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Old 05-29-2008, 06:45 PM
Location: Western Cary, NC
4,349 posts, read 6,774,400 times
Reputation: 7267


I was in a discussion with my family, and a question was brought up which I want to put to this forum.
In history the Jewish people have been down many hard roads. Enslaved by Egypt, Defeated in war and enslaved by the Phoenicians, Ruled with an “Iron Hand” by Rome, almost wiped out by the Nazis, hated and killed by Catholics for the last 2000 years, and it seems hated by the Muslims today. With all OUR western history coming from them, why do so many dislike the Jewish people and faith?

I am not looking for bible verses as I do not accept it as an answer to anything, but I would like to here views from a wide range of people.

Old 05-29-2008, 06:55 PM
217 posts, read 667,959 times
Reputation: 172
OK here's my little 2 cents' worth: In my limited experience, I personally think Jewish people are very nice, very kind. They also have their flaws like anyone else. Perhaps the disdain comes from what happened with Jesus? I myself am a Christian, I do not blame Jews for it at all, but I do think the high priests def. are to blame, (not to mention the Romans, Herod, etc. AND the fulfillment of Scripture). I have a few friends who are Jewish, my attorney is Jewish and I can say nothing but good things. I realize there's much anti-Semitism all around, but not everyone dislikes Jews (I don't). I just think people place "blanket" blame on Jews for Jesus death and that is the main reason for the "dislike". Like I said, this is my little 2 cents' worth.
Old 05-29-2008, 07:17 PM
84 posts, read 204,072 times
Reputation: 39
Hate is just silly. Love is Christian. Something many Christians just don't get. What can one say? We are man and not perfect.
Old 05-29-2008, 07:20 PM
Location: Victoria, BC.
31,900 posts, read 33,096,874 times
Reputation: 13067
Wasn't Jesus himself a Jew?...I don't really understand the reason for antisemitism either, at least not here in the west. I can see why the friction exists in the mid east though.
Old 05-29-2008, 07:33 PM
48,509 posts, read 86,919,306 times
Reputation: 18119
Becuase jews wre at one time the most successful merchants in europe. One rason Hitler picked them to blame the defeat in wwII. Their as always been envy of sucess everywhere. I can remember when the jews were said by many in holloywood to control the industry.What they were really sayinf was the same thing;htye were successful/ Luckily most of america did buy into it. There are still many in europe even now that bmae them but other races have start to take their place.In the end those that don't succeed have to blame someone else to live with their failure.
Old 05-29-2008, 08:35 PM
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,315,720 times
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The anti-Jew thing has a long and complicated history. It really started with the early Catholic theology which essentially blamed Jews for turning Jesus into the Romans and supposedly celebrated his death. Since the whole cast of characters were Jews in the Jesus stories, it seems a little crazy, but so were a lot things in the Dark Ages.

One of the things was that the early church forbade any Christian from lending money. This stopped commerce for a while but then people figured out they could use the Jews as bankers and get around the proscription. That helped commerce and of course the Jewish bankers grew rich.

Then because of the commerce-crippling rules of Christianity, Christians couldn't amass wealth very effectively, they grew envious of the wealthy Jews. Then if loans were defaulted on, it was easy to start blaming the Jews for their problems. Add in the vicious slander stories that started about how "evil" the Jews were - demonizing the others - and mobs could be fomented up. It is the classic bully scenario to make yourself feel better by being vicious to someone else who can't effectively fight back. Since Jews weren't protected by law because they weren't Christian, they were easy to pick on.

The middle ages were back and forth with the Jews. When the Muslim Moors conquered Spain, Jews did very well and were treated well. When a Christian king conquered the Moors, he foolishly kicked out the Jews when they were educated and could have helped him enormously and he plunged Spain into poverty for a long time.

They got welcomed in eastern European countries for a while, then they got turned on. All the while, some Jews were wealthy, then painted with the filthy lucre brush, and probably some were not very nice or cheated or conned. They're human too. But most Jews were either impoverished or made modest livings. Whenever the society needed a scapegoat, the Jews were at hand.

The Romans were not all that bad to the Jews. The Jews were created about 600 BC by Cyrus the Great (Persian king) to secure the Palestinian territories with the creation of the Torah. From that time on, they were a conquered people, but they had a written mythology to form their traditions. During the Roman period, they mostly just wanted their provinces to pay their taxes and not rebel. Any rebellion anywhere in the Roman Empire was met with a pretty brutal set down.

