The eternal question: Why anti-Semitism?

It’s a surreal experience being hated. I mean, I have at least one person who, on a personal basis, doesn’t think much of me, but at least there, even if I may disagree, I sort of know what I did that made her have those feelings towards me.

On the other hand, it’s a whole other thing being hated for your religion or race or both. Or both. That’s us, us Jews. Hated for being Jewish, whatever Jewish is.

I read things that talk about Jews as being worms, etc. and the whole time I’m thinking, “They are referring to me.” And it’s so strange to think about that. I think about who I am. I’m a nice girl. I’m always trying to be kind and helpful and I always want to be doing meaningful things in order to better the world. I love my family and have beautiful friends. Almost all of whom, of course, are Jewish.

And yet I’m called a worm and I should die, according to these people who hate Jews. Who hate me.

Today a non-Jewish person started a conversation with me about anti-Semitism. He said he’s always wondered why people hate Jews. Ah yes, I said. That question. I said to him, “You should know that this is a major topic of conversation amongst Jews. Because we always are trying to figure out what is the reason that ‘they’ hate us. And,” I said, “there are many different opinions, most of which do not fit for every anti-Semitic event in history.”

It breaks my heart. Is the world yet again going to allow life as we know it to be destroyed because it/we/they aren’t standing up to the evil? When will we truly, deeply realize that not standing up against evil is one of the most evil things we can do.


7 thoughts on “The eternal question: Why anti-Semitism?

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  1. I am not sure I like the question. Jews are the other where ever they are. They are always a smaller population that is very visible. They do not go away and have not lost in this game of history. How many minority populations in the world have been eliminated?

    The interesting question to me is not why do people hate Jews? People hate the other and do so in every community. Just think back to high school, people hated each other with such virulent passion. Over what? She dresses different or likes weird things or is ugly or is gay or is Jewish.

    If history is written by the winners, we are winners. Over an over again the Jewish people succeed against all odds. This success is immensely annoying to people who just wish we would go away.

    5000 years of this – do you really ever think that we will become a majority people ever? I don’t. So keep winning and remember who your enemies are and who your friends are. I am myself am going to continue to be a good Jew and continue to succeed and help people around me to do so.

    1. I do believe this hate is different. So long-lasting and so deep and strong. After a certain point don’t you think maybe people would sort of look at what’s happened and say, “OK, fine. You Jews just keep surviving and surviving and you annoy me but I am finally just going to face facts and stop wasting my energy on fueling this hate that seems to practically take over everything else.” But it’s like people cannot help themselves.

      It seemed like you were about to say what the interesting question is to you. Were you? I’d like to know!

  2. You could say that this hate is long lasting but the Balkan states brought up grudges from over 700 years ago as reasons for attacking their neighbors. The Irish were at it for over 300 years. Variations on color have been at it for 1000s of years.

    I still believe the Jewish population remains an unassimilated population within other populations where ever it goes. As it does move around it succeeds at what ever the community wants to do. This exclusivity and success raises its focus everywhere it goes. Jews never just meld into the community and quietly disappear. This history will continue and will cause more attention in the future.

    Christian Europe had 600 years to formulate its opposition to its only population of other people (the Jews) into the most fantastic form of us and them. They have managed to export the language and the foment. Most other cultures similar to the Jews were wiped off the face of the map – assimilated or killed. Take a look at the Zoastrians of Persia. Only a few hundred thousand live around the world after a persistent and systematic elimination of the people. Or the Celtic people of the British Isles, France and Spain were all but eradicated. Both of these have been going on for well over a thousand years.

    I have pondered why Jews seem to get 10% of all news attention when they are less than .01% of the world population. There is an obsession and fascination. Some of it is hate and some of it is not. My question I guess would be why the obsession? Why do so many people care about such a small population of people? 1 billion Christians and 1 billion Muslims all have a small interest in there parental religion but that does not explain the obsession.

