The Bitter Fruits of anti-Semitism

The Bitter Fruits of anti-Semitism

© David Burton 2020


     “The Nazi Holocaust is history’s most extreme example of anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism did not begin with Adolf Hitler: Anti-Semitic attitudes date back to ancient times. In much of Europe throughout the Middle Ages, Jewish people were denied citizenship and forced to live in ghettos. Anti-Jewish riots called pogroms swept the Russian Empire during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and anti-Semitic incidents have increased in parts of Europe, the Middle East and North America in the last several years.” (Ref. 1)

     Throughout the ages, history has shown that nations which have treated their Jewish populations kindly have benefitted as a result. On the other hand, those nations that have permitted, encouraged or committed violent anti-Semitism, have not done well subsequently.

     Going far back in time, the biblical narrative tells of those nations that were hostile to, attacked, and opposed the original Israelites. Most, if not all of these opponents of the Hebrew people fared badly – very badly. Amalek was destroyed. Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece and the Roman empire are no longer great powers. After the destruction the Second Temple, Jews have been scattered throughout the world – the Diaspora. In some of these countries, Jews were treated kindly and contributed to the prosperity and well-being of their hosts – at least for a period of time. In too many of these countries, Jews were eventually treated badly, were expelled or were murdered. Those countries that have treated their Jewish guests badly have not fared very well.

Anti-Semitism or anti-Jewish

     The annals of recorded history are filled with tales of the brutal and unbridled hatred that has been exhibited toward Jews and the Jewish nation. History also bears witness to the failures of those who have so behaved toward the Jewish people and to the disasters that have befallen those who have opposed and oppressed the Jewish people. The word anti-Semitism is often used to describe these haters of Jews, Judaism and the Jewish nation, but anti-Semitism is a misnomer. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word Semite refers to, “a member of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs as well as a descendant of these peoples.” Anti-Semitism describes “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group”, and not to other Semitic peoples. Rather than use the word anti-Semitism to describe hatred of and belligerence toward Jews, anti-Jewish or anti-Jews are much more accurate descriptions of such behavior. However, in keeping with its modern implication, we will continue to use anti-Semitism to describe acts against Jews, the nation of Israel and the Jewish religion.

     The anti-Semitism being considered herein is of the violent kind, consisting of physical acts of violence and destruction, murder, mass expulsion, torture, forced conversion and worse. There are other forms of anti-Semitism, consisting of: social exclusion, slurs, imposition of informal quotas, denial of housing or job opportunities, etc. that are not addressed in what follows.

Some Causes of Anti-Semitism

     Anti-Semitism is sometimes called history’s oldest hatred. The causes of Anti-Semitism have been and continue to be investigated with the conclusion that there appear to be many causes. What have been identified as some of the causes of anti-Semitism are: religious zeal – “Mine is the only true religion – all nonbelievers need to be punished and/or eliminated.”; blind hatred – “I hate the Jews simply because they aren’t like me.”; jealousy – “They are doing better than me and have more than me. If I can’t be like them and have what they have, then I’ll get rid of them and take what they have.”; scapegoating – “I’ll blame all my failures and deficiencies on the Jews.”

     “Anti-Semitism is not a simple or single thing. . . {These days} anti-Zionism is employed as an excuse for anti-Semitism. Jews are sometimes attacked for being secretly all-powerful or beaten because they are visible and vulnerable. They have been demonized as exploitative capitalists and as subversive communists, as warmongers and as disloyal pacifists. The charges may be inconsistent or insane.
     “But there is a common thread in the varieties of anti-Semitism: a determination to blame the other. Through all of Western history, Jews have been an entity on which many non-Jews projected their anger, resentments, fears and venom.
     “The level of anti-Semitism has always been a kind of test — a measure of a nation’s social health, or the lack of it. When the rights of Jews are violated, all human rights are insecure. When Jews and Jewish institutions are targeted, all minorities have reason for fear. ” [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 2)

The Fate of the anti-Jews

     Our history books, as well as the Bible and its related texts, are replete with the fate of the peoples and nations that have partaken in anti-Semitism throughout the pages of recorded history. Anti-Semitism throughout the ages has resulted from: blind and irrational hatred of Jews simply because we are different; jealousy of Jews who were higher achievers than the anti-Semites; the need to find a scapegoat for the anti-Semite’s failures; anger at the Jews’ refusal to give up our religion; the desire to take the possessions of the Jews without having to pay for them, i.e., to steal from them. Various nations, people and individuals have engaged in such violent anti-Semitism from biblical times until and including the present day. What many of these anti-Semites have done and how they have fared is presented in what follows.

The Egyptians

     From the Bible and its related texts, we learn of the anti-Semitism of Pharaoh and ancient Egypt. First welcoming the Jews to Egypt because of Joseph, the subsequent Egyptian monarchy then made slaves of the Jews. Pharaoh ordered the murder of newborn Jewish baby boys in a failed attempt at genocide. Pharaoh and his people endured the 10 plagues of the Bible, which was followed by the Jews leaving their house of bondage.

     In the days of the Bible and in the early days of recorded history, Egypt was a major power, both in terms of military might and knowledge. Following Egypt’s enslavement of Jacob’s descendants and their subsequent exodus, Egypt faded into the background of history. In more modern times, Egypt has persecuted its Jews and has made a number of attempts to destroy the modern State of Israel, but has failed.

     “In November 1945, an anti-Jewish student protest led to riots in Cairo, quickly spreading to Alexandria and beyond. Thousands of Egyptians drove through the streets of Cairo yelling ‘Death to the Jews’. Jewish stores were looted, homes were burned, and synagogues set alight and Torah scrolls and other Jewish books burned in a huge bonfire. Six people were murdered in the pogrom and hundreds were injured.
      - - -
     “. . . Starting in 1945, Jews were gradually forced out of public jobs; in 1947 Jewish schools were put under surveillance and forced to teach an Arab-focused curriculum. In 1948, Jewish organizations were forced to turn over lists of members to the authorities; in 1949, Jews were banned from living near any of King Farouk’s palaces.
     “After Israel declared independence in 1948, thousands of Jews were arrested and placed in camps. Synagogues, Jewish homes and Jewish-owned businesses were bombed. With a Jewish state once again in existence to flee to, the second Exodus began. . .
     “From a high of over nearly 100,000 Jews in 1948, fewer than 100 Jews remain in Egypt today. . .
      - - -
     “Anti-Semitism remains rampant in Egypt today. ‘It is probably the only ideological component that all Egyptian factions agree on, whether you are Islamist, secular or even those that the West describes as liberals or democrats’ . . .” (Ref. 3) Today, Egypt is an underdeveloped and poverty-stricken third world nation. Egypt’s ages-old embracing of anti-Semitism has borne it bitter fruit.

