ANTISEMITISM THEN AND NOW
Dedicated to Robert Wistrich and Vidal Sassoon
With the growth of Worldwide and Domestic Jew Hatred/Antisemitism not seen since the “30s,” Paul Weinberg of ALDEN FILMS* delivers an hour long talk on how Antisemitism started and why it’s become an issue again 74 years after the Holocaust. Also discussed are responses to this avalanche of hate.
*ALDEN FILMS distributes the lectures on DVD of the Vidal Sassoon International Institute For The Study Of Antisemitism Of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
ALDEN FILMS has published a catalogue available online and in print on Antisemitism
Antisemitism, that cruel word that evokes visions of the Holocaust, pogroms, expulsions, ghettos, and the stark Jew hatred of the Gentile who is ever ready to attack, defame, murder Jews, has been a constant of Western and Islamic civilization for 2,000 years. In this presentation, I plan to give an overview of this protean ideology of evil from its beginnings to the present onslaught of Jew hatred in the world today and possible ways to counteract it. As the title evokes a timeline of Then and Now, I begin with Before Then.
Before there was an Israel or Jews, there were the Hebrew slaves in Goshen/Egypt becoming a nation and feared and hated by Pharaoh. His fear became hate with the order to kill the firstborn sons.
Later during the Exodus, the Hebrews were attacked by Amalek who symbolizes even today the ever-present hatred against the Jewish people. With the breakup of Israel between the Kingdom of Israel and its 10 tribes, and the Kingdom of Judah with its two tribes, the next great challenge to the Jews was Haman in Persia. The Jewish people’s survival through Mordecai and Queen Esther is celebrated yearly during Purim. Hanukkah celebrates the Jewish revolt and victory against Antiochus and the Seleucid Greeks, who tried to corrupt and destroy Judaism through their defiling of the Holy Temple. All these attacks on Jews and Judaism were attacks against the stranger also known as xenophobia.
But this is not the true Antisemitism that I will discuss. Even the brutal Roman wars, rebellions, and massacres were not truly antisemitic. If so, then why was Johanan Ben Zakkai able to convince the Romans to allow him to open a Yeshiva in Yavne after the destruction of the Temple. Also, then why were Jews accorded Roman citizenship along with the Greeks. It is true that the Romans were brutal to the Jews, but they were brutal to all subject peoples. Other subject peoples were never accorded Roman citizenship. However, as pagans they did not have the fiery hatred that is inherent in antisemitism. As Professor Jack Wertheimer of The Jewish Theological Seminary once said in a lecture on Antisemitism: “The Pagans were not so bad.” Their motto would be “We’ll worship your God, and you’ll worship our God.” True, there was consternation and anger that the Jews did not subscribe to this philosophy, but not Jew hatred.
The birth of Antisemitism as we understand it, starts with the advent of Christianity beginning with the Apostle Paul. Christianity an outgrowth of Judaism arose after the death of James, Jesus’ brother and the head of the Jesus movement in Jerusalem.
Jesus was born a Jew and died a Jew. As far as can be determined, Jesus was a faithful and righteous Jew, teaching strict adherence to the Torah. Practically all of his sayings, including the Lord’s Prayer (Mathew 6:9-13) can be found in Jewish writings. There is even evidence, (inferred) that Jesus was a Pharisee –ironic considering the revulsion that is heaped upon them in the New Testament. The followers of Jesus up until the death of James, worshipped as Jews in synagogues; were (men) circumcised; followed the laws of kashrut; went to the Mikvah; (men) put on Tefillin; and observed Shabbat, the holidays and fasts.
With the death of James, Gentile Christianity under Paul took center stage. Paul is the most interesting person in the Christian Bible. Unlike Jesus who has become a God in his narrative, Paul’s story of a vision which he elevates himself (the 13th Apostle) to the level of Prophet/Apostle, created a new religion based on reading the Torah from back to Front (The Gospels and Paul’s Letters), Hellenistic Philosophy and on the mystery religions of the Greek world teeming with the Greek, Persian, and Egyptian cults. These cults (Eleusinian, Dionysiac and Orphic (Greek); Isis, Serapis and Osiris (Egyptian); Mithra (Persian) and Adonis or Tammuz (Syrian). These cults offered man salvation through faith and sacrament. This new religion conquered sin by uniting mystically with the Savior – God – Jesus.
Over half of the Christian Bible was written by Paul, and its message was “Justification by Faith, rather than works,” and the Law (Torah) has been superseded by belief in Christ (Romans 10:4). Although Paul never saw or met Jesus, his writings set the stage for the triumph of Christianity. Paul constantly demeans and attacks the Jews in his letters (Romans: 9-11 “Judaism is blind, not a way of Grace. . . Israel is superseded, Torah abrogated . . . Jews struck with blindness) and the Gospels. In particular the Gospel of John, accuses the Jews of deicide. His anti-Judaism was followed by the Church Fathers into raw hatred.
Origen (185-254) “ . . . The Jews will not only suffer more than others in the judgment which is believed to impend over the world . . . they (the Jews) were a most wicked nation . . . (that) sins against our Jesus.
St. John Chrysostom (347-407) “The Jews sacrifice their children to Satan . . . they are worse than wild beasts. The synagogue is a brothel, a den of scoundrels, the temple of demons devoted to idolatrous cults. The synagogue is a curse, obstinate in her error, she refuses to see or hear, she has deliberately perverted her judgment; she has extinguished with herself the light of the Holy Spirit.” “I hate the Jews because they violate the Law. I hate the synagogue because it has the Law and the prophets. It is the duty of all Christians to hate the Jews.”
Justin Martyr (100-165) “For the circumcision according to the flesh, which is from Abraham, was given for a sign, that you may be separated from other nations and from us, and that you alone may suffer, and that your land may be desolate, and your cities burned with fire, and that strangers may eat your fruit in your presence and not one of you may go up to Jerusalem.”
Later Eusebius (263-339) constructed a history of Christianity which differentiated Hebrews (pre-Christians) from Jews. The Anti-Judaism of Christianity which became Antisemitism, according to Rosemary Ruether (Faith and Fraticide) grew from its source in a religious fraternity turned rivalrous. With the Edict of Milan, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, and the former privileges of Jews and Judaism were annulled to be ruthlessly replaced by discriminatory regulations.
While this is not a talk on the origins of Christianity, it helps us understand the virulence of Christian antisemitism to look at Gnosticism, the Mithric Cult, and other philosophies current at that time. The Mithric Cult, an amalgam of pagan philosophies and religious practices moved from Persia to Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) in the first century B.C.E. and curiously became centered in Tarsus, the birthplace of the Apostle Paul. Its similarities with Christianity are striking: Virgin Birth, Baptism, Twelve Followers, Killing and Resurrection, Miracles, Birthdate on December 25, The Savior of Mankind. The widespread popularity of the Mithric Cult or Mithraism was noted by Herodotus, Plutarch and the Church Fathers: Origen, and St. Jerome. This is not to say that Christianity and Mithraism are one in the same, but to realize that the Christianity of Paul (evangelizing the Gentiles) began in Asia Minor (a Hellenic civilization) which was caught in a swirl of competing philosophies: Platonism, Mithraism and Gnosticism.
Gnosticism was another compelling movement. Its beliefs centered on the Socratic idea that the world was bad, and that it was made by an evil God distinct from a good God. This dualism that became the hallmark of Neo-Platonism, and Christianity, served as the impetus for the monastic movements of the Church. Even today, Christianity still retains this Gnostic/Greek idea that “Death is Life.” Thus even though Christianity retained the Torah (Old Testament) it completely transformed the message into a different worldview with the dualistic belief in Evil versus Holy. When Constantine converted to Christianity on the eve of battle in 312, this new state religion of the Empire embodied most of these pagan ideas.
The Roman Empire thenceforth began to enact laws and edicts against Jews and Judaism. The Theodosian Code described Jews as a “Desperate Illness” that is beyond cure. Jews are described as “Sly,” “Shameful,” “Foul,” “Insolent,” “Detestable,” “Blind,” “Perverse.” In 423 Jews were forbidden to build new synagogues or repair old ones. In 425 the practice of forcing the Jewish community to listen to Christian conversion sermons was begun.
In 413 monks led by Barsauma led a spree of destroying synagogues, mikvaot in Israel. They later massacred Jews praying at the Western Wall. In 415 the demotion of Jews from all rank or honor in the Roman Empire. The Church in conjunction with the Emperor proclaimed the Jew as “Servitus Judaeorum” or the perpetual servitude of the Jews. Christian society was to be protected from Jewish contamination.
