Ethno-na­tion­al­ism, petty pol­i­tics,

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY MICHAEL GOLD­FARB

BLOOD FOL­LOWS us. And yet an­ti­semitism is not like it was. The an­cient hate is now thor­oughly in­ter­min­gled with other strands of geo-pol­i­tics.

Pe­ri­od­i­cally through­out this decade, I have had to ex­plain to my Amer­i­can fam­ily and friends why vi­o­lence against Jews in France or Bel­gium did not mean the en­tire Jewish com­mu­nity in Europe is un­der threat. I had to re­fute over­wrought ar­ti­cles in the right-wing Is­raeli press. Tens of thou­sands of Jews are not flee­ing Bri­tain for Is­rael be­cause Jeremy Cor­byn might be­come prime min­is­ter.

What I told my fam­ily is that Jews are a soft tar­get for ji­hadi cells. I re­minded them to look at the ex­tra­or­di­nary out­pour­ing of sol­i­dar­ity from the state and so­ci­ety after each atroc­ity, sev­eral of which were linked to at­tacks on other tar­gets: po­lice bar­racks and the mag­a­zine Char­lie Hebdo.

Now, I have to ex­plain to my Bri­tish friends the par­tic­u­lar­i­ties of the mas­sacre at the Tree of Life syn­a­gogue.

I have to place this heinous event in its Amer­i­can po­lit­i­cal con­text to un­der­stand its par­tic­u­lar­ity.

The first thing to say is the ob­vi­ous: not since Solomon was build­ing the Tem­ple in Jerusalem has there been a time or place where Jews have been more se­cure than in the US over the last 35 years. And I do mean the US, not Is­rael. That has not changed.

In my boy­hood and ado­les­cence, the 50s and the 60s, the an­ti­semitism I ex­pe­ri­enced was the old-fashioned, pre-Holo­caust kind, the type my fa­ther dealt with grow­ing up in the Bronx: name call­ing, oc­ca­sional fist­fights. My younger broth­ers en­dured a knife­point or­deal — prom­ise to con­vert or we’ll kill you.

There was quiet so­cial an­ti­semitism. Hav­ing to give a fake name on the door in order for a friend to sneak me into Me­rion Cricket Club (yes, cricket club) to watch a ten­nis tour­na­ment.

But as the decades went by, much of this an­ti­semitism seemed to fall away.

With a new feel­ing of se­cu­rity, the old Jewish habit of keep­ing the head below the para­pet on ques­tions of pol­i­tics ended. Jews en­tered po­lit­i­cal life.

An­ti­semitism in Amer­ica is not like it was

When I was a kid, the idea that the Trea­sury Sec­re­tary could be a Jew was im­pos­si­ble to imag­ine. We stayed in our lane, no need to wake up old stereo­types about Jews con­trol­ling all the money.

But by the 1990s, Robert Ru­bin and Larry Sum­mers (a boy from my ’hood, he and my younger brother were class­mates) ran the Trea­sury. The re­volv­ing door be­tween Gold­man Sachs and gov­ern­ment whirled reg­u­larly. Steven Mnuchin, who worked for 17 years at Gold­man’s, is Trump’s Trea­sury Sec­re­tary to­day.

One of the first great for­tunes

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