Why Netanyahu Needs Holocaust Revisionism and Israeli …

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Originally posted by The Progressive, October 27, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s October 20 speech claiming that Hitler had not planned to exterminate Jews until a prominent Palestinian cleric pressured him to do so, while outrageous, is consistent with the longstanding narrative of the right-wing government and its U.S. supporters.

As everyone from the German government to leading Israeli historians have noted, the charge that Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini was responsible for the Holocaust is ludicrous. Not only is there no record of such an exchange between the two, the meeting took place in late November 1941, four months after the “Final Solution” had been formally authorized. By that time, nearly one million Jews–primarily from Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Serbia, and Russia–had already been murdered.

Netanyahu’s goal in making such extremist remarks, in the immediate term, was to validate his insistence that the recent attacks on Israeli civilians by Palestinians stemmed not from retaliation for the larger number of killings of Palestinian civilians by Israelis, as leading Israeli security analysts have noted, nor from the frustrations over nearly 50 years of Israeli occupation, colonization, and repression. To the Israeli leader, the attacks are simply a result of a centuries-old hatred of the Jews.

Regardless of the motivation, the stabbings and shootings of this past month of eight Israelis–including both settlers in the occupied West Bank and within Israel itself–is certainly horrific and can never be justified.

However, during this same period, 57 Palestinians, including 13 children and a pregnant woman, have been killed by Israeli police, soldiers, or vigilantes. Some of the Palestinians killed were engaged in stabbings or stabbing attempts, though in a number of cases eyewitnesses insisted otherwise. In one incident, a man engaging in suspicious behavior killed by Israeli police was labeled a “terrorist,” but the government immediately dropped the label as soon as they discovered he was actually an Israeli Jew.

While other Palestinians were shot dead while engaging in violent protests, the majority of those killed appear to have not been involved in any violent or threatening activities. Among them was physician, Hebron community leader, and human rights activist Hesham Azzeh, an advocate of nonviolent resistance who had worked with both Israeli and international peace groups.

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, following the shooting of an HRW investigator by Israeli occupation forces, noted “indiscriminate or deliberate firing on observers and demonstrators who pose no imminent threat violates the international standards that bind Israeli security forces”

Meanwhile, in the United States, Hillary Clinton and members of Congress from both parties have gone on record condemning the killing of Israeli civilians by Palestinians, but not the larger number of Palestinian civilians by Israelis.

Leading Democrats on Capitol Hill have joined their Republican colleagues in demanding that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas prevent the ongoing attacks against Israelis, despite the fact that the vast majority of them have been committed by Palestinians living in areas under exclusive Israeli control. Indeed, Israeli intelligence has noted that not only is there no evidence suggesting that President Abbas is inciting such attacks, but that he has directed his security forces to try to prevent any attacks from within territory under their jurisdiction.

The larger motivation behind Netanyahu’s ahistorical claims about the Holocaust appears to be part of his long-term strategy of portraying the Palestinian nationalist movement as little more than an effort by irrational fanatics to exterminate the Jews. This is why the rightist prime minister insists he cannot make peace. Indeed, in a speech on Monday regarding the West Bank, he reiterated his insistence that “we need to control all of the territory for the foreseeable future.”

Meanwhile, President Abbas, the recognized Palestinian government, the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the ruling Fatah party all remain on record accepting Israel’s right to exist with strict security guarantees on 78% of historic Palestine, but simply demanding an end of the occupation and colonization of the remaining 22% seized by Israel in the 1967 war.

It is this kind of moderation which makes it difficult for Israel to continue its refusal to make the necessary compromises for peace. This is why Netanyahu and his American supporters need to blame the violence exclusively on those under occupation, convince the public that Arabs and Muslims simply want the Jews annihilated, and frighten Israelis into rejecting Palestinian offers for peace.

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Why Netanyahu Needs Holocaust Revisionism and Israeli …

Kane Street Synagogue | vibrant synagogue in Cobble Hill …

A Message from Rabbi Weintraub

Rosh Hoshana and Syrian Refugees

The most oft-repeated special prayer of the High Holidays is the Uvchen, three paragraphs repeated twenty two times over Rosh Hoshana and Yom Kippur. It is a remarkably uplifting prayer, given its authorship by Rabbi Yochanan ben Nuri during a time of vicious Roman oppression in the Second Century. It anticipates the flourishing of first, all humanity, then Israel, and then the righteous during a future era of universal peace. This progression is understood to mean that only when all the world enjoys security and dignity, can Israel and the righteous live freely. The message of this prayer, especially given its provenance, is that even within the darkness and violence of this world, we can find and foster compassion and enlightenment. Mlo chol haaretz Kvodo. All the world is full of G-ds glory. Three are holy sparks everywhere. As we prepare to join in community and prayer on Rosh Hoshana, images of desperate Syrian refugees fill our TV and home computer screens. Over eight million Syrians have fled from their homes. Some are internally displaced, some linger in teeming refugee camps in neighboring countries, and some wander desperately. According to many experts, this is the largest refugee crises since World War II. Several thousand Syrian refugees have already died, and many, especially children, face illness, injury, exploitation, and possibly, death. I am aware that these are people who were raised to despise Jews and to dream of the destruction of the Jewish state. They may include former soldiers and terrorists with innocent Israeli blood on their hands, and certainly the children and grandchildren of those killers. There is also a clear danger that ISIS and other terrorists will exploit this exodus and attempt to infiltrate and undermine Western societies. However, as Jews, we are obligated with the Mitzvah of Hatzala, rescue, active intervention whenever even a single life is at stake, let alone millions of lives. There is no Good Samaritan law in Halacha because Jewish tradition doesnt see this intervention as heroic or exceptional. It is what a human being should do when another is mortally threatened. In three days we will read the story of G-ds rescue of the lad Ishmael, who is dying in the desert after his banishment from Abraham and Sarahs home. The Midrash imagines that the angels then protest, arguing that the descendants of Ishmael will be vicious anti-Semites. G-d responds And what is Ishmael right now, righteous or wicked?….According to his present deeds, I will judge him. My children are alive today because organized groups of people, conspiracies of goodness,mobilized to save the lives of their grandmother and her sisters in Nazi Europe. I am very proud that today Jewish organizations across Europe are mobilizing for Syrian refugees. In England, World Jewish Relief, founded seventy years to rescue Jewish children from Nazism, is raising funds for Syrian refugees. Our sister Masorti (Conservative) Synagogue, the North London Synagogue has set up a drop in center that provides legal services, medical treatment, counseling, food and clothing. In Italy and Germany, Jewish groups are channeling funds raised by international Jewish agencies to house, feed and otherwise support the newcomers. Even in the Arab word, in Jordan, at Zaatari, a refugee camp of about 85,000 residents, much support comes from international Jewish organizations. Israeli medical personnel, mostly through the IDF, the Israel Defense Forces, have treated about 2000 Syrians injured in the fighting. To read the full text please click here.

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Kane Street Synagogue | vibrant synagogue in Cobble Hill …

Daas Torah – Issues of Jewish Identity

Rabbinic authorities have always sought ways and means of alleviating the plight of unfortunate individuals stigmatized by mamzerut in order to permit such individuals to marry within “the community of God.” Their efforts consisted of examining the loopholes which would have the effect of removing the onus of bastardy. Perhaps the most famous of these proposed remedies is a tentative suggestion advanced by Rabbi Shalom Mordecai Schwadron in his Teshuvot Maharsham, I, no. 9.

The Mishnah, Gittin 32a, states that in former times a husband could appoint a proxy to deliver a bil of divorce to his wife and yet retain the prerogative of annuling the proxy and thereby invalidating the divorce. Originally the husband was not required to inform the proxy of his change of heart. This practice was later banned by Rabban Rabban Gamaliel the Elder in order to promote “the better ordering of society” (tikkun ha-olam). In defining the concept of tikkun haolam, R. Yochanan maintained that the measure was designed to prevent the proliferation of mamzerim. A messenger, unaware of the fact that his authority to deliver the bill of divorce had been nullfied, might in good faith present the bil of divorce to the woman in question. The woman, equally unaware that the proxy had been annulled and her divorce nullifed would feel free to remarry. Under such circumstances any issue of a subsequent union would be momzerim in the eyes of Jewish law.

R. Yochanan states that it was to prevent such unfortunate occurrences that Rabban Gamaliel forbade annulment of the proxy other than in the presence of the messenger. In the event that the husband transgresses the injunction of Rabban Gamaliel and annuls the proxy other than in the presence of the messenger, R. Simeon b. Gamaliel ordained that the act of annulment itself be null and void so that the bil of divorce may retain its validity. In discussing Rabban Gamaliel’s decree the Gemara raises an obvious objection. It is axiomatic that a bil of divorce which is invalid according to Biblical law cannot be validated by rabbinic decree. In response to this objection the Gemara enunciates the well known dictum: “Everyone who betroths (a wife J does so in accordance with the intention of the Sages, and they annulled his betrothal.”

