Antisemitism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted By on October 28, 2015

Antisemitism (also spelled anti-Semitism or anti-semitism) is prejudice against, hatred of, or discrimination against Jews as an ethnic, religious, or racial group.[1][2][3] A person who holds such positions is called an antisemite. Antisemitism is widely considered to be a form of racism.[4][5]

While the conjunction of the units anti-, Semite, and -ism indicates antisemitism as being directed against all Semitic people, the term was popularized in Germany in 1873 as a scientific-sounding term for Judenhass (Jew-hatred),[6][7] although it had been used for at least two decades prior,[8] and that has been its normal use since then.[9] For the purposes of a 2005 U.S. governmental report, antisemitism was considered “hatred toward Jewsindividually and as a groupthat can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity”.[10]

Antisemitism may be manifested in many ways, ranging from expressions of hatred of or discrimination against individual Jews to organized violent attacks by mobs, state police, or even military attacks on entire Jewish communities. Although the term did not come into common usage until the 19th century, it is now also applied to historic anti-Jewish incidents. Notable instances of persecution include the pogroms which preceded the First Crusade in 1096, the expulsion from England in 1290, the massacres of Spanish Jews in 1391, the persecutions of the Spanish Inquisition, the expulsion from Spain in 1492, Cossack massacres in Ukraine of 16481657, various pogroms in Imperial Russia between 1821 and 1906, the 18941906 Dreyfus affair in France, the Holocaust in German-occupied Europe, official Soviet anti-Jewish policies and Arab and Muslim involvement in the Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries.

The origin of “antisemitic” terminologies is found in responses of Moritz Steinschneider to the views of Ernest Renan. As Alex Bein writes “The compound anti-Semitism appears to have been used first by Steinschneider, who challenged Renan on account of his ‘anti-Semitic prejudices’ [i.e., his derogation of the “Semites” as a race]”.[11]Avner Falk similarly writes: ‘The German word antisemitisch was first used in 1860 by the Austrian Jewish scholar Moritz Steinschneider (1816-1907) in the phrase antisemitische Vorurteile (antisemitic prejudices). Steinschneider used this phrase to characterise the French philosopher Ernest Renan’s false ideas about how “Semitic races” were inferior to “Aryan races”‘.[12]

Pseudoscientific theories concerning race, civilization, and “progress” had become quite widespread in Europe in the second half of the 19th century, especially as Prussian nationalistic historian Heinrich von Treitschke did much to promote this form of racism. He coined the phrase “the Jews are our misfortune” which would later be widely used by Nazis.[13] In Treitschke’s writings “Semitic” was synonymous with “Jewish”,[citation needed] in contrast to its use by Renan and others.

In 1873 German journalist Wilhelm Marr published a pamphlet, Der Sieg des Judenthums ber das Germanenthum. Vom nicht confessionellen Standpunkt aus betrachtet (The Victory of the Jewish Spirit over the Germanic Spirit. Observed from a non-religious perspective.)[14][pageneeded]&/or[need quotation to verify] in which he used the word Semitismus interchangeably with the word Judentum to denote both “Jewry” (the Jews as a collective) and “jewishness” (the quality of being Jewish, or the Jewish spirit).

This use of Semitismus was followed by a coining of “Antisemitismus” which was used to indicate opposition to the Jews as a people[citation needed] and opposition to the Jewish spirit, which Marr interpreted as infiltrating German culture. His next pamphlet, Der Weg zum Siege des Germanenthums ber das Judenthum (The Way to Victory of the Germanic Spirit over the Jewish Spirit, 1880), presents a development of Marr’s ideas further and may present the first published use of the German word Antisemitismus, “antisemitism”.

The pamphlet became very popular, and in the same year he founded the Antisemiten-Liga (League of Antisemites),[15] the first German organization committed specifically to combating the alleged threat to Germany and German culture posed by the Jews and their influence, and advocating their forced removal from the country.

So far as can be ascertained, the word was first widely printed in 1881, when Marr published Zwanglose Antisemitische Hefte, and Wilhelm Scherer used the term Antisemiten in the January issue of Neue Freie Presse.

The Jewish Encyclopedia reported: In February 1881, a correspondent of the “Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums” speaks of “Anti-Semitism” as a designation which recently came into use (“Allg. Zeit. d. Jud.” 1881, p.138). On 19 July 1882, the editor says, “This quite recent Anti-Semitism is hardly three years old.”[16]

The related term “philosemitism” was coined around 1885.[citation needed]

Despite the use of the prefix anti-, the term “anti-Semitic” is not a direct opposite of “Semitic” which linguistically makes the term a misnomer. Within common, day to day usage, however, the terms “anti-Semitism” and “antisemitism” have accepted and specific use to describe prejudice against Jews alone and in general.[1][9] This is despite the fact that there are other speakers of Semitic languages (e.g. Arabs, Ethiopians, or Assyrians) and that not all Jews speak a Semitic language.

