Social Question

Blackberry's avatar

Can you guys explain/help me understand all the anti-Jew stuff?

Asked by Blackberry (31779points) July 1st, 2010

I used to think the anti-jew stuff was just from the nazis, but of course I was wrong.

I am aware of some reasons some people do not favor jewish people: Their apparent hand in the murder of Jesus, I heard about the oil crisis in 1973–74 because of the embargo on the US for apparently helping israel in some war? And then there’s the conflict with the palestinians altogether?

I see some comments around the internet about the US favoring jewish people because Elena Kagan was nominated and such. I know it’s on the internet so it is not the brightest people, but I am wondering where it all comes from? Thank you.

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80 Answers

ninjacolin's avatar

Screw dentists too!
sigh, the original coment i felt was too harsh to leave up. so, i thought I’d tame-ify this Seinfeld joke.

zenele's avatar

I know it’s on the internet so it is not the brightest people, but I am wondering where it all comes from?

This question is also on the internet.

Zaku's avatar

There was a thread about this a month or two ago. Some good answers there. No time for me to look it up and link it…

espanyol's avatar

anti-Jew is created by Jew themselves using their power media to increase people sympathy

zenele's avatar

I say keep this question and not flag it – flush out the anti-semites who’ve recently joined. Like the genius ^

Blackberry's avatar

@espanyol What does that even mean?

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

For centuries Jews have been blamed for the death of Jesus. Even the Vatican has refuted that lie although some Catholic churches still have sermons that lend credence to this lie particularly around Easter.

The Romans were in charge. The Jews were a persecuted minority. Even if all the Jews in the Roman empire had opposed Jesus (certainly not plausible) the Empire would have paid them little attention. The gathering following of Jesus was perceived as a threat to Roman power, authority and religious beliefs. That is what lead to his execution.

The anti-semitic (anti-Jewish) passages in one or more of the gospels does not make those hatred promoting passages true. Not then and not now.

Jews have traditionally kept somewhat to their own community, favoured marriage to others from among Jews from other communities.

Under some regimes that persecuted the Jews, they were banned from most trades except for lending money. That was Church policy by the way.

The Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the various expulsions and forced conversion of the Jews (at the point of a sword) were mainly instigated by the Church.

The early Protestants retained hatred of Jews among their beliefs.

Jews have never accepted Jesus as their Messiah and for some Christians, that made they suspect and worthy of disdain, hatred or worse.

Nothing justifies all these centuries of abuse and mistreatment of the Jewish People.
Ignorant bigots and those too gutless to stand up to them have allowed unimaginable horrors to be inflicted on entire Jewish communities and at time millions of Jews at a time.

Hate-mongers are quick to blame the entire world-wide Jewish community for things that at most apply to a few individuals. When Jews speak out against such hatred it is described as an attempt to control the media to sway public opinion.

For those of you who think for yourselves, do not allow yourself to tolerate hatred of any group of people. It is not acceptable to hate Catholics, Christians, Atheists, Muslims, Asian, Gays or any other group.

Differences of opinion are healthy and normal. People can agree to disagree.

Blackberry's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence Thanks for the informative answer Doc.

Arisztid's avatar

@espanyol Are you serious? I have heard that conspiracy theory before and it is one of the most ludicrous of its kind that I have heard.

MissAusten's avatar

I read a very interesting essay on this subject. It was in the book Black Rednecks and White Liberals by Thomas Sowell. I can’t remember the title of the essay, but Sowell calls the role of Jews throughout history as “middle men” or something like that. It’s been a while since I read it, so bear with me. He examines the roles of other groups in other countries that have also been persecuted. I don’t think I could do the subject justice without reading the essay again, but it was really interesting and looked at how resentment built up against these groups and what happened to the economies of the countries that kicked them out. I don’t think every case included religious differences, but I might be wrong about that. I’d encourage you to pick up a copy because reading it yourself would be much clearer than my attempt at trying to explain it. :)

espanyol's avatar

@Arisztid , well, im not saying its a conspiracy and you shouldnt take what i said as it is, Jews are not the bad guys in this world, but they may have been involved in many History events that made them been refused by different religions and civilizations till now. Moreover, making a good research about those who have a big role in the historical bad events will uncover who are behind every single problem in this world, and those are not Jews, they are Zionists

wtfrickinfrack's avatar

@espanyol that counts me out then…

I bet all of you jellies didn’t know you had an evil zionist lurking around fluther, did you?! ::evil laugh::

MissAusten's avatar

The Zionist movement, which is relatively young in terms of the history of mankind, doesn’t explain the long-term prejudice and persecution the question seems to be asking about.

@wtfrickinfrack You evil zionists sure are sneaky!

FutureMemory's avatar

I can’t wait for dp to join this thread.

