Why is/was there so much hate against the Jewish people

Please understand that this is not meant to be an inflammatory thread. I know I can probably obtain good answers from the libary but that would require the reading of several books to obtain several opinions.

If this is felt to be racially motivated, it is not. I honestly wish to know more. Especially with the day’s most current headlines.

Are there any specific reasons of why there is so much disdain against the Jewish. For the record, I’m Chinese and have no opinion one way or the other.

My limited knowledge is based upon this bit of knowledge.

Subsequent to WW2, the State of Israel was formed right in the former Palestine’s backyard. This state wasn’t won through war but rather granted and upheld by the UN and it’s members. This obviously peeved off a lot of people in the region and that the conflict, either directly or indirectly, have led to problems current headlines of the day. Along with other anti-west sentiment because we back a state that was not legitimized via the course of history but rather propped up by 3rd parties that supply arms and wealth. Now, if you can help the Jews, why not help the other nations of the region as well? Speaking of course to 50 years ago.

That much is based on my limited, embarassing knowledge of the State of Israel post WW2.

But why were they dislike prior to WW2. As far as I gathered, rescuing them in WW2 wasn’t the reason for WW2. containing facsist expansionism was. In fact, the US wasn’t large player until Pearl Harbour happened.

So I guess this might be 2 questions:

  1. Why did a lot of groups dislike the Jews historically. Does this lead all the way back to the time of Christ or before?

  2. What pulled Britain into the WW2? Was it to contain Nazi expansion or was it the humanitarin cause of rescuing the Jewish people.

Again, this was not meant to provoke anything. I would appreciate specific points in history in which Jewish activity may have cause some dissent (which nation hasn’t, i know) but specific to the Jewish please. Opinion would be greatly appreciated but only in the context facts presented.

don’t worry, i’m not a student writing a paper :slight_smile: pretty old guy who justed wanted a better understanding of the world without having to go through books just to read opinions anyways. hope the teeming millions can help!

greatly appreciated.

The Jews have always been a tightly knit society and historically speaking, they’ve kept pretty much to themselves. Whatever society they’ve lived in, they’ve generally kept their own customs and values, rather than adopting, for example, Roman ideals. This has tended to offend the locals, who somehow thought that the Jews were looking down on them. So you get some egomanical emperor in power who’s upset that the Jews don’t worship him as a god, and he starts killing the lot of them or things like that, and it just kind of goes from there.

In Europe at one time, it was illegal for a Christian to load money and charge interest, but the Jews had no qualms about it, so somebody’d get in debt to a Jewish banker and rather than pay the banker back for the loan, he’d turn him over to the Inquisition.

That’s a couple of examples, I’m sure that someone can provide a better explaination.

Just wanted to add my two cents to Tuckerfan’s points. When Europe was largely controlled by the Roman Catholic Church, the church declared interest bearing loans illegal. The crime was called “usury” (spelling?) and punishable by excommunication. A jew isn’t going to care if he is excommunicated by the Catholic Church. Bankers must charge interest to make any money, therefore, all the banks started to be run by Jewish families.

Heredity was very important in medieval Europe. Bankers and merchants usually passed their businesses down to their sons and the banks stayed Jewish even after the usury law was repealed several hundred years later. With the Jews controlling all the banks, and thus a disproportionate share of wealth, a natural jealousy grew and they were resented by the Christian majority.

Additionally, the Jews were unique in that they didn’t really have a homeland. The french had France, the Engilsh had England, etc but the Jews had nothing. They had a common ancestry and a common set of beliefs but no country. They were the “outsiders” wherever they went. Combine the wealth and outsider status with the occasional “they killed Jesus” mentality and hatred is given fertile ground to root.

As the European based Western culture spread, it took anti-semitism with it. Children hated the Jews because their parents taught them Jews were bad, and racism traveled down through the generations. Sad really.

