What are the root causes of anti semitism in Enlightened Western world ?

Aug 2014
135
New York, USA
it was not my point the case of the presidents of the USA often end their speeches with “God bless you all” or “God bless the USA”, or that they use the bible to put their hand in their oath,
This is not required. Thomas Jefferson famously swore on a Koran, but you can swear on any book you want. Some members of Congress bring their own books to swear on. I think US Constitution is a popular one to take an oath on instead of the Bible.
or as I see on the Media (movies, series, books) in the USA the witness in a court swear with their hand on the bible (I was never in a USA court, I assume that this is a representation of some reality),
No, this is just Hollywood theatrics. It is a lot more common to simply affirm that you will tell the truth to the judge, you don't even swear an oath. Swearing an oath is used in movies to up the tension/up the drama.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,616
Portugal
I feel like you're moving the goal posts and muddying the waters here. And you're avoiding my question.....again. I asked:

Lots of European countries have specific religions listed as their state religions, and some countries, like Germany even pay religious taxes. Does that make these countries religious states?

1.It wasn't until 2015, I think, that same sex marriages were made universally legal here in the US. Can (could) the US be described then as a religious state?

2.Besides the marriage issue in Israel how is the state religion interfering their lives?

3. I think you're being too dismissive of the religious tax obligations in Germany. I believe the tax is compulsory for anyone who is registered (i.e. baptized as child) as said religion. To avoid paying it you must go out of your way to opt out. And after opting out, you are no longer entitled to any ceremonial services from said religion.
You also avoided my questions, Menshevik.

As to answer to yours, if the fact that a country has a state religion that today seems only for protocolar motifs is a religious state, no, I don’t think that this is enough to consider it. As for religious taxes, I already answered, and you agreed that is not universal, you pay if you are from that religion. Further comments on this need to be on more precise and sourced information. And if a person is not from a religion he/she don’t need ceremonial services of that religion – this to answer to your point “3”.

About “2”, I think interfering with marriage is a quite strong interference. So that issue alone, if true, is enough: Religion in Israel - Wikipedia

And “The Rabbinical courts are part of Israel's judicial system, and are managed by the Ministry of Religious Services. The courts have exclusive jurisdiction over marriage and divorce of Jews and have parallel competence with district courts in matters of personal status, alimony, child support, custody, and inheritance. Religious court verdicts are implemented and enforced—as for the civil court system—by the police, bailiff's office, and other agencies.[3]” ;

Source: Chief Rabbinate of Israel - Wikipedia

About point “1”, pardon me to say, and pardon me to quote you, but “you've got it backwards.” I never mentioned same sex marriage. You are mentioning it now, for the first time here in this thread, and I don’t even understand why, unless you read it wrong or you want to develop that idea. Check my post #219. I mentioned, and I will quote myself here “marriages between people of different sex and different religion is not possible”. The emphasis shouldn’t be put on different sex (that is quite common in the last millenniums), but on different religions. Again, different religions was my emphasis.

This is not required. Thomas Jefferson famously swore on a Koran, but you can swear on any book you want. Some members of Congress bring their own books to swear on. I think US Constitution is a popular one to take an oath on instead of the Bible.

No, this is just Hollywood theatrics. It is a lot more common to simply affirm that you will tell the truth to the judge, you don't even swear an oath. Swearing an oath is used in movies to up the tension/up the drama.
Thanks for the information provided here, Teslatron.
 
Apr 2018
454
Upland, Sweden
You also avoided my questions, Menshevik.

And “The Rabbinical courts are part of Israel's judicial system, and are managed by the Ministry of Religious Services. The courts have exclusive jurisdiction over marriage and divorce of Jews and have parallel competence with district courts in matters of personal status, alimony, child support, custody, and inheritance. Religious court verdicts are implemented and enforced—as for the civil court system—by the police, bailiff's office, and other agencies.[3]” ;

Source: Chief Rabbinate of Israel - Wikipedia
Well, the Swedish Lutheran Church officially handled all education in the country until the 1960s - they were under the same "minister for ecclesiastic affairs". Still, that was the 1960s, and today is today. We had automatic membership for all newborn until 1999 though.

