Antisemitism is discrimination, prejudice, and hatred against Jews and Jewish culture. As a word, it is first recorded in the English language in 1882, but as an idea and argument of hatred examples exist from much earlier times, particularly stemming from the fact that Jews were God's first chosen people. It was Wilhelm Marr (1819–1904), an anti-Jewish German agitator, who coined the term "antisemitism" in 1879. And, since then, the term always referred to anti-Jewish bigotry.
- 1 Origins of antisemitism
- 2 Blood libel
- 3 Middle Ages: Teachings about the Virgin Mary, Jesus and Boiling Excrement, and Unjustified Punishment of Jews
- 4 1800–1914
- 5 1914–1945
- 6 Soviet Union and anti-semitism (1922–1991)
- 7 Post 1945
- 8 Modern anti-Semitism
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
- 11 Further reading
- 12 References
Origins of antisemitism
The first Christians were mostly Jews, including the original followers of Jesus Christ. The story of Jesus was remembered and retold in the synagogues. Splits appeared very soon after the death of Jesus between the Pharisees and the Revisionist Jews. The Gospel of John was written quite soon after he and other revisionist Jews were barred from the synagogue by the Orthodox party. The references to Jews in the Gospel according to John the Apostle does not refer to Jews as a whole, but to the Pharisees and scribes, concurrent with the Synoptic Gospels' numerous specifications of the two sects in the writings of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. However, this was not well understood by later readers, and once the early generations of Jews had died out John's gospel was often used to justify acts of antisemitism.
Antipathy towards the Sabbath, a vital Jewish tradition, was a key motivation in antisemitism creeping its way into the early Christian church as it increasingly caved into paganism. Under the direction of Constantine, the church attempted to attract pagans, who worshiped the sun god, while simultaneously distance itself from Jews who became unpopular. Thus, it abandoned the Sabbath and substituted its observance with Sunday rest. The 29th canon of the Council of Laodicea was explicitly antisemitic on religious grounds, demanding that "Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day."
One of the oldest instances of antisemitic claims was made in the first century A.D. by Apion who claimed Jews sacrificed Greeks in their temple in a type of accusation known as a "blood libel".
The "blood libel" myth reappeared in England in 1144, after William of Norwich was found murdered. William was called a martyr and created a second wave of antisemitism, this time in Europe. It was mostly popularized with the story of Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln, and was even present in the Canterbury Tales. This continued on for many centuries until modern times. This "blood libel" accusation has survived the centuries and is today seen in Islamic antisemitic propaganda.
Middle Ages: Teachings about the Virgin Mary, Jesus and Boiling Excrement, and Unjustified Punishment of Jews
In the Middle Ages, Catholics blamed Jews for the death of Jesus Christ. This fueled Christian antipathy against Jews in most of Europe. This also led to rumors that Jews "desecrated the host" (tortured communion bread as per the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation), and that they "poisoned the wells", leading to the Black Death. Another element that resulted in Jewish persecution was some quotations from the Talmud that had the Rabbis making various claims inferring that the Virgin Mary was a prostitute who had pre-marital relations with a Roman Centurion that resulted in Jesus's birth, and also claimed that Jesus (titled "Yeshu" in the Talmud as an insult) was boiling in hot excrement for all eternity, especially after the Jewish convert Nicolas Donin exposed these passages in 1239. It didn't help that Christians expelled practitioners of Judaism from various places. Professing Jews were expelled from England in 1290, from France in 1306, and from Spain in 1492 and Portugal in 1496. (Those who converted to Christianity could remain.) Many went to Holland and Poland. Napoleon removed most of the restrictions that kept Jews in ghettoes in Germany.
Secular nationalism became a trend in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As a result, anti-Semitism was transformed in the 19th century from a matter of religion to a matter of language and culture. Each "nation" rediscovered its historic language and culture and tried to establish a national homeland. However, this did not remove old biases against Jews in Europe. In most cases, Jews were excluded or distrusted and were not treated as part of the cultural center but as part of the periphery. Anti-Semitic references were common in the popular literature of both the 19th and early 20th centuries. It became more "scientific", and often connected with pseudo-scientific racial theories. The most notable example being the theory of evolution.