@Blackberry Persecution of Jews on Wikipedia.

FutureMemory's avatar

@Arisztid Next you’ll tell us that all gypsies aren’t thieves!

mrentropy's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence Yeah, I always thought I was “out there,” but I distinctly remember it was the Romans that killed Jesus. Hey may have been betrayed by a Jewish person, but that’s not really the same as killing him. I don’t think his location was that much of a secret.

Anyway… Romans killed Jesus. Romans were pagans. Rome is in Italy. The Vatican is in… hmmm…..

FutureMemory's avatar

@mrentropy I distinctly remember it was the Romans that killed Jesus.

You have memory of the event?

mrentropy's avatar

@FutureMemory Crap! I gave away my secret. Stupid thirty coins…

No, but whenever the story was related to me it always involved the Romans being the ones who did the deed.

Arisztid's avatar

@FutureMemory We are not all… no not… not thieve…. * nicks your wallet and runs* ~

I am enjoying the thought of DP joining the thread.

@espanyol You have no wiggle room here . That is in black and white and, unless a mod deletes it, it is permanent.

Val123's avatar

I know they make lousy Algebra teachers!
@mrentropy I’m no Bible scholar, but the Romans were The Law. In this case, Pontius Pilate was the fifth Prefect of the Roman province of Judaea from AD 26–36 (which, I never understood… if someone was “perfect” why they couldn’t even spell their own title correctly! :) It was up to him to carry out the “sentence” put forth by “the people,” which included the Jews because Rome controlled the “world” at the time. Some Jews (higher ups, I would imagine) wanted Jesus executed for heresy or whatever, because he spoke against certain thousand’s year-old “laws of God” found in the Old Testement (like, Jesus said, “No. Not an ‘eye-for-an-eye’, as it is said in the Old Testament, but “Turn the other cheek.”) Pontius Pilate asked if anyone would see something less than death for Jesus, and the consensus among the Head Jews In Charge was “No.”

So, the Romans carried out the sentence, but the Jews determined what the sentence was… I think. ?

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

So we’re talking about a small group of disgruntled Jews who were irritated with Jesus’ teachings and the mighty Roman Empire was delighted to scapegoat these few people for an action that eliminated a threat to Roman power. Does that sound about correct?

MissA's avatar

DdddddddddddPpppppppppppp…where ARE you?????

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Anti-anybody stuff rarely makes sense. No matter the group in discussion, people’s hatred is always about hating difference and loving power.

mrentropy's avatar

Here. That explains it.

JLeslie's avatar

Jesus? We are going to go back 2,000 years ago to something maybe a group of Jews did to account for why so many people hate the Jews throughout time? First of all nailing someone to a cross was the punishment of the day, it happened to a bunch of people. My Catholic friends say that Jesus dying and being resurected was part of the biblical prophecy or something, so that it came true and they accept Christ as their savior is something to celebrate or something or other (I have no idea of this biblical stuff, I could be remembering this innacurately). Not to mention that it has not always been Christians hating on the Jews, and it seems if killing Christ was the beginning of the hate, then it would be only the Christians holding a grudge. Not to mention that the Jews have been hated since before the time of Christ.

All of what I just wrote, does not answer the OP’s question I realize. When I think about the ridiculousness of hating the Jews, a population so small. One quarter of one percent of the worlds population. Throughout time it seems to me that all Jews want is to be left alone, and they will leave you alone.

I guess since the Jewish people were minorities they were more easily picked on and enslaved in history (which basically after the holocaust has been solved, never again). Sometimes I think people hate the Jews because they need to hate someone. They need someone or some group to put down, so they can feel better about themselves, superior to someone, because they feel so insecure and shitty themselves.

Or, maybe it is just jealously, because we are so fabulous. LOL. Just like movie stars who rise and fall in the media, if the perception is that Jews have money and power, people want to bring us down. And the people who hate us do seem to think that we own everything, including the media, and political power, from what I can surmise. We are the scapegoat, the reason for their misery, the group that seems to always be in vogue to be blamed.

JLeslie's avatar

Where is dp? Did anyone forward him the Q? I think he might have a conniption (sp?) when he sees some of the answers.

Qingu's avatar

Just like with racism, there’s a wide range of “anti-Jew” stuff.

Unfortunately, legitimate criticism of Israel and Zionism gets conflated with being “anti-Jewish.”

The term “anti-Jewish” also might include people like me, who are anti-religion in general. I think this is completely justified, as Judaism is actually a very silly and incredibly immoral belief system.

Then some people use the word “anti-Jewish” to mean “anti-Semitism.” But it’s annoying for people to confuse views like mine, or like anti-Zionism or anti-Israel, for “anti-Semitism,” which is being against Jews as a race. I don’t even think Jews should be understood as a race in the first place.

