Antisemitism

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Antisemitism is discrimination, hostility or prejudice directed at Jews.

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  • The Jews' political ignorance, which fitted them so well for their special role and for taking root in the state's sphere of business, and their prejudices against the people and in favor of authority, which blinded them to the political dangers of antisemitism, caused them to be oversensitive toward all forms of social discrimination. It was difficult to see the decisive difference between political argument and mere antipathy when the two developed side by side. The point, however, is that they grew out of exactly opposite aspects of emancipation: political antisemitism developed because the Jews were a separate body, while social discrimination arose because of the growing equality of Jews with all other groups.
    • Hannah Arendt, Antisemitism, Chapter 4, "The Jews and Society."
  • Jews in Medina are singled out as "men whose malice and enmity was aimed at the Apostle of God". The Yahūd in this literature appear not only as malicious, but also deceitful, cowardly and totally lacking resolve. However, they have none of the demonic qualities attributed to them in mediaeval Christian literature, neither is there anything comparable to the overwhelming preoccupation with Jews and Judaism (except perhaps in the narratives on Muhammad’s encounters with Medinan Jewry) in Muslim traditional literature. Except for a few notable exceptions... the Jews in the Sira and the Maghazi are even heroic villains. Their ignominy stands in marked contrast to Muslim heroism, and in general, conforms to the Qura'nic image of "wretchedness and baseness stamped upon them."
  • It would be futile to deny that the Nazis built a vast mass of evil on a vast mass of prejudice. It would be equally futile to deny that strong prejudices against the Jews existed among Christians during the centuries before the Shoah. Since, moreover, the childhood of the European nations was passed under the tutelage of the clergy, we should not be surprised that these prejudices were, in part, ecclesiastically inculcated.
  • The Holocaust was the product not of Christendom, but of Christendom's collapse. The destruction of Christendom effected (1) the rejection of Catholic natural law and (2) the rise of the absolute nation-state, previously impossible because popes could depose and counterbalance kings. Hitler, to be sure, contributed a neo-paganism and anti-Semitism all his own. But in mobilizing opinion and wielding power, he was helped more by these two innovations than by any Catholic doctrines.
  • "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."
    • Jeremy Cohen (2007) quoted in Christ Killers: The Jews and the Passion from the Bible to the Big Screen, Oxford University Press, p. 208, ISBN 01951784161
  • On any given day one can find some eminent European – a university professor, high-ranking churchman, a parliamentarian – gravely explaining to reporters that harsh and disproportionate criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic. And their protestations sound plausible. After all, this is not your grandfather’s anti-Semitism.…At least that is what I assumed until someone did the study. Two Connecticut professors got curious about the constant denials that extremely harsh critics of Israel were anti-Semitic. Edward H. Kaplan, the William N. and Marie A. Beach Professor of Management Sciences at Yale, and Charles A. Small, Director of Urban Studies, w:Southern Connecticut State University, decided to examine the issue in formal way.…Kaplan and Small ask whether individuals expressing strong anti-Israel sentiments, such as the statement by Ted Honderich, Emeritus Grote Professor of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic at University College London, that “those Palestinians who have resorted to necessary killing have been right to try to free their people, and those who have killed themselves in the cause of their people have indeed sanctified themselves,” are more likely than the general population to also support in such old-style anti-Semitic slurs as “Jews have too much power in our country today.” The correlation was almost perfect. In a survey of 5,000 Europeans in ten countries, people who believed that the Israeli soldiers “intentionally target Palestinian civilians,” and that “Palestinian suicide bombers who target Israeli civilians” are justified, also believed that “Jews don’t care what happens to anyone but their own kind,” “Jews have a lot of irritating faults,” and “Jews are more willing than others to use shady practices to get what they want.” The study’s other interesting finding was that only a small fraction of Europeans believe any of these things. Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism flourish among the few, but those few are over-represented in Europe’s newspapers, its universities, and its left-wing political parties.
  • Anti-Semitism is a kind of social mark of Cain that indicates a society or culture that is not ready for prime time and which will fail the tests of modern life; when anti-Semitism gains a foothold, the canary in your coal mine has just keeled over and died.
  • I know you hesitate to appoint the man I recommended because he is a Jew. Who do you think you are, Harvard?
    • Harvard Professor G. D. Birkhoff from "A Century of mathematics in America", Volume 1, By Peter L. Duren, Richard Askey, Uta C. Merzbach pg 235.
  • In Western Europe, anti-Semitism directed against Arabs has largely replaced anti-Semitism against Jews

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