Why the Jews?: The Reason for Antisemitism


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Anti-Semitism , hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious or racial group. The term anti-Semitism was coined in by the German agitator Wilhelm Marr to designate the anti-Jewish campaigns under way in central Europe at that time.

Why the Jews? The Reason for Anti-Semitism, by Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin

Although the 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.

Antisemitism - Wikipedia

Anti-Semitism has existed to some degree wherever Jews have settled outside Palestine. In the ancient Greco-Roman world, religious differences were the primary basis for anti-Semitism. Unlike polytheistic religions, which acknowledge multiple gods, Judaism is monotheistic—it recognizes only one god. 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 initially 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 and the subsequent exile of Jews. 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 and implicitly. The far right, anti-Islam A. An incident that garnered considerable attention and highlights some of the complexities of this new dynamic occurred on a Berlin street in April , when a year-old Syrian of Palestinian descent took off his belt and flogged a young Israeli man named Adam Armoush, who was wearing a yarmulke.

Schuster advised Jews in cities against openly wearing yarmulkes outside. He said he received the yarmulke from a friend along with a caveat that it was not safe to wear outside. Armoush said he initially debated this. But it ended like that.

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Anti-Semitism is indeed a mainly European invention with a proven capacity to mutate. Often intertwined with economic and social resentments, demonization of Jews was long part of Christian tradition, and, with the growth of European nationalism in the 19th century, it took on delusive notions of race. The early signs are mixed. Like other Jewish families, they were ambivalent about remaining in Germany.


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Despite a wave of racist attacks on immigrants, that revival did not seem to materialize. In fact, the European Union, which was created to temper those impulses, was ascendant. Now, he believed, that sense of security has eroded. And you want to install yourselves here. And you have no homeland. It seemed like a rhetorical question, but Feinberg, taking a drag of his cigarette, ventured an answer. Feinberg spotted a passing police car and ran to get help.

Nobody wants you.

Antisemitism in antiquity?

People had considered him to be a regular guy. A video of the affair went viral on social media. On the day of the event, Feinberg sat underneath a series of paintings of the Star of David before a score of reporters. Since the incident, he had received a torrent of anti-Semitic messages. After Feinberg spoke, the head of RIAS, Benjamin Steinitz, said that the organization had documented well over 3, anti-Semitic incidents since it was founded.

Or are they right- wing extremists?

When researchers looked at all reported anti-Semitic incidents — including threats, harassment and targeted vandalism — in Berlin in , they were unable to determine the ideological motivation in nearly half the cases. They could attribute 18 percent of the incidents to right-wing extremists, making it the largest known group, but with such a large proportion of missing information, the numbers were hardly conclusive about which views predominated. The political motivations of violent attackers were even harder to parse. Of 46 reported anti-Semitic attacks in Berlin in , RIAS could identify the ideological motivation of the perpetrators in just 19 cases.

After the event, as guests nibbled on falafel and hummus, Felix Klein took a seat at a corner table. Klein listed several things the German government should be doing at the federal and state levels to fight anti-Semitism; chief among them was training teachers and the police simply to recognize it. He also said school books should include more lessons about Jewish contributions to Germany.

The rise of anti-Semitic acts, Klein told me, was not just a matter of rising hate but a rising willingness to express it. This was because of social media, he said, as well as the A. There are also the challenges that are caused by anti-Semitism from Muslims, he said, though, he added, according to criminal statistics, this was not the main problem.


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Klein was citing the federal statistic that attributed a vast majority of anti-Semitic crimes in Germany to right-wing extremists, the one that many Jewish community leaders disputed. I asked Klein if he thought the statistic was reliable. He acknowledged that, in fact, the methodology was flawed: When it was unclear who the perpetrators were, they were automatically classified as right-wing extremists.

He leaned in to underscore this point. We should not do that. German anti-Semites are clearly drawn to the A. One survey conducted by the Allensbach Institute, a respected polling organization, found that 55 percent of A. The A. Its politicians traffic in more insidious forms of secondary anti-Semitism. But to suggest that it be forgotten is a circuitous way of reaching the same end.

Yet since the A. It now portrays itself as the protector of Jews fearful of Muslim immigration. Last year, two-dozen Jewish A. On a Sunday afternoon last October, J. When a reporter from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung tried to get his name, the man refused to give it. Another reporter approached the anonymous J. But there was also a more specific Russian angle. This book helped me to understand that Jews have been persecuted because they were Jews. Now that I have a better idea of what it means to be a Jew, a people without a country to call their own, I have a more clear picture of antisemitism and all the evil it entailed.