Historians have long debated whether or not the Anti-Semitism of imperial Germany directly prepared the ideological climate for Nazism. One way of testing the thesis of direct continuity is to examine how Judeophobes proposed to solve the "Jewish problem" in the Second Reich, 1870–1914. At that time, most anti-Semites stopped short of calling for the exclusion of Jews from German society, and in fact, many advocated full integration. A handful of exclusionists, believing in the preordained struggle with the Jews and being pessimistic about getting them to leave Germany, did, however, plant the seeds of genocide.
Leftist scholars examining the connection between socialism and anti-Semitism before 1914 generally have assumed that capitalist exploitation of the workers was responsible for the "Jewish question," and that the labor movement was largely immune to anti-Semitism. At a deeper level, factors such as retarded economic development in Central and Eastern Europe, Christian cultural traditions, the fragility of political liberalism outside Western Europe, the intensity of national conflicts and the quality of leadership and class consciousness among the proletariat led to anti-Semitism in Russia, Germany, France and Britain before 1914.
The national government of the Austro-Hungarian Empire deliberately protected Jews from violent Anti-Semitism. However, popular antipathy toward Jews was more deeply rooted and stubborn in Austria than in most European countries. Reasons included slow development of a secular, pluralist society based on individual rights and open career opportunities; survival of corporatist ideas of economic organization; replacement of the multinational ideal of the Austro-Hungarian Empire by political division and ethnic antagonism; and the conspicuous role of individual Jews in finance capitalism, mass media, arts, and radical politics.
Karl Lueger, the popular mayor of Vienna (1897–1910) and routinely used high powered Anti-Semitic rhetoric. It caught the attention of one young resident, Adolf Hitler, who had come from Linz. But there was no action takes against Jews, who played a major role in Vienna's cultural and business life. Lueger operated within a strong national government that tolerated Jews. The Habsburg dynasty did not allow significant anti-Jewish actions in its domains. The inviolate character of the Rechtsstaat and of a political culture based on law still existed. Mass violence within this political system was rare, and economic life was not yet caught up in the disastrous economic cycles of the post-1918 era. All these structural factors were serious barriers to the translation of anti-Semitic rhetoric in Vienna from words into deeds during the Habsburg era. In the 1930s, however, as Austria became culturally and politically dominated by its northern neighbor, Vienna became increasingly hostile, and many Jews fled even before the Nazis marched in and took over in 1938.
Anti-Semitism was an integral part of the political platform of the Austrian Socialist Left before 1914. Given the depths of anti-Jewish feelings among the Austrian masses, the Socialists endeavored to woo the working class from right-wing political parties through employing the latter's anti-Semitic arguments concerning Jewish control of the Austrian economy. This approach was even utilized by such Socialists of Jewish background as Victor Adler. Once Lueger's anti-Semitic party gained control of the Vienna municipal government in 1897, the Socialist press attacked him and his associates for their alleged lack of fidelity to their anti-Semitic principles through covert dealings with the Jewish upper class.
Unlike the European nations, Russia in the 19th century did not emancipate its Jewish subjects. Popular anti-Semitism (which had an anti-capitalist bias) proceeded from, and flourished with the support of, anti-Jewish laws and official policies that tried either to forcibly integrate Jews into or to segregate them from the rest of Russian society - especially rural society. Pogroms – systematic slaughters of thousands of Jews in certain areas — happened in clusters, as in 1881-82 and 1905–06, and were related to severe political crises involving the issue of Jewish emancipation. The debunked "Protocols", was fabricated in Russia by the czarist secret police and first published in 1903. (Was also used by Joseph Goebbels, after he spoke with Hitler about it, both acknowledging it's a forgery).