Anti-Semitism was very common in recent history; it underlied pogroms and Nazi persecution of Jews. However—speaking as someone who comes from a Jewish background, and often gets annoyed at his relatives—I think it’s obnoxious how Jews throw the term “anti-Semitism” around to demonize people. It’s the boy who cried wolf.

Qingu's avatar

@Val123, prefect is a title for a governor-type political position. :)

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry By the way the Pogroms, not so long ago in history, targeted the Jews also. Not sure if that was mentioned specifically on this thread, thought you might be interested in reading up. The term is usually associated with the Russian Empire using violence and murder against the Jewish people The musical, also a movie, Fiddler on the Roof is about the Pogroms in Russia.

And interestingly my father had read a study years ago, back maybe 20 years ago, that black people when asked overwhelmingly said they disliked and did not trust Jews. Jews turned out in numbers to support them during civil rights, we get what it is like to be hated and oppressed, we identified with black people at the time, but they don’t seem to trust us. I guess from your avatar you are black, and don’t feel this way, which gives me hope.

whatthefluther's avatar

It is basically the same old shit: minorities, by the very fact they are minorities, are convenient scapegoats for pinning responsibility for actions/occurrences that are not acceptable or are distasteful to the majority. Nothing new here.
See ya…....Gary/wtf

Qingu's avatar

Why did the ancient Babylonians and Romans hate the Jews?

I’m not about to defend the ancient Babylonians and Romans for their multiple persecutions and atrocities of minority populations. However, I imagine they hated the Jews for much the same reason that many Americans hate Muslims today.

In the Babylonian era, the Jews were (if their own legends and histories are to be believed) genocidal, warlike savages. The Bible celebrates multiple genocides on the part of the Hebrews, led by the (supposedly) God-inspired Joshua and some of the later kings of Israel. Historians generally think these legends are exaggerated, but imagine living next to a culture who celebrated the wholesale slaughter of rival tribes that happened to live in their “promised land.”

In the Roman era, many Jews (like Muslims) integrated in the Empire’s culture. But a number of them violently resisted, and (again, like Muslims) a number of them were suicidal terrorists. The Si’carri (meaning “Dagger”) were Jewish assassins who would ambush Roman soldiers and stab them to death (and then accept their fate, which was to get instantly killed by the soldier’s buddies). Non-integrated Jewish sects in Rome were also primitive and regressive compared to the more enlightened Greco-Roman culture—which isn’t saying much to begin with. Before the Romans, the Macabees led a successful violent revolt against the Greeks; the Macabees were basically like the Taliban, so it’s odd that their rebellion is celebrated during Hannukah today.

In short, I imagine some of the animosity towards Jews in ancient cultures was in reaction to the aggression and backwardsness of Jewish culture at the time.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@JLeslie What study was this? Sounds like bs, to me…

Qingu's avatar

@espanyol I know you’re probably busy trying to evade the Zionists’ robotic minions out to get you, but could you please illuminate us as to what “major historical events” you think the “Zionists” were behind? I’m genuinely curious.

Mostly because if there really is this far-reaching Zionist conspiracy I might want to renew my membership in it. (Assuming they let apostates back in.)

Cruiser's avatar

@Qingu Since when did “anti-Jew stuff” become a separate issue from racism?

Qingu's avatar

@Cruiser since forever, since Jews are in no way a race.

I mean, I understand that the Jewish religion understands Judaism as a race. The Jewish religion also says that the sun revolves around the earth and that donkeys can talk to people.

JLeslie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir My dad is a sociologist, he reads studies all of the time. Remember it is kind of an old study. I saw on PBS a special that when Jewish lawyers came from the north to help the blacks out, many black people supposedly did not trust the Jewish motive. Jews in NYC were many times perceived as the “landlords,” owning everything. I am not saying all blacks hate Jews, I don’t make that assumption/prejudgment at all, but I think there is an undercurrent of distrust possibly among some black subculture in America. It might have been a study that was only questioning black people from a particular geographical area?? I wish I could give you a specific reference. Think Farrakhan (although he maintains he is not antisemitic, just to be fair). I was not saying the study was right, just something I had heard

zenele's avatar

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Anti-Zionism = Racism = Anti-Semitism.

Israel has only been around for about 60 years, and was founded on the idea that (the few remaining) ¼ of 1% of the population need a place of sanctuary, especially after the Holocaust.

Today, the only democracy in the Middle East is the home of the Jews – and a place where one can walk down the street knowing he can be free, at least from racism.

Israelis, and most Jews in the Diasporah agree – if Israel is a Democratic Jewish state, then using anti-Zionist rhetoric is simply a way of whitewashing racism. The worst kind being, imho, that of Qinqu’s et al: the self-loathing type.

