Causes Of Anti Semitism Essay, Research Paper
What are the causes of anti semitism?
Anti semitism is the term to mean the hatred of Jews, which was first coined by Wilheim Marr, a German novelist who produced an anti-Jewish pamphlet in 1879. It was primarily used for those who did not like Jewish people, but in fact, anti semitism is the hatred of those who speak Semitic languages such as Jewish or Arabic. It is a most misleading term because not all Semites are Jewish and Semites include people from Arabic and other backgrounds.
Anti semitism is a form of religious prejudice: disliking people because of their religious affiliation, and the causes of this hate form a similar pattern no matter who is being discriminated against: African Americans, Asians and people belonging to other religions. Jewish people have been discriminated against since the religion was first developed somewhere between 1800 and 1500 B.C by Abraham, considered to be the father of the Jewish religion. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Christian Church became the most powerful religion in the world, and even though many of the Jews lived in peace with their Christian neighbours, there was still prejudice and discrimination. Many Christians believed that the Jews were responsible for killing Jesus and resented the Jews for not conforming to their dominating religion. In the 1300+s, when the Black Death swept through Europe, the Jews were blamed for the origin of the deadly bubonic plague and as a result, many Jews were killed by the Christians, accusing the Jews of killing Christians for religious rituals. Soon, Jews were made to wear badges of identification for their religion and were soon expelled from England, France and Spain and Central Europe. Many settled in the safety of eastern Europe and Poland.
Now we know a brief history of the Jewish people and the discrimination they have endured through time, so we must look to the cause of why so many people disliked the Jews. Since the Jewish religion often put much emphasise on education and learning, many Jews achieved positions in highly respected and qualified jobs. As a result, they became wealthy and lived comfortably whilst others squandered their money. Jewish people were thrifty when it came to money and spent it only when necessary. Therefore, because of their success, people became increasingly jealous of Jewish people, and when economic misfortune befell a certain area, blame was placed on the Jews because they were wealthy. From this jealousy branched fear, fear that because of the wealth and education held by the Jews, they would be in control and more powerful than those without.
With prejudice, it can be certain that there is a large amount of ignorance associated with the intolerance of Jews. People were too clouded with judgment or propaganda to discover the real facts about the Jewish people and their religion, and therefore were easily influenced to believe what the majority thought.
With influence comes one of the largest examples of anti Semitism ever – The Holocaust and Adolf Hitlers Nazi regime of the Second World War. With his well planned and influential lectures and his propaganda machine mastered by Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler managed to persuade German citizens that Jews were not worthy of their citizen ship. Soon, Jews were remanded of their rights as Germans, and were treated as criminals. They were made to wear badges and have their shops displaying the Star of David-the sign of the Jew. Wide spread boycotts of Jewish services were held and soon, Hitlers plan or +final solution’ came into sight, which was to rid eastern Europe of all Jews and other minority groups, including homosexuals, gypsies and members of opposing parties. Hitler used the Jews as a scapegoat for Germany+s poor economic position, and with his powerful propaganda machine, turned many against the Jews. It is concluded that by the end of World War II, 6 million Jews had died under Hitler’s power in concentration camps found in Germany, Poland and Russia, where they were used for labour, or simply to be exterminated. This mass pogrom of Jews, known as the Holocaust, is considered to be one of the worst cases of genocide in history, and is just one example of the causes of anti Semitism.
On the other hand, there are many different theories about anti Semitism, and some even say that Jewish people have brought it on themselves, that it is their own fault. They have been accused of being anti social, which is evident in the massive ghettos that were apparent in Poland and especially in the United States where only Jewish people resided. Many Jewish people have been accused of being arrogant and authoritative because of their wealth and fine education. Other accusations have claimed that anti Semitism is caused because, in honesty, the Jews are outsiders. Their religion is extremely dogmatic, and because of this, has caused them to stay apart from other cultures, for example, it is a strict rule that when a couple are married, both must be Jewish, as there are no exceptions for a marriage of different religions. Their strict food laws would also prevent them from socialising, as the food must be prepared a certain way and must be a certain type of food known as ‘kosher’, or fit to be eaten.
Anti Semitism has it’s many causes. Some believe it is because the human race are unwilling to accept those who are different, and others believe that it is those who are different who bring it upon themselves.