The Shocking Origin of Jew-Hatred in the West

by Avi Abelow

We are today witnessing the return of an ancient and deeply embedded hostility towards Jews. It has always been there, but only lately is now tolerated and accepted again. It is as if the collective memory of horrific events from the Holocaust are receding from our collective memory.

Jew-hatred, aka antisemitism, is the world’s oldest hatred. In every generation, it might manifest itself differently, but it is always there.

Some people pin the origin of Jew-hatred on the Catholic faith. 20th century Catholic theologian Rosemary Ruether observed:

The mythical Jew, who is the eternal conspiratorial enemy of Christian faith, spirituality and redemption, was … shaped to serve as the scapegoat for [the ills of] secular industrial society.

However, as Rabbi Professor Jeffrey Woolf points out in the video above, it actually was even before Catholicism. The politician and lawyer Cicero, 106-43BCE, once reminded a jury of “the odium of Jewish gold” and how they “[stick together]” and are “influential in informal assemblies”. 

Even today, when we are very much a part of the world, there are those who still look at us as others and continue to blame us for the worlds ills. Leftists call us capitalists, righits call us socialists. We are whatever our enemies want us to be in order to justify their hatred for us.

We have survived Jew-hatred for thousands of years and we will survive it today. The question is will the societies today that tolerate antisemitism survive it? History says no.

Full Interview

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