To be an anti-zionist – what you are saying is that you don’t believe Israel should exist, or you don’t believe Jews should have their own country. History has shown that that isn’t such a good idea for the Jews. Israel is real. Get used to it.

I think someone who speaks against Israel, the Jews or thinks that anti-Semitism (or the ilk) without first having been to Israel – is simply just another racist. Remember: Hitler didn’t stop at the Jews. When there is hate towards a people, there is usually hate towards all kinds of minorities.Jews, Blacks, Hispanics, Gays. Ultimately – it’s about the Anti in anti-semite.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Qingu To be fair, racism isn’t about reality – it’s about perception…if someone perceives a group of people as a race and is racist towards them, then it’s racism.
@JLeslie I just never ran into this issue growing up here in Brooklyn and I’ve heard it all from many different groups…but I can see how that could be true for some people.

Qingu's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir, I agree, but in anti-Semitism’s case it’s doubly stupid because the group they’re “racist” against shouldn’t remotely be understood as a race in the first place.

@zenele, people like you really are the problem. I hope someday you learn to see nuance and figure out a way to live your life without a constant siege mentality.

Also, calling Israel a democracy is a joke. Nearly half of the people in Israel cannot vote. And as I understand it, there’s plenty of racism in Israel, both against Arabs and against Sephardic Jews.

whatthefluther's avatar

I’ll also add that the use of labels often results in some blaming a group for the actions of an individual. Unfortunately, nothing new there either. See ya….......Gary/wtf

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Qingu Okay, but that’s a completely different issue from whether or not anti-semitism is racism…essentially what you’re saying is that people should only be racist towards ‘true’ races according to whom? ...personally I think there should be no classification based on race as it’s an illusory concept, regardless.

zenele's avatar

@Qingu As I understand it. From whom – the internet? This question is also on the internet.

Let’s say the Arabs in Israel are oppressed. They represent about 15% of the population (check any CIA factbook); they vote; they have MP’s and even Ministers (one was on the flotilla).

Parliamentary democracy

That’s why I think you’re just a mini-racist. You lack the integrity, skill and finesse of the real assholes.

JLeslie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I think it is probably less of an issue now. And, Jews and Blacks have been very united many times. Probably I should not have mentioned it. I would guess it varies quite a bit. In NY if there were race relation problems back in the day white could almost be synonomous with Jewish. 50% of all white people in NYC are Jewish. The other 50% is more broken down into Irish, Italian, etc.

Qingu's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir, I think anti-Semitism is racism… since I believe that racism is best understood as a worldview, not a description of reality. But, I also don’t think it makes any sense to understand Judaism (a religion) as a race. I think you can understand, for example, “blacks” or “whites” as a race, because race has to do with physical characteristics like skin color; but Judaism is not a physical characteristic (despite the fact that Jews apparently believe magic Jewish mitochondrial DNA passes down onto babies that come from Jewish vaginas, or however that matrilinial descent works).

@zenele, I was referring to this article in the New York Times, about how Ashkenazi Hasidic Jews don’t want their kids to go to the same school as Sephardic Jewish kids.

The Arabs who are able to vote represent about 15% of the voting population. You are of course leaving out the several million other Arabs living in military occupation who are unable to vote, much like blacks in South African apartheid. Calling such a system a “democracy” is a joke.

Calling me a “mini-racist” (is that like a “mini-boss” in a videogame?) is baseless and uncalled for, as are your personal attacks, and says much more about you than it does about me.

zenele's avatar

Much like Native Americans and Aboriginals. How far back in History do you want to go?

Israel was formed by UN vote in May 1948 – like India and many other democracies.

Israel is real – Palestine doesn’t exist yet – one day, hopefully, when they recognize Israel’s right to exist – and renounce terrorism, they too will get their own State.

Of course this has nothing to do with what you’ve been saying, mini.

Re. the Hassidic Jews: I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about them. A small group of people on welfare who are fanatic religious and hate each other? I should care like you should be worried about whether Jehovah’s Witness prefer Coke to Pepsi.

That’s what’s beautiful about a democracy – that you even know about these minor things in Israel.

What’s happening in Iran and Syria, lately? Do you know?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Qingu Right, I get that – I suppose the community-based organizer in me believes each person or group of people can self-identify however and even if you and I don’t see a point in using race as a concept or a category, others may disagree and far be it for me to tell them they’re not a real race when even what’s real is disputable, to me. Besides, this is clearly a historical development/counterattack on some discrimination faced by Jews long ago and makes sense for some Jews of our age, as well…as long as there are people considering racial groups as realities, we can not tell groups of people to not consider themselves a race if that’s what they want to do..just like the atheist in me rejects all religion equally yet knows that no other religion is better than any other…I can not tell Jews ‘you’re not a race like blacks’.