The term “antisemitic” has been used on occasion with meanings inclusive of bigotry against other Semitic-language peoples such as Arabs, with the validity of such use being challenged.[17][18]

The terms “anti-Semitism” and “antisemitism” are both in use. Some scholars favor the unhyphenated form because, “If you use the hyphenated form, you consider the words ‘Semitism’, ‘Semite’, ‘Semitic’ as meaningful” whereas “in antisemitic parlance, ‘Semites’ really stands for Jews, just that.”[19][20][21][22] For example, Emil Fackenheim supported the unhyphenated spelling, in order to “[dispel] the notion that there is an entity ‘Semitism’ which ‘anti-Semitism’ opposes.”[23] Others endorsing an unhyphenated term for the same reason include Padraic O’Hare, professor of Religious and Theological Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations at Merrimack College; Yehuda Bauer, professor of Holocaust Studies at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and James Carroll, historian and novelist. According to Carroll, who first cites O’Hare and Bauer on “the existence of something called ‘Semitism'”, “the hyphenated word thus reflects the bipolarity that is at the heart of the problem of antisemitism”.[24]

Though the general definition of antisemitism is hostility or prejudice against Jews, and, according to Olaf Blaschke, has become an “umbrella term for negative stereotypes about Jews”,[25] a number of authorities have developed more formal definitions.

Holocaust scholar and City University of New York professor Helen Fein defines it as “a persisting latent structure of hostile beliefs towards Jews as a collective manifested in individuals as attitudes, and in culture as myth, ideology, folklore and imagery, and in actionssocial or legal discrimination, political mobilization against the Jews, and collective or state violencewhich results in and/or is designed to distance, displace, or destroy Jews as Jews.”

Elaborating on Fein’s definition, Dietz Bering of the University of Cologne writes that, to antisemites, “Jews are not only partially but totally bad by nature, that is, their bad traits are incorrigible. Because of this bad nature: (1) Jews have to be seen not as individuals but as a collective. (2) Jews remain essentially alien in the surrounding societies. (3) Jews bring disaster on their ‘host societies’ or on the whole world, they are doing it secretly, therefore the anti-Semites feel obliged to unmask the conspiratorial, bad Jewish character.”[26]

For Sonja Weinberg, as distinct from economic and religious anti-Judaism, antisemitism in its modern form shows conceptual innovation, a resort to ‘science’ to defend itself, new functional forms and organisational differences. It was anti-liberal, racialist and nationalist. It promoted the myth that Jews conspired to ‘judaise’ the world; it served to consolidate social identity; it channeled dissatisfactions among victims of the capitalist system; and it was used as a conservative cultural code to fight emancipation and liberalism.[27]

Bernard Lewis defines antisemitism as a special case of prejudice, hatred, or persecution directed against people who are in some way different from the rest. According to Lewis, antisemitism is marked by two distinct features: Jews are judged according to a standard different from that applied to others, and they are accused of “cosmic evil.” Thus, “it is perfectly possible to hate and even to persecute Jews without necessarily being anti-Semitic” unless this hatred or persecution displays one of the two features specific to antisemitism.[28]

There have been a number of efforts by international and governmental bodies to define antisemitism formally. The U.S. Department of State states that “while there is no universally accepted definition, there is a generally clear understanding of what the term encompasses.” For the purposes of its 2005 Report on Global Anti-Semitism, the term was considered to mean “hatred toward Jewsindividually and as a groupthat can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity.”[10]

In 2005, the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (now Fundamental Rights Agency), then an agency of the European Union, developed a more detailed working definition, which states: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” It also adds that “such manifestations could also target the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity,” but that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.” It provides contemporary examples of ways in which antisemitism may manifest itself, including: promoting the harming of Jews in the name of an ideology or religion; promoting negative stereotypes of Jews; holding Jews collectively responsible for the actions of an individual Jewish person or group; denying the Holocaust or accusing Jews or Israel of exaggerating it; and accusing Jews of dual loyalty or a greater allegiance to Israel than their own country. It also lists ways in which attacking Israel could be antisemitic, and states that denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g. by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavor, can be a manifestation of antisemitismas can applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation, or holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel.[29] Late in 2013, the definition was removed from the website of the Fundamental Rights Agency. A spokesperson said that it had never been regarded as official and that the agency did not intend to develop its own definition.[30]

In 1879, Wilhelm Marr founded the Antisemiten-Liga (Anti-Semitic League).[31] Identification with antisemitism and as an antisemite was politically advantageous in Europe in the latter 19th century. For example, Karl Lueger, the popular mayor of fin de sicle Vienna, skillfully exploited antisemitism as a way of channeling public discontent to his political advantage.[32] In its 1910 obituary of Lueger, The New York Times notes that Lueger was “Chairman of the Christian Social Union of the Parliament and of the Anti-Semitic Union of the Diet of Lower Austria.[33] In 1895 A. C. Cuza organized the Alliance Anti-semitique Universelle in Bucharest. In the period before World War II, when animosity towards Jews was far more commonplace, it was not uncommon for a person, organization, or political party to self-identify as an antisemite or antisemitic.

In 1882, the early Zionist pioneer Judah Leib Pinsker wrote that antisemitism was a psychological response rooted in fear and was an inherited predisposition. He named the condition Judeophobia.[34]

Judeophobia is a variety of demonopathy with the distinction that it is not peculiar to particular races but is common to the whole of mankind.’…’Judeophobia is a psychic aberration. As a psychic aberration it is hereditary, and as a disease transmitted for two thousand years it is incurable.’… ‘In this way have Judaism and Anti-Semitism passed for centuries through history as inseparable companions.’……’Having analyzed Judeophobia as an hereditary form of demonopathy, peculiar to the human race, and having represented Anti-Semitism as proceeding from an inherited aberration of the human mind, we must draw the important conclusion that we must give’ up contending against these hostile impulses as we must against every other inherited predisposition. (translation from German)[35]

In the aftermath of the Kristallnacht pogrom in 1938, German propaganda minister Goebbels announced: “The German people is anti-Semitic. It has no desire to have its rights restricted or to be provoked in the future by parasites of the Jewish race.”[36]