The First Zionist COngress was, I believe, convened in 1898. The purpose was to develop a homeland for the Jews who had found themselves dispersed throughout the world. As another pointed out, this was a major concern because they found themselves persecuted as a very visible minority. Over the next 50 years jews from Europe, mostly, emigrated to what is currently Israel. To many ARabs this was seen as an intrusion, but to the Jews they were simply returning to their home that hey were expelled from thousands of years prior. But at the time is was actually part of the British ruled empire, Palestine and also consisted, I believe, of what would be known as Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia…most of the MidEast. In 1948, basically the region was chopped up into the small countries we see today after British rule was abandoned. Many Palestines lived in Israel when it was founded (still do) and the surrounding countries saw it as a usurpation by placing their brothers under a non-Arabic ruling country. The acceptance of Israel by the rest of the world was certainly aided by the Hoocaust, but it wasn’t formed necessarily as an “answer” to it. It had been a Zionist goal for over half a century.

The Israeli Charter specifically states that they hoped to live in peace and joint prosperity with the Arab neighbors, but that never came to pass, as we are too painfully aware these days.

Peppy -

It’s good you admitted your ignorance, otherwise i would have been annoyed quite a bit.

There was never a state called “Palestine”. In fact, the last independent country in that land was the kingdom of Judea, which was conquered by the the Romans around the time of Caesar Augustus, a bit over 2000 years ago. Since then, it’s been passed from empire to empire, usually considered a minor and unimportant province (although the Crusades were a notable exception to that trend). Until the middle of the twentieth century, the inhabitants of the land hardly thought of themselves as a separate people; they started thinking of themselves as “Palestinians” only after the Jews started immigrating.

Wrong again. The U.N. General Assembly decided (with the compliance of the British) to divide the country into two states, Jewish and Arab. The Jews accepted, reluctantly, but the Palestinians and all the other Arab nations rejected the offer and chose to fight for the control of the entire land. They lost.

The war, which we Israelis call the War of Independence and the Arabs call the Nakbe (or “Disaster”), lasted for the better part of two years, and cost tens of thousands of lives. In it Israel first defeated the Palestinians, and then drove off the invading armies of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and a few other countries who sent a bunch of troops. At no point did any other nation provide any military or financial support to Israel; in fact, most countries refused to sell weapons to the new state.

The last time the UN supported Israel was when it voted to give us some land in 1947. Since then, they’ve upheld nothing. Nowadays, the U.S. gives us some support, but that only started in the early 70’s, after we’d already won a few more wars, and only because the Russians were supporting our enemies.

I’d like you to explain that phrase, because i have no idea what you mean. As far as I’m concerned, the course of history was delegitimized by the Roman Empire. The State of Israel is a correction.

This article:

examines 6 classic reasons given for hatred of the Jews and tries to dispell each one as an excuse and not the “true cause”. The six reasons it lists are:

  1. Economic: We hate the Jews because they possess too much wealth and power.
  2. Chosen People: We hate the Jews because they arrogantly claim they are the chosen people.
  3. Scapegoat: The Jews are a convenient group to single out and blame for our troubles.
  4. Deicide: We hate the Jews because they killed Jesus.
  5. Outsiders: We hate the Jews because they are different than us.
  6. Racial Theory: We hate the Jews because they are an inferior race.

Before believing the economic/moneylending/power theory of anti-sematism that has been proposed in this thread, read the article above, as it has some good arguments against it. As a Chinese person (Peppy), you might find the Fugu Plan from Japan especially interesting.

Note that between the years 250 C.E. and 1948 – a period of 1,700 years – Jews experienced more than eighty expulsions from various countries in Europe – an average of one expulsion nearly every twenty-one years.

No one (almost) was fighting WWII to save the Jews. Some countries, such as Poland and France, although fighting against Germany, were quite helpful with their cooperation in exterminating the Jews. Other countries, such as Canada, US, Britain, did not allow Jews who had escaped Europe to enter their terrirories, choosing instead to send them back to Germany. (Some were allowed, but countries had small quotas that were reached very quickly).

I remember my brother-in-law (who is an amateur historian) telling me that one factor is that in times of plague, the Jews tended to fare better than others because of their stringent hygiene laws; apparently people deduced from this that they were somehow causing the diseases.

Just to put this in perspective, the bible prohibits usury/interest on loans. The Christians and the Jews each loaned money to the other group, but were prohibited (by the interpretation of the day) from loaning money within their own communities.

