Visual History of the World

(CONTENTS)
 

 


HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION & CULTURE

From Prehistoric to Romanesque  Art
Gothic Art
Renaissance  Art
Baroque and Rococo Art
The Art of Asia
Neoclassicism, Romanticism  Art
Art Styles in 19th century
Art of the 20th century
Artists that Changed the World
Design and Posters
Photography
Classical Music
Literature and Philosophy

Visual History of the World
Prehistory
First Empires
The Ancient World
The Middle Ages
The Early Modern Period
The Modern Era
The World Wars and Interwar Period
The Contemporary World

Dictionary of Art and Artists

 




The Modern Era

1789 - 1914


In Europe, the revolutionary transformation of the ruling systems and state structures began with a bang: In 1789 the French Revolution broke out in Paris, and its motto "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite"—Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood—took on an irrepressible force. A fundamental reorganization of society followed the French Revolution. The ideas behind the revolution were manifest in Napoleon's Code Civil, which he imposed on many European nations. The 19th century also experienced a transformation of society from another source: The Industrial Revolution established within society a poorer working class that stood in opposition to the merchant and trading middle class. The nascent United States was shaken by an embittered civil war. The economic growth that set in following that war was accompanied by the development of imperialist endeavors and its rise to the status of a Great Power.
 

 


 


Liberty Leading the People,
allegory of the 1830 July revolution that deposed the French monarchy,
with Marianne as the personification of liberty,
contemporary painting by Eugene Delacroix.

 

 


Austria-Hungary
 


1867-1914
 

 

Austria, politically weakened both domestically and abroad, was forced to relinquish its leading role in Germany after its defeat by Prussia in 1866. Conservative forces sought to retain the old Habsburg glory, but the progressive industrialization had its consequences. Growing nationalism within the individual ethnic groups in the multiethnic state, especially that of the Hungarians and Slavs, consistently wrested new concessions out of Vienna, and in the process fostered Austrian xenophobia and anti-Semitism. In the midst of this powder keg—which would explode into World War I in 1914—one of the most important cultural currents of the 19th and 20th centuries developed in the form of Viennese modernism.

 


The Institution of the Dual Monarchy
 

Austria and Hungary formed a personal union in 1867. In the period of liberalization that followed, nationalist and anti-Semitic currents also became apparent.

 

The Hungarian parliament, which had existed briefly during the 1848 revolution, was reinstituted in 1867, and a Hungarian Ministry was created.

The Austrian imperial chancellor, 2 Count von Beust, was forced to make concessions to the Hungarian representatives, Ferenc Deak and 4 Count Gyula Andrassy.


2 Friedrich Ferdinand Count von
Beust, wood engraving


4 Count Gyula Andrassy,
ca. 1865

 

The union between Austria and Hungary was now merely pragmatic; they were united only by a common monarch—the Austrian emperor, who was also crowned 5 king of Hungary— a combined army, and the ministries of foreign affairs, war, and finance.

On December 21,1867, 3 Kaiser Francis Joseph I proclaimed the December Constitution which remained in power until 1918 and regulated the representation in the parliaments of the two countries.


5 Coronation of Francis Joseph I as
king of Hungary in Budapest, June 8, 1867,
wood engraving, 1889


3 Kaiser Francis Joseph I,
painting, 1895

These bodies, together with the monarch, now made the policies of the country. In 1868 Prince Karl Auersperg became Head of the Government. He introduced liberal figures into his Cabinet. A ten-year liberalization began, during which progressive laws were implemented. In 1868 the influence of the Catholic Church on education and family policies ended. In the succeeding year, general compulsory military service and free compulsory education were implemented.

Count von Taaffe, as prime minister of Austria, dealt strongly with the Christian conservatives and laid the cornerstone for the Austrian social state. However, in order to obtain majorities, he had to seek support primarily from the Slavic members of the imperial council and make allowances, particularly those of the Czechs. Czech became the official language in Bohemia in 1880 and, in 1882, the language of instruction at the University of Prague. Through his "pro-Slavic" multinational policies, Taaffe nurtured the antipathy of nationalist and 1 anti-Semitic conservatives, such as the mayor of Vienna, Karl Lueger.


1 Karl Lueger, the anti-Semitic mayor of Vienna, at a ball

 

 


Anti-Semitism

Main
hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious or racial group. The term anti-Semitism was coined in 1879 by the German agitator Wilhelm Marr to designate the anti-Jewish campaigns underway in central Europe at that time. Although this term now has wide currency, it is a misnomer, since it implies a discrimination against all Semites. Arabs and other peoples are also Semites, and yet they are not the targets of anti-Semitism as it is usually understood. The term is especially inappropriate as a label for the anti-Jewish prejudices, statements, or actions of Arabs or other Semites. Nazi anti-Semitism, which culminated in the Holocaust, had a racist dimension in that it targeted Jews because of their supposed biological characteristics—even those who had themselves converted to other religions or whose parents were converts. This variety of anti-Jewish racism dates only to the emergence of so-called “scientific racism” in the 19th century and is different in nature from earlier anti-Jewish prejudices.

The origins of Christian anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism has existed to some degree wherever Jews have settled outside of Palestine. In the ancient Greco-Roman world, religious differences were the primary basis for anti-Semitism. In the Hellenistic Age, for instance, Jews’ social segregation and their refusal to acknowledge the gods worshiped by other peoples aroused resentment among some pagans, particularly in the 1st century bce–1st century ce. Unlike polytheistic religions, which acknowledge multiple gods, Judaism is monotheistic—it recognizes only one god. However, pagans saw Jews’ principled refusal to worship emperors as gods as a sign of disloyalty.

Although Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples were practicing Jews and Christianity is rooted in the Jewish teaching of monotheism, Judaism and Christianity became rivals soon after Jesus was crucified by Pontius Pilate, who executed him according to contemporary Roman practice. Religious rivalry was theological. It soon also became political.

Historians agree that the break between Judaism and Christianity followed the Roman destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem in the year 70 ce. In the aftermath of this devastating defeat, which was interpreted by Jew and Christian alike as a sign of divine punishment, the Gospels diminished Roman responsibility and expressed Jewish culpability in the death of Jesus both explicitly (Matthew 27:25) and implicitly. Jews were depicted as killers of the Son of God.

Christianity was intent on replacing Judaism by making its own particular message universal. The New Testament was seen as fulfilling the “Old” Testament (the Hebrew Bible); Christians were the new Israel, both in flesh and in spirit. The God of justice had been replaced by the God of love. Thus some early Church Fathers taught that God had finished with the Jews, whose only purpose in history was to prepare for the arrival of his Son. According to this view, the Jews should have left the scene. Their continued survival seemed to be an act of stubborn defiance. Exile was taken as a sign of divine disfavour incurred by the Jews’ denial that Jesus was the Messiah and by their role in his crucifixion.

As Christianity spread in the first centuries ce, most Jews continued to reject that religion. As a consequence, by the 4th century, Christians tended to regard Jews as an alien people who, because of their repudiation of Christ and his church, were condemned to perpetual migration (a belief best illustrated in the legend of the Wandering Jew). When the Christian church became dominant in the Roman Empire, its leaders inspired many laws by Roman emperors designed to segregate Jews and curtail their freedoms when they appeared to threaten Christian religious domination. As a consequence, Jews were increasingly forced to the margins of European society.

Enmity toward the Jews was expressed most acutely in the church’s teaching of contempt. From St. Augustine in the 4th century to Martin Luther in the 16th, some of the most eloquent and persuasive Christian theologians excoriated the Jews as rebels against God and murderers of the Lord. They were described as companions of the Devil and a race of vipers. Church liturgy, particularly the scriptural readings for the Good Friday commemoration of the Crucifixion, contributed to this enmity.

Such views were finally renounced by the Roman Catholic Church decades after the Holocaust, with the Vatican II declaration of Nostra aetate (Latin: “In Our Era”) in 1965, which revamped Roman Catholic teaching regarding Jews and Judaism. The Vatican accepted the legitimacy of Judaism as a continuing religion and exonerated Jews for the murder of Jesus by universalizing responsibility for his Crucifixion. As a result, the Good Friday liturgy was changed to make it less inflammatory with regard to Jews. In 2007, however, Pope Benedict XVI approved wider use of the old Latin mass, which included the Good Friday liturgy and a prayer that most Jews found offensive. Although the prayer was revised in 2008 to address Jewish concerns, some argued that it was still prejudicial.

A centrepiece of the papacy of Pope John Paul II, who witnessed the Holocaust directly as a young man in Poland, was the fight against anti-Semitism and his embrace of Jews. The pope paid a historic visit to a synagogue in Rome in 1986 and officially recognized the State of Israel in 1993 shortly after the conclusion of the Oslo peace agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. In March 2000 the pontiff visited Israel. At Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to the Holocaust, he described anti-Semitism as anti-Christian in nature and apologized for instances of anti-Semitism by Christians. At the Western Wall, Judaism’s most sacred site, he inserted a note of apology for past Christian misdeeds into the stones—an act of repentance seen throughout the world.


Anti-Semitism in medieval Europe
Religious attitudes were reflected in the economic, social, and political life of medieval Europe. In much of Europe during the Middle Ages, Jews were denied citizenship and its rights, barred from holding posts in government and the military, and excluded from membership in guilds and the professions. To be sure, some European rulers and societies, particularly during the early Middle Ages, afforded Jews a degree of tolerance and acceptance, and it would be an error to conceive of Jews facing an unchanging and unceasing manifestation of anti-Jewish oppression throughout this period. In 1096, however, knights of the First Crusade unleashed a wave of anti-Semitic violence in France and the Holy Roman Empire, including massacres in Worms, Trier (both now in Germany), and Metz (now in France). Unfounded accusations of ritual murder, host desecration, and the blood libel—Jews’ alleged sacrifice of Christian children at Passover to obtain blood for unleavened bread—appeared in the 12th century. The most famous example of these accusations, that of William of Norwich, occurred in England, but these accusations were revived sporadically in eastern and central Europe throughout the medieval and modern periods. In the 1930s the blood libel became part of Nazi propaganda. Another instrument of 12th-century anti-Semitism, the compulsory yellow badge that identified the wearer as a Jew, was also revived by the Nazis. The practice of segregating the Jewish populations of towns and cities into ghettos dates from the Middle Ages and lasted until the 19th and early 20th centuries in much of Europe.