In the Eastern Roman Empire, Justinian in 534 further depressed the status of Jews by discarding many laws protecting their civic and religious rights. In addition Justinian added specifically religious laws – The Passover was never to come before Easter. While it is difficult to give an exact approximation of the time when anti-Judaism morphed into antisemitism, the 11th century (year 1000+) is probably the most precise dating for what was to happen to Jews in Christian lands in the future. The Millenium (year 1000) prompted many Christian monks, priests and especially Pope Sylvester II to predict the Second Coming of Christ. When this didn’t occur, the Jews were blamed for preventing the final redemption. In addition with the birth of Islam, and the Muslim conquests of the Christian lands of Africa, much of Byzantium (The Middle East), Spain, Southern France, and Eastern Europe, there was a crisis in Christianity over whether it would overcome the challenge of this new religion. The Jews were caught in the middle.
The Jew as Infidel
But the real catastrophe for the Jews was to occur at the end of the century, with the First Crusade in 1096. Few dates are as important in Western History as that of November 27, 1095 when at the council of Clermont-Ferrand, Pope Urban II preached the First Crusade as a Holy War against the Infidel. This call to arms as a Holy War energized the nobility and clergy and the populace to a fever pitch level with the Jews in the crosshairs of these newly formed armies. According to reports of that time, Richard of Poitiers exterminated and massacred the Jews of France in the swath of his hordes. Guibert de Nogent of Rouen said of the Jews: “We desire to fight God’s enemies (Muslims) in the East, but have before us . . . Jews, a race inimical to God than any other.”
The priest Peter The Hermit of Amiens inspired thousands of peasants (40,000) in their rampages killing Jews in France and Germany and is generally acknowledged as the true author and originator of the First Crusade. Together with Count Emicho, commemorated in the Yom Kippur prayer Av Harahamim–the prayer of martyrdom, the Jews in the Rhineland were targeted for destruction. The towns of Speyer, Worms, Mainz and other Northern Rhineland settlements where Jewish enclaves existed, became the new graveyards of Jewish men, women and children. As Emicho said: “We have infidels living in the Rhineland.” “They are the killers of Christ.” These massacres continued along the route to Jerusalem climaxing with the slaughter of Jews in Jerusalem in 1099 where the leader of the First Crusade, Godfrey Bouillon, who had sworn to avenge the blood of Christ on Israel and “leave no single member of the Jewish race alive,” burnt the synagogue of Jerusalem to the ground, with all the Jews inside. One of the great integrative movements of the Middle Ages (The Crusades, an ecumenical movement to free Jerusalem from the Muslims), under the authority of the Church, became the nadir of Jewish civilization in Europe for the next 300 years.
The Jew as Ritual Killer
The unbelievable horror and cruelty of the Crusades, unleashed a new level of rarified Jew hatred actively supported and encouraged by the Church. The charge of ritual murder (The Blood Libel) invented in Norwich, England in 1144 following the murder of a Christian boy just before Easter was attributed to the local Jews without any proof (In an interesting recent development, the town of Rotherham, England had over 1300 children who were raped by local Muslim gangs in a 10 year period without the British Police interceding in their behalf in spite of calls for help from the victims). They were accused of crucifying him in to mock the passion of the Christ.
This became the new motif of Jew hatred that spread throughout the world with thousands of innocent Jews being tortured, murdered, with expulsions, pogroms, and massacres. This European Christian myth of Jewish evil was imported into the Moslem world in the 20th century with the books “Talmudic Human Sacrifices,” “The Matzah of Zion,” “The Secrets of Zionism,” as well as a TV special on Al Jazeera.
In the MiddleAges, the high point of Roman Catholicism and its spiritual zenith, the Church was in principle a totalitarian power, seeking to exercise unlimited dominion in the temporal (political) and spiritual realms with its confidence in its divine election to this role unshaken. With this increased power, the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, convoked by Pope Innocent III, decried that Jews should wear special dress to separate them from the rest of the population and to be a badge of shame. In France is was the “Rouelle,” a yellow circle later adopted by the Nazis who substituted a yellow star, and in Germany a conical hat “The Judenhut.” In England, the death of Hugh of Lincoln, another accusation of ritual murder in 1255, was recounted in Chaucer’s “Prioress’s Tale,” giving a literary veneer to the increased Jew hatred there.
Also the Fourth Lateran Council adopted the sacrament of transubstantiation or the embodiment of Christ “The Host” in a wafer. With this new sacrament, Jews were accused of stabbing the wafer, thus repeating again the crime of deicide. In 1298 Baron Rindfleisch led pogroms killing thousands of Jews in Germany for desecration of “The Host.” At the same time Thomas Aquinas and Albertus Magnus promoted the idea of the Anti-Christ (a demiurge born of Jewish parents from the East) who will lead a Jewish horde hidden in the East to annihilate Christendom. This hideous belief continues to this day among many millennialists.
The Black Death that began in 1347 to 1350 for Jews was a tragedy to which after the fall of Jerusalem, only the horrors of the First Crusade, and the Holocaust were comparable. Jewish communities all over Europe were torn to pieces by a populace crazed by the plague, which before it ended killed one third of the population. Of course Jews were accused of poisoning the wells to hasten the death of Christians and spread the plague. Two centuries later, Martin Luther repeated the lies of Jews poisoning the wells. This particular lie is still used in the Moslem world today.
In 1240 the apostate Jew Nicholas Donin who became a Dominican brother, informed Pope Gregory IX that the Talmud was offensive to Christianity. A disputation was held in Paris, and in 1242 24 carloads of Talmuds were publicly burned. During the same time the Jewish prayers “Shemoneh Esreh (Minim), and the “Alenu” were also attacked as being anti-Christian. To this day parts of the “Alenu” are still removed (“who bow down to vanity and emptiness and pray to God who saveth not”).
St. John Capistrano (whose moniker was “Scourge of the Jews), was responsible for the killing of the Jews of Trent in 1473 after the body of a 3 year old boy “Simon of Trent” was found in the Adige river. His sainthood followed his preaching against the Jews all over Europe.
As late as 1881, Civilta Cattolica the Rome based Jesuit newspaper tried to demonstrate that ritual murder was after all an integral part of Judaism. The Passion Plays also had a volatile effect on the populations inciting them against the Jews. The Oberammergau Passion Play in Oberammergau, Bavaria was Hitler’s favorite.
The Jew as Pawn
Expulsions were a consequence of this increased Jew hatred. In 1290 the Jews were expelled from England; in 1306 from France; in 1492 from Spain; and 1496 from Portugal. This does not include the cities, villages, and principalities where Jews were also expelled.
In 1516 the first Ghetto was created in Venice. For almost 300 years Jews were confined to this small area with restrictions on almost every facet of life. It was to wait until 1797, when Napoleon liberated the Jews of Venice.
The Reformation led by Martin Luther produced a new virulent strain of antisemitism. This was in part because of Luther’s belief that a Christianity without the intercession of the Pope and Catholic rites–transubstantiation, the rosary, ascetic orders (monks and nuns), would bring the end of the Judaism and the mass conversion of Jews to Christianity. With this not happening, Luther’s attitude toward Jews changed from benevolence to outright hatred. In his pamphlet of 1543 “The Jews and Their Lies,” Luther wrote: “Their Synagogues should be burned, their homes should also be destroyed . . . they should be deprived of their prayer books and the Talmud.”
As a reaction to the Reformation, the Catholic Church’s Counter Reformation instituted the Inquisition in Italy, Spain and Portugal. Here Jews either were expelled or converted to Catholicism. However, many of the converts were tortured for being crypto-Jews and having Jewish blood.
The Inquisition followed the Jews to the New World. In fact in 1654, the first Jews in America left Recife Brazil because of the Inquisition to come to New York.
Although seemingly the Renaissance brought improvement to the Jew, early Humanists Erasmus, Reuchlin (although conversant in Hebrew) shared a view of Judaism as a primitive religion, and the Jews as a primitive race. This view inspired Voltaire to become the vicious anti-semite of secular humanism. In the German enlightenment or Aufklarung, Kant, Herder, Feuerbach, Hegel and later Schopenhauer and Wagner excoriated Jews and Judaism as a corrosive element in Germany and German culture.
