Monday, June 26, 2006

Hitch on anti-Semitism

Amazingly versatile Christopher Hitchens, who writes about ... uh, souffler in the July issue of Vanity Fair, several years ago made a fascinating observation about anti-Semitism in a fascinating book review for The Forward:
Societies that have expelled or ostracized the Jews have historically been condemned to all the consequences of their own stupidity and cruelty. But one element in the litany of accusations against Jews — that they are rootless cosmopolitans — deserves not to be repudiated. The worst anti-Semites did not so much hate the observant and docile shtetl types; they didn't really even hate the moneychangers they couldn't do without: They hated and feared the skeptical, scientific, artistic, secular, intellectual and discontented Jews whose names we all know. Of this virus, even if one can doubt that it's really in the genes, one could be proud to be a carrier.
Did I ever mention that my mother's grandfather was named David Elisha Moses? Maybe I'm one of those "Lieberman-worshipping neocons," after all!

UPDATE, 6/28: Linked by Pecking Order, who is puzzled by the seeming contradictions in Hitch's resume. I profess that I've never been able to get a fix on the guy, except that his prose is brilliant and is the most amusing raconteur I've ever met. Just keep the whiskey coming -- Johnny Walker Black, straight up -- and Hitch will never run out of funny things to say.