Anti-Semitism is a concept that began in the 18th and 19centuries and is still evident in the modern world. However, today it has takena new shape that is quite different from that of the ancient times. Somepolitical institutions and parties have devised new means of promotinganti-Semitism. Even scholars have taken a significant role in supporting thefraudulent theories that about the Jews and made people to believe that theJews were disobedient citizens. In the nineteenth century, scholars, philosophers,and artists among other important people in the society also took an activepart in promoting anti-Semitism.
The first movement to give anti-Semitism wasthe Nazi party formed in 1919, which served to increase the level of hatredamong the Jews. The term anti-Semitism refers to the prejudice against or hatredof Jews. The Jews have faced different forms of atrocities from other ethnicgroups. Some of the harsh discriminatory occasions that the Jews have gonethrough include the Holocaust, state-sponsored persecution, and murder of theEuropean Jews by the Nazi Germany allies between 1933 and 1945 (Robert 115).The term anti-Semitism originated from the German journalist Wilhelm Marr, whoused it to denote the hatred of the Jews. The term also refers to the hatred ofdifferent liberal cosmopolitan and international political trends of the 18thand 19th century since it was associated with the Jews (Dave 216).
The trend ofthe attack on the Jews included the civil rights, constitutional democracy,socialism, finance, capitalism, free trade and pacifism. Before the modern era,the specific hatred of Jews led to the development of the term anti-Semitic. Ittook different forms of manifestations such as Programs, and violent riotsagainst the Jews (David 87). Governments and authorities were responsible forthe riots against the Jews. On the other hand, Pogroms were forms of violencepromoted by blood libels, who spread false accusations that against the Jews. In the modern era, anti-Semitism is still evident and ispromoted by political influence. However, it has taken a new route as it isinfluenced by politics in different countries.
For example, there were someanti-Semitic political parties in Germany, France, and Austria (Alan 34). Therewere some scholars who also developed theories of anti-Semitic fraudulenttheories. They played a significant role in supporting the fraudulent theoriesthat about the Jews and made people to believe that the Jews were disobedientcitizens. In the nineteenth century, scholars, philosophers, and artists amongother important people in the society also took an active part in promotinganti-Semitism. The first movement to give anti-Semitism was the Nazi partyformed in 1919 (Gary and Sharon 119). Adolf Hitler was an influential politicalleader of the Nazi and managed to make his party popular by passing anti-Jewishpropaganda.
Hitler used his book, Mein Kampf to pass the propaganda against theJewish communities. He was successful in his mission as millions of people readhis literature and adopted his ideas. True to the fact, this book formed thebasis of holocaust, which was an extreme expression of anti-Semitism. In thetwenty first century, anti-Semitism has resurfaced (Francis 78).
The prejudice and hatredagainst the Jews, and that took different forms, did not end with theholocaust. The most unique thing with the modern day anti-Semitism is that itis deeply rooted in the society and takes some forms such as verbalanti-Semitism. This type of prejudice is evident among the high officials andintellectuals. In some cases, there exist physical attacks by the common streetthug, who target the Jewish communities. The modern form of anti-Semitism isvery evident in the Western Europe and among Islamic Nations (Dave 17). Even inthe United States (US), one of the countries termed as being very friendly tothe Jews, there exists anti-Semitism promoted by some groups like theright-wing extremists and ant-Israeli activists. In the Muslin countries, there exists a high rate of anti-Semitism.Presence of the Israel nation in the Middle East is not a welcomed fact by theMuslim nations.
The Muslim governments views Israeli as a country that lacks amoral or historical validation (Howard, 56). This kind of radical trait haspromoted tension between the Jews and Muslims. The Jews fail to recognize theauthority of the Muslim communities (David 12). On the other hand, the Muslimalso fails to recognize the authority of the Jews. The current violence evidentin the Middle East is a good example of anti-Semitism. In the extreme cases,the violence between the two religious groups has resulted in Muslim animositytowards the Jewish communities. For the Jews, anti-Semitism is considered a paradoxical issueassociated some complex phenomena.
The Jews have had a feeling of havingmanaged to experience directly the complexities associated with the phenomenonof anti-Semitism. There are various definitions that have been offered withregard to this phenomenon and they range from broad to specific descriptions.Broadly, anti-Semitism has been described as a phenomenon that denotes variousforms of hostilities that were historically manifested against the Jews.However, a narrower description refers to this phenomenon as actions that wereonly able to go against certain specific boundaries such physical violence andlegal restrictions. According to Saada (131), the various descriptions ofanti-Semitism often go through different modifications in relation to specificaspects such as theological, racial or economic considerations. Even though previous studies have investigated thesubject of anti-Semitism from different disciplines and perspectives, there arestill a number of questions and uncertainties that needs to be explored andanswered through comprehensive research. Such uncertainties and questionsinclude where the tolerance for anti-Semitism has been stemming from andwhether it has similarities and differences with other forms of intolerance orhate. The information provided by Kaplan (88) describes anti-Semitismas a form of hostile discrimination or actions directed against the Jews ethnicformations or religious group stemming from several centuries in the past.
