A Brief History of Anti-Semitism

The Fellowship  |  March 18, 2019

An antisemitic float in Belgium.

In our modern world, we would hope that the history of anti-Semitism and hatred would be erased. Alas, that is not the case, as seen by recent attacks on Jews, anti-Semitic floats in parades, and even public attacks on the Jewish state and her people by politicians. Writing at JNS, Clifford May gives us a look at this centuries-long hatred of Jews, and how it is still being perpetrated today:

A freshman member of Congress openly espouses bigotry towards Jews and Israel. Her fellow Democrats, with only a few exceptions, fail to forcefully condemn her words and views. Troubling to be sure, but let’s remember: This gnarly tree grows in an old, luxuriant and global forest.

Examples? In Belgium last week, the annual Carnival parade included floats carrying oversized effigies of religious Jews—snarling men with big noses, sitting atop bags of money, one with a rat perched atop his shoulder.

UNESCO, a United Nations agency ostensibly established for and devoted to “the intellectual and moral solidarity of humanity,” recognized the parade as a cultural heritage event and declined to offer any criticism. The United Nations, of course, has evolved into an organization that discriminates against Israel with consistency and vehemence…

Israelis have given up land in the past and would undoubtedly do so again—if they were confident they would get peace in return, rather than missiles and terrorist tunnels, as has happened since they ceded Gaza in 2005. What other nation would not ask for that? What other nation would be criticized for doing so?

Jew-hatred and the history of anti-Semitism is as old as the Judean Hills, predating even the rebellion of the Jewish nation against Roman imperialism and colonialism from 66 to 73 C.E. Among the punishments Rome inflicted: renaming the conquered Jewish territories.

Syria Palaestina, or Palestine for short, derives from Philistia, land of the Philistines, ancient enemies of the Israelites (with Goliath the best-known)…