Why do people hate Jews and Judaism? (COMMENTARY)

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Visitors watch the sunrise from Mount Moses in the Sinai Peninsula on August 10, 2009. According to the Bible, this was where Moses received the ten commandments from God. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-BLECH-COLUMN, originally transmitted on May 21, 2015.

Visitors watch the sunrise from Mount Moses in the Sinai Peninsula on August 10, 2009. According to the Bible, this was where Moses received the ten commandments from God. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-BLECH-COLUMN, originally transmitted on May 21, 2015.

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NEW YORK (RNS) Jews are hated not because they are bad but because they persist in reminding the world of what it means to be good.

  • M Kahan

    I agree with you, let me just rephrase it. Antisemitism is caused by the fact that Jewish culture is perceived as “powerful and different” in some ways compared to other’s. However, like President John Adams and Mark Twain said: The world has adopted many core Jewish morals, more then any other.

  • ben in oakland

    People hate Jews and Judaism because of 1900 years of the Jewish heresy of Christianity proclaiming that they were of the devil and killed Jesus. It started in the book of Acts, continued on down the centuries through the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella, was supported by Martin Luther, proclaimed as a basic tenet of fascism because of that long history of Christian anti-Semitism, was exploited in l’affaire Dreyfus at the end of the 19th century, was reinforced by the catholic Church until 1962, and got supported by the Southern Baptists as late as 1977.

    F. Bailey smith, president of the SBC: “God almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew!”

    And on and on and on and on.

    1900 years of official Christian Jew hatred, and you want to know why Jews and Judaism are hated?

    However, Jews are not the only people that are hated for the crime of existing. One need only look at the history of Christian gay hatred to see that it is not so unusual. It’s remarkably similar to jew…

  • Garson Abuita

    Fred, the term antisemitism originated in Germany, and while it originally referred there to pseudoscientific theories about the superiority of “Aryan” to “Semitic” races (i.e. all Middle Easterners), it eventually came to refer only to Jews. This usage solidified in the 19th century.

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  • Garson Abuita

    Just to clear up any confusion: the reference to “Mount Moses” in the photograph is the traditional believed location of the biblical Mount Sinai. Jabal Musa is an Arabic term for Mount Sinai.

  • Brian

    So the anti-semitism in modern secular Europe and in the communist countries in the 20th century was because the Jews don’t/didn’t believe Jesus was the Messiah?

  • Julian Penrod

    As with so many discussions about “anti Jewish sentiments” a tissue of lies, distortions, misrepresentations, withheld facts and hypocrisy.
    Among other things, the constant used of terms like “hate” and “anti Semitism”. Level a legitimate criticism at the government of Israel and automatically there are those who will be willing to call it “anti Semitic”. If you call dust “collars” ad people agree, you can be a billionaire.
    As in the article claims of community wide Jewish duplicity against the rest of humanity are dismissed without proof. It’s known that the Jews do have more control over money than anyone else and that gives them power over governments. And their near total control over “entertainment” allows them to mold the sentiments of at least the imbecile plurality. It’s known in corridors of power that you don’t need a majority to control events, only a large enough plurality, and the plurality of the dullards is also known as a powerful mandate to control.

  • Julian Penrod

    For that matter, it can be helpful to remind ourselves that, except for some accounts of supernatural happenings, Judaism does not resemble many other religions. All of Judaism’s “holy days” and “feast days” are purely secular in nature! Sukkot, the “Festival of Booths”, celebrates the tiny houses the Jews lived in during the Exodus. Purim, celebrates Esther keeping the Jews in Persia from being attacked. Tisha B’Av, celebrating the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Hanukkah which, in addition to mentioning the oil lasting eight days, also celebrates driving invaders out of Jerusalem. The New Years for crops and animals, used to officially determine their age for payment in debts. Passover, associated with Moses leading Jews out of Egypt. Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom Yerushalayim, celebrating the reunification of Jerusalem. Judaism is less a religion of universale principles of decency than a system of maintaining rock hard solidarity involving a shared heritage.