Moreover, the phenomenon of anti-Semitism has been able to undergo several transitionsthrough its historical development. The first one is the anti-Judaism, whichessentially was essentially ethnic, and it took place during the ancient Romeand Greece. The second one involved the involved the introduction of Christiananti-Semitisms, which has continued to exist, even to the modern days andtimes. The others included thetraditional Islam anti-Semitism, the economicsocial and political that took place during the Enlightenmentperiod in Europe, the racial ant-Semitism of the nineteenth century and the newform of anti-Semitism, which has been taking place in the contemporary times.Practically, it is rather challenging and difficult to make clear distinctionsbetween anti-Semitism and various forms of intolerance or hate that may appearsimilar to anti-Semitism. The emergence of industrial and technologicalrevolutions in the nineteenth century led to the introduction and manifestationof a new form of anti-Semitism, which culminated into Nazi extermination campsthat characterized the Second World War.
According to the views of Steven (113), a discussion concerningthe antiquity of Anti-Judaism without involving the questions relating to thepower of Judaism in the Roman society only amounts to lachrymose. Anti-Semitismis not a phenomenon that exists and operates in a vacuum but it functions in acontext that is characterized by both nuance and balance. An understanding ofthe origin and tolerance for anti-Semitism has largely been associated withorganizations that have always sought to fight for this kind of tolerance. Oneof such organizations is the Simon Wiesenthal Center whose commitment alsoincludes fighting for the preservation of human rights. This organization hasgone to the extent of establishing museums of tolerance meant for thedissemination and widespread for the message of tolerance and respect forindividuals’ diversities and differences. Some researchers have warned thatusing the term anti-Semitism in the contemporary society raises both misleadingand anachronistic problems due to the difficulty in creating the picture of theJews who were being viewed as economic exploiters, usurers or moneylenders inthe days of the ancient society.
Moreover, certain acts that were considered asanti-Jewish were mere reaction of those were expressing their displeasure withthe rebellions emanating from the Jewish society. The findings by Grossman (67) have demonstrated that thecontemporary groups involved in fighting the phenomenon of anti-Semitism havebeen forced to deal with mutating problems and challenges. Thus, the origin andhistorical links of anti-Semitism ought to be understood in light of presentforms and types of hatreds being perpetrated against the Jewish communitymembers as well as investigating its similarities and differences with other forms of intolerances and hates. In thisregard, many researchers consider Anti-Semitism as having originated fromcertain ideologies of ancient days that have continued to influence thenegative and violent reactions from individuals in certain parts of the worldto members of the Jewish community. Another dimension of understanding thestemming of tolerance for anti-Semitism emanates from the conduction of thestruggle against anti-Semitism in the modern times and within the modernsocieties where culture and hatred from the Jewish community has been combinedwith defamation and dislike of the contemporary state of the Jewish in Israel.The new perspective of anti-Semitism exists in several regions around the worldincluding Western and Eastern Europe, theUnited States and the Middle East among others.
The United States, which hasbeen considered as a safe nation for the members of the Jewish community, hasbeen able to experience an increase in cases of extremism from both far-leftgroups and far-right groups (Marcel 117).Themodern form of anti-Semitism appears to be more apparent and popular in theMuslim society and Western parts of Europe. The United States has always beenregarded as one of the safest places around the world for the Jews to live andcarry on with their daily activities without undue interruptions. However, theresurgence of anti-Semitism appears to have interfered with the state ofaffairs that has previously been maintained in the United States for a longtime in the last couple of years.
Moreover, this resurgence is regarded ashaving been facilitated through the involvement of anti-Israel activists andright-wing extremists due to their consideration of Israel as fascism.Presently, more research is still necessary to come up with ways through whichthe existing gaps in the areas of tolerance for anti-Semitism can be addressed.Additionally, the problems and challenges presented by the idea ofanti-Semitism continue to mutate with time. Chatterley (102) observes that itis important to continue carrying out studies to answers the various questionsand address several associated concerns because clear ant-Semitism hascontinued to surface in a virulent manner especially from the beginning of thetwenty-first century.
In filling the existing gaps, this research attempts toinvestigate and establish ways through which the phenomenon of modernanti-Semitism can be clearly understood and its challenges addressed amicableby the concerned bodies and organizations. A clear demonstration of the need tofund this research is founded on the importance of its objectives. In thisregard, the objectives are aimed at supporting a course for the realization ofrespect for fundamental human rights and embracing a peaceful coexistence amongdifferent communities and religions across the world.