Hamas’s massacre of more than 1,200 Jews on October 7 escalated open expressions of antisemitism around the globe.  Juliana Pilon, Senior Fellow the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI), explains why this issue is concerning not only for the Jewish people but for Western culture itself.

In “Antisemitism Is Not for Jews Only,” published in Gloria Greenfield’s online Doc Emet Productions, Dr. Pilon provides a brief history of the ideology of antisemitism before discussing the nefarious doctrine of intersectionality, a word of recent vintage, by which persons chalk up merit based on how many structures of alleged oppression they have to their credit.

Antisemitism, she observed, proceeded most notably at the hands of the German left, including Jews themselves, where they were indicted for “rapacious capitalism.” Karl Marx, a descendant of rabbis himself, “surpassed them all,” according to Dr. Pilon, “building his entire revolutionary dialectical materialism on antisemitism.”  In a sense, he calculated the solvent to Jewishness.  In the twentieth century, Hitler would lavish praise on Marx’s antisemitism and would make use of it in posing to the world his final solution. At the time, German academics largely sided with Hitler.

Marx’s goal was “to change human nature, which meant abolishing egoism and spirituality. His was a crusade to create homo post-religiosus, at once selfless and soulless.”  By the late eighteenth century, antisemitism permeated the German Social Democratic Party. German Jews refrained from disparaging antisemitism because their primary target was anticapitalism. France and other countries followed the German lead.

According to the German-Jewish historian Alex Bein,“Antisemitism underwent a process of universalization.” Progressives continue to deny that the German left had a decisive role in the universalization of antisemitism. They have also wedded their critiques of capitalism with their disparagement of fascism/Naziism. Herbert Marcuse’s pronouncements, according to Dr. Pilon, stand out among the purveyors of this nonsense.

But it stuck with audiences and continues to do damage. “The neo-Marxist template has become entrenched in the mindset of America’s next generation.” Intersectionality, particularly among Black activists, has compounded the Jewish plight.

“If October 7th has taught us anything,” she observes, “it’s that seemingly expedient compromises with illiberal and antisemitic forces will only come back to haunt us. For too long, we put up with and reconciled ourselves to radical identity politics and extremists preaching about ’decolonialism.’ We convinced ourselves that we had to play in ‘the only game in town.’ Many Jews now understand that a progressive ideology fueled antisemitism.”