One of the results of the expulsions of the Jews from England, Spain, France and many German cities and towns, was a move to the East, particularly Poland. This proved to be disastrous for the future of European Jewry, because the Age of Enlightenment and the Renaissance had little if any effect in these countries. The Middle Ages lasted for most European Jews well until the 18th century in Western Europe when for the first time, Christians, in appreciable numbers, began to see them (the Jews) as human beings who ought to be reclaimed from their degradation. In Eastern Europe this was not the case. Poland was in the 13th and 14th century a huge polity comprising different groups–Ukrainians, Belorussians, Russians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians and other smaller ethnicities. It was the misfortune of the Jews, to serve as (stateless people) the middlemen of the Polish nobility on the estates of the Latifundia.
In 1648 “The Deluge” broke out. Chmielnicki led his Ukrainian troops against the Poles killing over 100,000 Jews and attacking over 700 communities. This attack also led to the dissolution of Poland as a power and eventually as a country.
From 1772 to 1795 Poland was systematically dismembered by Russia and Prussia with most of the Jews becoming part of Russia. However, since Russia didn’t allow any Jews to live in Russia proper, they (the Jews) were relegated to the former areas of Poland which became known as the Pale of Settlement. The Jews through no fault of their own exchanged antisemitic Catholic masters for antisemitic Russian Orthodox masters.
In the West, the French Revolution and later Napoleon in his conquests of much of Europe, stoked the beginnings of ethnic nationalism. In the German states (there was no Germany), Pan Germanism was stirred by Hegel’s theory of history, Fichte’s philosophy of the German spirit in his pamphlet–“Addresses To The German Nation,” Father Jahn, and others. Father Jahn supported the Hep Hep riots against the Jews in 1819 as part of the Pan German movement. Pan Slavism in its Russian version became a pro-Tsarist form of Messianism. Moscow was to be the Third Rome with the Tsar as its head. In the Russian version, Antisemitism was an integral part, with the pogroms of 1881 led by the “Black Hundreds” and later the first publication of the infamous forgery “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” which was to be the most famous antisemitic book of all time.
This book of depraved Jew hatred, was promoted by Henry Ford in the United States during the 1920’s in his newspaper The Dearborn Independent. Today “The Protocols” is published all over the world from Japan to Latin America and of course in all Arab and Moslem countries. With the new developments of Science in the 19th century, particularly the Darwinian idea of the evolution of animal species, and The Count de Gobineau’s theories of race, Antisemitism entered a new phase of Racial Jew Hatred. Thus the Jew could never be freed from his body by conversion to Christianity. A new term was created for Jew hatred: anti-Semitism by Wilhelm Marr.
He in no way was including Arabs or Moslems. This was a new term explicitly describing Jews. Although Marr was involved in the revolution of 1848 (a liberal revolution against the autocracy of Prussia), he was influenced by the Burschenschaft movement of the early 19th century which called for the unification of Germany and opposed the participation of Jews. Marr’s pamphlet in 1879 “The Way to Victory of Germanism over Judaism” became the founding document of The League of Antisemites. The first German organization committed specifically to combating the alleged threat to Germany posed by the Jews and advocating their forced removal from the country.
The great German Composer Richard Wagner’s groundbreaking contribution to racial Antisemitism was his pamphlet of 1850 “Das Judentum in der Musik” “Jewishness in Music,” a hate filled essay describing the Jew as the harbinger of decadence and artistic decline. He saw in Jewry an embodiment of the corruption of modernity and the born enemy of pure humanity and everything noble in it. Wagner represents a crucial link between the Christian Judeophobic tradition and the redemptive Antisemitism of National Socialism. Wagner embraced, under the influence of the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, the idea of an “Aryan Christianity” free from Judaism–a religion he equated with egoism, Mammon, parasitism, and the bloodthirsty urge for domination.
Houston Stewart Chamberlain who was Wagner’s son-in-law embraced this racial antisemitic motif with his book “The Foundation of The Nineteenth Century” where he expounded the theory that all history can be understood as a conflict between the “Aryans and the Semites” (again he meant Jews not Arabs or Moslems). To Chamberlain, race rules history; and the influence of the Semites in the early forms of Christianity broke down the ancient world, which had to be revived by the new blood of Germanism against the abstract universalism of the Semite/Jew. Chamberlain dreaded a world-supremacy of the Jew, and attacked in every way their intellectual, moral and religious qualities. From Wagner, Chamberlain, the philosophers of Antisemitism: Stefan George, Martin Heiddeger was a small step to National Socialism and Adolf Hitler. And from Hitler, the Holocaust.
The Jew as Enemy of the State
On the revolutionary Left, there was the Antisemitism of Proudhon, Bakunin, Marx (who while ostensibly being Protestant, was from a Jewish family including generations of Rabbis) and others. Perhaps Marx was the most painful of the revolutionary Leftists, considering his Jewish ancestors. His pamphlet of 1843 “On The Jewish Question” was a hate filled example of Jewish self-hatred in a modern racialist theme. Quoting “the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism,” “What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is the worldly God? Money.”
Pierre Proudhon, the French socialist wrote about the Jews and Judaism in 1847: “Demand its expulsion from France . . . abolish synagogues . . . the Jew is the enemy of humankind. They must be sent back to Asia or exterminated. By steel or by fire or by expulsion the Jew must disappear.”
Mikhail Bakunin the father of Anarchism and a close associate of Marx, wrote: “This whole Jewish world, comprising a single exploiting sect, a kind of blood sucking people, a kind of organic destructive collective parasite, going beyond not only the frontiers of states, but of political opinion.”
It is little wonder that the inheritors of Socialism, created a new antisemitic paradigm–the Jew as the enemy of the People. The Soviet Union eventually embraced this idea from Stalin to its sordid end in 1989. It is still very much alive today in the Left wing movements of Europe and America–BDS, the delegitimization of Israel, the Antisemitism of the Labor party in the UK, and almost everything else.
The Disease Model of Antisemitism
In the United States the nativist Madison Grant, wrote “The Passing of the Great Race” in 1916, a racialist manifesto attacking immigration and especially the immigration of Jews into America. Grant espoused the idea that Jews were not the original tribe of Judah but Khazars: quoting “It is doubtful whether there is a single drop of the old Hebrew blood among . . East European Jews.” This book adopting the popular racial taxonomy of William Z. Ripley in the “Races of Europe,” Grant described the three European subraces of Nordic, Alpine and Mediterranean. He unabashedly favored the Nordic and went to great pains to contrast Nordic civilization and traits with that of other races and subraces.
His ideas were credited with the passing of the Johnson Restriction Immigration Act of 1924, which eventually sealed the doom of most of European Jewry during the Holocaust. Grant was also a great supporter and promoter of the emerging racialist discipline of Eugenics. Academic textbooks on racial differences included: “Genetics and Eugenics” by W.E. Castle (1916), “Evolution, Genetics, and Eugenics,” by H.H. Newman (1921), as well as popular books “Applied Eugenics” by Paul Popenoe and Roswell Johnson (1923); and “The Fruit of the Family Tree” by Alfred E. Wiggam 1924.
Eugenics gave racial antisemitism a new found respect. In a sense it was the disease model of Antisemitism. In the United States Eugenics was embraced by academia with many prestigious colleges and universities offering courses in this racialist philosophy; including: Barnard College, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, MIT, Oberlin College, The University of California (Berkeley), University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, among others. The racialist aspect of antisemitism continues to the present with the claim that Jews are Khazars.
Recently the Disease model of antisemitism has entered a new chapter with Henry Harpending, University of Utah, and Richard Lynn, University of Ulster, claiming that Jews (Ashkenazi only) because of a tendency for certain genetic diseases (Tay-Sachs, Gaucher’s, Niemann-Pick) have a built in higher IQ. Not only does this leave out some of the greatest Jewish intellects of the post-exilic world: Maimonides, Nachmanides, The Ramhal, Abraham Abulafia, Moshe Cordovero, Joseph Karo, David Ricardo and Benjamin Disraeli, but the speciousness of this argument is that all ethnic groups, nationalities, races, subgroups have individual susceptibilities to genetic diseases. Richard Lynn further reveals himself as a modern day racialist with his books “IQ And The Wealth of Nations,” “Dygenics: Genetic Deterioration In Modern Populations,” “Intelligence: A Unifying Construct For The Social Sciences.”
Antisemitism in the Islamic World
In the Islamic world, antisemitism begins with the founding of the religion with the massacre of the Jews of Medina. In 625, the men of the Jewish tribe Banu Qurayza were murdered and the women and children were made slaves. In 628 the Jews of Khaybar were murdered by Muhammad. Later the direction of prayer was shifted towards Mecca from Jerusalem, and the most negative verses about Jews were set down in the Koran.(Sura 47:4-5 “O Muslim there is a Jew behind me–Come and kill him,” Sura 3:112 “Ignominy (the Jews) shall be their portion. Humiliation is made to cleave to them,” Sura 5:78 “Those of the Children of Israel who went astray were cursed by the tongue of David, and of Jesus, son of Mary.” Sura 9:29 “Fight against such as those (the Jews) who have been given the Scripture (Torah) as believe not in Allah.” Sura 2:141 “Those are a people (the Jews) who have passed away.”)
