Sunday, 29 January 2012

Why the Jews are always hated and prosecuted..

Note: Personally I don't hate Jews, this  post is for educational purposes only!

 "If one person calls you a donkey, ignore him; if two people call you a donkey, buy a saddle."

Why has anti-Semitism been so pervasive in so many countries, in so many time periods and for so many reasons?  Perhaps there is something wrong with the Jews and Judaism? 

Persecution of Jews has occurred on numerous occasions and at widely different geographical locations. As well as being a major component in Jewish history, it has significantly affected the general history and social development of the countries and societies in which the persecuted Jews lived.When Judea fell under the authority of the Seleucid Empire, the process of Hellenization was enforced by law. This effectively meant requiring pagan religious practice. In 167 BCE Jewish sacrifice was forbidden, sabbaths and feasts were banned and circumcision was outlawed.
Altars to Greek gods were set up and animals prohibited to Jews were sacrificed on them. The Olympian Zeus was placed on the altar of the Temple. Possession of Jewish scriptures was made a capital offence.

Between the years 250 CE and 1948 CE - a period of 1,700 years - Jews have experienced more than eighty expulsions from various countries in Europe - an average of nearly one expulsion every twenty-one years. Jews were expelled from England, France, Austria, Germany, Lithuania, Spain, Portugal, Bohemia, Moravia and seventy-one other countries.

Historians have classified six explanations as to why people hate the Jews:

"We hate Jews because they possess too much wealth and power."

The Jewish People are less than 1% of the world's population and yet 25% of the Worlds Billionaires are Jews.

Since the 1960s, Jews have come to wield considerable influence in American economic, cultural, intellectual and political life. Jews played a central role in American finance during the 1980s, and they were among the chief beneficiaries of that decade’s corporate mergers and reorganizations. Today, though barely two percent of the nation’s population is Jewish, close to half its billionaires are Jews. The chief executive officers of the three major television networks and the four largest film studios are Jews, as are the owners of the nation’s larg­est newspaper chain and the most influential single newspaper, the New York Times... The role and influence of Jews in Ameri­can politics is equally marked...
Jews are only two percent of the nation’s population and com­prise eleven percent of what this study defines as the nation’s elite. However, Jews constitute more than 25 percent of the elite journalists and publishers, more than 17 percent of the leaders of important voluntary and public interest organiza­tions, and more than 15 percent of the top ranking civil ser­vants.”

Stephen Steinlight, former Director of National Affairs of the American Jewish Committee, similarly notes the “disproportionate political power” of Jews, which is “pound for pound the greatest of any ethnic/cultural group in America.” He goes on to explain that “Jewish economic influence and power are disproportionately concentrated in Hollywood, television, and in the news industry.“ 

Two well-known Jewish writers, Seymour Lipset and Earl Raab, point­ed out in their 1995 book, Jews and the New American Scene: 

“During the last three decades Jews in the United States have made up 50 percent of the top two hundred intellectu­als... 20 percent of professors at the leading universities 40 percent of partners in the leading law firms in New York and Washington 59 percent of the directors, writ­ers, and producers of the 50 top grossing motion pictures from 1965 to 1982, and 58 percent of directors, writers, and producers in two or more primetime television series.”

Vanity Fair magazine in October 2007 published a list of what it calls “the world’s most powerful people” a lineup of the one hundred most influential media bosses, bankers, publishers, image makers, and so forth, who determine how we view ourselves and the world, and who directly and indirectly  shape our lives and our futures. Jews made up more than half of the powerful men and women on the Vanity Fair list, reported by a leading Israeli newspaper, The Jerusalem Post.

Chosen People
 "We hate Jews because they arrogantly claim that they are the chosen people."

According to Jewish belief, Jews are the Chosen People because they were chosen to make the idea of one God known to the world. It all began with Abraham, whose relationship with God has traditionally been interpreted in two ways: either God chose Abraham to spread the concept of monotheism, or Abraham chose God from all the deities that were worshiped in his time. Either way, the idea of “chosenness” meant that Abraham and his descendants were responsible for sharing the word of God with others.

God’s Relationship with Abraham and the Israelites.

