American minorities and women are far from oppressed
The most infamous libel in history is the one known as the Blood Libel.
This was the medieval lie leveled at Jews in some European countries that accused the Jews of killing Christian children to use their blood to make Passover matzo.
As the author of a book on the history of anti-Semitism ("Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism"), having taught Jewish history at the college level, and as a committed Jew who has devoted great efforts to combating anti-Semitism, I do not easily compare anything to the Blood Libel.
But perhaps the second greatest libel -- and certainly the most widespread -- is that America is a racist country that oppresses its minorities -- and women. We can call it the American Libel.
Now, I hasten to add that no one is being tortured to death as a result of this libel, as Jews were because of the Blood Libel, and, of course, no communities are being slaughtered as Jews were.
But the American Libel should be regarded as one of the great libels of history.
That America today oppresses minorities and women is as far from the truth as was Jews using Christian blood for matzo. Indeed, no country in the world is so accepting of minorities as fellow citizens as America. A third-generation German of Turkish descent is still regarded by most Germans as Turkish. But a first-generation Turkish -- or Nigerian or Chinese -- immigrant to America is regarded simply as one more American.
American Jews should be the first to denounce the American Libel. No country in history has ever been as welcoming, accepting and honoring of Jews as America. American Jews are a living refutation of the American Libel.
Did America oppress minorities? Of course, it did. But the people who engage in the American Libel claim that America oppresses minorities, and even women, today.
Take, for example, this morally odious statement issued last week by the San Francisco 49ers NFL team: