The liberal betrayal of the Jews, and of the West

I just chanced upon on online version of my capsule review of Ruth Wisse’s If I am Not for Myself … The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews, which appeared in National Review in April 1993. Wisse’s book was influential on my thinking about liberalism, as can be seen by phrases in my review that have appeared repeatedly in my writing since then, particularly the one about liberals’ refusal to recognize the existence of certain phenonemena.

If I Am Not for Myself … The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews, by Ruth Wisse (Free Press, 225 pp., $22.95)
by Lawrence Auster
National Review, April 12, 1993

In this lucidly written, devastating anatomy of the liberal mind, Ruth Wisse shows how Jewish liberalism has weakened Jewish resolve in the face of Arab rejectionism and has unwittingly given anti-Semitism a new lease on life. Liberals cannot admit the existence of real evil, of an enemy beyond the reach of reason, of an unappeasable Other. The result is a fatal collusion “between the aggressor, who wants to conceal his intention in order to execute it effectively, and the liberal fundamentalist, who has to deny aggression so that he can continue to believe that humans were created in his image.” Thus liberals, grown weary of opposing an unrelenting and unreasoning Arab rejectionism, have concluded that the cause of anti-Semitism must be Israel’s own behavior. Beyond its immediate focus on the Jews, the larger interest of this book lies in what it has to say about liberalism—namely about the inability of liberals to oppose the forces of evil that would destroy the nations of the West.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 11, 2009 10:40 AM | Send

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