Anti-Semitism played a far smaller role in Italy than in other European countries. One possible explanation is the high degree of assimilation achieved by the Italian Jewish community. However, assimilation elsewhere in Europe was not a bar to anti-Semitism. A more plausible reason is the lateness of industrialization, which meant that the lower middle classes did not fall victim to the economic and social anxieties experienced by the petite bourgeoisie of Germany and France. Other factors are the extremely small numbers of Italian Jews, the ethnically homogeneous nature of the Italian population, which meant that the Italians did not suffer from the paranoid insecurity of Germans who were confronted by large minorities within their borders, and Italy's long history of not succumbing to xenophobia and its weak race consciousness.
Alfred Dreyfus (1859–1935) was a Jewish officer in the French Army falsely accused of spying in the 1890s. The Dreyfuss Affair became a central issue in French politics, with critics like Émile Zola—who creed "J'accuse"—insisting it was a miscarriage of justice brought by a conspiracy of Catholic army officers. Dreyfuss was proven innocent and released in 1899.
Anti-Semitism was the core belief of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis (National Socialists), helping them gain power in Germany in 1933 and leading to their murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust of World War II.
American aviator Charles Lindbergh disparaged Jews at a critical debate over intervention in the war in Europe in 1940. He led the "America First" movement opposed to war. He suggested the drive to war was orchestrated by Jews and would hurt the U.S.
Soviet Union and anti-semitism (1922–1991)
- See also: Atheism and anti-semitism and Left-wing Anti-Semitism#20th century: Stalinist anti-Semitism
Following World War II there was a steady decline of anti-Semitism, and a virtual disappearance of discrimination against Jews, in North America and Western Europe. Despite an apparent resurgence in Russia and Eastern Europe after the collapse of communism and occasional outbreaks elsewhere, anti-Semitism outside the Middle East by the early 1990s was only one - and a relatively minor - type of the xenophobia found in multiethnic, multicultural societies.
Anti-Semitism was in total disrepute after the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945. After 1945 Anti-Semitism was not significantly greater in Germany than in Britain or France. For some years after 1945, the overwhelming majority of Jews in Germany were refugees and displaced persons from the East. Most of them emigrated to Israel, North and South America, or Australia, leaving behind small numbers who would not or could not leave. Some German Jews had "assimilated" and were criticized by Eastern Jews as being too lax in their religious observance, but all Jews faced problems arising from questions of reparations and remembrances of the Holocaust. Democratic West Germany admitted its guilt and made large-scale financial reparations to Israel. Communist East Germany, however, denied everything, opposed Israel and promoted anti-Semitism as the Nazis before them had.
Republican President Richard Nixon hurt his reputation after recordings of informal conversations laden with racial slurs and invective known as the Watergate Tapes were made public. These informal comments about Jewish control of the media and calling Robert Vesco "a cheap kike" among other comments suggested to Nixon critics that his views were informed by a mistrust of Jewish culture. Nixon defenders note his support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War and his many Jewish friends and associates such as Henry Kissinger, Herb Stein and others.
In 1984, Democrat Party presidential candidate, and noted liberal, Jesse Jackson uttered anti-Semitic slurs to a reporter for the Washington Post when discussing the state of African-American and Jewish relations, which had been a key New Deal Coalition for half a century. Jackson is reported to have referred to Jews as "Hymies", and to New York City as "Hymietown". Jackson apologized, but it was never forgotten. Mayor Ed Koch even said that any Jews who vote for Jackson in 1988 were "crazy".
The Left has falsely tried to claim that most anti-Semitism comes from the Right, and that it is increasing, something the Israeli government has rejected.
The U.S. State Department Report on Global Anti-Semitism in 2005 said this about the current state of anti-Semitism worldwide:
- Beginning in 2000, verbal attacks directed against Jews increased while incidents of vandalism... surged. Physical assaults including beatings, stabbings and other violence against Jews in Europe increased markedly, in a number of cases resulting in serious injury and even death. Also troubling is a bias that spills over into anti-Semitism in some of the left-of-center press and among some intellectuals.