As European commerce grew in the late Middle Ages, some Jews became prominent in trade, banking, and moneylending, and Jews’ economic and cultural successes tended to arouse the envy of the populace. This economic resentment, allied with traditional religious prejudice, prompted the forced expulsion of Jews from several countries and regions, including England (1290), France (14th century), Germany (1350s), Portugal (1496), Provence (1512), and the Papal States (1569). Intensifying persecution in Spain culminated in 1492 in the forced expulsion of that country’s large and long-established Jewish population. Only Jews who had converted to Christianity were allowed to remain, and those suspected of continuing to practice Judaism faced persecution in the Spanish Inquisition. As a result of these mass expulsions, the centres of Jewish life shifted from western Europe and Germany to Turkey and then to Poland and Russia.

But where they were needed, Jews were tolerated. Living as they did at the margins of society, Jews performed economic functions that were vital to trade and commerce. Because premodern Christianity did not permit moneylending for interest and because Jews generally could not own land, Jews played a vital role as moneylenders and traders. Where they were permitted to participate in the larger society, Jews thrived. During the Middle Ages in Spain, before their expulsion in 1492, Jewish philosophers, physicians, poets, and writers were among the leaders of a rich cultural and intellectual life shared with Muslims and Christians. In collaboration with Arab scholars and thinkers in the tolerant society of Muslim Spain, they were instrumental in transmitting the intellectual heritage of the Classical world to medieval Christendom.

The idea that the Jews were evil persisted in the Protestant Reformation. Luther’s reliance on the Bible as the sole source of Christian authority only fed his fury toward Jews for their rejection of Jesus. “We are at fault for not slaying them,” he wrote. “Rather we allow them to live freely in our midst despite their murder, cursing, blaspheming, lying and defaming.” Such views were emphasized by the Nazis. They were renounced by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1994.


Anti-Semitism in modern Europe
The end of the Middle Ages brought little change in Jews’ position in Europe, and the Catholic Reformation renewed anti-Jewish legislation and reinforced the system of ghetto segregation in Roman Catholic countries. Jews remained subject to occasional massacres, such as those that occurred during wars between Eastern Orthodox Ukrainians and Roman Catholic Poles in the mid-17th century, which rivaled the worst massacres of Jews in the Middle Ages. Periodic persecutions of Jews in western Europe continued until the late 18th century, when the Enlightenment changed their position, at least in the West. It did not necessarily reduce anti-Semitism. While the major Enlightenment figures championed the light of reason in debunking what they regarded as the superstitions of Christian belief, their thinking did not lead to any greater acceptance of Jews. Instead of holding Jews responsible for the Crucifixion, Enlightenment thinkers blamed them for Christianity and for the injustices and cruelty committed by followers of monotheistic religions. Some of the most prominent, including Denis Diderot and Voltaire, pilloried the Jews as a group alienated from society who practiced a primitive and superstitious religion.

Until the French Revolution of 1789, the status of Jews in Europe remained tenuous. Treated as outsiders, they had few civil rights. They were taxed as a community, not as individuals. Exclusion from the larger society reinforced their religious identity and strengthened their communal institutions, which served judicial and quasi-governmental functions. In the French Revolution, with its promise of liberty, equality, and fraternity, the rights of citizenship were extended to Jews. Still, respect and rights were conditioned on the willingness of Jews to abandon their age-old customs and their communal identity. This was the meaning of the slogan “To the Jews as individuals everything, to the Jews as a people, nothing.”

France was in the vanguard of the movement that gave civic and legal equality to the Jews. Napoleon’s conquest of the German states led to emancipation in some of them, but after his defeat, Jews faced a series of legal setbacks. Full emancipation of Jews throughout Germany came only with the unification of Germany in 1871.

Even in France itself, emancipation did not end anti-Semitism but merely transformed it. With the emergence of nationalism as the defining factor in European society in the 19th century, anti-Semitism acquired a racial rather than a religious character, as ethnically homogeneous peoples decried the existence in their midst of “alien” Jewish elements. Pseudoscientific theories asserting that the Jews were inferior to the so-called Aryan “race” gave anti-Semitism new respectability and popular support, especially in countries where Jews could be made scapegoats for existing social or political grievances. In this new climate, anti-Semitism became a powerful political tool, as politicians were quick to discover. In the 1890s Karl Lueger won the mayoralty of Vienna—a city of diverse culture and many Jews—with his anti-Semitic campaigns. In both Germany and Austria in the late 19th century, anti-Semitism became an organized movement with its own political parties.

The Russian Empire had restricted Jews to western regions known as the Pale of Settlement ever since the partitions of Poland (in the 1790s) had brought large numbers of Jews under Russian rule. The empire’s May Laws of 1882, enacted after widespread anti-Jewish riots, or pogroms, had broken out in the Russian Pale the previous year, stripped Jews of their rural landholdings and restricted them to the towns and cities within the Pale. These measures, which crippled many Jews’ activities as rural traders and artisans, spurred the emigration of more than a million Jews to the United States over the next four decades. Another result was a somewhat smaller emigration of Jews to the countries of western Europe, where anti-Semitic agitators exploited xenophobic sentiments against them.

In France the Dreyfus Affair became a focal point for anti-Semitism. In 1894 Alfred Dreyfus, a highly placed Jewish army officer, was falsely accused of treason. His final vindication (in 1906) was hampered by the French military and the bitterly anti-Semitic French press, and the wrenching controversy that ensued left lasting scars on French political life.

During the first decade of the 20th century, there was a period of moderate decline in anti-Semitic tensions—except in Russia, where serious pogroms occurred in Kishinyov (now Chişinău, Moldova) in 1903 and 1905 and where the Russian secret police published a forgery entitled Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, which, as the supposed blueprint for a Jewish plot to achieve world domination, furnished propaganda for subsequent generations of anti-Semitic agitators.

The widespread economic and political dislocations caused by World War I notably intensified anti-Semitism in Europe after the war. In addition, the many Jewish Bolshevik leaders in the Russian Revolution of November 1917 gave anti-Semites a new focus for their prejudices in the threat of “Jewish Bolshevism.” In postwar Germany, anti-Semites joined forces with revanchist nationalists in attempting to blame the Jews for that country’s defeat. In eastern Europe, anti-Semitism became widespread in Poland, Hungary, and Romania in the interwar period.


Nazi anti-Semitism and the Holocaust
The storm of anti-Semitic violence loosed by Nazi Germany under the leadership of Adolf Hitler from 1933 to 1945 not only reached a terrifying degree in Germany itself but also inspired anti-Jewish movements elsewhere. Anti-Semitism was promulgated in France by the Cagoulards (French: “Hooded Men”), in Hungary by the Arrow Cross, in England by the British Union of Fascists, and in the United States by the German-American Bund and the Silver Shirts.

In Nazi Germany, anti-Semitism reached a dimension never before experienced. Christianity had sought the conversion of the Jews, and political leaders from Spain to England had sought their expulsion, but the Nazis sought the “final solution to the Jewish question,” the murder of all Jews— men, women, and children—and their eradication from the human race. In Nazi ideology the elimination of the Jews was essential to the purification and even the salvation of the German people.

The novelty of the Nazi brand of anti-Semitism was that it crossed class barriers. The idea of Aryan racial superiority appealed both to the masses and to economic elites. In Germany anti-Semitism became official government policy—taught in the schools, elaborated in “scientific” journals and research institutes, and promoted by a huge, highly effective organization for international propaganda. In 1941 the liquidation of European Jewry became official party policy. An estimated 5.7 million Jews were exterminated in such death camps as Auschwitz, Chelmno, Belzec, Majdanek, and Treblinka during World War II.


Anti-Semitism since the Holocaust and outside Europe
For a period of time after the Nazi defeat in 1945, anti-Semitism lost favour in western Europe and the United States. Yet anti-Semitism persisted in many countries. In the Soviet Union, opposition to the State of Israel and to the attempts of Soviet Jews to emigrate was linked to historic Russian anti-Semitism. In postcommunist Russia, political opposition to the regime or to the disproportionate representation of Jews among the powerful oligarchy has often had anti-Semitic overtones. In Poland in 1968, there were anti-Semitic purges, involving firings, denunciations, and expulsions of Jews, that prompted a mass emigration of Jews. More recently, international controversy over the legacies of Nazism in Austria and Switzerland has triggered increased anti-Semitism in those countries. Foreign concern over Kurt Waldheim’s Nazi past provoked angry anti-Semitic reactions among some of his supporters during his successful 1986 campaign for the Austrian presidency. During the late 1990s, when it was revealed that Swiss banks had laundered Nazi gold (much of it likely confiscated from Jews) during World War II and had failed to return money to Jewish depositors after the war, international criticism and demands for restitution provoked increased anti-Semitism in Switzerland. In several European countries, xenophobic and nativistic parties opposed to immigration and the European Union engaged in anti-Semitic statements or actions. Even countries with few Jewish residents can manifest anti-Semitism. The discredited and anti-Semitic Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion enjoyed significant popularity in Japan during the 1980s and ’90s.

For many centuries, Islamic societies had tolerated Jews but had made them pay special taxes, wear identifying clothing, and live in specified areas. Jews were thus treated much as other nonbelievers were in Muslim societies. But the emigration of large numbers of Jews to Palestine in the 20th century and the creation of the State of Israel (1948) in a formerly Arab region aroused new currents of hostility within the Arab world. Because the Arabs are Semites, their hostility to the State of Israel has been primarily political (or anti-Zionist) and religious rather than racial. Whatever the motivation, however, the result was the adoption of many anti-Jewish measures throughout the Muslim countries of the Middle East. In response, most of the Jewish residents of those countries emigrated to Israel in the decades after its founding.

