An interesting article from the Israeli paper Ha'aretz
The joke, if that's what it is, goes like this: 'You'll have to forgive us Jews for being a little nervous. Two thousand years of Christian love have worn down our nerves.'
That says it all, doesn't it? The scars of antisemitism and missionary activity, the pathos-drenched sense of humor, the contempt for Christianity - this is certainly how I regarded our local majority religion as I was growing up. When I was a child, Christianity was like the big, stupid bully: at once idiotic, and overwhelmingly powerful. Couldn't they see how ridiculous their religion was? A virgin birth? Santa Claus? An Easter Bunny? A messiah who got killed, but actually died for our sins? And yet, these were the people running our country, telling us which days we get off from school and which we don't, and playing their insidious music every winter.
If the books the Forward receives for review are any indication, I am not alone in my neurosis about Yeshu ben Yoseph. Though nothing, it seems, will match the never-ending torrent of books about the Holocaust, these past few years have seen a small mountain of Jesus books arrive on my desk, most of them not worthy of review. Screeds about how Jesus got Judaism wrong, or how Christians got Jesus wrong, or how much better we are than they are - these are books my younger self would have written.
Surely, some of the Jesus fad is due to the success of David Klinghoffer's 2005 book, "Why the Jews Rejected Jesus." (Answer: We're the chosen people - a nation, not universalists.) But I think a lot of it is also due to our increased confidence as an assimilated minority in the United States. Where once we could have been tortured or burned for not accepting Christ, now we can publish books criticizing him.