The Persians

     In Bible times, today’s Iran was known as Persia. The story of the prototype anti-Semite, the Persian Haman, is related in the Scroll of Esther which recounts the events of the Jewish holiday of Purim. Haman failed in his attempt to murder all the Jews in ancient Persia.

     Persia was once one of the greatest political, social and military powers of the ancient world, with famous leaders such as Cyrus and Xerxes. It then rapidly receded from the this lofty position.

     Today’s Iran has succeeded in driving all Jews out of that country and stands in the forefront of the world’s anti-Semitism, repeatedly threatening to destroy the Jewish homeland and annihilate all the Jews living there. Modern Iran’s virulent anti-Semitism has not enriched it or its people in spite of the oil resources it possesses and on which much of its economy depends.

The Greeks

     Alexander the Great conquered much of the civilized world in the 4th century BCE, at which time, Greece achieved the summit of its power. Greece was the Western world leader in knowledge, culture and military power.
     In the 2nd century BCE, the Greeks set out to Hellenize the Jews and instituted a reign of terror. A statue of Zeus was placed in the Holy of Holies, among other violations of Jewish law. The pious among the Jews rebelled. Most prominent of these rebels was the group led by Mattathias of Modiin and his five sons – of whom Judas Maccabeus proved to be the most able. He drew the rest of the Jewish rebels into his camp and instituted the Maccabean Revolt (167-160 BCE) which eventually resulted in the Land of Israel being freed from the pagan Greek rule of the Holy Land.
     The Jewish rebels captured Jerusalem in 164 BCE. The Temple was rededicated and the eight-day holiday of Chanukah was created as a consequence.[4]

     From its glory days up until the Maccabean Revolt, Greece was a major power. Since then, Greece has pretty much receded from the world spotlight. Today, Greece is in a precarious financial position. “Following the global financial crisis, Greece went into recession in 2009. The global economic downturn exposed years of government deficit spending in the country, and the International Monetary Fund and eurozone governments have provided aid packages that are tied to sharp austerity programs for the Greek government.
     “The ongoing Greek debt crisis raises questions about the futures {of Greece} and of the Greek people, who face years of living under austerity measures. Within the European Union, Greece has one of the highest unemployment rates – particularly for young adults – as well as an alarming risk of poverty for its citizens. The nation has also become a major crossroads for migrants . . .” (Ref. 5) Greece is still one more nation that has seen its fortunes diminish following its embracing a form of ancient anti-Semitism.

The Romans

     At the dawn of Christianity, Rome held sway over the western world which included the Land of Israel.

     The Roman general Pompey established Roman Syria in 64 BCE and right after that he conquered Jerusalem in 63 BCE. Later, Julius Caesar defeated Pompey in 45 BCE. Under Julius Caesar, Judaism was officially recognized as a legal religion, a policy followed by the first Roman emperor, Augustus. The ruling Jewish Hasmonean dynasty was deposed by the Romans after the Roman Senate declared Herod the Great “King of the Jews” around 40 BCE. Judea proper, Samaria and Idumea (biblical Edom) became the Roman province of Iudaea in 6 CE. Jewish–Roman tensions resulted in several Jewish–Roman wars from 66 CE to 135 CE. The wars ultimately resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple in 70 CE.[6]

     For the Jews, one “of the most significant times in ancient history was the persecution of the Jews by the Roman Empire. The Romans tried to suppress the Jews several times in their history, killing many of them on the way. Though the Jews fought battles with strength, their strength did not match that of the Romans.
     {When} “. . . the Roman Empire took over Judea, the land of the Jews, . . . the Jews refused to worship the Roman Gods. . . Although the Romans obviously had problems with the Jews, they let the Jews legally worship their God to repay the Jews for helping Julius Caesar win a recent battle.
     “Romans were suspicious of the Jews and persecuted them on numerous occasions. An immense conflict arose in 66 A.D. . . The Roman governor of Judea claimed that he was collecting more taxes for the government and actually ended up stealing a great sum of money from the Jewish Temple. The Jews and the Jewish revolutionaries, or zealots, were enraged and started to rebel against and attack the Romans in their province. Nero sent legions in to ruthlessly suppress the Jews and their revolt. By 70 A.D. Romans regained control of the province, as well as control of the Great Temple . . . The Romans killed over 1 million Jews in this conflict, and many other Jews were sold into slavery. After the Romans had control, they made the remaining Jews move to all different parts of the empire, so as to avoid them having enough power to revolt again.
       - - -
     “{Later, Hadrian became Emperor.} Hadrian was a pagan, and despised non-pagan religions. He put a ban on the instruction of the laws and customs of circumcision. . . .
     “When Constantine became emperor . . . he passed the Edict of Milan in 315, which made Christianity legal, but not Judaism. . . This . . . change of the official religion to Christianity, made the Jews not only stand out as heretics, but they were no longer considered citizens of Rome. . . A false allegation was also put against the Jews that made them be more hated than they already were. The blood libel was when Christians accused Jews of killing Christians, especially children, for the blood for their Passover. . .
     “Another emperor, Theodious the Great, declared Christianity as the only legal religion and permitted the destruction of synagogues in 391. Then, in 855, the Jews were exiled from Italy.” (Ref. 7)

     The Roman empire disappeared over the centuries. Its successor to the Roman empire, Italy, never gained the status once achieved by the Roman empire. But today, the Land of Israel is once again a flourishing home to the Jewish people.

