The Economist has a column on the spate of celebrities who have recently been caught making antisemitic comments. The columnist makes no pretense the comments weren't antisemitic, and of course has no patience for their content, nor any empathy for the people who made them. However, he (she? You never know with the Economist) then goes looking for explanations, mostly economic explanations, for the stupid utterances of some cultural celebrities, and for the swift responses of their employers who fire them. It's an interesting column, and there's no particular reason to argue with any of what it says.
I do have a problem with what it doesn't say. Or rather, with the question it doesn't pose, and then the answer it doesn't give.The un-posed question is of course, why are there so many people with the need to make antisemitic statements? And the answer which is not investigated has to do with the possibility that they're not only spoiled brats, these celebrities, they also truly don't like Jews.
I'm not seeing antisemites under every rock. On the contrary, the swiftness with which these ranters get punished is admirable, sometimes even too swift - after all, in a democracy one should be allowed to say ugly things. Yet I can't help but notice that the Economist can't entertain the concept that hatred of Jews can be a very real thing, an extremely deep-seated urge.
In the long run, this inability to imagine authentic hatred of Jews is a problem.