Why do God and Abraham have this special relationship in the Torah?(The Torah is the primary holy scripture of Judaism). The text doesn’t say. It certainly was not because the Israelites (who later became known as Jews) were a mighty nation. In fact, Deuteronomy 7:7 states, "It is not because you are numerous that God chose you, indeed you are the smallest of people."

Though a nation with a massive standing army may have been the more logical choice to spread the word of God, the success of such a mighty people would have been attributed to their strength, not the power of God. Ultimately, the influence of this idea can be seen not only in the survival of the Jewish people to this day, but also in the theological views of Christianity and Islam, both of which were influenced by the Jewish belief in one God.

Moses and Mount Sinai.
Another aspect of chosenness has to do with the receiving of the Torah by Moses and the Israelites at Mount Sinai. For this reason Jews recite a blessing called the Birkat HaTorah before the rabbi or another person reads from the Torah during services. One line of the blessing addresses the idea of chosenness and says, “Praised are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the World, for choosing us from all the nations and giving us God’s Torah.” There is a second part of the blessing that is recited after the reading of the Torah, but it doesn’t refer to chosenness.

Misinterpretation of Chosenness
The concept of chosenness has often been misinterpreted by non-Jews as a statement of superiority or even racism. But the belief that Jews are the Chosen People actually has nothing to do with race or ethnicity. In fact, chosenness has so little to do with race that Jews believe the Messiah will be descended from Ruth, a Moabite woman who converted to Judaism and whose story is recorded in the biblical “Book of Ruth.”

Jews do not believe that being a member of the Chosen People gives them any special talents or makes them better than anyone else. On the topic of chosenness, the Book of Amos even goes so far as to say: "You alone have I singled out of all the families of the earth. That is why I call you to account for all your iniquities" (Amos 3:2). In this way Jews are called to be a “light to the nations” (Isaiah 42:6) by doing good in the world through gemilut hasidim (acts of loving kindness) and tikkun olam (repairing the world). Nevertheless, many modern Jews feel uncomfortable with the term “Chosen People.” Perhaps for similar reasons, Maimonides (a medieval Jewish philosopher) did not list it in his foundational 13 Principles of the Jewish Faith.

"Jews are a convenient group to single out and blame for our troubles."

The most notorious person who blamed the Jews as scapegoats was the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler which resulted of killing more than six million Jews. In his famous book Mein Kampf (My Struggle), Hitler blamed the plight of Germany at the end of World War I on an international Jewish conspiracy and used terms such as "extirpation" and "extermination" in relation to the Jews.

The Holocaust (also called Shoah in Hebrew) refers to the period from January 30, 1933, when Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany, to May 8, 1945 (V­E Day), when the war in Europe ended. During this time, Jews in Europe were subjected to progressively harsh persecution that ultimately led to the murder of 6,000,000 Jews (1.5 million of these being children) and the destruction of 5,000 Jewish communities. These deaths represented two-thirds of European Jewry and one-third of world Jewry. The Jews who died were not casualties of the fighting that ravaged Europe during World War II. Rather, they were the victims of Germany's deliberate and systematic attempt to annihilate the entire Jewish population of Europe, a plan Hitler called the “Final Solution” (Endlosung). 

Sadly, the Jewish people have been used as scapegoats for many centuries by a variety of non-Jews. Regrettably, Muslims for their part have adopted scapegoating as an article of faith. The Muslims blame the Jews for all kinds of heinous things, dating back to the time of Muhammad himself. They say that the Jews of Medina betrayed the holy prophet by their treachery. They charged the poor exorbitant sums for their goods, did no productive work, and yet made fortunes through money-lending. To make matters worse, the Jews refused to embrace Muhammad's religion, Muslims say. The story of Banu Qurayza's Massacre from Quranic verses is very clear on how Allah actually rejoices in the slaughter and enslavement of the tribe of Banu Qurayza's Jews:
Hence, following the example of Muhammad, many Muslim societies have been blaming the Jews for everything and find them deserving of victimization. The litany of atrocities committed against the Jews by the followers of Muhammad is long indeed.

Regrettably, ascribing blame to others and legitimizing their victimization has become a way of life for rabid Islamists. As sick as scapegoating is, it confers advantages to its practitioners. For one, it rallies the faithful against an enemy portrayed as depraved and dangerous. That's how Hitler and his gang of thugs aroused the German nation against the Jews. They falsely yet successfully blamed the Jews for Germany's economic problems.

