On the History of Jew-Hating by Lance Polin
Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.|
Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of language.
With the most recent example of Jew-hating running non-stop across the news it might be wise to take a step back and consider where this hatred comes from. Why have people hated Jews throughout their 4000+ year history?
Before I begin I need to put a disclaimer in front of this editorial, which is even more relevant, I believe, considering the events of 10/27/2018, where a vicious anti-Semite shot up a baby's briss, the ritual circumcision that initiates a child into Abraham's covenant with God. I will be providing links to many books, all of them about some form of hatred of Jews, some self-loathing, others conspiratorial works that have had far more influence than they had ever deserved. Some of these books will be studies of Antisemitism. I do this because I have the generous sponsorship of abebooks.com, a used and new bookstore with connections to sellers all over the world where you can find just about anything. There is no support (or, for that matter, condemnation) of anything written within them. This is meant as a history of ideas and I will do my best to reserve judgment even on those beliefs I find horrifying.
All right, with that out of the way, let us talk about ancient Egypt, where the faith was formed. Since arguing the reality or lack of God is an conversation best left to another debate, I want to focus on the political and social issues that gave rise to Judaism, avoiding the mystical and focusing on the ground war that created the first monotheistic faith.
Moses and his brother Aaron were influential guys. Spokespeople for the slaves, the two of them at first started out talking to Pharaoh about some negotiated deal to free the slaves after all their years of loyal servitude. People were getting old, children were getting scared, slaves were being murdered in the streets on the whims of any passing citizen. They were slaves, after all. They were not considered human. Killing them would be like discarding a battery after it can no longer charge your phone. Old Jews were trash, as were crippled Jews and other Jews that just couldn't stomach the hard work. The murders were turned into public spectacles, like a magic show, and they would be killed in a variety of increasingly brutal ways as the crowds grew numb to the violence.
But Moses was a brave man. He started what cannot be called anything other than a slave rebellion. Slave rebellions have existed as long as there has been the evil called slavery. Slaves never want to be enslaved, never desire to be another person's property. Once a political leader rises (Moses, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, all fighting against the oppression of outside powers demanding servitude), a movement starts--often written off by the authorities as radical anarchists that threaten the safety of the land--and the longer the rebellion goes on and the more violent it becomes, the more radicalized become the followers of both faiths--the oppressors and the oppressed. New religions of self-justification and righteousness are formed. And hatred blossoms on each side, and within each movement, dividing the people, turning them against themselves because some favor peace while the others demand war.
Even after the plagues (we will let this stand for the purpose of this discussion, and not suggest assassins that may have stealthily murdered infants and children, or ambitious warriors collecting frogs and locust and poisoning the water. These plagues can possibly be explained, or maybe it is just some more mythology, an exaggerated reason for a drought, a famine, a war. Or perhaps it really is the magic of an angry God), even when the terrified Egyptians just wanted the Jews to go away, there was still a desire by those in power for free labor to build up the empire. They chased the Jews, who wandered as nomads around the desert for apparently 40 years, until they eventually found some water and settled down to build up a nation they called Canaan. And there, exhausted but suddenly free, they formed a civilization based upon their faith, which had metamorphosed into something that Moses would not recognize, a system of hauntings and justice, emphasizing education and law as the way to make a free civilization work.
But the new religion became fearful too, as there was every right to do. People really were still out to get them. It was not that outside forces saw this piece of desert as a necessarily advantageous land. They were still angry about freed slaves. They were slaves. They were not fully human. How dare they declare themselves something more!
The Egyptians invented and prayed to several new gods in their pantheon, murderous creatures with no conscience and a morality based upon supremacy. And thus a great holy war ensued.
If we cut to about 2000 years later, Canaan had been built up considerably, the Jewish residents were perhaps the most educated people in the world, and the Romans had conquered them, claiming that the city of Jerusalem was now a valuable piece of real estate. The Jews were re-enslaved. They were still not human. Ever since Egypt fell all those centuries ago, the Jews had turned towards scholarship instead of military might. They were easy to conquer. It was easy to steal back all of their rights.