After the 1945 victory of the Allies over Nazi Germany, and particularly after the extent of the Nazi genocide of Jews became known, the term “anti-Semitism” acquired pejorative connotations. This marked a full circle shift in usage, from an era just decades earlier when “Jew” was used as a pejorative term.[37][38] Yehuda Bauer wrote in 1984: “There are no anti-Semites in the world… Nobody says, ‘I am anti-Semitic.’ You cannot, after Hitler. The word has gone out of fashion.”[39]

Antisemitism manifests itself in a variety of ways. Ren Knig mentions social antisemitism, economic antisemitism, religious antisemitism, and political antisemitism as examples. Knig points out that these different forms demonstrate that the “origins of anti-Semitic prejudices are rooted in different historical periods.” Knig asserts that differences in the chronology of different antisemitic prejudices and the irregular distribution of such prejudices over different segments of the population create “serious difficulties in the definition of the different kinds of anti-Semitism.”[40] These difficulties may contribute to the existence of different taxonomies that have been developed to categorize the forms of antisemitism. The forms identified are substantially the same; it is primarily the number of forms and their definitions that differ. Bernard Lazare identifies three forms of antisemitism: Christian antisemitism, economic antisemitism, and ethnologic antisemitism.[41]William Brustein names four categories: religious, racial, economic and political.[42] The Roman Catholic historian Edward Flannery distinguished four varieties of antisemitism:[43]

Louis Harap separates “economic antisemitism” and merges “political” and “nationalistic” antisemitism into “ideological antisemitism”. Harap also adds a category of “social antisemitism”.[49]

Gustavo Perednik has argued that what he terms “Judeophobia” has a number of unique traits which set it apart from other forms of racism, including permanence, depth, obsessiveness, irrationality, endurance, ubiquity, and danger.[50] He also wrote in his book Spain Derailed that “The Jews were accused by the nationalists of being the creators of Communism; by the Communists of ruling Capitalism. If they live in non-Jewish countries, they are accused of double-loyalties; if they live in the Jewish country, of being racists. When they spend their money, they are reproached for being ostentatious; when they don’t spend their money, of being avaricious. They are called rootless cosmopolitans or hardened chauvinists. If they assimilate, they are accused of fifth-columnists, if they don’t, of shutting themselves away.”[51]

Louis Harap defines cultural antisemitism as “that species of anti-Semitism that charges the Jews with corrupting a given culture and attempting to supplant or succeeding in supplanting the preferred culture with a uniform, crude, “Jewish” culture.[52] Similarly, Eric Kandel characterizes cultural antisemitism as being based on the idea of “Jewishness” as a “religious or cultural tradition that is acquired through learning, through distinctive traditions and education.” According to Kandel, this form of antisemitism views Jews as possessing “unattractive psychological and social characteristics that are acquired through acculturation.”[53] Niewyk and Nicosia characterize cultural antisemitism as focusing on and condemning “the Jews’ aloofness from the societies in which they live.”[54] An important feature of cultural antisemitism is that it considers the negative attributes of Judaism to be redeemable by education or religious conversion.[55]

Religious antisemitism, also known as anti-Judaism, is antipathy towards Jews because of their perceived religious beliefs. In theory, antisemitism and attacks against individual Jews would stop if Jews stopped practicing Judaism or changed their public faith, especially by conversion to the official or right religion. However, in some cases discrimination continues after conversion, as in the case of Christianized Marranos or Iberian Jews in the late 15th century and 16th century who were suspected of secretly practising Judaism or Jewish customs.[43]

Although the origins of antisemitism are rooted in the Judeo-Christian conflict, religious antisemitism, other forms of antisemitism have developed in modern times. Frederick Schweitzer asserts that, “most scholars ignore the Christian foundation on which the modern antisemitic edifice rests and invoke political antisemitism, cultural antisemitism, racism or racial antisemitism, economic antisemitism and the like.”[56] William Nichols draws a distinction between religious antisemitism and modern antisemitism based on racial or ethnic grounds: “The dividing line was the possibility of effective conversion… a Jew ceased to be a Jew upon baptism.” From the perspective of racial antisemitism, however, “… the assimilated Jew was still a Jew, even after baptism…. From the Enlightenment onward, it is no longer possible to draw clear lines of distinction between religious and racial forms of hostility towards Jews… Once Jews have been emancipated and secular thinking makes its appearance, without leaving behind the old Christian hostility towards Jews, the new term antisemitism becomes almost unavoidable, even before explicitly racist doctrines appear.”

The underlying premise of economic antisemitism is that Jews perform harmful economic activities or that economic activities become harmful when they are performed by Jews.[57]

Linking Jews and money underpins the most damaging and lasting Antisemitic canards.[58] Antisemites claim that Jews control the world finances, a theory promoted in the fraudulent Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and later repeated by Henry Ford and his Dearborn Independent. In the modern era, such myths continue to be spread in books such as The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews published by the Nation of Islam, and on the internet. Derek Penslar writes that there are two components to the financial canards:[59]

Abraham Foxman describes six facets of the financial canards:

Gerald Krefetz summarizes the myth as “[Jews] control the banks, the money supply, the economy, and businessesof the community, of the country, of the world”.[66] Krefetz gives, as illustrations, many slurs and proverbs (in several different languages) which suggest that Jews are stingy, or greedy, or miserly, or aggressive bargainers.[67] During the nineteenth century, Jews were described as “scurrilous, stupid, and tight-fisted”, but after the Jewish Emancipation and the rise of Jews to the middle- or upper-class in Europe were portrayed as “clever, devious, and manipulative financiers out to dominate [world finances]”.[68]

