Recently we published an article on the rise of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" in the bestseller lists.
The author of the original Vocativ article, Chris Faraone, who it may bear noting is the author of a book entitled "I Killed Breitbart," hypothesized that rapidly rising book sales could be tied to two theories: (i) that being seen with a physical copy of "Mein Kampf" would be taboo, sending readers flocking to purchase electronic versions of the title (call it the "50 Shades of Grey" theory) and (ii) that given the sheer mass of the book, buyers would be more apt to purchase a soft copy than physical copy of the title.
We noted that the article failed to mention a couple of other potential explanations for why sales of Hitler's manifesto might be increasing, pointing out the recent rise in anti-Semitism across Europe as reflected in the European Union Agency's Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) 2013 report on discrimination and hate crimes against Jews in EU member states, as well as the rise of Islamic rule in the Middle East since the beginning of the "Arab Spring."
In other words, we pointed out the correlation between rising anti-Semitism and Hitler book sales, and asked whether there might be causation at play as well.
Recently we noticed a couple of striking data points that lend credence to our comments on anti-Semitism, and may support our hypothesis.
First a smaller example. This past week, The Economist, a mainstream economics publication that espouses a belief in "free markets and free minds," published and then pulled the following cartoon from a column titled "A big gap to close."
As CAMERA noted on their blog, "Cartoonist Peter Schrank inserts the Star of David into the seal of the Congress of the United States, suggesting that Israel, the pro-Israel lobby, and/or Jews control Congress and are holding President Obama back from achieving an agreement between the U.S. and Iran."
The Economist pulled the cartoon after it was met with a major backlash.
The notion that pro-Israeli (or pro-Jewish) warmongers are preventing peace in the Middle East has been thrown around by folks in the Obama administration of late in attacking those who wish to impose new sanctions on Iran.
Second and perhaps more convincingly, as covered by Israeli paper Israel HaYom (translated as Israel Today), Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, recently gave an impassioned address to the Israeli Knesset:
"We live in a world where that kind of moral relativism [in anti-Semitism disguised as legitimate criticism] today runs rampant," Harper said.
"And in the garden of such moral relativism, the seeds of a much more sinister notion can be easily planted. And so we have witnessed in recent years the mutation of the old disease of anti-Semitism and the emergence of a new strain.
"We all know about the old anti-Semitism. It was crude and ignorant, and it led to the horrors of the death camps. Of course, in many dark corners, it is still with us. But, in much of the western world, the old hatred has been translated into more sophisticated language for use in polite society. People who would never say they hate and blame the Jews for their own failings or the problems of the world, instead declare their hatred of Israel and blame the only Jewish state for the problems of the Middle East.
"As once Jewish businesses were boycotted, some civil society leaders today call for a boycott of Israel. On some campuses, intellectualized arguments against Israeli policies thinly mask underlying realities, such as the shunning of Israeli academics and the harassment of Jewish students.
"Most disgracefully of all, some openly call Israel an apartheid state. Now think about that statement. Think about the twisted logic and outright malice behind that. A state, based on freedom, democracy and the rule of law, founded so that Jews can flourish as Jews and seek shelter from the shadow of the worst racist experiment in history."
Harper said Israel "is condemned in the masked language of anti-racism."
"Friends, that is nothing short of sickening," Harper said. "But, this is the face of the new anti-Semitism. It targets the Jewish people by targeting Israel and attempts to make the old bigotry acceptable to a new generation."
When the Prime Minister of Canada -- a man whom British MEP Daniel Hannan called a true leader of the free world, supplanting President Barack Obama -- argues that anti-Semitism is engulfing "much of the western world" in a duplicitous fashion, the implications of such a statement in context of "Mein Kampf" book sales speak for themselves.