The import of this statement is that while the Sages have no power to validate a bil of divorce which is not valid under biblical law they do have the power to annul the marriage itself retroactively. Since they do not acquiesce to the marriage under such circumstances the stipulated condition has not been fulfilled and the marriage itself is null and void. The status of the woman in these circumstances is not that of a divorcee but that of a single woman who had been consorting with a male without benefit of a nuptial ceremony.

Accordingly, as a result of Rabban Gamaliel’s decree, annulment of a proxy other than in the presence of the messenger and sub. sequent delivery of the get to the wife become the occasion for the retroactive annulment of the marriage. Tosafot points out that Rabban Gamaliel’s decree could be utilied in furthering certain ends which Rabban Gamaliel would certainly not have sought to promote. By invoking this decree acts of adultery could be legitimized with the cooperation of the husband and both the adulterer and the adultress might be enabled to escape punishment.

This could be effected by having the husband draw up a bil of divorce, appoint a proxy to deliver it to his wife and subsequently annul the proxy other than in the presence of his messenger. The resultant effect would be annulment of the marriage ab initio which would then mean that subsequent intercourse with another male was in the nature of fornication rather than adultery. Ri, cited by Tosafot, maintains that this procedure is perfectly legal.

Maharsham, quoting Tosafot, points out that a mamzer could also be legitimized retroactively in precisely the same manner. If the husband is yet living and willng to cooperate he could simply appoint a proxy to deliver a bil of divorce to his wife and then proceed to annul the proxy other than is the presence of the messenger. Since the marriage is annulled retroactively the liaison between his wife and another man does not constitute adultery and hence the issue of that union are not mamzerim.

The innovative suggestion of Maharsham has been the subject of several recent articles of note. The proposal was brought to the atten. tion of readers of TRADITION by Rabbi Dr. Louis Rabinowitz, Spring 1971, pp. 5.15. Moriah (Elul 5730-Tishri 5731) featured an article by Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, eminent Israeli halakhic authority, containing a lengthy and exhaustive analysis of Maharsham’s position. In Panim el Panim of Shevat 2 and I Adar 13, 5733 the Israeli sholar and jurist Professor M. Silberg discusses practical proposals to eliminate inci. dences of mamzerut. Professor Silberg’s views are challenged by Rabbi Judah Dick (Panim el Panim, I Adar 13, 5733), a New York at. torney and Talmudic scholar who has espoused the cause of the agunah both in legal proceedings before civil courts and . in a determined effort to find halakhic redress for her unfortunate plight.

Maharsham’s language, “Had you consulted me before the bil of divorce was executed by the first husband I would have made a suggestion le-halakhah vo-lo le-ma’Qseh (according to theoretical halakhah but not for practical application)” clearly indicates that Maharsham viewed his innovative proposal as relegated to the realm of theory and not for actual implementation. Maharsham’s use of the subjunctive phrase “had you consulted me” demonstrates that his answer even at that time would not have been intended for practical application. Rabbi Auerbach presents numerous reasons, many highly technical, in explaining why practical implementation of this proposal is precluded. The most salient of these considerations are the following:

1. The major argument against implementation of Maharsham’s proposal is that Ramban, Shita Mekubetzet and Me’iri, in their commentaries on Ketubot 3a state , clearly that any children born of an adultrous relationship prior to the retroactive annulment of the marriage are mamzerim by virtue of rabbinic decree. According to these authorities the rabbinic decree providing for annulment of the marriage was accompanied by a de. cree declaring such issue to be legitimate precisely because the Sages did not want the decree regarding retroactive annulment of the marriage to serve as a tool in the hands of evildoers. This opinion is followed by many latter-day authorities. (See Ketab Sofer, Even ha- Ezer, no. 51; Oneg Yom Tov, no. 169; and R. Shlomo Kluger,H a- Elef Lekha Shlomo, Even ha-Ezer, no. 34. Pitchei T eshuvah, Even ha- Ezer 144: 1 also cites Berit Avra. ham, Even ha-Ezer, no. 49, sec. 5. See also Rashba, Ketubot 3a and Isaac Elchanan Spektor, Ein Yitzchak, I, Orach Chaim, no. 28, sec. 23.) Oneg Yom Tov states explicitly that “It is for this reason that this solution is not mentioned by any authority.”

2. Retroactive annulment of the marriage renders all preceding acts of coitus acts of fornication. An individual is not permitted retroactively to transform his actions into transgressions and certainly should not be advised to do so and abetted in such a course of action by a B-it Din.

3. It is not certain that when the husband is counseled by a Bet Din to annul the proxy the marriage itself is in fact annulled retroactively. The phraseology employed by the Gemara in explaining why such annulment was legislated is “He acted with impropriety. . . .” When acting upon the advice of a B.-it Din the husband can hardly be said to have acted with impropriety and hence there are no grounds for annullng the marriage.

4. A number of early authorities, including Ramban, Re’ah and Rashba, maintain that in point of fact the original marriage is never annulled. According to this interpretation, the husband, cognizant of the statutory provision for such annulment, recognizes that annulment of the proxy is of no avail and hence never actually intends to annul the proxy. P’nei Yehoshu’a, Ketubot 3a, offers a different interpretation in agreement with the basic premise that in actuality no annulment takes place. Both Dr. Rabinowitz and Professor Silberg assert that the late Chief Rabbi Herzog did in fact invoke Maharsham’s proposal in practice. Rabbi Herzog does indeed discuss Maharsham’s responsum in his Heikhal Yitzchak, II, nos. 17- 19. However, Rabbi Herzog’s ruling in the specific case brought to his attention was based on different grounds. As is is often the case in halakhic responsa, considerations which are themselves insuffcient to warrant the conclusion advanced are adduced as a usnit” or secondary line of reasoning in order to strengthen the ultimate decision.

Rabbi Auerbach reports that dayyanim in Israel have on numerous occasions refrained from following Maharsham’s suggestion precisely because the latter stated explicitly that his words were not intended for practical implementation. Apart from halakhic objections which have been advanced, the proposal as formulated by Maharsham suffers from one practical drawback, viz., it requires the active cooperation of the original husband. Needless to say the cooperation of an estranged husband is often difficult to obtain. [...]

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Daas Torah – Issues of Jewish Identity

United Synagogue of Hoboken – Rabbi

Rabbi Robert Scheinberg, a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary, has been the rabbi of the United Synagogue of Hoboken since 1997. An engaging teacher and speaker and an accomplished musician, Rabbi Scheinberg previously served congregations in Massachusetts and Alabama, and serves on the faculties of the Jewish Theological Seminary (where he is a doctoral candidate in Jewish liturgy) and the Academy for Jewish Religion.

In 2006, Rabbi Scheinberg served on the New Jersey Legislature’s Death Penalty Study Commission as a representative of New Jersey’s religious communities. The Commission’s work set the stage for the abolition of capital punishment in New Jersey in December 2007.

He also was on the editorial committee for Mahzor Lev Shalem, the new High Holiday prayerbook for Conservative Judaism, published in 2010.

Rabbi Scheinberg lives in Hoboken with his wife, Rabbi Naomi Kalish, and their three daughters.

Rabbi Scheinberg leads the 24-session “Introduction to Judaism” classes, which also serve to partially fulfill requirements for conversion to Judaism. For more information, please contact the Rabbi. To register, go to the course website.

Some of Rabbi Scheinberg’s writings can be found at rabbischeinberg.blogspot.com. Read Rabbi Scheinberg’s Ukraine-Israel blog!

Shabbat Morning Service: a drama in 5 1/2 acts

Rabbi Scheinberg looks forward to answering your questions about Jewish practice, history, values and spirituality. He will make every effort to get back to you as soon as possible. All questions and responses are treated with complete confidence.

Rabbi Scheinberg’s list of recommended books.

Rabbi Scheinberg’s thoughts on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11

Rabbi Scheinberg’s thoughts on Israel Yom Ha-Zikaron and Yom Ha-Atzma’ut

Rabbi Scheinberg’s statement on public discourse (November 24, 2010)

Rabbi Scheinberg’s comments at the Interfaith Inauguration Service and at the Inauguration Ceremony of the new Hoboken City Council, July 1, 2009

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United Synagogue of Hoboken – Rabbi

Anti-Defamation League – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Anti-Defamation League

Logo of the Anti-Defamation League


Key people

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), formerly known as the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, is an international Jewish non-governmental organization based in the United States. Describing itself as “the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency,” the ADL states that it “fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all,” doing so through “information, education, legislation, and advocacy.”[1][2]

Founded in October 1913 by The Independent Order of B’nai B’rith, a Jewish service organization in the United States, its original mission statement was “to stop, by appeals to reason and conscience and, if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people. Its ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens.”[1] The ADL has 29 offices in the United States and three offices in other countries, with its headquarters located in New York City. Abraham Foxman had been the national director since 1987. In November 2014, it was announced that Jonathan Greenblatt would succeed Foxman as national director in July 2015.[3] The national chair is Barry Curtiss-Lusher.[4]

Founded in October 1913 by B’nai B’rith with Sigmund Livingston as its first leader, the ADL’s charter states,

“The immediate object of the League is to stop, by appeals to reason and conscience and, if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people. Its ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens.”[1]

The Anti-Defamation League was founded by B’nai B’rith as a response to attacks on Jews; the Leo Frank affair was mentioned by Adolf Kraus when he announced the creation of the ADL.[5][6]

The stated purpose of the ADL is to fight “anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry (in the United States) and abroad, combat international terrorism, probe the roots of hatred, advocate before the United States Congress, come to the aid of victims of bigotry, develop educational programs, and serve as a public resource for government, media, law enforcement, and the public, all towards the goal of countering and reducing hatred.”

