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Tel Aviv University Worldwide
Christianity and antisemitism deals with the hostility of Christian Churches, Christian groups, and by Christians in general to Judaism and the Jewish people. Christian rhetoric and antipathy towards Jews developed in the early years of Christianity and was reinforced by ever increasing anti-Jewish measures over the ensuing centuries. The action taken by Christians against Jews included acts of violence, and murder culminating in the Holocaust. Christian antisemitism has been attributed to numerous factors including theological differences, competition between Church and Synagogue, the Christian drive for converts, decreed by the Great Commission, misunderstanding of Jewish beliefs and practices, and a perceived Jewish hostility toward Christians. These attitudes were reinforced in Christian preaching, art and popular teaching for two millennia, containing contempt for Jews, as well as statutes which were designed to humiliate and stigmatise Jews.
Modern antisemitism has been described as primarily hatred against Jews as a race with its modern expression rooted in 18th century racial theories, while anti-Judaism is described as hostility to Jewish religion, but in Western Christianity it effectively merged into antisemitism during the 12th century.16 Scholars have debated how Christian antisemitism played a role in the Nazi Third Reich, World War II and the Holocaust. The Holocaust has driven many within Christianity to reflect on the relationship between Christian theology, practices, and that genocide.
A SHADOW OVER EUROPE: CNN POLL REVEALS DEPTH OF ANTI-SEMITISM IN EUROPE
European Jewish Congress 2018-11-29
We would like to draw your attention on the findings of the CNN Poll on Antisemitism in Europe.
Please find below some of the most appalling results:
–According to the poll, more than a quarter of Europeans surveyed believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance. Nearly one in four said Jews have too much influence in conflict and wars across the world.
–One in five said they have too much influence in the media and the same number believe they have too much influence in politics.
–A third of Europeans polled said they knew just a little or nothing at all about the Holocaust.
–And nearly one in five (18%) said anti-Semitism in their countries was a response to the everyday behavior of Jewish people.
–Four out of ten respondents in the survey thought their own countries were between 3% and 10% Jewish. In fact, Israel is the only country in the world where more than 2% of the population is Jewish.
The Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) conducted a 2nd survey among Jewish citizens in 13 EU member states about their situation in Europe. The findings will be released on the 10th of December and we will share them with you as soon as they are available. We expect them to mirror these negative trends.
The EJC team
LAWMAKERS, LEADERS REACT TO “APPALLING” FINDINGS OF CNN POLL ON ANTI-SEMITISM
CNN, James Masters, November 27, 2018
(CNN)–Lawmakers and leading figures in the fight against anti-Semitism around the world have described the results of CNN’s investigation into European attitudes towards Jews as “appalling” and “frightening.”
Felix Klein, who was appointed as Germany’s federal government commissioner for Jewish life in April, said that while he was upset by the poll’s findings, they did not surprise him.
According to the poll, more than a quarter of Europeans surveyed believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance. Nearly one in four said Jews have too much influence in conflict and wars across the world.
Meanwhile, a third of Europeans polled said they knew just a little or nothing at all about the Holocaust, the mass murder of some six million Jews in lands controlled by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime in the 1930s and 1940s.
In a statement sent to CNN, Klein said: “For combating anti-Semitism, it is fundamental to keep the memory of the Shoah alive and nurture a vivid culture of remembrance.
“On a European level, I am going to encourage other states to create national functions similar to mine. We have already started to fight anti-Semitism on the level of the EU, for example by calling for the member states to adopt the definition for anti-Semitism that the (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) has formulated.
“The German Bundestag and the German government have adopted this definition in 2017. Our biggest challenge, however, will be to change the views people hold about Jews. This is a task for all of us, and for the sake of society as a whole — because anti-Semitism is a threat for any democratic, open society.”
The CNN/ComRes poll interviewed more than 7,000 people across Europe, with more than 1,000 respondents each in Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Poland and Sweden.
