You knew a kid like this in elementary school: He bragged all the time, bullied little kids, cheated at marbles, formed a little group of similar jerks and when someone complained, he whined that everyone was ganging up on him. He was so good at this that the teachers often believed him.
That’s how I have come to picture “the Jews.” I can hear the PC screams now: You can’t say “the Jews!” Anti-Semite! Nazi sympathizer! Silence her! As the Israel-born Jew Gilad Atzmon says, “Jewish power is the capacity to stop us from talking about Jewish power.”
I started out very favorably disposed toward Jews, in fact, like millions of Americans; I was a Christian Zionist…but a curious one. I wondered: Why do so many people seem to hate the Jews? How could Jews have been thrown out of over 100 countries? Their spokesmen offer answers.
1) The Christians blame them for executing Jesus. 2) The gentiles are jealous of them, because they are smarter and know how to make money. 3) As an identifiable minority, they become the lightening rod for domestic troubles. There is a tiny grain of truth in these assertions, but it is far from all the truth.
Some Christians at some points in time have blamed Jews for killing Jesus. I am a Christian and I never heard this accusation-ever-but that is not to say it has never been made. To refute this as the explanation, please note that strong anti-Jewish sentiment preceded Jesus or any influence by Christians.
Jews were expelled from Egypt, as recorded by the historian Manetho, in 300 BC-long before Jesus was born, never mind executed. The reason given was that they were diseased, chillingly, the same reason used by the Nazis thousands of years later! “How many diseases have their origin in the Jewish virus!…we shall regain our health only by eliminating the Jew.” (Hilter) I presume the Nazis meant this as a metaphor, though the Egyptians mentioned leprosy.
Jewish historian Flavius Josephus wrote Against Apion c. 200 AD as a propaganda piece to discredit an influential anti-Jewish writer and to promote the supremacy of Judaism. Ironically, Apion’s work is lost and we would never have heard of him if Josephus hadn’t replied to this “parasite’s” charges. Apparently Apion repeated the stories about Jews being expelled from Egypt because they were diseased, introduced new charges that they sacrificed humans, and reported on recent events in Alexandria in a way that made the Jews look bad.
It is almost impossible to know what really happened in Alexandria in 38 BC, but it had something to do with supremacy, citizenship and paying taxes. Riots broke out between the Greeks, Jews and Egyptians and Jews were pushed into the first ghettos. If they strayed outside, the general population attacked them.
This has nothing to do with Christians, who were themselves a persecuted minority at the time Josephus wrote. Something else is going on.
In 109 AD the Roman historian Tacitus wrote (Annals 5.2-5):
“The other practices of the Jews are sinister and revolting…wretches of the most abandoned kind who had no use for the religion of their fathers took to contributing dues…to swell the Jewish exchequer; and other reasons for their increasing wealth may be found in their stubborn loyalty…toward brother Jews. But the rest of the world they confront with hatred…They will not feed or intermarry with Gentiles.”
Tacitus, obviously, was not a Christian; yet here are listed, by 109 AD, the accusations against the Jews that were to continue for thousands of years, and right up to the present. None of them has anything to do with Jesus. They are:
- Jews are tribal. They take care of their own to the detriment of outsiders.
- They are stubborn and hate Gentiles.
- They focus on wealth accumulation.
- They think they are better than everyone else; i.e. they shun eating with others or intermarrying.
So enough blame-shifting to Christians! It dishonors heroic gentiles like Corrie Ten Boom, who hid Jews from the Nazis in a fake wall in her home and ended in up in a concentration camp, along with many other non-Jews who have been wiped off the historical etch-a-sketch surrounding the Holocaust.
Jews have been vilified for thousands of years and it’s not the Christians fault. Rather than continually whining that everyone is ganging up on them, wouldn’t it be more beneficial to do a bit of self-examination?