The Logic of Anti-Semitism
Vol: 78 Issue: 28 Friday, March 28, 2008
One of the most enduring mysteries of the ages is, to my mind, the phenomenon of anti-Semitism.
It doesn’t follow any logical pattern that could explain it — indeed, taken as a purely social phenomenon, it makes no sense whatever.
Anti-Semitism appears to be universal; it has existed in every generation, among every people, on every continent upon which the Jew has put his foot.
European anti-Semitism dates back to the days of the Roman Empire, but Jews have been the targets of discrimination and pogroms on every continent and virtually every nation on the earth.
There is no nation that can claim to be free of anti-Semitism, and at the same time, there is no nation that can credibly claim it was harmed by its indigenous Jewish population.
Although an infinitesimal fraction of the global population, Jews have been awarded a quarter of all the Nobel Prizes given in the 20th century for chemistry, economics, literature, peace, physics and medicine.
Even the nations of the Arab world could have peace with Israel for the asking. Yet there is no nation on earth more universally despised.
Some anti-Semites (those who admit to themselves that they are) will argue that the Jews are “Christ-killers” invariably citing Matthew 27:25 as their ‘proof text’.
“Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.”
That doesn’t explain anti-Semitism among non-Christians — in fact, it doesn’t even explain anti-Semitism among Christians.
The Jews who happened to be in the crowd self-pronounced the curse, but the entire nation wasn’t there — just the rabble.
In any case, it was Jesus Himself Who lifted that curse as soon as it was pronounced, saying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
And, finally, it wasn’t Jews that drove the nails through His hands and feet, or thrust a spear through his side. Crucifixion was a Roman punishment, imposed by Roman decree, carried out by Roman executioners, not for crimes against Judaism, but for crimes against the Roman Empire.
If the charge of ‘Christ-killer’ applies to the Jews, logic would dictate it would apply equally to the Italians.
Finally, Christians understand that Jesus was not executed for crimes against the Jews, or for crimes against Rome: those were simply the legal justifications under prevailing law at the time.
There is no nation, tribe or individual human being on this earth that did not play an equal role in His Death — He came to atone for the sins of all mankind.
And for three raging, horrific hours, the cumulative sin of the entire human race was heaped upon Him. Every person who ever sinned shares equal guilt with the Roman soldier who actually drove the spikes in His Body.
No, the “Christ-killer” label is an excuse to explain the existence of anti-Semitism.
It is not a reason for its existence in the first place.
Neither is the current conflict between Israel and the Arabs sufficient reason to explain anti-Semitism. In the first place, it predates modern Israel by 25 centuries.
But leaving that aside, this is the Modern Age of Enlightenment and Israel was born out the ashes of, if not the first, certainly the most successful effort at destroying the Jewish race in history.
The pitiful survivors of Europe’s madness dragged themselves back to their ancient homeland, where in a single generation, they turned a desert wasteland back into a land flowing with milk and honey.
Of all the nations carved from the empires of history, there is no greater rags-to-riches story than that of Israel.
A truly representative democracy surrounded by a sea of brutal dictatorships, it should shine as a beacon of hope to oppressed peoples everywhere.
Israel should, by all existing standards, be as much a beneficiary of ‘historical guilt’ as are Native Americans or African Americans, or Australian aborigines or any other historically oppressed peoples.
No matter what identifiable, historically oppressed ethnic group one compares to the Jews, there is no common denominator.
In the first place, a Jew is a person of a particular faith but of no particular ethnic background, as well as being a person of a particular background with no particular religious faith.
Moreover, those who explain their anti-Semitism on religious grounds generally don’t believe in the Jewish God anyway.
Jewish anti-Semitism is a fundamental tenet of Islam, and is cited as the principle reason for both the global jihad against the West and for the Islamic world’s refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
Despite this undeniable truth, the United Nations accepts every charge laid against Israel by the Islamic world, no matter how spurious.
At the same time, it routinely ignores open acts of war committed against the Jewish state by finding some moral equivalence between Israel’s refusal to commit suicide on demand and Islam’s refusal to recognize its right to exist.
Compare Israel’s ‘human rights violations’ — even the most transparently fictitious ones — to actual human rights violations ongoing in Islamic nations like the Sudan, or Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, or Syria’s Assad regime.
