Since ancient times the world has had its list of (usually seven) wonders. In antiquity, the Great Pyramid of Giza (the only wonder from the original list still standing), the statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Colossus of Rhodes (a new, gigantic, version of which is being built today), and others were among the occupants of the list. Over time, the world’s wonders changed depending on the identity and place of residence of the list’s compilers, who included such places as the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, and England’s Stonehenge.
Recently, another wonder has emerged, or rather remerged, since it’s been with us longer than even the Pyramid of Giza. In fact, it is not a single wonder, but a whole list of them, but they all revolve around one question: Why do people hate Jews? To see the full campaign including the documentary trailer, and infographic, visit Why do People Hate The Jews?
Are the Jews Miraculous Survivors, or Guarded for a Purpose?
In “Concerning the Jews,” Mark Twain mused on the hatred of Jews, on one hand, and their persistence, on the other hand: “…The Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. …Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. …The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone. Other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out… The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies… All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”
Not less bewildering than the survival of the Jews is the fact that from Pharaoh to Hitler, virtually every detractor of the Jews sealed his doom in persecuting them. Some were even aware of the fact that the Jews are indestructible, yet could not help themselves, as if compelled by a force greater than themselves. In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler wrote, “When … I scrutinized the activity of the Jewish people, suddenly there arose up in me the fearful question whether inscrutable Destiny, perhaps for reasons unknown to us poor mortals, did not, with eternal and immutable resolve, desire the final victory of this little nation.” Despite this premonition, Hitler tried, and almost succeeded in exterminating European Jewry. But he, too, everntually failed and will go down in histroy as the epitome of evil.
Hated or loved, Jews were always treated as different. They are judged by different standards, revered, admired, and hated more than any other nation on the face of the Earth.
British Bishop, Thomas Newton wrote about Jews: “What but a supernatural power could have preserved them in such a manner as none other nation upon earth hath been preserved?” French Mathematichian, Blaise Pascal, pondered the formula that has kept the Jews thus far: “This people are not eminent solely by their antiquity, but are also singular by their duration, which has always continued from their origin till now … in spite of the endeavors of many powerful kings who have a hundred times tried to destroy them.”
Illustrious Russian author, Leo Tolstoy, pondered the survival of the Jews, but also sensed that their existence had to do with a unique purpose: “What is the Jew?…What kind of unique creature is this whom all the rulers of all the nations of the world have disgraced and crushed and expelled and destroyed; persecuted, burned and drowned, and who, despite their anger and their fury, continues to live and to flourish? …The Jew is the symbol of eternity. … He is the one who for so long had guarded the prophetic message and transmitted it to all mankind. A people such as this can never disappear. The Jew is eternal. He is the embodiment of eternity.”
Jew Hatred Makes No Sense
Perhaps the most striking facet about Jew-hatred is its irrationality. The are as many reasons for hating Jews as there are people. Everything that upsets, hurts, or displeases people they often attribute to the Jews. Jews have been blamed for manipulating the media to their needs, usury, blood libels of various forms, well poisoning, dominating slave trade, disloyalty to their host countries, organ harvesting and AIDS spreading.
Moreover, Jews are often accused of conflicting “crimes.” Communists accused them of creating capitalism; capitalists accused them of inventing communism. Christians accused Jews of killing Jesus, and acclaimed French historian and philosopher, François Voltaire, of inventing Christianity. Jews have been labeled warmongers and cowards, racists and cosmopolitans, spineless and unbending, and the list could go on forever.
Clearly, Jew-hatred is irrational and deep. Yehuda Bauer, Prof. of Holocaust Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, believes that anti-Semitism remains latent until it is triggered, usually during crises. The multiple crises we are seeing around the world are therefore expected to continue to exacerbate the current wave of anti-Semitism.
A Deeper Reason Behind Hatred of Jews
The most important point to take from this brief review of anti-Semitism is that if we are to find the reason for anti-Semitism, we must look beneath the surface. As we have seen, rationalizations cannot explain the existence, persistence, and diversity of Jew-hatred. A deeper root is at play here. When anti-Semitism awakens, it is justified according to its particular milieu and therefore takes on different forms and manifestations at different times.
Since ancient times, the Jews have been dubbed “the chosen people,” that they were chosen to be a “light unto nations.” However, today Jews are being blamed for doing the exact opposite. In Hebrew, there is a famous truism: “Enters wine, out comes a secret.” Several years ago actor Mel Gibson was stopped by traffic police on suspicion of DUI. His response to the officer was cursing the Jews and declaring, “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world. Are you a Jew?”
Malaysia’s former prime minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, was presumably far more sober than Mr. Gibson when he spoke at the Conference for the Support of Al-Quds on January 21, 2010. Yet, sobriety did not inhibit his declaration that “Even after their massacre by the Nazis of Germany, they [Jews] survived to continue to be a source of even greater problems for the world.”
Under certain circumstances, even people who are not known for harboring explicitly anti-Jewish sentiments will express thoughts that can only be interpreted as anti-Semitic. When reporter for Israeli National News, Henry Schwartz, approached retired General “Jerry” Boykin, he was met with a surprising observation: “The Jews are the problem. The Jews are the cause of all the problems in the world.”
Such generalizations should tell us something: If people believe that Jews are responsible for every problem in the world, they must also expect the Jews to fix them. When faced with such a conviction that the Jews are responsible for the well-being of the world, as long as there are problems in the world there will be hatred of Jews. And the more pain there is, the more the anger will turn on the Jews. If Jews are responsible for every problem, then any problem is the fault of the Jews. AIDS—it’s the Jews’ fault; earthquakes—the Jews’ fault; terrorism—the Jews’ fault; financial crisis—certainly the Jews’ fault! You name it—it’s the Jews’ fault.
A conviction that Jews are responsible for all the problems and must therefore fix them implies that anti-Semitism does not arise during crises because Jews are easy scapegoats, as some believe. Quite the contrary, in people’s eyes Jews are indeed the perpetrators. When things are fine people let Jews be. But when troubles ensue, the Jews are blamed for causing it.
Evidently, willingly or unwillingly, Jews never stopped being the chosen people—chosen to fix the world. And the reason why there is anti-Semitism is very simply that the world is still not fixed.