American Jews became an integrated part of culture and society in the postwar United States. Barriers to complete Jewish participation in business and politics fell, and Jews found few obstacles in their way as they sought to participate in American life. Anti-Semitism became a fringe phenomenon with occasional lethal manifestations in hate crimes. Fewer in number, less widespread, and less tolerated by American society, virulent anti-Semitic acts still occasionally occur.

Michael Berenbaum

Encyclopaedia Britannica

 

 

 

Antisemitism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Antisemitism (also spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism; also known as Judeophobia) is prejudice against or hostility towards Jews, often rooted in hatred of their ethnic background, culture, or religion. While the term's etymology might suggest that antisemitism is directed against all Semitic peoples, it has been used exclusively to refer to hostility toward Jews since its initial usage, since "semitic" is a common synonym for "Jewish".

Antisemitism may be manifested in many ways, ranging from individual expressions of hatred and discrimination against individual Jews to organized violent attacks by mobs or even state police or military attacks on entire Jewish communities. Extreme instances of persecution include the First Crusade of 1096, the expulsion from England in 1290, the Spanish Inquisition, the expulsion from Spain in 1492, the expulsion from Portugal in 1497, various pogroms, and perhaps the most infamous, the Holocaust under Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany.


Forms
The Roman Catholic historian Edward Flannery distinguished four varieties of antisemitism:

political and economic antisemitism, giving as examples Cicero and Charles Lindbergh;
theological or religious antisemitism, sometimes known as anti-Judaism;
nationalistic antisemitism, citing Voltaire and other Enlightenment thinkers, who attacked Jews for supposedly having certain characteristics, such as greed and arrogance, and for observing customs such as kashrut and Shabbat;
and racial antisemitism, as practiced in the Holocaust by the Nazis.
In addition, from the 1990s, some writers claim to have identified a new antisemitism, a form of antisemitism coming simultaneously from the far left, the far right, and radical Islam, which tends to focus on opposition to Zionism and a Jewish homeland in the State of Israel, and which may deploy traditional antisemitism motifs, including older motifs like the 'Blood Libel'.

Etymology and usage

Usage
Despite the use of the prefix "anti," the terms Semitic and anti-Semitic are not directly opposed to each other (unlike similar-seeming terms such as anti-American). Antisemitism refers specifically to prejudice against Jews alone and in general, despite the fact that there are other speakers of Semitic languages (e.g. Arabs or Assyrians) and that not all Jews speak a Semitic language. (In fact, at the time of the origin of the term, most Jews spoke Yiddish or Ladino, both Indo-European languages.)

Both terms anti-Semitism and antisemitism are in common use. There are some arguments over which term is to be preferred. All major dictionaries prefer a hyphenated form, i.e. anti-Semitism or anti-semitism. Scholarly usage is divided. Some scholars favor usage of the unhyphenated form antisemitism to avoid possible confusion involving whether the term refers specifically to Jews, or to Semitic-language speakers as a whole.

Etymology

The Way to Victory of Germanicism over Judaism, 1880 editionThe word antisemitic (antisemitisch in German) was probably first used in 1860 by the Austrian Jewish scholar Moritz Steinschneider in the phrase "antisemitic prejudices" (German: "antisemitische Vorurteile"). Steinschneider used this phrase to characterize Ernest Renan's ideas about how "Semitic races" were inferior to "Aryan races." These pseudo-scientific theories concerning race, civilization, and "progress" had become quite widespread in Europe in the second half of the 19th century, especially as Prussian nationalistic historian Heinrich von Treitschke did much to promote this form of racism. In Treitschke's writings Semitic was synonymous with Jewish, in contrast to its usage by Renan and others.

In 1873 German journalist Wilhelm Marr published a pamphlet "The Victory of the Jewish Spirit over the Germanic Spirit. Observed from a non-religious perspective." ("Der Sieg des Judenthums über das Germanenthum. Vom nicht confessionellen Standpunkt aus betrachtet.") in which he used the word "Semitismus" interchangeably with the word "Judentum" to denote both "Jewry" (the Jews as a collective) and "jewishness" (the quality of being Jewish, or the Jewish spirit). Although he did not use the word "Antisemitismus" in the pamphlet, the coining of the latter word followed naturally from the word "Semitismus", and indicated either opposition to the Jews as a people, or else oppositon to jewishness or the Jewish spirit, which he saw as infiltrating German culture. In his next pamphlet, "The Way to Victory of the Germanic Spirit over the Jewish Spirit", published in 1880, Marr developed his ideas further and coined the related German word Antisemitismus - antisemitism, derived from the word "Semitismus" that he had earlier used.

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

So far as can be ascertained, the word was first widely printed in 1881, when Marr published "Zwanglose Antisemitische Hefte," and Wilhelm Scherer used the term "Antisemiten" in the January issue of "Neue Freie Presse". The related word semitism was coined around 1885.

Definitions

Antisemitic caricature by C.Léandre (France, 1898)Though the general definition of antisemitism is hostility or prejudice against Jews, a number of authorities have developed more formal definitions. Holocaust scholar and City University of New York professor Helen Fein defines it as "a persisting latent structure of hostile beliefs towards Jews as a collective manifested in individuals as attitudes, and in culture as myth, ideology, folklore and imagery, and in actions – social or legal discrimination, political mobilization against the Jews, and collective or state violence – which results in and/or is designed to distance, displace, or destroy Jews as Jews."

Professor Dietz Bering of the University of Cologne further expanded on Professor Fein's definition by describing the structure of antisemitic beliefs. To antisemites, "Jews are not only partially but totally bad by nature, that is, their bad traits are incorrigible. Because of this bad nature: (1) Jews have to be seen not as individuals but as a collective. (2) Jews remain essentially alien in the surrounding societies. (3) Jews bring disaster on their 'host societies' or on the whole world, they are doing it secretly, therefore the antisemites feel obliged to unmask the conspiratorial, bad Jewish character."

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

There have been a number of efforts by international and governmental bodies to define antisemitism formally. The United States Department of State defines antisemitism in its 2005 Report on Global Anti-Semitism as "hatred toward Jews — individually and as a group — that can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity."

In 2005, the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), a body of the European Union, developed a more detailed discussion: "Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities. In addition, such manifestations could also target the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for 'why things go wrong'."

The EUMC then listed "contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere." These included: "Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews; accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group; denying the Holocaust; and accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations. The EUMC also discussed ways in which attacking Israel could be antisemitic, e.g.

Denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination, e.g. by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavor;
Applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation;
Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis;
Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis;
Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel.
The EUMC added that criticism of Israel cannot be regarded as antisemitism so long as it is "similar to that leveled against any other country.". To encourage additional usage of the definition, the European Forum on Antisemitism has commissioned translations of the working definition into numerous languages.



Evolution of usage as a term

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

The early zionist pioneer, Judah Leib Pinsker, in a pamphlet written in 1882, said that antisemitism was an inherited predisposition:

Judeophobia is a psychic aberration. As a psychic aberration it is hereditary, and as a disease transmitted for two thousand years it is incurable.' ... 'In this way have Judaism and Anti-Semitism passed for centuries through history as inseparable companions.'... ...'Having analyzed Judeophobia as an hereditary form of demonopathy, peculiar to the human race, and having represented Anti-Semitism as proceeding from an inherited aberration of the human mind, we must draw the important conclusion that we must give' up contending against these hostile impulses as we must against every other inherited predisposition.

In the aftermath of Kristallnacht, Goebbels announced: "The German people is anti-Semitic. It has no desire to have its rights restricted or to be provoked in the future by parasites of the Jewish race."

After Hitler's fall from power, and particularly after the extent of the Nazi genocide of Jews became known, the term "antisemitism" acquired pejorative connotations. This marked a full circle shift in usage, from an era just decades earlier when "Jew" was used as a pejorative term. Yehuda Bauer wrote in 1984: "There are no antisemites in the world... Nobody says, 'I am antisemitic.'" You cannot, after Hitler. The word has gone out of fashion."




History
 

Ancient world

Examples of antipathy to Jews and Judaism during ancient times are abundant. Statements exhibiting prejudice towards Jews and their religion can be found in the works of many pagan Greek and Roman writers. There are examples of Greek rulers desecrating the Temple and banning Jewish religious practices, such as circumcision, Shabbat observance, study of Jewish religious books, etc. Examples may also be found in anti-Jewish riots in Alexandria in the 3rd century BCE. Philo of Alexandria described an attack on Jews in Alexandria in 38 CE in which thousands of Jews died.

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

Relationships between the Jewish people and the occupying Roman Empire were at first antagonistic and resulted in several rebellions. According to Suetonius, the emperor Tiberius expelled from Rome, Jews who had gone to live there. The 18th century English historian Edward Gibbon identified a more tolerant period beginning in about 160 CE.

According to James Carroll, "Jews accounted for 10% of the total population of the Roman Empire. By that ratio, if other factors such as pogroms and conversions had not intervened, there would be 200 million Jews in the world today, instead of something like 13 million."

Persecutions in the Middle Ages

From the 9th century CE, the medieval Islamic world classified Jews (and Christians) as dhimmi, and were allowed to practice their religion more freely than they could do in medieval Christian Europe. Under Islamic rule, there was a Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain that lasted until at least the 11th century, when several Muslim pogroms against Jews took place in the Iberian Peninsula; those that occurred in Córdoba in 1011 and in Granada in 1066. Several decrees ordering the destruction of synagogues were also enacted in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Yemen from the 11th century. Despite the Qur'an's prohibition, Jews were also forced to convert to Islam or face death in some parts of Yemen, Morocco and Baghdad several times between the 12th and 18th centuries. The Almohads, who had taken control of the Almoravids' Maghribi and Andalusian territories by 1147, were far more fundamentalist in outlook, and they treated the dhimmis harshly. Faced with the choice of either death or conversion, many Jews and Christians emigrated. Some, such as the family of Maimonides, fled east to more tolerant Muslim lands, while some others went northward to settle in the growing Christian kingdoms, where Jews were increasingly forced to convert to Christianity from the 13th century.