- The United States is frequently included as a target of such attacks, which often assert that U.S. foreign policy is made in Israel or that Jews control the media and financial markets in the United States and the rest of the world. ...Similarly, allegations that Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks were widely disseminated, especially in the Islamic world.
In the United States, Democratic Senator Ernest Hollings was recently ostracized for public criticism of the Bush Administration  considered to be anti-Semitic. On March 3, 2003 Rep. James Moran (D-Va.) said, "If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this". Moran has since made further anti-semitic comments. Some supporters of the anti-Iraq War movement have been accused of anti-Semitism, including a group known as ANSWER-Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, one of the first organizations formed to protest the policies of the Bush administration after 9/11.
Liberal activist Cindy Sheehan, though she found popular support among leftists and the mainstream media, was condemned for her outspoken anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Sheehan traveled to Venezuela  to appear with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez to denounce U.S. foreign policy which she blames as responsible for the death of her son.
Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter has recently come under much criticism for his writings and comments that have been viewed as anti-Semitic. In his book, "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid", Carter endorsed Islamic terrorism against Israel as a tactic to achieve political ends. The sentiment was widely criticized by people across the political spectrum. In early 2007, it was revealed that Carter once complained there were "too many Jews" on the U.S. government's Holocaust Memorial Council. The council's former executive director, Monroe Freedman, also revealed that a noted Holocaust scholar who was a Presbyterian Christian was rejected from the council's board by Carter because the scholar's name "sounded too Jewish." 
While the contemporary American left's hatred for Jews and Jewish traditions has been documented, others who were on the right have been ostracized by conservative commentators. William F. Buckley, Jr., founder and publisher of the National Review said of Reform Party presidential candidate and former Nixon speechwriter Patrick Buchanan, "I find it impossible to defend Pat Buchanan against the charge that what he did and said during the period under examination amounted to anti-Semitism..." referring to comments Buchanan made regarding the U.S. involvement in the first Gulf War which lead to military action against Saddam Hussein and Iraq.
The number of anti-Semitic incidents in Britain increased by 34 percent in 2006.
Swastikas have been carved into several cornfields in the United States. A 130-foot-square swastika was carved into a field in July 1998. A bigger 600-by-600 foot version of the Nazi symbol was found in a nearby cornfield almost a year later. In September 2007, a giant swastika covering several acres was discovered.
According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov rhetoric, whose country says is actively combating Nazism in Ukraine, "Wise Jewish people say that the most ardent anti-Semites are usually Jews."  Yet, his boss, Putin, days later, had apologized for his remarks.
Anti-Semitism and the Left
- See also: Left-wing Anti-Semitism
Anti-semitism has been growing rapidly at a phenomenal rate in Liberal countries, especially European countries.
It has also been growing amongst liberals in the United States of America, The Institute for Jewish & Community Research, did a study of who is anti-Semitic, and found that people who identify as Democrats are consistently more likely to believe any anti-Semitic belief than are Republicans. The data from the survey also revealed a connection between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. This is important since liberals are more likely to be anti-Zionist than conservatives. The study found that the young, who are more likely to be liberal, are also more likely to be anti-Semites than people over age 35. The study found that more than 75% of Democrats hold at least one anti-Semitic belief. According to the study 20% of Democrats believe Jews care only about themselves.
Many left-wing anti-Semites claim to love Jews while condemning Zionism and Israel, though their comments in relation to Judaism shown otherwise.
Journalist in Germany decried on Islamic hate crimes being hidden. Crime statistics on anti-Semitic attacks are manipulated to hide Muslim perpetrators, blatantly misleading for years and which automatically classify alleged anti-Semitic crimes as ‘right-wing’ motivated if they cannot be attribute to anything else.
