AMDG, a Spanish contributor to the Gates of Vienna blog and writer at the website La Yijad en Eurabia, has suggested that I should start with pre-Christian anti-Semitism, since anti-Semitism is much older than Christianity. He has a point. Greeks and Romans (Europeans, or proto-Europeans) could display real anti-Semitism. Jewish and Greek civilizations clashed with regards to nudity in art, the representation of man etc. Traditional Jews resisted Hellenization successfully, which is some of the background for why Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, is celebrated today.- - - - - - - - -
The Romans did destroy the Second Temple in Jerusalem in AD 70, but I would be careful with saying that this was because of “anti-Semitism” in the modern understanding of the term. The Romans could be brutal; you don’t create the world’s largest empire by being fluffy little bunnies. However, they were “tolerant” in the sense that they didn’t much care about which religion their subjects adhered to as long as they accepted the political supremacy of the Roman state. Most religious communities did, but the Jews were different. Some of the same applies to the early Christians, who were sometimes persecuted by Roman authorities. They too were “different,” and they were reluctant to honor the emperors as semi-divinities because this was considered to be idolatry and thus conflicted with the Ten Commandments (which they had inherited from the Jews). Jesus of Nazareth himself was executed (according to all four canonical gospels) at the hands of the local Roman Prefect, Pontius Pilate.Although Jews have sometimes been vilified as “Christ killers,” those actually carrying out the crucifixion were Romans. So why don’t we hate the Romans?
Among the more recent accusations I’ve heard against Jews among the post-Christian crowd (who don’t care about who did or did not kill Jesus) is that Jews are overrepresented among Marxists and Multiculturalists. It is true that there are quite a few Jews among prominent Multiculturalists. That’s not “anti-Semitism,” it’s a factual statement. I’ve never been able to understand why American Jews vote so overwhelmingly for the Democrats, even for Obama, but they do. I don’t see how that makes Jews substantially different from Christian or post-Christian Westerners, though. There is a suicidal streak to Western culture right now, and it’s almost universally shared by all groups. Those who think that Jews are “conspiring against us” should reflect over the fact that Jews are disproportionately represented among those defending European civilization (Andrew Bostom, Bat Ye’or etc.). Moreover, many of the most prominent “suicide Jews” are suicidal on behalf of Jews, not Gentiles. The prominent left-wing intellectual Noam Chomsky has met on friendly terms with leaders of Hezbollah, an Islamic terrorist organization that wants to murder Jews and destroy the Jewish state of Israel.
One possible reason for hatred against Jews is plain old envy, and here there are parallels with ethnic minorities elsewhere.
Hatred of Jews among Christians does exist, but Jew hatred has a much stronger scriptural basis in Islam than it has in Christianity. The Australian Jihadist David Hicks, who has trained with Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan, writes that “Muslims fight against Jews and they kill them.” He can base this directly in Islamic religious scriptures, both the Koran and the hadith. For instance, one authentic (according to Sunni Muslims) hadith states that: “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.’“ (Bukhari 4.52.177)
There is nothing like this in the Christian Gospels. After all, Jesus of Nazareth was himself as Jew, as were many of his early disciples. Muhammad was not. He spent his days murdering many Jews, among them the Medinan tribe of Banu Quraiza. Jesus never killed anybody, nor did he encourage others to do so for him