---

Anyway, as to the main question - "where does anti-semitism" (or "anti-zionism" come from... well, the first question to ask is where does any dislike/ fear/ susipicion/ hatred of foreigners come from? I think anti-semitism is looked upon as this fundamentally strange phenomenon today because of World War II for very understandable reasons, given all the horrors that happened in the Holocaust... but this view is also a bit naïve, perhaps. It's nice of us to see things that way, but it is a historically divergent pattern from how majority cultures treate minorites, and it will probably diminish in a generation when the last people who remember the Second World War are dead. That is at least what I believe - which is also part of why so many tasteless acts of anti-semitism seem to becoming more prevalent today in the West as it is "edgy", and a kind of teenage rebellion, albeit a rather uncivilized one.

While Jews are usually very well assimilated into their countries today (arguably have been since the 1800s in some places), and there are relatively high rates of intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews all accross the West from what I've gathered, it is indeed interesting that there is still a Jewish people. That is quite different from many other minorites (like my grandparents for example), who don't tend to be very good in maintaining cultural coherence over time. For example, in the 1600s a large number of Walloons (equivalent to half a percentage of the national population at the time) moved to Sweden, away from Louis XIV. Today that migration is remembered, but there is absolutely no meaningful cultural trace of them, except fot the residual turn of phrase that when someone is a bit "darker" - in the sense of not looking like the Swedish bikini-team - (not very valid today, but used to be until a decade or two ago from what I've udnerstood) they sometimes say they have "walloon-blood".

Granted, Jews were treated as outsiders by Christian Europeans for a very long time, and often quite horribly so - all this being said, it is still interesting that they have survived as a minority group for so long. Many such groups would probably either have assimilated, dissappeared, or moved somewhere where ethnic divisions are greater and its easier to blend in (the southern meditteranean, maybe?) A lot of other posters have talked about jealousy for business and academic success etc, but I want to lift another perspective.

Perhaps there is something about Jewish culture that has something to do with this capacity for cultural and ethnic survival, and because of that very survival and longevity they provoke others. Ultimately civilization is a quest to "stand the test of time", and the Jews have been there longer than anyone. To the relatively young peoples of Europe (if one is feeling generous one could say that we are not really that young, and that we really are the spiritual descendants of the ancient Greeks etc, thus essentially reaching almost parity with the Jews... but work with me :p) that has no doubt been vaguely unsettling, on a somewhat existential level.

I think this is the case with relatively widespread modern European aversion to Israel. I don't have a problem with Israel myself, but I do think the subconscious, forbidden and un-vocalized reasoning goes somewhat like this (forigive the emotionalism, and unless someone takes offence, please observe I am doing my utmost to remain impartial in my unflattering description of both sides here):

Europe post 1945: "Racism is bad. Colonialism is bad. Nationalism is bad. We must atone for our sins, and become the first open, most post-national culture in human history and lead the front in building the brotherhood of man. First in Europe, then in the world! This is the only way forward [and implicitly, the only possible source of European cultural self-confidence]"

Israel 1948: "For the first time in almost 2000 years our people have a home!!! We are blessed!!! God has rewarded our trials!!! We shall never loose this. We shall fight for it with everything we have. This is our land, and we will defend it."

Europe post 1945: "... We hate you. First you took our pride. Now when we are willing to debase ourselves and level us with the entire world and yet you will not join us on this quest to fairness and equality and the brotherhood of man?!?!?! We made your parasitic success possible! We will never forgive you for Auschwitz!!! [direct paraphrase from an Israeli psychiatrist about the Germans post World War Two]."

Israel post-1948: "That's your problem. We are just behaving the same way we have been treated for the past 2000 years, largely by your physical and spiritual descendents. Do what you want, it is not our problem. In fact, if you are going to be so daft as to not fullfill your duty to your own people and decide to abolish your own cultural existence, maybe we could make a few business oppurtunities here and there... You just tried to exterminate us after all..."

....


See the conflict of worldviews? It is not exactly a match made in heaven. For this reason also I think it is mainly European progressives who have a problem with Israel, and an increasing number of European conservatives are the most vocal supporters of Israel on the continent - both for pragmatic reasons as well as actually ideology. The American evangelicals and their support for Israel is a different animal...