zenele's avatar

From the CIA factbook: Israel – unicameral Knesset (120 seats; political parties are elected by popular vote and assigned seats for members on a proportional basis; members serve four-year terms) I have highlighted the Arab parties.

elections: last held on 10 February 2009 (next scheduled election to be held in 2013)
election results: percent of vote by party – Kadima 23.2%, Likud-Ahi 22.3%, YB 12.1%, Labor 10.2%, SHAS 8.8%, United Torah Judaism 4.5%, United Arab List 3.5%, NU 3.4%, Hadash 3.4%, The Jewish Home 3%, The New Movement-Meretz 3%, Balad 2.6%; seats by party – Kadima 28, Likud-Ahi 27, YB 15, Labor 13, SHAS 11, United Torah Judaism 5, United Arab List 4, NU 4, HADASH 4, The Jewish Home 3, The New Movement-Meretz 3, Balad 3

Since you have never been to Israel (a shame – every Jewish boy should visit once- maybe this is why there is so much self-loathing) and all of your “facts” come essentially from the Internet – why not try asking an Israeli a question for a change – instead of recycling anti-semitic rhetoric here.

Qingu's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir, I disagree. I mean, people should have the right to call themselves whatever they want, but not all self-identifications are valid.

For example, if I chose to call myself a black person, that wouldn’t make a damn bit of sense. Muslims believe everyone is “born Muslim,” and that Alexander the Great was in fact a Muslim. However, these beliefs clearly aren’t true.

Now, I will concede that Judaism started out as a sort of “race” ... because it started out as a tribal religion with laws prohibiting mixing between other tribes. However, those laws weren’t really absolute, and in any case the religion of Judaism today bears little if any resemblance to the bronze-age tribal mythology of the Hebrews.

Qingu's avatar

@zenele, you don’t really seem to understand how a modern democracy works.

If almost half of the people living in a country cannot vote, it’s not a modern democracy.

Perhaps Israel is a “democracy” in the sense that America was before women had the right to vote, or when blacks could not vote.

I mean, do you understand how it is irrelevant to quote me facts about the Arab parties in Israeli politics? I am not talking about those Arabs, I am talking about the 3.5 million Arabs living in military occupation in Israel who cannot vote in Israeli elections.

Also, why did you ask what’s going on in Iran or Syria? What possible relevance does that have to anything being discussed here?

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@Qingu I sometimes can’t tell if your comments reflect true ignorance or feigned ignorance. Your understanding of Jewish history and the struggle against annihilation or forced conversion is either lacking or you pretend to be or you have accepted a convenient historical revisionism that serves to only partially conceal your anti-Jewish feelings or what I call racism.

Your comments are in many ways a more insidious form of Antisemitism than the worst and most vocal hate-mongers. You should search your history and your soul to uncover the roots of this unsavoury characteristic you display in your misstatements and selective references meant to deceive others.

I had come to think better of you but I must reevaluate my opinion of you.

Qingu's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence, if you’re going to assert that my understanding of history is lacking, it would help if you explained why.

It would also help if you refrained from calling me a racist or a hatemonger, and drop the defensiveness. I am no more critical of Judaism or Jewish history than I am of any other religion, or my own country’s history. (I notice you didn’t call me a “hatemonger” or a “racist” when I strongly criticized the Catholic Church in that other question…)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Qingu I disagree with “not all self-identifications are valid” because it makes no logical sense – either all self-identifications are valid or none are. If you self-identify as black, that’s as valid as a black person self-identifying as black BUT because race is not only about self-identification and is also about how others will validate you, the former will make less sense to some people (though I will accept you as you say). This is really about what makes a race and that’s where, if you try to untangle it, you get stuck actually defining it. It is as much about lived realities (why you, as a white person, I’m assuming wouldn’t experience the same racism as a black person would) as it is about time-bound beliefs and the least of it is about biological markers.

Qingu's avatar

I would not accept someone with white skin identifying herself as a black person because frankly that is idiotic.

Perhaps you’re just more polite than me. :)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Qingu It really depends on the context for me and why this is their identify – I have heard white people (who are of mixed race, genetically) identifying as black because of their own very personal and valid reasons – I, being a queer theorist (based in fundamentals of feminist and critical race theories), don’t believe in biological or social essentialism.

JLeslie's avatar

I think sometimes we get too caught up in being too techinical about the words race and racist. Isn’t it understood what is implied, even if technically the word is innacurate. We understand what is meant by the context of the discussion and common usage. Like semitic, technically includes Arabs, but we do not use the word that way anymore, it is understood that antisemitic means anti-Jewish, even though it could be argued it means anti-Jewish and anti-Arab. I do not consider Jews to be a race, but some do, and I am not offended by the use of the term, even though I don’t identify with it. I don’t see why we argue, or are offended by things that are not offensive? If we believe all people are equal, why does it matter if people are seen as different races or not?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@JLeslie It doesn’t matter except when someone identifies themselves as part of a race and says it is completely essential to their being.

