You Become What You Hate
“1. a member of the group of peoples who speak a Semitic language, including the Jews and Arabs as well as the ancient Babylonians, Assyrians, and Phoenicians.”
Online Etymology Dictionary Anti-Semitism (n.)
“1. Also antisemitism, 1881, from German Antisemitismus, first used by Wilhelm Marr (1819–1904) German radical, nationalist and race-agitator, who founded the Antisemiten-Liga in 1879; see anti- + Semite.
2. Not etymologically restricted to anti-Jewish theories, actions, or policies, but almost always used in this sense. Those who object to the inaccuracy of the term might try Hermann Adler’s Judaeophobia (1881). Anti-Semitic (also antisemitic) and anti-Semite (also antisemite) also are from 1881, like anti-Semitism they appear first in English in an article in The Athenaeum of Sept. 31, in reference to German literature. Jew-hatred is attested from 1881. As an adjective, anti-Jewish is from 1817.”
There exists a macabre history of hatred for the Jewish people, trailing us like a slug on its hosts, sucking the world dry of love, compassion, and progress. The leech, dissatisfied with even the horrors of the Jewish Holocaust, wants nothing more than to rekindle global animosity toward an ethnic group wholly innocent of the many crimes it has been accused of throughout time.
The Jews have been accused of the worst kinds of atrocities. Accused but not found guilty. And where they were found guilty, their confessions were attained under duress and torture.
Abraham’s descendants, through Sarah, have experienced hardship from their inception as a nation-state through their numerous displacements at the hands of more powerful agents and in more recent history, as stateless people, vulnerable to wave after wave of national persecution, often ending with public lynchings, state-sanctioned mass executions, and scattered acts of deadly violence against unsuspecting Jewish civilians.
In 740 BCE (BC) the Assyrians (modern-day Iraq/Turkey) sacked the northern Kingdom of Israel, displacing ten of their twelve tribes. Jewish religious texts claim that the Israelites exiled by Assyria were never seen again.
In 586 BCE, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (modern-day Iraq) ravaged the southern Kingdom of Judah, killing soldiers and civilians alike after a lengthy and disastrous siege of Jerusalem. Solomon’s temple was razed to the ground, its gold sacked, the city’s walls destroyed, and the forest surrounding the city was used as kindle wood to burn it down. Survivors were led into captivity into Babylon for some seventy years wherein which many Jewish exiles lost their nationality, identity, and religion.
In 19 CE (AD), Roman Emperor Tiberius expelled Jews from Rome. A tactic that would be used by numerous European nations for centuries to come.
A mere fifty-one years later in 70 CE, Roman forces raze Jerusalem to the ground to stamp out a potential rebellion. Jerusalem, along with its Second Temple (only two were ever built) is destroyed. The Jews are displaced and forced to flee Palestine under the threat of total annihilation.
In 167 CE, the Jews were accused of deicide (of killing Jesus, God in the flesh).
In 325 the Jews were again expelled from Jerusalem, their native capital city. In 339, Jews were prohibited from marrying Christians. A tactic similar to that of the German Nuremberg Race Laws of 1935.
In 592, every Jew in Antioch (modern-day Turkey) was held responsible and punished for the crime of one Jew.
In 624, Mohammed oversees the decapitation of some 600 Jews in Medina, in one day.
In 985, Jews were expelled from Sparta.
In 1021, Jews were burned at the stake because Greek citizens thought them responsible for an earthquake. The Jews had been accused of desecrating an image of Jesus thus inducing the wrath of God on the region via an earthquake.
In 1096, the first of three crusades to reconquer Jerusalem from Muslim leaders began. The first of three European-backed war efforts to colonize the Middle East without the assistance of or presence of Jews in the region and throughout its many routes to reach what was deemed the Holy Land. Throughout Europe, Jews were forced to convert to Christianity by forced baptism. Those who refused were killed. In one instance, in Mainz, Germany, some 1,600 Jews committed suicide to avoid forced conversion.
In 1146, over 220,000 Jews were massacred by the Almohad Caliphate in Morocco.
In 1147, Jews were expelled from Muslim-controlled Spain.
Throughout the 1300s the Jews were expelled from Poland, Italy, and France. Their synagogues were destroyed and homes burned. There were forced mass conversions throughout Europe and Northern Africa. In Europe, Jews were forced to convert to Christianity. In North Africa, they were forced to convert to Islam. Pogroms and massacres against the Jews break out on Easter celebrations. Christ’s resurrection is used as a catalyst to persecute the Jews.
In 1349, Jews were held responsible for spreading the Black Death (bubonic plague). In Zurich, some 600 Jews were burned alive as a form of state-sanctioned execution because they were accused of spreading the plague there as well.
In 1436, nearly a hundred years later they were expelled from Zurich entirely.
From then until 1930s Germany, we see the recurrence of expulsions, pogroms, forced mass conversion efforts, systematic starvation efforts, massacres, more massacres, and even more massacres enacted on the Jewish communities of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
The Jewish Holocaust was not a surprise to the world. What surprised the world was that the Holocaust was filmed and photographed. Sensibilities toward the Jews were at an all-time low, considering no European nation or developed North American nation wanted to harbor persecuted Jews once they escaped Europe seeking refuge elsewhere. With nowhere left to run or hide, they were hunted down by the Germans and Nazi sympathizers throughout Europe and murdered at a rate previously unheard of.
