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Updated on March 12, 2018

Jews, which is translated to mean children of Israel, are a state and a people who adheres to strict monotheism as a religion. There origin is from the ancient Hebrews who lived in the Near East. In accordance to their tradition, their ancestry is traced back to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who are considered as the Biblical patriarchs. These Jews historically emanated from the Tribe of Judah and Simeon. The nationality, ethnicity and religion of the Jews are closely interrelated with each other. The conventional faith of the Jewish people is regarded as Judaism. Foreigners converting to Judaism are given the same status as Jewish citizens. Although conversion into Judaism is usually not an easy affair, and not encouraged, it is applied in the case of mixed marriages

The present day Israel was established as a Jewish state and its basic law defines it as such. Israel is the only nation in the world where the Jews consist of the majority population. In ancient history, the Jews had had their independence twice. The first of this independence lasted from 1350-586. During this time, Judges, the Israel Monarchy and the eventual divided Monarchy of Judah and Israel Kingdoms had ruled them. The destruction of the first temple resulted to an end to their independence. However, they also enjoyed a second independence in the time of Hasmonean Kingdom from 140- 37 BCE and also to some extent the period of Herodians in 37 BCE to 6 CE. From the time when the second temple was destroyed in 70 CE, most of the Jews are living in Diaspora. However, in most of the countries they live in as foreigners, these Jews have frequently experienced prejudice and persecutions owing to their strong traditions and religious faith which appear to be peculiar to people of other nations

Prejudice against the Jews which has been a common phenomena has been referred as the anti-Semitism. People who were extreme haters of the Jews specifically introduced this term in the 19th century. According to these people, a part from the Jews being an inferior race, they were quiet different from Europeans in many aspects. This term was essentially coined as a move to make it scientific when showing their hatred against them.

One example of an extreme anti-Semitism recorded in Jewish history is the Holocaust. The term holocaust is commonly used in referring to the genocide or mass murder of more than six million Jews by the Nazi Germans during the Second World War. This number, which was approximately two thirds of all the Jews that were living in Europe at that time, included more than one million children, three million men and over three million women. More than 40, 000 facilities in German and its territories were utilized as concentration camps in holding and killing these Jews.

Similar to the genocide that occurred in German, the Christian crusades also caused immense suffering and death among the Jewish people. The crusaders led by the pope caused many Jews to be tortured, exiled, and massacred by Christian solders, Knights as well as their sympathizers. The first crusade, which occurred in 1096, resulted into the destruction of Jewish communities that were living in Danube and Rhine. The second Christian crusade, which took place in 1147, saw the subjection of Jews to many massacres. The shepherds crusades which also occurred between 1251- 1320 saw many Jewish communities being persecuted and expelled from many nations. For instance, in 1396, approximately 100,000 Jews were expelled from France while many other thousands were in 1421 expelled from Australia. Many of those who were expelled run to England and other nations. The popular church fathers and pastors promoted anti-Semitism by emotionally preaching anti Semitism messages;

Those who were living at that time were subjected to use a particular dress code and were also forced to wear a bell for identification and humiliation. The black death also referred as the bubonic plague is another Jewish massacre that occurred between 1348- to 1349. The death toll among the Jews from this plague increased on a constant basis a well as the enmity between them and their neighbors. In one moment, the Jews in 350 towns were massacred at once, with no single person being left behind (Newhall, 1953, 50). This Jewish killings was only part of the anti-Semitic campaigns that had been developed against Jews in many parts if the world.

The particular hatred against the Jews which has come to precede the modern era are depicted by pogroms, riots against them and open discrimination by government authorities. In the present perspective, anti-Semitismites have included a new political dimension to their Jewish Hatred Ideologies. For instance, during the nineteenth century, anti-Semites in such places as France, German and Australia formed political parties that campaigned against the Jews. Other publications such as the protocol on the Zion elders supported false theories that conspired against Jews. For instance, nationalism theorists were people who were arguing that Jewish people were naturally disloyal to their hosts. Other manifestations against Jews in today’s perspectives include discrimination against them, organized violence, military attacks and expression of hatred.

Among the historical incidences of anti-Semitism include: the genocide of Spanish Jews in 1391, expulsion from England in 1290, the Spanish Inquisition, the Spain expulsion in 1492, the Unkraine Cossack massacre, Russia Pogrom, Dreyful affair, anti Jewish policies in Soviet Union, the Jewish exodus from Muslim and Arab nations and the Holocaust, which is the most conspicuous in Jewish history.

During the middle ages, the Roman Empire consistently repressed the Jewish communities through various ways. For instance, they sent them away from their homeland during their reign and later, during the Christian period, where they referred them as inferior citizens. The Roman activities against Jews repressed their growth rate and population to a large extent. According to Carroll, (2001, 244), the Jews in the Roman empire had accounted for nearly 10% of all the population in the Roman empire. Had it not been for this Roman repression against Jews, they could have by now reached more than 200 million instead 13 million at the current.

The "voelkisch movement" in the nineteenth century which included scholars, philosophers, and artists in German had a general view of the Jews as people who were aliens to German. These groups of people shaped the conception of Jews as being people who were not Germans but of different “race”. Further, the theory of racial anthropology offered a pseudoscientific for such an idea. The Nazi party, which was led by Hitler, embraced these theories of racism against the Jews. This is what led to them initiate racist propaganda against the Jews. In fact, Adolf Hitler wrote a book with a title Mein Kampf meaning my struggle. This book essentially called for the elimination of Jews from the country (Burleigh, 2007, 223).

When the Nazi party gained the country’s leadership in 1933, Hitler immediately ordered economic boycotts against Jews, burned Jewish books and enacted laws that were discriminatory to Jews. Five years later, the party enacted laws which classified Jews by blood and separated them from the rest of the community in what was called concentration camps. In 1938, Jewish worship places were destroyed as well as the shops and businesses of Jewish people. This was only but a transition to destruction era where the Nazi party focused on a genocide in its anti-Semitisms campaign.

Much of the reason for the increased Jewish hatred stems from either their group membership, religious believes, traditions and customs. This is notion is added on the belief that the Jews are a people of “race”. In some other times, anti-Semitism have taken the form of being anti-Zionists or anti- Israel, and the actions and beliefs of these group members. Again, Anti- Zionists is extremists who are anti-Israel. According to this group, the present state of Israel should not exist in the first place. In addition, Jews are not entitled to occupy the present state of Israel. Again, many of the current policies of Israel as a sovereign state have been challenged not only in many other countries but by its citizens as well. This is the same way as American citizens challenge the policies of the US federal government.


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    • Nyamweya profile image

      Silas Nyamweya 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      thanks for that comment

    • slcockerham profile image

      slcockerham 4 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

      Interesting article Nyamweya,

      Hatred and genocide against any group of people is demonically inspired, I believe it is even more so against the Jews, who God holds as "the apple of his eye," and Satan seeks to destroy. The rise of hateful rhetoric against both the Jewish people and Christians seems to indicate that the prophesied time of the anti-Christ and the time of Jacob's troubles is at hand. Thank you for bringing this again to our attention. Be prepared to be attacked by the hatemongers and holocaust deniers!