Why Anti-semetism?

Dennis Prage and JosephTelushikin, in their book, “Why the Jews”, give an interesting and, I think, concise answer as to why Jew’s have been historically hated, shunned and persecuted:

There are four things about Judaism that have been the cause of antisemitism since there were Jews:
3. Israel/Jewish Nationhood
4. Chosenness.

One or more of the has always threatened the gods, laws and cultures of our non-jewish nieghbors.

Regarding God:

God revealed Himself to the Jews and and from that time on, Jews have held that any other gods and everything else that is worshiped, is false. Before this, everyone worshiped their own gods but acknowledged the gods of other nations. Not the Jews. “Other gods” were nonsense. There is but one God and He revealed himself to the world through the Jews. Not hard to see how this generated anti-semetism.

Moreover, our God makes moral demands upon everyone and judges everyone and every nation. This is known as ethical monotheism and the Jews have been hated for introducing it.

Judaism brought the concept of a God-given universal moral law into the world (Rev. Ed Flannery). The world has often resented this challenge.

The rebelling against ethical monotheism is a basic element of antisemitism. After all, you’re not going to direct hatred at the all powerful God.

*]They killed Jesus.
*]Jealousy: they have power and wealth

I said this once before on this forum:
Who God loves, the devil hates.
God loves the Jews, and chose you to be His people.
Hence you endure the special malice of the evil one.

It was a Jewish belief (tradition, superstition?) at one time that demons particulalry hated jewish scholars and would, if possible, try to prevent them from having sons.

FOr the purposes of this thread, however, I won’t be taking into account the possibility of Divine or demonic intercession as an explanation.

Ok I am going to bite here…how do these 4 things relate to Nazi anti-semitism?

Hi. But they were persecuted before the death of Jesus. ANd there have been long stretches of our history where it cannot be said that we had power and wealth.

Jumping right into the heart of things… I’ll get back to you on that.

From what I’ve read, very little.
Biggest reason was just pure jealousy b/c the Jews controlled the banking world and were wealthy and influential. They still are actually :slight_smile:

Yes, I was reflecting more on the recent history with those points.
Since I think they’re big reasons, I didn’t want to see them left out.
I should have made that clear, sorry.

I have to agree…these things has little or nothing to do with Nazi anti-semitism.
And yes they have a large control of the banks and diamond:) industries…

There are many reasons for anti-semitism Valke2…I do not think that your 4 reasons in the OP are all the reasons.

WIth all due respect, the argument that Jews control the banking system is a result of antisemetism, not a cause of it. It is one of the rallying cries used when espousing anti-semetic rheteroic. The whole reasons Jews are involved in the financial world to begin with is because they were historically not permitted to own property. Banking transactions are not sheep and land and therefore were one of the few available avenues of work available.

If this is really a widely held belief here, I’ll address it in greater detail.

I don’t think Hitler was really interested as to why they controlled the banking system. This seems to be the point at hand. But it is an interesting topic as to why they control it :slight_smile: I’d like to hear more about that. When they Jews were persecuted over the decades, I know some countries, or I should say cities and provinces, protected the Jews because of their vast knowlegde of finance. A good example of this is Antwerp.

It would seem that now adays more and more banking transactions involve land…I could care less who is in banking etc. as long as they know what they are doing and do not loose me money:) …for now I am quite happy with my Jewish CPA and my Jewish Bankers:thumbsup: :slight_smile:

I have to agree!!!


You know what I find interesting is that the only religion that has laws against hatred of this religon or a term for it is Judiasm.
Christians have also been hated and persecuted throughout the centuries as have other religions/faiths.

It has always been a double edged sword for jews. We’ve always tried to make ourselves indispenisble to the rulers where we lived, and when we get to successful at what we do, we incur the gov’t’s wrath. Originally, many nations prohibited Jews from owning anything. So farming/agriculture was pretty much out. Many Jews became merchants and brokered finanical transactions between parties (Ioans, etc.). I think this explains why we have an overrepresented presence in media. Because it is a fluid, abstract business.

To expand on the isse of ethical monotheism as one of the causes for antisemetism:

There has historically been a hostility to the Jewish belief in one God. Conversion to this belief was done very reluctantly, as pointed out by Ernest van den Haag, a social psychologist. Antisemetism is one form of such resistence. We originated his difficut system and then rejected the version which the nonjews adopted. A Christian or muslim can’t be hostile to their all powerful God but they can be hostile to those who “generated” him.

Jewish Law as a source of antisemitism

The component of Judaism that concretized the Jewish challenge is Jewish law, which puts our beliefs into action.

Purpose of the law/Halacha is to have the Jew express his affirmation of God and denial of other gods in his daily actions. The Torah laws deal with public affirmation of God’s existence. 51 of its commandments legislate the denial of other gods.

It is not enough for a Jew to acknowledge monotheism privately. We are required to express it in public. Rambam stated that Jews are duty bound to proclaim this true religion to the world, undeterred by fear of injury from any source.

But Halacha legislates much more. Every aspect of jewish life is legislated. As I have previously posted, this ensures that the our different ethical values are always put into practice, just as the laws regarding monotheism ensured that we put our belief in God into action.

Kashrut (dietary) and Sabbath laws illustrate how we declare our distinctiveness and separation.

However, while our way of life differentiates ourselves from the rest of the world, we do not physically remove ourselves from society, like the Amish for example. We immerse ourselves in society while maintaining our own way of life. Because we have lived among non-jews and often prospered while maintaining separate beliefs and practices, we’ve “provoked” anti-semitism.


The Vatican didn;t recognize the State of Israel until 1993.

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