Had it not been the Germans it would have been Italy, France, Great Britain, Spain, or the United States of America. Several nations had pledged and vowed to rid the world of what they called Jewry. For example, antisemitism flourished in France long before it was codified in Germany. (Consider the Dreyfus Affair)
This nation-state, stateless ethnic group has been hunted and haunted by their neighbors from time immemorial. When we consider the questions of why the Jews are despised, the answers, albeit nonsensical, are numerous and unquestionably wrong.
Antisemitism is not only an unexplainable phenomenon where people hate Jews but also anyone who lives or comes from what today is known as Palestine, previously, Judea. People who share a historical connection to a Semitic language.
The Jewish community has been accused of sedition, mutiny, murder, cannibalizing children, necromancy, the spread of disease and plagues, destabilizing whole nations, and murdering God, and that’s just what we know because of what has been recorded in history. We have access to some five thousand years of Jewish history and literature and with every single century of their existence under the sun they have been despised and killed, held collectively responsible for the alleged crime(s) of a select few.
What then happens when the Jews, or as in the case I will mention today, the Israeli Defense Force, is accused of war crimes. Crimes not too dissimilar to those committed against the Jewish people throughout history?
When Jewish military specialists, along with their all-too-obedient soldiers drop bombs on innocent civilians; shoot journalists; raze occupied hospitals; sniper parents fleeing fire bombings; and demolish residential buildings, occupants still inside, these are crimes, wherein any other nation were to commit them, we would, irrevocably and unashamedly condemn them.
What the terrorist organization of Hamas did and how the Israelis reciprocate against them, directly, from combatant to combatant is one thing.
Murdering innocent civilians for no other reason than because they are Palestinian civilians supposedly protecting Hamas fighters is cruel, condemnable, evil, and antisemitic.
Yes, Jews killing Palestinians is antisemitic.
It is possible, as this case in Israel-Palestine today shows, for the descendants of Holocaust survivors to enact on innocent people an ethnic cleansing their ancestors experienced and fled from throughout Europe.
Contextualizing the suffering of Jews — their religious and ethnic identity in the world — to better understand why they’re singled out for harassment and scapegoated by different nations does not negate the possibility that when some of them are in power they too can be immoral and criminal.
It is not antisemitic to call Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the IDF evil for bombing innocent people. It’s called accountability. It’s not antisemitic to call Zionist colonialism evil when it is just that. Displacement and land grabbing is devastating to the Jews and Palestinians living in the region. It affects all involved, leaving behind generations of traumatized kids. Trauma that is often unresolved and flared into animosity that could have otherwise been avoided.
There are Christians, so they call themselves, who dare say that the Jews belong in the land of Israel, as is their religious and national right. They use Old Testament narrative to push this idea but they seldom stop to think whether or not Old Testament methods in a 21st century society are worth emulating.
The Old Testament conquest wars described in the Book of Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua were bloody, messy, and cruel, and the victors wrote the story we have today. These were descriptive narratives of what happened then not prescriptive methods by which we ought to live today.
Because if we’re to hold to a literalist and skewed interpretation of the Torah, then we must also expect that the Jews, when criminal, when vile, when evil, when ravenous, when sacrilegious, will, as a result of their disobedience to God, be surrounded by their enemies, starved, liquidated, displaced, and murdered.
Their demise is the consequence of Divine Judgment.
Is that not what happened to them, per God’s demand, in the hands of the Assyrian and Babylonian empires? Was God not the agent of justice against them? Did He not ordain their near-total destruction? Did God not allow their prized temple to be razed, their nation made rubble because of their crimes against Him, their brothers, their neighbors, and the immigrants in their midst?
What was it that the Jews did to anger God? Did they not offer children to the fire as a sacrifice to other gods? Did they not abandon the widow and the orphan? Did they not prostitute and whore themselves out to other deities? Were they not building altars and baking cakes for the Queen of Heaven? Sacrificing on high places? Worshipping at the feet of Asherah poles? Did they not kill their prophets, sent by God to turn them from their bloodthirsty ways?
What then, was the consequence for such impoverished morals and destitute hearts?
The Bible leaves behind a trail of evidence to that matter.
If religious nationalist zionists of every call and creed want to revisit Mosaic conquest literature as a compass for modern politics then I’ll add Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, and Ezekiel to their reading list.
How they accept the offer will show you just how corrupt their reading and interpretation of biblical readings truly are.
We must call evil, evil.
What Hamas did and does is not revolutionary warfare. Hamas attacked non-combatant civilians, ambushed them in their homes, singled them out, and murdered people in cold blood. Any organization that supports such tactics is unquestionably bedding the devil to defeat a different demon. And I won’t even go into detail on how Hamas’s theo-political policies dictate the lives of women and girls in Gaza.
Hamas is a terrorist organization, funded by other nations and organizations that have murdered and sanctioned the murder and massacre of thousands of people the world over.
But the Israeli military and the numerous racist Jews who view Palestinians, all of them, as terrorists or dogs or less than human are equally heinous and evil.
This miserable situation that continues to unfold in Israel-Palestine must come to a conclusion, soon. A just conclusion where Hamas fighters are arrested and tried in court and where Israeli military higher-ups are also arrested and tried by the International Crime Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
We can have justice for all. Not just justice for some. Justice for all will be costly, and painful, but necessary. Justice for some is naturally the consequence of injustice for all.
Call evil, evil, no matter its shade, history, or identity. If we cannot do that because of bias or blind allegiance then we’re doomed to become the supporters and perpetrators of the next televised holocaust.
This behavior will repeat itself throughout the world until there is no nation left to hate, kill, and exterminate, leaving the last ethnic group standing to consume itself, and the world around it, into oblivion.
Antisemitism is wrong therefore we must condemn it, even when practiced by Semitic people.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. — Proverbs 31:8 NLT