The Human Truth Foundation

Anti-Semitism

By Vexen Crabtree 2017


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#antisemitism #christianity #germany #indonesia #israel #jordan #judaism #laos #morocco #netherlands #pakistan #philippines #religion #religious_violence #saudi_arabia #spain #sweden #turkey #UK #vietnam

Anti-Semitism is the world given to irrational racism against Jews. It is not the same as anti-Judaism (involving arguments against the religion) nor the same as anti-Zionism (arguments against Israel). In history, influential Christian theologians concocted the arguments against Jews that led, very early on, to widespread Christian action against Jews1,2,3,4. As Christianity rose to power in the West and presided over the Dark Ages, there were widespread violent outbursts against Jews of the most persistent and horrible kind. The Crusades were frequently aimed at them and the feared Spanish Inquisition paid Jews particular attention. The horror of the holocaust instigated by German Nazis in the 1940s was followed (finally) by the era of European human rights and a movement against racism in general.

The places that are the least anti-Semitical are a few countries of south-east Asia (Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam) and some of the secular liberal democracies of Europe (Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK). The worst countries for antisemitism are Islamic states of the Middle East5, which are undergoing their own Dark Age. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Indonesia, Pakistan and Turkey see the most oppressive and violent actions towards Jews6,7. Jews in Muslim countries face a host of restrictions and "ceaseless humiliation and regular pogroms"8. In 2004 the European Union Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia reported on violent anti-Jew crimes in the EU and found that that largest group of perpetrators were young Muslim males9.


1. Anti-Zionism, Anti-Judaism, Anti-Semitism, Israel and Racism

#christianity #hinduism #israel #judaism

Although this essay is about hateful and racist anti-Semitism, we need to define other terms that are related. Anti-Zionism and Anti-Judaism are both different from racist anti-Semitism.

They are all easily linked. One must be careful not to accuse the victims of Israel as being anti-Semites, when in fact they're merely anti-Zionists, or to accuse a Hindu of being an anti-Semite because he sees the religion of Judaism as wrong or silly. Even if such a view is ignorant, uneducated or prejudice, it is held against the religion, not against a race of people. Likewise you must be doubly careful when criticizing Israel or Judaism, not to accidentally fall into anti-Semitic rhetoric. Be precise and be aware of the issues. For obvious historical reasons there is a lot of emotion around the sensitive issues of antisemitism, people are apt to find it where it isn't present as much as to miss it where it is!

Semites include Hebrews, Assyrians, and Arabs. But hatred of, or prejudice against, the Jews specifically, which has waxed and waned since the foundation of Christianity - goes by the misnomer of anti-Semitism.

"Ideas that Shaped Our World" by Robert Stewart (1997)12

Book CoverBy tradition Semites are descendants of Shem, son of Noah, and include most of the peoples of the Middle East. Anti-Semitism refers specifically to prejudice against or hatred towards the Jews. In its earliest systematic form, anti-Semitism had a religious character, reflecting the hostility of Christians towards the Jews, based on their complicity in the murder of Jesus and their refusal to recognize him as the Son of God. Economic anti-Semitism developed from the Middle Ages onwards, expressing a distaste for the Jews as moneylenders and traders. The nineteenth century saw the birth of racial anti-Semitism in the works of Wagner and H. S. Chamberlain, who condemned the Jewish peoples as fundamentally evil and destructive. Such ideas provided the ideological basis for German Nazism and found their most grotesque expression in the Holocaust.

"Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)2

2. Crazy Beliefs are Sometimes Dangerous

#hinduism #india #islam #judaism

Many ordinary believers do not know that there is a cost to belief13,14. But, beliefs are not harmless, even those that have no moral or portentous component, and all beliefs ought to be open to question15. Although many counterproductive superstitions are obviously daft, some of them still do pass into general culture and cause entire nations to behave irrationally on certain topics16 especially when organized religion boosts the power of belief15. And many individuals take some ideas far too far; extremists fight for such ideas with irrational zeal. Many fall for "The Grand Delusion", which David Brooks defines as the mistaken idea that if we simply leave the extremists alone, they will also leave us alone17 Take, for example, an incident in 2015 that saw a mob of 1,000 Hindus attack a small family of Muslims in India: A rumour had broken out that a cow had been slaughtered. Vigilantes from Save the Cow prompted a mob to appear on site, and proceeded to, amongst themselves, blame a nearby Muslim family (no slaughtered cow was found). They appeared at the house, where the family were sleeping, and beat the husband to death and left his boy in critical condition in hospital. The press got involved and Save the Cow explained their religious duty as Hindus to protect cows, which are sacred. A local politician from the Bharatiya Janata Party, Lakshmikant Bajpayee, defended the mob saying that there had a been a failure of local police to respond to the rumour adequately18. The issues are (1) that the slaughter of a cow - even if it had actually happened - is none of the business of local Hindus. It doesn't matter that they consider it sacred - other people do not. And (2), they should not be trying to force others to follow their own superstitions. Likewise, politicians should not be encouraging them - they should be representing all citizens including those with non-Hindu beliefs. Entire communities and cultures are being negatively affected by religious nonsense.

On a larger scale than mere mob violence, take a theory which started out as amateur science, and proceeded to win approval at a national level despite the protests of the scientific community: The theory of a 'hierarchy' of delineated human races, with Nordics at the top and Negros at the bottom (with a special place reserved for the Christ-rejecting Jews). It combined pseudoscientific anthropology with religious prejudice to create history's most horrific apparatus of prejudiced murder. The Nazi's ideology of race and euthanasia derived from erroneous beliefs based on faulty theory; and it blossomed into a wave of terror. It is no exaggeration to say that, in a world where nuclear weaponry is becoming more easily available, that beliefs need to be questioned and challenged continuously and vigorously.