- Wandering Jew
- Blood Libel
- Jules Isaac
- Liberal Christianity#Liberal Christianity's Anti-semitism
- Theory of Fundamentalist anti-Semitism
- Suicide bomber: a personal account
- Left-wing Anti-Semitism
- Christianity and anti-semitism
- The Establishment and Zionism
- Triple parentheses
- Nazism at Arab Palestinians
- DiscoverTheNetworks.org - Anti-Semitism in Academia
- What’s in a Hyphen? by Shmuel Almog.
- anti - Semitism and Special Relativity - Or, Who was the Very First German Nazi?
- Arendt, Hannah. Antisemitism, (1968)
- Bellah, Robert N., and Frederick E. Greenspahn eds. Uncivil Religion: Interreligious Hostility in America (Part I: Jewish-Christian Tensions pp. 1–37), (1987)
- Beller, Steven. Antisemitism: A Very Short Introduction (2007) 132pp excerpt and text search
- Bering, Dietz. The Stigma of Names: Antisemitism in German Daily Life, 1812-1933. (1992). 345 pp.
- Bishop, Claire Huchet. How Catholics Look at Jews: Inquiries into Italian, Spanish, and French Teaching Materials, (1974)
- Chanes, Jerome A. Antisemitism: a reference handbook (2004) 347 pages; excerpt and text search
- Flannery, Edward. The anguish of the Jews: twenty-three centuries of antisemitism (2004) 369 pages excerpt and text search
- Gager, John G. The Origins of Anti-Semitism: Attitudes Toward Judaism in Pagan and Christian Antiquity, (1983)
- Holmes, Colin. Antisemitism in British Society, 1876-1939 (1979)
- Laquer, Walter. The changing face of antisemitism: from ancient times to the present day (2006) 228 pages excerpt and text search
- Levy, Richard, ed. Antisemitism: a historical encyclopedia of prejudice and persecution (2005) 828 pages; a major scholarly resource excerpt and text search
- Levy, Richard S., ed. Antisemitism in the modern world: an anthology of texts (1990) 270 pages, primary sources
Holocaust and Nazis
- Burleigh, Michael. The Third Reich: A New History. (2000). 864 pp. Stress on antisemitism; excerpt and text search
- Dawidowicz, Lucy. The War against the Jews, 1933-45, (1977).
- Friedlander, Saul. Nazi Germany and the Jews: Volume 1: The Years of Persecution 1933-1939 (1998)
- Friedlander, Saul. The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 (2007), the standard history excerpt and text search
- Gilbert, Martin. The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War (1987) excerpt and text search
- Gilbert, Martin. The Routledge Atlas of the Holocaust (2002)excerpt and text search
- Gutman, Israel, ed. Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, 4 vol (1989)
- Landau, Ronnie. The Nazi Holocaust (2002)
- Niewyk, Donald, and Francis Nicosia. The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust. (2000) online edition
- Wachsmann, Nikolaus. "Looking into the Abyss: Historians and the Nazi Concentration Camps," European History Quarterly, 4 2006; vol. 36: pp. 247 – 278. fulltext in Sage; historiography
- Wistrich, Robert S. Hitler and the Holocaust. 2001. 295 pp.
- Epstein, Varda Meyers (May 27, 2019). Antisemitism: Spell it Without the Hyphen-Please. The Jewish Press. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
- Damato, Catherine (April 23, 2018). Is the New Testament Jewish? Jews for Jesus. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
- One for Israel (May 31, 2016). Messianic Judaism & Messianic Jews. One for Israel. Retrieved December 19, 2022.
- Donald L. Niewyk, "Solving The 'Jewish Problem': Continuity and Change in German Antisemitism, 1871-1945." Leo Baeck Institute. Year Book 1990 35: 335-370.
- Steven Erlanger, Russia Court Calls 'Protocols' Anti-Semitic Forgery, The New York Times, Nov 27, 1993.
- Jesse and the Jews, Michael W. Hirschorn, The Harvard Crimson, March 05, 1984.