American historian Deborah Lipstadt, author of the forthcoming book “Antisemitism: Here and Now,” said the poll showed in “frightening detail, how traditional anti-Semitic motifs persist in Europe.”
“While, given recent developments, this is not entirely surprising, it is disheartening,” she said of the results.
“Stepping back from the specific findings of the study, it is imperative to note that anti-Semitism constitutes a conspiracy theory, i.e. an irrational evidence-free perspective that attributes to all Jews — irrespective of their location, status, age, nationality, world view — the same qualities and stereotypes. Anti-Semitism makes as much sense as attributing to all left-handed people or all blonds similar attributes and behaviors.”
Lipstadt, one of the world’s pre-eminent Holocaust historians, says she was also disturbed by the ignorance that surrounds the systematic murder of Europe’s Jewish population during World War II.
“This is not something that should so easily be forgotten. It should be something about which Europeans should still be grappling. Not because of guilt — today’s Europeans are clearly not guilty of anything — but in terms of the society within which they live.”
The poll also highlighted a sharpening of attitudes when it comes to the relationship between the Holocaust, Israel, Jews and anti-Semitism.
A third of survey respondents believe that criticism of Israel tends to be motivated by anti-Semitism, while only one in five said it does not.
However, a third of people CNN surveyed said that Israel uses the Holocaust to justify its actions, with half the respondents in Poland agreeing. Only one in five disagreed.
A third of Europeans said supporters of Israel use accusations of anti-Semitism to shut down criticism of Israel, while only one in 10 said that was not true.
“We have always known that for many, being anti-Israel is a natural extension of their anti-Semitic beliefs. This has an impact both on their attitudes to history and to the present,” Israel’s Minister of Education and Minister of Diaspora Affairs, Naftali Bennett, told CNN.
“What is clear is that it is not only important that people know about the Holocaust, but that they understand the lessons of the Holocaust. The same deeply antisemitic stereotypes and accusations we hear today were the same fuel which powered the death camps.”
“Attacks do not exist in a vacuum”
Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, took aim at those who blame Jewish people themselves for anti-Semitism, branding such an attitude “absolutely intolerable.”
“The results indicate that substantial numbers of European citizens hold dangerous views about Jews, and back up recent figures about anti-Semitic attacks across the continent, showing that such attacks do not exist in a vacuum but are the practical manifestation of longstanding attitudes of hate turning into violence,” Kantor said.
“Even more problematic, though, is that many Europeans believe that Jews are somehow to blame for the hatred directed against them, as if Jews raise the issue in bad faith,” Kantor added. “To legitimize Jew-hatred is bad enough, but to delegitimize the Jewish right to fight this oppression is absolutely intolerable.”
(this section of the article includes a link to Moshe Kantor’s op-ed from January 2018, titled: “The power of words in the battle against hate” https://edition.cnn.com/2018/01/26/opinions/language-leads-to-violence-mk-opinion-intl/index.html)
A spokesman for CRIF, the umbrella body for the French Jewish community, said the poll showed that anti-Semitism is “evolving as a multiform disease.”
According to those polled in France, 48% agree that anti-Semitism is a growing problem in the country today. Some 29% know just a little about or have never heard of the Holocaust, while 24% believe Jewish people have too much influence over global finance.
“It is astounding to read that substantial minorities blame Israel or Jews themselves for anti-Semitism,” the spokesman said.
“For CRIF this is no surprise as we fight anti-Semitism on all fronts — whether it originates from the extreme right, as the hate of the Jew for what (he or she) represents, or from the extreme left, as the hate and delegitimization of Israel.”
> According to the poll, 34% of Europeans surveyed know just a little or have never heard of the Holocaust, while 20% of French people between the ages of 18 and 34 said they had never heard of the Holocaust.
And 31% of Europeans polled believe commemorating the Holocaust distracts from other atrocities and injustices today.
“The survey highlights the troubling fact that many entrenched hateful anti-Semitic tropes persist in European civilization, 75 years after the end of the Holocaust,” said Avner Shalev, chairman of Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem.
