Review: Everyday Hate: How Antisemitism Is Built Into Our World And How You Can Change It, by Dave Rich

This is a very good and important book, and it deserves a wide audience. I read a lot about this subject and I still managed to learn things I didn’t know before. (I didn’t know, for example, that there’s a correlation between German towns that experienced anti-Jewish pogroms in the Middle Ages and voter support for the Nazis in the 1920s. Wow.) I’m also persuaded by Dave Rich’s explanation why we should write “antisemitism” and not “anti-semitism”.

David Baddiel is the author of another recent book on antisemitism in Britain. He praises this book in a cover blurb and I have to say that Rich’s is the better book. Unlike Baddiel, Rich doesn’t play up the idea that “we British Jews are not responsible for Israel’s crimes” — instead, he explains the close relationship between British Jews, and Jews everywhere, and Israel, the Jewish state. He also compares stuff Israel has done with other countries and wonders why Israel gets so much more attention than, say, Saudi Arabia or Syria.

Well researched and clearly written, this book makes a powerful case that antisemitism is on the rise, especially among young people, and something needs to be done about that. The only problem with the book is that the final chapter — which is sort of the “how you can change it” part of the title — is the weakest part of the whole book.