As in the case of Christianity, it helps to understand this virulent hatred, by looking at the origins of Islam. Islam as a religion was begun in the Arabian peninsula which at the time was a mixture of Eastern Christianity of the Monophysite (no trinity) persuasion, Judaism including Midrashic sources, and the Paganism of the Arabs.
Muhammad (570-632) grew up in an Arab/Beduin tribe influenced by Judaism and Monophysite Christianity (that the divine and human Jesus were integrated in the same body). From 610 on, Muhammad started to receive revelations from God/Allah, which he would later recite in front of groups. These revelations were called the Koran or recitation, and formed the basis of Islam.
In 620 Muhammad went to Yathrib where the pagans were quickly converted to Islam, but the Jews didn’t embrace the new religion. Muhammad went back to Mecca and got over 75 new followers in 622. They left Mecca under duress and went again to Yathrib which he now called Medina. This is the Hejira or pilgrimage.
It was here that Muhammad formally severed his ties with Judaism. However Mecca became the Islamic center. When Muhammad died in 632, he left a political organization that was entirely centered around him. The Koran was written down in Arabic, thus becoming a unifying force for this new religion. He was a political and military leader and he was the source of revelation.
After Muhammad, Islam expanded exponentially conquering much of the Byzantine empire, the Sassanian empire of Persia, the Turkic peoples of Central Asia, the former Roman provinces of North Africa and parts of Christian Europe (Spain, Southern France, and parts of Eastern Europe). Later Islam expanded eastward to India and what is now Malaysia, Indonesia and the southern Philippines.
The tradition of Jew hatred in Islam was formalized in the ninth century with a literature of polemics against the Jews. The Hadith or Commentaries set forth restrictions on Jewish life which continued unto the 20th century. As Dhimmis, Jewish life was restricted in every way possible in Moslem lands. The laws of Jizya were applied only to Jews. This was an oppressive tax that lasted until modernity. In Modern times Moslem jurists proclaimed that “The transmogrification of the Jews into monkeys and pigs was a punishment only imposed on Jews.”
Massacres of Jews took place all over the Moslem world beginning with the birth of Islam. In 1066, more than 5,000 Jews were murdered during Arab riots in Granada; in 1232 Jews were murdered by Almohad Moslems throughout Morocco; in 1785 Jews were murdered in Libya by Ali Gurzi Pasha; in 850 Jews in Iraq/Baghdad were subjected to heavy taxation, restrictions on their residence, and forced to wear a yellow patch on their clothing; in 1333 the synagogues of Baghdad were destroyed and much property looted.
It was no better in modern times. In the 1920’s Jews in Yemen were ousted from textile and soap trades, and forced to train Moslems to take their place; in 1933 many Jews were stoned and stabbed by Arab rioters; in December 1947, three days of anti-Jewish rioting left 82 Jews dead, 220 Jewish houses destroyed and 4 synagogues burnt to the ground; in June 1941, the Farhud takes place in Baghdad, with 175 Jews murdered and 900 Jewish homes destroyed. On April 18, 1912, 60 Jews were murdered by Moroccan rioters in the Jewish quarter of Fez. Of course with the birth of Israel, violence, murder, and looting became commonplace in the Arab world against Jews. Bear in mind this is not so-called Radical Islam; this is Islam.
One final observation is necessary. We see an incredible upsurge in the virulence of Antisemitism; a fiery hatred of Jews and Judaism, among the Arabs and Moslems. The question is why? According to many in the media and academy, this is because of Israel’s mistreatment of the “Palestinians.” Aside from this spurious allegation which has no truthful basis in reality, there are striking similarities between Christian Antisemitism (particularly the Church Fathers) and the Jew hatred of Islam.
The first point is that Muhammad went to the Jews first to announce his being the final Prophet and to give them his Prophecies; while in Christianity Paul and later Martin Luther went to the Jews to tell them about their radical view of Judaism and they were all rejected. Islam being a composite religion of Arab paganism and Monophysite Christianity reached into the Christian well of Jew hatred for its initial material. Also the other factor is that unlike Christianity that waited 300 years before its triumph with Constantine’s conversion, Islam from the very beginning was a warlike religion of conquest, conversion and submission. It was triumphant immediately. The place of the Jew as Dhimmi was a consequence of Islam’s rise. The creation of Israel, in effect contravenes all Islamic ideas and beliefs. There is no need for a bogus cause such as the “Palestinians” to cause this insatiable hatred. There is the reality of Israel and the Jewish people returning to their home and, in spite of the world’s disapproval, creating a thriving country and civilization.
“Then” to “Now”
With this description of Antisemitism, we conclude with the Then of our presentation. Before we tackle the Antisemitism of today– the Now of this presentation, I think it’s essential to point out what Rabbi Joachim Prinz said about the Jews in the 1950’s “ (on the contradiction of the Jewish people) . .the apparent inability of the Jews to understand or predict their own catastrophes. The Jews, whose history consists of one tragedy after another, have yet to be prepared for any of them. Clemenceau (The French Premier during the First World War), who as a young man witnessed the most notorious of anti-Jewish trials, the Court Martial of Alfred Dreyfus, is supposed to have remarked that ‘only the defendant did not understand the Jewish implications of the trial. This sort of blindness has been true throughout Jewish history.
Antisemitism shifts to Anti-Zionism, Delegitimization of Israel, Human Rights/Social Justice Without Jews
Today the attack on Jews and Israel has evolved to the new ideology of Human Rights or Social Justice; two terms which amorphous meanings (it’s anything we want it to mean) define the new Antisemitism with Arabs/Palestinians/Moslems as victims and never perpetrators of terror and murder and Jews as guilty perpetrators with no distinction between soldiers, civilians, children, and innocent bystanders.
One of the most egregious examples of this new ideology is BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) against Israel. BDS was created at the UN Durban conference in 2001 as a parallel NGO (non governmental organization) forum that was marked by repeated expressions of unadulterated Antisemitism by non governmental activists. At the conference one of the NGOs distributed copies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to all the participants.
Self-hating Jews gave hatred of Israel and approval of BDS a “Kosher Stamp” (Jewish Voice For Peace). Since then it has spread like wildfire in academia, in mainstream Christianity, and even in the entertainment field. (In Britain mostly) The BDS movement grew enormously in academia because of the “New Left’s” domination in American universities and colleges of the humanities. After they (The New Left) colonized the academic world (in Europe also), many of the anti-colonialists, and credentialed social justice warriors applied their learning and their paradigms to writing the narrative that Jews have no history in Israel (which they call Palestine), that Israel is an apartheid state. Academics such as Richard Falk of Princeton, Judith Butler of Berkeley, and others gave prestige to this movement.
In Britain, Steven Hawking joined in with his “movie star scientific celebrity.” Also British rock stars Roger Waters of Pink Floyd as well as Elvis Costello led the assault against Israel. In the US aging Folk star Pete Seeger lent his prestige. (Seeger had been a member of the Communist Party USA during World War II, and had opposed the US entering the War until the Soviet Union was attacked) In the US, black writer Alice Walker joined in the feeding frenzy against Israel, as well as Code Pink a feminist organization. (This is particularly fascinating since wanton violence against women in the Islamic world is rampant–honor killings, throwing acid in the face of women who defy their husbands or families or who enter beauty contests or take off the veil, stoning to death of women who are raped, flogging of women who are raped, genital mutilation, arranged marriages etc.)
Antisemitism Among “Enlightened” Christians
Among the Christian establishment the National Council of Churches predating BDS by 34 years, immediately after the Six Day War attacked Israel’s defense against the Arab onslaught. “(It) cannot condone by silence territorial expansion by armed force.” In 1973 during the Yom Kippur War, while the Soviet Union was sending massive shipments of arms to Egypt and Syria, and Israel was literally fighting for its life, The National Council called for “An immediate cessation of arms shipments . . either directly or indirectly to the belligerents (Israel), thus calling for an embargo against Israel. Later David Stone, an official of the United Church of Christ said to Gerald Strober of the American Jewish Committee, “Israel might have to die for the cause of peace.”