The Islamists, for their part, are still playing the Jewish blame card as best as they can. The State of Israel, by its very existence, has provided the inept and habitually devious Islamists a palpable target to blame and attack. Yet Israel still not only exists, but thrives in their midst. None of the dastardly actions of the Islamists has been effective in realizing their dream of pushing the children of Israel into the sea.

Islamic turbaned villains in Iran and their hired thugs have done a great job of basically eliminating all internal opposition by their brutality. They have also chased the majority of the Iranian Jews out of the country by making their lives as miserable as possible. The few remaining Jews are still used as whipping boys from time to time. Contrary to the Islamic dogma, the Iranian people are proud of their historical friendship with the Jewish people. The bond of friendship goes back to the landmark action of King Cyrus the Great of Persia. In 537 B.C., having conquered Babylon, the benevolent King Cyrus freed the Jews from captivity and empowered them to return to the Promised Land and build their temple to have a peaceful life and worship their God.

"We hate Jews because they killed Jesus."

Jewish deicide is a belief that places the responsibility for the death of Jesus on the Jewish people as a whole.

This deicide accusation is expressed in the ethnoreligious slur "Christ-killer." As a part of Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), the Roman Catholic Church under Pope Paul VI issued a declaration which repudiated the belief in the collective Jewish guilt for the crucifixion of Jesus. Even before the Gospels appeared, the apostle Paul (or, more probably, one of his disciples) portrayed the Jews as Christ's killers. But though the New Testament clearly looks to the Jews as responsible for the death of Jesus, Paul and the evangelists did not yet condemn all Jews, by the very fact of their Jewishness, as murderers of the son of God and his messiah. That condemnation, however, was soon to come."

The accuracy of the Gospel accounts' portrayal of Jewish complicity in Jesus' death is debated. According to the New Testament accounts, the Jewish authorities in Judea charged Jesus with blasphemy and sought his execution, but lacked the authority to have Jesus put to death (John 18:31), so they brought Jesus to Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor of Iudaea Province, who consented to Jesus' execution (John 19:16). Yet the Jewish authorities were responsible for the stoning of Saint Stephen in Acts 7:54 and of James the Just in Antiquities of the Jews 20.9.1. As the Jesus Seminar's Scholars Version translation notes for John 18:31: "it's illegal for us: The accuracy of this claim is doubtful."

Pilate's portrayal in the Gospel accounts as a reluctant accomplice to Jesus' death is also questioned. It is suggested that a Roman Governor such as Pilate would have no problem in executing any leader whose followers posed a potential threat to Roman rule. It has also been suggested that the Gospel accounts may have downplayed the role of the Romans in Jesus' death during a time when Christianity was struggling to gain acceptance in the pagan or polytheist Roman world.
Prejudice against Jews for the death of Jesus can be directly attributed to Matthew 27:24-25, "When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. 'I am innocent of this man’s blood,' he said. 'It is your responsibility!' All the people answered, 'His blood is on us and on our children!' "

An early documented accusation that Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus came in a sermon in 167 AD attributed to Melito of Sardis entitled Peri Pascha (On the Passover). This text blames the Jews for allowing King Herod and Caiaphas to execute Jesus, despite their calling as God's people. It says "you did not know, O Israel, that this one was the firstborn of God." Luke 23:34. The author does not attribute particular blame to Pontius Pilate, but only mentions that Pilate washed his hands of guilt. The sermon is written in Greek, so does not use the Latin word for deicide, deicidas. At a time when Christians were widely persecuted, Melito's speech is believed to have been an appeal to Rome to spare Christians.

According to a Latin dictionary, the Latin word deicidas was used by the fourth century, by Peter Chrysologus in his sermon number 172,where he wrote Iudaeos … fecit esse deicidas, i.e., "Jews… committed deicide".The Holy Friday liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox Church and Byzantine Catholics uses the expression "impious and transgressing people", but the strongest expressions are in the Holy Thursday liturgy, which includes the same chant, after the eleventh Gospel reading, but also speaks of "the murderers of God, the lawless nation of the Jews",and, referring to "the assembly of the Jews", prays: "But give them, Lord, their reward, because they devised vain things against Thee.
A liturgy with a similar pattern, historically using the term "perfidious Jews," can be found in the Improperia of the Roman Catholic Church. In the Anglican Church, the first Anglican Book of Common Prayer did not contain this formula, but has emerged in later versions, for example, the 1989 Anglican Prayer Book of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, as the The Solemn Adoration of Christ Crucified or The Reproaches. Though not part of Christian dogma, many Christians, including members of the clergy, preached that the Jewish people were collectively guilty for Jesus's death.