The Jews toiled and protested and nearly all of the protesters were killed in horrible ways: burned at the stake, crucified, thrown to the lions and bashed over the head with maces in a stadium, gladiator games then the most popular sport. The Jews were truly hated. They did not matter, because all they did was create new ideas on government and walk around looking both smug and alien, as though they took their term "Chosen People" seriously and now, these slaves, looked down upon their conquerors.
It was not acceptable. True Jew hatred came from this time, a superiority complex undermined by envy, jealousy and a creeping sense of inferiority as the captured spoke of rights and treaties and always seemed to be coming out and complaining about the value of their people.
That was when Jesus arrived, this charismatic rabbi who was eloquent and handsome and he was able to inspire the new generation of Jews that they did not have to take this anymore. He called everyone, even the Romans, children of God, and preached that God was harsh, yes, but that He was also forgiving. He told his Roman captors that he forgave them and that God still loved them if they would repent and dedicate themselves to Him.
This was a nerve-wracking time for the leaders of Rome. Pontius Pilate was under an enormous amount of political pressure from the aloof emperor Tiberius to quell the slave revolt and get things back to the bottom line of income. Advisers were telling Governor Pilate that executing Jesus would cause more trouble, because he was the heart of the Jewish rebellion. They said that if they just held him prisoner for the rest of his life, changing him from a martyr for the cause into just another Jewish troublemaker, then his influence would wane and the Jews could eventually give up and get back to work.
But others within the cabinet disagreed. They said that it was time to send a message to the Jews, to teach them that there was no God to save them. If Jesus died, and died publicly, then the heart would be torn out of the movement and the Jews would return to work as even more humble and humiliated creatures.
After the crucifixion, what the Romans did not count on was the Jesus was not the only leader of the movement. Several clever, more tactical, and frankly more willing to fight rabbis decided that it was time to overthrow the Romans, not just to argue for freedom. A holy war was necessary. And the only thing that could inspire a new world was a new faith. Jesus was now the son of God. Yes, we were all the children of God as Christ had said, but Jesus was somehow special. His martyrdom could be used to their advantage. It was a move to overthrow the world.
The new religion caught on in waves and confused the Romans, not quite knowing what to do. Now there were two opposing faiths? The only option, figured the Romans, was the turn them against each other.
The early Christians were not really any different than the Jews of the time. They believed, more or less, in the same things. They worshiped the same God and read from the same Talmud. There was just that one dispute about the nature of Jesus: hero or Son of God. As with anything, only some could buy into the idea of a new world. Some of the Jews were cynics, some of them had been so ground down that they didn't even believe in their own God any longer, and only wanted continue to fighting.
The Romans started spreading the rumor that it was the Jews in power who killed Jesus, that they sacrificed him in order to get themselves paid. These were the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Essenes. The Pharisees were what amounted to the Jewish town council, people more acceptable to the Romans because they were lapdogs and lickspittles. They who would fulfill the ancient stereotype of doing anything for money It was claimed that they betrayed Jesus, that they handed him over for death in order to negotiate for a few more freedoms for themselves. This was mostly untrue, probably a handful of greedy, soulless traitors, who didn't believe in anything, who did not care if Jesus lived or died licking their lips with betrayal. But most of them had no motive to do this. Most of them were local politicians who were working for their people. While the Sadducees prayed and prayed and the Essenes met in secret to start thinking about writing the words of God down, the Pharisees took the blame. They were Christ-killers. They were worse than Romans. And wasn't Judas one of them? It didn't matter. Now he was. Now there was someone to blame. Everyone began blaming the Jews.
From the moment that Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity in 313 AD, the Jews became public enemy number one. In the evolving culture as the story of Christ transformed and became a holy gospel, and even the ruler of Rome developed a kinship for it, the Jews had advanced in political knowledge. Everyone knew that they were smart. People in power could use that keen learning and business sense to make greater profits. The Jews, accused of betrayal over money, now became the chief money-lenders and accountants, some of them stinking with greed and corruption in order to keep the stereotypes alive. And since they held grips on all the money, any economic recession had a fall guy, regardless of the fact that Rome's accountants were told what to do by the Emperor.