The Romans did not care what the people believed. They were interested in the differing religions and cultures and tried to understand them, but so long as they were peaceable and paid their taxes, they let them be.

The Jews were especially fractious and were repeatedly rebelling, thinking foolishly, that they could actually win against the mighty Roman Empire. One of the early Caesars got the bright idea that he would like to be considered a god by all the peoples of the empire. Most of the people in the empire said, yeah, whatever, and gave it lip service. The Jews found this edict particularly galling because of the whole monotheism thing and refused. So there were tussles over that until the Romans, being the practical administrators they were, decided if it meant that much to them, the Jews could have a special dispensation to not call Caesar god - just pay your taxes and quit rebelling. But the violent sects just wouldn't do that until finally around 70 AD, the Romans had had enough of the fractious Jews and trying to find a way to appease them and decided the only way to get peace in Palestine was to throw the Jews out - the diaspora. I'm sure there were lots of Jews at that time who were peaceable and paid their taxes and had their lives ruined by the fanatics.

Much like today in some parts of the world...

Also, the stubborn refusal to be subsumed into the larger culture and keep their own traditions going created frictions. They were also blamed for refusing to accept Jesus as a deity and some of the more vicious Christians thought they deserved rotten treatment and spread vicious lies about them. Easy to do since they both kept to themselves and practiced their religion and traditions and often were corralled into the ghettos and not allowed out very much. So ignorance abounded and the lies took root. Some of those ancient medieval lies are still spread by some of the Arabs. Demonizing them made it easy to justify some pretty horrendous treatment. It just seems to keep getting resurrected.
Old 05-29-2008, 09:23 PM
Location: Earth
24,629 posts, read 25,668,992 times
Reputation: 11347
Originally Posted by Seabee View Post
Hate is just silly. Love is Christian. Something many Christians just don't get. What can one say? We are man and not perfect.
Love is not just christian, it is not religious, it is a human trait.
Old 05-29-2008, 09:42 PM
Location: CNJ/NYC
1,240 posts, read 3,749,526 times
Reputation: 428
Originally Posted by chielgirl View Post
Love is not just christian, it is not religious, it is a human trait.
Absolutely. I love my inner Jew, my outer Jew, and my fellow tribe members.
Old 05-30-2008, 01:01 AM
Location: The Netherlands
8,567 posts, read 15,127,166 times
Reputation: 1573
The thing is that only recently do Westerners call Western civilisation Judeo-Christian. Before WWII the Jews have always been blamed by the Christians for every thing that went wrong, simply because the Jews as a minority are easy targets who can't fight back.
Back then it was only normal that Anti-Semitism was just as accepted as say slavery or the acceptance that (Christian) women only have the same rights as their livestock.
You could say that before the Age of Enlightenment Christianity is as backwards as modern Christians now accuse the Islam to be.
Old 05-30-2008, 08:40 AM
Location: Piedmont NC
4,597 posts, read 10,634,159 times
Reputation: 9136
I know that growing up, in my own family, it was not uncommon to hear all sorts of unsavory things said about a lot of peoples. Fortunately, I did not 'buy into' any of what I heard, and for myself, decided if and when I would ever marry and have children, they would never be subjected to such talk. She wasn't.

I have always been curious as to why the Jewish people are among the most despised in the world. Tesaje's discussion helps. When I think of 6 million of them, exterminated by Hitler and the Nazis during WWII, and some, aware of it, choosing to ignore it instead, I am heartbroken. I console myself by trying to remember that Hitler seemed to be an equal-opportunity-bigot, and many others were persecuted as well, including the religion of my forebears, and my Mother who epitomizes the very German Hitler sought to reproduce, would have been put to death because of a handicap from polio.

I seem to understand the persecution by Christians who blame them for the death of Jesus -- silly, if Jesus's very fate had already been determined -- and the distaste for money-lending practices, but it just seems to be a worldwide dislike of the Jewish, alluded to in history, literature, film. I recall cartoons as a child, just as derogatory towards Jews, as Blacks and Muslims and 'gypsies' and others.

Thanks for the thread, cncracer. I am enjoying reading the posts. I hope others will contribute to the discussion.
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