The above title by Ruth R. Wisse is taken from The Wisdom of the Fathers by the Jewish scholar Hillel, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?”

The subtitle, “The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews” examines how the Jews have remained committed to liberal causes that undermine their security and existence. The Jews have remained generally liberal in spite of their economic successes. This is unique.

Quotes from the book:

“It’s funny, isn’t it, that the Arabs, who place such value on military prowess, should have lost on the battlefield, while the Jews, who take such pride in the power if their intellect, should have lost the war of ideas.” Ruth Wisse

“Democracy tends to ignore, even deny, threats to its existence because it loathes doing what is needed to counter them. It awakes only when the danger becomes deadly, imminent, evident. By then, either there is too little time left for it to save itself, or the price of survival has become crushingly high.” Jean- Francois Revel- How Democracies Perish

“Since some of the most tyrannical rulers of the twentieth century considered the Jews the supreme danger to their hegemony, whoever stood up for the Jews stood up against Czarism and Communism, against Hitler and Stalin and Sadaam Hussein, for individual rights and democratic freedom and international justice. In fact the level of commitment to democratic freedom and individual rights in any society can probably be tested most effectively by the single indicator of its readiness to protect the rights of the Jews…. the defense of the Jews remained the surest test of liberal values.” Ruth R. Wisse

There is nothing more humiliating than to have to defend the truth.” Alain Finkielkraut

“Jews will never prove themselves moral by seeking refuge from their struggle behind the banner of liberalism. But liberalism assuredly will be judged by whether it can protect Jews.” Ruth Wisse

“By assuming even a fraction of the guilt that is not rightly his, the moral supremacist betrays the cause of righteousness in which he says he labors.” Ruth R. Wisse

“Zionsim was the last hope of European civilization, for unless Europe could find a rational and just solution to the Jewish problem, Europe itself could no longer pretend to be liberal, rational, or just.” Ruth R. Wisse

“History teaches that momentous opportunities are seldom realized.” Ruth Wisse