Anyway, that's just a number of thought's I've been playing around with.
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,616
Portugal
Well, the Swedish Lutheran Church officially handled all education in the country until the 1960s - they were under the same "minister for ecclesiastic affairs". Still, that was the 1960s, and today is today. We had automatic membership for all newborn until 1999 though.
A side note from the main thread theme: In Portugal, during the dictatorship of the Estado Novo (1933-74), the state had a somewhat similar relation with the Catholic Church.

Anyway, as to the main question - "where does anti-semitism" (or "anti-zionism" come from... well, the first question to ask is where does any dislike/ fear/ susipicion/ hatred of foreigners come from?

[…]

I think this is the case with relatively widespread modern European aversion to Israel. I don't have a problem with Israel myself, but I do think the subconscious, forbidden and un-vocalized reasoning goes somewhat like this (forigive the emotionalism, and unless someone takes offence, please observe I am doing my utmost to remain impartial in my unflattering description of both sides here):
I think that we shouldn’t put anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in the same bag. Aren’t even anti-Zionist Jews?

For an generalized European aversion to Israel, I don’t think that exists or existed since 1948. In the sequence of WWII and the Holocaust the Europeans, and the world in general, had a sympathetic view of the Jews and consequently of Israel. It was given both a “capital” of affection. Naturally with time that “capital” is being exhausted, and from that we reach positions from the extremes of the holocaust deniers, to the ones that simply don’t agree with many of the current Israel policies in the last decades. We should note that disagreeing with many of the current Israel policies doesn’t mean the same of agreeing with Muslim extremist views against the state of Israel.
 
Apr 2018
454
Upland, Sweden
A side note from the main thread theme: In Portugal, during the dictatorship of the Estado Novo (1933-74), the state had a somewhat similar relation with the Catholic Church.
Interesting - I am not surprised, although it is telling I think that what was the norm here for centuries is something implemented in Portugal under Salazar. Some how argued that Protestantism more than Catholicism and Lutheranism in particular lends itself very well to state interference with the private religious lives of citizens. While I shouldn't bash my country's traditional religion completely, there might be some truth to that.

I think that we shouldn’t put anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in the same bag. Aren’t even anti-Zionist Jews?
There are all kinds of Jews. When I was younger, naïve and my empathy hadn't developed properly I was a particularily doctrinaire and autistic kind of libertarian: Murray Rothbart almost made me seriously half consider that the Holocause hadn't happened (he was quite friendly with Lew Rockwell, one of the major Amerian "revisionists"). I really love the phrase "The Jews are like everyone else - just more so (Some Rabbi, at some point)". But you are absolutely right of course, in the fact that there are perfectly valid reasons to critizice Israel. anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism arguments should not be treated the same, but I do think they can often spring from the same psychological sources. The reasons you have brought up seem valid I think, from a progressive kind of view. Consider my view of human nature dim enough not to be convinced everyone (me and you also - but us perhaps somewhat less so than the abstraction "everyone" ;)) is driven purely by what tell themselves they are though.

For an generalized European aversion to Israel, I don’t think that exists or existed since 1948. In the sequence of WWII and the Holocaust the Europeans, and the world in general, had a sympathetic view of the Jews and consequently of Israel. It was given both a “capital” of affection. Naturally with time that “capital” is being exhausted, and from that we reach positions from the extremes of the holocaust deniers, to the ones that simply don’t agree with many of the current Israel policies in the last decades. We should note that disagreeing with many of the current Israel policies doesn’t mean the same of agreeing with Muslim extremist views against the state of Israel.
Perhaps you are right that 1948 is a bad date for it. A better date might be the 7-days war. That being said, I do think the underlying psychological motives I outline (though a bit of a rough and vulgar description, naturally) might not be entirely without foundation. Perhaps it is not true for the average "progressive", but I wouldn't be surprised if many European leaders and "stakeholders"( to use an overued economistic term) in the current European state of affairs had forbidden feelings along those kinds of lines. Human beings are interesting creatures after all, and the wellsprings of our real feelings don't always go together with our own professed beliefs of what is right and wrong.

Of course it is quite valid not to agree with all policies of the state of Israel. At the risk of being a bit cold though: What I've always found fascinating and vaguely suspicious is why some people seem to care so much about the Israel/ Palestine conflict. Are the crimes of Israel uniquely heinous? It doesn't seem that way to me: There are numerous other very serious human rights violations and abuses that are much worse going in the world every day. Surely if one wanted to optimize once moral impact one would spend more time talking about and taking political action towards such countries. North Korea springs to mind, also China, if you count in the sheer number of people who's rights are being violated. Congo or Somalia perhaps if you want to look at the pure disorder and violence many are subjected too.