Great book; should be required reading for all. Jul 30, Kelsey rated it really liked it Shelves: nonfiction , world-war The authors have rejected modern theories for antisemitism and produced their own thesis and evidence for the main cause of antisemitism around the world - Judaism.

As in, the religion itself, and not the "race". The argument claims that the very religion itself is the reason Jews have been hated throughout history, for their distinctness and declaration as being the chosen people of one God in monotheism. This is in contrast for other proposed reasons of antisemitism - rich Jews, Jews "drinking The authors have rejected modern theories for antisemitism and produced their own thesis and evidence for the main cause of antisemitism around the world - Judaism.

Why the Jews?

This is in contrast for other proposed reasons of antisemitism - rich Jews, Jews "drinking the blood of non-Jews", Jews being simply used as a scapegoat, etc. After reading the book, I can say that I was fully converted to the logical answer that Jews are hatred for that exact reason - being Jews. During Roman rule, under Islamic reign, etc, Jews were no longer persecuted if they gave up their religion and converted to that region's idealogy.

The origins of Christian anti-Semitism

With the exception of Nazis, this is proof that Jews have been persecuted for their religion, and not as a race. It is a fascinating book, and does not read like a textbook. I would recommend it to anyone who would like to learn more about the history of religion and modern-day antisemitism. The ending does leave a bit to be desired in terms of solutions to antisemitism, but again, I found the book a very educated, well-thought out investigation of antisemitism.

Jan 07, Gary rated it it was amazing. In the last six years in particular, since Arafat launched a war of terror against Israel's people, I have often wondered what the reasons are for the intense hatred and violent rage, especially by Moslems and the Left, of Israel and her people. The country where I live, is periodically rocked by nationwide paroxysms of vicious rage and murderous hate of the tiny nation of Israel,encouraged by the ruling party and it's allies, civil society, universities and the media.

This is the worl In the last six years in particular, since Arafat launched a war of terror against Israel's people, I have often wondered what the reasons are for the intense hatred and violent rage, especially by Moslems and the Left, of Israel and her people. This is the world's latest incantation of Jew-hatred, the world's longest and most intense hatred, as Dennis Prager explains in this fascinating and illuminating work.

Prager begins by outlining some of the violent attacks on Jews and Israel in Europe and elsewhere, which has become the disease permeating the world as we begin the 21st century. Prager mentions the United Nations-sponsored World Conference on Racism, in Durban, South Africa in August , which, while failing to mention human rights abuses and genocide in China, Rwanda or anyplace in the Arab world, turned into a violent fest of hate and rage against Israel.

While anti-Semitism was traditionally associated with rightwing populists, vicious anti-Israelism is becoming the culture and raison d etre of 'progressive' intellectual communities. Prager marvels how in a world filled with enormous evils-such as totalitarian states that make their countries into large prison camps Iran and North Korea ; that massacre and enslave millions of citizens Sudan , that wage deadly war against their own populations Zimbabwe and Myanmar that destroy entire cultures As China is doing in Tibet , it would seem a puzzle as to why the Jewish State and America are the two most villified countries in the world.

Prager points this out as being a violent rejection of the American and Jewish values of Judeo-Christian civilization, justice, freedom, democracy and humanity as a source of light to the world.

He explains the reason why the USA supports Israel as being because of the USA's Judeo-Christian values and her realization that Israel is a tiny island of democracy and human rights in a sea of totalitarianism. It is against this background that Prager delves into the roots of Jew-hatred to attempt an explanation of this phenomenon. The basic source of ancient Jewish history, the Bible, depicts two attempts at anihilation of the Jewish people: that of Pharaoh and the Egyptians Exodus and that of Haman and the Persians.

Why the Jews?: The Reason for Antisemitism Why the Jews?: The Reason for Antisemitism
Why the Jews?: The Reason for Antisemitism Why the Jews?: The Reason for Antisemitism
Why the Jews?: The Reason for Antisemitism Why the Jews?: The Reason for Antisemitism
Why the Jews?: The Reason for Antisemitism Why the Jews?: The Reason for Antisemitism
Why the Jews?: The Reason for Antisemitism Why the Jews?: The Reason for Antisemitism
Why the Jews?: The Reason for Antisemitism Why the Jews?: The Reason for Antisemitism

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