“The result of this survey proves the necessity to intensify broad-based efforts in the area of Holocaust education and awareness, which is essential to any effort to contend with anti-Semitism.”
Piotr M. A. Cywiński, director of the Auschwitz Memorial, said the poll results underlined the importance of education in tackling hate.
“The anti-Semitic or xenophobic ideologies that in the past led to the human catastrophe of Auschwitz seem not to have been erased from our lives today,” he said.
The CNN original story about the poll:
On the 10th December 2018 the European Union for Fundamental Rights 'Launched the Results of FRA's Second Anti-semitism Survey' . Michael O'Flaherty, FRA's Director included the following comment
Which brings me to my fourth point: let us reinvigorate our attention to Holocaust remembrance. I recently visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and was struck at its innovative approaches to Holocaust education and awareness-raising activities. With so few survivors left to share their stories, we need to look at the global experience to find ways to make children and our societies more aware of this horror. That work will also include debunking the conspiracy theories and hate speech our children encounter on- and offline, as the Commissioner has emphasised. As we move forward with innovative strategies of Holocaust remembrance, I acknowledge with respect the work of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
IS ANTISEMITISM NOW WORLDWIDE?
From ADL Global 100
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ANTISEMITIC?
Anecdotal information can be instructive, but is insufficient.
The only way to answer this question was to conduct a global public opinion research project.
This is what ADL Global 100 have done for 2014 and 2015
88.4% of the world’s population were surveyed
Of whom 4,161,578,905 accounted the total adult population
53,100 people in over 100 countries were interviewed
it was found that:
1,090,000,000 individuals had Anti-Semitic attitudes
and an Index score of 26%
The Index Score represents the percentage of adults, in the countries specified within this geographic area, who answered "probably true" to a majority of the anti-Semitic stereotypes tested. This number is weighted to represent each country
proportionately to its adult population.
2015 also showed 26%
see http://global100.adl.org/#map and click on 2015 update
Statistics represent an estimate based on the total adult population of the specific countries within this geographic area and their Index Scores,
This figure is subject to the same margin of error outlined in the methodology report.
The Anti-Defamation League commissioned First International Resources
to research attitudes and opinions toward Jews in over 100 countries.
Fieldwork and data collection was conducted and coordinated by
Anzalone Liszt Grove Research.
Tel Aviv University summarised this ADL survey as follows:
One of the most notable efforts to at least properly monitor antisemitism is a long line of
surveys and reports, financed and prepared by communities, NGO's, government agencies
and Jewish organizations. Our team has counted close to twenty, carried out during 2014
(please see our database for details). The ADL global attitude survey, published in May
2014, is the largest among them, and perhaps even the largest ever conducted; it included
53,000 participants in 102 countries and territories. The participants were faced with 11
questions, all concerning attitudes towards Jews, and those affirming six of them were
labeled holding antisemitic opinions. The ADL's analysis showed that a quarter of those
telephonically interviewed (representing approximately 1.1 billion adults worldwide),
harbor deep seated antisemitic stereotypes: an amazing rate of 70% of those considered
antisemitic admitted they have never even met a Jew, and 35% have never heard of the
Holocaust. There is a significant discrepancy between the overall findings of the Jewish
communities and of police and governmental agencies, and the outcome of this survey.
The most antisemitic regions according to the ADL are the Middle East and North Africa
(what about their anti-Zionist obsession?), Eastern Europe comes next (but numbers of
violence cases there are lower than in Western Europe?), and Sweden comes last on the
list (despite the diminishing of its Jewish population?), yet one should bear in mind that
this is an attitude survey, not a monitoring of overall manifestations, and as such it
reinforces the conclusion that old classic antisemitism, that knows no specific boundaries,
is in center stage.