"We hate Jews because they are different than us." (The dislike of the unlike.)

Maybe Jews are hated simply because they are different. Traditionally, Jews were characterized by different dress, different laws and sometimes, even a different language. Certainly this discrimination is what the Chinese experienced in early America, and what the Frenchman experienced in England. Sociologists refer to this phenomenon as "the dislike of the unlike."

This theory sounds like a sensible cause for anti-Semitism: Jews have been hated because they were different. Throughout history, Jews kept to themselves. Their ethical, cultural and social systems were different from those of their neighbors. Most pointedly, the Jews' fondest dream was always their return to Zion. They were law-abiding citizens who contributed to their host nations and even took to the battlefield to defend it, but their hearts always pointed in the direction of the Promised Land. It is undeniably true that throughout history, Jews were the ultimate "outsiders."

But what happens when Jews shed their cultural differences and become genuine "insiders"? If the Outsider Theory is correct, then the solution to anti-Semitism should be assimilation. Anti-Semitism should decrease in ratio to the Jews' ability to integrate into their host societies. Is this really what happens?

In the 18th century, the Enlightenment reached Europe, giving equal rights to all people, regardless of religion.

In December 1789, during a discussion in the French National Assembly in which French Jews were granted equal rights, Count Stanislas de Clermont-Tonnere declared: "To the Jews as individuals, everything. To the Jews as a nation, nothing."

The Jews of Europe jumped at the opportunity to attain equality, hoping at long last to rid themselves of the "dislike of the unlike" phenomenon. They shed their foreign dress, shaved off their beards, and attended universities and theaters. They adopted the language, culture and styles of their non-Jewish neighbors, and intermarried with them. They purged their prayers of any mention of the return to Zion. In short, they became more French than the French.
Napoleon was quick to capitalize on this development of Jews adapting to French culture. In 1807, he convened a kangaroo court to pressure the Jews to shed any lingering commitment to Jewish nationhood, forcing the Jews to declare their exclusive loyalty to France.

Jewish acceptance of this attitude widened. In Germany, Reform Jews declared, "Berlin is our Jerusalem; Germany is our Fatherland." Having endured centuries of hatred, the Jews of Europe anticipated a warm welcome from their gentile neighbors.

But they were sorely disappointed. The Dreyfuss affair, in which falsified charges of treason were brought against a Jewish French officer, was contrived to show that Jews could never be loyal citizens of their host countries.

Shortly thereafter, Hitler's rise to power once again pulled the rug out from under the Jews' sense of security in their assimilationist approach. Nazism sent a strong message to Jews: We hate you, not because you're different, but because you're trying to become like us! We cannot allow you to infect the Aryan race with your inferior genes.

So long as Jews remained outsiders, the Outsider Theory reflected some degree of logic. Once the Jews attempted to become insiders, the Outsider Theory was dashed to pieces ― because it never had been the real cause of the hatred.

Racial Theory 
"We hate Jews because they are an inferior race."

This gave rise to a new excuse: the inferiority of the Jewish race. You can shed the external trappings of your life, shave your beard, get rid of your yarmulke, even change your religion. But you can never change your race.

The overriding problem with this theory is that it is self-contradictory: Jews are not a race. Anyone can become a Jew and members of every race, creed and color in the world have done so at one time or another.There is no distinguishing racial physical feature common only to Jews. Even the idea of a "Jewish nose" is a myth. Anti-Semites don't hate only those Jews who have distinctively Jewish physical features; they hate all Jews. They hate Eastern European Jews; they hate Israeli, Russian and Yemenite Jews; they hate blond, blue-eyed Dutch Jews, as well as dark-skinned, Mediterranean Jews. Any Jew will do.

Anti-Semitism cannot be explained as racism for the very simple reason that Jews are a nation, not a race.

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