Historically, the ADL has opposed groups and individuals it considered to be anti-Semitic and/or racist, including: Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, Henry Ford, Father Charles Coughlin (leader of the Christian Front), the Christian Identity movement, the German-American Bund, neo-Nazis, the American militia movement and white power skinheads (although the ADL acknowledges that there are also non-racist skinheads).[7][8] The ADL publishes reports on a variety of countries, regarding alleged incidents of anti-Jewish attacks and propaganda.

The ADL maintains that some forms of anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel cross the line into anti-Semitism. The Anti-Defamation League states:

“Criticism of particular Israeli actions or policies in and of itself does not constitute anti-Semitism. Certainly the sovereign State of Israel can be legitimately criticized just like any other country in the world. However, it is undeniable that there are those whose criticism of Israel or of ‘Zionism’ is used to mask anti-Semitism.”[9]

The ADL gives out its Courage to Care Award to honor rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust era.

Since 2010 the ADL has published a list of the “ten leading organizations responsible for maligning Israel in the US,” which has included ANSWER, the International Solidarity Movement, and Jewish Voice for Peace for its call for BDS.[10]

In October 2010, the ADL condemned remarks by Haham Ovadia Yosef that the sole purpose of non-Jews was to serve the Jews.[11]

One of the ADL’s major focuses is religious freedom for people of all faiths.[12] In the context of public schools, the ADL has taken the position that because creationism and intelligent design are religious beliefs, and the government is prohibited from endorsing the beliefs of any particular religion, they should not be taught in science classrooms: “The U.S. Constitution guarantees the rights of Americans to believe the religious theories of creation (as well as other theories) but it does not permit them to be taught in public school science classes.”[13] Similarly, the ADL supports the legal precedent that it is unconstitutional for the government to post the Ten Commandments in courthouses, schools, and other public places: “True religious liberty means freedom from having the government impose the religion of the majority on all citizens.”[14] The ADL has also condemned the public school Bible curriculum published by the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, saying that it raises “serious constitutional problems” and “advocates the acceptance of one faith tradition’s interpretation of the Bible over another.”[15] The ADL opposed Proposition 8 and supported the Matthew Shepard Act.

Stating that one of its goals is to defend not only Jews, but also “all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens,” the ADL has periodically made statements against misrepresentations of other faiths. For example, when the anti-Mormon film The God Makers was produced, Rhonda M. Abrams, Central Pacific (San Francisco) Regional Director for the ADL wrote a critical review, including the following statement:

Had a similar movie been made with either Judaism or Catholicism as its target, it would be immediately denounced for the scurrilous piece that it is. I sincerely hope that people of all faiths will similarly repudiate “The Godmakers” as defamatory and untrue, and recognize it for what it truly representsa challenge to the religious liberty of all.[16]

The ADL keeps track of the activities of various extremist groups and movements.[17] According to ADL Director Abe Foxman, “Our mission is to monitor and expose those who are anti-Jewish, racist, anti-democratic, and violence-prone, and we monitor them primarily by reading publications and attending public meetings . Because extremist organizations are highly secretive, sometimes ADL can learn of their activities only by using undercover sources [who] function in a manner directly analogous to investigative journalists. Some have performed great service to the American peoplefor example, by uncovering the existence of right-wing extremist paramilitary training campswith no recognition and at considerable personal risk.”[18] A person apprehended in connection to the 2002 white supremacist terror plot had drawn a cartoon of himself blowing up the Boston offices of the ADL.[19]

The ADL regularly releases reports on anti-Semitism and extremist activities on the far left and the far right. For instance, as part of its Law Enforcement Agency Resource Network (L.E.A.R.N.), the ADL has published information about the Militia Movement[20] in America and a guide for law enforcement officials titled Officer Safety and Extremists.[21] An archive of “The Militia Watchdog” research on U.S. right-wing extremism (including groups not specifically cited as anti-Semitic) from 1995 to 2000 is also available on the ADL website.[20]

In the 1990s, some details of the ADL’s monitoring activities became public and controversial, including the fact that the ADL had gathered information about some non-extremist groups.

In October 2008 the ADL reportedly assisted the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) by providing, on request, information on Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman and their associates and contacts, and on their ties to the Supreme White Alliance. Shortly thereafter the two men were arrested on charges of plotting to murder dozens of African Americans and plotting to assassinate US President-elect Barack Obama.[22][23]

The ADL holds that it is important to remember the Holocaust, in order to prevent such an event from reoccurring. Along with sponsoring events and fighting Holocaust deniers and revisionists, the ADL has been active in urging action to stop modern-day ethnic cleansing and genocide in places such as Bosnia, Darfur, and Sudan.[citation needed]

The ADL spoke out against an advertising campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) beginning in 2003 that equated meat-eating with the Holocaust. A press release from the ADL stated that “PETA’s effort to seek ‘approval’ for their ‘Holocaust on Your Plate’ campaign is outrageous, offensive and takes chutzpah to new heights. Rather than deepen our revulsion against what the Nazis did to the Jews, the project will undermine the struggle to understand the Holocaust and to find ways to make sure such catastrophes never happen again.”[24] In May 2005 PETA apologized for its campaign, with PETA President Ingrid Newkirk stating that causing pain “was never our intention, and we are deeply sorry.”[25]

The national ADL issued a “Statement on the Armenian Genocide” on August 21, 2007. The statement declared, “The consequences of those actions were indeed tantamount to genocide.” Activists felt that the statement was not a full, unequivocal acknowledgment of the Armenian genocide, because the use of the qualifier “tantamount” was seen as inappropriate, and the use of the word “consequences” was seen as an attempt to circumvent the international legal definition of genocide by avoiding any language that would imply intent, a crucial aspect of the 1948 UN Genocide Convention definition. The ADL convened its national meeting in New York City in early November 2007 at which time the issue of the Armenian Genocide was discussed. Upon conclusion, a one sentence press statement was issued that “The National Commission of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today, at its annual meeting, decided to take no further action on the issue of the Armenian genocide.”[26]

The ADL supports the Jewish state and has vociferously opposed resolutions such as the 1975 United Nations resolution (revoked in 1991) which equated Zionism with racism,[27] and attempts to revive that formulation at the 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa.[28]

The ADL honors individuals throughout the year for various reasons. On September 23, 2003, at its Tribute to Italy Dinner, the ADL awarded Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi the ADL’s distinguished statesman award, an honor “conferred on world leaders who exhibit a commitment to furthering the achievement of regional and world peace, and who possess a special commitment to promoting human and civil rights.”[29] Berlusconi is also known for his staunch pro-Israel stance.[30][31]

The ADL has spoken out against red-baiting[32] and McCarthyism.[33]

In 2006 the ADL condemned Senate Republicans in the United States for attempting to ban same-sex marriage with the Federal Marriage Amendment and praised its demise, calling it “discrimination.”[34] That same year the ADL warned that the debate over illegal immigration was drawing neo-nazis and anti-Semites into the ranks of the Minutemen Project.

In 1974 ADL national leaders Arnold Forster and Benjamin R. Epstein published a book called The New Anti-Semitism (New York, 1974), arguing that a new kind of anti-Semitism is on the rise. In 1982, ADL national leader Nathan Perlmutter and his wife, Ruth Ann Perlmutter, released a book entitled The Real Anti-Semitism in America (New York, 1982). In 2003, ADL’s national director Abraham Foxman published Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism (San Francisco, 2003), where on page 4 he states: “We currently face as great a threat to the safety and security of the Jewish people as the one we faced in the 1930sif not a greater one.”[35]

In 2010, during a hearing for Florida House Bill 11 (Crimes Against Homeless Persons) which was to revise the list of offenses judged to be hate crimes in Florida by adding a person’s homeless status,[36] the League lobbied against the bill, which subsequently passed in the House by a vote of 80 to 28 and was sent to the Senate,[37] taking the position that adding more categories to the list would dilute the effectiveness of the law, which already includes race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and age.[38]

The ADL supports Comprehensive and DREAM Act legislation that would provide conditional permanent residency to certain illegal aliens of good moral character who graduate from U.S. high schools, arrived in the United States as minors, and lived in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill’s enactment.[39]

ADL’s New England Regional Office has also established a faith-based initiative called “The Interfaith Youth Leadership Program,” better known as “Camp If,” or Camp Interfaith. Involving teenagers of the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic faiths, the camp brings the teens together for a week at camp where the teens bond and learn about each other’s cultures. The camp has emerged as a new attempt to foster good relations between younger members of the Abrahamic faiths.[40]

ADL publications on condemning discrimination against Arabs, Muslims, Blacks and members of other minorities have often been used in synagogue adult education programs, and as part of Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Muslim inter-faith dialogue.