1. WEST BANK AND GAZA:
The Palestinian territories were found to be the most staggeringly anti-Semitic in the world with a 93% overall index score. Among specific age groups, 92% of those between the ages of 18-49 were shown to have anti-Jewish views, and the figure jumped to 98% among those 50 and older
Trailing closely behind, Iraq reached an index score of 92%. While 10 of the questions on the 11-question survey measuring negative stereotypes were answered affirmatively by over 70% of respondents, only a third (33%) believed “Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust.
With an index score of 88%, antisemitism was shown to be at its lowest — although still remarkably strong — among participants over the age of 50 (79%), as compared to those between the ages of 35-49 (92%), and those between 18-34 (89%). The statement with the largest consensus was “People hate Jews because of the way Jews behave,” with a 90% approval rate. Like Iraq, the statement least supported on the survey was the one about Jews talking about the Holocaust, with 16% of those interviewed agreeing with it.
At 87%, Algeria tied for fourth place with Libya. Algeria showed a larger gender gap in opinion than the previous countries listed, with 92% of males, and 82% of females harboring anti-Jewish beliefs.
With an 87% index score, the two negative views of the Jews most espoused were the attribution of antisemitism to Jewish behavior, and that Jews pledged greater loyalty to Israel than their home countries, at 86% respectively. In 2011, Libyan Jew David Gerbi returned from exile in Italy and was met with protests when he tried to restore a synagogue in Tripoli.
At 86%, the Tunisians were more concerned with Jewish international “control,” than previous countries. 85% believed “Jews have too much control over global affairs,” and “Jews have too much power in the business world,” respectively, while 83% said that “Jews have too much power in international financial markets.” Earlier in May, a synagogue in Sfax was ransacked for a third time
With a general score of 82%, the Kuwait results saw the gender gap enlarged even further, with 77% of females as compared to 85% of males endorsing the negative ethnic stereotypes.
The general score in Bahrain was 81%, however, the younger respondents until the age of 34 showed significantly lower levels of racism (77%) than their older peers (86%). Despite the antisemitism, the country’s ambassador to the US from 2008 to 2013 was Houda Nonoo, a member of the country’s tiny Jewish community.
The negative stereotype most highly rated in Jordan, with a general score of 81%, was “People hate Jews because of the way Jews behave” at 84%. Despite signing a peace treaty with Israel in 1994, many in the country still oppose normalization with the Jewish state.
With an overall score of 80%, Morocco, Qatar, and UAE took tenth place. The older Moroccans were shown to be less racist than their younger counterparts (75% of those over 50, 79% of 35-49-year-olds, 84% of 18-34-year olds). Qatar, UAE tied in their scores on the following statements: “People hate Jews because of the way Jews behave” (82%); “Jews have too much control over the global media” (70%); Jews have too much control over global affairs (73%) and “Jews have too much power in international financial markets” (71%)
Boasting the lowest rates of anti-Jewish sentiment on the planet, Laos received an index score of 0.2%. The survey claim most supported at 4% was “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to [this country/to the countries they live in]”
At 3%, like Laos, the question of Jewish nationalistic loyalty was most agreed with, with 10% of respondents voicing support for this assertion. Following closely behind, the statement that Jews have too much power in the business world garnered support among 9% of the population interviewed.
At 4%, Sweden is the least antisemitic country in Europe. However, Jewish loyalty to the State of Israel over its home country garnered the support of over a quarter of participants in the survey (27%).
With a 5% index score, the Netherlands is nonetheless concerned, like those before it, with Jewish loyalty. One third of those asked agreed Jews are more loyal to Israel than the Netherlands. Furthermore, 20% believed the Jews talk too much about the Holocaust.
6% of the country’s citizens were deemed anti-Semitic in the survey. Overall, men were twice as likely to agree with the anti-Jewish claims than women (8% vs. 4%)
6. UNITED KINGDOM:
At 8 percent, the UK beat the US ever-so-slightly. Like the European countries before it on this list, over a quarter of the UK respondents believed Jews to be more patriotic toward Israel than the UK (27%). Nearly a fifth of those surveyed said “Jews have too much control over the United States government” (19%)
7. UNITED STATES:
At 9 percent, nearly 1/4 of those surveyed in the US said the Jews talk too much about the Holocaust (22%). While in the US, 31% said Jewish were more loyal to Israel than the US, only 11% thought the Jews have undue influence on the American government.