     From the Roman Empire until today, Italy devolved into a fractured nation until finally united by Garibaldi. Italy was, for over 700 years, the de facto extension of the capital of the Roman Republic and Empire. Following the conquest of the Frankish Empire, the title of King of Italy merged with the office of Holy Roman Emperor. This led Italy to gradually devolve into a system of city-states.
     Italy remained as such through the Renaissance but began to deteriorate with the rise of modern nation-states. The Peace of Westphalia in 1648 formally ended the rule of the Holy Roman Emperors in Italy but the Spanish branch of the Habsburg dynasty continued to rule most of Italy down to the War of the Spanish Succession in 1701-1714. After this war, Spain ceded Naples, Milan and Sardinia to the Austrian Empire and Sicily to Savoy. Italy was thus divided into many small principalities, and it would remain that way until the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789.
     Italy was unified to some degree by Napoleon, but following his final defeat, Italy was once again divided into numerous states. Although the Kingdom of Italy established by Napoleon crumbled, and the Italian peninsula remained fragmented through the mid-1800s, the concept of a united Italy began to take root. Unification of Italy took place in the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. The name of Giuseppe Garibaldi here comes into importance as a major contributor to the nation’s unification.
     After the unification, Italy faced a number of problems. The middle class and aristocracy had never truly been won over by the revolutionary ideals that trickled down from France. The Pope was still against the state until Mussolini came to power. With Mussolini’s rise to power, Italy became a fascist state and suffered much the same fate as its wartime partner, Nazi Germany. [8]

     And what about modern Italy? “According to economist and Professor Luigi Pascali the 14 percent income gap that exists today between northern and southern Italy is directly traceable to the south’s expulsion of Jews in 1503 and the north’s acceptance of their flourishing financial role as the Jews who remained in the northern cities provided a flow of credit that led to Italy’s first banks. The effects of those decisions made during the Renaissance are still evident in northern Italy’s vigorous banking and credit sectors which is in stark contrast to the South’s depressed economy.” (Ref. 9)

The Spanish

     With the destruction of the Second Temple and their Banishment from the Land of Israel, Jews were scattered throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. One civilized and hospitable country to which Jews fled was Spain. Both Spain and the Jews prospered until the year 1492. In March 1492 Spain’s King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella issued the Edict of Expulsion, which was publicly announced on April 29. The decree allowed Jews to stay in Spain only if they converted to Christianity, basically limiting them to Catholicism, the dominant religion in Spain. If Jews chose not to convert, they had four months to leave the country or face execution by the Spanish Inquisition.[10]

     Prior to the Expulsion, there was a significant and vital Jewish community for almost nine hundred years in Spain. Under Moslem rule, the Jews enjoyed a “golden age.” There were Jewish courtiers and even prime ministers, financiers and army generals. Jews excelled in medicine, philosophy, poetry, astronomy, diplomacy, finance, and creativity.[11] Over this period of time, Spain achieved the status of a superpower. Spain remained a leading power for some time after the Expulsion, but its power and status waned over the next few centuries. Today, Spain is not included in the list of leading nations of the world, even as it tries to reestablish its long-gone Jewish community.

     The “Expulsion of Spain’s Jewish population had a tremendous impact on the history of Spain . . . It stunted the development of Spain at a time when it could ill-afford it. . .
      - - -
     “It is impossible to know exactly how many Jews went into exile. Most scholars agree on approximately 140,000 . . . All of the world’s Sephardic Jews are descendants of those who were exiled from Spain as the result of the Spanish Inquisition – the term Sephardic comes from the Hebrew word Sefarad for Spain.
     “The Expulsion of the Jews was a disaster for Spain, psychologically, intellectually and economically. It boosted the legitimacy of the Spanish Inquisition, whose stifling effect would be felt by the society until the 19th century. It also stripped 2% of Spain’s most urbane, educated and affluent inhabitants. At a time when Europe’s economy was shifting from agrarian to industrial, Spain could not afford this loss. . .” (Ref. 12)

     “The discovery of the new world by Columbus in 1492 {heralded} an era of Spanish dominance across Europe. Going from Louisiana to South Georgia the Spanish overseas holdings in the Americas made the already rich empire even richer. With the powerful House of Habsburg on their throne which also ruled the Holy Roman Empire, Spain now became the de facto leader of Europe.
     “Spain nowadays can best be described as one of the sick men of the European Union. . .” (Ref. 13)

     “The 1492 Alhambra Decree, a royal edict issued by Spain’s Catholic rulers, declared that all Jews must convert to Christianity or leave the country. The majority of Spanish Jews chose exile over conversion and so Spain lost its financial elite. The result was a decline of prosperity across Europe, wherever Jews were expelled.” (Ref. 9) In the 15th century, Spain and its Jews were on the top rung of the Western world ladder. Following its expulsion of the Jews in 1492, Spain began its steady decline as a world power, until today, it is a minor player on the world stage. Its decay began with its harvesting of the fruits anti-Semitism more than five centuries ago. Look at what Spain has become since it’s version of anti-Semitism drove its Jews out.


     France - once a contender with England and Spain for the role of leading power in western Europe - is no longer the major player that it once was. Its diminishing importance has been accompanied by the rise in violent anti-Semitism in that country.

     “In the 13th Century in largely Catholic Medieval France, Louis IX issued a decree forcing Jews to wear the ‘rouelle,’ a piece of yellow cloth hung on their coats to mark them as outsiders.
     “Sovereign authorized attacks on the Jewish faith became more prominent under Philip IV who, in 1306, seized the property of Jews and expelled them from the country unless they converted.
     “Almost 90 years later Charles VI announced a ban on all Jews living in his kingdom.
    - - -
     “Fast forward a few centuries and within two years of the French Revolution, in 1791, France became the first country in modern Europe to emancipate the Jews — granting them equal rights under the law.
    - - -
     “In more recent history, the Alfred Dreyfus affair became an infamous example of anti-Semitism in France, revealing deep splits in society at the end of the 19th century.
     “The decade-long scandal — which rocked the assumption that Jews had become an integral part of French life — revealed the depths of anti-Jewish sentiment in the country and triggered a national crisis.
    - - -
     “For some Jews in France the Dreyfus affair eventually represented a triumph of republican values over discrimination but others saw the scandal as proof of endemic anti-Semitism.
    - - -
     “During World War II, the French Vichy government collaborated with Germany, notably in the deportation of Jews to death camps.
     “The period is another stain in French history with tragic repercussions . . .” (Ref. 14)