Lon Poliakov asserts that economic antisemitism is not a distinct form of antisemitism, but merely a manifestation of theologic antisemitism (because, without the theological causes of the economic antisemitism, there would be no economic antisemitism). In opposition to this view, Derek Penslar contends that in the modern era, the economic antisemitism is “distinct and nearly constant” but theological antisemitism is “often subdued”.[69]

An academic study by Francesco DAcunto, Marcel Prokopczuk, and Michael Weber showed that people who live in areas of Germany that contain the most brutal history of anti-Semitic persecution are more likely to be distrustful of finance in general. Therefore, they tended to invest less money in the stock market and make poor financial decisions. The study concluded “that the persecution of minorities reduces not only the long-term wealth of the persecuted, but of the persecutors as well.”[70]

Racial antisemitism is prejudice against Jews as a racial/ethnic group, rather than Judaism as a religion.[71]

Racial antisemitism is the idea that the Jews are a distinct and inferior race compared to their host nations. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, it gained mainstream acceptance as part of the eugenics movement, which categorized non-Europeans as inferior. It more specifically claimed that Northern Europeans, or “Aryans”, were superior. Racial antisemites saw the Jews as part of a Semitic race and emphasized their non-European origins and culture. They saw Jews as beyond redemption even if they converted to the majority religion.[citation needed]

Racial antisemitism replaced the hatred of Judaism with the hatred of Jews as a group. In the context of the Industrial Revolution, following the Jewish Emancipation, Jews rapidly urbanized and experienced a period of greater social mobility. With the decreasing role of religion in public life tempering religious antisemitism, a combination of growing nationalism, the rise of eugenics, and resentment at the socio-economic success of the Jews led to the newer, and more virulent, racist antisemitism.[citation needed]

According to William Nichols, religious antisemitism may be distinguished from modern antisemitism based on racial or ethnic grounds. “The dividing line was the possibility of effective conversion… a Jew ceased to be a Jew upon baptism.” However, with racial antisemitism, “Now the assimilated Jew was still a Jew, even after baptism…. From the Enlightenment onward, it is no longer possible to draw clear lines of distinction between religious and racial forms of hostility towards Jews… Once Jews have been emancipated and secular thinking makes its appearance, without leaving behind the old Christian hostility towards Jews, the new term antisemitism becomes almost unavoidable, even before explicitly racist doctrines appear.”[72]

In the early 19th century, a number of laws enabling emancipation of the Jews were enacted in Western European countries.[73][74] The old laws restricting them to ghettos, as well as the many laws that limited their property rights, rights of worship and occupation, were rescinded. Despite this, traditional discrimination and hostility to Jews on religious grounds persisted and was supplemented by racial antisemitism, encouraged by the work of racial theorists such as Joseph Arthur de Gobineau and particularly his Essay on the Inequality of the Human Race of 18535. Nationalist agendas based on ethnicity, known as ethnonationalism, usually excluded the Jews from the national community as an alien race.[75] Allied to this were theories of Social Darwinism, which stressed a putative conflict between higher and lower races of human beings. Such theories, usually posited by northern Europeans, advocated the superiority of white Aryans to Semitic Jews.[76]

William Brustein defines political antisemitism as hostility toward Jews based on the belief that Jews seek national and/or world power.” Yisrael Gutman characterizes political antisemitism as tending to “lay responsibility on the Jews for defeats and political economic crises” while seeking to “exploit opposition and resistance to Jewish influence as elements in political party platforms.”[78]

According to Viktor Kardy, political antisemitism became widespread after the legal emancipation of the Jews and sought to reverse some of the consequences of that emancipation. [79]

Holocaust denial and Jewish conspiracy theories are also considered forms of antisemitism.[80][81][82][83][84][84][85][86]Zoological conspiracy theories have been propagated by the Arab media and Arabic language websites, alleging a “Zionist plot” behind the use of animals to attack civilians or to conduct espionage.[87]

Starting in the 1990s, some scholars have advanced the concept of new antisemitism, coming simultaneously from the left, the right, and radical Islam, which tends to focus on opposition to the creation of a Jewish homeland in the State of Israel,[88] and they argue that the language of anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel are used to attack Jews more broadly. In this view, the proponents of the new concept believe that criticisms of Israel and Zionism are often disproportionate in degree and unique in kind, and they attribute this to antisemitism. Jewish scholar Gustavo Perednik has posited that anti-Zionism in itself represents a form of discrimination against Jews, in that it singles out Jewish national aspirations as an illegitimate and racist endeavor, and “proposes actions that would result in the death of millions of Jews”.[89][90] It is asserted that the new antisemitism deploys traditional antisemitic motifs, including older motifs such as the blood libel.[88]

Critics of the concept view it as trivializing the meaning of antisemitism, and as exploiting antisemitism in order to silence debate and to deflect attention from legitimate criticism of the State of Israel, and, by associating anti-Zionism with antisemitism, misused to taint anyone opposed to Israeli actions and policies.[91]

Many authors see the roots of modern antisemitism in both pagan antiquity and early Christianity. Jerome Chanes identifies six stages in the historical development of antisemitism:[92]

Chanes suggests that these six stages could be merged into three categories: “ancient antisemitism, which was primarily ethnic in nature; Christian antisemitism, which was religious; and the racial antisemitism of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.”[93]

The first clear examples of anti-Jewish sentiment can be traced back to Alexandria in the 3rd century BCE.[43] Alexandria was home to the largest Jewish diaspora community in the world at the time and the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, was produced there. Manetho, an Egyptian priest and historian of that era, wrote scathingly of the Jews. His themes are repeated in the works of Chaeremon, Lysimachus, Poseidonius, Apollonius Molon, and in Apion and Tacitus.[94]Agatharchides of Cnidus ridiculed the practices of the Jews and the “absurdity of their Law”, making a mocking reference to how Ptolemy Lagus was able to invade Jerusalem in 320 BCE because its inhabitants were observing the Shabbat.[94] One of the earliest anti-Jewish edicts, promulgated by Antiochus IV Epiphanes in about 170167 BCE, sparked a revolt of the Maccabees in Judea.