Why this constant persistent mounting pressure by the National Council of Churches’ ruling hierarchy against Israel? According to Franklin Littell, a Protestant Holocaust scholar, “This insensitivity derives from the fact that Six Million Jews were murdered in the heart of Christendom by Baptized Christians, none of them rebuked, let alone excommunicated . . . They (The National Council of Churches) strut callously on issuing their pontifical phrases that deal frivolously with matters affecting the life and death of real Jews, without any sense of how vulgar and pretentious they sound to Jews who have passed through the fires or walked through the ashes of Auschwitz.”
Later, in the 1980’s the Women’s division of the United Methodist Church began funding PLO propaganda. Earlier in the late 1960’s mainstream Christians–Daniel Berrigan, William Sloane Coffin and later Andrew Young equated Israel as a fascist state. (borrowing the Antisemitism used by the Soviet Union against Israel) Clearly the stage was set for mainstream Christianity to enter the fray against Israel. Clothed in unctuous declarations of outwardly concern for the Jewish people, The Presbyterian Church USA under its newly formed Israel-Palestine Mission Network, came out with a publication “Zionism Unsettled” that resurrected the infamous 1975 “Zionism is Racism” resolution of the UN. Later the Presbyterian Church USA supported BDS. This was followed by the United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, and of course European Churches as well.
The American Friends Service Committee (The Quakers) portraying itself as a loving, compassionate, healing organization that seeks only to end suffering and conflict around the world not only supports BDS but contributes to conclaves and camps spreading hate about Israel, Zionism and the Jews. In 2008, the American Friends Service Committee hosted a gala dinner with then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a guest of honor, despite Ahmadinejab’s Holocaust denial, Antisemitism and genocidal threats against Israel. In the Summer of 2013, the American Friends Service Committee sponsored a camp in upstate New York for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement). The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) program included extensive campaign development coaching, grassroots organizing skill building, media and messaging trainings, anti-oppression analysis workshops, relationship building with activists on campuses nationwide, strategy sessions with BDS movement leaders, and more. Participants represented some of America’s best known elite universities including: University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, Brandeis University (a curious locale of anti-Israel sentiment against the history of Brandeis being the first non-sectarian Jewish liberal arts university in America), Oberlin College, and Georgetown University. (AFSC) has adopted a pacificism of hypocrisy. It claims to oppose violence, but in practice engages in apologetics for terrorism against Jews. The (AFSC) appears to regard its support for the BDS movement as a righteous act. Its manifesto “Principles for a Just and Lasting Peace in Palestine and Israel” is a scurrilous return to Replacement Theology and Supersessionism that denies Jewish history, and the right of the Jews to live in their land.
The Jew as Ethnic Loyalist
In recent years Black Studies/Africana Studies/Urban Studies departments at colleges have become hotbeds of Antisemitism. Since the 1960’s black academics such as John Hatchett at NYU, Leonard Jeffries at City College, Cornel West at City University, and others have created a mythology of Polish Jews financing the slave trade, Jewish teachers making Black students fail, and more recently their full support of BDS. In 2002 the new President of Harvard Larry Summers spoke out about the rise of Antisemitism in academia. He also criticized Cornel West of the Afro-American Studies department for his lack of academic work, his work with Al Sharpton and his CD of Rap Music in place of scholarship. Charles Ogletree of Harvard Law School (Obama’s mentor at Harvard) demanded an apology. West had been critical of Israel and the mythical Jewish lobby at Harvard. Ogletree is well known as a supporter of BDS. The situation at Harvard highlights the role of Black Studies departments in the rise of Black Antisemitism among educated African Americans.
There is also the irrational new conspiratorial antisemitsm that’s evident in the Evan Walker Harris’ accusation that Albert Einstein stole all his ideas from his Aryan wife Mileva Maric. This myth is very much alive in the antisemitic website Stormfront and similar websites as well as in radical feminist groups and also where Left Wing/BDS/Anti-Zionist groups intersect.
In other areas of this craziness, Black leaders in the 1980’s blamed the AIDS epidemic on Jews. State Representative Douglas Huff, a Chicago Democrat who is black, gave more than $500 to a group claiming that Israel and South Africa concocted the AIDS virus in a South African laboratory. Steve Cokely, an aid to the Mayor of Chicago as well as an associate of Barack Obama, accused Jewish doctors of injecting the AIDS virus into black babies. During the Ocean Hill-Brownsville dispute in the 1960’s, there were accusations (Lesley Campbell, Sonny Carson) that Jewish teachers were to blame for the high failure rates and low IQ scores of black children; claiming it was a conspiracy.
The charge of dual loyalty of Jews to America is a familiar lie that never dies. In Europe, Jews were accused of treason (The Dreyfus Affair, The Slansky Trial, The purges of Kamenev and Zinoviev and others in the Soviet Union). In the United States, the unfortunate repercussions of the Rosenberg trial tainted the lives of many Jews. But the recent attacks on the Jews for disloyalty and serving Israel over the United States have escalated with attacks from the Right (Pat Buchanan, National Policy Institute, The Christian Identity Movement) and The Left with Mearsheimer and Walt’s book “The Israel Lobby” which is a modern day Protocols of the Elders of Zion blessed by the doyens of academia.
NeoCon has become a new code word for “Jew” by the New Left and even by the mainstream Democratic Party (Obama and his spokesmen), and Hollywood Leftists–Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins. Obama introduced a new term for Jew during the Iran Deal hearings–Donors. There was also the interview of Bernie Sanders on NPR by Diane Rehm (One of their reporters) accusing him of dual loyalty as an Israeli citizen. (He Is Jewish but he is not an Israeli citizen).
Then of course are the antisemites without apology–Pat Buchanan a modern day Father Coughlin, who hates Jews, Israel, and is a Holocaust denier; David Duke a media star of Antisemitism, Don Black the founder of Stormfront–a scurrilous far reaching antisemitic website that used William Pierce’s book “The Turner Diaries” as a bible of hate with its depiction of the Jew running the United States (ZOG-Zionist Occupying Government). Kevin Macdonald, a professor of Psychology at California State University-Long Beach who took a long road from being a New Leftist radical during the Vietnam War, to becoming a theoretician of Jew Hatred with his books: “Separation and Its Discontents: Toward An Evolutionary Theory of Antisemitism,” The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements.” Macdonald’s basic premise is that Jews engage in a “Group Evolutionary Strategy” . . . Jews like viruses, destabilize their host societies to their benefit. . . Antisemitism, rather than being irrational hatred for Jews, is actually a logical reaction.”
Claims Against Historical Legitimacy
In the new Eugenics that says that Jews are not the ancient Hebrews of the Bible, as enunciated by Shlomo Sand, Eran Elhaik, Arthur Koestler, and earlier by Madison Grant, the Jews (Ashkenazic) are really a Turkic people who drifted west from Khazaria. Shlomo Sand, the child of Holocaust survivors, shows a virulent self-hatred in his books “Invention of the Jewish People,” “How I Stopped Being A Jew.” He has given the “kosher stamp” to the delegitimization of Israel and Antisemitism by his articles and appearances on European TV. In the British Press (Guardian) he wrote: “I wish to resign and cease considering myself a Jew.”
Recently, Eran Elhaik a researcher at the University of Sheffield wrote a flawed article in Genome Biology and Evolution cherry picking data to show that the Jews (Ashkenazi) were really Khazars. (This is not surprising considering that in England there is an extreme bias against Israel and a boycott against Israeli academics in British universities) This story has been around for 100 years with even Chaim Weizmann being accused of being a Khazar and not a Jew.
But recently with the discovery of the human genome, this idea has been completely refuted. Anatol A. Kylosov, formerly a professor at Harvard University, in his article “Thoughts About Jewish DNA Genealogy” has shown that not only are Jews descendants of the original inhabitants of Israel, but has shown the breakup in DNA between Isaac and Ishmael 3800 years ago. Of course like all lies about Jews, Jewish history, the Khazar theory will never die. But it’s important to realize that the Q genome that is prevalent in Turkic and Asiatic groups is rarely found in any Jewish population.
In universities and colleges, and elite journals–The Nation, New York Review of Books, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, the onslaught of attacking and smearing Israel with lies has been going on nonstop since the close of the Six Day War. In the beginning, though was Julius Wellhausen’s thesis that the Bible was a composite book (JEDP), ahistorical, and not a proof of the Jewish people. This anti-Jewish thesis that was refuted by Solomon Schechter over a 100 years ago lives on in academia as Biblical Textualism even though it has been refuted since by Biblical Archaeologists, historians and Religious scholars.
