Her: Am I imagining it ... or is there an unsettling undercurrent of anti-Semitism going on in this election? This whole thing with Lieberman has got me a little worried. I know he’s a colossal dickhead, but many are publicly calling him a traitor and that’s a really ugly thing to say.
And this thing with Khalidi ... it’s just something I’m sensing, but having a hard time articulating.
Me: I’m not sure. The Jewish community certainly hasn’t helped itself this election being so internally divisive and commanding so much attention throughout. Certainly after the 2004 election a lot of Americans held negative feelings about evangelicals. Maybe the same thing is at play here. Hope not—the economic crisis is enough to spike anti-Semitism.
Her: I know. The whole “Jews Own the Banking Industry” and all that Elders of Zion crap will follow us in perpetuity. And I know that older Jews’ support of McCain has changed the once liberal stereotype we had. There’s just something very ugly out there, and I can almost assure you that I will not see a Jew as president in my lifetime, but ... I don’t, something’s just been bugging me lately. I can’t even give you any examples, it’s very subtle.
Me: I’m not convinced this country will ever see a Jew as president. Though, a lot of young black people would have said that 20 years ago.
Her: I hear what you’re saying, but it’s different for Jews, I think. This is going to sound awful ... and it’s going to sound as though I have persecution issues ... but EVERYONE hates Jews. I don’t mean everyone literally, of course, but anti-Semitism exists in all segments of society. Women, men, whites, blacks, immigrants from every land on this planet, Christian, Muslim, Hindus—they all have anti-Semitic issues both blatant and quiet.
There is a fear and a hatred of Jews that goes back centuries and it comes in many forms. It’s political, it’s religious, it’s even societal.
Me: Indeed: Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you. But, you know, some of my best friends are Jewish.
Her: And some of them just look Jewish.