It was the Jews, they said again. The new Church blamed the Jews. It was the newly formed Holy Roman Empire. The Jews were transformed into the enemy of the people, into the spawn of Satan and every other dark lord. They were only there to tempt and destroy humanity, it was claimed. The Jews were monsters. It was them who killed Christ.
Christ-killer became on of the first major anti-Semitic slur, the tasseled and traditionally dressed Jew walking home from the bank being frequently harassed by children. "Christ-killer! Christ-killer!" they would shout, joyously, while they picked up horse and mule shit and hurled it at them, laughing. Sometimes they would follow them home, taunting. Sometimes they would kick them or hit them with a rock. There were times when they even burned Jews' houses down, with their families trapped inside.
The term 'Christ-killer' is still in existence today, although it has taken a back seat to the modern anti-Jewish slurs like hook-nose and hymie, yid, jewboy, shylock and red sea pedestrian. Of course there is also kike, which has a deeper history, now come to mean 'circle, because when illiterate Jews showed up to Ellis island they signed their names with circles instead of x's or crosses because they were adamantly not Christian. If we decide to go farther back, kike is an abbreviated derivation of 'Christ-killer' itself. There has developed a whole new language of Jew hatred.
For a thousand years, from Constantine through the middle ages, Jews were persecuted by Christians ( https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9780395779279&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used and https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9780226113074&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used). The Jews were transformed throughout this time from the founders of monotheism into the evil corrupters of the world. They were a recognizable minority. They dressed differently. They spoke different--often in some strange other language. Were they plotting against us? They could not be trusted. They were in Satan's army. They . . . they kidnapped Christian babies and ate them in some sort of Jewish black mass ritual!
This last one became a widespread rumor and raved through Europe for hundreds of years (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9780881037999&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used). Jews were now regarded as the enemy of humanity. They were the cause of droughts, famine. They had caused a hurricane or earthquake or a volcanic eruption that destroyed entire cities. They controlled the random animals that sometimes entered town to wreak havoc. They spoke to the birds and the giant fish of the sea and were the cause of ship wrecks and even fights between Christians as the church continued to divide and form Lutheran and other faiths (Martin Luther was a world class anti-Semite. He published the longest treatise of his life as a book called On the Jews and their Lies in 1543 [https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9781547013524&n=100121501&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-new]). And while these Christian denominations went to war with one another, they still had a patsy when something truly went wrong, and the Jews continued to be enslaved and murdered in this superstitious age, people believed in dark magic and blood rituals because they themselves sometimes practiced them.
By the time we get to the early 20th Century, Jew hating became a literary movement. People would write what they claimed were exposes of secret cabals. This most famous was a Russian editorial which the author and publishers attempted to pass off as a recovered ancient document. It was called Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion ( https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9789351285427&n=100121501&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-new) This hateful tome still has a great deal of influence today. It remains a best-seller in several middle-eastern nations and has caught on once again throughout Europe, coming close to the passion of the days of Hitler (who was also a true believer). It might be important to point out a few things from this text, as it has a great bearing on Antisemitism today:
There are 24 Protocals in Serge Nilus' screed, written sometime in 1903 under the approval and sponsorship of Czar Nicholas II. The text itself is an amalgamation of a number of conspiracy theories then popular throughout Europe and North America, particularly in France and the United States. But what Nilus did was compartmentalize these beliefs and edit them into a dialogue, intentionally in a mixed language using archaic terms, trying to show both that the Jews were devious and that these conversations took place a long time ago. Here are the Protocols:
1. Freedom--an idea only. Liberalism. Gold. Faith. Self-government. Depositism of Capital . . . The Mob. Anarchy. End justifies-means . . . Political Party Discord. . . . Alcohol . . . Corruption . . . rules of the Jew-Masonic government. Terror.
2. Economic Wars
3. Abuse of power. Economic Slavery. Masonry Promotes Revolution. (this was one of the excuses used to explain the French Revolution.)
