What have Jewish people done to draw hostility?

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  • #2781

    Reez
    Participant

    I would like to hear from Jewish people about why there is such hostility toward them. I have read about biased people who hate Jews, but I also sense that political correctness masks so much insight that it makes it difficult for non-Jews to gain an understanding of Jewish people. Please, if you will, offer explanations, and hopefully we can have a better understanding of each other.

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    Name : Reez, Gender : M, Race : Asian, Age : 32, City : Toronto, Ontario, State : NA Country : Canada, Occupation : chemist, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #19408

    John
    Member

    I am on the left in politics. Everyone says that the left hates Jews. But there are leftist Jew-haters, rightist Jew-haters and anti-Jews who just don’t give a **** about politics. Lots of it has to do with the occupation of Palestine. The problem is that good Jews are not outspoken enough. They are blamed as self-hating. If the only Jews that Palestinians see are settlers and soldiers with Kalashnikovs, their image will not be that great.

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    Name : John, Gender : M, City : New York, State : NY Country : United States, 
    #23595

    Jerry
    Member

    It appears to me that you should be asking your question of anti-semites, not Jews. How on earth should I know why people hate me because of my religious beliefs?

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    Name : Jerry, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Jewish, Age : 69, City : Tampa, State : FL Country : United States, Occupation : attorney, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #30185

    Ade
    Member

    I think that modern-day anti-Israeli feelings felt by Palestinians have a different root than the anti-Jewish feelings that gave rise to institutional hatred and pogroms of the last 2,000 years. The Israel-Palestine situation is complex and, I feel, more related to colonization and displacement than religion – think Native Americans vs European settlers. However, the pogroms and hatred of the last 2,000 years I have always thought were rooted in the old, not current, teachings of the Christian church that Jews were ‘bad,’ as they were implicated in the death of Jesus. Seems crazy, as of course, Jesus WAS Jewish.

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    Name : Ade, Gender : M, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 37, City : Colchester, State : NA Country : United Kingdom, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, 
    #16139

    K26925
    Participant

    Although I have no problem with the Jewish people and, in fact, have many Jewish friends, my grandmother is a bit prejudiced against them. I asked her why once and she told me that the Jews in pre-WWII Poland were a very secretive group. They were hostile to outsiders and tended to treat those around them as inferiors. I do not know if this is true or if it was just a perception, but she said it was this that led to their persecution. People tend to fear what they don’t understand – especially if it is guarded closely. I also suspect that she may have blamed them for her own time in a concentration camp. Although the Jews were targeted, they were not the only ones who faced these horrors. Many Slavic people met the same fate, including the majority of my grandmother’s family. The Polish people were brutally massacred in part because they shielded the Jews. I am proud of my Jewish friends and thank God that their line has continued, but I think there are veterans of WWII who may hold on to the belief that the Jews brought the persecution down on themselves and those who sheltered them. Please don’t flame me! I am only relating what I have heard – not what I believe!

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    Name : K26925, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Polish-Irish American, Religion : Catholic, Age : 30, City : Houston, State : TX Country : United States, Occupation : IT Consultant, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #17192

    Gerit21682
    Participant

    I suspect it has something to do with the following leaps of logic. 1. Jews supposedly killed Jesus. Therefore, Christians should be hostile to the Jews. 2. Jews occupied Palestine. Therefore Arabs should be hostile to the Jews. I believe this goes back to WWII when the Jews were persecuted by the Nazis, and to make up for it they were allowed to settle in Israel. Of course the people who lived their already (Palestinians) weren’t too happy. 3. I believe Jews were historically the moneylenders & bankers. Therefore anyone who doesn’t have enough money or has fallen on bad times should be hostile to the Jews. 4. Being Jewish was a mixture of culture, religion and heredity. If their culture, religion or ancestory was different than yours, it gives bigots a reason to hate.

    I’m sure there are more reasons that people are bigots. People being stupid and all, it doesn’t take much to get two groups to hate each other enough to kill each other.

