Frantz factors and background behind its more acute evolution,

Frantz Fanon, a Martinian philosopher and writer, once quoted, “Anti-Semitism hits me on the head: I am enraged, I am bled white by an appalling battle, I am deprived of the possibility of being a man. I cannot disassociate myself from the future that is proposed for my brother.” Many types of racism and animosity have been developed throughout history, with none so indelible and long-standing as anti-Semitism.  The term, being defined as “hostility or discrimination against Jews”, describes all Semitic people, yet only targets the Jews. Referred to as “the longest hatred”, anti-Semitism has been a part of society since the earliest time periods. It has been expressed in many aspects and cultures around the world. Global discrimination had not only caused the deaths of more than six million Jews in the Holocaust, but also established an abiding concept of supremacy over the nation and provoked a deep-rooted aversion that could not be erased. Violations of human rights emerged when Jews were widely disrespected and treated with inferiority. While many strongly disapprove of the hostility towards the nation, others feel it as a necessary act that is justified. Although Anti-Semitism has been a part of society since the infancy of humanity, it is a form of animosity that violates human rights because of the resulted exclusion and injustice against the “Chosen Ones”, the motivating factors and background behind its more acute evolution, and the backfires of Israel’s defense. The first appearance of Anti-Semitism can be traced back to 3rd century BCE, when a Hebrew Bible was published and an Ancient Egyptian priest and historian ridiculed Jewish traditions, bashing the Jewish philosophers of the time. Anti-Semitism began to grow and spread when Jews refused to accept the Greek religion and practices, and were marked as outsiders. With the crucifixion of Christ by Pontius Pilate, Judaism and Christianity began to divert as Jews were blamed to be the “killers of God”. During the Middle Ages, Kings and the Church constituted punishments for Jews such as banishment, slavery, and death. As the influence of Islam began to escalate,  Jews faced a dilemma of either religious conversion or death.  When the Black Death plagued Europe, Jews were cast as the scapegoat with the allegation that they initiated the disease by poisoning wells. As a result, numerous Jewish communities were eradicated and 900 Jews were burned at the stake. As European economy expanded in the late Middle Ages, the growing wealth of Jews sparked more disapproval and jealousy from the surrounding nations. This not only contributed to the existing hatred, but also led to resentment from more ethnic groups and countries such as England, Portugal, and Provence. During the Enlightenment, which is within the 17th and 18th century, Jews were treated considerably better than before. The idea that everyone is equal regardless of racial background or religion was perceived by the majority and even accepted by the minority. However, the call to accept the Jews into European society while respecting their independence was still widely disregarded. An eminent writer of the time, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, composed The Jews, a play that demonstrates the positivity within the “evil” nation. In contrary, the philosopher Herder claimed Jews as “a parasitic plant, clinging onto almost all the European countries.” Even though the mistreatment of Jews were less severe, many philosophers and scientists still criticized the nation as the cause for national problems, and the nation, being under the influence of its leaders, developed a more secular hatred towards the ethnicity.With the discovery of America, European immigrants brought Anti-Semitism to the new land. In the Colonial Era, Jews continued be to discriminated with restricted rights in society and politics without gaining any legal rights until the American Revolutionary War. Islamic Anti-Semitism also reached its climax in the nineteenth century because of land and religious conflicts. A contemporary traveler witnessed “One little Muslim child, with the greatest coolness, waddling up to a Jew and literally spitting on his Jewish gaberdine”. The century oversaw official hostility against Jews, such as when Jews of Warsaw requested the governor for permission to wear their cultural clothes, their hair and beards were cut off in derision. The most significant public display of anti-Semitism in history is the Holocaust. Before the war, the rule for emancipation of Jews was followed by many countries. However, after an economic crisis in Europe, the aversion towards Jews became uncontrollable, evolving into a social and political movement. Anti-semitism was taking another form – racial prejudice, especially in Germany. Introduced by Hitler and the Nazis, the idea of “Aryan superiority” gained quick widespread