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5.0 von 5 Sternen A must-read., 23. Januar 2000
I call this book "A must-read" because if you are even considering the subject of anti-Semitism, or the Arab-Israeli conflict, or just plain prejudice regardless of what kind of prejudice is analyzed, its 285 pages are the perfect place to start. Bernard Lewis writes about anti-Semitism in his areas of expertise (the Arab world, the Moslem world, the Middle East) as one would write about an illness, a particularly ugly kind of illness. He is like a compassionate physician called to observe and diagnose a patient who has been infected with a horrible disease that is consuming his (or her) body and soul. As a non-Jew and an immigrant in the United States, I have often encountered Arabs who mistake me for someone who will share their hatred of Jews, simply because we share the immigrant experience in the US. This has happened in far too many occasions to be considered unimportant. The vast majority of Arabs that I've met in eleven years in this country, have assumed (correctly) that I have a Christian education, and (incorrectly) that I have been infected by the anti-Jewish syndrome that has, tragically, been most evident in Christian societies for two thousand years. Bernard Lewis' book has helped me understand this bothersome fact of life in my dealings with Arabs for the last eleven years. It was in part this book what provoked Edward Said's reaction against, and verbal abuse of, Bernard Lewis, and this, in turn, made me interested in the work of Edward Said. I have read now several of Professor Lewis' works and several collected articles by Edward Said, and I cannot find validity in the passionate, but flimsy arguments that Said puts forward to attack Lewis, like claiming that the latter has no knowledge of -or intentionally ignores- the problems of the Middle East in which many of Lewis' examples of anti-Semitism take place. If anyone reads two books by Bernard Lewis, it must become clear that the man understands his subject. So, "Semites and Anti-Semites" is a must-read for those who want to see patterns of hatred in order to fight against them. It also showed me two totally different authors, with a completely different set of ethics: on the one hand, Lewis is serious, methodical, and compassionate of both the victims and the hatemongers. On the other, Said has been unmasked recently in "Commentary", in an article by Justus Weiner, as someone who lied about his past to "make up" a biography as a Palestinian refugee. "Semites and Anti-Semites" deals exactly with this kind of people.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Enlightening and disturbing, 22. Juli 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Lewis writes a persuasive and detailed account of the rise of anti-Semitism in the Arab world. He credits its emergence to European influences, charts the collaboration between Arab nationalism and Nazism and the disturbing proliferation of anti-Semitic tracts following 1948. This is a well-written, powerful book which must be read in order to understand why the Middle East conflict has gone on so long.
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Semites and Anti-Semites: An Inquiry into Conflict and Prejudice
Semites and Anti-Semites: An Inquiry into Conflict and Prejudice von Bernard Lewis (Taschenbuch - August 1987)
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