The Surprising Root of Antisemitism

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What is antisemitism?

Is it a logical system of beliefs derived from a thought-out, reasoned set of issues people might have with the Jewish people?

Or is it something very, very different?

Solving Antisemitism?


Trust me when I say I’m not setting out to solve antisemitism. Or hate in general.

Neither are logical or reasonable goals. Hate is a part of human nature and antisemitism has existed as long as Jews have existed. So long as there are Jews, there will be those who loathe the Jews.

But why? Even if one could successfully claim (they can’t) age-old tropes like Jews control the media and the banks and Hollywood, why would that inspire hatred? And what does a random Jewish kid at Yale have to do with some mysterious cabal of evil Jews running Bank of America behind the scenes?

And even if someone truly despises the actions of Israel during an unprecedented time of war, what connects a tiny country in the Middle East to some kid in Atlanta who has never been to Israel and never even really thought of visiting?

Can Hate Be Logical?


Hate in general, when based on a bias against an entire group, is illogical. It can have a mildly logical explanation, based on experience and what not, but that does not make the outcome reasonable. For example, if someone was attacked by a group of Cubans as a kid, they might develop a painful bias against all Cubans. And because of their history, we might view them with a certain level of sympathy.

But if they were to be rude to a waitress upon hearing a Cuban accent, our sympathy would immediately go away. Yes, you were hurt. And yes, the assailants shared an ethnicity. But this poor girl just wants to serve you mozzarella sticks, get her tip and go home and watch Stranger Things, without some asshat in her crappy restaurant giving her a hard time.

She likes reading magazines, she loves dogs, and the waitress’ deal is to support herself while finishing her political science degree. She wasn’t there when you were assaulted, didn’t know it happened, and would likely have called for help if she witnessed it. She may have even been assaulted herself.

Why? Because the perpetrators were lousy human beings. Not because they were Cuban, but because every group for all of world’s history has had crappy people. Every race, religion, or whatever has had great people and awful people. And judging a group, any group, by its lowest elements is unfair.

But it happens all the time.

The Root of Hatred


But experience isn’t the root of all hatred. Certainly not other people’s experiences. If it were, we’d hate everybody. All the time. Constantly judging every existing group by something someone did at some point in history. And no one would be left in our lives.

So why does someone choose to hate one group based on vague premises and not another?

Surely hate can also come without experiences. Sometimes it’s taught. A parent instills terrible values into the hearts of their children. Or a community has a certain way about it, and all its members get swept up in the waves of bigotry.

And their might be some explanation at the root of all of this. But it’s likely lost in history, and the blind dislike for others ends up just being passed on to new generations without any reason that could be offered. It just is.

Innate Hatred


But some hate goes well beyond experiences and education. It’s innate.

I’ve read about this before. Watched small pieces of it over the years. But what I’m witnessing from the world at the moment is like nothing I’ve ever seen before in real life. And some people have been jarred out of their stupor, since not only have they not experienced this before, but they were entirely unaware of its existence.

It is my contention, possibly controversially so, that antisemitism is illogical. It’s not based on experience or facts. Some elements may be learned, but what’s at play here goes far deeper than that. Because it sometimes exists in a vacuum, absent of all rhyme or reason.

Almost as if some in the world have been born with an involuntary emotion. Despite our most vigorous attempts, most of us have struggled to fight off feelings of jealousy or fear. They’re just a part of who we are, and we didn’t choose for them to be there.

And some people–many people–were born hating Jews. It’s just a part of them as well.

Their only problem is it’s socially unacceptable. Well, it is most of the time.

The True Thoughts and Feelings


What I mean is, most of the time if you walk around expressing your hatred of any group in this day and age it will be met with resistance. You’ll be accused of bigotry. Racism. You’ll be labeled as the bad guy.

So millions of folk walk around with twisted and nasty views that they just keep to themselves, for the sake of self preservation.

But then something happens.

It could be on a small scale where one Jewish person does something revolting with lots of press and publicity. And all of a sudden the fangs start to show. People feel a little more comfortable expressing their true thoughts and feelings.

But it’s small. It’s temporary. And the rest of the world gets very uncomfortable around this hatred, because it’s so easy to demonstrate that it’s based on isolated individuals.

Antisemitism Shows Its True Colors


In walks Israel, under the microscope of the world like no other country in history.

At the beginning of this conflict, most people were looking at Israel with a level of pity. It had just been attacked. It’s people were severely harmed. The timing was still wrong to pour venemous words and actions on the Jewish people.

But then the tide turned. Israel did the unthinkable. It acted aggressively to defend itself. The Palestinian PR machine started working overtime, and thousands if not millions of antisemites, people whose hearts always pulled them toward Jew hatred, lifted their heads up and realized their moment had come.

The innate feelings in their hearts were stirred.

Vile words have been spoken. Dangerous acts of violence have been committed.

And now we watch. We watch as people show their true colors.

And we wonder whether or not the Holocaust we all hope to never see happen again, really could. Are we really just one or two steps away from the next disaster to befall our people?

We say “Never Again”. But do we still really believe it’s true?

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