On June 18, 2004 the ADL issued a news release[41] about the University of California Irvine (UCI) Muslim Students Union in which the student group had invited speakers to campus who made public declarations of support for Hamas, advocated suicide bombings and called for the destruction of Israel. For graduation, Muslim Students Union members chose to wear green (the traditional colour of Islam) graduation stoles bearing the Shahada, the Islamic declaration of faith. The ADL’s press release explained that the Shahada is a declaration of faith that has been closely identified with Palestinian terrorists, and said that suicide bombers connected to the Palestinian group Hamas wear green armbands and headbands inscribed with the Shahada as a symbol of their movement, and stated, “We are troubled that members of the (UCI) Muslim Students Union have chosen to display symbolism that is closely identified with Palestinian terrorist groups and that can be especially offensive to Jewish students.”

The ADL has publicly opposed anti-Islamic organizations like Stop Islamization of America and Stop Islamization of Europe and activists like David Yerushalmi, describing them as “anti-Muslim bigots.”[42]

The ADL has worked to combat racism against all racial groups, including racism against blacks. In 1997, the National Center for Black-Jewish Relations of Dillard University, a historically black university in New Orleans awarded the director of the ADL, Abraham H. Foxman, with the first Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Donald R. Mintz Freedom and Justice Award.

In 2004, the ADL became the lead partner in the Peace and Diversity Academy, a new New York City public high school with predominantly black and Hispanic students.

In celebration of Black History Month, the ADL created and distributed lesson plans to middle and high school teachers about Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to the US Congress, and an important civil rights leader.

The ADL has also publicly charged certain African Americans with anti-Semitism:

Since the 1930s the ADL has been gathering information and publishing reports on anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice, and on anti-Jewish, anti-Israel, racist, anti-democratic, violent, and extremist individuals and groups. As a result, the organization amassed what it once called a “famous storehouse of accurate, detailed, unassailable information on extremist individuals and organizations.”[56] Over the decades the ADL has assembled thousands of files.

One of its sources for the 1980s and 1990s was Roy Bullock, an intelligence gatherer for the South African apartheid regime,[57] a private collector of information. He amassed files on 10,000-12,000 individuals and 600 organizations[58] and provided them to the ADL as a secretly paid independent contractor for over 32 years. Bullock often wrote letters to various groups and forwarded copies of their replies to the ADL, clipped articles from newspapers and magazines, and maintained files on his computer. He also used less orthodox, and possibly illegal, methods such as combing through trash and tapping into White Aryan Resistance’s phone message system in order to find evidence of hate crimes. Some of the information he obtained and then passed on to the ADL came from confidential documents (including intelligence files on various Nazi groups and driver’s license records and other personal information on nearly 1,400 people) that were given to him by San Francisco police officer Tom Gerard.[59]

On April 8, 1993, police seized Bullock’s computer and raided the ADL offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California. A search of Bullock’s computer revealed that he had compiled files on 9,876 individuals and more than 950 groups across the political spectrum. Many of Bullock’s files concerned groups that did not fit the mold of extremist groups, hate groups, and organizations hostile to Jews or Israel that the ADL would usually be interested in. Along with files on the Ku Klux Klan, White Aryan Resistance, Islamic Jihad and the Jewish Defense League were data on the NAACP, the African National Congress (ANC), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the United Auto Workers, the AIDS activist group ACT UP, Mother Jones magazine, the TASS Soviet/Russian news agency, Greenpeace, Jews for Jesus and the National Lawyers Guild; there were also files on politicians including Democratic U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi, former Republican U.S. Representative Pete McCloskey, and activist Lyndon LaRouche.[59][60] Bullock told investigators that many of those were his own private files, not information he was passing on to the ADL. An attorney for the ADL stated that “We knew nothing about the vast extent of the files. Those are not ADL’s files. That is all [Bullock's] doing.”[61] As for its own records, the ADL indicated that just because it had a file on a group, that did not mean that the ADL opposed the group. The San Francisco district attorney at the time accused the ADL of conducting a national “spy network,” but dropped all accusations a few months later,[62] judging it to be a force for good. The ADL then offered the district attorney’s office a sum of $75,000 to fight bigotry, which was duly accepted.[57]

In the weeks following the raids, twelve civil rights groups led by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the National Lawyers Guild, filed a lawsuit demanding that the ADL release its surveillance information and end its investigations, as well as ordering it to pay punitive damages.[63] The plaintiffs’ attorney, former Representative McCloskey, claimed that the information the ADL gathered constituted an invasion of privacy. The ADL, while distancing itself from Bullock, countered that it is entitled like any researcher or journalist to research organizations and individuals. Richard Cohen, legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, stated that like journalists, the ADL’s researchers “gather information however they can” and welcome disclosures from confidential sources, saying “they probably rely on their sources to draw the line” on how much can legally be divulged. Bullock admitted that he was overzealous, and that some of the ways in which he gathered information may have been illegal.[61]

The lawsuit was settled out of court in 1999. The ADL agreed to pay $175,000 for the court costs of the groups, two of them Jewish,[57] that sued it, promised that it would not seek information from sources it knew could not legally disclose such information, consented to remove sensitive information like criminal records or Social Security numbers from its files, and spent $25,000 in order to further relations between the Jewish, Arab and black communities. When the case was settled, Hussein Ibish, director of communications for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), claimed that the ADL had gathered data “systematically in a program whose clear intent was to undermine civil rights and Arab-American organizations.” ADL national director Abraham Foxman called the ADC’s claims “absolutely untrue,” saying that “if it were true, they would have won their case” and noted that no court found the ADL guilty of any wrongdoing. The ADL released a statement saying that the settlement “explicitly recognizes ADL’s right to gather information in any lawful and constitutionally protected manner, which we have always done and will continue to do.”[62]John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt argue that the organization, rather than defending Jews from bigotry, was targeting individuals critical of Israel or of U.S. support for Israel.[57]

A case which has been compared to the Bullock case was that of James Mitchell Rosenberg, aka Jim Anderson. Rosenberg/Anderson was an undercover operative of the ADL who acted as an agent provocateur, posing as a racist right-wing paramilitary extremist. He appeared in this role as part of a TV documentary entitled Armies of the Right which premiered in 1981. Rosenberg was arrested that same year in New York for carrying an unregistered firearm in public view. In 1984, ADL fact-finding director Irwin Suall identified Rosenberg as an ADL operative in a court deposition.[64]

In 2007, Abraham Foxman came under criticism for his stance on the Armenian Genocide. The ADL had previously described it as a “massacre” and an “atrocity,” but not as a “genocide.”[65] Foxman had earlier opposed calls for the U.S. Government to recognise it as a “genocide.”[66] “I don’t think congressional action will help reconcile the issue. The resolution takes a position; it comes to a judgment,” said Foxman in a statement issued to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “The Turks and Armenians need to revisit their past. The Jewish community shouldn’t be the arbiter of that history, nor should the U.S. Congress, and “a Congressional resolution on such matters is a counterproductive diversion and will not foster reconciliation between Turks and Armenians and may put at risk the Turkish Jewish community and the important multilateral relationship between Turkey, Israel and the United States.”

In early August 2007, complaints about the Anti-Defamation League’s refusal to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide led to the Watertown, Massachusetts unanimous town council decision to end its participation in the ADL’s “No Place for Hate” campaign. (Watertown is known for its Armenian population.) Also in August 2007, an editorial in The Boston Globe criticized the ADL by saying that “as an organization concerned about human rights, it ought to acknowledge the genocide against the Armenian people during World War I, and criticize Turkish attempts to repress the memory of this historical reality.”[67] Then on 17 August 2007, the ADL fired its regional New England director, Andrew H. Tarsy, for breaking ranks with the main organization and for saying that the ADL should recognize the genocide.[68] In a 21 August 2007 press release, the ADL changed its position and acknowledged the genocide but maintained its opposition to congressional resolutions aimed at recognizing it.[65] Foxman wrote, “the consequences of those actions,” by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians, “were indeed tantamount to genocide.”[69] The Turkish government condemned the league’s statement.[70] Andrew H. Tarsy was rehired by the league on 27 August,[71] though he has since chosen to step down from his position.[72]

The ADL was criticized by many in the Armenian community including The Armenian Weekly newspaper, in which writer Michael Mensoian stated:

