This commenter, possibly Jewish, wrote a long piece suggesting that the cause of this long conflict was Muslim antisemitism. Then he threw in Christian antisemitism too and said that was also as part of the conflict. I’m going to disagree here.
Andrew Sullivan has a piece in his weekly dish substack that is consistent with my argument. He says “the formation of Israel was a moral necessity and a practical insanity.”
This is correct.
I don’t agree with the commenter that Christian antisemitism is a big deal anymore, at least not religiously based Jew-hatred. There is definitely some in Latin America though. Face it, in most Christian countries, is there really a lot of antisemitism coming from Christians or cultural Christians.
Let’s look at the Anglosphere. Basically zero.
We already went over Latin America.
How about Europe? There’s little to no Christian antisemitism in Spain, Portugal, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Finland, Greece, or Albania.
I don’t know about Eastern Europe and Russia but I think the antisemitism there, to the extent that it exists anymore, is not really religiously based. There is antisemitism in Western Ukraine due to a long history of living with lots of Jews. Maybe that will do it to any group, who knows? Russian antisemitism seems similar.
Is there much Polish antisemitism? At one time, Catholicism played a part in that.
Is there still considerable antisemitism in Czechia, Belarus, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, or Estonia? Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are all Nazi countries, but the Nazism is all about hating Russians and not Jews.
Yes, there is still antisemitism in Germany and Austria, but in Germany it’s mixed in with a ridiculous, over the top philosemitism. Anyway, the antisemitism in German lands is just Nazism, and Nazism never had a religious basis.
All in all, the only Christian countries with significant antisemitism are Germany, Austria, Poland, Ukraine, and Russia. And in most of those countries, it’s not religiously based.
The commenter also claimed that Muslim Jew-hatred was long-standing or even permanent in Palestine. Well, fine, maybe so. Let me say first of all that there may be something to what he is saying, but it is so hard to figure out how Muslims really felt towards each other in Palestine. Dhimmitude probably only ended in the 1890’s-1910’s with the collapsing Ottoman Empire. Muslim apologists say things were fine under dhimmitude, but the very nature of the process makes that dubious.
As soon as dhimmitude ended, fighting started up not due to Jew-hatred but due to fears of colonization by Zionists. Violence in Palestine started around 1912. The first serious violence was in 1921. The Hebron Massacre was in 1929. So Palestine went straight from Jews living under dhimmitude to Arabs fighting Jews over Zionism. We never got a chance to see how Muslims really felt about Jews per se outside of Islamic law and Zionist colonization.
However, there were few massacres or pogroms in Palestine. In the previous 500 years, there had been seven serious pogroms, usually just in one city. That’s about one every 60 years. In some cases, the Jewish population reconstituted itself only 3-4 years later. Most of these pogroms seemed to center around “scapegoating.” So if you were a Jew in Palestine, there would be one serious pogrom in your lifetime, and it probably wouldn’t even be in your city.
So, let me ask the commenter if the Palestinian Muslims always hated Christians just as much as Jews or less so? They were both dhimmis, recall. Palestinian Muslims and Palestinian Christians seem to get along pretty well, but Palestinian Muslims they don’t get along with Jews. Why would Islamic religious hatred leave Christians alone but target Jews?
First of all, Christian, Muslim, atheist, and even Communist Palestinians all hate Israel. Many of the worst terrorists of all were Christians. That’s not true so much anymore, but one armed group, the DFLP, is led by a Christian! A couple of the armed groups are practically communists, and they are full of secular people who could be atheists.
So, let’s see, among Palestinians:
- Muslims hate Jews.
- Christians hate Jews.
- Seculars hate Jews.
- Atheists hate Jews.
- Communists hate Jews.
It’s almost like…everybody over there hates Jews! Gee I wonder why that could be? Could it possibly be…something the Jews did to those people over in Palestine?
Does the commenter have an answer to this? It looks like everybody over there just mysteriously hates Jews no matter what religion they are or if they even have a religion. What’s the commenter’s argument now? Arabs hate Jews, no matter their religion or lack of one? See how his attempt to turn this into a religious war ran aground?
I approve of all these efforts below in the Arab world to make their lands more accommodating to the Arab Jews.
Let’s take a look at this legendary Arab Muslim antisemitism for a moment:
- There are Jews in Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria. The governments are very solicitous and protective of them. The population of Algerian Jews has grown by 150
- Bahrain has a few Jews (35), and they are letting them build a synagogue.
- There are 2,500 crypto-Jews in Saudi Arabia!
- Assad recently invited a group of Syrian Jews from the US to come visit. He asked them to please come back whenever they felt it was safe.
- There are 6,000 Jews in Iran. They are treated quite well and have two reserved seats in Parliament, far more than their numbers deserve.
- There were 100 Jews left in Iraq at the start of the war in 2003. They all said that Saddam was very good to the Jews and protected them well.
- There are no more Jews left in Libya, but before Ghaddafi was overthrown, he and his son were issuing calls for the Libyan Jews to come back to Libya. Why would they do that if they hated them?
- There are real problems with the Jews in Yemen due to a hostile population, but at least the government is trying to be very protective towards them.
This is what the commenter can’t figure out. All of those Arab countries would very much like those Arab Jews in Israel to go back to their countries. They’d much rather have Arab Jews in their countries than have them in Palestine stirring up trouble. So they are being very protective of them. For a long time, they wouldn’t even let them leave the country! That’s some real hate, brother, when they won’t let you leave! Also, it’s a PR thing:
Look, we are not antisemites. Look at how well we treat our Jews.