In view of Manetho’s anti-Jewish writings, antisemitism may have originated in Egypt and been spread by “the Greek retelling of Ancient Egyptian prejudices”.[95] The ancient Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria describes an attack on Jews in Alexandria in 38 CE in which thousands of Jews died.[96][97] The violence in Alexandria may have been caused by the Jews being portrayed as misanthropes.[98] Tcherikover argues that the reason for hatred of Jews in the Hellenistic period was their separateness in the Greek cities, the poleis.[99] Bohak has argued, however, that early animosity against the Jews cannot be regarded as being anti-Judaic or antisemitic unless it arose from attitudes that were held against the Jews alone, and that many Greeks showed animosity toward any group they regarded as barbarians.[100] Statements exhibiting prejudice against Jews and their religion can be found in the works of many pagan Greek and Roman writers.[101] Edward Flannery writes that it was the Jews’ refusal to accept Greek religious and social standards that marked them out. Hecataetus of Abdera, a Greek historian of the early third century BCE, wrote that Moses “in remembrance of the exile of his people, instituted for them a misanthropic and inhospitable way of life.” Manetho, an Egyptian historian, wrote that the Jews were expelled Egyptian lepers who had been taught by Moses “not to adore the gods.” Edward Flannery describes antisemitism in ancient times as essentially “cultural, taking the shape of a national xenophobia played out in political settings.”[43]

There are examples of Hellenistic rulers desecrating the Temple and banning Jewish religious practices, such as circumcision, Shabbat observance, study of Jewish religious books, etc. Examples may also be found in anti-Jewish riots in Alexandria in the 3rd century BCE.

The Jewish diaspora on the Nile island Elephantine, which was founded by mercenaries, experienced the destruction of its temple in 410 BCE.[102]

Relationships between the Jewish people and the occupying Roman Empire were at times antagonistic and resulted in several rebellions. According to Suetonius, the emperor Tiberius expelled from Rome Jews who had gone to live there. The 18th-century English historian Edward Gibbon identified a more tolerant period in Roman-Jewish relations beginning in about 160 CE.[43] However, when Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire, the state’s attitude towards the Jews gradually worsened.

James Carroll asserted: “Jews accounted for 10% of the total population of the Roman Empire. By that ratio, if other factors such as pogroms and conversions had not intervened, there would be 200 million Jews in the world today, instead of something like 13 million.”[103][104]

From the 9th century CE, the medieval Islamic world classified Jews (and Christians) as dhimmi, and allowed Jews to practice their religion more freely than they could do in medieval Christian Europe. Under Islamic rule, there was a Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain that lasted until at least the 11th century.[105] It ended when several Muslim pogroms against Jews took place on the Iberian Peninsula, including those that occurred in Crdoba in 1011 and in Granada in 1066.[106][107][108] Several decrees ordering the destruction of synagogues were also enacted in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Yemen from the 11th century. In addition, Jews were forced to convert to Islam or face death in some parts of Yemen, Morocco and Baghdad several times between the 12th and 18th centuries.[109] The Almohads, who had taken control of the Almoravids’ Maghribi and Andalusian territories by 1147,[110] were far more fundamentalist in outlook compared to their predecessors, and they treated the dhimmis harshly. Faced with the choice of either death or conversion, many Jews and Christians emigrated.[111][112][113] Some, such as the family of Maimonides, fled east to more tolerant Muslim lands,[111] while some others went northward to settle in the growing Christian kingdoms.[114]

During the Middle Ages in Europe there was persecution against Jews in many places, with blood libels, expulsions, forced conversions and massacres. A main justification of prejudice against Jews in Europe was religious.

The persecution hit its first peak during the Crusades. In the First Crusade (1096) hundreds or even thousands of Jews were killed as the crusaders arrived.[115] This was the first major outbreak of anti-Jewish violence Christian Europe outside Spain and was cited by Zionists in the 19th century as indicating the need for a state of Israel.[116]

In the Second Crusade (1147) the Jews in Germany were subject to several massacres. The Jews were also subjected to attacks by the Shepherds’ Crusades of 1251 and 1320. The Crusades were followed by expulsions, including, in 1290, the banishing of all English Jews; in 1394, the expulsion of 100,000[citation needed] Jews in France; and in 1421, the expulsion of thousands from Austria. Many of the expelled Jews fled to Poland.[117] In medieval and Renaissance Europe, a major contributor to the deepening of antisemitic sentiment and legal action among the Christian populations was the popular preaching of the zealous reform religious orders, the Franciscans (especially Bernardino of Feltre) and Dominicans (especially Vincent Ferrer), who combed Europe and promoted antisemitism through their often fiery, emotional appeals.[118]

As the Black Death epidemics devastated Europe in the mid-14th century, causing the death of a large part of the population, Jews were used as scapegoats. Rumors spread that they caused the disease by deliberately poisoning wells. Hundreds of Jewish communities were destroyed. Although Pope Clement VI tried to protect them by issuing two papal bulls in 1348, the first on 6 July and an additional one several months later, 900 Jews were burned alive in Strasbourg, where the plague had not yet affected the city.[119]