The belated backtracking of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in acknowledging the planned, systematic massacre of 1,500,000 Armenian men, women and children as “tantamount to genocide” is discouraging. Tantamount means something is equivalent. If it’s equivalent, why avoid using the term? For the ADL to justify its newly adopted statement because the word genocide did not exist at the time indicates a halfhearted attempt to placate Armenians while not offending Turkey. Historians use the term genocide simply because it is the proper term to describe the horrific events that the Ottoman Turkish government unleashed on the Armenian people.[73]

After Foxman’s capitulation, the New England ADL pressed the organization’s national leadership to support a congressional resolution acknowledging the genocide.[74] After hours of closed-door debate at the annual national meeting in New York, the proposal was ultimately withdrawn.[74] The organization issued a statement saying it would “take no further action on the issue of the Armenian genocide.” The ADL had earlier received direct pressure from the Turkish Foreign ministry.[75] Tarsy submitted his resignation on December 4.[74]

Since August, some human rights commissions in other Massachusetts communities decided to follow Watertown’s lead and withdraw from the ADL’s No Place for Hate anti-discrimination program.[74]

Linguist and activist Noam Chomsky has characterized the ADL as having lost entirely its focus on civil rights issues in order to become solely an advocate for Israeli policy; he holds that the ADL casts all left-wing opposition to Israeli interests as antisemitism.[76]

In 2006, the ADL, in addition to the American Jewish Committee, was criticized by academic Tony Judt for allegedly pressuring the Polish Consulate-General in New York to cancel a scheduled appearance by Judt at Network 20/20, a non-profit organization that rents space from the consulate. In an interview with the New York Sun, Foxman claimed that the group “had nothing to do with the cancellation,”[77] insisting that the ADL only called to ask if the event was being sponsored by the Polish government.[78] Polish Consul General Krzysztof Kasprzyk suggested in an interview with The Washington Post that calls by the ADL and the American Jewish Committee were “exercising a delicate pressure.”[79] In reference to the role of the ADL and the American Jewish Committee in organizing the cancellations, Judt told The Washington Post: “This is serious and frightening, and only in Americanot in Israelis this a problem. These are Jewish organizations that believe they should keep people who disagree with them on the Middle East away from anyone who might listen.”[79] The ADL denied the charges. According to Foxman, “I think they made the right decision… He’s taken the position that Israel shouldn’t exist. That puts him on our radar.”[79]

In 1994, the ADL became embroiled in a dispute between neighbors in Denver, Colorado. Upon the involvement of the ADL, the petty quarreling of next door neighbors, initially about garden plants and pets, quickly escalated into both civil and criminal court cases involving charges of anti-Semitism, and counter charges of defamation.

Candace and Mitchell Aronson, Jewish next door neighbors of William and Dorothy Quigley, used a Radio Shack police scanner to listen in on the cordless telephone conversations of Mr.& Mrs. Quigley. When the Aronsons heard the Quigleys discuss a campaign to drive them from the neighborhood with “Nazi scare tactics,” the Aronsons contacted the Denver office of the ADL. Upon the advice of the ADL, the Aronsons then recorded the Quigley’s private telephone conversations. The conversations included discussions of putting pictures of oven doors on the Aronsons’ home (a reference to the Holocaust), burning one of the Aronson children, and wishing that the Aronsons had been killed in a suicide bombing. (The Quigleys later indicated that these remarks were not anti-Semitic, and were only intended to be sick humor.)[80] Neither the Aronsons nor the ADL were aware that Congress had amended federal wiretap law which made it illegal to record conversations from a cordless telephone, to transcribe the material and to use the transcriptions for any purpose.

Not knowing about the new federal law, the Aronsons used the tapes as the basis for a federal civil lawsuit against the Quigleys in December 1994. A day later, Saul Rosenthal, Regional Director of the ADL, appeared at a news conference with the Aronsons in which he described their encounter with the Quigleys as “a vicious anti-Semitic campaign”, based solely on conversations he and associates had with the Aronsons. Later that day, Mr. Rosenthal expanded on his remarks in an interview on a Denver radio talk show.

Two days later, Jefferson County prosecutors used the tapes as the basis for filing criminal charges against the Quigleys.

The Quigleys became the target of scorn and ridicule. They received threats, and were forced to hire security guards for their home. A package of dog feces was mailed to their house. When they attended church, their priest openly chastised them in his sermon. The family was forced to shop in other towns, to avoid being recognized.[81] Mr. Quigley’s career with United Artists suffered serious damage.[82]

Upon investigation, and after assistant district attorney Steven Jensen heard on the tapes the context of Mrs. Quigley’s remarks, all charges but one, a misdemeanor traffic violation against Mr. Quigley, were dropped. The district attorney issued two letters of apology to the Quigleys, saying he found no evidence that either had engaged in “anti-Semitic conduct or harassment.”[83]

The Quigleys brought a lawsuit against the ADL, Rosenthal, the Aronsons, and two ADL volunteer attorneys. The two attorneys agreed to pay $350,000 to the Quigleys in settlement of their claims. The Quigley settlement with the Aronsons did not involve a cash payment. The Quigleys maintained their action against the ADL and Rosenthal, which was heard in federal court. A federal jury returned a verdict of $10 million in favor of the Quigleys. The ADL appealed.

According to an April 13, 2001 article in The Forward, upon hearing the appeal, a federal judge “lambasted the ADL for labeling a nasty neighborhood feud as an anti-Semitic event” and upheld most of Quigley’s $10 million lawsuit for defamation. According to a report in the Rocky Mountain News, with accrued interest, the judgment amounted to more than $12 million.[84]

In 1974, ADL national leaders Arnold Forster and Benjamin R. Epstein published a book called The New Anti-Semitism (New York, 1974), arguing that a new kind of anti-Semitism is on the rise. In 1982, ADL national leader Nathan Perlmutter and his wife, Ruth Ann Perlmutter, released a book entitled The Real Anti-Semitism in America (New York, 1982). In 2003, ADL’s national director Abraham Foxman published Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism (San Francisco, 2003), where on page 4 he states: “We currently face as great a threat to the safety and security of the Jewish people as the one we faced in the 1930sif not a greater one.”[35]

In 2005, Norman G. Finkelstein published Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History which devotes Part 1 to “The Not-So-New ‘New Anti-Semitism’.” In a 2006 appearance on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now!, Finkelstein denied there was any evidence for a rise of a new anti-Semitism in either Europe or North America. He continued, “Every time Israel comes under international pressure, as it did recently because of the war crimes committed in Lebanon, it steps up the claim of anti-Semitism, and all of Israel’s critics are anti-Semitic.” According to Finkelstein, the ADL and Foxman, its president, have advanced this “preposterous” deception.[85]

ADL is an advocate for gun control legislation.[86] The ADL supported the District of Columbia before the US Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller which argued that the city’s ban on the possession of handguns and any functional firearms, even for self-defense in the home is not prohibited by the Second Amendment.[87] The League urged the Court to ensure that states retain the ability to keep guns out of the hands of “violent bigots.”

Gun rights group Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) has been highly critical of the Anti-Defamation League. In pamphlets such as “Why Does the ADL Support Nazi-Based Laws?”[88] and “JPFO Facts vs. ADL Lies,”[89] the JPFO has accused the ADL of undermining the welfare of the Jewish people by promoting gun control. In a 2007 handbill the JPFO accused ADL Director Abraham Foxman of knowingly supporting the “use of Nazi gun control laws in America.”[90] Foxman has written about the JPFO: “Anti-Semitism has a long and painful history, and the linkage to gun control is a tactic by Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership to manipulate the fear of anti-Semitism toward their own end.”[91]

On July 28, 2010 the ADL issued a statement in which it expressed opposition to the Park51 Community Center, which sponsors planned to build near the World Trade Center site in New York. The ADL stated, “The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of a Community Center at this location is counterproductive to the healing process. Therefore, under these unique circumstances, we believe the City of New York would be better served if an alternative location could be found.”[92] The ADL denounced what it saw as bigoted attacks on the project. Foxman opined that some of those who oppose the mosque are “bigots,” and that the plan’s proponents may have every right to build the mosque at that location. Nevertheless, he said that building the mosque at that site would unnecessarily cause more pain for families of some victims of 9/11.[92][93][94][95]

This opposition to the Community Center led to criticism of the statement from various parties, including one ADL board member, the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, Rabbi Irwin Kula, columnists Jeffrey Goldberg and Peter Beinart, the Interfaith Alliance,[96] and the Shalom Center.[97] In an interview with the New York Times Abe Foxman published a statement in reaction to criticism.[98] In protest of ADL’s stance, CNN host Fareed Zakaria returned the Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize the ADL awarded him in 2005.[99] ADL chair Robert G. Sugarman responded to a critical New York Times editorial[100] writing, “we have publicly taken on those who criticized the mosque in ways that reflected anti-Muslim bigotry or used the controversy for that purpose” and stating that the ADL has combated Islamophobia.[101]

Anti-Defamation League – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Antisemitism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Antisemitism (also spelled anti-Semitism or anti-semitism) is prejudice against, hatred of, or discrimination against Jews as an ethnic, religious, or racial group.[1][2][3] A person who holds such positions is called an antisemite. Antisemitism is widely considered to be a form of racism.[4][5]

While the conjunction of the units anti-, Semite, and -ism indicates antisemitism as being directed against all Semitic people, the term was popularized in Germany in 1873 as a scientific-sounding term for Judenhass (Jew-hatred),[6][7] although it had been used for at least two decades prior,[8] and that has been its normal use since then.[9] For the purposes of a 2005 U.S. governmental report, antisemitism was considered “hatred toward Jewsindividually and as a groupthat can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity”.[10]

Antisemitism may be manifested in many ways, ranging from expressions of hatred of or discrimination against individual Jews to organized violent attacks by mobs, state police, or even military attacks on entire Jewish communities. Although the term did not come into common usage until the 19th century, it is now also applied to historic anti-Jewish incidents. Notable instances of persecution include the pogroms which preceded the First Crusade in 1096, the expulsion from England in 1290, the massacres of Spanish Jews in 1391, the persecutions of the Spanish Inquisition, the expulsion from Spain in 1492, Cossack massacres in Ukraine of 16481657, various pogroms in Imperial Russia between 1821 and 1906, the 18941906 Dreyfus affair in France, the Holocaust in German-occupied Europe, official Soviet anti-Jewish policies and Arab and Muslim involvement in the Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries.