  • JR

    I too am amazed that antisemitism has reemerged in this day and age. I have never fully understood the rationale that Germany used to kill 6 million Jews simply for being Jews.
    It’s ironic to me, a Catholic, that our Faith came out of Judaism, our Bible includes the Jewish Scripture that Jesus read, and to learn that antisemitism grew in intensity with the growth of Christianity. The simplistic view that they killed/ did not accept their own Messiah was true ages ago, but it can hardly be the basis of antisemitism today.
    I truly do not understand this hatred.

  • Wes Mordine

    Well, consider how the jews where once God’s chosen people. And when Satan told Jesus he had control over all kingdoms of the earth, Jesus didnt call him out as a liar.

    Thus, since the whole world is under the control of the wicked one, it is no mystery that the world hates peoples who have been so deeply associated with God Almighty, YHWH.

    Hitler hated jews in such an incomprehensible way because of their historical worship of God. He also swore to exterminate another group of people who worshiped the same God, YHWH. Jehovah’s Witnesses were specifically targeted by him.

  • Shawnie5

    Antisemitism is far older than Christianity…nor does it only exist within Christianity.

  • Thank you,Shawnie…I’m afraid that there is more than a little fast and loose skewing of various presumed”facts”going on on some of these posts;hatred of our Jewish brethren(and sisters) is indeed far older than it’s imagined,and it’s shameful that a few verses were so horribly and in some cases willfully slanted to heap oppobrium on a race.Shame on us ALL.

  • mere bystander

    ” Jews are hated not because they are bad but because they persist in reminding the world of what it means to be good. Anti-Semitism is nothing less than a visceral reaction to the cry of a guilty conscience.”
    This article clings to the self righteous -we are the chosen by God and we suffer for him nonsense. As long as the Jewish community refuses to even consider that their behavior is at the root of their unpopularity, their enemies will gain traction with blaming Jews for any and everything.

  • Matthew

    Israel betrayed the world’s trust by turning into a ghetto-creating hostile occupation force, while continuously whining of its supposed victimization; as if the Holocaust were the only genocide in human history (or even the worst).

    Hypocrisy is antithetical to sympathy, and Israel has become the global symbol of hypocrisy.

  • Garson Abuita

    Matthew, if hating Israel has nothing to do with hating Jews or Judaism, why do you and the rest of the Israel-haters constantly bring Jewish history and references into the discussion? It’s like you have something in your subconscious you’re trying to say.

  • Garson Abuita

    You’re right, Julian, your claims of “community wide Jewish complicity against the rest of humanity” are “dismissed without proof.” You never have proof, just conspiracy theories.
    It always amuses me what antisemites will think of next. Jews don’t worship God enough. And our holidays really just reinforce tribal identity (aka Kevin MacDonald’s “Judaism is a group evolutionary strategy” academic antisemitism). BTW if you really think that Tisha B’Av “celebrates” anything, or that Passover commemorates Moses as opposed to God leading the people out of Egypt, you really need to start over.

  • Ben in oakland

    Only by you and your fellow travelers. As a Jew and a gay man, I can certainly see the parallels.

    As a conservative Christian obsessed with sexual sin, and a virulently anti gay personality, you can’t.

    Simple as that.

  • Ben in oakland

    And yet, I suspect that deep in your darkest heart, you wouldn’t mind seeing gay people suffering the same fate that the Jews have had to suffer simply because of who they are. You cannot see religious-based hatred for what it is simply because you cannot see it in yourself.

  • Matthew

    My rejection of Israel is not sub-conscious at all. It’s very conscious. Israel is among the most violent states on the planet. It has recreated the Warsaw Ghetto in Gaza. And, it hides behind the skirts of the rest of the world’s Jews – whining “anti-semitism!” – in hopes of continued distraction from the raw colonialist land-grab by the 20 or so families which own it all.