During the Middle Ages in Europe there was persecution against Jews in many places, with blood libels, expulsions, forced conversions and massacres. A main justification of prejudice against Jews in Europe was religious. The persecution hit its first peak during the Crusades. In the First Crusade (1096) flourishing communities on the Rhine and the Danube were destroyed; see German Crusade, 1096. In the Second Crusade (1147) the Jews in Germany were subject to several massacres. The Jews were also subjected to attacks by the Shepherds' Crusades of 1251 and 1320. The Crusades were followed by expulsions, including in, 1290, the banishing of all English Jews; in 1396, 100,000 Jews were expelled from France; and, in 1421 thousands were expelled from Austria. Many of the expelled Jews fled to Poland.

As the Black Death epidemics devastated Europe in the mid-14th century, annihilating more than half of the population, Jews were used as scapegoats. Rumors spread that they caused the disease by deliberately poisoning wells. Hundreds of Jewish communities were destroyed by violence. Although Pope Clement VI tried to protect them by the July 6, 1348, papal bull and an additional bull in 1348, several months later, 900 Jews were burnt alive in Strasbourg, where the plague hadn't yet affected the city.

Seventeenth century

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

Eighteenth century

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

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

Nineteenth century

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

In 1850 the German composer Richard Wagner published Das Judenthum in der Musik ("Jewishness in Music") under a pseudonym in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. The essay began as an attack on Jewish composers, particularly Wagner's contemporaries (and rivals) Felix Mendelssohn and Giacomo Meyerbeer, but expanded to accuse Jews of being a harmful and alien element in German culture.

The Dreyfus Affair highlights anti-semitism during the 19th Century. Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish artillery captain in the French army, was accused in 1894 of passing secrets to the Germans. As a result of these charges, Dreyfus was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil's Island. The actual spy Marie Charles Esterhazy was acquitted. The event caused great uproar among the French and everyone chose a side regarding whether Dreyfus was actually guilty or not. Émile Zola accused the army of polluting the French Justice system. However, general consensus held that Dreyfus was guilty: eighty percent of the press in France condemned Dreyfus. This attitude among the majority of the French population reveals the underlying anti-semitism of the time period.

Adolf Stoecker (1835-1909), the Lutheran court chaplain to Kaiser Wilhelm I, founded in 1878 an antisemitic, antiliberal political party called The Christian Social Party (Germany). However, this party did not attract as many votes as the Nazi party, which flourished in part because of The Great Depression which hit Germany especially hard during the early 1930s.

Twentieth century


Russian Tsar-Stop your cruel oppression of the Jews! (1904)


In the first half of the twentieth century, in the USA, Jews were discriminated against in employment, access to residential and resort areas, membership in clubs and organizations, and in tightened quotas on Jewish enrollment and teaching positions in colleges and universities. The Leo Frank lynching by a mob of prominent citizens in Marietta, Georgia in 1915 turned the spotlight on antisemitism in the United States. The case was also used to build support for the renewal of the Ku Klux Klan which had been inactive since 1870.

In the beginning of 20th century, the Beilis Trial in Russia represented incidents of blood libel in Europe. Allegations of Jews killing Christians were used as justification for killing of Jews by Christians.

Antisemitism in America reached its peak during the interwar period. The pioneer automobile manufacturer Henry Ford propagated antisemitic ideas in his newspaper The Dearborn Independent. The radio speeches of Father Coughlin in the late 1930s attacked Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal and promoted the notion of a Jewish financial conspiracy. Such views were also shared by some prominent politicians; Louis T. McFadden, Chairman of the United States House Committee on Banking and Currency, blamed Jews for president Roosevelt's decision to abandon the gold standard, and claimed that "in the United States today, the Gentiles have the slips of paper while the Jews have the lawful money."


In the 1940s the aviator Charles Lindbergh and many prominent Americans led The America First Committee in opposing any involvement in the war against Fascism. During his July 1936 visit he wrote letters saying that there was “more intelligent leadership in Germany than is generally recognized.”

The German American Bund held parades in New York City during the late 1930s where Nazi uniforms were worn and flags featuring swastikas were raised alongside American flags. The US House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) was very active in denying the Bund's ability to operate. With the start of US involvement in World War II most of the Bund's members were placed in internment camps, and some were deported at the end of the war.

Sometimes, during race riots, as in Detroit in 1943, Jewish businesses were targeted for looting and burning.

In Nazi occupied Europe, oppressive discrimination of the Jews and denial of basic civil rights, escalated into a campaign of mass murder, culminating, from 1941 to 1945, in genocide: the Holocaust. Eleven million Jews were targeted for extermination by the Nazis, and some six million were eventually killed.This is seen by many as the culmination of generations of antisemitism in Europe.

Antisemitism was commonly used as an instrument for personal conflicts in Soviet Russia, starting from conflict between Stalin and Trotsky and continuing through numerous conspiracy theories spread by official propaganda. Antisemitism in the USSR reached new heights after 1948 during the campaign against the "rootless cosmopolitan" (euphemism for "Jew") in which numerous Yiddish-writing poets, writers, painters and sculptors were killed or arrested. This culminated in the so-called Doctors' Plot. Similar anti-Jewish propaganda in Poland resulted in the flight of the Polish Jewish survivors out of the country.

After the war, the Kielce pogrom and "March 1968 events" in communist Poland represented further incidents of antisemitism in Europe. The common theme behind the anti-Jewish violence in postwar Poland were blood libel rumours.

The cult of Simon of Trent was disbanded in 1965 by Pope Paul VI, and the shrine erected to him was dismantled. He was removed from the calendar, and his future veneration was forbidden, though a handful of extremists still promote the narrative as a fact.





Christianity and antisemitism

Religious antisemitism is also known as anti-Judaism. As the name implies, it was the practice of Judaism itself that was the defining characteristic of the antisemitic attacks. Under this version of antisemitism, attacks would often stop if Jews stopped practicing or changed their public faith, especially by conversion to the official or right religion, and sometimes, liturgical exclusion of Jewish converts (the case of Christianized Marranos or Iberian Jews in the late 15th and 16th centuries convicted of secretly practising Judaism or Jewish customs).

New Testament and antisemitism

Certain historians have noted that the New Testament, although recognized as being largely authored by Jews within a Jewish cultural context, has been singled out for its progressively antagonistic tone and hostile attitude toward Jews. Particularly, the Gospel of John has been singled out in antisemitic texts, because it includes many anti-Jewish episodes[citation needed], and it contains many references to Jews in a pejorative manner.

1 Thessalonians 2:13-16 has repeatedly been employed for antisemitic purposes. The verse speaks of violence suffered at the hands of one's own countrymen. It claims that the Churches in Judea had been persecuted by the Jews who killed Jesus and that such people displease God, oppose all men, and had prevented Paul from speaking to the gentile nations concerning the New Testament message. During the Second Temple period there were sectarian differences among Jewish religious groups regarding communication with Gentiles. The verse has created significant debate among scholars because some feel it contradicts the other writings attributed to Paul, and because Paul did not have an attitude of revulsion toward his life as a Pharisee before Christianity.

The New Testament states that while on trial, Jesus was struck in the face by a Jewish guard for allegedly speaking ill of the high priest (John 18:20-22). Such incidents were the source of the myth of the wandering Jew, who was doomed to the punishment of endless roaming and suffering fated to never die.

The death of Jesus, according to the New Testament, was done in brutal mockery by the Roman soldiers. Pontius Pilate's words (Matthew 27:24-25) imply that the Jews were entirely responsible for the killing. When Jesus is nailed to the cross, the New Testament states that those present mocked Jesus (Matthew 27:39); some have speculated that the unnamed individuals were in fact Jews. Further speculation states that the overall impression on Christians was that the Jews controlled the events that lead to the death of Jesus, although the Roman involvement in the affair, specifically the form of execution, is attested to within the New Testament text.

The process by which some believe that Christians began to see Judaism first as a rival, and then as a scapegoat[citation needed], is seen as traceable through select passages in the New Testament, as well as early Christian writings and of the Apostolic fathers. The destruction of the Second Temple was seen as judgement from God to the Jews for the death of Jesus. Parallel passages to this effect can be seen in the Old Testament nevi'im (prophets), specifically Book of Jeremiah, which speaks of the judgement, destruction, and deportation of the Jewish nation from Jerusalem by the Babylonians (under Nebuchadrezzar II in 587 BC ).

The majority of the New Testament was written by Jews who became followers of Jesus, and all but two books (Luke and Acts) are traditionally attributed to such Jewish followers. Nevertheless, there are a number of passages in the New Testament that some see as antisemitic, or have been used for antisemitic purposes, most notably:

Jesus speaking to a group of Pharisees: "I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father." They answered him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do what Abraham did. ... You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But, because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is you are not of God." (John 8:37-39, John 8:44-47)

Stephen speaking before a synagogue council just before his execution: "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it." (Acts 7:51-53, RSV)

"Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie — behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and learn that I have loved you." (Revelation 3:9, RSV).

"Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also"(I John 2:22-23).

Some biblical scholars point out that Jesus and Stephen are presented as Jews speaking to other Jews, and that their use of broad accusation against Israel is borrowed from Moses and the later Jewish prophets (e.g. Deuteronomy 9:12-14; Deuteronomy 31:27-29; Deuteronomy 32:5, Deuteronomy 32:20-21; 2 Kings 17:13-14; Isiah 1:4; Deuteronomy 9:12-14Hosea q:12-149; Hosea 10:9). Jesus once calls his own disciple Peter 'Satan' (Mark 8:33). Drawing from the Jewish prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:31-34), the New Testament taught that with the death of Jesus a new covenant was established which rendered obsolete - and in many respects seen as superseding - the first covenant established by Moses (Hebrews 8:7-13; Luke 22:20). Observance of the earlier covenant traditionally characterizes Judaism. This New Testament teaching, and later variations to it, are part of what is called supersessionism. However, the early Jewish followers of Jesus continued to practice circumcision and observe dietary laws, which is why the failure to observe these laws by the first Gentile Christians became a matter of controversy and dispute some years after Jesus' death (Acts 11:3; Acts 15:1; Acts 16:3).