4. Convert gentiles to masonry.
5. Creation of an intensified centralization of government through masonry.
6. Monopolies; upon them depend the fortunes of the goyim.
7. Develop new and improved armaments in order to foment a universal war.
8. Ambiguous employment of judicial rights.
9. Application of Masonic principles in the re-education of the peoples.
10. Masonic coup d'etat. Universal suffrage. Self-importance.
11. A New Constitution.
12. Control the press in a Masonic Kingdom.
13. Exploit the need for daily bread.
14. Form a new religion for the future.
15. Worldwide revolution.
16. Emasculation of all Universities.
17. Influence the priesthood of the goyim.
18. Promote conspiracy theories to foment distrust of government.
19. Sedition. Use the press to exploit political crimes, both pro and con.
20. Progressive tax reform.
21. Regulation of industry and money markets. Use bankruptcy as a weapon.
22. Promote apocalyptic beliefs about the end of the world coming soon.
23. Prohibition of drunkenness, massive unemployment and the reduction of the manufacture of luxuries.
24. Promote The King of the Jews as coming Messiah. Train future Messiah in the Jewish-Masonic creed. Break the will of the goyim through a new faith.
So these are the principals that it is claimed this secret society of world conquerors set into motion. If we look over that list we can find that quite a number of those ideas have become rather mainstream. Some have even come to pass. But if we learn anything from history we see that the groping paranoia of leaders and civilization confines itself to a 'get them before they get you' mentality, and so in the 20th century many of these tactics were confirmed and debated everywhere in the world. ( https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=&an=cohn%20norman%20rufus%20colin&tn=warrant%20genocide%20myth%20jewish%20world-conspiracy&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ats-_-used).
Henry Ford, the first automobile maker and an incredibly influential man, paid to have 500,000 copies of the Protocols published in English and distributed around the nation in 1903. Ford later went on to write his own anti-Jew rant, The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem(https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9781578989287&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used). This book is pure pablum, a nonsensical rant about how the Jews are tricking him in business and keeping him from getting even richer. He copies and modifies ideas of the Protocols for the American mind ,and this book, also, was a massive best-seller. If a famous and successful person like Henry Ford says it, then it must be true. (For a more level discussion of this topic see Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production of Hate https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9781586481636&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used)
Of course any discussion of Jew-hatred must include Nazi Germany. In Mein Kampf (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9780091124311&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used) Adolph Hitler wrote:
"By the creation of a press whose content is adapted to the intellectual horizon of the least educated people, the political and trade-union organization finally obtains the agitational institution by which the lowest strata of the nation are ripe for the most reckless acts. Its function is not to lead people out of the swamp of a base mentality, but to cater to their lower instincts. Since the masses are as mentally lazy as they are sometime presumptuous, this is a business as speculative as it is profitable."
This is how Hitler got the masses to follow him. Lies in the press. Emotional wailing and the establishment (re-establishment) of an enemy.
Of course it did not help that a man named Werner Sombart, both during and after World War One, began promoting the idea that Jews were a superior race when it came to handling money and that they should be put in charge. A well know economist, Sombart was placed as economic adviser to the kaiser, and proceeded to rob the government of much of their dwindling resources. After the war was over and Germany was forced into even deeper economic turmoil by the League of Nations demanding reparations, Sombart became more popular, denouncing this punishment while still lining his pockets. When his crimes were finally exposed, the Nazis were well on their way to gaining power. There was a clear person to blame. It was easy to blame the Jews, using the media tactic Hitler developed.
Most of us know something about what went on during World War II and there is no need for me to continue those horror stories here. But in America there was a very divided response to the holocaust. In the late 1930s, before the US had officially joined the war, a man named Fritz Kuhn formed the German-American Bund, a growing and established National Socialist Party that spread throughout the nation (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9781250056016&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used). Kuhn was an angry loudmouth, not particularly articulate, who was set upon by Congress, newspaper propagandist Walter Winchell, and Jewish gangsters Meyer Lansky and Mickey Cohen, who quickly destroyed him before Pearl Harbor. His reputation in tatters, Kuhn was eventually convicted of a variety of small crimes and ended his life obscurely, all alone, deeply in debt, of unknown causes. There was no funeral.