The origin of “antisemitic” terminologies is found in responses of Moritz Steinschneider to the views of Ernest Renan. As Alex Bein writes “The compound anti-Semitism appears to have been used first by Steinschneider, who challenged Renan on account of his ‘anti-Semitic prejudices’ [i.e., his derogation of the "Semites" as a race]“.[11]Avner Falk similarly writes: ‘The German word antisemitisch was first used in 1860 by the Austrian Jewish scholar Moritz Steinschneider (1816-1907) in the phrase antisemitische Vorurteile (antisemitic prejudices). Steinschneider used this phrase to characterise the French philosopher Ernest Renan’s false ideas about how “Semitic races” were inferior to “Aryan races”‘.[12]

Pseudoscientific theories concerning race, civilization, and “progress” had become quite widespread in Europe in the second half of the 19th century, especially as Prussian nationalistic historian Heinrich von Treitschke did much to promote this form of racism. He coined the phrase “the Jews are our misfortune” which would later be widely used by Nazis.[13] In Treitschke’s writings “Semitic” was synonymous with “Jewish”,[citation needed] in contrast to its use by Renan and others.

In 1873 German journalist Wilhelm Marr published a pamphlet, Der Sieg des Judenthums ber das Germanenthum. Vom nicht confessionellen Standpunkt aus betrachtet (The Victory of the Jewish Spirit over the Germanic Spirit. Observed from a non-religious perspective.)[14][pageneeded]&/or[need quotation to verify] in which he used the word Semitismus interchangeably with the word Judentum to denote both “Jewry” (the Jews as a collective) and “jewishness” (the quality of being Jewish, or the Jewish spirit).

This use of Semitismus was followed by a coining of “Antisemitismus” which was used to indicate opposition to the Jews as a people[citation needed] and opposition to the Jewish spirit, which Marr interpreted as infiltrating German culture. His next pamphlet, Der Weg zum Siege des Germanenthums ber das Judenthum (The Way to Victory of the Germanic Spirit over the Jewish Spirit, 1880), presents a development of Marr’s ideas further and may present the first published use of the German word Antisemitismus, “antisemitism”.

The pamphlet became very popular, and in the same year he founded the Antisemiten-Liga (League of Antisemites),[15] the first German organization committed specifically to combating the alleged threat to Germany and German culture posed by the Jews and their influence, and advocating their forced removal from the country.

So far as can be ascertained, the word was first widely printed in 1881, when Marr published Zwanglose Antisemitische Hefte, and Wilhelm Scherer used the term Antisemiten in the January issue of Neue Freie Presse.

The Jewish Encyclopedia reported: In February 1881, a correspondent of the “Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums” speaks of “Anti-Semitism” as a designation which recently came into use (“Allg. Zeit. d. Jud.” 1881, p.138). On 19 July 1882, the editor says, “This quite recent Anti-Semitism is hardly three years old.”[16]

The related term “philosemitism” was coined around 1885.[citation needed]

Despite the use of the prefix anti-, the term “anti-Semitic” is not a direct opposite of “Semitic” which linguistically makes the term a misnomer. Within common, day to day usage, however, the terms “anti-Semitism” and “antisemitism” have accepted and specific use to describe prejudice against Jews alone and in general.[1][9] This is despite the fact that there are other speakers of Semitic languages (e.g. Arabs, Ethiopians, or Assyrians) and that not all Jews speak a Semitic language.

The term “antisemitic” has been used on occasion with meanings inclusive of bigotry against other Semitic-language peoples such as Arabs, with the validity of such use being challenged.[17][18]

The terms “anti-Semitism” and “antisemitism” are both in use. Some scholars favor the unhyphenated form because, “If you use the hyphenated form, you consider the words ‘Semitism’, ‘Semite’, ‘Semitic’ as meaningful” whereas “in antisemitic parlance, ‘Semites’ really stands for Jews, just that.”[19][20][21][22] For example, Emil Fackenheim supported the unhyphenated spelling, in order to “[dispel] the notion that there is an entity ‘Semitism’ which ‘anti-Semitism’ opposes.”[23] Others endorsing an unhyphenated term for the same reason include Padraic O’Hare, professor of Religious and Theological Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations at Merrimack College; Yehuda Bauer, professor of Holocaust Studies at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and James Carroll, historian and novelist. According to Carroll, who first cites O’Hare and Bauer on “the existence of something called ‘Semitism’”, “the hyphenated word thus reflects the bipolarity that is at the heart of the problem of antisemitism”.[24]

Though the general definition of antisemitism is hostility or prejudice against Jews, and, according to Olaf Blaschke, has become an “umbrella term for negative stereotypes about Jews”,[25] a number of authorities have developed more formal definitions.

Holocaust scholar and City University of New York professor Helen Fein defines it as “a persisting latent structure of hostile beliefs towards Jews as a collective manifested in individuals as attitudes, and in culture as myth, ideology, folklore and imagery, and in actionssocial or legal discrimination, political mobilization against the Jews, and collective or state violencewhich results in and/or is designed to distance, displace, or destroy Jews as Jews.”

Elaborating on Fein’s definition, Dietz Bering of the University of Cologne writes that, to antisemites, “Jews are not only partially but totally bad by nature, that is, their bad traits are incorrigible. Because of this bad nature: (1) Jews have to be seen not as individuals but as a collective. (2) Jews remain essentially alien in the surrounding societies. (3) Jews bring disaster on their ‘host societies’ or on the whole world, they are doing it secretly, therefore the anti-Semites feel obliged to unmask the conspiratorial, bad Jewish character.”[26]

For Sonja Weinberg, as distinct from economic and religious anti-Judaism, antisemitism in its modern form shows conceptual innovation, a resort to ‘science’ to defend itself, new functional forms and organisational differences. It was anti-liberal, racialist and nationalist. It promoted the myth that Jews conspired to ‘judaise’ the world; it served to consolidate social identity; it channeled dissatisfactions among victims of the capitalist system; and it was used as a conservative cultural code to fight emancipation and liberalism.[27]

Bernard Lewis defines antisemitism as a special case of prejudice, hatred, or persecution directed against people who are in some way different from the rest. According to Lewis, antisemitism is marked by two distinct features: Jews are judged according to a standard different from that applied to others, and they are accused of “cosmic evil.” Thus, “it is perfectly possible to hate and even to persecute Jews without necessarily being anti-Semitic” unless this hatred or persecution displays one of the two features specific to antisemitism.[28]

There have been a number of efforts by international and governmental bodies to define antisemitism formally. The U.S. Department of State states that “while there is no universally accepted definition, there is a generally clear understanding of what the term encompasses.” For the purposes of its 2005 Report on Global Anti-Semitism, the term was considered to mean “hatred toward Jewsindividually and as a groupthat can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity.”[10]

In 2005, the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (now Fundamental Rights Agency), then an agency of the European Union, developed a more detailed working definition, which states: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” It also adds that “such manifestations could also target the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity,” but that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.” It provides contemporary examples of ways in which antisemitism may manifest itself, including: promoting the harming of Jews in the name of an ideology or religion; promoting negative stereotypes of Jews; holding Jews collectively responsible for the actions of an individual Jewish person or group; denying the Holocaust or accusing Jews or Israel of exaggerating it; and accusing Jews of dual loyalty or a greater allegiance to Israel than their own country. It also lists ways in which attacking Israel could be antisemitic, and states that denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g. by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavor, can be a manifestation of antisemitismas can applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation, or holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel.[29] Late in 2013, the definition was removed from the website of the Fundamental Rights Agency. A spokesperson said that it had never been regarded as official and that the agency did not intend to develop its own definition.[30]

In 1879, Wilhelm Marr founded the Antisemiten-Liga (Anti-Semitic League).[31] Identification with antisemitism and as an antisemite was politically advantageous in Europe in the latter 19th century. For example, Karl Lueger, the popular mayor of fin de sicle Vienna, skillfully exploited antisemitism as a way of channeling public discontent to his political advantage.[32] In its 1910 obituary of Lueger, The New York Times notes that Lueger was “Chairman of the Christian Social Union of the Parliament and of the Anti-Semitic Union of the Diet of Lower Austria.[33] In 1895 A. C. Cuza organized the Alliance Anti-semitique Universelle in Bucharest. In the period before World War II, when animosity towards Jews was far more commonplace, it was not uncommon for a person, organization, or political party to self-identify as an antisemite or antisemitic.

