Shall we look for the deepest impulse toward that monstrosityChristians who are anti-Semites? They are seeking an alibi for their innermost sense of guilt, for the death of Christ of which they want to clear themselves: but if Christ did not die for their sins, then they flee from the mercy of Christ! In reality they want not to be redeemed. Here is the most secret and vicious root by virtue of which anti-Semitism dechristianizes Christians, and leads them to paganism.

—Jacques Maritain

Anti-Israelism is no better than anti-Semitism. —Jacques Maritain

In these days of rampant atheism and relativism among critical elites in Western societies, of genteel nihilism and "liberal irony" a la Richard Rorty, it is not difficult to see that both Judaism and Christianity are being slated for disappearance by a number of our most "advanced" thinkers. Moreover, along with Christianity and Judaism, the Jewish people itself, as well as the State of Israel, are being subjected once again to special pressures and dangers. This is a moment in history, then, when it is particularly appropriate to be reminded of the thought of the extraordinary French Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain (1882-1973).

Maritain understood what we in our time have come to see so vividly: that liberal rationalism and something that must be seen as Judaism/Christianity are in a fateful confrontation. Not long before his death, in a work entitled On the Church of Christ (1970), he wrote: "It seems to me, very significant that these two events of such great bearing—on the Jewish side the return of a portion of the people to the Promised Land, on the Christian side the Second Council of the Vatican—took place at almost the same time, the first in 1948, the second in 1962-1965. They mark, each in its own way, a reorientation of history." These are, if you think about them, stunning words, a pivoting of all of human history on its axis. "What is more important," he went on, "than the insistence of the Council upon the friendship to be developed and to be consol