     Here, in the early decades of the 21st century, anti-Semitism in France has again made ugly headlines. French Jews no longer want to remain French. Today, those “French Jews who can leave the country, leave.
     “Those who have not yet decided to leave or who do not have the financial means, move to safer neighborhoods.
     “Most departures are hasty; many Jewish families sell their homes well below the market price. Some families end up in apartments that are too small, but prefer discomfort to the risk of being mugged or killed.
     “The French Jewish community may still be the largest in Europe, but it is shrinking rapidly. In 2000, it was estimated at 500,000, but the number now is less than 400,000, and sinking. Jewish districts that once were thriving are now on the verge of extinction.
     " ‘What is happening is an ethnic cleansing that dare not speak its name. In a few decades, there will be no Jews in France’ . . .
     “Without the Jews of France, France would no longer be France . . .
     “. . . ‘The problem . . . is that anti-Semitism today in France comes less from the far right than from individuals of the Muslim faith or culture’.
     “. . . in France, for at least two decades, all attacks against Jews in which the perpetrator has been identified have come from Muslims . . .” (Ref. 15) Accompanying the growing violent anti-Semitism in France, the French are witnessing a national descent into a third world Islamic enclave.


     Czarist Russia and subsequently, the Communist Soviet Union were once powerhouses on the Eurasian continent. They were also breeding grounds of virulent anti-Semitism. Russia today is a shadow of the former Soviet Union, but with aspirations under Vladimir Putin of regaining its former glory.

     The “tradition of Russian anti-Jewish feeling dates back to the middle ages, being a legacy of the influx of Eastern Orthodox Christianity into the Muscovite Empire. Jews were in fact banned from entering the heartland of Muscovy (stretching from Kiev to Moscow). As a result, Jews did not have a significant presence in Muscovite controlled territories until the 15th century. The expulsion of Jews from several countries in western Europe drove large numbers of Jews eastward to places like the kingdoms of Poland and Lithuania, which were generally more open to Jewish settlement. However, as Russian Tsars pushed westward, conquering territory from Poland, Estonia, and Lithuania, the number of Jews which fell under Russian administration grew.
     “Consequently, Russian Tsars, like Ivan IV (the Terrible) increasingly turned their attention toward Jews, whom they considered the enemies of Christ. When Ivan's army occupied the Polish city of Polotzk in 1563, which had a large and prosperous Jewish community, all local Jews were ordered to convert to the Orthodox faith. Those who resisted were either drowned in the Dvina River or burned at the stake.
     “By the 18th century the Russian Empire had spread over Ukraine and eastern Poland and large numbers of Jews had been incorporated. Russian rulers responded to this by enacting laws which limited the areas in which Jews could live, the professions they could engage in, and the property they could own. Pogroms (popular attacks on Jewish communities) also became more common into the 19th century, sometimes with the encouragement of Tsarist authorities. The crisis that the imperial regime experienced in the closing decades of the 19th century also led authorities to exploit ethnic hatreds and antisemitism within the empire, all in an effort to redirect popular discontent with the autocracy. Accordingly, Tsarist plots to foment hatred of Jews resulted in antisemitic propaganda like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fictional master plan concocted by the Tsar's secret police that allegedly described the Jewish conspiracy for world domination.
     “Given the history of popular and official anti-Jewish opinion, by the time of the Revolution in 1917, the Russian Empire (particularly its western regions) was thus considered to be one of the most virulently antisemitic places in Europe.” (Ref. 16)

     The Russian Civil War which began near the end of WWI created social disruption that encouraged greater anti-Semitism in Russia. Some 190,000 Jews were killed in pogroms during 1918-1922. The Russian Civil War pogroms shocked world Jewry and strengthened the desire for the creation of a homeland for the Jewish people.[17]

     “In the wake of the Russian Revolution, an estimated 1,326 pogroms are thought to have taken place across Ukraine alone, leaving nearly half a million Ukrainian Jews homeless and killing an estimated 30,000 to 70,000 people bbetween 1918 and 1921. Pogroms in Belarus and Poland also killed tens of thousands of people.” (Ref. 1)

     In August 1919 the Soviet government arrested many rabbis, seized Jewish properties, including synagogues, and dissolved many Jewish communities. The Jewish section of the Communist Party labeled the use of the Hebrew language "reactionary" and "elitist" and the teaching of Hebrew was banned. Zionists were persecuted harshly.
     Numerous Jews were victimized in Stalin's purges as "counterrevolutionaries" and "reactionary nationalists". Many Jews fell victim to the Great Purge in the 1930s, and there is evidence that Jews were specifically targeted by Stalin, who harbored antisemitic sentiments all his life. A number of the most prominent victims of the Purges—Trotsky, Zinoviev, and Kamenev, to name a few—were Jewish, and in 1939 Stalin gave Molotov an explicit order to purge the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Jews.
     Over two million Soviet Jews are believed to have died during the Holocaust, second only to the number of Polish Jews to have fallen victim to Hitler.
     The revival of Jewish identity after the war, stimulated by the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, was cautiously welcomed by Stalin, but when it became evident that many Soviet Jews expected the revival of Zionism to enhance their own aspirations for separate cultural and religious development in the Soviet Union, a new wave of repression was unleashed.
     Mass arrests of prominent Jewish intellectuals and suppression of Jewish culture followed under the banners of campaign against "rootless cosmopolitans" and anti-Zionism. On August 12, 1952, in the event known as the Night of the Murdered Poets, thirteen of the most prominent Yiddish writers, poets, actors and other intellectuals were executed on the orders of Joseph Stalin.
     The Doctors' Plot allegation in 1953 was a deliberately antisemitic policy: Stalin targeted "corrupt Jewish bourgeois nationalists", eschewing the usual code words like "rootless cosmopolitans" or "cosmopolitans". Stalin died, however, before this next wave of arrests and executions could be launched in earnest.
     As the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1980s, unlimited Jewish emigration was allowed. As a result, a mass emigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union took place. Since the 1970s, over 1.1 million Russians of Jewish origin immigrated to Israel. These well-educated emigres helped to establish Israel as the “Start Up Nation” and a technological powerhouse in the world.
     Antisemitism is one of the most common expressions of xenophobia in post-Soviet Russia. In 2002, the number of anti-Semitic neo-Nazi groups in the republics of the former Soviet Union, led Pravda to declare that "Anti-Semitism is booming in Russia". Antisemitic incidents are mostly conducted by extremist, nationalist, and Islamist groups. Most of the antisemitic incidents are against Jewish cemeteries and buildings. Nevertheless, there were several violent attacks against Jews in Moscow in 2006. In recent years, there has been an increase in the scope of the attacks, mainly in Muslim populated areas.[17]


