The A-Z of Anti-Semitism
ANTI-SEMITISM. The hatred and persecution of Jews as a group: not the hatred of persons who happen to be Jews, but rather the hatred of persons because they are Jews.
BLOOD LIBEL. The outrageous accusation, still held by some anti-Semites, that at Passover Jews murder "Christian" children to use their blood for the preparation of matzah.
CRUSADES. Starting with the first Crusade to recapture the tomb of Christ and the Holy City from Islamic infidels, the "armies of Christ" ravaged and massacred Jewish communities along the route.
DEICIDE. The charge that the Jewish people are guilty of the "murder of God" which provided the incentive for anti-Jewish riots in "Christian" countries at Easter.
EXPULSIONS. At times entire communities of Jews have been expelled from their countries of residence. Notable expulsions were those from Rome in 50AD (mentioned in Acts 18:2); from England in 1290; from France in 1306 and 1394; from Spain and Portugal in 1492-97; and from Moscow in 1891.
FILM INDUSTRY. The disproportionate numbers of Jews in Hollywood has resulted in the complaint that "the Jews" control everything from the government to the entertainment industry, and that through the medium of film and TV they are able to corrupt society and create social disorder.
GHETTO. The Jewish quarter of a town, separated and closed off by walls and gates, first used in Italy in the early 16th century.
HOST DESECRATION. The incredible belief (which could never have originated without the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation) that Jews stole the consecrated wafer, or host which had miraculously turned into Christ, in order to repeat the agonies of the crucifixion by stabbing, tormenting and burning it.
ISLAM. That a sovereign Jewish nation should exist in the heart of the Islamic Middle East presents a problem for Islamic theology. In Muslim thought it is inconceivable that the Jews should rise beyond their dhimmi (second-class) status and so long as Israel exists as a self-governing nation on land once owned by Arab landlords it serves to negate Islam.
JUDAEOPHOBIA. Literally, "the fear of Jews", which is frequently expressed in hatred toward Jews.
KRISTALLNACHT. The "Night of Broken Glass" saw the organised destruction of synagogues, Jewish houses and shops, accompanied by mass arrests of Jews, which took place in Germany and Austria on the night of 9th November 1938.
LUTHER. As a young Reformer Martin Luther was favourably disposed towards the Jews of Germany and urged Christians to deal kindly with them. In later life he published The Jews and their Lies in which he urged the German authorities to, among other things, burn their synagogues and expel them.
MARR. Wilhelm Marr is credited with coining the term "anti-Semitism" in his book The Victory of Judaism over Germanism published in 1879. Marr was an atheistic radical who wished to provide a fresh basis for the traditional hatred of the Jews.
NEO-NAZISM. Recent years have seen the proliferation of Neo-Nazi political organisations around the world. Characterised by an admiration for Adolph Hitler and Nazism, such groups find support among the poor and unemployed pandering to prejudice and "patriotism". Belief in white supremacy and hostility to the Jewish, black and Asian communities are hallmarks of such groups.
ORGANISATIONS. A number of anti-Semitic organisations exist, many of them with a presence on the Internet. Jew Watch, for example, keeps "a Close Watch on Jewish Communities & Organisations Worldwide". In the USA primitive, old-fashioned anti-Semitism flourishes among the Ku Klux Klan and the Christian Crusader movements, while the John Birch society exhibits a more sophisticated veneer. In this country the National Front was formed in 1967 by the amalgamation of the British National Party, the Empire Loyalists and the violent Racial Preservation Society.
PROTOCOLS OF ZION. Purporting to be the plans of a secret conference of the leaders of world Jewry, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion first appeared in Russia in 1905. The protocols "reveal" nothing less than a plot to dominate the world through the process of modern democracy. Though long since exposed as a fraud, the document is still available in many languages.
QUR’AN. Though recognising Jews and Christians as "Peoples of the Book" and "possessing Scriptures", the Qur’an (Koran) regards them as "infidels" because they do not recognise Muhammad as the final Prophet. Thus the seeds were sown for Islamic hatred of Jews.
RACIAL THEORIES. The idea that the Jewish people are a "race" inferior to the Aryan races was notoriously exploited by Adolph Hitler’s Nazi propaganda machine. Among the more bizarre elements of this pseudo-science is the belief that Jesus and the apostles were not Jews but fair skinned, blue-eyed Indo Europeans.
STEREOTYPING. The idea that Jews are characterised by racial, physical and social traits, as expressed in the ideas that: all Jews have big noses; that all Jews are avaricious; that the Jews "control everything".
TALMUD. Judaism’s body of tradition which has usurped the authority of Scripture. Several anti-Semitic writers have capitalised on the Talmud’s anti-Gentile, anti-Christian and often grossly superstitious elements to foment anti-Jewish feeling.
USURY. The medieval Church regarded the practice of usury, lending money at interest, as a danger to one’s salvation and was the domain of "foreigners". Because the Jews were lost in any case they were allowed to practise money lending thus making them in the popular consciousness not only infidels and Christ-killers but also dangerous outsiders.
VATICAN. Most "Christian" anti-Semitism has been of the Catholic variety. Relations between the Vatican and Hitler were cordial and until the papacy of John XXIII the Good Friday liturgy contained anti-Jewish references. Since the second Vatican Council, however, there have been significant changes in Catholic-Jewish relations.
WANDERING JEW. The myth of Ahasuerus, a Jewish shoemaker doomed to wander the earth forever as a punishment for cursing Christ on his way to Golgotha. Ahasuerus is thus seen as the personification of the nation suffering eternally for its rejection of the Messiah.
XENOPHOBIA. The fear and suspicion of foreigners in general, which also expresses itself in Judeophobia.
YELLOW BADGE. Under the Nazis, Jews were forced by law to wear a yellow Star of David sewn onto their clothes in order to identify them.
ZIONIST CONSPIRACY. Type "conspiracy" into your Internet search engine and be confronted at once with a bewildering assortment of web sites "exposing" the worldwide Jewish/Zionist conspiracy. According to the conspiracy theorists the Jews are behind every secret society, revolutionary movement and subversive group that has ever existed.
This article appeared in the Autumn 1999 issue