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Review: Never Again? The Threat Of The New Anti-Semitism

Title: Never Again? The Threat Of The New Anti-Semitism
Author: Abraham H. Foxman
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco, San Francisco, CA

An old Native American expression admonishes us to “Never judge a man until you walk a mile in his moccasins.”

Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism, a somewhat autobiographical work by
the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, should come as something of a revelation
to those who take exception to many of Abraham Foxman’s statements and tactics and who ask the question: “Who appointed him to represent the Jews?”

Foxman writes candidly about how his early years in Hitler’s Europe – his parents smuggled
him out of the ghetto at the age of four and placed him into the hands of a Polish peasant woman who baptized him and began bringinh him up as her own Catholic child – shaped his commitment to fighting anti-Semitism and other forms of prejudice and bigotry, both as an attorney and a communal leader.

(Foxman, reunited with his family after the war, was raised an Orthodox Jew with a yeshiva
education.)

Never Again? deals with a number of important issues, including intermarriage, Jewish education and ecumenical relations. Foxman describes his outreach to such luminaries as Pope
John Paul II as necessary diplomacy for which he claims eminent suitability – though he has come in for his fair share of criticism over the years from other Jewish communal figures.

Foxman insists that “People pay attention to what I say…because they know I am serious and
thoughtful.” As part of his effort to build bridges between communities, he often defends public
figures against accusations of anti-Semitism, feeling that Jews needn’t make enemies out of
friends just because of innocent errors.

In addition to providing a look back at Foxman’s own life experiences, Never Again? serves as a handbook for readers interested in learning about and differentiating between the various types of anti-Semitism that exist in the world.

Foxman isn’t shy about offering his prescription for what do about many of those manifestations of hate. He tells his readers how to recognize their enemies, and, even more
importantly, how to recognize their friends and help turn the first group into more of the second.

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