Jewish author William Korey notes the same mystifying
omnipresence of anti-Jewish animus among disparate peoples in interviews (at a
Harvard archive) with 329 refugees from the Soviet Union in the early 1950s: "A
detailed examination of the background information of those who registered
hostile attitudes to Jews reveals that they were of various age, national,
educational, and status groups, and that they left the USSR at different
periods" (Korey, 11). The top six "anti-Semitic" assertions by this diverse
group of people included assertions that
(1) Jews occupy a privileged and favored position in
Soviet society. 2) Jews are business- and money-minded. 3) Jews are clannish
and help each other. 4) Jews are aggressive and 'pushy.' 5) Jews are sly,
calculating, and manipulative, and know how to 'use a situation.' 6) Jews are
deceitful, dishonest, unprincipled, insolent, and impudent (Korey,
When investigating the history of Jewish relations with
Gentiles across history, there are obviously only two possible sources for
information: Jews and non-Jews. There were no unbiased Martian observers
watching with telescopes, none -- in any case -- that left us records. So why,
one might wonder, should we, following Prof. De Lange's advice, judge Jewish
accounts categorically more reliable than historical accounts by non-Jews, when
all varieties of critical commentators about Jews across history, class,
language, and culture have basically said the same thing?
"However uncomfortable it is to recognize," says Albert
Lindemann, "not all those whom historians have classified as anti-Semites were
narrow bigots, irrational, or otherwise incapable of acts of altruism and moral
courage. They represented a bewildering range of opinion and personality types"
(Lindemann, 13). And why is this "uncomfortable [for Jews] to recognize?"
Because, by even a child's exercise of logic and common sense, the common
denominator of all such disparate people can only be the enduring truths about
Jews as each observer experienced them in varying historical and cultural
The French Jewish intellectual (and eventual Zionist), Bernard
Lazare, among many others in history, noted this obvious fact in 1894, long
before the Nazi persecutions of Jews and resultant institutionalized Jewish
efforts to deny, or obfuscate, crucial -- and central -- aspects of their
Wherever the Jews settled [in their Diaspora] one
observes the development of anti-Semitism, or rather anti-Judaism ... If this
hostility, this repugnance had been shown towards the Jews at one time or in
one country only, it would be easy to account for the local cause of this
sentiment. But this race has been the object of hatred with all nations amidst
whom it settled. Inasmuch as the enemies of Jews belonged to diverse races, as
they dwelled far apart from one another, were ruled by different laws and
governed by opposite principles; as they had not the same customs and differed
in spirit from one another, so that they could not possibly judge alike of any
subject, it must needs be that the general causes of anti-Semitism have always
resided in [the people of] Israel itself, and not in those who antagonized it
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