The New Testament holds that Jesus' (Jewish) disciple Judas Iscariot (Mark 14:43-46), the Roman governor Pontius Pilate along with Roman forces (John 19:11; Acts 4:27) and Jewish leaders and people of Jerusalem were (to varying degrees) responsible for the death of Jesus (Acts 13:27). Diaspora Jews are not blamed for events which were outside their control.

After Jesus' death, the New Testament portrays the Jewish religious authorities in Jerusalem as hostile to Jesus' followers, and as occasionally using force against them. Stephen is executed by stoning (Acts 7:58). Before his conversion, Saul puts followers of Jesus in prison (Acts 8:3; Galatians 1:13-14; 1 Timothy 1:13). After his conversion, Saul is whipped at various times by Jewish authorities (2 Corinthians 11:24), and is accused by Jewish authorities before Roman courts (e.g., Acts 25:6-7). However, opposition from Gentiles is also cited repeatedly (2 Corinthians 11:26; Acts 16:19; Acts 19:23). More generally, there are widespread references in the New Testament to suffering experienced by Jesus' followers at the hands of others (Romans 8:35; 1 Corinthians 4:11; Galatians 3:4; 2 Thessalonians 1:5; Hebrews 10:32; 1 Peter 4:16; Revelation 20:4).

See Joseph Atwill's interview on the The Roots of Anti-Semitism

The Codex Sinaiticus contains two extra books in the New Testament - the Shepherd of Hermas and the Epistle of Barnabas.[64] The latter goes out of its way to claim that it was the Jews, not the Romans, who killed Jesus, and is full of anti-Semitism.[64] The Epistle of Barnabas was removed from later versions of the Bible; Professor Bart Ehrman said "the suffering of Jews in the subsequent centuries would, if possible, have been even worse had the Epistle of Barnabas remained".[64]

Early Christianity

A number of early and influential Church works — such as the dialogues of Justin Martyr, the homilies of John Chrysostom, and the testimonies of church father Cyprian — are strongly anti-Jewish.

During a discussion on the celebration of Easter during the First Council of Nicaea in 325 CE, Roman emperor Constantine said,

...it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this most holy feast we should follow the practice of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin, and are, therefore, deservedly afflicted with blindness of soul. (...) Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Saviour a different way.

Prejudice against Jews in the Roman Empire was formalized in 438, when the Code of Theodosius II established Christianity as the only legal religion in the Roman Empire. The Justinian Code a century later stripped Jews of many of their rights, and Church councils throughout the sixth and seventh century, including the Council of Orleans, further enforced anti-Jewish provisions. These restrictions began as early as 305, when, in Elvira, (now Granada), a Spanish town in Andalucia, the first known laws of any church council against Jews appeared. Christian women were forbidden to marry Jews unless the Jew first converted to Catholicism. Jews were forbidden to extend hospitality to Catholics. Jews could not keep Catholic Christian concubines and were forbidden to bless the fields of Catholics. In 589, in Catholic Iberia, the Third Council of Toledo ordered that children born of marriage between Jews and Catholic be baptized by force. By the Twelfth Council of Toledo (681) a policy of forced conversion of all Jews was initiated (Liber Judicum, II.2 as given in Roth). Thousands fled, and thousands of others converted to Roman Catholicism.

Medieval and Renaissance Europe

Antisemitism was widespread in Europe during the Middle Ages. In those times, a main cause of prejudice against Jews in Europe was the religious one. Although not part of Roman Catholic dogma, many Christians, including members of the clergy, held the Jewish people collectively responsible for the death of Jesus, a practice originated by Melito of Sardis.

Among socio-economic factors were restrictions by the authorities. Local rulers and church officials closed the doors for many professions to the Jews, pushing them into occupations considered socially inferior such as accounting, rent-collecting and moneylending, which was tolerated then as a "necessary evil". During the Black Death, Jews were accused as being the cause, and were often killed. There were expulsions of Jews from England, France, Germany, Portugal and Spain during the Middle Ages as a result of antisemitism.


German for "Jews' sow", Judensau was the derogatory and dehumanizing imagery of Jews that appeared around the 13th century. Its popularity lasted for over 600 years and was revived by the Nazis. The Jews, typically portrayed in obscene contact with unclean animals such as pigs or owls or representing a devil, appeared on cathedral or church ceilings, pillars, utensils, etchings, etc. Often, the images combined several antisemitic motifs and included derisive prose or poetry.

"Dozens of Judensaus... intersect with the portrayal of the Jew as a Christ killer. Various illustrations of the murder of Simon of Trent blended images of Judensau, the devil, the murder of little Simon himself, and the Crucifixion. In the seventeenth-century engraving from Frankfurt ... a well-dressed, very contemporary-looking Jew has mounted the sow backward and holds her tail, while a second Jew sucks at her milk and a third eats her feces. The horned devil, himself wearing a Jewish badge, looks on and the butchered Simon, splayed as if on a cross, appears on a panel above."

In Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice," considered to be one of the greatest romantic comedies of all time, the villain Shylock was a Jewish moneylender. By the end of the play he is mocked on the streets after his daughter elopes with a Christian. Shylock, then, compulsorily converts to Christianity as a part of a deal gone wrong. This has raised profound implications regarding Shakespeare and antisemitism.

During the Middle Ages, the story of Jephonias, the Jew who tried to overturn Mary's funeral bier, changed from his converting to Christianity into his simply having his hands cut off by an angel.


On many occasions, Jews were subjected to blood libels, false accusations of drinking the blood of Christian children in mockery of the Christian Eucharist. Jews were subject to a wide range of legal restrictions throughout the Middle Ages, some of which lasted until the end of the 19th century. Jews were excluded from many trades, the occupations varying with place and time, and determined by the influence of various non-Jewish competing interests. Often Jews were barred from all occupations but money-lending and peddling, with even these at times forbidden.

19th and 20th century

Throughout the 19th century and into the 20th, the Roman Catholic Church still incorporated strong antisemitic elements, despite increasing attempts to separate anti-Judaism, the opposition to the Jewish religion on religious grounds, and racial antisemitism. Pope Pius VII (1800-1823) had the walls of the Jewish Ghetto in Rome rebuilt after the Jews were released by Napoleon, and Jews were restricted to the Ghetto through the end of the Papal States in 1870. Additionally, official organizations such as the Jesuits banned candidates "who are descended from the Jewish race unless it is clear that their father, grandfather, and great-grandfather have belonged to the Catholic Church" until 1946. Brown University historian David Kertzer, working from the Vatican archive, has further argued in his book The Popes Against the Jews that in the 19th and early 20th centuries the Roman Catholic Church adhered to a distinction between "good antisemitism" and "bad antisemitism". The "bad" kind promoted hatred of Jews because of their descent. This was considered un-Christian because the Christian message was intended for all of humanity regardless of ethnicity; anyone could become a Christian. The "good" kind criticized alleged Jewish conspiracies to control newspapers, banks, and other institutions, to care only about accumulation of wealth, etc. Many Catholic bishops wrote articles criticizing Jews on such grounds, and, when accused of promoting hatred of Jews, would remind people that they condemned the "bad" kind of antisemitism. Kertzer's work is not, therefore, without critics; scholar of Jewish-Christian relations Rabbi David G. Dalin, for example, criticized Kertzer in the Weekly Standard for using evidence selectively.

The Second Vatican Council, the Nostra Aetate document, and the efforts of Pope John Paul II have helped reconcile Jews and Catholicism in recent decades, however. According to Roman Catholic holocaust scholar Michael Phayer the Church as a whole recognized its failings during the council when it corrected the traditional beliefs of the Jews having committed deicide and affirmed that they remained God's chosen people.

The Nazis used Martin Luther's book, On the Jews and Their Lies, to claim a moral righteousness for their ideology. Martin Luther in his On the Jews and Their Lies (1543) even went so far as to advocate the murder of those Jews who refused to convert to Christianity, writing that "we are at fault in not slaying them" In 1994, the Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States and a member of the Lutheran World Federation publicly rejected Luther's antisemitic writings. The controversial document Dabru Emet was issued by many American Jewish scholars in 2000 as a statement about Jewish-Christian relations. This document says,

"Nazism was not a Christian phenomenon. Without the long history of Christian anti-Judaism and Christian violence against Jews, Nazi ideology could not have taken hold nor could it have been carried out. Too many Christians participated in, or were sympathetic to, Nazi atrocities against Jews. Other Christians did not protest sufficiently against these atrocities. But Nazism itself was not an inevitable outcome of Christianity."

Accusations of deicide

Though never a part of Christian dogma, many Christians, including members of the clergy, held the Jewish people under an antisemitic canard to be collectively responsible for deicide, the killing of Jesus, whom they believed to be the son of God.

According to this interpretation, the Jews present at Jesus’ death as well as the Jewish people collectively and for all time had committed the sin of deicide, or God-killing. The accusation has been the most powerful warrant for antisemitism by Christians.

Passion plays are dramatic stagings representing the trial and death of Jesus and have historically been used in remembrance of Jesus' death during Lent. These plays historically blamed the Jews for the death of Jesus in a polemical fashion, depicting a crowd of Jewish people condemning Jesus to crucifixion and a Jewish leader assuming eternal collective guilt for the crowd for the murder of Jesus, which, The Boston Globe explains, "for centuries prompted vicious attacks — or pogroms — on Europe's Jewish communities".




Islam and antisemitism

Various definitions of antisemitism in the context of Islam are given. The extent of antisemitism among Muslims varies depending on the chosen definition:

Scholars like Claude Cahen and Shelomo Dov Goitein define it to be the animosity specifically applied to Jews only and do not include discriminations practiced against Non-Muslims in general.
 For these scholars, antisemitism in Medieval Islam has been local and sporadic rather than general and endemic [Shelomo Dov Goitein],[79] not at all present [Claude Cahen],or rarely present.