Supersessionism the new type (not replacement theology) with the premise that the Jews never lived in Israel/Palestine, arose in Copehagen in the 1970’s with the book from Thomas L. Thompson, “The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives.” This new Copenhagen School (not Niels Bohr’s center for Quantum Mechanics), challenges the whole corpus of Jewish history before the exile as being untrue. His later writings “The Early History of the Israelite People,” “The Bible In History,” and “The Myth of Israel,” have added to this academically disguised antisemitic movement.
Thompson has been a leading figure in casting doubt on the historicity of the Jewish origin narratives. He has worked on Palestinian place names under UNESCO, but the project was closed amidst accusations of Antisemitism.
Antisemitism in Academia
In academia today there is a feeding frenzy of liberal groupthink that is anti-Israel and pro-BDS. This particularly prevalent in the humanities. Some fields’ very constitutions (Gender Studies, Native American Studies, Queer Studies) rest on “progressive politics” and make it clear that pro-Israel outlooks will not do.
In hiring practices, political orientation has been embedded into the disciplines, and so what is indeed a political judgment may be expressed in disciplinary terms. “We can’t hire anyone who doesn’t do race,” an assertion that had all the force of a scholastic dictum. As Stanley Fish, of the University of Illinois advises, “the question you should ask professors is whether your work has influence or relevance.”
Even more astonishing is the Berkeley (University of California) English department’s fall course catalog (2002-2003). It is for English R1A, “The Politics and Poetics of Palestinian Resistance,” which will earn students four units toward their degree. The description is worth an extensive quote: “The brutal Israeli military occupation of Palestine, [ongoing] since 1948, has systematically displaced, killed, and maimed millions of Palestinian people. And yet, from under the brutal weight of the occupation, Palestinians have produced their own culture and poetry of resistance. This class will examine the history of the [resistance] and the way that it is narrated by Palestinians in order to produce an understanding of the Intifada. . . . This class takes as its starting point the right of Palestinians to fight for their own self-determination. Conservative thinkers are encouraged to seek other sections.” ways. Because Berkeley is widely regarded as a premier educational institution, what it does will be emulated elsewhere. Therefore, condoning courses that are merely fronts for political activism abets the degradation of the humanities. In allowing classes in which conservatives are unwelcome, Berkeley provides further evidence that universities are beholden to a leftist antisemitic ideology. Universities loudly promulgate a rhetoric of diversity, yet practice strict intellectual conformity on all contentious issues.
The case of Professor K.C. Johnson of Brooklyn College (a college that up until the 1960s had an enrollment 90% Jewish) was one of the most egregious examples of pro-Arab anti-Israel faculty behavior in recent times. In 2002 and 2003, the denial of tenure to Johnson by the Brooklyn College history department became the subject of widespread media attention.In an article about the tenure case entitled “The Battle of Brooklyn,” Wall Street Journal columnist Dorothy Rabinowitz wrote that the root of the conflict lay partly in Johnson’s “resistance to gender-driven hiring,” which “didn’t endear him to the department’s small but vociferous faction of political ideologues – a group that the chairman, Phillip Gallagher, had himself once described, in an e-mail to Mr. Johnson, as ‘academic terrorists.’”
Johnson had also protested a “teach-in” about 9/11, “which was freighted with panelists hostile to any U.S. military response and which offered, Mr. Johnson noted, no supporters of U.S. or Israeli policies. (It can be inferred that Israel and Zionism, and the US support of Israel are the root causes of 9/11 according to the faculty) Colleagues began to criticize him, some of them arguing that his intense involvement in his work was, in Rabinowitz’s words, “a sign of dubious mental health” (This was a common denunciation in the former Soviet Union where dissidents were either accused of being the “Enemy of the People” or mentally ill) and at least one of them complaining that “Johnson was asking too much of his students.” Fortunately, the Chancellor of the City University of New York overruled the department and Professor Johnson was given tenure as a full professor.
In 2013 Brooklyn College held what was in effect a Jew hatred conference with the President claiming academic freedom for not cancelling it. With the tremendous increase in Muslims studying at American Universities and Colleges, there is a new fifth column against Israel, Jews and Jewish history. In addition Saudi money especially through conduits like the notorious Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal (his offer of 40 million dollars to the 9/11 fund was rejected by Mayor Rudolph Guiliani after the prince suggested U.S. policies in the Middle East contributed to the September 11 attacks) have funneled over half a billion dollars to universities and colleges in setting up Islamic Studies departments, Middle East Studies departments, and Madrasas. These have brought forth an academically sanitized version of antisemitism, disguised as scholarship.
A recent example is visiting scholar Ali Akbar Alikhani of Harvard University who has called attention to the Jewish threat. Even in today’s world, Antisemitism still uses the old stereotypes as well as resurrecting the old hatreds with a new dress.
The Resurrection of “The Jewish Question”
In 2009, Sweden’s largest newspaper Aftonbladet published a story claiming that the Israeli army kidnaps and kills Palestinians in order to harvest their organs. While the Swedish ambassador to Israel criticized the article, she was reprimanded by the Swedish government for her views, claiming that Aftonbladet was practicing “freedom of speech.”
The term “The Jewish Question,” a euphemism for Jew Hatred, is again a common thread of discussion by the European media, intelligentsia, and governments. According to Sir Trevor Phillips former head of the Commission on Racial Equality in the UK, “We are witnessing on a daily basis the exposure of the Antisemitism corroding the British Labor Party.” There is a feeding frenzy of Jew hatred in the European Union which includes boycotts of Israeli products, Israeli artists, Israeli academics and a call for the dissolution of Israel (Oxford Union). Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of the British Commonwealth, has called the Jews “the Pariahs of Britain.”
Violence whether physical or verbal is a commonplace thing in Europe today, with the authorities (police) often looking the other way. Without the ability to protect themselves (total gun control), Jews are at the mercy of the local police, who look upon the protection of the Jews as a burden. The CST (Community Security Trust–a Jewish self-defense group) in Britain is woefully inadequate for the protection of the Jews in the UK. In France, Premier Hollande accused French Jewry for being ungrateful for the “protection” that the French government gives to the Jews of France.
Germany with its vile history of Antisemitism and the Holocaust, has joined in with its declaration of independence of Holocaust guilt during the Vietnam War (The United States were just like the Nazis to its conflation of Zionism as the new Nazism). The killing of Israelis at the Munich Olympics was an inconvenience to the Germans, tarnishing their Olympics. It was no accident that German Leftists allied with the PLO, hijacked the Air France jet and held 94 Jews as hostage in Entebbe until they were rescued by Israel in 1976. German historians have promoted a twisted theory of the Holocaust, and Antisemitism–Andreas Hillgruber’s theory that the Holocaust could not be singled out as generally different from other atrocities.
The Historikerstreit of the 1980’s featured historians Ernst Nolte whose pamphlet “The Past That Won’t Go Away” argued that the race murder of the Nazi death camps was a “defensive reaction to the “class murder” of the Stalinist system of gulags. Another historian, Joachim Fest, denied the singularity of the Holocaust. Andreas Hillgruber’s 1986 book “Two Kinds of Downfall: The Smashing of the German Reich and the End of European Jewry” compared the mass expulsions of ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia and Poland at the end of World War II to the victims of the Holocaust. Earlier German playwright Rolf Hochhuth’s play Soldiers, compared the allied bombings of Germany to the Holocaust. This theme of German (suffering from the bombings) has emerged in German historical and intellectual discourse with the Dresden bombing casualties growing steadily from 20,000 to 400,000 over the years. Unfortunately this falsification of history has been promoted in literature and film by the American writer Kurt Vonnegut and the German writer Gunther Grass, who hid his SS membership, and later revealed his Jew hatred. Germany is in the throes of a great increase in antisemitism disguised as anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian views throughout its entire society. French philosopher Vladimir Jankelevitch analyzed this renewed antisemitim as early as 1971 in his article “Forgiving?” in which he noted Germans’ need to accuse Jews of being “like Nazis.” Turning their former victims, the Jews, into perpetrators diminishes the Germans’ unprecedented crimes. Scholarship labels this the “inversion of truth.” It can also be framed as “secondary antisemitism,” a form of post-Holocaust antisemitism. Denying Auschwitz is for beginners.
Arabs, Muslims and Self-hating Jews have become media stars on German TV. Even in countries without Jews, antisemitism is rising greatly. Norway which has never had a sizeable Jewish population (800-1200), has been in the forefront of Scandinavian antisemitism, notwithstanding Sweden. The Norwegian liberal elite including officials of the government have shown an obsessive attention to the “plight of the Palestinians.” This has included support for Hamas and Hezbollah. They compare Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the Nazi treatment of Jews. A leading Norwegian comedian, Otto Jespersen, laughingly said on TV“ I would like to take the opportunity to remember all the billions of fleas and lice that lost their lives in German gas chambers without having done anything wrong other than setting on Jews.”