     “The history of the Jews in Poland dates back over 1,000 years. For centuries, Poland was home to the largest and most significant Jewish community in the world. Poland was a principal center of Jewish culture, thanks to a long period of statutory religious tolerance and social autonomy which ended with the Partitions of Poland in the 18th century. During World War II there was a nearly complete genocidal destruction of the Polish Jewish community by Nazi Germany and its collaborators . . .” (Ref. 18)

     Even here in 2020, Poland remains a bastion of old-fashioned Jew hating and anti-Semitism. Poland has had a terribly long history of anti-Semitism. Hatred toward Jews in Poland is still prevalent! The Polish church was the major force promoting hatred toward Jews and, still, parts of the Catholic Church in Poland are anti-Semitic. The official anti-Semitic campaign of the Polish government in 1967-1968 led to the exodus of most of Poland’s Jewish population that had survived the Holocaust. Prior to the Second World War, Poland had the largest Jewish community in Europe. Polish Jews were virtually wiped out in the Holocaust. Before the war, about 3.5 million Jews lived in Poland. In 2010, there were no more than 19,000 Jews remaining, out of a population of 38 million. Jews were almost totally wiped out during the Holocaust by the Nazis and their collaborators of Poles, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Latvians, and Croatians. Some Jews were massacred and robbed by Poles and there were pogroms by Poles during and after World War II.[19]
     After the defeat of Nazi Germany, in “a number of . . . instances, returning Jews {were} met with threats, violence, and murder from their Polish neighbors, occasionally in a deliberate and organized manner. People of the community frequently had knowledge of these murders and turned a blind eye or held no sympathy for the victims. Jewish communities responded to this violence by reporting the violence to the Ministry of Public Administration, but were granted little assistance. Jewish heirs were often murdered (as many as 1500) when attempting to reclaim property.
     “Several causes led to the anti-Jewish violence of 1944–1947. One cause was traditional Christian anti-semitism; the pogrom in Cracow (15 August 1945) and in Kielce followed accusations of ritual murder. . . Yet another reason for Polish violence towards Jews stemmed from the fear that survivors would recover their property.” (Ref. 19)

     Poland was once a significant nation in Europe and it produced leaders in science and the arts, such as: Nicolaus Copernicus, Marie Curie and Frederik Chopin. Today, Poland does not find itself a significant entity in modern Europe and it is perhaps best known, along with Polish hams, for its continuing anti-Semitism.


     Scapegoating of Jews reached its climax in the horrific anti-Semitism of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and the resulting Holocaust. “In the context of the economic depression of the 1930s, the Nazi Party gained popularity in part by presenting ‘Jews’ as the source for a variety of political, social, economic, and ethical problems facing the German people. The Nazis used racist and also older social, economic, and religious imagery to this end. After seizing power, they continued to use the same means to gain legitimacy.
     “Inspired by Adolf Hitler's theories of racial struggle and the ‘intent’ of the Jews to survive and expand at the expense of Germans, the Nazis, as a governing party from 1933-1938, ordered anti-Jewish boycotts, staged book burnings, and enacted anti-Jewish legislation. In 1935, the Nuremberg Laws defined Jews by race and mandated the total separation of ‘Aryans’ and ‘non-Aryans.’ . . . These measures aimed at both legal and social segregation of Jews from Germans and Austrians.
     “. . . the initiation of World War II in 1939 . . . marked the transition to the era of destruction, in which genocide would become the key focus of Nazi antisemitism. . .” (Ref. 20)

     Germany paid a horrific price for instigating World War II. “The country was absolutely devastated. It was split in half, with one half occupied by Russia, which was raping and pillaging and dismantling anything of value and shipping it back to the Soviet Union and the other half occupied by America, England, France and whomever else wanted the crumbs. Sixty percent of the rail network was destroyed; there were no functioning airports; almost all industry had been switched to war materiel work and dispersed to avoid bombing so there were few industrial hubs; Ships were sunken in the oil-soaked harbors; Every major city was almost 80 percent destroyed. Most of the manpower was dispersed in military occupations, so they were in Allied prisons or unable to move freely among Germany. In the year before the end of the War Albert Speer reported to Hitler that Germany would lose the war by late 1945 or early 1946 simply because it lacked the oil to fight and because they had killed 2.5 million horses needed on the farms and there was no way to plant, grow or harvest the food needed to survive. Even Silesia, which was producing 60,000 tons of coal every day on 500 freight train runs into Germany right up till the last day of the war, was under the control of the Soviets. The Germans couldn't grow food, heat their homes, transport goods or live indoors, at least in the cities. The hydroelectric dams that made the electricity for Berlin had been blown up after the Battle of the Bulge so they could no longer even turn on the lights. Famine and disease were a serious possibility. It took the concerted effort of primarily the Western Allies to prevent sixty million people in Germany from starving to death over the coming years. . . it took decades to erase the destruction from the landscape.[21]

