This article is an analysis of Jew hatred (anti-Semitism) and its debilitating impact on society and governance. It first looks at religious Jew hatred, showing how Muslim Jew hatred is the underlying cause of the Arab-Israel conflict, and how it is also a measure of the dysfunctionality of Arab governments. The paper then turns to ideological-leftist Jew hatred, and the psychological processes that allow bigotry to get embedded into politics. The paper concludes with a brief review of political parties in Europe that are promoting Jew hatred and the fragility of those countries where Jew hatred is most prevalent.
For those who are paying even modest attention, it is clear that anti-Semitism, conspiracy theories about Jews, and anti-Zionist hatred of Israel, the "Jew of nations," has been on the rise for two decades.
However, such a general statement provides an unfocused starting place for analysis. In this essay I will look at the problem more closely, teasing apart its three primary strands:
1. religious anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism
2. political/ideological anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism
3. nationalistic anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism
I will begin this analysis with religion, the most historically prevalent form of Jew hatred, and for the sake of brevity and honesty, from here on out I will dispense with euphemisms, and refer to anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism as Jew hatred.
II. Religious Jew Hatred
Religious Jew hatred must be differentiated into its Muslim and Christian forms. Muslim Jew hatred appears to be no worse today than it has been for many decades, certainly since 1948, and probably since 1900 in conjunction with the rise of Zionism. However, saying it is no worse today than it has been for a century is really saying that Islamic Jew hatred is 1. state-promoted; 2. inculcated in the home, school systems, and news and social media; 3. virtually unrestrained; and 4. greatly influenced by Nazi ideology. The ADL’s 2014 study of world anti-Semitism (1), and current events documented on MEMRI’s website(2) verifies the extent and viciousness of this hatred, its profound disconnect from historical evidence, and the comprehensive lack of honesty that dominates opinions across the Muslim world.
(1.) Executive Summary: http://global100.adl.org/public/ADL-Global-100-Executive-Summary.pdf;
Full report: http://global100.adl.org/
(2.) MEMRI’S home page: http://www.memri.org/middle-east-media-research-institute.html;
MEMRITV: http://www.memritv.org/; MEMRI media archives: http://www.memri.org/media-archives.html
The consequences are far reaching and highly disturbing. This is surely the underlying cause behind the Arab (and Muslim) refusal to make peace with Israel. Ironically, many people get this backwards. Many people think Arab and Muslim Jew hatred is an effect of conflict with Israel. In fact, it pre-existed and generated those conflicts. The Arabs 1. refused to accept Jewish immigration to Palestine before 1948; 2. refused to accept Israel’s right to exist in 1948; and 3. refused to negotiate with Israel after the ‘48, ‘56, ‘67, and ‘73 wars, and with the exception of Egypt and Jordan (who have made a frigid peace with Israel) at no other time have Arabs come forward and simply accepted Israel’s right to exist. The Palestinian conflict with Israel is a direct result of this refusal to tolerate the existence of a Jewish nation in the Middle East.
Yet Israel’s existence emerged at the same time and as a result of the same historic events that created every other Middle Eastern nation. Every Middle Eastern country was created in the aftermath of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, an empire that had colonized this region for over 500 years. And not a single nation created by European powers in the aftermath of the Ottoman collapse had ever existed at any time in history, with the exception of Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, and Yemen. Therefore if Arabs question Israel’s right to exist, they need first question their own nation’s right to exist! Of course, that kind of logic is never applied because Jew hatred is emotional, not logical in its foundations.
The depth and breadth of the problem mitigates against the possibility of any meaningful and enduring Israeli-Arab peace any time in the foreseeable future. So long as the vast majority of Arabs hate Jews and Israel, any government that makes peace with Israel will be implementing a policy that will undermine its stability. Sisi’s government in Egypt is particularly vulnerable at this time, as it warms to Israel while struggling economically.
But this widespread, overt, and unashamed Jew hatred in the Muslim world does not only affect Arab-Israeli peace efforts. Indeed, that is only the tip of the iceberg. The existence of widespread Jew hatred in society reflects a society that is socially, politically, economically, and morally fractured and dysfunctional. Where Jew hatred is overt and widespread, general hatred, discrimination, and social fracturing are equally overt and widespread. And a society torn by these fractures will surely be dysfunctional.
Look at any Arab nation and you will see the result of long-term, unaddressed, and unmitigated Jew hatred. Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Somalia, Mali, Sudan, Eritrea, Lebanon, the Palestinians, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, and Yemen are all in social and political free-fall. Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, though mostly non-Arab, are all 90%+ majority Muslim, and are all either torn to pieces in social and political conflict, or dominated by aggressive dictatorships that hold the pieces together with a ruthless police state (as did Syria, Iraq, and Libya for many decades).