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Jews Don’t Count

Jews Don’t CountJews Don’t Count by David Baddiel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This remarkable, difficult, important, sometimes hilarious and often heartbreaking book is a must-read for anyone who, like me, wonders why so many of our progressive friends, who frequently and vocally challenge and condemn racism and discrimination, tend to remain silent about antisemitism. The answer Baddiel puts forth is that for many progressives, antisemitism is viewed as a “lesser” form of bigotry, one not as important or relevant as the others. But why would anyone think that? Therein lies one of the most difficult truths Baddiel lays bare: that the antisemitic trope that Jews are wealthy and powerful has been adopted by the progressive movement. In other words, that Jews are seen as oppressors, not the oppressed — this despite 5,000 years of oppression, exile, having our property and belongings taken from us, and of course multiple instances of attempted genocide.

Also fascinating and resonant to me is Baddiel’s thesis that antisemitism isn’t about Judaism but about Jewishness; not a form of religious discrimination, but a form of racism, where even if being Jewish isn’t technically a race, it is viewed by antisemites as one. As he famously puts it, “Telling them I’m an atheist wouldn’t have gotten me a ticket out of Auschwitz.”

Baddiel has written a powerful, important book that I will no doubt find myself returning to again and again. I wish everyone would read it so that maybe one day Jews will count.

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