JLeslie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I agree that we should respect how people want to be identified. I am just saying that commenting on how someone appears does not have to be taken offensively. I call people whatever they want to be called, if I need to call them anything for that matter. My ex preferred not to be called Hispanic, because in his country he would be considered white. I knew a Puerto Rican woman who did not identify with being black, she preferred to be identified as Puerto Rican period. All good to me. But, if someone described her as a 5’5” black women it would still be true.

shilolo's avatar

To clarify a few points, while the issue of “race” remains rather murky today, there is strong genetic evidence tying all Jews to a founder population (there is even stronger evidence for those who are Cohenim). With that in mind, it is clear that one could view Jews as a group that shares a common genetic heritage (you can choose not to use the word race) that can be discriminated against and persecuted (ad nauseum).

@Qingu also attempts to mix messages. The areas occupied by Israel are for the most part not annexed (except for the Golan), and therefore are not technically part of Israel. Thus, there is no reason to add the populations of those areas to those that cannot vote in Israel. Indeed, they do vote as part of the Palestinian Authority. For what it’s worth, there is no historical precedent for individuals in an occupied territory being allowed to vote in elections of the occupier (for instance, American forces occupied many parts of Europe and Asia after WW2, but those people did not vote in American elections). Now, one can argue about the occupation, but that is irrelevant to whether Palestinians should be allowed to vote in Israel.

ipso's avatar

@Blackberry – Although Jews can be smarter, thus more accomplished, and supremely savvy (in my considerable experience, including dearly loved family members) I don’t think that’s at all what causes people’s animosity over the eons. I think it’s because some Jews can be perceived to be self-serving and non-integrating in foreign lands – hence the dastardly epithet “parasites”.

To my mind hatred against Jews is directly proportional to whether they self-integrate or retain their own unique exclusionary heritage. Same with blacks, same Latinos, same Irish, same with Martians. I believe most of the brewhaha is cultural battle, not racial war.

I dislike the Star of David as much as I disdain a Christian Cross. I dislike a self-protecting horde of brooding slightly neurotic funny dressed Saturday walkers as much as I disdain a bunch of smiley face plastic blond clueless Sunday goers. (They are all equally worthless – but to each their own.)

What I really hate is the double standard hypocrisy of being denied the former opinion while allowed the latter.

And – giving full disclosure – I detest Barbara Streisand and Woody Allen as the most overrated entertainers in the history of the universe. Sacrilege. And I think the funniest relevant movie scene is Ben Stiller and the big sadomasochistic blonde woman in Permanent Midnight (1998) “I’m being fucked by a Jewwww!”

shilolo's avatar

@ipso I think you meant “the double standard hypocrisy of being allowed the former opinion while denying the later.” The fact that anti-Semitism is so prevalent today (and in history) argues that it is allowed and fostered far more than anti-Christian viewpoints.

ipso's avatar

I meant what I said.

shilolo's avatar

And there you have it… Proud of your hatred? I feel sorry for you.

ipso's avatar

That was a stupid response. You should feel sorry for yourself.

shilolo's avatar

Touche. You must do quite well in battles of wits.~

Nullo's avatar

I would say that the hostility stems from a more generally Satanic hatred of the Israelites. Which is not to say that the anti-semites are off the hook; you’re still responsible for your own sins.

JLeslie's avatar

@ipso What? Do you live in America? Jews are very assimilated, especially in the last 100 years where reformed Judaism has grown and is how the majority of Jews identify themselves. You could argue that Orthodox or observant Jews are not assimilated fully, but they are a small percentage of Jews, and even then I would only include very fringe groups like the Chassidic. Senator Leiberman is modern Orthodox, I don’t think we can say he is not assimilated. Jews in Germany before the holocaust were intergrated into society, that is one of the reasons they could not believe what was going on. In fact I believe it was back in the 1700’s a German Jewish philospher, Moses Mendelson (not sure of the spelling, maybe it is double s?), is credited with starting the reform movement which I think lead to assimilation in many countries across Europe and America. Go ahead and check me on that. My history knowledge is sketchy at best.

In fact if anything it was other people who kept us at arms length not letting us participate fully in countries or local communities. Even in America years ago there were signs No Jews Allowed, No Dogs or Jews, and other hateful words. True people did this to the Irish at one point and blacks, but I don’t see how we can blame the minority for it, we wanted to participate in society, it does not explain why they hated us, just that they did. I have to assume the hatred was irrational and fear based on nothing.

I have never heard the word parasite used to refer to my people, that is a new one for me.

