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Radical Muslims hate Jews. So do neo-Nazis. And someone, somewhere planned a colossally tasteless rave party called “Housewitz,” with a promo video that used death-camp imagery. These things do not, however, add up to the alarming rise in European anti-Semitism claimed by Richard Trank’s tendentious documentary. Produced by a division of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, whose Rabbi Marvin Hier is the film’s second-most featured talking head, Ever Again comes a little late to the blame-Europe party. The campaign peaked in 2002–03, when neocons howled that France was regressing to its Vichy-period anti-Semitism, which was why it didn’t support the invasion of Iraq. These days, it’s harder to fault France’s position on invading Iraq, and even Ever Again has to admit—if only indirectly—that anti-Jewish assaults and vandalism in that country are linked to the country’s Muslim-immigrant population, not to mainstream society. Indeed, Europe is simply a backdrop for many of the outrages this polemic condemns. It’s hardly Holland, Britain, or Belgium’s fault, for example, that some of their Muslim residents watched on government-run television an Egyptian-made miniseries based on that pernicious forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The number of prominent non-Muslim enemies of the Jews fingered by the movie is only about a half dozen, and includes London Mayor Ken Livingstone, a leftist loudmouth who’s probably not an anti-Semite, and linguist and anti-imperialist radical Noam Chomsky, who’s Jewish (and not European). The parade of incidents never coheres into the trend Trank alleges, and the insistence that criticism of Israel is inherently anti-Semitic never persuades, no matter how many times and ways it’s delivered. Perhaps the movie would have been more cogent if there’d been more of amiable narrator Kevin Costner, or less of the hysterical Alan Dershowitz, a notorious fact-bender. But even Costner is careful to follow the film’s official pronunciation of “Moslem” rather than “Muslim,” a tiny but calculated insult suggesting that bigotry continues to simmer on both sides of this ancient—and by all rational criteria anachronistic—divide.

—Mark Jenkins