throughout the country. It was the conception that Aryan race, indicated by blonde hair and blue eyes, was genetically purer and superior than the Semites, who had dark skin and brown hair –  in other words, the Jews. This conception was nationally accepted and acclaimed. Jew were publicly assaulted and killed, and synagogues were burned down in disdain. For a period of time after the war, racial anti-Semitism began to become less publicly expressed in Europe. In the twenty-first century, the prejudice re-emerged as contemporary or “new” anti-Semitism. This concept opposes Israel and Zionism, which is the establishment and protection of Jews in Israel. The idea was first brought to the world in the 1960s by a French philosopher, Pierre-André Taguieff, who argued that Jews are plotting to conquer the world. Spreading rapidly, new anti-Semitism is based on the same concept as anti-Semitism, yet has observable differences. While anti-Semitism itself refers to the prejudice and hostility towards Jews as an inferior group, new anti-Semitism takes the form of criticizing not only the Jews, but also the Israeli government and Zionism. However, many tend to think that anti-Zionism is equivalent to the new anti-Semitism, which is a false assumption. It is possible for one to be a Jew and not a Zionist, because anti-Zionism is usually only based upon political views and colonial mindsets formed over the last few centuries. Therefore, “the hatred of Jews does not necessarily entail anti-Zionism”, and vice versa. Contemporary anti-Semitism, in contrast to what it was, is not based upon religious opinions, but settles on the secular view that Jews are an inferior race group, rooting from the Nazism notion of “Aryan superiority”. This form directly demonstrates  “discrimination against the right of the Jewish people to live as an equal member of the family of nations – the denial of and assault upon the Jewish people’s right even to live – with Israel as the ‘collective Jew among the nations'”. With the increasing anti-Semitic views and actions such as violence around the world, new anti-Semitism is thought by some as the beginning of a new Holocaust. In a July Knesset meeting, it was openly stressed that “The world is potentially looking at the beginning of another Holocaust now”, referring to the increasing number of anti-Jewish protests around the globe. However, others think that the situation is not favorable, but Jews are still far away from the verge of another Holocaust. In an interview with Deborah Lipstadt, professor of Emory University, she claimed that Israeli leaders are using the “Holocaust conception” as a “scare tactic”. The Jews were not shipped away to concentration camps and deported, therefore it is not another Holocaust. Germany, with an extensive antiquity of anti-Semitism, is currently on the rise with its increasing number of anti-Semitic cases and related abuse. Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, reported that there is a significant widespread of anti-Semitism in German schools. With the tremendous influx of Muslim refugees over the past few years, anti-Semitism is being displayed with unexpected frequency. With anti-Semitic views of Germans at a startling 40%, protests and public offenses appear nationwide, including the burning of Israeli flags when Jerusalem was recognized as Israel’s capital and humiliating Jewish tombstones with Nazi swastikas.   France is also among the countries with rising anti-Semitism because of the injustice against Jews. With never less than 400 anti-Semitic acts per year in its history, France is forced to cancel its Holocaust Remembrance programs because of strong resistance from students. A significant driving force behind its dramatic change is the country’s partial Islamization.  Muslims are a strong opposing force to Judaism in France and their influence is quite obvious due to their population, which is ten times that of French Jews. France’s hatred is demonstrated through burnings of various synagogues, abduction and terrorism of Jews, and violence in Jewish communities with use of weapons. First brought to the US by European immigrants, anti-Semitism has rooted itself in the new land since the discovery. Anti-Jewish incidents has been relatively low in the US, but recently, there has been a number of anti-Jewish threats and violence across the States, such as the 167 bomb threats sent to Jewish schools and communities in five states. Chair of Anti-Defamation League, Marvin D. Nathan, shared his data that “at least two anti-Semitism incidents on average happen every single day” in the US. Anti-Semitism is particularly on the rise in the Middle East in forms of physical abuse and the media’s’ denunciation. In the Palestinian territories, anti-Semitic views reach a staggering 93%, ranking the highest in the world. The number increases to 98% for those in the age range of 50 and older. Iraq follows closely behind with 92% with