The Real Cause of "Anti Semitism"
October 25, 2003
My Jewish mother, born in Poland in 1919, remembered visiting her grandfather's "estate" as a child and riding in a big horse drawn carriage.
This memory contradicted my impression that Jews in Poland were persecuted and poor. Most, like my father's family, were. But my mother's memory reveals that many other Jews were part of the ruling class.
Israel Shahak's book "Jewish History, Jewish Religion; The Weight of 3000 Years" (1994) suggests that the social pattern developed over centuries may continue to the present day.
According to Shahak, historically the Jewish elite often had a symbiotic relationship with the governing class. The Jews would "administer the oppression" of the masses. In return, the governing class would force Jews to obey their "leaders." Sometimes a pogrom would do the trick.
The "Jewish" position was always strongest when the governing class was most at odds with the masses, and when there was least national feeling.
Today, specific Jews (in finance, government, education and especially the media) play a prominent role in the elite's preparation for "globalization," which many see as a modern form of feudalism. Once again, "anti Semitism" is exploited to mobilize Jews (and Christians) to support oppression (e.g. "The War on Terror"), disarm opposition and to deflect blame.
THE TRUTH IS BITTER
History is propaganda about the past. Most historians don't tell the truth because they would be fired. Israel Shahak, who died in 2001, was not an historian. He was a professor of organic chemistry at Hebrew University. He had a scientist's respect for objective truth. He was also a concentration camp survivor, an Israeli army veteran and a campaigner for Arab human rights.
History repeats itself because we lie about it. Shahak believes that Jews need to re-educate themselves about their history and religion. Jews are "a closed society" that uses "anti Semitism" to quash criticism, which is considered "hatred" or "self hatred." (In fact, to expose folly is love not hate.)
Shahak says Judaism is largely a primitive, materialistic, authoritarian credo. The Talmud is devoted to Jewish supremacy and contempt for Christ, Christianity and non-Jews in general. The Cabala embraces many gods including Satan. (Shahak, p. 33)
The following is a brief summary of Shahak's argument in the chapter, "The Weight of History."
1. In spite of persecution, Jews throughout history formed an integral part of the privileged classes. The poorest Jew was immeasurably better off than the serfs. Until roughly 1880, their most important social function "was to mediate the oppression of the peasants on behalf of the nobility and the Crown."
2. Classical Judaism (1000-1880 AD) developed hatred and contempt for agriculture as an occupation and for peasants as a class. "The supposed superiority of Jewish morality and intellect...is bound up with a lack of sensitivity for the suffering of that major part of humanity who were especially oppressed during the last 1000 years, the peasants." (53)
3. While Gentiles in general were reviled, Jewish laws made an exception for the elite. Jewish physicians, tax collectors and bailiffs could be relied upon by a king, nobleman, pope or bishop in a way that a Christian might not. The Jewish community enjoyed autonomous status and Jewish rabbis and rich were part of the governing class. Together they oppressed the masses, Jew and non-Jewish. (53)
4. The position of rich Jews is "particularly favourable under strong regimes, which have retained a feudal character" and are disassociated from the people they rule. "But in those countries where...the nobility enters into partnership with the king (and with at least part of the bourgeoisie) to rule the state, which assumes a national character," the position of the Jewish elite deteriorates.
5. However the position of the Jewish masses moved in tandem with the peasants not their leaders. The stronger the Jewish elite, the more tyrannical its grip over the Jewish people. For example, at the rabbis' request, the state would flog or imprison a Jewish vendor for opening his stall on a minor holiday.
MODERN ANTI SEMITISM
Israel Shahak and I differ about modern anti Semitism. I believe the above themes continue into the 20th and 21st centuries. Shahak is a "humanist" and supporter of the principles of the French Revolution who depicts anti Semitism as the reaction of "bewildered men" in opposition to the modern world.
My hunch is that in the 18th century, the Jewish elite seized the upper hand by abandoning their traditional allies. They forged new alliances with the emerging commercial elites and corrupt elements of the aristocracy. The Jewish elite championed the French Revolution, liberalism, socialism (and Communism) as a way of destroying the old order and increasing its own power. The position of elite Jews improved in correlation to the materialist and internationalist "modern" movement. (See also "The Jewish Century")
Modern conservatism and "anti Semitism" was a reaction. But the Nazis, by their barbarism, actually played into the elite Jews' agenda. They discredited nationalism and "anti Semitism," devastated Europe, and helped Zionists gain greater control of Jews. (Think of the Holocaust as a giant pogrom.)
Israel Shahak and I agree on the last point. In Shahak's words, "Israel and Zionism are a throw-back to the role of classical Judaism, writ large on a global scale..."
"The state of Israel now fulfills towards the oppressed peasants of many countries, not only in the Middle East, but far beyond it, a role not unlike the Jews of pre-1795 Poland: that of a bailiff to the imperial oppressor. " He refers to Israel's role as a linchpin in the imperial system. It helps keep neighboring Arab regimes in power (11) and arms Third World dictators. He wonders why religious Jews are major participants in the arms trade and rabbis are silent.
Shahak believes the Jewish people need to overcome the "tyranny" of their religion. Only an "unrelenting critique" of the past will achieve a "genuine revolution." (74)
A Jewish reader wrote to me: "It is the Jewish mission to be a light or spiritual guide to the nations...We [uphold] an ethical and moral God, without which we would descend into barbarism in an instant. And it is THIS which has caused Christianity to murder Jews throughout the centuries."
I beg to differ. Far from being a "light unto humanity" many Jews (as well as so-called Christians) "mediate the oppression" for the governing class. This is the real cause of anti Semitism.
The New World Order is a revival of feudalism. The rich rule as kings and humanity is en-serfed. It is happening before our eyes. Religion, art and education are debased. Civil rights are taken away. Men are emasculated and families destroyed. Jobs and technology are shipped abroad.
The Jewish moral mission? How about "Thou Shall Not Steal" and "Thou Shall Not Kill?" Zionists have stolen the homes and land where Arabs lived for more than 50 generations. Israelis must withdraw to the 1967 boundaries, and make restitution.
I am accused of being "a self hating Jew." I believe Jews like myself, Israel Shahak and many others represent the true Jewish spirit: absolute truth, justice and love. (I also find this spirit in Christianity and Islam.)
We cannot change the truth just because we don't like it. The real cause of anti Semitism is found in the Jewish religion and in the role of the Jewish elite, their lackeys and dupes. (See also my "The Holocaust as Mental Paradigm")
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Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at