I am a dude known as Mr. Beat Over the years, I have encountered opinions online that look like this: Pretty distrubing, yes. And then I went to my colleagues and asked them this question. If there was just one group that was just consistently persecuted throughout world history what’s the first group that comes to mind to you? I probably should tell you here that I did not tell them what to say beforehand This was not scripted. In fact, they had no idea what this video was going to be about. They were just being nice, saying “sure I’ll answer a couple of questions on camera for you.” Thierolf: Um McClellan: The Jewish population Jewish people Sandburg: The first group I’d probably think of would the the Jewish people Almost every single one of my colleagues said the same thing. They said the same group was the first one that came to mind as being targeted throughout world history Even though Jews make up less than one quarter of one percent of the world’s population they do seem to come up a lot that a group that is consistently targeted. no matter where we’re talking about no matter what time period including the present. What causes antisemitism? McClellan: Because, for the most part they’re ignorant. of what it really stands for We always have a habit of, when times get tough, of blaming things that we don’t know for the reason why things go wrong. Thierolf: I’d say in a lot of cases because they were a minority group. in an area, in a lot of places, that’s made them an easy scapegoat for a lot of majority groups. to persecute or blame social ills on. Sandburg: I think they’ve disseminated throughout the many populations of European countries and have always been a minority They have been easy to pick on. and persecuted and scapegoated for many of the problems of countries as they’ve gone through economic turmoil and political turmoil. And not to discount any of colleague’s opinions. They were all great answers. but I did my own research on this and here is why Jews are hated But before I dive into it I wanted to let you know I am making this video alongside Grant Hurst, a fellow EduTuber, who just released a video about the history of the Jewish people, so be sure to check that video out after this one. Before we look at why people hate Jews, also known as Antisemitism, we need to define “Jew.” A Jew is someone who identifies with the cultural community whose traditional religion is Judaism and who traces their ancestry to the ancient Hebrew people of Israel, all the way back to Abraham. Jewish people are considered an ethnoreligious group. Both an ethnic group and a religion. There are plenty who identify as Jews yet are not religious. Israel’s Law of Return, which is the law that gives Jews the right to visit and be a citizen of Israel, says a Jew is someone with either a Jewish mother or who has converted to Judaism. Anyway, during the time of Jesus in ancient Israel, many were of course Jewish, including Jesus himself. After Jesus died, his followers started a new religion called Christianity. As Christianity spread, and as more and more Roman emperors converted to the religion, Jews became marginalized in society, even though Jews worshipped the same God as Christians did. Roman rulers viewed the refusal of the Jewish community to accept Jesus as the Messiah as a threat. They straight up passed laws that discriminated against Jews. In the year 399, a law saying Jews couldn’t marry Christians in 439, a law saying Jews couldn’t hold positions in government. In 531, a law saying they couldn’t appear as witnesses against Christians in court. Rumors began to spread that Jews had horns and tails, and that they killed Christian children and used their blood for rituals. In the Middle Ages, many societies forced Jews to live in segregated ghettos and wear special clothing. The Catholic Church did not allow Jews to own land, so Jews couldn’t build up wealth through property. However, the Church also didn’t let Christians loan money for profit. Jews could, so they often turned to money lending to build up wealth. Due to the fact that nearly every moneylender happened to be Jewish, this ended up creating a stereotype that Jews were greedy. I mean, people who loan money and charge interest throughout history have rarely been seen in a positive light, amIright? Christian rulers used Jewish money to build extravagant churches and build up armies. By the 11th century, Christianity dominated Europe, and the main minority religion was Judaism. Jews seemed to be the one group Christians could not convert, seen as outsiders. By this time, the Catholic Church was even teaching that Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus. And then, the Black Death. During the 14th century, the bubonic plague spread quickly across Europe, killing around ⅓ of its entire population. Since this was before science, people had no idea what was causing it. Due to superstition and fear, and without any evidence whatsoever, Christians blamed Jews for causing the plague, accusing them of poisoning wells to spread the disease. Probably one reason why Jews seemed to be a scapegoat was because they were not dying from the plague as much as Christians. We now know this was because Jews were generally isolated in ghettos away from Christians during this time and because they were better about cleaning themselves and washing dead bodies before burial due to their religious customs. Still, tens of thousands of Jews were burned alive after being blamed for causing the plague. In 1543, Martin Luther, who gets credit for starting the Protestant Reformation, wrote a pamphlet called “On the Jews and Their Lies.” In it, he claimed Jews thirsted for Christian blood and actually encouraged the killing of Jews. Wow Looking ahead at 1873, when the term “anti-Semitism” first appeared by a dude named Wilhelm Marr. Marr wrote that Jews were secretly trying to take over the government and that they shouldn’t be citizens. In 1894, in what became known as The Dreyfus Affair, authorities accused a Jewish French Army captain named Alfred Dreyfus of selling military secrets to the Germans. After evidence proved his innocence, Anti-semitic French authorities covered that up so he would be found guilty anyway. In 1903, the Russian secret police published some fake documents that were known as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which described a