In 1882, the early Zionist pioneer Judah Leib Pinsker wrote that antisemitism was a psychological response rooted in fear and was an inherited predisposition. He named the condition Judeophobia.[34]

Judeophobia is a variety of demonopathy with the distinction that it is not peculiar to particular races but is common to the whole of mankind.’…’Judeophobia is a psychic aberration. As a psychic aberration it is hereditary, and as a disease transmitted for two thousand years it is incurable.’… ‘In this way have Judaism and Anti-Semitism passed for centuries through history as inseparable companions.’……’Having analyzed Judeophobia as an hereditary form of demonopathy, peculiar to the human race, and having represented Anti-Semitism as proceeding from an inherited aberration of the human mind, we must draw the important conclusion that we must give’ up contending against these hostile impulses as we must against every other inherited predisposition. (translation from German)[35]

In the aftermath of the Kristallnacht pogrom in 1938, German propaganda minister Goebbels announced: “The German people is anti-Semitic. It has no desire to have its rights restricted or to be provoked in the future by parasites of the Jewish race.”[36]

After the 1945 victory of the Allies over Nazi Germany, and particularly after the extent of the Nazi genocide of Jews became known, the term “anti-Semitism” acquired pejorative connotations. This marked a full circle shift in usage, from an era just decades earlier when “Jew” was used as a pejorative term.[37][38] Yehuda Bauer wrote in 1984: “There are no anti-Semites in the world… Nobody says, ‘I am anti-Semitic.’ You cannot, after Hitler. The word has gone out of fashion.”[39]

Antisemitism manifests itself in a variety of ways. Ren Knig mentions social antisemitism, economic antisemitism, religious antisemitism, and political antisemitism as examples. Knig points out that these different forms demonstrate that the “origins of anti-Semitic prejudices are rooted in different historical periods.” Knig asserts that differences in the chronology of different antisemitic prejudices and the irregular distribution of such prejudices over different segments of the population create “serious difficulties in the definition of the different kinds of anti-Semitism.”[40] These difficulties may contribute to the existence of different taxonomies that have been developed to categorize the forms of antisemitism. The forms identified are substantially the same; it is primarily the number of forms and their definitions that differ. Bernard Lazare identifies three forms of antisemitism: Christian antisemitism, economic antisemitism, and ethnologic antisemitism.[41]William Brustein names four categories: religious, racial, economic and political.[42] The Roman Catholic historian Edward Flannery distinguished four varieties of antisemitism:[43]

Louis Harap separates “economic antisemitism” and merges “political” and “nationalistic” antisemitism into “ideological antisemitism”. Harap also adds a category of “social antisemitism”.[49]

Gustavo Perednik has argued that what he terms “Judeophobia” has a number of unique traits which set it apart from other forms of racism, including permanence, depth, obsessiveness, irrationality, endurance, ubiquity, and danger.[50] He also wrote in his book Spain Derailed that “The Jews were accused by the nationalists of being the creators of Communism; by the Communists of ruling Capitalism. If they live in non-Jewish countries, they are accused of double-loyalties; if they live in the Jewish country, of being racists. When they spend their money, they are reproached for being ostentatious; when they don’t spend their money, of being avaricious. They are called rootless cosmopolitans or hardened chauvinists. If they assimilate, they are accused of fifth-columnists, if they don’t, of shutting themselves away.”[51]

Louis Harap defines cultural antisemitism as “that species of anti-Semitism that charges the Jews with corrupting a given culture and attempting to supplant or succeeding in supplanting the preferred culture with a uniform, crude, “Jewish” culture.[52] Similarly, Eric Kandel characterizes cultural antisemitism as being based on the idea of “Jewishness” as a “religious or cultural tradition that is acquired through learning, through distinctive traditions and education.” According to Kandel, this form of antisemitism views Jews as possessing “unattractive psychological and social characteristics that are acquired through acculturation.”[53] Niewyk and Nicosia characterize cultural antisemitism as focusing on and condemning “the Jews’ aloofness from the societies in which they live.”[54] An important feature of cultural antisemitism is that it considers the negative attributes of Judaism to be redeemable by education or religious conversion.[55]

Religious antisemitism, also known as anti-Judaism, is antipathy towards Jews because of their perceived religious beliefs. In theory, antisemitism and attacks against individual Jews would stop if Jews stopped practicing Judaism or changed their public faith, especially by conversion to the official or right religion. However, in some cases discrimination continues after conversion, as in the case of Christianized Marranos or Iberian Jews in the late 15th century and 16th century who were suspected of secretly practising Judaism or Jewish customs.[43]

Although the origins of antisemitism are rooted in the Judeo-Christian conflict, religious antisemitism, other forms of antisemitism have developed in modern times. Frederick Schweitzer asserts that, “most scholars ignore the Christian foundation on which the modern antisemitic edifice rests and invoke political antisemitism, cultural antisemitism, racism or racial antisemitism, economic antisemitism and the like.”[56] William Nichols draws a distinction between religious antisemitism and modern antisemitism based on racial or ethnic grounds: “The dividing line was the possibility of effective conversion… a Jew ceased to be a Jew upon baptism.” From the perspective of racial antisemitism, however, “… the assimilated Jew was still a Jew, even after baptism…. From the Enlightenment onward, it is no longer possible to draw clear lines of distinction between religious and racial forms of hostility towards Jews… Once Jews have been emancipated and secular thinking makes its appearance, without leaving behind the old Christian hostility towards Jews, the new term antisemitism becomes almost unavoidable, even before explicitly racist doctrines appear.”

The underlying premise of economic antisemitism is that Jews perform harmful economic activities or that economic activities become harmful when they are performed by Jews.[57]

Linking Jews and money underpins the most damaging and lasting Antisemitic canards.[58] Antisemites claim that Jews control the world finances, a theory promoted in the fraudulent Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and later repeated by Henry Ford and his Dearborn Independent. In the modern era, such myths continue to be spread in books such as The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews published by the Nation of Islam, and on the internet. Derek Penslar writes that there are two components to the financial canards:[59]

Abraham Foxman describes six facets of the financial canards:

Gerald Krefetz summarizes the myth as “[Jews] control the banks, the money supply, the economy, and businessesof the community, of the country, of the world”.[66] Krefetz gives, as illustrations, many slurs and proverbs (in several different languages) which suggest that Jews are stingy, or greedy, or miserly, or aggressive bargainers.[67] During the nineteenth century, Jews were described as “scurrilous, stupid, and tight-fisted”, but after the Jewish Emancipation and the rise of Jews to the middle- or upper-class in Europe were portrayed as “clever, devious, and manipulative financiers out to dominate [world finances]“.[68]

Lon Poliakov asserts that economic antisemitism is not a distinct form of antisemitism, but merely a manifestation of theologic antisemitism (because, without the theological causes of the economic antisemitism, there would be no economic antisemitism). In opposition to this view, Derek Penslar contends that in the modern era, the economic antisemitism is “distinct and nearly constant” but theological antisemitism is “often subdued”.[69]

An academic study by Francesco DAcunto, Marcel Prokopczuk, and Michael Weber showed that people who live in areas of Germany that contain the most brutal history of anti-Semitic persecution are more likely to be distrustful of finance in general. Therefore, they tended to invest less money in the stock market and make poor financial decisions. The study concluded “that the persecution of minorities reduces not only the long-term wealth of the persecuted, but of the persecutors as well.”[70]

Racial antisemitism is prejudice against Jews as a racial/ethnic group, rather than Judaism as a religion.[71]

Racial antisemitism is the idea that the Jews are a distinct and inferior race compared to their host nations. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, it gained mainstream acceptance as part of the eugenics movement, which categorized non-Europeans as inferior. It more specifically claimed that Northern Europeans, or “Aryans”, were superior. Racial antisemites saw the Jews as part of a Semitic race and emphasized their non-European origins and culture. They saw Jews as beyond redemption even if they converted to the majority religion.[citation needed]

Racial antisemitism replaced the hatred of Judaism with the hatred of Jews as a group. In the context of the Industrial Revolution, following the Jewish Emancipation, Jews rapidly urbanized and experienced a period of greater social mobility. With the decreasing role of religion in public life tempering religious antisemitism, a combination of growing nationalism, the rise of eugenics, and resentment at the socio-economic success of the Jews led to the newer, and more virulent, racist antisemitism.[citation needed]