Neck and neck with the US at 9 percent, some 39% of Danes believe the Jewish commitment to Israel precedes that of its patriotism to its own state
The only African country to reach the top ten, Tanzania scored a total of 12 percent. Thirty-two percent of those asked agreed that Jews have too much control in the international media, “don’t care what happens to anyone but their own kind,” and are more loyal to Israel, respectively
Israeli tourists can rest easy, as one of their most frequented tourist attractions lands the title of one of the least Jew-unfriendly countries. A mural at a university depicting Hitler alongside superheroes in 2013 drew wide criticism, but was blamed on ignorant students.
Tel Aviv university - Kantor Center - Anti- Semitism Worldwide
Overview of Antisemitic Manifestations Worldwide 2014
The year 2014 has been one of the worst years in the last decade, 2004-2014, in fact, it was the second worst year after 2009. Troubling and even alarming reports kept coming in from many countries, especially from Western Europe and North America, monitoring hundreds and sometimes over a thousand antisemitic manifestations and incidents of various types per country. The tendencies that characterized this difficult year, in which violent, verbal and visual expressions of antisemitism abounded, continued in the beginning of 2015, with increasing murderous and other attacks. ………….......….……
The first obvious reason and easy explanation for the soared number of worldwide antisemitic manifestations, and anti-Israeli activities and expressions containing antisemitic motifs, is Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, in July and August 2014. Yet an analysis of the events during, and for a while in the wake of, the operation, shows a much more complex scenario, and points at deeper reasons ………………………………..
The Return of Classic Antisemitism. A host of ugly caricatures, published in the various media channels (please see the Kantor Center database and website), complemented the demonstrations, serving as a vehicle for visualizing the symbols of good and evil, culprits and victims, often showing Jews and Israelis in the same known Der Stürmer fashion: cruel, blood thirsty, killing children with a sneering smile under a crooked nose…………………………………………………………..
Cruelty on the Rise. The ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) phenomenon, and the bloody character of events unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa since the so called Arab Spring", have raised the level of cruelty to hitherto unknown new heights.
Overview of Antisemitic Manifestations Worldwide 2015
The feeling with which the year 2015 ended was one of fear and concern, among Jews and non-Jews alike, especially in Europe. Waves of immigrants shook the continent, and terror took a terrible toll in human lives and brought up heavy questions and doubts regarding the ability of democracies to defend themselves and their citizens. The Jewish communities and Jews as individuals feel threatened by the influx of refugees on the one hand, and the increase in the right wing parties' electoral power as a result, on the other. On the one hand, recent developments brought down the number of violent anti-Semitic cases perpetrated against Jews and Jewish sites, and on the other the nature of the violent cases have become more cruel, and the growing variety of verbal and visual anti-Semitic expressions, mainly on social media, became more brutal and insulting. An attempt to explain these seemingly contradicting tendencies is therefore required.
The number of violent antisemitic incidents worldwide decreased quite dramatically during 2015, especially after the first months of the year, in comparison to 2014: The Kantor Center team monitored 410 violent cases during 2015, compared to 766 in 2014, a decrease of approximately 46%. While this is the lowest number in the recent decade, it should be taken in consideration that 2014 was a very difficult year, especially due to the Protective Edge operation during the summer, and that the number of violent cases in 2015 is more or less equal to that of 2011, and that, compared to 2013, the decrease in 2015 is about 26%.
ANTISEMITISM IN THE ARAB WORLD
From Wikipedia. Click to go to full article
antisemitism in the Arab world refers to discrimination against Jews in Arab countries. While Arabs are also a Semitic people, the meaning of the English term "antisemitism" refers to discrimination against Jews (see antisemitism: Etymology and usage).