During the mid-to-late 17th century the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth was devastated by several conflicts, in which the Commonwealth lost over a third of its population (over 3 million people), and Jewish losses were counted in the hundreds of thousands. The first of these conflicts was the Khmelnytsky Uprising, when Bohdan Khmelnytsky’s supporters massacred tens of thousands of Jews in the eastern and southern areas he controlled (today’s Ukraine). The precise number of dead may never be known, but the decrease of the Jewish population during that period is estimated at 100,000 to 200,000, which also includes emigration, deaths from diseases and captivity in the Ottoman Empire, called jasyr.[120][121]

European immigrants to the United States brought antisemitism to the country as early as the 17th century. Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch governor of New Amsterdam, implemented plans to prevent Jews from settling in the city. During the Colonial Era, the American government limited the political and economic rights of Jews. It was not until the Revolutionary War that Jews gained legal rights, including the right to vote. However, even at their peak, the restrictions on Jews in the United States were never as stringent as they had been in Europe.[122]

In the Zaydi imamate of Yemen, Jews were also singled out for discrimination in the 17th century, which culminated in the general expulsion of all Jews from places in Yemen to the arid coastal plain of Tihamah and which became known as the Mawza Exile.[123]

In 1744, Frederick II of Prussia limited the number of Jews allowed to live in Breslau to only ten so-called “protected” Jewish families and encouraged a similar practice in other Prussian cities. In 1750 he issued the Revidiertes General Privilegium und Reglement vor die Judenschaft: the “protected” Jews had an alternative to “either abstain from marriage or leave Berlin” (quoting Simon Dubnow). In the same year, Archduchess of Austria Maria Theresa ordered Jews out of Bohemia but soon reversed her position, on the condition that Jews pay for their readmission every ten years. This extortion was known as malke-geld (queen’s money). In 1752 she introduced the law limiting each Jewish family to one son. In 1782, Joseph II abolished most of these persecution practices in his Toleranzpatent, on the condition that Yiddish and Hebrew were eliminated from public records and that judicial autonomy was annulled. Moses Mendelssohn wrote that “Such a tolerance… is even more dangerous play in tolerance than open persecution.”

In 1772, the empress of Russia Catherine II forced the Jews of the Pale of Settlement to stay in their shtetls and forbade them from returning to the towns that they occupied before the partition of Poland.[124]

According to Arnold Ages, Voltaire’s “Lettres philosophiques, Dictionnaire philosophique, and Candide, to name but a few of his better known works, are saturated with comments on Jews and Judaism and the vast majority are negative”.[125] Paul H. Meyer adds: “There is no question but that Voltaire, particularly in his latter years, nursed a violent hatred of the Jews and it is equally certain that his animosity…did have a considerable impact on public opinion in France.”[126] Thirty of the 118 articles in Voltaire’s Dictionnaire Philosophique concerned Jews and described them in consistently negative ways,[127]

Historian Martin Gilbert writes that it was in the 19th century that the position of Jews worsened in Muslim countries. Benny Morris writes that one symbol of Jewish degradation was the phenomenon of stone-throwing at Jews by Muslim children. Morris quotes a 19th-century traveler: “I have seen a little fellow of six years old, with a troop of fat toddlers of only three and four, teaching [them] to throw stones at a Jew, and one little urchin would, with the greatest coolness, waddle up to the man and literally spit upon his Jewish gaberdine. To all this the Jew is obliged to submit; it would be more than his life was worth to offer to strike a Mahommedan.”[128]

In the middle of the 19th century, J. J. Benjamin wrote about the life of Persian Jews, describing conditions and beliefs that went back to the 16th century: “they are obliged to live in a separate part of town Under the pretext of their being unclean, they are treated with the greatest severity and should they enter a street, inhabited by Mussulmans, they are pelted by the boys and mobs with stones and dirt.”[129]

In 1850 the German composer Richard Wagner published Das Judenthum in der Musik (“Jewishness in Music”) under a pseudonym in the Neue Zeitschrift fr Musik. The essay began as an attack on Jewish composers, particularly Wagner’s contemporaries (and rivals) Felix Mendelssohn and Giacomo Meyerbeer, but expanded to accuse Jews of being a harmful and alien element in German culture. Antisemitism can also be found in many of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, published from 1812 to 1857. It is mainly characterized by Jews being the villain of a story, such as in “The Good Bargain (Der gute Handel)” and “The Jew Among Thorns (Der Jude im Dorn).”

The middle 19th century saw continued official harassment of the Jews, especially in Eastern Europe under Czarist influence. For example, in 1846, 80 Jews approached the governor in Warsaw to retain the right to wear their traditional dress, but were immediately rebuffed by having their hair and beards forcefully cut, at their own expense.[130]

In America, even such influential figures as Walt Whitman tolerated bigotry toward the Jews. During his time as editor of the Brooklyn Eagle (1846-1848), the newspaper published historical sketches casting Jews in a bad light.[131]

The Dreyfus Affair was an infamous antisemitic event of the late 19th century and early 20th century. Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish artillery captain in the French Army, was accused in 1894 of passing secrets to the Germans. As a result of these charges, Dreyfus was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island. The actual spy, Marie Charles Esterhazy, was acquitted. The event caused great uproar among the French, with the public choosing sides on the issue of whether Dreyfus was actually guilty or not. mile Zola accused the army of corrupting the French justice system. However, general consensus held that Dreyfus was guilty: 80% of the press in France condemned him. This attitude among the majority of the French population reveals the underlying antisemitism of the time period.[132]

Adolf Stoecker (18351909), the Lutheran court chaplain to Kaiser Wilhelm I, founded in 1878 an antisemitic, anti-liberal political party called the Christian Social Party.[133][134] This party always remained small, and its support dwindled after Stoecker’s death, with most of its members eventually joining larger conservative groups such as the German National People’s Party.