- Glick, Caroline (November 2, 2018). Caroline Glick: Israeli Cabinet Minister Challenges Propaganda on Trump and Antisemitism. Breitbart News. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
- Zog ate my brains, Chip Berlet, New Internationalist, October 2004.
- Report on Global Anti-Semitism, U.S. Department of State Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on International Relations, Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, January 5, 2005.
- Bush's failed Mideast policy is creating more terrorism, U.S. Senator Ernest F. Hollings, Charleston Post and Courier, 6 May 2004.
- Anti-Semitism: USA, ADL Urges Senator Hollings to Disavow Statements on Jews and the Iraq War, ADL Press Release, New York, 14 May 2004.
- Are Jews Behind the War on Iraq? A Case of Classical Anti-Semitism.
- Democrats Play House To Rally Against the War, Dana Milbank, Washington Post, June 17, 2005.
- "The 'Answer' Question Poses Difficult Choices for Liberals" by Gal Beckerman, The Forward, September 30, 2005.
- Authoritarianism and Anti-Semitism in the Anti-War Movement?. Tikkun, May/June 2003. Link is to page on the Internet Archive, archived Oct 19, 2004.
- Why Cindy Sheehan is Right!, David Duke, 8/14/2005.
- Report on Global Anti-Semitism U. S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, January 5, 2005.
- In search of anti-semitism, William F. Buckley, Jr., National Review, Dec 30, 1991.
- Increase in Anti-Semitic Violence Troubles Jews in Britain by Donald Snyder, Fox News, July 20, 2007
- Police helicopter finds swastika cut into a Mercer County cornfield The Star-Ledger, September 25, 2007
- BBC News - Israel outrage at Sergei Lavrov's claim that Hitler was part Jewish https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-61296682
- I. Wolf, Putin: Russia-Israel relations will continue to develop, News1, 05/05/2022.
- Timothy Bella, Steve Hendrix, Mary Ilyushina, Putin apologizes to Israel for Hitler comments as Zelensky slams Nazi rhetoric, The Washington Post, May 5, 2022.
The reported apology came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of using Nazi propaganda and antisemitic tropes to justify the invasion as Russian leaders repeatedly compare Zelensky to Hitler. During a phone conversation between Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, the Russian president apologized for remarks made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who recently dismissed Zelensky’s Jewish faith by claiming that “Hitler also had [sic] Jewish blood” — a discredited antisemitic claim.
- Brog, David (January 21, 2019). Beware the fork-tongued anti-Semites who claim to love Jews. Washington Examiner. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
- German newspaper complains that crime statistics on anti-Semitic attacks are manipulated to hide Muslim perpetrators, Medforth| September 25, 2021.
German politics misses the point when it comes to anti-Semitism. Journalist Lennart Pfahler is convinced of this. As he writes in the early edition of the newspaper “Welt am Sonntag” (September 26), Muslim anti-Semitism is still taboo in Germany.
Whoever names it must fear being called a “right-winger” or a “fig leaf” if they are Muslim themselves. This is a “criminal failure of discourse”: “Apart from the police crime statistics, which have been blatantly misleading for years and which automatically classify alleged anti-Semitic crimes as ‘right-wing’ motivated if they cannot be attributed to anything else, there is little to support the convenient thesis of the marginal phenomenon.
In a survey by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 41 per cent of Jews in Germany said they felt most threatened by Islamic anti-Semitism.
Conservative politicians and Jewish associations regularly pointed out the problem. Too often, the response from “left-liberal columnists and Muslim activists” was appeasing. The debate about the broadcaster Nemi El-Hassan shows how much the fight against anti-Semitism has degenerated into a political question of opinion.Background: German public broadcaster WDR wanted to hire the journalist as a presenter. After protests – among other things because of El-Hassan’s participation in an anti-Israel Al-Quds demonstration – WDR suspended its decision. Prominent voices now wanted to stall the reappraisal of the case, Pfahler writes. Especially for those Muslims who tried to address the issue in their own community, this defensive attitude was a slap in the face...