Hatred of Jews, virulent anti-Semitism, is not a political, economic, social or anthropological belief based on facts. It is an entirely destructive ideology.
Antisemitism is endemic in many populations. In fact it is congenital. Millions, perhaps billions of people are anti-Semites from birth, for no reason except that they are the offspring of anti-Semites.
Prejudice and discrimination against Jews are both individual and collective. And the people. And a religion.
“Jews are evil” and the “world Jewish conspiracy” have been and remain the beacons of anti-Semites around the world.
In many societies to this day Jews are blamed for many of their ills. And remarkably for the inability of these societies to progress. This is even true in large segments of American society. This is a glaring paradox given the immense contributions of Jews to society, science and business.
The absurd belief of a “world Jewish conspiracy” persists to this day, in large segments of many societies.
Just ask any taxi driver in Budapest why taxi fares are so high. It’s the price of gasoline. And it’s because of the Jews. I know… I had an office in Budapest. Hungarians are among the most virulent anti-Semites. Not too long ago, on one of my fifty trips to Budapest, I was stuck there for Yom Kippur. The most unforgettable: I was unable to enter the iconic Dohány Street Synagogue – the Great Synagogue of Budapest. The security line was so long that by the time I was “banded” much of the service was over.
More memorable was the anniversary of Kristallnacht a few years ago, when skinheads covered the city with leaflets wishing Jews a happy birthday and “Don’t worry, Jews. This time you will die here.
Although Jesus and his disciples preached Judaism, Christianity eventually spawned the anti-Judaism dogma, the birth of anti-Semitism. In AD 703, the Romans destroyed the Jewish state, giving rise to the global Jewish diaspora.
This could have been the first genocide of the Jews if not a holocaust.
It is widely recognized that this turned into a methodical policy of political, economic and social discrimination. Ultimately, what are called “blood libels”, inquisitions, exclusion, degradation, marginalization, persecution, ghettos, pogroms, genocides and repeated attempts at annihilation.
Almost a success in the hands of Hitler and his Germany.
Anti-Semitism did not start with the Nazis. It certainly ended with their defeat in World War II. Throughout the ages, Jews have always been defined as “those people.” Certainly the Jews would rather not be the so-called, much less be treated as the “chosen people”.
Racism and anti-Semitism have also been facilitated by the development of intellectually bankrupt theories of racial superiority and inferiority.
Possibly an explanation of a succession of pogroms against the Jews, dating back to the 18e century.
One cannot ignore what the hated Jews have been relegated to. Jews of “modern” centuries, think 14e at 17e, were relegated to certain jobs that Christians could not – by religious dogma – do. It was OK to have Jewish teachers. OK for jews to manipulate money – become lenders of christians money, when good christians were banned.
Hitler capitalized on the paradigm of hating “Jews so bad they’re subhuman”. He succeeded in convincing tens of millions of Germans that the Jews were an obstacle to German world domination. Hence the need to exterminate them. To be exact, the Communists and some others received honorable mentions in Hitler’s surprisingly successful propaganda film.
As of this writing, twenty-seven percent of Germans think Hitler was right – on all counts. This despite draconian laws that prohibit such expression, and essentially aim to control Holocaust-related thought.
How are you all?
But for the generations immediately after the war – perhaps the righteous generation – it was the German youth who kept “alive” the shame of their incomprehensibly inhuman parents and grandparents.
Try as enlightened Christians and even more relevant, the enlightened leaders of Christianity, think the Popes, tried to rehabilitate the Jews and give them parity with Christians, they failed spectacularly.
Unfortunately, most blind haters by default hate.
To study, to understand, to practice tolerance, or at least peaceful coexistence, requires generations of enlightened parents. Tragically, I hold little to no hope for that.
Surprisingly, this is not taught in many of our fine schools.
Anti-Semitism is real and widespread. Not long ago, I attended a conference call with the board of directors of a technology company. They consult me on certain issues. The ultra-bright, new-age CEO urged the team to “lower” the prices paid to a vendor.
Looking ahead, after what I said and how I said it to this anti-Semite, I expect to sue for my fees. Thank goodness for Alex Bell. Otherwise, I could have walked out of that meeting in handcuffs.
And then, a neighbor asked us for advice on a matter he has with his landlord. The lady of this house, added to her story: “you know, the guy is Jewish”.
Written by Steven J. Manning.
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