“125 years ago, Émile Zola’s open letter, ‘J’Accuse…!‘, ripped the scabs off the skin of France and revealed the festering pus beneath; a week ago, Bari Weiss’s speech, ‘You Are the Last Line of Defense’, did the same for today’s America. I can’t say whether Weiss’s speech will attain the immortality of Zola’s letter, but it ought to. Attorney/blogger Ilya Shapiro attended the speech and called it ‘Bari Weiss’s Speech for the Ages’. The parallels between Zola’s letter and Weiss’s speech are sufficient that I have taken to calling the latter ‘J’Accuse 2023′”.
In her talk, Weiss does more than just denounce the tsunami of antisemitism and ‘progressive’ apologies for Hamas barbarism following the worst antisemitic atrocity since the Holocaust, but contextualises it as part of a broader threat facing both Jews and the West, and explains what must be done to defend our values – and our very civilisation.
Our work at CAMERA is part of that fight. As Weiss explains, so many lies about Jews, Israel and liberal democracies have spread in the face of inaction as a result of fear or politesse, before citing the leftist intellectual Sidney Hook, who broke with the Communists and subsequently implored those around him to “always answer an accusation or a charge” and to “not let falsehoods stand unchallenged“.
The text of her speech can be read here.