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    Name : Gerit21682, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, City : Salt Lake City, State : UT Country : United States, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #27063

    Greg21571
    Participant

    The Jordanian and Syrian land first described as ‘Palestine’ at the beginning of this last century has been a beachhead of Muslim anti-Semitism since it was controlled by the British at the height of European anti-Semitism. Mutually favorable exchanges between the British and the Arab states cost Israel much of the land it was promised and many lives, such as in 1938 when they agreed to cap immigration to Israel and enforced it by sinking refugee ships fleeing the early days of European fascism. Later on, Arab clerics would develop ties with Nazi Germany. The entire region coalesced in two wars, which they lost, against Israel with the express intent to ‘drive the Jews into the sea’. thereafter ‘Palestine’ was invented along with the ‘Palestinian Liberation Organization’, a Marxist front for genocidal hate. (This is why white ‘intellectuals’ endorse the Palestinian cause: it works out ideologically. it cloaks itsself in revolutionary rhetoric and Jordanians are slightly browner than Jews; the rest writes itself.) The religion-inspired suicide bombings began thereafter. These are the origins of the current conflict. There was no displacement. Jews inhabited the area continuously throughout history. Arab immigration to Israel occurred after Jews started arriving from Europe and to this day, whereas Jews are not allowed anywhere else in the region, Israel has Arabs serving in Parliament. Today as always Israel sits on less than one percent of the Middle East, and yet we are to imagine them as colonial land-grabbers while Syria occupies Lebanon and killed more Arabs in that endeavor than Israel has in all of its defense measures.

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    Name : Greg21571, Gender : M, Religion : Jewish, City : Lancing, State : IL Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, 
    #27589

    Mara
    Participant

    As I understand it, in the beginning some Jews accepted Jesus as God’s son and some didn’t. The ones who did became ‘Christian Jews’ and blamed the non-believing Jews for Jesus’ execution. You could probably start with Pope Clement I, who publicly blamed Jews for Nero’s persecution of Christians. The Christian doctrine of ‘love thy neighbor’ wasn’t fashionable yet, so we have quite a few of the Christian fathers leading the way. St. Justin the Martyr, St. Hippolytus, St. Gregory, most of the Popes from Clement I through Benedict XIV and beyond. Even today distrust and hatred are preached by church leaders like Jerry Falwell, who said that the Anti-Christ is alive and a Jewish male, to Pat Robertson, who believes Communism is a Jewish-German construct. On a ‘cultural’ note, there was a female saint (her name eludes me) who wrote ‘The Dolorous Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ’ that was completely anti-Semitic. Mel Gibson made a movie based on her meditations.

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    Name : Mara, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 40, City : Atlanta, State : GA Country : United States, Occupation : data entry, Education level : High School Diploma, Social class : Middle class, 
    #44924

    EJ
    Member

    I think part of what draws hostility is ignorance. In this day and age you hope people would be more open to people being different, but as my non-Jewish colleagues say, “You Jews have so many rules.” 613 to be exact. These rules make us different in action and appearance. There are rules to the way we dress, what we eat, how we are buried, and being that we must observe the Sabbath, we tend to live in clusters (near a synagogue, schools for our kids and a Jewish cemetery.) In fact, I cannot go out to eat with my co-workers unless I take them to a kosher restaurant, and I do not want to impose on them, so we don’t generally do that. That separates me from them. In the past, Jews were “restricted” to live in certain areas, and distance kept us apart from our non-Jewish neighbors. Therefore, the fear of the unknown breeds ignorance. Also, some people are intimidated by differences, and that can breed hostility and potentially violence, like the pogroms in the Pale of Settlement (Poland/Russia) and expulsions from Spain, England and many countries throughout Europe. Throughout history Jews were scapegoats for things we know today could not possibly be, and that was because of ignorance. So today, we know there exists so much that we do not know about other cultures and religions, and there are rumors we hear or urban legends about others, but that is usually never the real truth. Therefore, once people are open to learn about their neighbors, perhaps the hostility will decline.

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    Name : EJ, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Jewish, Age : 28, City : New York, State : NY Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, 
    #45397

    Sam28556
    Participant

    I’d imagine anti-Jewish sentiment in the Western world can be traced back to the conquest of Palestine by the Romans. From that point on, Westerners latched on to new ‘reasons’ for their prejudices — the crucifixion of Jesus, for example. Certain other anti-Jewish (I refrain from using the phrase ‘anti-Semitic’ because it obscures the fact that Arabs are also Semites) myths have roots in historical practices. For example, the idea that Jews have a love of money can be traced back to the Middle Ages, when the Church banned money-handling for Gentiles. It was one of the few occupations left open to Jews. In the Arab world, anti-Semitism developed primarily as a reaction to Zionism. Before the 20th century, anti-Semitism in the Muslim world was generally far less severe than in Christian countries.

