Chosen by Christopher Hitchens
The Atlantic, September 2010
There is something almost flattering about anti-Jewish racism. To have been confined in the ghetto for so long, and then to be held responsible for Marx, Freud, and Einstein, to say nothing of Rothschild. Yet the outcome is always the same: to be treated as human refuse and to be either deported or massacred. Jean-Paul Sartre's essay profiling the anti-Semite has many shortcomings, but it's hard to argue with his conclusion that such a person must necessarily carry a thirst for murder in his heart. Yet this is perhaps true of other racists as well. What strikes the eye about anti-Semitism is the godfather role it plays as the organizing principle of other bigotries.
Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, a former senior editor at The Atlantic, is now a senior editor at Smithsonian magazine.