There are no mass graves in Israel. Yet more UN resolutions have been passed condemning Israel over the past sixty years than those passed against all the rest of nations of the world combined.
It defies logical explanation.
America has no more faithful or trusted an ally among all the nations of the world than it has in Israel. It is hard to imagine criticism emanating from Israel on a par with the kind of criticism routinely heaped on the US by its other close allies like Britain, France or even Canada.
And America has few enemies more virulent than the Palestinian terrorist groups like Hamas.
But the US is basing its entire peace process on creating a terrorist state on Israel’s borders. Never in international history has a nation been created while its people were engaged openly in a war of annihilation with the nation sponsoring its creation.
No other nation on the face the earth would even countenance being put in such a situation, let alone being forced into such a suicidal situation by its closest ally.
This, too, defies logical explanation.
Anti-Semitism cannot be explained by the secular history of the world. It really can’t even be explained by the religious history of the world. If there is an historical instance of Jewish oppression of Christianity to justify it, I can’t find it.
I can’t even find much of a case for the oppression of the Arabs by Jews — not even by modern Israel.
I visited Israel in 1992 just before the Oslo Agreement, including Bethlehem, Hebron, Jericho, Masada and the Dead Sea, now all part of the Palestinian Authority.
Not once did I hear a murmur of discontent. The Palestinians were thriving, tourist dollars were pouring in, roads were being built . . . if I were to visit today, I’d likely not come back alive.
Who or what turned it a war zone?
In 1993, Israel was prepared to turn the Palestinian Authority into the jewel of the Middle East. It would have stood as a testament to Israeli tolerance.
But the Palestinians couldn’t get beyond their blind hatred of the Jews, and as soon as the opportunity presented itself, they attacked. Why?
The rest of the world, particularly in the West, is neither blind nor stupid.
The Western diplomats who scold Israel for retaliating against unprovoked rocket attacks against civilian targets KNOW that they would react with far less restraint were they the ones on the receiving end of the rocket fire.
They KNOW that the war would end the second the Palestinians stopped attacking.
Yet they support the Palestinian right to launch unprovoked random attacks against Israeli targets and condemn Israel for pin-point retaliatory strikes aimed exclusively against the attackers as ‘disproportionate.’ Why?
Why does the world hate the Jews? What have the Jews ever done to the world?
They survived — not as Israelis, but as Jews. The world would have no problem with a secular Israel. Or with a Muslim Israel. What it cannot countenance is a JEWISH Israel. It cannot even explain why.
Both the world’s dominant religions, Christianity and Islam, are rooted in Judaism. Islam claims it descended from the Jewish patriarch, Abraham, and Christianity was founded in Jerusalem by a 1st century Jewish itinerant preacher.
Neither faith would exist without Judaism, and neither faith COULD exist without the continued existence of the Jews. Since both faiths were born out of Judaism, both would crumble without it.
You can’t pull a foundation from under a building and expect the ediface to continue to stand. That is simply logical. If Judaism is rooted in a false theology, so is Islam and Christianity.
Why would Christians or Muslims knowingly fight against their own God?
So global anti-Semitism doesn’t make logical sense politically, economically, socially or religiously. Yet it continues to thrive, despite its self-destructive nature.
There is but one logical explanation for anti-Semitism, and that explanation is spiritual. The Bible says that Satan is the god of this world, and that it is his goal to be worshiped as such.
The existence of Israel is a constant reminder to the god of this world that his days are numbered. His goal is to eradicate all traces of God from the face of the earth.
And standing in his way is the Jewish state of Israel. The Bible also says that the Jews are the Chosen People of God and that they will not only endure as a people to serve as God’s ‘ensign to the nations’ that He exists, but that their existence is evidence of His ability to keep His word.
“Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is His Name: If those ordinances depart from before Me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me for ever.” (Jeremiah 31:35-36)
For Satan to win, God’s Word must return to Him void. Israel’s destruction would accomplish that goal. That’s why the world hates Israel, even though it cannot explain why. Because by Israel’s very existence it is an offense to the god of this world.
Therefore, the big question, since Israel DOES exist, revolves around its RIGHT to exist.
No other explanation makes logical sense.