Are the palestinians a uniquely sad case, with uniquely strong and really special ties to their land? Well, no -not really. They speak a dialect of Arabic that is intelligible with their Syrian, Lebanese and Egyptian neighbours, and have like most of the people in their part of the world never had a nationstate of their own up until 5 minutes ago in historical terms, and could easily have assimilated into their neighbouring countries if the local ruling elites would have allowed them (excepting perhaps Lebanon, which is a special case for cultural and religious reasons, and where the influx of Palestinians might, from my understanding actually have caused the Lebanese Civil War). Of course though palestinians are counted as "refugees" still by the UN, despite the fact that in a generation or two there might not be anyone left who actually was expelled from Israel. Finland lost all of Karelia to the Soviet Union in the Second World War, and hasn't recieved it back. She hasn't even recieved an apology from Russia Where is the oh so righteous indignation? Where are the suicide bombers? Where are the media teams?

Some people, especially in the media classes (at least here in Sweden) seem to have a fixation on Israel and the Palestinians that to me is very strange, and can't really be explained by anything except by the huge symbolic capital and ties to European history as well as European self-conception that the Isareli/ Palestine conflict has. There is also the angle of viewing Israeli as an ersatz colonial power, almost like the old regime in South Africa. Given that organizations have a long shelf-life and tend to accumulate interests over time I wouldn't be surprised if many of the same key figures and groups that very most fiery about decolonization in the 1950-1970s, South Africa to the 1980s etc. today increasingly campaign against Israel, because of the similarity of tools they have at their disposal - people are intellectually lazy after all, when interest and circumstance lets them get away with being so. The bottom line for me is: Why the hell does it matter to so many people so much??? has always been my instinctive thought... but I think perhaps I am after all less empathetic of some "causes" and more strictly defined in the way I exercise my political empathy than others, especially many more on the left... for both good and bad.

Anyway, as I believe Churchill (or was it Oscar Wilde?) said something along the lines of: "I don't have any problem with a man's opinion - only with the opinion of a fanatic." Many of the constant talking heads that talk about the Israeli-Palestine conflict (on both sides, but mostly on the pro-Palestinian side here in Europe, the opposite case could perhaps be made for the United States) seem to have a fanaticism which I find strange, and a bit tasteless. It would be more fitting for them to care about the weak and downtrodden masses of their own populations before they try to save the rest of the world, I think - at least for the particularly obnoxious ones I have in my country.
 
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Feb 2011
920
Scotland
I'd like to throw in a few thoughts here, from the point of view of someone from Britain and a member of the group under discussion.

First, it seems to be a basic human instinct to fear and/or resent those that are culturally different, a distinct minority. If there are those that do not like the idea of an entrenched Jewish minority, I have heard much the same about Sari-clad ladies of the subcontinent living in London, or Lithuanian communities within Britain.

Nevertheless, whilst I have seen plenty of comments suggesting that 'Christians' are responsible for this or that persecution, it must always be borne in mind that it is 'the finger that pulls the trigger' that bears responsibility for acts committed. If that person happened to have been Christian, that does not mean that all Christians are responsible; just that individual and any who render assistance willingly. At no stage were 'all Christians' united in enforcing a persecution, else Jewish communities in the West could hardly have survived. It also overlooks the many and boundless acts of goodness and amity shown by other individuals over the centuries. Nobody can be blamed for the acts of others, including the possible or deemed acts of ancestors. Many acts of persecution were impelled by material gain as much as religious zealotry.

I have lived in Britain all my life and never encountered an overt and personal antisemitic act aimed at me. Of course, antisemitism does exist- desecrated gravestones, vandalised buildings and occasional attacks. Politically there are warning signs flashing. But ironically, the main threat to the Jewish community in Britain has been the openness, and tolerance toward communities here, no doubt influenced by modern attitudes and doubts instilled in some by the Holocaust. That threat has been assimilation, which has seen the community drop by about half over a half century.

Maintenance of a full Jewish life under Torah law pretty much requires a fairly close-knit community living close together. Those communities are the ones most resistant to assimilation. Different customs and sometimes different garb can spark those inbuilt fears of a minority refusing to go away.
 