On the right, The Identitarian Movement has emerged as a reaction to the massive increase of Moslems and Africans in Europe. This “new radical right” movement has roots in neo-Nazi parties and is a mix of racism, antisemitism and extreme nationalism. Antisemitic parties have risen to prominence in France (The National Front), Hungary (The Jobbik Party) and in Greece (The Golden Dawn Party).
Although there was much hope in the Russian Revolution of 1917 for an eradication of antisemitism, and the creation of the new man in a classless society without prejudice, bias and race hatred, it turned out that the Soviet Union under Stalin and later under Khrushchev and Brezhnev resurrected the old antisemitic tropes against the Jews, Zionism and later against Israel. The Soviet model “Zionism Is Racism” became the official policy of the United Nations. The Communist charge against Jews using euphemisms “Cosmopolitans,” “Obscurantists,” Social Fascists” (this term was for Jews who supported non-communist socialist parties), “capitalist bloodsuckers,” “Nazi Jews,” “economic criminals,” were carried over to the Left Wing movements worldwide.
Interestingly enough, the Soviet Union after Nazi Germany became the most antisemitic country in the world. Under Stalin, Jews were disproportionately executed for made up crimes against the regime or sent to Siberia where most didn’t survive. In 1948, the Yiddish intellectuals were executed and later in 1953 a plan was in place to exile much of the Jewish population to Siberia, only to be thwarted by Stalin’s death. Under Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev up until the end of the regime in 1989, Jew was written on all Soviet internal passports.
The Durban Conference on Racism, which became an attack on Jews and Israel was inspired by the 70+ years of Soviet communist antisemitism. It also created the belief in Left Wing devotees that Israelis/Jews are never the victims of Arab terror. Even with the terrific rise in antisemitism in Europe and the West, the center of Jew hatred is in the lands of Islam. Every kernel of traditional antisemitism, Jew hatred, is used to create the vision of the Jew/Israeli as the devil, even when it contradicts Islam.
A telling example was the made for TV 41 part historical drama “A Knight Without a Horse” based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion broadcast all over the Arab and Moslem world 2002-2005. Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority graduated from Moscow’s Patrice Lumumba University with his dissertation “The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism;” a rambling grotesque series of lies mixing holocaust denial, Jewish conspiracy, the evils of international Jewry, and the evils of Judaism. An example of this book of hate is the following: “(the Zionists) deliberately incited Jews under Nazi rule in order to reinforce German hatred of them. .(the Jews) held “The Biltmore Conference of May 1942 in New York, when Zionist leaders supposedly declared war on the Third Reich.”
Under Mahmoud Abbas, the hate ideology of the Palestinian Authority and its depiction of Israel and Israelis as cruel, inhuman murderers who gratuitously kill Palestinians has never abated. Video clips broadcast on official PA TV mix images of religious Jews praying at the Western Wall calling for their murder. The New Horizon Conferences held in Teheran have attracted antisemites, holocaust deniers, and the destruction of Israel. The Arab press is rife with antisemitic cartoons using caricatures reminiscent of Nazi Germany. This caricature of the Jew/Israeli is prevalent and commonplace in the textbooks of the Palestinian authority. Reaching back to early Islamic motifs of Jew hatred, the Jews are transmogrified into apes, pigs, and dogs.
The leaders of Islam (Shia and Sunni), with few exceptions, continue their open hatred of the Jew with their calls for Jihad (holy war) a constant refrain. Although there has been a general rapprochement of Christianity to Judaism since the Holocaust, this has changed radically with many of the mainstream Protestant denominations (Presbyterian Church USA, United Methodist Church, United Church of Christ, The Quakers) resurrecting “Replacement Theology” (the theory that Jews after Jesus are out of history–a fossil as the antisemitic British historian Toynbee described them). Thus Israel has no right to exist.
In Israel a particularly noxious sect has arisen “Christ At The Checkpoint,” claiming that Jesus was a Palestinian and the Israelis are the Roman soldiers. Aside from this ridiculous fantasy of distorted history and Jew hatred, this group has support from many mainstream churches in the United States and Europe. Tony Campolo, Jimmy Carter and others have called for an evangelical church against Israel.
The new Pope has shown an ambivalent and negative view of Israel and Zionism by his embrace of Liberation Theology (anti-Zionist, pro-Palestinian); his official recognition of Palestine as a country, his calling for the internationalization of Jerusalem or its return to the Arabs, and his moral equivalence between the murder of Jews by Arab and Moslem terrorists with Israel’s self-defense. It is in reality, a return to the bad old days of Pope Pius XII (Hitler’s Pope) who when asked to intervene on behalf of Jewish children slated by the Nazis to be deported to Auschwitz; his Papal Nuncio in Slovakia acting as his representative refused saying: “There is no innocent blood of Jewish children in the world. All Jewish blood is guilty.”
In America today the march of Islam is everywhere; whether it is setting up military style camps in upstate New York or rural Tennessee or Southern California to fight the Jihad against Israel, or using the courts as to promote Sharia Law, or to silence criticism of Islam (Lawfare-Council On American-Islamic Relations CAIR has intimidated businesses, used lawsuits to stifle free speech, and has had over 150 lawsuits or cases against government agencies, corporations and private foundations). There has been cooperation between the liberal elites and Moslems in setting up “The Ground Zero Mosque” acknowledged in the Arab and Moslem world as an intentional affront to the victims of 9/11.
The Media Assault
Soon after 9/11 PBS aired a series on Islam showing Muhammad as a wise, self-effacing, illiterate mystic who preached nothing but tolerance, benevolence and peace toward non-Muslims, and Islam as a religion of peace. In the aftermath of 9/11, this specious piece of nonsense, funded by Saudi money, became the touchstone of all documentaries on Islam in the mainstream media.
The series was highly promoted to libraries and schools at national and regional educational conferences. Common Core, which has become prevalent in many states including New York, New Jersey, was developed in conjunction with Pearson Educational Publishing of the UK, one of the largest educational publishers in the world, has promoted Islam in its syllabus. Common Core originated from the Connect All Schools program, which is part of the “One World Education” initiative orchestrated by Qatar Foundation International (QFI). The director of QFI’s Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics is Tariq Ramadan, grandson of Hassan al-Banna who was the founder of The Muslim Brotherhood.
Rachel Corrie, an American groupie for Hamas, has been lionized in print and as a play “My Name Is Rachel Corrie.” Originally performed in the UK and produced by Alan Rickman (a pro-Palestinian, pro-BDS British actor), this one person one act play is essentially a hate filled evening against Israel, Zionism and the Jewish people. Promoted extensively, it still failed at the box office in New York. Nonetheless, the book has been extensively promoted at library conferences nationwide as the new “Diary of Anne Frank.”
More poisonous works of “Art” have come from Britain; Caryl Churchill’s “Seven Jewish Children. ” The play has been described as a blood libel, “the mainstreaming of the worst anti-Semitic stereotypes in recent times.”
Islam has invaded the political spectrum, by using both parties, but particularly the liberal wing of the Democratic Party to stifle criticism of Islam. Although Hillary Clinton applauded Broadway’s “The Book of Mormon” with lyrics like “F***you God, in the a**, mouth, and c***,” but Nakoula Bassely Nakoula’s film “The Innocence of Muslims” was blamed for the Benghazi attack, unjustly with even Clinton later acknowledging this, with Clinton promising to arrest the filmmaker. She and Obama set out to identify and punish the maker of the video, and they did so with a speed and severity with the attackers of Benghazi themselves being spared.
More chilling was the degree the mainstream media noticed, and cheered even though this was an infringement on First Amendment rights. The mainstream media has moved to a position of self-censorship in the case of Islam with leading magazines (The Nation, Mother Jones, The New Yorker, New York Times, Washington Post, as well as Christian Science Monitor online, NPR, BBC) viewing criticism of Islam as racist. The mainstream media went into overdrive over last year’s Iran nuclear agreement, showing an increased support of Islam versus Israel–CNN, PBS, ABC, NPR, NBC, CBS, BBC, and the print media. This new paradigm from CAIR but increasingly from mainstream churches (Presbyterian Church USA, et al), the liberal elites, the Left Wing, government agencies, educational institutions and the mainstream media is that the greatest prejudice is not antisemitism but Islamophobia.