     Following the German capitulation in 1945, what remained was a decimated populace mourning the loss of millions of their people and a countryside that had been shelled, razed, and trampled by tanks and troops for years. After Germany's defeat, Berlin was divided into four zones, one for each Allied power. As the Allies' relationship with Russia began to deteriorate, it was the Berliners that bore the brunt of that tension. The early seeds of the Cold War were sewn in the post-WWII tension over Germany, with Berlin and Germany the cards to be played by the world powers. This eventually led to the 1961 erection of the Berlin Wall, which stood as both a physical barrier and a metaphorical symbol for the bifurcation of Germany for almost 30 years. Germany was devastated by bombing from WWII (estimates say up to 80 percent of historic buildings in the country's main cities were lost), and reconstruction efforts were slow to get underway. People continued their lives as best they could amid the destruction. Businesses got back underway in buildings that were missing walls and roofs, people moved in with family members whose homes were still standing, and patchwork fixes were implemented until real construction work could be done. The country's crops and livestock reserves had been destroyed in the war. The infrastructure in and around Berlin was in ruins, making it difficult to bring food in from the outside. Rationing had started during WWII and slowly increased as time went on. By 1946, the British zone had reduced the average German citizen's food allotment to a meager 1,000 calories per day. The winter of 1946-1947 was known as the "Hunger Winter" and some estimates put the average caloric intake as low as 700 calories per day - well below starvation levels. It is believed that hundreds of thousands of Germans perished from famine and famine-related conditions between 1945 and 1949. The children of post-war Germany had little to no structure in their lives. Many had been orphaned by the conflict or had lost at least one parent, leading to an overall lack of adult supervisors. Children, and especially teens and preteens, roamed the streets in packs. When schools did reopen, often in half-ruined facilities, they were underfunded and understaffed, with some schools reporting student-to-faculty ratios of 89 to 1. A host of maladies arose that the undernourished population had a hard time fighting off. Dysentery, typhoid fever, and diphtheria epidemics occurred, brought on in part by the ruined water and sewage systems. Hospital space, medicine, and medical equipment were all in short supply and difficulties in production and distribution made replacing lost materials nearly impossible. Hospital staffs were also in short supply, and doctors and nurses were quickly overstretched. One major problem with the German economy was that by the end of WWII, the Reichsmark had been so devalued that trading with it had become nearly impossible. Inflation caused by desperate overprinting, coupled with the influx of new Allied-printed Marks, had rendered the notes almost worthless and reduced Germany to what was practically a barter economy.[22]

     Germany paid a terrible price for its initiation of World War II, in which it caused the loss of 20 million lives, the destruction of much of Europe, and the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis and their all-too-willing accomplices. Even some 73 years after the Holocaust, the world’s Jewish population was less than before the Holocaust disaster. “. . . 14,511,000 Jews live in the world today, a number that is around 2 million lower than on the eve of the Holocaust when the Jewish population was 16.6 million.” (Ref. 23)

     The anti-Semitism of Hitler’s Nazi Germany led, in large part, not only to the near total destruction of Germany but also to catastrophic consequences for a large segment of the western world, including the Americas. While the Western hemisphere did not endure the physical destruction of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia, it paid its price in the blood of the soldiers it lost in combating the evil forces of fascism.

Other European Countries

     After the Spanish expulsion of its Jews in 1492, other countries in Europe, e.g. Portugal and England, treated their Jewish minorities in a similar fashion, expelling them or forcing them to convert to Christianity. And they too have suffered fates similar to that of Spain.

     “Anti-Semitism is back in Europe. Cries of ‘dirty Jew’ during Yellow Jackets protests in France, anti-Semitic posters condemning Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros in Hungary, a row over anti-Semitic remarks that threatens to tear the Labour Party apart in the U.K. — these are all part of the same worrying trend.
     “This particularly European pathology never truly went away, of course, but it had been confined, after the Holocaust, to the far-right fringes of society. Now the numbers of high-profile incidents and violent attacks are multiplying. Not only is this disease back; it is being weaponized by nationalist governments and parties on both sides of the political spectrum.” (Ref. 24)

     “Anti-Semitic hate crimes have spiked in Europe in recent years, especially in France, which has the world’s third largest Jewish population. In 2012, three children and a teacher were shot by a radical Islamist gunman in Toulouse, France.
     “In the wake of the mass shooting at the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris in 2015, four Jewish hostages were murdered at a Kosher supermarket by an Islamic terrorist.
     “The U.K. logged a record 1,382 hate crimes against Jews in 2017, an increase of 34 percent from previous years.” (Ref. 1)

     With today’s often violent and virulent anti-Semitism spreading across Western Europe, there is a rising flood of Jews leaving for safer climes – Israel and the U.S. for example. These countries that are losing their Jewish minorities face an uncertain future as their “assimilated” Jewish communities are being replaced with the less skilled Islamic influx and the arrival of refugees from a number of third world countries, mainly from Africa.

     “During the twentieth century, an astounding proportion of geniuses have been Jewish, and the fate of nations from Russia westward has largely reflected how they have treated their Jews. When Jews lived in Vienna and Budapest early in the century, these cities of the Hapsburg Empire were world centers of intellectual activity and economic growth; then the Nazis came to power, the Jews fled or were killed, and growth and culture disappeared with them. When Jews came to New York and Los Angeles, those cities towered over the global economy and culture. When Jews escaped Europe for Los Alamos and, more recently, for Silicon Valley, the world’s economy and military balance shifted decisively. Thus, many nations have faced a crucial moral test: Will they admire, reward, and emulate a minority that has achieved towering accomplishments? Or will they writhe in resentment and plot its destruction?” (Ref. 25)

The Arabs and Muslim Countries

     In recent years, the Arab and Muslim nations of the world have been extremely unkind to Jews who had been living peacefully in these countries for more than 2,000 years. Over the centuries, these Jewish refugees from the ancient Land of Israel had contributed immensely to their host nations. They had resided peacefully in the countries that welcomed them and they had not fomented trouble. But, with the return of Jews to their ancient homeland around the start of the twentieth century and the rise of Arab nationalism after World War I, Jews in Arab and Muslim nations became the targets of Jew-haters and anti-Zionists. Nearly all members of a once thriving array of Jewish communities in Arab and Muslim countries were eventually forced to flee their adopted homelands around the time of the establishment of the State of Israel. A Saudi Arabian journalist recently discussed the consequences of this forced exodus of Jews from Arab lands. This journalist wrote that oppression of Jews in Arab countries caused Jewish emigration - and a consequent loss to the Arab economies and to Arab society. In the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat he discussed the oppression of Jews in Arab lands that led those Jews to emigrate and reestablish their lives elsewhere.