Since there were far more Christians than Jews, there were far more customers for Jewish lenders than Christian lenders. A casual reading of the phrases I’ve quoted might leave the impression that the Jews were less concerned about the laws of God. In fact, each group was following (basically the same) laws of God as they understood them, with rather different results.

As noted earlier, the Jewish people have often suffered persecution. Their ability to hold fast to the faith of their ancestors, refusing to assimilate religiously probably has a lot to do with it.* At different times, the Greeks, the Romans, the Persians, and the wide array of European Christians have all engaged in persecution, usually focusing on religious differences. Even religious reformers such as Mohammed and Martin Luther have written in anger against the Jews for not coming to follow the reforms that they were initiating.

*Jews have traditionally followed the customs of the lands where they lived–except when those customs violated Jewish Law.

tom, thanks for clarifying my comments. I’ve got to learn that short answers aren’t always the best.

That was quite a bit. Hope my remarks haven’t upset anybody. Again, this is fairly new ground for me and I apologize if my views were less than accurate. They were built upon a lot of misconceptions.

Although it may not sound right asking but are you saying that the Jews have never done anything that would be deemed as incorrect. And that all the disdain throughout at least 2000 years is ultimately founded on absolutely nothing?

Please understand that this is not a rhetorical question.

No group in the world is totally free of self-interest. No group that has survived for a few hundred years is totally innocent of all wrong-doing in every possible case.

That said, the Jewish “crimes” against the Greeks was a failure to accept the worship of the Greek gods (specifically as personified in the reigning local king). The Jewish “crimes” against the Roman state were a desire to regain the independence that they had briefly enjoyed between the Greek and Roman occupations and their failure to worship the emperor as a god (when that cult entered Roman worship).
The Jewish “crimes” against the Persians was an adherence to Jewish religious law that was in “violation” of the Zoroastrian rules regarding the making of fires and similar religious rules.
The Jewish “crimes” against the various Christian nations amounted to not accepting Jesus as God–which would have violated Jewish law.

The Jews have put a premium on universal education since at least the second century BCE. The Jews have also had ethnic enclaves in many parts of the world:
after the Babylonian captivity, many stayed in Mesopotamia rather than returning to Judea;
when Alexander planned and Ptolemy built the new city of Alexandria, Jews were among the peoples who were relocated to populate the new city;
a certain number of Jews became merchants and, as the Mediterranean was the largest, most accessible trade route, many merchant families moved to cities throughout the Mediterranean basin;
when Rome suppressed the Jewish rebellions, exile was a common mode of punishment (as it had been for the Babylonians and Greeks), and more Jews were settled throughout the Roman empire.

These scattered Jewish communities maintained their identities by maintaining their religion and its cultural associations. They also frequently corresponded with their cousins in the other scatttered communities. This made the Jews valuable to governments and rulers: they could be used as emissaries to communicate throughout the various empires and among the various nations. People who are trusted as emissaries are often invited into the councils of power and many Jews rose in the ranks of various courts and bureaucracies. However, they remained separated from their neighbors by their religion. Any time a group is seen as different, it will become a prime target for hatred–especially when times turn bad. (This is not limited to Jews. There are East Indian enclaves in South America where that sort of hatred is being advanced against the Indian business owners and politicians. Similarly, ethnic Chinese businessmen are the targets of hatred in the South Pacific. The crucial difference is that the Jews have survived long enough for this to become an unfortunately repeated historical pattern, rather than the phenomenon of a single period.)

The same sort of “Jews are controlling the media” or “Jews are controlling the money” claims have been made throughout history when times turned bad and the people needed a scapegoat. (Or when a new group wanted to seize power and needed an excuse to accuse the current government of manipulating people’s lives.)

It would be foolish to say that throughout the last 2300 years, or so, no person who was Jewish ever plotted against a government or manipulated a market for personal gain. However, the overall trend has been that people who happened to be Jewish were simply carrying on their lives when someone decided to make their own grab for power and needed a scapegoat.

This sort of thing builds on itself, of course. I’m sure the Romans complained about the ways that the Jews “manipulated” the Greeks. People in the Byzantine empire could then point to “histories” from the Romans and Greeks accusing the Jews of evil power. Medieval Christian rulers could then point to the “histories” of Greece, Rome, and Byzantium to show that the Jews were “always” causing trouble. And so it goes, with Hitler using all that accumulated false history to make his claims (and any number of ignorant and hateful web sites continuing that calumny, today).