Yet from the ashes of the war arose a far more charming and articulate man by the name of George Lincoln Rockwell, who modified his antisemitism into an all-inclusive bigotry, gathering in the numerous racisms that were infecting (and had always infected) the world. Rockwell formed the conspiracy theory that the Jews were using ignorant blacks to fight their battles for them. He said that the Jews did not care if they died in service to the end goal ("the ends justify the means"). He called it a chess match. He called the blacks "Jewish pawns." ( https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9781684183265&n=100121501&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-new).
The new post-war racism was perhaps a wider-spread and more hateful movement than at any time in the past. Back before the civil war it was not usually hatred of the slaves that dominated the plantation owners. Many of them loved and appreciated their slaves, like prized possessions or a favorite toy. And while this inhumanity is also clear, hatred played very little part in their acquisitions. But after World War II, with Black and Jewish heroes emerging with medals pinned to their chests and the thanks of a grateful nation, ideas on equality were beginning to run wild. Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson were superstars.
Rockwell formed something called the National Socialist White People's Party, not really limiting membership by this distinction because no one other than white people wanted to join. But they did join. By the time the Civil Rights movement kicked off in the 1950s, the Ku Klux Klan saw its greatest membership boost since the early 1900s. Murder was on people's minds and it wasn't just the blacks who were targeted. It was the Jews. It was always the Jews. They were behind this, many people (not all of them Nazis) said. They were using the blacks. They were disrupting society. They were destroying America.
A movement also started throughout the world, in the generation following World War II, of people denying that the holocaust ever happened. They claimed it was just another Jewish lie, a trick to get sympathy from people because a handful of them died in the war (So did the white man!) No, they had conned the United Nations into giving them back that chunk of desert land where Jesus was crucified and where the Romans should have brought all of them to their end. If only Hitler weren't so crazy, many people started saying, then what he wanted for the world could have been a good thing. And so they stamped down and said the holocaust never happened (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9780520216129&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used and https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=30041573509&searchurl=kn%3Ddenying%2Bthe%2Bholocaust%26sortby%3D17&cm_sp=snippet-_-srp1-_-title7).
Of course it did not help that there actually were a handful of crooks like Werner Sombart who sought to profit from these terrible memories. These people exploited the pain and suffering in order to get charitable donations contributed to a variety of fly-by-night non-profits. This was also exposed and allowed hatred of Jews to be given yet another green light to continue on until the very end of time (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9781859844885&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used).
As we approach today, with increasing radicalism and fundamentalism seemingly everywhere in the world, we see anti-Jewish sentiment reaching another peak. The hatred of Jews in the middle east and the conspiracy theories surrounding them might be even more extreme than what the Nazis felt. There, in a fanatically religious culture, mythological ideas seep into the public debate. The Jews stole Palestine. They are taking away the third holiest mosque. They are fighting against our faith. They are the Elders of Zion (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?cm_sp=SearchF-_-topnav-_-Results&kn=daniel+pipes&sts=t).
In America a new generation of Nazis published novels like The Turner Diaries (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9781911417262&n=100121501&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-new), which tells of the white man's revolution over the conniving Jews, the radical feminists, and their brutal black minions. New religions were formed, the most prominent being Christian Identity, which painted the Jews as spawn of the snake from the Garden of Eden, and declared a strange race of Aryans the real chosen people. There is an element of Satanism in this faith, dealing more with blood sacrifices and orgies, but the belief is often very sincere. They are a white nationalist, white separatist movement that claim they don't want to hurt anyone, and that people need to learn their place in the white man's world. They would even be willing to pay for the blacks to go back to Africa, and the Jews to leave America, they claim. But if you challenge them they will fight and they will fight to the death. "The Jews caused all of these problems in America," they say. "Get them out and we can make America great again." (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9780807844519&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used and https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9780822330714&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used).
And this of course brings us to today. To yesterday. To modern times. And Jew-hating hasn't gone away in any significant at all. People still blame the Jews for all of their problems and people see solutions in future pogroms and holocausts. If only, they still tell themselves, if only we would squash that pagan faith out once and for all, then the world can be at peace.
People still say this to themselves, keeping it quiet in an age where such statements are no longer acceptable. And this is a problem too. Why can't I express my hatred, they shout. My hatred is what defines me. Hatred is pure, it is sincere it is honest.
We still live in a world run by hatred. Are we capable of ever being any better?
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