    I’m not saying anything anyone who halfway follows Israeli politics doesn’t already know, and likely agree with, were it not for the constant threat of being socially smeared simply for giving a damn about the suffering people of Palestine.

  • MaryS

    Nope. Not.at.all. While I agree 100% with everything JR wrote, I disagree 200% with your reply.

    Gays are not my enemies. (Liars, hypocrites, and false teachers who lead others astray are.) But, even if they were, I wouldn’t want to see them suffer. I don’t want to see anyone suffer. I want them – everyone – to experience the joy of knowing the Lord.

    Ben, you cannot see true Christian caritas for what it is simply because you’re blinded by your own world-view’s tunnel vision. I’ll help you out here: it isn’t all about sex.

  • MaryS

    “except for some accounts of supernatural happenings, Judaism does not resemble many other religions.”

    1. Those supernatural happenings were really amazing, but you toss them aside as if they were nothing. Each one was imbued with profound meaning, all of which pointed to Christ. They were seriously important – both to the Children of Israel who experienced them, and to the whole world, due to their prophetic witness to the Son of God.

    2. So what if the Jewish religion has a bunch of man-centered holidays? So what if it doesn’t “resemble many other religions”? Is that what determines value to you?? I don’t know about you, but it seems that a religion that adheres to the truth is the only one worth following, whether it “resemble[s] many other religions” or not. Copy-cat religions do not impress me (because truth is what I seek, not fads), but you seem to think they are to be preferred.

  • Foxman Alert

    Foxman and the ADL have nothing to do with Jews nor Judaism, they are anti-torah abortion monkeys and do not represent Jews in any shape way or form.

    Note that shavuot is a dividing line between rabbinical judaism and christianity. The “New Testament” teaches that shavuot is a messianic ruaH haQodesh festival as layed out in the second chapter of the book of Ma`asey haShlichim (Acts of the Apostles).

  • Zachary Jacob Shuler

    So true. Jews are hatered all around the world because their illusion of being some special kind of homo sapiens.

  • Barry the Baptist

    You clearly have not read very much history. It’s a complex issue spanning economics, politics, and nationalism. Try opening a book and reading up on it. You might notice parallels to enfants today.

  • Manuel Giraldes

    Each time a read I litte more of carping and victimization I like a little less all the people of Israel (not only Jews, I imagine, just Israelis).
    Romani are more generally hated nowadays, were also in the concentration camps (together with a few million non-Jews), don’t have a Moses and no one carps their rather hard destinity. The story of their migration (and they were not at Massada, I know) is more recent, but quite ancient already. Go to the Wiki please:
    “Romani are dispersed, with their concentrated populations in Europe—especially Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey, Spain and Southern France. They originated in India and arrived in Mid-West Asia, then Europe, around 1,000 years age, either separating from the Dom people or, at least, having a similar history;the ancestors of both the Romani and the Dom left North India sometime between the sixth and eleventh century. Since the nineteenth century, some Romani have also migrated to the Americas.”

  • Manuel Giraldes

    Help! I’m a new commenter and I don’t know how to edit what I wrote…

  • Michael Glass

    Anti-semitism is a huge problem and most people of goodwill are repelled by it. However, it doesn’t help when the cry of anti-semitism is used as a weapon to attack those who question Israeli policy towards Palestinians.

  • jesus

    because jews are annoying and they stick together and are always scheming

  • San Man

    I was in Brooklyn NY. I was in a Jewish Neigbhorhood and there was a Jewish place of worship. I could see young fat men inside who threw a apple core out of the window when I was loading my Van. They stayed locked inside their compound while doing this. Not very brave or nice to other people is it? I was not impressed with them. People from other countries dislike them because they are arrogant and disrespectful and think they own them when they work for their businesses.

  • almost

    Jews, Muslims, Christians, all baby cutting garbage to me. That’s why I hate them.