agreed with me moments before how many of the problems in the Mideast were the result of Islamic fundamentalism and corrupt Mideast governments. But, of course, the US intervenes there because of a Jewish plot. OK, my feathers were ruffling, but I realized what a great opportunity this was to be a fly on the wall of what people were saying when they didn't know I was Jewish.
And then came the clincher... this educated doctor, a US citizen, told me in all seriousness how there was a detailed Jewish plot that if Al Gore had become president, he would have been assasinated so that Joseph Lieberman could assume the presidency of the United States. Since the Jews knew they would never get a Jewish president elected directly, the Lieberman VP bid was a Jewish conspiracy to gain control of the presidency by underhanded means.
I felt sick in the pit of my stomach. What was really worrying was he felt safe to say what he did in a gathering of middle class physicians in a wealthy neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Andrew Sullivan comments: "It's real. Nazi ideology is alive and well and in the minds of many even in this country. Now just imagine what they're saying in polite company in Paris." 12:00:07 AM