Arab antisemitism is believed to have expanded since the 19th century. Jews, like other minority groups within the Muslim world, were subject to various restrictions long before that (see Dhimmi). However, despite its restrictive nature, dhimmi status also afforded the "People of the Book", provided they did not contest the inferior social and legal status imposed on them, relative security against persecution and welfare most of the time—a protection that was missing for non-Christians in most of Europe until the institutionalization of equality under a secular idea of citizenship after the French Revolution—and allowed them to enjoy their respective religious laws and ways of life.
Antisemitism in the Arab world has increased greatly in modern times, for many reasons: the breakdown of the Ottoman Empire and traditional Islamic society; European influence, brought about by Western imperialism and Christian Arabs; Nazi propaganda; resentment over Jewish nationalism (see Zionism); and the rise of Arab nationalism. The rise of political Islam during the 1980’s and afterwards provided a new mutation of Islamic antisemitism, which gave the hatred of Jews a religious component.
For most of the past fourteen hundred years, according to Bernard Lewis, Arabs have not been anti-semitic as the word is used in the West. In his view this is because, for the most part, Arabs are not Christians brought up on stories of Jewish deicide. In Islam, such stories are rejected by the Qur'an as a blasphemous absurdity. Since Muslims do not consider themselves as the "true Israel", they do not feel threatened by the survival of Jews. Because Islam did not retain the Old Testament, no clash of interpretations between the two faiths can therefore arise. There is, says Lewis, no Muslim theological dispute between their religious institutions and the Jews.
While there were anti-semitic incidents in the early twentieth century, antisemitism increased dramatically as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict. After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the Palestinian exodus, the creation of the state of Israel, and Israeli victories during the wars of 1956 and 1967 were a severe humiliation to Israel's opponents - primarily Egypt, Syria and Iraq. However, by the mid 1970s the vast majority of Jews had left Arab and Muslim countries, moving primarily to Israel, France and the United States. The reasons for the exodus are varied and disputed (see Expulsions).
By the 1980’s, according to Bernard Lewis, the volume of anti-semitic literature published in the Arab world, and the authority of its sponsors, seemed to suggest that classical antisemitism had become an essential part of Arab intellectual life, considerably more than in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century France, and to a degree that has been compared to Nazi Germany.
In their 2008 report on contemporary Arab-Muslim antisemitism, the Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center dates the beginning of this phenomenon to the spread of classic European Christian antisemitism into the Arab world starting in the late 19th century.
Examples of information given to Arabs about Jews are:
In the year 2003, Israeli-Arab Raed Salah, the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel published the following poem in the Islamic Movement's periodical:
You Jews are criminal bombers of mosques,
Slaughterers of pregnant women and babies.
Robbers and germs in all times,
The Creator sentenced you to be loser monkeys,
Victory belongs to Muslims, from the Nile to the Euphrates.
During a speech in 2007, Salah accused Jews of using children's blood to bake bread.
"We have never allowed ourselves to knead [the dough for] the bread that breaks the fast in the holy month of Ramadan with children's blood," he said. "Whoever wants a more thorough explanation, let him ask what used to happen to some children in Europe, whose blood was mixed in with the dough of the [Jewish] holy bread."
Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Mahdi Akef has denounced what he called "the myth of the Holocaust" in defending (the then) Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's denial of it.
Wikipedia has summarised Islamic terrorism as comprising terrorist acts by groups or individuals who use Islamic and Islamist motivations or goals for their actions. Islamic terrorists have relied on interpretations of the tenets of the Quran and the Hadith. Such groups have cited Quranic verses and Hadith to justify violence and killing. Recently, there have been incidents on a global scale, where certain hardline Islamic groups have started advocating beheading and enslaving in the name of religion and caliphate against other sects of Muslims and non-Muslims (kuffar). This has been met with armed resistance from these oppressed Muslim groups and moderate Muslims have taken a strong stance against such ideology. Go to article for more detail
IRAN’S ANTISEMITISM CAN’T BE REASONED WITH
Rabbi David Wolpe the Max Webb Senior Rabbi, Sinai Temple, Los Angeles, March 30, 2015 from Time
One might as easily ask the tiger to be a vegan
As Passover approaches, the Jewish world has yet to fully turn its attention from the earlier holiday of Purim. Purim recalls the efforts of a Persian anti-Semite to kill the Jews. Sound familiar?
