Anti-Semitism in Judasim

    June 1998         
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Opinion & Society

Hatred with in Judaism

By Lester Roth

  We Jews have enjoyed some recent respite in our somber history that has all too been marred by outbreaks of virulent and violent bouts of anti-Semitism. Somewhere in this closing portion of the second half of the twentieth century, we have enjoyed a period in time in which the bitter and senseless hatred of Jews by Gentiles has reached a commendable minimum of acceptance in modern society. Those nations amongst which we are scattered, have for the most part, in view and in lieu of the horrible consequences of unbridled hate mongers, such as Hitler, have bridled the voices of hatred and decreed them to be unlawful.

  Hatred, being of two varieties, the first type is one based on a concrete or actual cause. The second type is based on an emotion fear and has caused more tragic consequences than diseases, has cause more unhappiness and ultimate ruination of society than any social diseases such as drugs and prostitution. The first type of hatred, the hatred caused by an unwelcome action on the part of another, is not a serious concern, although the outward manifestation may be intense, still, if the undesired action is stopped, then the hatred is shortly dissipated. This is the type of hatred based on a discomfort cause by a neighbor. Remove the source of agitation, and the hatred evaporates.

  The second cause of hatred, and this is the substance that anti-Semitism thrives upon, is not based upon any tangible action, but rather it is derivative of an emotionally based fear. By capitalizing on another person's deepest fears, a hate-monger can rouse crowds to a fury. Proof of this can be sampled by merely glancing through the pages of history. Inside the bosom of many inadequate people is the fear that another will achieve power over him and advantage will be set upon him, leaving the victim hopelessly alone.

  Without the stimulus of the hate monger, however, those unfortunate masses or messes of humanity must master their own insecurities and anxieties, alone and forgotten. The hate monger, spewing his venom, collects these loathsome individuals and vents their feelings towards an enemy, a stranger "known" for his "deviousness" . Such were the "leaders" of the anti-Semites in the past generations.

  We may feel that due to local and international law and conventions, this second type of hatred is kept in check sparing the Jews from persecution from the Gentiles. This may be true for the moment. However the mantle of hate-mongering or Jew baiting seems to become a contagious virus, something akin to the deadly and dreadful AIDS virus that migrates from the carriers and infects a stranger through casual contact., So too, the anti-Semitic virus has passed from the Gentile's domain to the Jewish body.

  In Israel in particular, and in the western countries in general, a type of Jew baiting virus has been taking on an epidemic stature. Pitting one Jew against another, exploiting the fears of the religious right as well as the liberal left. We Jews have grabbed the mantle of hatred and are it using against one another. In the place of restraint and self help, we find distrust and disrespect heaved upon another unknown Jew, solely based on a projected perception of his possible opinion. Jewish newspapers, together with politicians and spokespersons of devious agendas, have succeeded in whipping up their constituents, in order to guarantee solid unwavering support for their view, through utilizing the same emotional based hatred of the famed and inflamed anti-Semites of the past years.

  Have we not matured enough to stand up and speak out against these hate-mongers in our midst and eliminate the awful consequences of their self-aggrandized and personal goal seeking? Let us not sit quietly and permit, in the name of free speech, the ruination of a people who have suffered from anti-Semites. Let us speak out loudly and clearly to stop those, both on the left and on the right, whether masquerading as religious pious or equalitarian liberals. Let us not cause in our midst, a national holocaust of a purely Jewish nature.


from theJune 1998Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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