According to Bernard Lewis, antisemitism is marked by two distinct features: Jews are judged according to a standard different from that applied to others, and they are accused of "cosmic evil." For Lewis, from the late nineteenth century, movements appear among Muslims of which for the first time one can legitimately use the technical term anti-semitic. However, he describes demonizing beliefs, anti-Jewish discrimination and systematic humiliations, as an "inherent" part of the traditional Muslim world, even if violent persecutions were relatively rare.

However, Bat Ye'or showed already in 1980 in an extensive anthology of Arabic and other Muslim sources and accounts from the earliest times to the present (the revised and enlarged English translation of the French original appeared in 1985) that such violent persecutions were anything but rare.
More recent scholarship has documented this further from Muslim literature and history. In particular, Andrew G. Bostom has edited a huge (766 closely printed pages) and authoritative collection of anti-Jewish passages in the Qur'an, Hadith and Sira literature (which are the traditional main sources for authoritative Muslim belief and practice), along with hundreds of pages of the traditional interpretation of these passages and other commentaries from mainstream Muslim authorities up to the present time, and yet more hundreds of pages of scholarly analyses and historical accounts of violent persecutions down through the ages, leading to the conclusion that fully antisemitic scriptural statements and mainstream rulings about Jews have directly contributed to marked systemic discrimination and too often violent persecution down through the ages. This persecution has been far too intense, consistent and widespread, too directed to Jews in general and as such, and too regularly justified by religious authorities, to be dismissed as mere localized events. This is further substantiated on the literary and scriptural side by the analysis of Qur'anic texts, Hadith traditions, and Sira normative biographies of Muhammad, in Mohammed, Allah, and the Jews: The Foundational Doctrine (2006)

Jews in Islamic texts

Leon Poliakov, Walter Laqueur, and Jane Gerber, suggest that later passages in the Qur'an contain very sharp attacks on Jews for their refusal to recognize Muhammad as a prophet of God.[88] There are also Qur'anic verses, particularly from the earliest Qur'anic surahs, showing respect for the Jews (e.g. see [Qur'an 2:47], [Qur'an 2:62]) and preaching tolerance (e.g. see [Qur'an 2:256]). This positive view tended to disappear in the later Surahs. Taking it all together, the Qur'an differentiates between "good and bad" Jews, Poliakov states.Laqueur argues that the conflicting statements about Jews in the Muslim holy text has defined Arab and Muslim attitude towards Jews to this day, especially during periods of rising Islamic fundamentalism.

During Muhammad's life, Jews lived in the Arabian Peninsula, especially in and around Medina. They reportedly refused Muhammad's offer for them to convert and accept him as the Prophet. According to F.E. Peters, they also began to secretly to conspire with Muhammad's enemies in Mecca to overthrow him (despite having been forced by their conquerors to sign a peace treaty.) After each major battle, Muhammad accused one of the Jewish tribes of treachery and attacked it. Two Jewish tribes were expelled and the last one, the Banu Qura was wiped out after it threw itself on Muhammad's mercy. Samuel Rosenblatt states that these incidents were not part of policies directed exclusively against Jews, and that Muhammad was more severe with Arab pagans than with Jews. The attitude towards Jews changed in the course of Muhammad's career, as expressed in more positive teachings in the earlier Qur'anic surahs, from the Mecca period, to increasingly hostile and negative ones, characterizing Jews as such, in Medina as the Jewish tribes there refused to submit completely to Muhammad's authority and claims. This distinction of periods is crucial to assess the weight of Qur'anic passages. According to traditional rules of Qur'anic exegesis stipulated in the Qur'an itself (Surah 2:106, from the later Medina period), the later passages must be taken as the last and binding final word from God, rendering earlier passages merely temporal expedients that no longer apply and are cancelled outright. Thus the negative characterizations have become the authoritative consensus. It may therefore be quite misleading to equate the earlier more positive statements with the later ones as some apologists do.

The words "humility" and "humiliation" occur frequently in the Qur'an and later Muslim literature in relation to Jews. According to Lewis, "This, in Islamic view, is their just punishment for their past rebelliousness, and is manifested in their present impotence between the mighty powers of Christendom and Islam." The standard Quranic reference to Jews is verse [Qur'an 2:61]: "And remember ye said: "O Moses! we cannot endure one kind of food (always); so beseech thy Lord for us to produce for us of what the earth groweth, -its pot-herbs, and cucumbers, Its garlic, lentils, and onions." He said: "Will ye exchange the better for the worse? Go ye down to any town, and ye shall find what ye want!" They were covered with humiliation and misery; they drew on themselves the wrath of Allah. This because they went on rejecting the Signs of Allah and slaying His Messengers without just cause. This because they rebelled and went on transgressing. " Two verses later we read: "And remember, Children of Israel, when We made a covenant with you and raised Mount Sinai before you saying, "Hold tightly to what We have revealed to you and keep it in mind so that you may guard against evil." But then you turned away, and if it had not been for Allah's grace and merecy, you surely would have been among the lost. And you know those among who sinned on the Sabbath. We said to them, "You will be transformed into despised apes." So we used them as a warning to their people and to the following generations, as well as a lesson for the Allah-fearing."(Qur'an [Qur'an 2:63]) The accusation that Jews will ultimately be transformed into apes and pigs is traditionally understood literally and is derived from such Qur'anic and other early Muslim sources.

The Qur'an associates Jews above all with rejection of God's prophets including Jesus and Muhammad, thus explaining their resistance to him personally. (Cf. Surah 2:87-91; 5:59, 61, 70, and 82.) It states that they are, together with outright idolators, the worst and most inveterate enemies of Islam, and thus will not only suffer eternally in Hell but in this world will be the most degraded of the Peoples of the Book, below even Christians, everywhere. (Cf. Surah 5:82; 3:54-56.) It also asserts that Jews believe that they are the sole children of God (Surah 5:18), and that only they will achieve salvation (Surah 2:111). According to the Qur'an, Jews blasphemously claim that Ezra is the son of God, as Christians claim Jesus is, (Surah 9:30) and that God’s hand is fettered (Surah 5:64 - i.e., that they can freely defy God). Some of those who are Jews, "pervert words from their meanings", (Surah 4:44), and because they have committed wrongdoing, God has "forbidden some good things that were previously permitted them", thus explaining Jewish commandments regarding food, sabbath restrictions on work, and other rulings as a punishment from God (Surah 4:160). They listen for the sake of mendacity (Surah 5:41), twisting the truth, and practice forbidden usury, and therefore they will receive "a painful doom" (Surah 4:161).[100] The Qur'an gives credence to the Christian claim of Jews scheming against Jesus, "...but God also schemed, and God is the best of schemers"(Surah 3:54). In the Muslim view, the crucifixion of Jesus was an illusion, and thus the supposed Jewish plots against him ended in complete failure. In numerous verses (Surah 3:63, 71; 4:46, 160-161; 5:41-44, 63-64, 82; 6:92) the Qur'an accuses Jews of deliberately obscuring and perverting scripture.

Differences with Christianity

Bernard Lewis holds that Muslims were not antisemitic in the way Christians were for the most part because:

The gospels are not part of the educational system in Muslim society and therefore Muslims are not brought up with the stories of Jewish deicide; on the contrary the notion of deicide is rejected by the Qur'an as a blasphemous absurdity.
Muhammad and his early followers were not Jews and therefore they did not present themselves as the true Israel nor felt threatened by survival of the old Israel.
The Qur'an was not viewed by Muslims as a fulfillment of the Hebrew Bible but rather a restorer of its original messages that had been distorted over time; Thus no clash of interpretations between Judaism and Islam could arise.
Muhammad was not killed by the Jewish community and he was victorious in the clash with the Jewish community in Medina.
Muhammad did not claim to have been Son of God or Messiah but only a prophet; a claim to which Jews reproached less.
Muslims saw the conflict between Muhammad and the Jews as something of minor importance in Muhammad's career.
 

Status of Jews under Muslim rule

Traditionally Jews living in Muslim lands, known (along with Christians) as dhimmis, were allowed to practice their religion and to administer their internal affairs but subject to certain conditions. They had to pay the jizya (a per capita tax imposed on free adult non-Muslim males) to Muslims. Dhimmis had an inferior status under Islamic rule. They had several social and legal disabilities such as prohibitions against bearing arms or giving testimony in courts in cases involving Muslims. Many of the disabilities were highly symbolic. The most degrading one was the requirement of distinctive clothing, not found in the Qur'an or hadith but invented in early medieval Baghdad; its enforcement was highly erratic. Jews rarely faced martyrdom or exile, or forced compulsion to change their religion, and they were mostly free in their choice of residence and profession.

The notable examples of massacre of Jews include the 1066 Granada massacre, when a Muslim mob stormed the royal palace in Granada, crucified Jewish vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela and massacred most of the Jewish population of the city. "More than 1,500 Jewish families, numbering 4,000 persons, fell in one day." This was the first persecution of Jews on the Peninsula under Islamic rule. There was also the killing or forcibly conversion of them by the rulers of the Almohad dynasty in Al-Andalus in the 12th century. Notable examples of the cases where the choice of residence was taken away from them includes confining Jews to walled quarters (mellahs) in Morocco beginning from the 15th century and especially since the early 19th century. Most conversions were voluntary and happened for various reasons. However, there were some forced conversions in the 12th century under the Almohad dynasty of North Africa and al-Andalus as well as in Persia.

Pre-modern times

The portrayal of the Jews in the early Islamic texts played a key role in shaping the attitudes towards them in the Muslim societies. According to Jane Gerber, "the Muslim is continually influenced by the theological threads of anti-Semitism embedded in the earliest chapters of Islamic history." In the light of the Jewish defeat at the hands of Muhammad, Muslims traditionally viewed Jews with contempt and as objects of ridicule. Jews were seen as hostile, cunning, and vindictive, but nevertheless weak and ineffectual. Cowardice was the quality most frequently attributed to Jews. Another stereotype associated with the Jews was their alleged propensity to trickery and deceit. While most anti-Jewish polemicists saw those qualities as inherently Jewish, Ibn Khaldun attributed them to the mistreatment of Jews at the hands of the dominant nations. For that reason, says ibn Khaldun, Jews "are renowned, in every age and climate, for their wickedness and their slyness".

