The Psychology of Anti-Semitism and the Need for Enemies
Quite true, all of it. Frankly, the "problem" with the Jews (not to be confused with the Nazi 'Jewish Problem') has to do more with culture than religion. Likewise Islam. Islamists are likewise persecuted because of xenophobia, not their religious beliefs. Just the big <sigh> here. What was it that Golda Meir said? "We will only have peace with the Arabs when they learn to love their children more than they hate us."
Hitler was not unusual. His attitude toward Judaism was close to the Central European norm, in a tradition going back centuries. Look at the anti-semitic writings of Martin Luther for example. Anyone writing such things today would be arrested for volkverhetzung.
The anti-semitic teachings of the Catholic church over hundreds of years set the stage for the extermination of the Jews. If there was any single root cause of Nazism, that was it. Hitler and almost all the Nazi leadership were brought up in the church and instructed in it’s teachings. They remained church members in good standing throughout their lives. In fact, when they had lost the war, many Nazis were helped to escape by the church, which hid them in monasteries and got them safe passage to South America, where they were granted refuge at the request of the Vatican.
Seen from the long viewpoint of history, Nazi anti-semitism was only the latest outbreak of the long-term program of the Catholic Church to rid Europe of the main competing religion. Nazism, like Lutheranism, was only a sect of the Christian culture that created it.
Fortunately, Europe since the war has rejected religion of all kinds and embarked on an experiment: the first truly secular society in history. An aggressive secularism, following the French model, is the best hope of avoiding any future holocausts.
A good book, disclosing the role of the Roman Catholic Church in setting the stage for the Nazis is
Historically, the Jews always got along better with the Moslems than with the Christians and were better off in Muslim countries than in Christian ones. In Spain during the Reconquista there were Jewish military mercenary companies that fought for the Moors against the Christians. Under Moslem rule the Jews were a prosperous and privileged middle class between the Moorish rulers and the Christian peasants. It was Muslim rulers who gave refuge to Jews expelled from Spain by the Inquisition, and there are still Jewish communities in some Islamic countries who speak Old Spanish at home.
It was the Christians, not the Moslems, who have always been the enemies of the Jews. The attitude of the Nazis toward the Jews was not something that came out of nowhere. It was the end result of centuries of anti-Jewish preaching by the Catholic Church, which laid the groundwork for it.
And the volkverhetzung anti-Jewish rantings of Martin Luther, founder of Protestantism, are also well-documented.
The Quran, on the other hand, urges followers to deal justly with the Jews because they are "People of the Book", from whom Mohamed took many of his teachings. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_of_the_Book
Islam also orders followers to obey the laws of whatever country they live in, even if those laws are unjust, on the principle that anarchy is worse than tyranny.
And in real life, unlike in Hollywood movies, there are no "good guys" and "bad guys". No one side in a political dispute is all good or all bad. No group is completely in the right or completely in the wrong. Terrorism is a tactic that has been resorted to in every conflict throughout history. Guy Fawkes was a terrorist for the Roman Catholics. American Indians resisting the advance of white civilization in the 19th century were terrorists at that time. It is well-documented that right after the end of World War Two, a group of Jewish terrorists seriously proposed to poison the drinking water supply of the German city of Neurenberg for revenge against all Germans for what the Nazi regime had done. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakam
And Jewish terrorists blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing more than 100 British Army officers who were staying there. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_David_Hotel_bombing
Both sides have committed atrocities. That has nothing to do with their religion or culture. It is in the nature of political disputes that a minority will take them so seriously that they overstep the normal bounds of behavior. Inflammatory propaganda only contributes to that.
The current issue between Israelis and Palestinians is about real estate, not religion or culture. In fact, most of the population on both sides are fully secularized in their lifestyles and values and religion and traditional culture are not of great importance to them, regardless of how they may choose to identify themselves in today's overheated culture of identity politics.
Both the Israelis and the Palestinians have justified grievances, but they both have more in common than they admit. And most of the people who are strongly prejudiced against one of the two groups are also usually enemies of the other. Both sides would do well to keep that in mind.
"I am against my brother; My brother and I are against our cousin; My brother and my cousin and I are against the world."
It's astounding. You make a compelling case about the roots of unreasonable and unfair generalizations, and then you do it yourself: "This goes a long way to explaining the madness we have been witnessing on college campuses since October 7, in which left-wing students are celebrating the rape, murder, and mutilation of over 1400 Israeli women, men, and children by Hamas terrorists."
They aren't "celebrating the rape, murder, and mutilation." They're angered by Israel's policies -- as are many Israelis and many Jews around the world. They're especially angry that the Israeli response appears to be to kill everyone in Gaza and let God sort them out.
I say "appears to be." It might not be the case. Truth is the first casualty, yada yada yada, and we can pretty sure Hamas and not Israel blew up the hospital.
But when people sincerely believe in good faith that an entity is acting with reckless disregard for people it considers to be "others" -- and when our OWN country has legislation pending that would ban refugees from that "othered" population -- it's about time to look at the nuances.
My enemies are the people who need enemies. I don't care who they are or what entity they represent. Anyone who "others" groups of people, including the many people I know who regard Palestinians as less than human, is an enemy of humanity.