From literary portrayals of 'the Jew' as Biblical traitor or Dickensian villain to the very real atrocities of the Holocaust and the conflicts in Israel and Palestine, the plight of the Jewish people throughout history has been as violent and volatile as the animosity towards the religion itself. Two millennia of prejudice, persecution and purges have turned the 'Chosen People' into 'The Enemy', crudely lumping together generation after generation of men, women and children - of differing ambitions, appearances and allegiances - in gratuitous displays of anti-Semitism. In this powerful polemic, acclaimed writer Frederic Raphael explores the origin, rise and impact of anti-Jewish feeling at a time when religious tensions throughout the world are mounting once more. When did 'the Jew' become the quintessential scapegoat? Why do the western media continue to condemn Israel so enthusiastically? How can we respond to those so eager to complete the mission Hitler began? And yet, at the heart of the debate, one crucial fact endures: in the face of thousands of years of adversity, not only has Judaism survived, but the genius and determination of its people have flourished.
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