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    Name : Sam28556, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, Age : 19, City : Pittsburgh, State : PA Country : United States, Occupation : Student, Education level : High School Diploma, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #46490

    Matt
    Member

    I’m not Jewish, but I have studied medieval history. I think the best answer is that they’ve managed to position themselves as convenient scapegoats by being different, following different rules than the others. In ancient Rome, they wouldn’t bow down to the Emperor, and revolted against Roman rule from time to time (sometimes with a lot of justification, like the time a pagan governor decided it would be a good idea to shut them up by sacrificing a pig in their temple). Then once the Empire fell, the Jews continued to distinguish themselves from the others in Europe by their customs, and by the fact that they did not follow Catholic rules. One that was probably a major contributing factor there was that the Catholics were forbidden from charging interest on loans. Jews weren’t, and consequently became the moneylenders of the time. Being a group of ‘outsiders’ that managed to profit by ways the dominant religion disapproved of at the time really wasn’t a good place to be in during the Middle Ages.

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    Name : Matt, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, Age : 25, City : Oxford, State : GA Country : United States, Occupation : Engineer, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #46547

    Dersk25710
    Participant

    Basically, and this goes back to at least Roman times, because they’re identifiably different. In fact, a lot of the stereotypes about Jews (I’m not Jewish, I just read a lot of history) stem from the fact that, for example, they were the only people allowed to be moneylenders when early Christians decided that usury meant any lending for interest. Thus, the stereotype of the financial, money grubbing Jew. The sad truth is that you can’t be in unless someone else is out, and if they look or act different, it’s a lot easier to identify the dreaded ‘them’.

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    Name : Dersk25710, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, Age : 34, City : Amsterdam, State : NA Country : The Netherlands, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #47673

    JerryS
    Member

    Throughout the European Middle Ages and modern times, Jews were the quintessential outsiders. Political power derived its legitimacy from Christianity, so Jews were politically suspect. Back before the conflict with the Palestinians, Jews generally got along well with Muslims; because the Muslims and Christians were at each others’ throats, that didn’t help. Economically, Jews were both advantaged and disadvantaged: not being subject to Church prohibitions against money-lending, they were economically useful but despised; not being allowed to own land in many places, they were forced into mercantile trades; having connections with other Jews in other cities helped them prosper in trade, furthering the association between Jews and money (at a time when a typical peasant had none). On a religious level, Jews were viewed as having rejected (and perhaps killed) Christ; to this day, their refusal to accept Jesus as their savior is viewed by some Christians as preventing the establishment of the Kingdom of God. At the same time, Jews had beliefs that further alienated Christians: refusing to eat food prepared by Christians, for example; and classifying Christians as idolators. The position of the Jews in Western society is unique primarily because of their long history; other groups, such as the Romani, were regarded in much the same way (outsider = bad). The Irish (a white-skinned, English-speaking, Christian people) were badly discriminated against in the United States until the Italians and Eastern Europeans arrived to take their place as whipping boys.

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    Name : JerryS, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Jewish, Age : 52, City : New Britain, State : CT Country : United States, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #16352

    Nancy
    Participant

    Just for the record, it’s the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad that carry Kalashnikovs. The Israel Defense Force (IDF) issues M-16s to its soldiers. That’s what the Palestinians see…

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    Name : Nancy, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Jewish, Age : 38, City : Raanana, State : NA Country : Israel, Occupation : Hi-tech, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #39807

    Sheryl
    Participant

    Okay, I do know there has been hatred of Jews since there have been Jews. I don’t believe I have been persecuted in any way, at least not that I’ve noticed. I’m a non-practicing, non-religious Jew. I don’t self-identify with the religion, though I do self-identify as Jew when discussing ethnicity and culture. I’m not even sure what that means except I often feel a uniquely textured kinship with other Jews and for no other reason than our Jewishness. I am married to a non-religious non-Jew. I feel more kinship with him than with any Jews!

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    Name : Sheryl, Gender : F, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 42, City : Rutland, State : VT Country : United States, Occupation : Graduate Student, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
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