And your line Although Jews can be smarter, thus more accomplished, and supremely savvy rubs me the wrong way. We are accomplished because we work hard and value education. Of course people from many other cultures work just as hard and are just as smart and just as accomplished. I just find it annoying when people imply there is something magical about it. Like we have some sort of smarts and secrets that others don’t, like it is a secret club. If anything we are happy to share our knowledge, we want to educate the world, the problem is people don’t want the advice. Look at America today, words like eliteist is thrown around, there is a backlash to education in some parts of our country, sure we are going to be “smarter” compared to those people I guess, they value being ignorant.

And this view of self-serving, I think people who think like this are projecting. They seek power, they seek to keep others down, and they project it onto Jews. Jews generally want to live in harmony, and want everyone to do well. Fairness is very important in the culture, we seek a just society.

Qingu's avatar

@shilolo, southerners in America got to vote after the Civil War, despite being occupied by the North. And the Palestinian Authority is not recognized as a sovereign country—nor did anyone recognize the results of the democratic election in Gaza.

And while I agree that many Jews share genetic markers (it started out as a tribal religion, so this shouldn’t be surprising!) I don’t think a racial framework makes sense for what has evolved to be a standard religion, i.e. a set of ideas. Moreover, I think viewing Judaism in terms of race actually gives fuel to the fire for the views of people like—not to Godwin this thread—Hitler and neo-Nazis. I have a problem in general with conflating culture with race (this also applies strongly to black culture), but in Judaism’s case—where “racial” (physical/genetic) characteristics are significantly less obvious than melanin count—I think it’s especially unhelpful.

@Nullo‘s comments help to illustrate why Israel gets so much unequivocal support from American audience—because many Americans are delusional evangelicals who support Israel both because it’s “their team” against the anti-Christ and because they believe it will hasten the end of the world.

@ipso, I agree with you to some extent, especially when it comes to the history of the Israelites, the Maccabees, and the zealot Jews in ancient Rome—none of whom are cultures I would want to associate with. However, I think you are papering over the long history after the fall of the second Temple where the Jews failed to integrate—not out of a choice on their part, but rather because they were widely discriminated against and had no opportunity to do so in almost any country they found themselves in. I don’t think it makes sense to blame Jewish culture since that time for failing to integrate, since I can’t think of a single major culture in the west/near east that would allow them to (I know less about Jews in India and China but then there weren’t that many of them.) Treatment of Jews in Christendom was especially appalling.

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu The history I am aware of about Jews in China back in say the 1800’s was they assimiliated and intermarried, and became accepted in Chinese society. I assume they lost practicing the religion quickly over just a few generations.

dpworkin's avatar

I have been reading this, I just have not been moved to speak. One cannot educate the ineducable, nor defend the indefensible.

That being said, I am unsurprised that there is a continuing undertone of crypto-antisemitism like that of some of what we have heard here: blaming the Jew for being hated, attributing to the Jew great powers, understanding the Jew as being peculiarly “savvy”, conflating Judaism with Zionism, etc.

It merely reconfirms what I have long thought and many times said: that antisemitism never goes away, in merely becomes cryptic and less directly expressed; that it recrudesces in cycles, (violent antisemitism is particularly cyclical) and that any Jew who doesn’t own weapons and understand how to use them is not a student of history.

As to the origins of antisemitism: that is too broad a subject to address here, but I refer to to the works of Paul Johnson, Hannah Arendt, Raul Hilberg, Arthur Koestler and others. It is a well-studied phenomenon, with many a simultaneous impetus.

Qingu's avatar

@dpworkin, do you believe Muslims today bear no responsibility whatsoever for their negative image in Western society?

Which is to say, is it possible, in your mind, that an oppressed culture can contribute to its own negative reputation? Or is the world entirely black and white?

Jews have absolutely been victimized throughout much of history, but I think it’s rather sickening that so many people are incapable of seeing Jews as anything but victims. Like any other culture, Jews have throughout their history acted both nobly and horribly, and for much of their early history I’d say “horribly” more often than not.

Pointing this out doesn’t make me a “crypto-anti-Semite,” and I think it’s pathetic the way such slurs are wielded to ignore and suppress legitimate criticism and a critical outlook of a culture’s history. Much like how some Muslims label any criticism of Islam or Islamic history as “Islamophobia” or “being racist against Muslims.”

zenele's avatar

@dpworkin Welll said. Very articulately put.

dpworkin's avatar

@Qingu There is no “Jew” left to have a monolithic culture. The ugly behavior of Right wing Israel and it unspeakable treatment of the Palestinians does focus some well-deserved animus on 21st Century Zionism, but why should that be conflated with “Jews” who have no monolithic presence anywhere in the world, are not a race, are not even necessarily related ethnically, but who retain a status of “otherness” imposed from without? That’s what the real question is – why the imposed “otherness”?