conspiracy by rabbis to take over the world. The Russian secret police later murdered entire Jewish communities. After the Communists took over in 1917, more than 500 Jewish communities in Ukraine were wiped out, and around 60,000 Jews were killed in what became known as pogroms. Today the word “pogrom” means any organized massacre of a certain ethnic group. Then there is probably the most famous and horrifying genocide in world history, the Holocaust, during Adolf Hitler’s reign of terror. He and his fellow Nazis blamed Jews for all of Germany’s major economic and social problems after World War One. At that time in Germany, antisemitism seemed to be everywhere. The Nazis killed up to 6 million Jews during the Holocaust, most of them in extermination camps and concentration camps. The world was shocked to find out about the Holocaust, and fortunately Antisemitism declined after World War II. Based on all the attacks on Jews throughout history, for centuries many Jews like Theodor Herzl argued that the only way to escape persecution, discrimination, and genocide was to create a Jewish state, specifically in Palestine, an area where historically Jews lived and the location of ancient Israel. The movement to try to get Jews to return to Palestine to live and establish their own society was known as Zionism. Thanks to the efforts of people like Herzl, the Zionist movement grew, and Great Britain got on board. In 1917, in the Balfour Declaration, Great Britain announced it was for establishing a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, an area Britain now controlled after the fall of the Ottoman empire in World War One. At the time, only about 4% of Palestine was Jewish. As more and more Jews moved to Palestine in the 1920s and 1930s, resentment grew among the local Arabs in Palestine, who grew to hate Zionism as a threat to their homeland. You could say Zionism entered the mainstream after people found out how the Nazis had treated the Jews before and during World War II. Many around the world embraced Zionism after the Holocaust, and Britain asked the newly formed United Nations to step in regarding what to do with Palestine. The UN proposed two states in Palestine- an Arab one and a Jewish one. At the time, Jews made up only ⅓ of the population of Palestine and owned only 6% of land. However, the UN’s two-state solution called for 55% of the land area for the Jewish state. On May 14, 1948, leaders announced the creation of the State of Israel, which immediately caused a war with neighboring Arab countries. Israel held back those Arab forces, but it ended up causing more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs to flee their homeland. Why do I bring up modern Israel? Well, while much of the Antisemitism that exists today has its roots in the Middle Ages, a lot of it boiled over with the creation of Israel. Floriane Hohenberg:
You have as well, a new form of antisemitism that is closely linked with anti-Zionism and hostility towards Israel. There is legitimate criticism of the policies of Israel, but there is a fine line that some people cross very easily between criticism of Israel and antisemitism. In other words, some claim the creation of Israel and how the Israeli government has treated Palestinians and other Arabs ever since has also caused a new wave of Antisemitism. Fortunately today, we don’t see the systematic, government-sponsored discrimination and genocide of Jews that we used to see prior to and during World War Two but hop online and you’ll see a ton of hatred for Jews, and Antisemitic groups are still found all around the world. And chances are, you’ll likely see some Antisemitic comments below this very video. Go ahead and check it out. I’m sure they are there. Even if it’s not straight up hatred, stereotypes persist about Jews. In 2009, an Anti-Defamation League poll found that 18% of respondents believed that “Jews have too much power in the business world” and 13% of respondents said Jews “are more likely than others to use shady practices to get what they want.” Another poll given to citizens of Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan found that more than 89% of respondents had a “very unfavorable” opinion of Jews. We know the history now, but why does Antisemitism persist? Well, I think David Feldman, Director of the Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, puts it best. “People who dislike Jews rarely dislike only Jews.” Jews often get lumped with other hated groups, all convenient scapegoats. When people today blame the Jews for the world’s problems and say they secretly control everything, these are just old traditions passed down and taught to them. They are frankly unoriginal. So there’s a lot of momentum that is hard to reverse. Jews have faced persecution, discrimination, and violence against them around the world for a couple thousand years, after all. And while the bigger question is always, “why do people hate others?” it’s important to also ask why specific groups are constantly targeted. Jews have constantly been one such group. As you watch this video right now, there are fathers somewhere in the world teaching their sons to hate Jews. At this very moment. Antisemitism, unfortunately, persists, and it’s up to us to make it a thing of the past. If you could just think of the first group that comes to mind as the most persecuted group in world history What’s the first group that just pops in your head? Frost: Christians Mr. Beat: ok Interesting…alright Well this video’s about Antisemitism so you just totally messed it up Thank you to Mr. McClellan, Mr. Thierolf, Mr. Sandburg, and Mr. Frost for helping me make this video. And, this was not an easy video to make I spent a lot of time researching and writing the script and this is not something I take lightly so please let me know if you have anything you’d like to add to the video below I know I was taking a bit of a risk making a video like this, so Just try to be civil in the comment section? How should we solve the Arab-Israeli Conflict? Let me know in the comments below. Also a reminder to check out Grant Hurst’s new video that he made that is also released today. about the history of the Jewish people. I’ve linked it below. And finally a shout out to my two newest Patreon supporters Sergio and Pedro Thank you so much! Next week I return with an episode for the Compared series.