Likes: bboomer
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
Here in Adelaide there is a very small, essentially invisible Jewish presence. I can only think of two publicly visible 'Jewish' names. It simply didn't occur to me as a younger man that the name 'Solomon' might be Jewish. There were and are no Jews in my consciousness.

The last say five years, our local racists and Xenophobes have been getting their knickers all out of focus about Muslim women wearing hijab. I won't even start on the hysteria people show on any discussion about the burqa.

There has always been some group on the outer here. Before the Muslims, it was the Vietnamese, before them the Brits, Italians and Greeks. Plus a lot of enmity between Catholics and Protestants. Before that there were "the"Balks", Eastern European Migrants after WW1. Before them it was the Chinese miners during the gold rush of the 1850's-

Overlaying all that hate and fear, there was a deep racism against Indigenous Australians. That has changed quite a lot,. but there is still a long way to ago EG Aboriginal life expectancy remains low; almost half of Aboriginal men ,and a third of Aboriginal women die before the age of 45.

It's never hard for human beings to find some group to hate.
 
Apr 2018
454
Upland, Sweden
If one could say anything negative about Jews in the Western world today - and actually address the issue of the topic - (most posts in this thread have been rather defensive, which is very understandable given the history of the 20th century) it is that some diaspora Jews have a certain kind of tribalistic mentality in regards to some issues, which is not very inline with the open society many of them claim to want for society at large. For example, in matters of politics 80% of American Jews voted democratic in the 2018 election. Obviously, for someone who is not on the political left this can make Jews a naturally provocative target, if political differences in society become great enough - especially since Jews are generally very succesful.

If there are any grounds for anti-semitism on the modern political right (I have mainly talked about left-wing anti-semitism/ anti-zionism in Europe, which I think is a bigger phenomenon) it is related to these issues, and especially the percieved (real or imagined) connection that Jewish intellectuals have with allowing mass third world migration to Western countries. In light of this support for Israel obviously becomes seen as hypocritical by people on the extremes of the political right, which creates an interesting "horse-shoe" effect with the extremes of the political left, and the hilarious phenomenon of the most Authoritarian Fascists one can imagine talking about Israeli human rights abuses against the Palestinians :lol:. I have a really hard time taking such arguments very seriously when they come from that direction. As if they actually give a ****....

Anyway, Ben Shapiro has an interesting 5 minute discussion about this phenomenon and he makes the case that there is a great difference between religious and non-religious Jews in these matters (with most Jews who are religious voting for the republicans...). The "post-paleo-conservative" Paul Gottfried (of German-Jewish descent) makes a similar but not identical case that the overrepresentation of Jews in many progressive causes is due to the paranoid character of East-European Jews from beyond the Pale of Settlement, quite different from (which just as a coincidence happens to be his own...) the more laid back and integrative attitude of Western European and particularily German Jews. Here is a (warning, massive political incorrectness will ensue) video with him debating this and similar issues (such as the influence of AIPAC that @sparky mentioned).
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,616
Portugal
Nevertheless, whilst I have seen plenty of comments suggesting that 'Christians' are responsible for this or that persecution, it must always be borne in mind that it is 'the finger that pulls the trigger' that bears responsibility for acts committed. If that person happened to have been Christian, that does not mean that all Christians are responsible; just that individual and any who render assistance willingly. At no stage were 'all Christians' united in enforcing a persecution, else Jewish communities in the West could hardly have survived. It also overlooks the many and boundless acts of goodness and amity shown by other individuals over the centuries. Nobody can be blamed for the acts of others, including the possible or deemed acts of ancestors. Many acts of persecution were impelled by material gain as much as religious zealotry.
“Commenting” that “Christians” persecuted the Jews many times in history is not a suggestion, it is widely documented.

Naturally that it weren’t all the “Christians” responsible, not the ones of the past, the present or the ones of the future, just those who participated or incited those persecutions, but the reference to “Christians” must be made to show the relevance of the religious characteristics of the events. Even if many of those persecutions were impelled by material gain.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,384
Sydney
The Jews in the Baltic States and other East European area were not hunted down for religious reasons
but for their association with Bolshevism .
they were particularly resented in Galicia for having collaborated with the Soviet secret police in the purge of the local intelligentsia
 

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