Hatred of Jews, virulent antisemitism, is not a political, economic, social or anthropological belief grounded in facts. It is an entirely destructive and harmful ideology.

The most enduring and resilient social pathology in history.

Antisemitism is endemic in many populations. In fact it is congenital. Millions, perhaps billions of people are antisemites from birth, with no basis for being so other than, they are offspring of antisemites.

The prejudice and discrimination against Jews is both as individuals and as a group. Or people. And certainly a  religion.

Both the “Jews are bad” paradigm, and the “worldwide Jewish conspiracy” have been and remain guiding lights of antisemites worldwide.

In many societies, to this day, Jews are blamed for many of their ills. And remarkably for the inability of those societies to advance. That is a glaring paradox given the immense contributions by Jews to society, science and business.

The “worldwide Jewish conspiracy” endures to this day, in wide segments of societies, including in the us.

Just ask any cab driver in Budapest, why cab fares are so high. It is the cost of the gasoline. And that is because of the Jews. I know… I have an office in Budapest. Hungarians are among the most virulent antisemites about. Not that many years ago, during one of my fifty trips to Budapest, I was trapped there for Yom Kippur. Most unmemorable: I was unable to get into the iconic Dohány Street Synagogue – The Great Synagogue in Budapest. The security line was so long, by the time I was “wanded”, much of the service was done.

More memorable was on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, when the skinheads blanketed much of the city with leaflets wishing the Jews a happy anniversary and, “Don’t worry, Jews. This time you will die here.”

Historically, antisemitism was given birth as a conflict over religious beliefs.  After the advent of Christianity, a new anti-Judaism evolved. Initially, Christianity was seen as simply another Jewish sect, since Jesus and the disciples were Jewish and preached a form of Judaism. In the year 70 c.e.,3 the romans destroyed the Jewish state, and most Jews were scattered throughout the ancient world.

That might have been the first genocide of Jews if not a holocaust.

Predictably, that evolved into systematic policy of political, economic, and social isolation; blood libels, inquisitions, exclusion, degradation, marginalization, persecution, ghettos, pogroms, genocides, and repeated attempted annihilation.

Nearly a success in the hands of Hitler and his Germany.

Antisemitism did not begin in the Nazi era, nor did it end with the close of world war II. Its continuance over the millennia speaks to the power of scapegoating. Jews have always been defined as the “other” group. To be sure, Jews would prefer to not be the so-called chosen people.

Racism and antisemitism were also facilitated by the development of social Darwinism and pseudo-scientific notions based on theories of racial superiority and inferiority.

Perhaps an explanation of a succession of pogroms against the Jews, dating back to the 18th century.

One cannot discount what the hated Jews were relegated to. Jews in the “modern” centuries, think 14th to 17th , were relegated to certain jobs that Christians could not – by religious dogma – do. It was OK to have Jews teach the children. OK to have Jews handle money, become lenders of Christians’ money, while good Christians were prohibited.

Hitler capitalized on the “Jews are bad – in fact, they are bad enough to be sub-humans.” And an impediment to German world domination. Thus, the need to exterminate them.

At this writing, twenty-seven percent of Germans believe that Hitler was right – all the way around. That despite draconian laws that prohibit such expression, and essentially seek to control thought related to the Holocaust.

How is that going, you all?

But for the immediate post-war generations — perhaps just generation, it was the youth of Germany who kept the shame of their parents and grandparents incomprehensible inhumanity “alive”.

Try as enlightened Christians and even more relevant, enlightened leaders of Christianity, think popes, have tried to rehabilitate Jews and give them parity with Christians, they have failed spectacularly.

Regrettably most of the blind haters prefer to hate.

Studying, understanding, practicing tolerance or at least, peaceful coexistence, requires generations of enlightened parenting. Tragically, I hold out little or no hope for that.

Astonishingly, this is not taught in our fine schools.

Antisemitism is real and prevalent. Two weeks ago, I attended a Zoom conference with a board of directors of a tech company. They consult with me on a wide variety of matters. The uber-brilliant, new age CEO urged the team to “Jew down” the prices being paid to a vendor.

Projecting ahead, after what I said and how I said it to that antisemite, I expect to be suing for my fees. Unless I name him in a new piece on antisemitism in America. Thank God for Zoom. Otherwise, I might have been lead out of that meeting in handcuffs.

And then, a neighbor asked us for advice with a matter they have with their landlord. The lady of that house, added to her narrative: “you know, the guy is a Jew.”

©2022. Steven J. Manning. All rights reserved worldwide. Any reproduction, in part or whole, in any medium whatsoever, is strictly prohibited.