I wrote a whole book (maybe a book and a half if you count Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies along with The New Hate) about Protocols of the Elders of Zion-style anti-Semitism. To say that I deplore it is an understatement.
Yet I find it beyond bizarre that Deborah Lipstadt (a writer I respect) would publish an op ed in the newspaper of record that unweaves Christian, leftist, and Muslim strands of contemporary anti-Semitism without acknowledging that the biggest difference between 1939 and today lies on the Jewish side of the equation.
Back then, world Jewry was fragmented and exquisitely vulnerable; most Europeans regarded its Jewish nationals as resident aliens. Not just Hitler, but many mainstream political and religious leaders regarded the “Jewish problem” as a social contagion that needed to be contained.
Today, a nuclear-armed Israel is not only maintaining a military occupation of Palestinian territory but aggressively colonizing it, while stridently identifying its political, economic, and military interests with those of Jews all over the world and loudly deploring any and all criticism as “anti-Semitism.” Doesn’t that have more than a little to do with “the ubiquitous slippage from anger at Israeli military action to hatred of Jews”?
These days you don’t have to be delusional to posit a “Jewish conspiracy”–just hateful and/or naive. And lord knows, there’s plenty of both to go around, in 1939 and 2014.