Some scholars view Karl Marx’s essay On The Jewish Question as antisemitic, and argue that he often used antisemitic epithets in his published and private writings.[135][136][137] These scholars argue that Marx equated Judaism with capitalism in his essay, helping to spread that idea. Some further argue that the essay influenced National Socialist, as well as Soviet and Arab antisemites.[138][139][140] Marx himself had Jewish ancestry, and Albert Lindemann and Hyam Maccoby have suggested that he was embarrassed by it.[141][142] Others argue that Marx consistently supported Prussian Jewish communities’ struggles to achieve equal political rights. These scholars argue that “On the Jewish Question” is a critique of Bruno Bauer’s arguments that Jews must convert to Christianity before being emancipated, and is more generally a critique of liberal rights discourses and capitalism.[143][144][145][146] David McLellan and Francis Wheen argue that readers should interpret On the Jewish Question in the deeper context of Marx’s debates with Bruno Bauer, author of The Jewish Question, about Jewish emancipation in Germany. According to McLellan, Marx used the word Judentum colloquially, as meaning commerce, arguing that Germans must be emancipated from the capitalist mode of production not Judaism or Jews in particular.[147]

Between 1900 and 1924, approximately 1.75 million Jews migrated to America, the bulk from Eastern Europe. Before 1900 American Jews had always amounted to less than 1% of America’s total population, but by 1930 Jews formed about 3.5%. This increase, combined with the upward social mobility of some Jews, contributed to a resurgence of antisemitism. In the first half of the 20th century, in the USA, Jews were discriminated against in employment, access to residential and resort areas, membership in clubs and organizations, and in tightened quotas on Jewish enrolment and teaching positions in colleges and universities. The lynching of Leo Frank by a mob of prominent citizens in Marietta, Georgia in 1915 turned the spotlight on antisemitism in the United States.[148] The case was also used to build support for the renewal of the Ku Klux Klan which had been inactive since 1870.[149]

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Beilis Trial in Russia represented incidents of blood-libel in Europe. Christians used allegations of Jews killing Christians as a justification for the killing of Jews.

Antisemitism in America reached its peak during the interwar period. The pioneer automobile manufacturer Henry Ford propagated antisemitic ideas in his newspaper The Dearborn Independent (published by Ford from 1919 to 1927). The radio speeches of Father Coughlin in the late 1930s attacked Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and promoted the notion of a Jewish financial conspiracy. Some prominent politicians shared such views: Louis T. McFadden, Chairman of the United States House Committee on Banking and Currency, blamed Jews for Roosevelt’s decision to abandon the gold standard, and claimed that “in the United States today, the Gentiles have the slips of paper while the Jews have the lawful money”.[150]

In the early 1940s the aviator Charles Lindbergh and many prominent Americans led The America First Committee in opposing any involvement in the war against Fascism. During his July 1936 visit to Germany, Lindbergh wrote letters saying that there was “more intelligent leadership in Germany than is generally recognized”. The German American Bund held parades in New York City during the late 1930s, where members wore Nazi uniforms and raised flags featuring swastikas alongside American flags. Sometimes race riots, as in Detroit in 1943, targeted Jewish businesses for looting and burning.[151]

In Germany, Nazism led Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, who came to power on 30 January 1933, instituted repressive legislation denying the Jews basic civil rights. In 1935, the Nuremberg Laws prohibited sexual relations and marriages between “Aryans” and Jews as Rassenschande (“race disgrace”) and stripped all German Jews, even quarter- and half-Jews, from their citizenship, (their official title became “subjects of the state”). It instituted a pogrom on the night of 910 November 1938, dubbed Kristallnacht, in which Jews were killed, their property destroyed and their synagogues torched.[152] Antisemitic laws, agitation and propaganda were extended to German-occupied Europe in the wake of conquest, often building on local antisemitic traditions. In the east the Third Reich forced Jews into ghettos in Warsaw, Krakw, Lvov, Lublin and Radom.[153] After the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 a campaign of mass murder, conducted by the Einsatzgruppen, culminated from 1942 to 1945 in systematic genocide: the Holocaust.[154] Eleven million Jews were targeted for extermination by the Nazis, and some six million were eventually killed.[154][155][156]

Antisemitism was commonly used as an instrument for personal conflicts in the Soviet Union, starting from conflict between Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky and continuing through numerous conspiracy-theories spread by official propaganda. Antisemitism in the USSR reached new heights after 1948 during the campaign against the “rootless cosmopolitan” (euphemism for “Jew”) in which numerous Yiddish-language poets, writers, painters and sculptors were killed or arrested.[157][158] This culminated in the so-called Doctors’ Plot (19521953). Similar antisemitic propaganda in Poland resulted in the flight of Polish Jewish survivors from the country.[158]

After the war, the Kielce pogrom and “March 1968 events” in communist Poland represented further incidents of antisemitism in Europe. The anti-Jewish violence in postwar Poland has a common theme of blood-libel rumours.[159][160]

In 1965 Pope Paul VI issued a papal decree disbanding the cult of Simon of Trent, the shrine erected to him was dismantled,[161] and Simon was decanonized.[162]