MHand: Because they ARE the chosen people.

That was exactly the sort of info I was looking for. I’ll look into some more though.

But you are correct in your assessment. When freedom of creed and religion wasn’t universal, you could’ve picked ny group and called them transgressors.

Based on what I’ve read, the Jewish are quite a remarkable people. One other ignorant question…

If Judaism is a religion and the Jewish are not as much as nationality as a religious group, are there other ethnicities that following Judaism as well? For example, are there Chinese Jews or African Jews.

I have read that there are Chinese Jews but they are a very small minority as all religions, quite oppressed by the the current regime.


If you want a “Jewish Crime” look at their treatment of Samaria a few millenia ago. Other than that ancient problems they have rarely had the power or organization to do truly dastardly deeds.

BTW: Wasn’t Israel set up by Britain and France when they carved up the conquests in the ME after WWI, not WW2?

Well, there was the kingdom of the Khazars, a Turkic-speaking people in what is now southern Russia that converted to Judaisms ometime between the 6th and 9th centuries. It’s controversial what became of their descendants, however. See http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=59226 for more.

Other than that, it’s possible to convert to Judaism even if you’re not Jewish by birth, though it’s rare (and I’ve never heard of Jews proselyting). Jewish women can also marry men of other faiths, and still have Jewish children.

There are African Jews. There was a large Jewish settlement in Ethiopia until very recently (when most of them moved to Israel), and there have always been Jewish communities in North Africa

That’s a rather overy simplistic rendering, although there is truth in it.

The first thing to remember about the Arab-Israeli situation is that the Jews never left the region. Populations have changed over time, with the relative number of Jews and Arabs waxing and waning (and marrying into the other group, etc.) but there has always been a Jewish presence there since the time of the Judges.

In the 19th century, a movement for Jews to “return to Zion” arose and many European Jews moved back to the area, bought property, and established themselves as farmers and shopkeepers. (I do not know their citizenship status under the Ottoman Turks, but the whole area was run as a subordinate fiefdom, so citizenship probably carried few privileges, anyway.)

At the same time that the British were taking the land away from the Turks during WWI, various Jewish leaders were politicking to have a piece of that land set up as a Jewish state. This resulted in the Balfour Declaration, a statement by one British official (not the British government) that agreed with the idea in principal.

In the area, there was both Arab-Jewish cooperation and Arab-Jewish hostility. On the one hand, the European Jews were viewed as interlopers into the country at a time when the Arabs had finally gotten out from under Turkish rule. On the other hand, many European Jews had been there for at least two generations, by that time, while the original Jews were still there. The Europeans often (not always) brought money to invest–a good thing–but they brought European traditions and a desire to have a say in any new government–which was not viewed as kindly.

Where this situation might have gone if left alone, we don’t know. In the 1920s, a European-educated Arab (whose name I have lost) brought back to the region a lot of the prejudices and literature that were behind the publication of Mein Kampf and the fraudulent Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. He published those ideas widely, using them to fan any smoldering hatreds into flames.

Following WWII, a proposal was made to divide the land between the two groups, giving each religious/ethnic group its own area. No one liked the idea, but the incipient Israelis accepted the notion while the majority of the Arabs did not. Following WWII and the Shoah, a large number of refugees from Europe swelled the Jewish population, causing more friction. Eventually, Israel declared itself a country, upon which, war broke out in the region–continuing to greater or lesser degree until the present.

There have been grievous injuries inflicted by and inflicted upon both groups and, as in Northern Ireland and the former Yugoslavia, there are a lot of people who are more interested in ultimate victory than in peace.

While I noted that smiling bandit’s remark was overly simplistic, I have no illusions that I have presented the “reality” of the situation. Anyone truly interested should pursue their own reading of the history of the region.


Chinese Jews certainly do exist; have since the Song Dynasty. In fact the first Jewish person my mum met was a Chinese guy.


Zombie Jews seems to be a trend lately… are brains kosher?

It varies from person to person.