"Why Question Beliefs? Dangers of Placing Ideas Beyond Doubt, and Advantages of Freethought: 1.1. Beliefs Have Consequences" by Vexen Crabtree (2009)

3. International Statistics from the Anti-Defamation League

#antisemitism #islam #judaism

The Anti-Defamation League's major international study on anti-Semitism in 2014 revealed which countries are the most tolerant, and which hold to anti-Semitical views. The best countries are a mix of liberal and developed European democracies alongside several countries where Judaism is not very well known at all. The worst countries are all Islamic states of the Middle East. Analysis of Islam is in a following section of this page. The ADL produced a breakdown of antisemitism by religion and region:

Muslims score as the most racist against Jews, as to Muslim countries. Following them are Christians, and then the non-religious

Source: ADL (2014)5

And here are the country results:

Anti-Semite Opinions (2014)19
Pos.Lower is better
%19
79Panama52
80Senegal53
81S. Korea53
82Iran56
83Armenia58
84Malaysia61
85Turkey69
86Greece69
87Saudi Arabia74
88Egypt75
89Oman76
90Lebanon78
91Morocco80
92Qatar80
93UAE80
94Jordan81
95Bahrain81
96Kuwait82
97Tunisia86
98Algeria87
99Libya87
100Yemen88
101Iraq92
q=101.
Anti-Semite Opinions (2014)19
Pos.Lower is better
%19
53Costa Rica32
54Uruguay33
55Croatia33
56Botswana33
57Nicaragua34
58Romania35
59Cameroon35
60Paraguay35
61Kenya35
62Lithuania36
63Guatemala36
64France37
65Chile37
66Azerbaijan37
67Ukraine38
68S. Africa38
69Belarus38
70Peru38
71Colombia41
72Hungary41
73Dominican Rep.41
74Serbia42
75Bulgaria44
76Mauritius44
77Poland45
78Indonesia48
q=101.
Anti-Semite Opinions (2014)19
Pos.Lower is better
%19
27China20
28Portugal21
29Ivory Coast22
30Estonia22
31Japan23
32Trinidad & Tobago24
33Argentina24
34Mexico24
35Haiti26
36Mongolia26
37Switzerland26
38Belgium27
39Germany27
40Slovenia27
41Austria28
42Latvia28
43Montenegro29
44Spain29
45Venezuela30
46Moldova30
47Russia30
48Bolivia30
49Georgia32
50Kazakhstan32
51Bangladesh32
52Bosnia & Herzegovina32
q=101.
Anti-Semite Opinions (2014)19
Pos.Lower is better
%19
1Laos0
2Philippines3
3Sweden4
4Netherlands5
5Vietnam6
6UK8
7Denmark9
8USA9
9Tanzania12
10Thailand13
11Czechia13
12Canada14
13New Zealand14
14Australia14
15Norway15
16Ghana15
17Finland15
18Brazil16
19Singapore16
20Nigeria16
21Iceland16
22Uganda16
23Jamaica18
24India20
25Ireland20
26Italy20
q=101.

4. Christianity (The Old Monster)

#christianity #islam #judaism

The violent and irrational anti-Semitism in history has had its roots in one common cause: the teachings of early and middle ages Christianity. Anti-semitism has always been rife within Christianity from the original Church Fathers of the first century. Many of the most influential Christian theologians, for example Augustine, St Aquinas and later, Martin Luther, all indulged themselves by writing anti-Jewish volumes. Aquinas wrote that "since the Jews are the slaves of the Church, she can dispose of their possessions". The Christian anti-Semites took their cue from Biblical verses such as Mark 15:15, Luke 23:3, John 19:4-6, 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 that blames Jews as a whole for the death of Jesus, John 8:42-47 that says Jews are descended from the devil, and in Rom 10:3 that they are ignorant of God's will, and other verses are often cited by early Christians too although sometimes the logic of their exegesis confuses me.

No other religion has displayed such immovable hatred towards another religion as Christianity did towards the Jews. No holy war has ever lasted so long and been so bloody as the one the Christians waged against innocent Jews from the first century and through the Dark Ages. History provides us with only few occasions where Jews, or even Muslims or pagans, were as intolerant or morally corrupt as the West was under Christian rule. Thankfully modern Christianity, since it lost its power, is generally more humane. Christianity has slowly been forced to change its ways mostly due to pressure from increasingly powerful secular, poly-cultural governments and changing culture.

5. Islam (The New Monster)

#antisemitism #indonesia #islam #jordan #judaism #middle_east #morocco #pakistan #racism #religious_violence #saudi_arabia #turkey

Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia have the most oppressive and violent attitude towards Jews of all countries6. Likewise in Jordan, Morocco, Indonesia, Pakistan and Turkey the Muslim public have horribly negative opinions of Jews20. Jews in Muslim countries face a host of restrictions and "ceaseless humiliation and regular pogroms"8. In 2004 the European Union Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia reported on violent anti-Jew crimes in the EU and found that that largest group of perpetrators were young Muslim males21. The report summarized country-by-country events, including large rallies against Jews by hundreds of Muslims chanting "kill the Jews", and no end of other incidents. Throughout the West, violent anti-Semitism is correlated with Muslim immigration. After a series of saddening attacks against Jews by Muslim terrorists throughout Europe in recent years, the chief Rabbi of Brussels stated "there is no future for Jews in Europe" (Huffington Post, 2016)22. Given the precarious position of the Jews that remain in Muslim countries and the violence they endure there, many observers see this problem only getting worse.7