     The journalist “wrote that Jews living in ‘the Mashreq,’ the eastern part of the Arab world, were forced to leave for other countries after facing systematic oppression and confiscation of their property, despite being ‘pillars of the economy and of culture and art’ in their respective countries. Citing examples of Jewish families that went on to be financially successful elsewhere, {he} asserted that Jewish emigration from Arab countries constituted a loss to ‘the Arab economy and to Arab society, which failed to be tolerant and became an emblem of exclusion.’ [Emphasis mine]
      - - -
     " ‘The Jews I am talking about were part of homogenous Arab communities. They were [ordinary] citizens, until their oppression began, manifested in doubting their loyalty, accusing them of treason and pressuring them to leave. When the pressure did not produce results, their property was simply seized. [All] this was done to others as well, but the Jews were a regular target for accusations of treason and suspicions of disloyalty, even though they were pillars of the economy and of culture and art in the countries where they lived.
     " ‘I remember an incident that happened to me... My daughter was about to have a delicate operation in the U.S. to remove a malignant tumor. I was attending Friday prayers in Jeddah when [the preacher] started... cursing the Jews and the Christians. I objected to this, saying: 'Am I supposed to curse the Jew who is about to operate on my daughter? (The surgeon happened to be Jewish). Why should I urse someone who has never done me any harm? On the contrary, I wish him every success.' I started recalling encounters I had had with Jews in the Arab world, from all walks of life. For example, I remembered Serge Berdugo, who served as culture minister in Morocco in 1993-1996, and who told me: 'We Moroccan [Jews] have full civil rights.' [I also recalled] my meeting in Bahrain with Rouben, the owner of the famous electronics shop near Bab Al-Bahrain [in the center of Manama], who told me that Bahrain respects the rights of the Jews who live there.
     " ‘[But], in contrast to these examples, there are also tragic stories about the denial of rights, about racist and degrading treatment and about the forceful seizing of property from innocent Jews. Such examples are known from countries like Iraq, Libya, Algeria, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen. The Kadoorie family, [for instance], left Iraq for Hong Kong, where it founded [Hong Kong's] oldest hotel, the Peninsula... Another [Jewish] family that left Iraq was the Saatchi family, which settled in Britain and founded the Saatchi advertising agency. The Safra family left Syria for Brazil, where it founded a financial empire, and the Cicurel family, which owns huge department stores, came from Egypt. All the families presented [here] as examples were lost to the Arab economy and to the Arab society, which failed to be tolerant and became an emblem of exclusion.’ “ (Ref. 26)

     “A million Jews lived in Arab countries in the 20th century. Today, just a few thousand are left, mostly in Morocco and Tunisia.
     “The purging of the Jews caused a crisis in almost every Arab country from which they came. Despite their relatively limited numbers, the Jews’ impact on society, culture, economy, and trade was crucial to the development of those countries, and their loss was felt. After the Jews were evicted from Iraq and Egypt, for example, those countries experienced crisis after crisis.
      - - -
     “The Iraqi Jews were wrenched from their former home, but their contribution to the country is felt to this day. Like Jewish minorities in other countries, the Jews of Iraq concentrated on trade, crafts, light industry, governmental and municipal services, and banking. The impact of Jews on commerce and banking was especially significant.
     “The eight banks operating in Baghdad in the 1940s were all founded by Jewish families, and most of the clerks of Jewish and foreign banks were Jews. The first Iraqi Minister of the Treasury, Yehezkel Sasson, was Jewish. He laid the foundations for Iraqi taxation, economics, and the state budget. . .
      - - -
     “Arab countries of old flourished in large part because of the contribution of their Jews. But then, in some countries, there was an exchange of populations: the Jews were forced out and Palestinian Arab refugees arrived in their place. The wealthy and educated Jewish population was replaced by a weak and poor population, a cultural shock that particularly affected Syria, Iraq, and Libya.
     “{Today}, Arab leaders continue to choose for the most part to look the other way, not only refusing to protect the Jews but actively contributing to their persecution.
     “Perhaps not coincidentally, the Arab states suffer serial economic failures and never-ending wars and disputes. Some Muslims believe this is a punishment by Allah for their failure to protect the Jews, as they were instructed to do.” [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 27)

     “ Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist Bret Stephens . . . defines Arabs’ ‘long-abiding and all-consuming hatred of Israel and Jews’ as the chief cause of Arab decline. When the Arabs expelled their approximately 900,000 Jews, but clung to its intense hatred of them, it ‘proved fatal: lost human capital, ruinously expensive wars, misdirected ideological obsessions, and an intellectual life perverted by conspiracy theory and the perpetual search for scapegoats,’ he said.” (Ref. 9)

     What has the virulent anti-Semitism of the Arab and Muslim countries of the world brought them? A very few of their citizens have attained material wealth, in large as a result of being oil rich. By far, the majority are uneducated, poor, under the rule of despotic tyrants, and constantly fighting – mostly with each other. At one time. Arab and Muslim peoples were at the summit of knowledge, sophistication and power in the western and mid-eastern world – a time when they lived in peace with their Abrahamic brethren.

The United States

     Historically, America has been the most welcoming home for Jews in the Diaspora. Is this changing? Anti-Semitism here in the United States has undergone a recent increase and some of this anti-Semitism has even been of the violent type. “In the United States, anti-Semitic incidents rose 57 percent in 2017—the largest single-year increase ever recorded by the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights advocacy organization. 2018 saw a doubling of anti-Semitic assaults, according the ADL, and the single deadliest attack against the Jewish community in American history—the October 27, 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.” (Ref. 2) Will this unhappy trend continue and what will its consequences be?

