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  Anti-Semitism Then and Now

Jewish Identity
Some believe that anti-Semitism is xenophobia stemming from hatred of the weak and foreigners. Others claim that even in cases when Jews were not weak and looked the same as their peers animosity existed because Jews were perceived as strong and prosperous. Anti-Semitism has thrived for millenniums, often erupting in horrifying acts for all to see.


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New Anti-Semitism
Modern anti-Semitism focuses mainly on Israel. This ?new anti-Semitism? is political and those who indulge in it call themselves ?anti-Zionist.? Their aim is to isolate Israel as ?a state that deviates from accepted norms in other countries and therefore has no right to exist.? Modern media enable rapid dissemination of anti-Semitic material in a scope exceeding pre-WWII levels.


Anti-Semitism & Globalization
Anti-Semitism is spreading from the Arab countries to the West. All Jews identified with the State of Israel are targets. Israel is the focus of accusations by UN humanitarian organizations and journalists. Since 1975, when the UN defined Zionism as racism, the UN is a hothouse for anti-Semitism. Israel is despised as a US ally, and affluent Jews are loathed for their role in global economics


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Arab Anti-Semitic Propaganda
Arab propaganda has adopted Western anti-Semitism; this includes Christian anti-Semitism citing the use of Christian children's blood for religious rites. Atrocious pictures of Arab children allegedly butchered by Israel are aired. The Arabs publish classic anti-Semitic material. They support Holocaust denial, combining it with Islamic themes


Nazi Propaganda 1933-1945
Goebbels, the Third Reich's Propaganda Minister, made propaganda a powerful tool. His assumption was that the repetition of a lie will make it an accepted truth. It is clear that Hitler implemented everything written in his pre-WWII books. Current anti-Israel material on the web copies Nazi propaganda. This is the historically proven ideology of genocide.


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Holocaust Denial
Neo-Nazis have developed a whole theory about Holocaust denial or ?revisionism.? The goal is to re-legitimatize Nazism and its racist policies. As Jews are the declared enemy, Neo-Nazis strive to demonize them and claim that Jews intentionally arouse the West?s guilt regarding the Holocaust to reinforce their worldwide control. After all, anyone against them is labeled an anti-Semite and is cast off.


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Anti-Semitism in the Hi-tech Era
Neo-Nazis and Palestinians were the first to perceive opportunities inherent to the Internet - the most effective tool ever created for hatred. As a public communication means it is ideal for mass propaganda and unconscious appeal, which makes no reference to Palestinian terror or its many innocent Jewish victims. Israel is portrayed as a murderer of children.


Religious Anti-Semitism
Christ?s Passion as described in the New Testament is the basis for hating the Jews who are perceived as ?God?s killers.? The theological context is Jesus? suffering during crucifixion. The Christian establishment did not openly preach to kill Jews, but factually, many Jews perished during the Crusades. The current Pope has acted to reconciliate Christians and Jews


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At the end of the 19th century anti-Semitism was affected by modernization which caused the dismantling of traditional social frameworks. Worst hit were the weaker social classes and the bourgeois, both of whom blamed the Jews for their plight. The right regarded Jews as revolutionaries, the left ? as exploitative capitalists


Practical Anti-Semitism
Sixty years after the Holocaust, the Jews are again exposed to the dangerou fate of their forefathers, making them strangers in their homeland. New anti-Semitism links every Jew to Israel. Initial outbursts in the present anti-Semitic wave began with the launching of the Intifada in 2000. There is a clear correlation between hostilities in the Israel-Palestinian conflict and violence sdirected against Jews.



Combating Anti-Semitism
"A prerequisite for anti-Jewish actions is emotional tolerance towards anti-Semitism. A campaign of prejudice existed wherever atrocities occurred and a resource of socially destructive powers that spawned criminals was in place.? (Lashak Kokowski, a Polish writer). Anti-Semitism is not easily eradicated. After the 20th century's experiences we must remain vigilant.


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Anti-Semitic Literature
Ahad Ha?am (Asher Ginzburg), a renowned Jewish writer at the turn of the 20th century, wrote about the infamous 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion': ?Nothing could convince the Jews themselves that they actually used the blood of a kidnapped Christian boy to make matzo for Passover.? He saw this as a form of comfort.


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Visual Anti-Semitism
Caricatures are effective in winning over the observer and influencing the sub-conscious. The picture is engraved in the memory. It raises a smile while offering an easy solution. It mediates between foreign and familiar information. The new anti-Semitism directed against Zionism and the Jews is also rooted in art, which has been used for this purpose for generations.


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Anti-Semitism Library
A virtual site enables the expression of unrestrained opinions. Like a spreading malignant growth, hatred may explode when it is too late. Paul Spiegel, head of the Central Committee of German Jews, was one of the first to sound the alarm regarding anti-Semitic propaganda on the Internet. In 2002 he wrote in ?Die Welt?, the newspaper founded by Herzl; ?It is worse than ever before in the Federal Republic.?


Contending with the Knowledge of Hatred
The surveillance of hate and anti-Semitic sources is extremely complex, and it is even more complicated to deal with the scale of incitement that the Internet enables to accumulate. In practice, the Internet has become the largest arsenal of hatred in the annals of human history. It is a very effective and accessible database. The question must be asked ? what can an individual do and what steps can governments take to contain it?

Basically, there are four central alternatives when contending with the knowledge of hatred, as well as a combination of these options: To ignore it, to expose it, to criminalize it, or to block it.

Three of these possibilities are more in the class of wishful thinking than genuine action plans that can actually be implemented: This phenomenon cannot be ignored ? it would mean sticking our collective heads in the sand when the house is about to burst into flames. Criminalizing it is impossible because Islamic and other countries would never concur. It cannot be blocked because the information would simply be moved from one server to the next and from one person to his peer 

The only remaining option is to expose the information in every way, to place it in the limelight, and flash as many warning signs as possible. From past experience we already know that what we are now facing is not only propaganda, but also the stage of emotional preparation for what is yet to come. This is the theoretical preface to threatening events that are sure to follow. This is the pattern that these hateful developments have always followed, and that is why the threat is so real. 

Only education, and more education, and even more education regarding the essence of the truth and the dangerous consequences of prejudice and ignorance may be of some value. Only through education will this vile invective lose its meaning and power. Only through exposure will it be possible to uproot the hatred and reveal the true character of these incitement groups.

The exposure of this hatred may be the only way to monitor it. This hatred must be regarded as the most threatening disease of the millennium, and as in the case of any lethal disease, war must be declared against it, whether by allocating resources or finding ways to prevent it. Education must play a key role in this process. 



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