Some Muslim writers have inserted racial overtones in their anti-Jewish polemics. Al-Jahiz speaks of the deterioration of the Jewish stock due to excessive inbreeding. Ibn Hazm also implies racial qualities in his attacks on the Jews. However, these were exceptions, and the racial theme left little or no trace in the medieval Muslim anti-Jewish writings.

Anti-Jewish sentiments usually flared up at times of the Muslim political or military weakness or when Muslims felt that some Jews had overstepped the boundary of humiliation prescribed to them by the Islamic law. In Moorish Spain, ibn Hazm and Abu Ishaq focused their anti-Jewish writings on the latter allegation. This was also the chief motivation behind the 1066 Granada massacre, when "[m]ore than 1,500 Jewish families, numbering 4,000 persons, fell in one day", and in Fez in 1033, when 6,000 Jews were killed. There were further massacres in Fez in 1276 and 1465.

Islamic law does not differentiate between Jews and Christians in their status as dhimmis. According to Bernard Lewis, the normal practice of Muslim governments until modern times was consistent with this aspect of sharia law. This view is countered by Jane Gerber, who maintains that of all dhimmis, Jews had the lowest status. Gerber maintains that this situation was especially pronounced in the latter centuries, when Christian communities enjoyed protection, unavailable to the Jews, under the provisions of Capitulations of the Ottoman Empire. For example, in 18th century Damascus, a Muslim noble held a festival, inviting to it all social classes in descending order, according to their social status: the Jews outranked only the peasants and prostitutes. In 1865, when the equality of all subjects of the Ottoman Empire was proclaimed, Cevdet Pasha, a high-ranking official observed: "whereas in former times, in the Ottoman State, the communities were ranked, with the Muslims first, then the Greeks, then the Armenians, then the Jews, now all of them were put on the same level. Some Greeks objected to this, saying: 'The government has put us together with the Jews. We were content with the supremacy of Islam.'"

Some scholars have questioned the correctness of the term "antisemitism" to Muslim culture in pre-modern times. Robert Chazan and Alan Davies argue that the most obvious difference between pre-modern Islam and pre-modern Christendom was the "rich melange of racial, ethic, and religious communities" in Islamic countries, within which "the Jews were by no means obvious as lone dissenters, as they had been earlier in the world of polytheism or subsequently in most of medieval Christendom." According to Chazan and Davies, this lack of uniqueness ameliorated the circumstances of Jews in the medieval world of Islam. According to Norman Stillman, antisemitism, understood as hatred of Jews as Jews, "did exist in the medieval Arab world even in the period of greatest tolerance". Also see Bostom, Bat Ye'or, and the CSPI issued text, supporting Stillman and cited in the bibliography.

Nineteenth century

Historian Martin Gilbert writes that in the 19th century the position of Jews worsened in Muslim countries.

There was a massacre of Jews in Baghdad in 1828 and in 1839, in the eastern Persian city of Meshed, a mob burst into the Jewish Quarter, burned the synagogue, and destroyed the Torah scrolls. It was only by forcible conversion that a massacre was averted. There was another massacre in Barfurush in 1867.

In 1840, the Jews of Damascus were falsely accused of having murdered a Christian monk and his Muslim servant and of having used their blood to bake Passover bread or Matza. A Jewish barber was tortured until he "confessed"; two other Jews who were arrested died under torture, while a third converted to Islam to save his life. Throughout the 1860s, the Jews of Libya were subjected to what Gilbert calls punitive taxation. In 1864, around 500 Jews were killed in Marrakech and Fez in Morroco. In 1869, 18 Jews were killed in Tunis, and an Arab mob looted Jewish homes and stores, and burned synagogues, on Jerba Island. In 1875, 20 Jews were killed by a mob in Demnat, Morocco; elsewhere in Morocco, Jews were attacked and killed in the streets in broad daylight. In 1891, the leading Muslims in Jerusalem asked the Ottoman authorities in Constantinople to prohibit the entry of Jews arriving from Russia. In 1897, synagogues were ransacked and Jews were murdered in Tripolitania.

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

According to Mark Cohen in The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies, most scholars conclude that Arab antisemitism in the modern world arose in the nineteenth century, against the backdrop of conflicting Jewish and Arab nationalism, and was imported into the Arab world primarily by nationalistically minded Christian Arabs (and only subsequently was it "Islamized").

Twentieth century


Al-Husayni visiting Adolf Hitler

The massacres of Jews in Muslim countries continued into the 20th century. Martin Gilbert writes that 40 Jews were murdered in Taza, Morocco in 1903. In 1905, old laws were revived in Yemen forbidding Jews from raising their voices in front of Muslims, building their houses higher than Muslims, or engaging in any traditional Muslim trade or occupation. The Jewish quarter in Fez was almost destroyed by a Muslim mob in 1912. There were Nazi-inspired pogroms in Algeria in the 1930s, and massive attacks on the Jews in Iraq and Libya in the 1940s . Pro-Nazi Muslims slaughtered dozens of Jews in Baghdad in 1941.

George Gruen attributes the increased animosity towards Jews in the Arab world to several factors, including the breakdown of the Ottoman Empire and traditional Islamic society; domination by Western colonial powers under which Jews gained a disproportionately larger role in the commercial, professional, and administrative life of the region; the rise of Arab nationalism, whose proponents sought the wealth and positions of local Jews through government channels; resentment against Jewish nationalism and the Zionist movement; and the readiness of unpopular regimes to scapegoat local Jews for political purposes.

Antagonism and violence increased still further as resentment against Zionist efforts in the British Mandate of Palestine spread. Anti-Zionist propaganda in the Middle East frequently adopts the terminology and symbols of the Holocaust to demonize Israel and its leaders. At the same time, Holocaust denial and Holocaust minimization efforts have found increasingly overt acceptance as sanctioned historical discourse in a number of Middle Eastern countries. Arabic- and Turkish-editions of Hitler's Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion have found an audience in the region with limited critical response by local intellectuals and media. See International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust.

According to Robert Satloff, Muslims and Arabs were involved both as rescuers and as perpetrators of the Holocaust during Italian and German Nazi occupation of Morocco, Tunisia and Libya.

Antisemitism has been reportedly found in Arab and Iranian media and schoolbooks. For example, the Center for Religious Freedom of Freedom House analyzed a set of Saudi Ministry of Education textbooks in use during the current academic year in Islamic studies courses for elementary and secondary school students. Among the statements and ideas found against non-Wahhabi Muslims and "non-believers" were those that teach Muslims to "hate" Christians, Jews, "polytheists" and other "unbelievers," including non-Wahhabi Muslims, though, incongruously, not to treat them "unjustly"; teach the infamous forgeries The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, as historical fact and relate modern events to it; teach that "Jews and the Christians are enemies of the [Muslim] believers" and that "the clash" between the two realms is perpetual; instruct that "fighting between Muslims and Jews" will continue until Judgment Day, and that the Muslims are promised victory over the Jews in the end; cite a selective teaching of violence against Jews, while in the same lesson, ignoring the passages of the Qur'an and hadiths that counsel tolerance; include a map of the Middle East that labels Israel within its pre-1967 borders as "Palestine: occupied 1948"; discuss Jews in violent terms, blaming them for virtually all the "subversion" and wars of the modern world. A 38-page overviewPDF (339 KB) of Saudi Arabia's curriculum has been released to the press by the Hudson Institute.

Twenty-first century

New York Times Critic-at-large Edward Rothstein compares the extent of antisemitic Islamic visions of Jews, "the historical distortions they codify and the readiness with which they are taught to children and are secularized into political action," with the Nazi propaganda that led to the Holocaust.

According to Newsweek, "Indeed, anti-Semitism—the real stuff, not just bad-mouthing particular Israeli policies—is as much part of Arab life today as the hijab or the hookah. Whereas this darkest of creeds is no longer tolerated in polite society in the West, in the Arab world, Jew hatred remains culturally endemic."

Tesco Ireland, the country's largest supermarket, had to apologise for allowing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to be sold through its website. Sheikh Dr Shaheed Satardien, head of the Muslim Council of Ireland, said this was effectively "polluting the minds of impressionable young [Islamic] people with hate and anger towards the Jewish community"

Racial antisemitism

Racial antisemitism is the idea that the Jews are a distinct and inferior race compared to their host nations. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it gained mainstream acceptance as part of the eugenics movement, which categorized non-"Europeans" as inferior. It more specifically claims that the so-called Nordic Europeans are superior. Racial antisemites saw the Jews as part of a Semitic race and emphasized their "alien" extra-European origins and culture. They saw Jews as beyond redemption even if they converted to the majority religion. Anthropologists discussed whether the Jews possessed any Arabic-Armenoid, African-Nubian or Asian-Turkic ancestries. Since World War II racial antisemitism has rarely appeared outside of Neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements.

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

New antisemitism

In recent years some scholars have advanced the concept of New antisemitism, coming simultaneously from the left, the right, and radical Islam, which tends to focus on opposition to the creation of a Jewish homeland in the State of Israel, and argue that the language of Anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel are used to attack the Jews more broadly. In this view, the proponents of the new concept believe that criticisms of Israel and Zionism are often disproportionate in degree and unique in kind, and attribute this to antisemitism. The concept has been criticized by those who argue it is used to stifle debate and deflect attention from legitimate criticism of the State of Israel, and, by associating anti-Zionism with antisemitism, is intended to taint anyone opposed to Israeli actions and policies.




Current situation

A report from the U.S. State Department from March 14 2008 detailed "an upsurge" across the world of antisemitism—hostility and discrimination toward Jewish people, accounting mostly from radical Islam.

On August, 2005, the United States expressed 'serious concern' over anti-Christian and anti-Jewish passages in Pakistani textbooks and termed them as "unacceptable and inciteful".

