Causes of Anti-Semitism

By Larry Rogers

Anti-Semitism is defined as hostility towards the Jewish people as a religious or racial minority group often accompanied by social, economic, political, or religious discrimination. This includes the attitudes or actions brought against the Jewish people, their history, their artifacts, their religion, including the symbols thereof, or their buildings whether as a Jewish owned business or their Synagogue. While it is a general term usually denoting a prejudice, it also means intolerance and condemnation. Anti-Semitism has deprived the Jewish people and those who befriend them of the rights and privileges given to other citizens throughout the world and throughout history.

Jean-Paul Sartre defined it as “The attributing of all or part of one’s own misfortunes and those of one’s country, to the Jewish elements in the community, and proposing to remedy this state of affairs by depriving them of certain of their rights; by keeping them out of certain economic or social activities, by expelling them from the country, by exterminating them, etc.” He continues by stating in the same book, “Anti-Semitism derives not from thought, but from fear of oneself and of truth… in a word, Anti-Semitism is fear of being alive.”

Why is there so much hatred and fear of the Jews? Wilhelm Marrih produced the term Anti-Semitism in 1879 to give Jew-hatred a more scientific name. But it has been around much longer than just since the late 1800’s. In 622 AD, Mohammed (founder of his Islamic traditions) traveled to Medina in order to gain converts for his new religion. By 627 AD, after being rejected by the Medina Jews who refused to convert, Mohammed ordered the death of between 600 to 900 Jewish men and divided the women and children remaining between his followers. Those who were not slaughtered were expelled. The Islamic faith teaches that the Jews are “consigned to humiliation and wretchedness. They brought the wrath of God upon themselves and this because they deny God’s signs and kill his prophets unjustly and because they disobeyed and were transgressors.” (The Koran, Sura 2:61), Jews try to introduce corruption, (Sura 5:64), have always been disobedient, (Sura 5:78), and are the enemies of Allah, the prophet, and the angels, (Sura 2:97-98).

While preaching in a mosque in Al-Damam, Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Muhammed Saleh Al-Munajjia agreed with comments made by Sheikh Abd Al-Aziz Qari who stated: “In ancient times, the Jews, the enemies of Allah, killed the prophets unjustly… afterward they (the Jews) became the enemies of all humanity and they termed non-Jews as “gentiles” and used all means to destroy them by starting wars among these gentiles, destroying their beliefs and corrupting their moral values.” Sheikh Al-Munajjia even expanded the enemies list to include all people who did not believe as Islam does. He states “It is impossible to ever make peace with the Jews… The Jews are defiled creatures and satanic scum. The Jews are the helpers of Satan. The Jews are the cause of the misery of the human race, together with the infidels and other polytheists. Satan leads them all to hell and to a miserable fate. The Jews are our enemies and hatred of them is in our hearts.”

Of course, The Jewish people are not followers of Satan nor are they polytheistic (meaning the belief in more than one God), but the above comments of the Koran, and the comments of militant Islamic leaders prohibit followers from discovering truth. Being unable to separate truth from lies prevents understanding and allows hatred of the Jewish people to continue.

Anti-Semitism is not restricted to the Islamic beliefs. The so called New Testament of the Christian churches is filled with the same type of hatred and animosity towards the Jewish people as the Koran. While in the Koran it is open rage and discontentment, the writers of the New Testament have directed it more towards the leadership of the Jews. Jesus is mocked, hunted, attacked, rejected and ridiculed by the Jews and their leaders. In Matthew 27:25, it is stated that the Jews said “His blood be upon us and our children.” There is however doubt that these words were ever stated in actuality. The Jesus Seminar, which was comprised of scholars from various religious sects including Christian and Jewish sources have stated there is doubt that as much as 80% of the writings of the New Testament are accurate.

The multiplicity of various authors and the intentions of some to create a new religion have destroyed every significant factor regarding who Jesus was. The writing of these same people was designed to with the intent of destroying the Jewish people and their beliefs. In order to destroy truth and Torah, they had to have something to replace it with. By incorporating certain pagan deities and aspects of pagan religions, they found what hey considered to be the “perfect” manner to destroy Judaism. The New Testament has utilized so many of these pagan concepts, events, ideas and writings within its pages that it becomes impossible to accept anything less than the beliefs currently expressed by Christian theologies. These theologies led to the Crusades, forced conversions to Christianity, mass expulsions, and holocausts against the Jewish people.

Paul, who wrote most of the books in the New Testament, and influenced those remaining, states in 1st Corinthians 9:20-22; “To he Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law(though I myself am not under the law) so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became as like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law, but am under Christ’s law) so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might win some.” Paul’s attitudes and actions are the very basis for anti-Semitism from the Christian communities. Paul’s writings not only disagree with the Torah and Tanakh, but also with certain teachings of Jesus. Paul even makes the comment in Colossians 1:24, “Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regards to Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, which is the church.”

If one accepts the New Testament as true, then what afflictions did Christ lack? The New Testament says the Mosaic Law shall not be done away with until Heaven and Earth pass away, yet Paul states he is not under the Mosaic law but Christ’s law. When Paul’s writings are translated, the same word is used for both synagogue and church. When used in a negative tone, the word is translated as synagogue, when used in a positive tone, it is translated as church.

Anti-Semitism is unfortunately even among the Jewish people. It is my belief that a lack of education of Jewish roots, of Torah, and even of Jewish thought is the main contributor to this sorrow. Perhaps the most dangerous event to create self-hating Jews is in the assimilation of Jews into other religions and other cultures along with the persecution and perceived stigma associated with being Jewish. There has been so much hatred of the Jewish people that many are afraid to admit to being Jewish, that their children are Jewish, and even that the Jewish people have the right to exist.

Yes the Jews have different beliefs. Yes they celebrate life differently than most. They are the “chosen people”. This does not make them a better people and most do not make any such claim. They do however have a different calling, or different purpose. The Jewish people have been called to be teachers, teachers of how to grow closer to HaShem, teachers of how to become better people.

How do we end anti-Semitism? The only way to end it is to stand up for Israel, Jews and Judaism. If we consider our selves to be friends and supporters of Israel, then we need to act like it. We cannot support Israel by remaining quiet, by allowing others to attempt discrediting Jews or Judaism. The entire world must take steps to defend Israel against terrorism whether by violent means such as the suicide bomber or by non violent means such as by proselytizing. We must change even our own actions in such a way that “NEVER AGAIN” takes on a life of its own.

Even though anti-Semitism runs rampant in today’s society and on every continent, we should not hate the people who hate us. We hate their actions and their deeds and even the falseness of their beliefs. However, it is HaShem who allows them to wallow in their fear, and because their life has less to hold onto and to look forward to, we should not fear them but rather pity them instead. One day perhaps they will come and ask us why we believe as we do, and we will be able to tell them about the love HaShem has for all mankind. Remember the old adage that you can draw more flies with honey than with vinegar, and share your wisdom gently. Remember that honey is the sweetness of Torah and truth. May we all join in to spread the honey of Torah and truth around the world and may it be finished within our lifetime.

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