Qingu's avatar

I don’t think it should; I apologize for mistakenly implying that. Similarly, I don’t think there’s a monolithic “Muslim” culture, or that all Muslims are culpable for the behavior of a few extremists. (I have little to no problem with reform liberal Jews, members of the alternative group to AIPAC, or to Roman-era Jews who peacefully integrated in Roman culture, for example).

However, I think there’s a lot to criticize about Islamic culture—even non-extremist Islamic culture—and the history of the movement. Likewise, with Judaism. And too often, Muslims and Jews (and Catholics, and many other religious sects) have this tribal-morality reaction to any criticism, where they automatically support members of their group against their critics.

To answer your question—why the imposed “otherness”—I think there are different answers in different places and different points in history. Like you said, Judaism is hardly a monolithic (I’d argue that after the 2nd temple’s destruction, it fundamentally changed as a religion). Certainly, as I’ve said, during much of Christendom and recently history, that otherness was imposed by oppressive, bigoted powerful cultures. However, this doesn’t explain (for example) Islamic hatred of Jews today, and it only goes so far to explain ancient anti-Jewish animus, which I think has a much closer parallel to American hatred of Muslims, or more generally an “Empire’s” tendency to dislike “Barbarians.”

Val123's avatar

@Qingu I know! That just always hits me when I read the word!

Blackberry's avatar

On a lighter note: Do you think I could hook-up with a Jewish woman lol? In this neighborhood close to me, these jewish people walk up and down the street, and I noticed some very attractive women in their black dresses, what do you think? :)

Val123's avatar

Of course, Blackberry! Why couldn’t you? Unless you’re indiscriminately singling out women to hook up with just because they’re attractive and wear black dresses. In that case, if you got slapped, it would have nothing to do with the fact that they are Jewish.

mattbrowne's avatar

There’s a book somebody recommended to me a couple of years ago

Here are some key messages from reviews trying to explain the reasons:

The authors clearly and skillfully analyze the root causes of antisemitism (ethical monotheism, moral law, peoplehood) and debunks all the easy or contrived answers. The book shows how Jews have been killed because they were poor or rich, because they were communists or because they were capitalists. In the end, because they were Jews. It gave a me a first idea of what Judaism is. The book was written at the time of the Soviet Union and shows what was happening then. It will certainly make the reader think and contemplate the real roots of this ongoing issue, which is described as being more prevalent now than at any time since the Nazi era.

The authors refute the Marxist view of anti-Semitism that it is caused by Capitalism, pointing out that in Communist societies anti-Semitism has often been at it’s worst. They also easily refute the myth that anti-Semitism is purely a rightwing phenomenon, pointing to Soviet persecution of Jewry , and the new anti-Semitism of today, which eminates mainly from the Left. They go on to examine the historical evidence of anti-Semitism with histories of ancient anti-Semitism, Christian anti-Semitism, Islamic anti-Semitism, Secular Enlightenment anti-Semitism, Leftist anti-Semitism, Nazi anti-Semitism and anti-Zionist anti-Semitism.
They continually draws parallels between historic anti-Semitism and today’s new anti-Zionist version, for example discussing the mediaeval libel that Jews poisoned wells, and deliberately spread disease , to lies by the Palestinian Authority and Leftist NGO’s that the Israelis have poisoned Palestinian water supplies and deliberately infected Palestinian children with the HIV virus.

In the section on Islamic anti-Semitism, they outline the bloody pogroms carried out against Jews in Arab countries, in the 20th century. The authors also explain the real reason behind Arab hatred of Israel. The idea of Jews as free people in their own state cannot be tolerated, they can only be tolerated as subordinate or degraded. The basis of Arab hatred of Israel is the hatred of Jews refusing to accept an unequal, inferior status, that they lived under for centuries of Arab rule. They also deal with the Arab-Nazi connection of World War II, and beyond. In the chapter on Leftist anti-Semitism they observe how the further left one goes the greater the Jew-hatred. The propaganda peddled by far-left ideologues, academics and journalists today is a reproduction of the propaganda manufactured in the old Soviet Union, during the Cold War, when the USSR was persecuting Jews and working for the destruction of Israel.

Qingu's avatar

@mattbrowne, I don’t think Arab views on Jews are specific to Jews. They wanted to treat Jews like dhimmis, but the same can be said for any non-Muslim population. It is unacceptable to a shariah-minded Islamic polity for any non-Muslim population to have political power or autonomy in Muslim lands.

So I think it’s a big mistake to conflate this view with Nazism and even Christianity’s version of anti-Semitism, both of which singled out the Jews as uniquely depraved (for pseudo-racial reasons or for killing Jesus, respectively).

mattbrowne's avatar

@Qingu – I think you got a point here. There are many flavors of Islam and the sharia-minded ones are far more extreme than others.

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