United States

In the United States, in the context of the "Global War on Terrorism" there have been statements by both the Democrat Ernest Hollings and the Republican Pat Buchanan that suggest that the George W. Bush administration went to war in order to win Jewish supporters. Some note these statements echo Lindberg’s 1941 claim before the US entered World War II that a Jewish minority was pushing America into a war against its interests. During 2004, a number of prominent public figures accused Jewish members of the Bush administration of tricking America into war against Saddam Hussein to help Israel. U.S. Senator Ernest Hollings (D-South Carolina) claimed that the US action against Saddam was undertaken 'to secure Israel.' Television talk show host Pat Buchanan said a 'cabal' had managed 'to snare our country in a series of wars that are not in America’s interests.'" Both these statements were labeled antisemitic by Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies.

On April 3, 2006, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights announced its finding that incidents of antisemitism are a "serious problem" on college campuses throughout the United States. The Commission recommended that the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights protect college students from antisemitism through vigorous enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and further recommended that Congress clarify that Title VI applies to discrimination against Jewish students.

On July 28, 2006, Naveed Afzal Haq shot six women, one fatally, in the Seattle Jewish Federation shooting. Police have classified the shooting as a hate crime based on Haq statements during a 9-1-1 call.

On September 19, 2006, Yale University founded The Yale Initiative for Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism, the first North American university-based center for study of the subject, as part of its Institution for Social and Policy Studies. Director Charles Small of the Center cited the increase in antisemitism worldwide in recent years as generating a "need to understand the current manifestation of this disease".

According to an Anti-Defamation League survey 14 percent of U.S. residents had antisemitic views. The 2005 survey found "35 percent of foreign-born Hispanics" and "36 percent of African-Americans hold strong antisemitic beliefs, four times more than the 9 percent for whites".

A 2009 study published in Boston Review found that nearly 25% of non-Jewish Americans blamed Jews for the Global financial crisis of 2008–2009, with a higher percentage among Democrats than Republicans.

Europe

Antisemitism has increased significantly in Europe since 2000, with significant increases in verbal attacks against Jews and vandalism such as graffiti, fire bombings of Jewish schools, desecration of synagogues and cemeteries. Physical assaults against Jews including beatings, stabbings and other violence increased markedly, in a number of cases resulting in serious injury and even death.. The Netherlands and Sweden have also consistently had high rates of anti-semitic attacks since 2000.

Much of the new European antisemitic violence can actually be seen as a spill over from the long running Arab-Israeli conflict since the majority of the perpetrators are from the large immigrant Arab communities in European cities. However, compared to France, the United Kingdom and much of the rest of Europe, in Germany Arab and pro-Palestinian groups are involved in only a small percentage of antisemitic incidents. Indigenous Germans are more likely to commit violent antisemitic acts, attack Jews verbally or vandalize Jewish property. According to The Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism, most of the current antisemitism in Europe, with exceptions to Germany, Austria, and Sweden, comes from militant Islamic and Muslim groups, and most Jews tend to be assaulted in countries where groups of young Muslim immigrants reside.

The Interior Minister of Germany, Wolfgang Schaeuble, points out the official policy of Germany: "We will not tolerate any form of extremism, xenophobia or anti-Semitism." Although the number of right-wing groups and organisations grew from 141 (2001) to 182 (2006), especially in the formerly communist East Germany, Germany's measures against right wing groups and antisemitism are effective, despite Germany having the highest rates of antisemitic acts in Europe. According to the annual reports of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution the overall number of far-right extremists in Germany dropped during the last years from 49,700 (2001), 45,000 (2002), 41,500 (2003), 40,700 (2004), 39,000 (2005), to 38,600 in 2006. Germany provided several million Euros to fund "nationwide programs aimed at fighting far-right extremism, including teams of traveling consultants, and victims' groups." Despite these facts, Israeli Ambassador Shimon Stein warned in October 2006 that Jews in Germany feel increasingly "unsafe," stating that they "are not able to live a normal Jewish life" and that heavy security surrounds most synagogues or Jewish community centers. Yosef Havlin, Rabbi at the Chabad Lubavitch Frankfurt does not agree with the Israeli Ambassador and states in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine in September 2007, that the German public does not support Nazis, instead he has personally experienced the support of Germans, as a Jew and Rabbi he "feels welcome in his (hometown) Frankfurt, he is not afraid, the city is no-go-area".] Despite this comment, on the 11th of September, 2007 an antisemitic incident occurred whereby Frankfurt Rabbi, Zalman Gurevitch, was stabbed repeatedly, the attacker subsequently threatening in German "I'll kill you, you (expletive) Jew."

In 2005 the UK Parliament set up an all-party inquiry into antisemitism, which published its findings in 2006. The inquiry stated that "until recently, the prevailing opinion both within the Jewish community and beyond [had been] that antisemitism had receded to the point that it existed only on the margins of society." It found a reversal of this progress since 2000. It aimed to investigate the problem, identify the sources of contemporary antisemitism and make recommendations to improve the situation. It discussed the influence of the Israel-Palestine conflict and issues of anti-Israel sentiment verses antisemitism at length and noted "most of those who gave evidence were at pains to explain that criticism of Israel is not to be regarded in itself as antisemitic..The Israeli government itself may, at times, have mistakenly perceived criticism of its policies and actions to be motivated by antisemitism" On January 1,, 2006, Britain's chief rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, warned that what he called a "tsunami of antisemitism" was spreading globally. In an interview with BBC's Radio Four, Sacks said: "A number of my rabbinical colleagues throughout Europe have been assaulted and attacked on the streets. We've had synagogues desecrated. We've had Jewish schools burnt to the ground - not here but in France. People are attempting to silence and even ban Jewish societies on campuses on the grounds that Jews must support the state of Israel, therefore they should be banned, which is quite extraordinary because ... British Jews see themselves as British citizens. So it's that kind of feeling that you don't know what's going to happen next that's making ... some European Jewish communities uncomfortable."

France is home to Western Europe’s largest Muslim population (about 4 million) as well as the continent’s largest Jewish community (about 600,000). Jewish leaders decry an intensifying antisemitism in France, mainly among Muslims of Arab or African heritage, but also growing among Caribbean islanders from former French colonies. However, it is Muslims rather than Jews who can expect to suffer more from bigotry in France, stated Holocaust survivor and former French cabinet minister Simone Veil. "Let's not exaggerate," she said. While noting that radical Islamists are behind some violent incidents against Jews in certain French neighbourhoods, "Anti-Arab sentiment is much stronger in France than anti-Semitism." France's Jewish community is much more integrated than its 5 to 6 million Muslims, she noted, claiming Muslim youth are moved by a militant and anti-Jewish hierarchy. Former Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy denounced the killing of Ilan Halimi on 13 February 2006 as an antisemitic crime.

Independent voices, including leading Jewish philanthropist Baron Eric de Rothschild who received an honorary doctorate from Hebrew University, suggest that the extent of antisemitism in Europe has been exaggerated. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post he says that "some of the complaints emanating from Israel about the treatment of French Jews amount to 'an element of schadenfreude (taking pleasure at another's misfortune) on the part of those who have already made aliya: When the cousins come over, they say, It's terrible [in France] - you have to come to Israel." About France he says: "People are in fact philo-Semitic in the government, mayors, to an extent which goes beyond pure electoral calculations" and "the one thing you can't say is that France is an anti-Semitic country."

Middle East

According to the Pew Global Attitudes Project released on August 14, 2005, high percentages of the populations of six Muslim-majority countries have negative views of Jews. To a questionnaire asking respondents to give their views of members of various religions along a spectrum from "very favorable" to "very unfavorable," 60% of Turks, 88% of Moroccans, 99% of Lebanese Muslims and 100% of Jordanians checked either "somewhat unfavorable" or "very unfavorable" for Jews.

In the Middle East, anti-Zionist propaganda frequently adopts the terminology and symbols of the Holocaust to demonize Israel and its leaders.

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

The Saudi Arabian government website initially stated that Jews would not be granted tourist visas to enter the country. It has since removed this statement, and apologized for posting "erroneous information". Members of religions other than Islam, including Jews, are not permitted to practice their religion publicly in Saudi Arabia;

Saudi Arabian government officials and state religious leaders often promote the idea that "the Jews" are conspiring to take over the entire world; as proof of their claims they publish and frequently cite The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as factual.

In 2001, Arab Radio and Television of Saudi Arabia produced a 30-part television miniseries entitled "Horseman Without a Horse", a dramatization of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

One Saudi Arabian government newspaper suggested that hatred of all Jews is justifiable.

Saudi textbooks vilify Jews (and Christians and non-Wahabi Muslims): according to the May 21, 2006 issue of The Washington Post, Saudi textbooks claimed by them to have been sanitized of antisemitism still call Jews apes (and Christians swine); demand that students avoid and not befriend Jews; claim that Jews worship the devil; and encourage Muslims to engage in Jihad to vanquish Jews.

Al-Manar recently aired a drama series, called The Diaspora, which observers allege is based on historical antisemitic allegations. BBC reporters who watched the series said that correspondents who have viewed The Diaspora note that it quotes extensively from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious 19th century publication used by the Nazis among others to fuel race hatred.

Muslim clerics in the Middle East have frequently referred to Jews as descendants of apes and pigs, which are conventional epithets for Jews and Christians. Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais is the leading imam of the Grand mosque located in the Islamic holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The BBC aired a Panorama episode, entitled A Question of Leadership, which reported that al-Sudais referred to Jews as "the scum of the human race" and "offspring of apes and pigs", and stated, "the worst [...] of the enemies of Islam are those [...] whom he [...] made monkeys and pigs, the aggressive Jews and oppressive Zionists and those that follow them [...] Monkeys and pigs and worshippers of false Gods who are the Jews and the Zionists." In another sermon, on April 19, 2002, he declared that Jews are "evil offspring, infidels, distorters of [others'] words, calf-worshippers, prophet-murderers, prophecy-deniers [...] the scum of the human race whom Allah cursed and turned into apes and pigs [...]"

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

In Israel, Zalman Gilichenski has warned about the spread of antisemitism among immigrants from Russia in the last decade.

 

 

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