The Bitter Fruits of Anti-Semitism

     “Blessings are available to those who discern the difference between political agendas and truth—and choose rightly. History proves what the prophet Zechariah foretold: that the nations who plunder G-d’s people, the Jews, will ‘become plunder;’ for whoever touches Israel ‘touches the apple of His eye.’ G-d’s decrees carry more weight than any other, and He has promised that those who bless Israel, He will bless, and those who curse Israel will inherit a curse. History itself is the proof text.(Ref. 9)

     “Pharaoh tried to annihilate the Hebrews, and all the first-born of Egypt died. Amalek tried it and perished. Sibon, king of the Amorites, Og, King of Bashan, tried it and perished. The Assyrian Empire, the Babylonian Empire tried it and passed off the stage of human history, and the eternal Jew lives on. Haman indulged his hatred of the Jew, and almost succeeded in his program of extermination. But he ended on the gallows built for Mordecai. Daniel's envious enemies and their families ended in the lions' den. The Edomites, Esau's descendants, tried to destroy the Jews and perished. Antiochus Epiphanes tried to destroy the Jews and perished. Roman Emperors tried it, and all of Europe tried it through the Dark Ages. Spain, the proudest and most powerful persecutor of Jew, declined in power and prestige for centuries until now it is inviting the Jew back! The Russian czars tried anti-Semitism, and the Jewish communists have triumphed.
     “As Frederick the Great said, ‘No nation ever persecuted the Jew and prospered.’ Hitler {tried} to destroy the Jews of Germany and also Germany. Jew-haters never learn anything from history. Jeremiah (30 :15), like all the Old Testament prophets, was supernaturally exact when he said, ‘All they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey.’ This has been fulfilled through all Jewish history . . .” (Ref. 28)

     In the Bible, Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9), we read how Balak, the evil King of Moav, hired the prophet/wizard Balaam to curse the Jews. Balaam was hesitant to take on the job as God appeared to him several times, telling him, “You must not curse that people, for they are blessed.”

     “After much persistence, God allowed Balaam to take the job, as long as he would only pronounce upon the Jews what God would put in his mouth, as it says, ‘Go with the men. But you must say nothing except what I tell you.’
     “Nevertheless, Balaam made good efforts to try and curse the Jews, but he failed each time. Indeed, he eventually admits, ‘How can I curse whom God has not cursed? . . . Who can count the dust of Jacob, number the ‘dust-cloud’ of Israel? May my fate be like theirs!’
     “Balaam tried and tried, but ultimately failed. ‘When He blesses, I cannot reverse it. The Lord their God is with them.’ Balak then fired Balaam…he was useless!
     “Many readers might realize that the story of Balaam is reminiscent of Genesis 12:3. ‘I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’ The world continues to try and curse the Jews. But it always backfires. [Emphasis mine] We have it ‘in writing’ from God that it always will!
     “Genesis 12:3 has been tried, tested, and retested year after year for thousands of years. The ending is always the same. . .’ Curse Israel and the Jewish people and you will be cursed.’ There’s no running from it.
      - - -
     “Pharaoh was warned with 10 plagues to let the Jews go. He didn’t make the right decisions. It didn’t end well for him.
     “The Amalekites were the first nation to attack the Jewish people after the Exodus from Egypt. It didn’t end well for them either. Do YOU know any Amalekites today? I sure don’t.
      - - -
     “Stalin, a horrible anti-Semite, suffered a stroke on February 28, 1953. That day was the Jewish holiday of Purim, which commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Iran from Haman’s plot to destroy the Jewish people. Stalin was the Haman of his time.
     “Let’s talk about Britain. Under the leadership of the Jewish Benjamin Disraeli (1804 – 1881), England thrived. It was during the 19th and 20th centuries that Britain prospered and even dominated world trade. And then in 1917 the British Foreign Office famously announced: ‘His Majesty’s Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.’ This became known as the Balfour declaration. The 1920 San Remo Peace Conference gave Britain a ‘Mandate for Palestine’ based upon the Balfour Declaration and this was formalized in 1922 by the League of Nations.’ The primary purpose of the Mandate was to grant political rights in Palestine to the Jewish people.
     “But Britain reneged on the Jews. The Peel and Woodhead commissions of 1937/38 recommended partitioning Palestine into a small Jewish state and a large Arab state – against the promises and intentions of the Mandate. And then there was the British White Paper of 1939, which essentially blocked Jewish immigration to Palestine. These policies repudiated the Balfour Declaration and Britain’s commitments when the Jewish people needed it most.
      - - -
     “Could it be that Britain was a recipient of ‘those who curse you will be cursed’ for her treatment of the Jews? It sure looks that way! Let’s see.
     “Britain’s status began to decline quickly, especially after she handed over the mandate on Palestine to the {United nations}. . .
      - - -
     “Britain used to control 25 percent of the planet, but the number of people under British rule went from 700 million in 1945 to less than five million in 1965. Britain’s influence declined big time. The once famous saying ‘The sun never sets on the British empire’ is little more than a joke nowadays.
      - - -
     “Every nation in history has been affected by the way it treated the Jews. . .” (Ref. 29)

     Throughout the ages, those nations that have tried to exterminate the Jewish people, their religion and their nation have not succeeded. The trees that they planted with their seeds of hatred have borne nothing but bitter fruit. The ancient empires of Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome have long since fallen from their lofty perches. The later-day empires of other anti-Semites, such as Spain, France and Great Britain are today no longer empires. The Jew haters and inventors of the pogrom – Czarist Russia, the Soviet Union, Poland and other European countries have either lost their power or never gained power. One country, where Jews have lived in relative peace and prosperity for the past four centuries, is the United States of America. Here, anti-Semitism has, so far, reared its ugly head primarily in the form of rejection, e.g., Jews were excluded from certain country clubs and similar institutions while some colleges and universities imposed admission quotas on Jews. But, America has never been the home to pogroms, forced conversions, attempted genocide, or mass deportations. America today remains at the apex of global achievement and is the shining light to which the oppressed of the world look. The seeds of freedom, opportunity, equality and democracy which were planted some 250 years ago have produced an abundance of sweet and delectable fruit. What lies ahead for the United States of America as anti-Semitism has raised its ugly head here and is growing and increasing in virulence?


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  1 September 2020 {Article_433; Israel_47}    
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