Robert Bernstein, founder of Human Rights Watch, says that antisemitism is “deeply ingrained and institutionalized” in “Arab nations in modern times.”[163]

In a 2011 survey by the Pew Research Center, all of the Muslim-majority Middle Eastern countries polled held strongly negative views of Jews. In the questionnaire, only 2% of Egyptians, 3% of Lebanese Muslims, and 2% of Jordanians reported having a positive view of Jews. Muslim-majority countries outside the Middle East held similarly negative views, with 4% of Turks and 9% of Indonesians viewing Jews favorably.[164]

According to a 2011 exhibition at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, United States, some of the dialogue from Middle East media and commentators about Jews bear a striking resemblance to Nazi propaganda.[165] According to Josef Joffe of Newsweek, “anti-Semitismthe real stuff, not just bad-mouthing particular Israeli policiesis as much part of Arab life today as the hijab or the hookah. Whereas this darkest of creeds is no longer tolerated in polite society in the West, in the Arab world, Jew hatred remains culturally endemic.”[166]

Muslim clerics in the Middle East have frequently referred to Jews as descendants of apes and pigs, which are conventional epithets for Jews and Christians.[167][168][169]

According to professor Robert Wistrich, director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (SICSA), the calls for the destruction of Israel by Iran or by Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, or the Muslim Brotherhood, represent a contemporary mode of genocidal antisemitism.[170]

Dean Phillip Bell documents and enumerates a number of categories and causes for anti-Jewish sentiment. He describes political, social, and pseudo-scientific efforts to separate Jews from “civil” society and notes that antisemitism was part of a larger attempt to differentiate status based on racial background. Bell writes, “Socio-psychological explanations focus on concepts of projected guilt and displaced aggression, the search for a scapegoat. Ethnic explanations associated marginalization, or negative representation of the Other, with perceived ethnic differences. Xenophobia ascribes anti-Jewish sentiment to broader concern over minority groups within a national or regional identity.[171]

There are a number of antisemitic canards which are used to fuel and justify antisemitic sentiment and activities. These include conspiracy theories and myths such as: that Jews killed Christ, poisoned wells, killed Christian children to use their blood for making matzos (the Blood libel), or “made up” the Holocaust, plot to control the world (the Protocols of the Elders of Zion), harvest organs, and other invented stories. A number of conspiracy theories also include accusations that Jews control the media or global financial institutions.

A March 2008 report by the U.S. State Department found that there was an increase in antisemitism across the world, and that both old and new expressions of antisemitism persist.[172] A 2012 report by the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor also noted a continued global increase in antisemitism, and found that Holocaust denial and opposition to Israeli policy at times was used to promote or justify blatant antisemitism.[173]

In Egypt, Dar al-Fadhilah published a translation of Henry Ford’s antisemitic treatise, The International Jew, complete with distinctly antisemitic imagery on the cover.[174]

On 5 May 2001, after Shimon Peres visited Egypt, the Egyptian al-Akhbar internet paper said that “lies and deceit are not foreign to Jews[…]. For this reason, Allah changed their shape and made them into monkeys and pigs.”[175]

In July 2012, Egypt’s Al Nahar channel fooled actors into thinking they were on an Israeli television show and filmed their reactions to being told it was an Israeli television show. In response, some of the actors launched into antisemitic rants or dialogue, and many became violent. Actress Mayer El Beblawi said that “Allah did not curse the worm and moth as much as he cursed the Jews” while actor Mahmoud Abdel Ghaffar launched into a violent rage and said, “You brought me someone who looks like a Jew… I hate the Jews to death” after finding out it was a prank.[176][177]

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, former president of Iran, has frequently been accused of denying the Holocaust.

In July, the winner of Iran’s first annual International Wall Street Downfall Cartoon Festival, jointly sponsored by the semi-state-run Iranian media outlet Fars News, was an antisemitic cartoon depicting Jews praying before the New York Stock Exchange, which is made to look like the Western Wall. Other cartoons in the contest were antisemitic as well. The national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, condemned the cartoon, stating that “Here’s the anti-Semitic notion of Jews and their love for money, the canard that Jews ‘control’ Wall Street, and a cynical perversion of the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism,” and “Once again Iran takes the prize for promoting antisemitism.”[178][179][180]

In 2004, Al-Manar, a media network affiliated with Hezbollah, aired a drama series, The Diaspora, which observers allege is based on historical antisemitic allegations. BBC correspondents who have watched the program says it quotes extensively from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.[181]

Although Malaysia presently has no substantial Jewish population, the country has reportedly become an example of a phenomenon called “antisemitism without Jews.”[182][183]

In his treatise on Malay identity, “The Malay Dilemma,” which was published in 1970, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad wrote: “The Jews are not only hooked-nosed… but understand money instinctively…. Jewish stinginess and financial wizardry gained them the economic control of Europe and provoked antisemitism which waxed and waned throughout Europe through the ages.”[184]

The Malay-language Utusan Malaysia daily stated in an editorial that Malaysians “cannot allow anyone, especially the Jews, to interfere secretly in this country’s business… When the drums are pounded hard in the name of human rights, the pro-Jewish people will have their best opportunity to interfere in any Islamic country,” the newspaper said. “We might not realize that the enthusiasm to support actions such as demonstrations will cause us to help foreign groups succeed in their mission of controlling this country.” Prime Minister Najib Razak’s office subsequently issued a statement late Monday saying Utusan’s claim did “not reflect the views of the government.”[185][186][187]

Visit link:
Antisemitism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Related Post

Comments

Comments are closed.