anti-Jewish views. Out of the eleven-question survey, ten questions show unfavorable attitudes towards Jews. Yemen is 88% anti-Semitic, with their main reasons being the way Jews behave and their constant mentioning of the Holocaust. Israel’s many other surrounding countries, including Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Jordan, all reach or exceed 80% as their index scores. Many expressed that “Jews have too much control over the media”, “global affairs”, and “international financial markets”. Many Middle East social medias have conveyed anti-Semitic messages and posts, such as “We must harass the Djerba synagogue until it is gone”. In a US State Department report on human rights, it is also noticed that many Palestinian leaders refuse to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, and several Palestinian television shows for preschoolers commend anti-Semitism. To escape anti-Semitic violence, many Jews are leaving their country of residence. In protection of Jews, Israel calls out to Jews around the world to return to Israel, where they will be under legal protection. A chief rabbi, Meir Bar-Hen, also urges all Jews to move to Israel, because “Europe is lost to radical Islam”. In defense to anti-Semitism, the Jewish Internet Defense Force is established to spread awareness and “mobilizes support” for campaigns against internet groups that advertises Islamic terrorism or anti-Semitism. The idea of Zionism is also formed to oppose anti-Semitism, but backfires on Israel in the form of “new anti-Semitism”.  Muslims are among the biggest opposing force to this movement because there are the fears that “recognition of Zionism discredits Islam”, and some even refuse to acknowledge the existence of Israel, often neglecting the country on Islamic maps. Many individuals also suspect Zionism as a political tool in the hands of the US and British empire, and thus refusing to support the movement. The Middle East countries view Zionism as an expansionist threat or even an excuse for military combats, leading to the other Arab countries consolidating and targeting Israel in wars. Being Israel’s neighbors, most Arabs express that it is obnoxious for Jews to declare that they are the Chosen Ones, therefore when Zionism is established, Jews are regarded as hypocritical. Contemporary anti-Semitism not only spreads and promotes hatred of Jews, but is also an inexcusable offense to all Jews and violates several articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. First, according to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights article one and two, everyone is born equal of dignity and human rights regardless of birth, race, sex, religion, or other status, and should treat each other “in a spirit of brotherhood”. These articles are audaciously violated by contemporary anti-Semitism in ways such as assaults, unequal human rights, and discrimination or religion. Human Rights Article thirteen outlines the right of any human to live within every State, which is also breached because of the Middle East countries’ wish to drive the Jews out of their borders. Article number fifteen states the right of every person to have a nationality, which is contravened by radical Muslims who reject the nation of Israel. Finally, article twenty-one, describing the right of anyone to participate in politics and have access to public services, is infringed when the Arabs target Jews for having too much control over the media and the financial world. Throughout history, anti-Semitism has not only directly impacted the lives of Jews, but also influenced the world with anti-Semitic ideas. Having an early beginning, anti-Semitism had led to the mistreatment of Jews that continues even to today. Jews were not only cast as the inferior group and scapegoat for unfortunate events, but were also tortured, killed, and sent into exile. Today, Jews are still misunderstood. Contemporary anti-Semitism is not only spiking in Europe and America, but even Israel’s neighbors are turning against the nation. Hatred radiates from all over the world, from Christians, who share the same religious origins as Jews, to radical Muslims, who do not even accept Israel as a country. When Israel tried to defend itself, Zionism brought more anti-Semitic opinions instead. With history’s build-up, contemporary anti-Semitism is violating more than five Human Rights Articles because of violence, assaults, unequal rights, exclusion, and national condemnation and unacknowledgement. If not properly addressed, it will not only continually affect Jewish lives, but also become more difficult to control. It is a shame to “disassociate oneself from the future that is proposed for one’s brother”. However, it makes one wonder, can contemporary anti-Semitism ever be completely extinguished? Will the world ever truly accept the nation who is self-labeled, the Chosen Ones?


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