This two fold strategy of deflecting the concern for the increase in Antisemitism as well as creating a newly hatched “bias” with the added proviso, that there can be no criticism of Islam, Sharia, or the Koran is increasingly invading all segments of society. Recently at MIT, the schools’ Global Studies department presented a lecture: “Is Islamophobia Accelerating Global Warming?” by Ghassan Hage an Australian professor of ‘future generation’ and well known for his support of BDS, and links with antisemitic groups. What makes this particularly chilling is that like the blood libel, the Jews can be blamed for anything and everything even in the highest levels of academia.
Probably the most painful Antisemitism of today is Jewish self-hatred. Jewish agent-provocateurs against Israel include Noam Chomsky, Peter Beinart, Richard Falk, Tom Friedman, Richard Cohen, and others in the media, academia and arts; again giving the “Kosher Stamp” to Jew hatred. Of special note, Norman Finkelstein has become a wealthy man conflating the Holocaust with Israel, and is a media star in Germany often deflecting charges of Antisemitism by calling the Israelis Nazis. George Soros born George Schwartz was a “Jew hunter” for the SS in Hungary at 14 from a self-described anti-semitic Jewish family, and has become the most powerful self-hating Jew today, by his funding of the anti-Israel organization J Street, by his earlier support for other groups calling for the destruction of Israel. In his famous interview with Steve Croft of 60 minutes, he showed no contrition for helping the SS send Jews to Auschwitz, but rather pleasure and excitement.
Otto Weininger the twisted self-hating Jew of Fin-de-Siecle Vienna and author of “Sex and Character” has created a legacy today of the Jew as physically weak, cowardly, amoral, unattractive, and grasping; just the sort of Jew that Larry David has portrayed on TV. Albert Lindemann’s book on Antisemitism “Esau’s Tears” is a ‘scholarly tome’ on why the Jews have caused Antisemitism throughout the ages. Howard Eilberg-Schwartz has shown his self-hatred by concentrating on circumcision, feminism and homosexuality in “God’s Phallus.” Jewish intellectuals against Israel include George Steiner who in “The Portage to San Christobal of A.H.” compares the Nazi Master Race with roots in the Torah. Steiner has also written “The true vocation of the Jews is to act as the cultural ferment of humanity rather than to establish a territorial state.” He calls “the text” as the true homeland of the People of the Book.
Hollywood Jews against Israel include Richard Dreyfus, Dustin Hoffman and assorted writers. In academia Jewish self-hate is endemic. To quote the 19th century Jewish writer Theodor Lessing in his “Jewish Self-Hatred” “Am I myself not the fruit of people and conditions which I hate and want to destroy? Am I not handicapped, inferior, ill-bred? . . . since I had childishly absorbed all the patriotic and religious prejudices . . . there was nothing to counter balance them.”
Sadly there are Israelis who have succumbed to this incurable disease. Avraham Burg, the former head of the Labor Party in Israel and onetime chairman of the Jewish Agency, has written of the demise of the “Zionist” enterprise, and his hatred of Israel. He has glorified the “European Union” as a biblical utopia and declared himself to be European and has become a French citizen. Avi Shlaim who is at Oxford University, trivializes antisemitism and demonizes Israel. He has attacked the Jewish people, and Judaism as parochial, and tribalist. They and others exhibit a curious sado-masochistic delight in attacking Israel and calling it an “irredeemably, polluted society, close to collapse.” To quote the Russian novelist Nikolai Chernyshevsky, “What is to be Done?”
On a lighter note, it has been observed and even quantified that Jews on the whole are a happy people and that Israelis are among the happiest people in the world. This discrepancy between the heavy load of Antisemitism versus the attitude of the Jewish people is indeed inspiring. We may have people who hate us, but we also have people and groups that support us and love the Jewish people and Israel.
The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) has long been a fighter against Antisemitism. Stand With Us was formed by librarians and educators to fight Antisemitism on college campuses, libraries, and schools. CAMERA (Committee For Accuracy In Middle East Reporting In America) has long fought BDS and the anti-Israel bias by the mainstream media. Canarymission.org reveals the names of BDS supporters on college campuses. Since 2005, CUFI (Christians United For Israel) has grown from a small group of Evangelical Christians in Texas, to the largest pro-Israel group in the world with almost 3 million members. The creation of institutes for the study of Antisemitism has provided the necessary scholarship to fight this evil ideology. Pioneers like Robert Wistrich, Charles Small, Alvin Rosenfeld, Yehuda Bauer, Catherine Chatterley, Ruth Wisse, Sander Gilman have contributed greatly to this ever emerging field of study. There is need for increased political activism through AIPAC and other organizations. Also as K. C. Johnson of Brooklyn College has said, don’t contribute to institutions, charities, NGO’s that have either promoted Antisemitism or have ignored Antisemitism and tell them why you are ceasing support.
As bad as things are today, consider what they must have been for our parents and grandparents in the 1930’s and 1940’s. For the Jews in Europe, they were facing their extinction. There were no safe havens open to them. For American Jewry, there was the genteel Antisemitism of religious quotas in colleges, restrictive covenants to prevent Jews from moving into “Gentile” neighborhoods, restrictive resorts and hotels, companies that wouldn’t hire Jews, physical attacks on Jewish children, and a restrictive society where Jews were tolerated at best, and lived for the most part in self imposed enclaves.
Today this is not the case. In Israel today, archaeological discoveries are verifying the verisimilitude of the Bible, and the continuous Jewish habitation of the land of Israel for the past 3800 years. As mentioned before, DNA evidence is showing time by time evidence of the birth of Judaism from its very beginnings 4000 years ago up to the present.
Since 9/11 the pressure on Israel, whether by terrorism, by European Antisemitism disguised as pro-palestinian policies, by mainstream Christianity, by Left wing sentiment in Universities and Colleges, by the mainstream media, by Left wing elements of the Democratic Party have been growing as though destroying Israel will protect them from the Islamic onslaught.
Israel’s recent response to Antisemitism has been refreshing. No longer accepting it as the normal view of Israel and the Jews, the Israeli government has identified it as part of the blame Israel pattern of discourse from the UN, European countries, mainstream Christianity, and the media. Today Europe’s Antisemitism has grown to levels not seen since the 1930’s. Curiously, Europe is in the throes of the greatest human invasion in history looking at a future where their languages are no longer spoken, and their cultures are subsumed into an Islamic world. Possibly they think that hating Jews can give them a reprieve. As Israel approaches 70 years, it is important to realize that again after 2000 years the Jews are again a part of history. Things will never be the same again with the diaspora shrinking and Israel growing in population, wealth, and influence. Since the Six-Day War, Israel has become a flashpoint, an inspiration, a hope for much of the world. In 1944 while the Germans were at work murdering the last great Jewish population in Europe (Hungary), David Horowitz bravely founded an organization United Israel World Union to promote the essential ideas and morality of the Bible to the Gentile world. United Israel World Union continues to this day with that belief. We are a Light Unto The Nations whether we accept that obligation or not. Our Bible is the bedrock book of all mankind. Today we live in a nonjudgmental world where the tenets are: There’s nothing you can do about it; It’s never been any different; There’s no quick fix; It’s the price of a free society; You must move with the tide; You can’t turn back the clock; The problem is much more complex than you think; It’s beyond the reach of law; You are focusing on the wrong issue; Who are you to talk? Everyone’s doing it, so how can you object?
Into this maelstrom of moral evasion the Jews alone have resisted attempts to change the message of the Bible. Their insistence has come at an unbelievable price–expulsions, pogroms, The Holocaust. In this day of moral relativism, the Jewish People, Israel and the Bible stand as a bulwark against the onslaught of barbarism affecting our world today. We are possibly living in the EndTimes; the foreshadowing of the coming of a Messianic world. With this in mind, this increased Antisemitism may be part of the birth pangs, and final outpouring of evil before the Final Redemption. Judaism unlike Christianity and Islam is not a triumphalist religion (you don’t have to follow Judaism to be favored by God–Job, Noah, Jethro, Ruth and others). But the continued existence of Judaism is seen by some Christians and most Moslems as an implicit threat to their theology. There’s nothing we can do about that and we have to accept this. Finally, contrary to George Soros and other self-hating Jews, Jews and Israel do not cause Antisemitism. It’s not our fault and we didn’t do anything wrong. The wrong is wholly done by its perpetrators who have created a cosmic world of hate that has ebbed and flowed through history. We hope and pray that a time will come when this hate is replaced by a love and an understanding of God and God’s people and the nation Israel.