  3. So it sounds like you’re question is cousins with mine but just asked in a more positive way. It sounds like you do agree that there is a very strong focus on Jews. You say some of it is just fascination, not necessarily hate, but do we not see that time and again, when it comes down to it, it turns to hate?

    OK, well anyway, I sort of feel like you answered your own question in your reply. Where does the fascination stem from? I would think it stems from the fact that there is something strange about us, no?

    I am wondering if you noticed “the Jews” at all before you started becoming personally interested in Judaism. Do you remember what your thoughts were about this group of people? Did you ever wonder about us?

    I must say that although I’m skeptical, which makes it difficult to believe this kind of thing 100%, part of me does believes there is a spiritual reason for the obssession, for the hate and for the fascination.

    Do you believe in that at all? That something about our mission, our goals, our committment to certain ideals (obviously not all Jews, I must say but still) makes us be noticed, often hated and yet able to continue on (PLEASE GOD)?

  4. Deena,
    Have you ever experienced anti-Semitism first hand? I am always asking my Jewish friends whether or not they have been hated for being Jewish, and none of them ever have been hated for being Jewish. Though they are always on the lookout for it. Now these days I see Israel behaving in unacceptable ways that no other nation could get away with, and besides a few criticism here and there, the world goes along with it. I also see that Israelis are very fast at judging legitimate anger and criticism directed at israel about how it conducts itself towards the palestinians (which israel doesn’t even bother to recognize as people) as anti-Semitism, in fact using that label to make anybody that has something to say about a conflict that determines so much in the world shut up.
    sometimes I think that if there would be no anti-semitism at all anymore, the Israeli would invent it.

    1. This post is irritating on 2 fronts. First the logic of if you have not had antisemitism directed toward you then what are you looking out for? And 2nd the misnomer that Israel has done things no other country has done and no one says anything.

      What part of antisemitism would you like: the question of whether or not a friend had horns, or the thanks that your people run the world banks, or the blame of the Jewish Hollywood consipiracy for the state of black people in the US, or the idea by several politicians that the Jewish community made up the holocaust and it is a big hoax, or that Barbie is a Jewish plot against Saudia Arabia to take down their civilization, or that the Jews made up the whole attack on 9/11, or the man in CT that decided it was OK to kill a Jewish girl and any Jewish people that he met. What of this is not antisemitism directed at me?

      On the Israel comment, name one thing Israel does that another does not do. Name another country in the world that is not allowed on the security counsel at the UN. Name another country of 8 million people that has 1 billion others that will not acknowledge its existence. Name another country that has been attacked twice without provocation and won and still does not have the acknowledgement of the world that they won.

      On the topic of the palestinians, have you ever looked at what the neighboring countries do and we have no news about. Palestinians in Lebanon have been forced to live in shanty towns and have few jobs since 1948 after the Arabs attacked Israel.

      If we are talking about the treatment of other people should we talk about all the other countries and what they do to people that do not appear in the news.

      This kind of comment is really bothersome. If you are really trying to learn stay and learn. If you want to bait me more please leave. The comments were not fair nor realistic.

      Thank you,
      mTp – With Intention

    2. Believe me, living in Israel for 16 years, specifically in Jerusalem, I have experienced anti-Semitism repeatedly by the people who distort the truth, teach their children in school and in their homes a disturbing amount of hate, kill my friends, and would prefer to kill me as well.

      The fact that in the case of the “Palestinian”-Israel “conflict,” the victim is considered the perpetrator and visa versa, is a sneaky anti-Semitism.

      As mTp said, if you really are interested in learning more about this fascinating topic, please read the article below that discusses why a place like Chechnya, where many more people are being murdered in the most disgusting of ways, and in far greater numbers, is, in comparison to the “Palestinians,” ignored. (It’s actually really interesting how he goes through the numbers.)

      Why are those victims less worthy of being saved? Why are far more evil places and leaders and nations barely mentioned in order to allow ample space for Israel in the news? If that isn’t the modern anti-Semitism, I do not know what is.

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