This is a time to remind ourselves of the power of irrationality. Perhaps many Americans, as exemplified by the Barack Obama administration, do not understand a certain darkness in the soul. Let me explain.
The other day I gave a lecture on antisemitism and was asked for the thousandth time, “Why?” What is the source of this hatred? It has its origins in “otherness” — people who are different arouse our suspicion and often our enmity. For much of Western history, the Jew was the symbol of the person who is unlike the majority. But that is not a sufficient explanation. Nor is any historical or sociological circumstance enough to explain why less than 1% of the world’s population arouses more than 50% of its crazy hatreds. antisemitism is not about Jews; it is about anti-Semites.
When the leader of Iran tweets about wiping Israel off the map, our instant reaction is that he isn’t serious, and that the message was just for domestic consumption. Rationality has a hard time comprehending unreasoning hatred. The sober man won’t believe the drunk can’t simply control himself.
The deception lies with the idea that one who is mad in one thing must be mad in all things. Many anti-Semites are supremely sensible about things other than antisemitism. So you can sit across the negotiating table and hear them speak quite rationally about scientific data and power relations and believe, “This person is essentially like me.” That is a natural assumption and a deep delusion.
That same person will also believe, in the face of all evidence, that Jews control the banks, or that the Mossad brought down the towers on 9/11, or that the Holocaust was a fraud, or that every depredation and misfortune that that person, or their people, has suffered is somehow the fault of the Jews. And if only the world would be rid of Israel, then the Sunni and Shiite would lie together as the biblical lion and lamb.
So is it surprising when a defector from the Iran nuclear-deal negotiations claims that Iran is getting just what it wants? Of course the negotiators will not demand that Iran recognize Israel or cease its encouragement of terror; one might as easily ask the tiger to be a vegan. You cannot expect nations or individuals to abandon part of their raison d’être.
Now we have the news that Iran, which had promised to ship its stockpile of uranium to Russia, has reneged on that portion of the deal. This is a negotiating tactic with which we should be familiar: As the deal gets close, and the sides have a greater investment in it being consummated, the Iranians will take pieces off the table. Not enough to blow up the deal (there are “other ways” to deal with the material, according to the New York Times), but enough to make it less effective, less comprehensive, and more manageable when finally signed. To the conspiratorial mind, every concession is not an advance to a solution but a tactical triumph.
As I have written before, an Iranian bomb combines the two great taboos of the 20th century, Auschwitz and Hiroshima. It is a nuclear bomb in service of destroying the Jewish people. The drive to acquire one will not be derailed by appeals to Iranian self-interest. We all recall the military vehicles diverted to concentration camps despite the desperate need for them at the German front, because the urgent task of killing Jews could brook no interruption. That entire nations could hate Jews to their detriment is no surprise to Israel’s prime minister: After all, his father wrote a noted history of the Spanish Inquisition.
The dark, relentless, and unsparing hatred that swirls about is evident every single day in broadcasts, tweets, and speeches from clerics and political leaders all across the Middle East. We are accustomed to saying that it is our values, our way of life, our history, or something else that others hate. When it comes to antisemitism though, it is not about Jews, it is about anti-Semites. It is a derangement not susceptible to rational analysis or rational deterrence. We are about to strike a deal with people who harbor an implacable hatred. Iran may seek leverage for all sorts of regional, hegemonic goals as well. As long as the current regime holds power, however, there is one unwavering, non-negotiable goal. And unlike the sunshine of reason, deep hatreds are patient. Read next: Lincoln and the Jews
IT DIDN’T JUST START WITH HITLER
STORY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE
IS ANTISEMITISM WORLDWIDE?