According to William Nichols, religious antisemitism may be distinguished from modern antisemitism based on racial or ethnic grounds. “The dividing line was the possibility of effective conversion… a Jew ceased to be a Jew upon baptism.” However, with racial antisemitism, “Now the assimilated Jew was still a Jew, even after baptism…. From the Enlightenment onward, it is no longer possible to draw clear lines of distinction between religious and racial forms of hostility towards Jews… Once Jews have been emancipated and secular thinking makes its appearance, without leaving behind the old Christian hostility towards Jews, the new term antisemitism becomes almost unavoidable, even before explicitly racist doctrines appear.”[72]

In the early 19th century, a number of laws enabling emancipation of the Jews were enacted in Western European countries.[73][74] The old laws restricting them to ghettos, as well as the many laws that limited their property rights, rights of worship and occupation, were rescinded. Despite this, traditional discrimination and hostility to Jews on religious grounds persisted and was supplemented by racial antisemitism, encouraged by the work of racial theorists such as Joseph Arthur de Gobineau and particularly his Essay on the Inequality of the Human Race of 18535. Nationalist agendas based on ethnicity, known as ethnonationalism, usually excluded the Jews from the national community as an alien race.[75] Allied to this were theories of Social Darwinism, which stressed a putative conflict between higher and lower races of human beings. Such theories, usually posited by northern Europeans, advocated the superiority of white Aryans to Semitic Jews.[76]

William Brustein defines political antisemitism as hostility toward Jews based on the belief that Jews seek national and/or world power.” Yisrael Gutman characterizes political antisemitism as tending to “lay responsibility on the Jews for defeats and political economic crises” while seeking to “exploit opposition and resistance to Jewish influence as elements in political party platforms.”[78]

According to Viktor Kardy, political antisemitism became widespread after the legal emancipation of the Jews and sought to reverse some of the consequences of that emancipation. [79]

Holocaust denial and Jewish conspiracy theories are also considered forms of antisemitism.[80][81][82][83][84][84][85][86]Zoological conspiracy theories have been propagated by the Arab media and Arabic language websites, alleging a “Zionist plot” behind the use of animals to attack civilians or to conduct espionage.[87]

Starting in the 1990s, some scholars have advanced the concept of new antisemitism, coming simultaneously from the left, the right, and radical Islam, which tends to focus on opposition to the creation of a Jewish homeland in the State of Israel,[88] and they argue that the language of anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel are used to attack Jews more broadly. In this view, the proponents of the new concept believe that criticisms of Israel and Zionism are often disproportionate in degree and unique in kind, and they attribute this to antisemitism. Jewish scholar Gustavo Perednik has posited that anti-Zionism in itself represents a form of discrimination against Jews, in that it singles out Jewish national aspirations as an illegitimate and racist endeavor, and “proposes actions that would result in the death of millions of Jews”.[89][90] It is asserted that the new antisemitism deploys traditional antisemitic motifs, including older motifs such as the blood libel.[88]

Critics of the concept view it as trivializing the meaning of antisemitism, and as exploiting antisemitism in order to silence debate and to deflect attention from legitimate criticism of the State of Israel, and, by associating anti-Zionism with antisemitism, misused to taint anyone opposed to Israeli actions and policies.[91]

Many authors see the roots of modern antisemitism in both pagan antiquity and early Christianity. Jerome Chanes identifies six stages in the historical development of antisemitism:[92]

Chanes suggests that these six stages could be merged into three categories: “ancient antisemitism, which was primarily ethnic in nature; Christian antisemitism, which was religious; and the racial antisemitism of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.”[93]

The first clear examples of anti-Jewish sentiment can be traced back to Alexandria in the 3rd century BCE.[43] Alexandria was home to the largest Jewish diaspora community in the world at the time and the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, was produced there. Manetho, an Egyptian priest and historian of that era, wrote scathingly of the Jews. His themes are repeated in the works of Chaeremon, Lysimachus, Poseidonius, Apollonius Molon, and in Apion and Tacitus.[94]Agatharchides of Cnidus ridiculed the practices of the Jews and the “absurdity of their Law”, making a mocking reference to how Ptolemy Lagus was able to invade Jerusalem in 320 BCE because its inhabitants were observing the Shabbat.[94] One of the earliest anti-Jewish edicts, promulgated by Antiochus IV Epiphanes in about 170167 BCE, sparked a revolt of the Maccabees in Judea.

In view of Manetho’s anti-Jewish writings, antisemitism may have originated in Egypt and been spread by “the Greek retelling of Ancient Egyptian prejudices”.[95] The ancient Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria describes an attack on Jews in Alexandria in 38 CE in which thousands of Jews died.[96][97] The violence in Alexandria may have been caused by the Jews being portrayed as misanthropes.[98] Tcherikover argues that the reason for hatred of Jews in the Hellenistic period was their separateness in the Greek cities, the poleis.[99] Bohak has argued, however, that early animosity against the Jews cannot be regarded as being anti-Judaic or antisemitic unless it arose from attitudes that were held against the Jews alone, and that many Greeks showed animosity toward any group they regarded as barbarians.[100] Statements exhibiting prejudice against Jews and their religion can be found in the works of many pagan Greek and Roman writers.[101] Edward Flannery writes that it was the Jews’ refusal to accept Greek religious and social standards that marked them out. Hecataetus of Abdera, a Greek historian of the early third century BCE, wrote that Moses “in remembrance of the exile of his people, instituted for them a misanthropic and inhospitable way of life.” Manetho, an Egyptian historian, wrote that the Jews were expelled Egyptian lepers who had been taught by Moses “not to adore the gods.” Edward Flannery describes antisemitism in ancient times as essentially “cultural, taking the shape of a national xenophobia played out in political settings.”[43]

There are examples of Hellenistic rulers desecrating the Temple and banning Jewish religious practices, such as circumcision, Shabbat observance, study of Jewish religious books, etc. Examples may also be found in anti-Jewish riots in Alexandria in the 3rd century BCE.

The Jewish diaspora on the Nile island Elephantine, which was founded by mercenaries, experienced the destruction of its temple in 410 BCE.[102]

Relationships between the Jewish people and the occupying Roman Empire were at times antagonistic and resulted in several rebellions. According to Suetonius, the emperor Tiberius expelled from Rome Jews who had gone to live there. The 18th-century English historian Edward Gibbon identified a more tolerant period in Roman-Jewish relations beginning in about 160 CE.[43] However, when Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire, the state’s attitude towards the Jews gradually worsened.

James Carroll asserted: “Jews accounted for 10% of the total population of the Roman Empire. By that ratio, if other factors such as pogroms and conversions had not intervened, there would be 200 million Jews in the world today, instead of something like 13 million.”[103][104]

From the 9th century CE, the medieval Islamic world classified Jews (and Christians) as dhimmi, and allowed Jews to practice their religion more freely than they could do in medieval Christian Europe. Under Islamic rule, there was a Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain that lasted until at least the 11th century.[105] It ended when several Muslim pogroms against Jews took place on the Iberian Peninsula, including those that occurred in Crdoba in 1011 and in Granada in 1066.[106][107][108] Several decrees ordering the destruction of synagogues were also enacted in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Yemen from the 11th century. In addition, Jews were forced to convert to Islam or face death in some parts of Yemen, Morocco and Baghdad several times between the 12th and 18th centuries.[109] The Almohads, who had taken control of the Almoravids’ Maghribi and Andalusian territories by 1147,[110] were far more fundamentalist in outlook compared to their predecessors, and they treated the dhimmis harshly. Faced with the choice of either death or conversion, many Jews and Christians emigrated.[111][112][113] Some, such as the family of Maimonides, fled east to more tolerant Muslim lands,[111] while some others went northward to settle in the growing Christian kingdoms.[114]

During the Middle Ages in Europe there was persecution against Jews in many places, with blood libels, expulsions, forced conversions and massacres. A main justification of prejudice against Jews in Europe was religious.

The persecution hit its first peak during the Crusades. In the First Crusade (1096) hundreds or even thousands of Jews were killed as the crusaders arrived.[115] This was the first major outbreak of anti-Jewish violence Christian Europe outside Spain and was cited by Zionists in the 19th century as indicating the need for a state of Israel.[116]

In the Second Crusade (1147) the Jews in Germany were subject to several massacres. The Jews were also subjected to attacks by the Shepherds’ Crusades of 1251 and 1320. The Crusades were followed by expulsions, including, in 1290, the banishing of all English Jews; in 1394, the expulsion of 100,000[citation needed] Jews in France; and in 1421, the expulsion of thousands from Austria. Many of the expelled Jews fled to Poland.[117] In medieval and Renaissance Europe, a major contributor to the deepening of antisemitic sentiment and legal action among the Christian populations was the popular preaching of the zealous reform religious orders, the Franciscans (especially Bernardino of Feltre) and Dominicans (especially Vincent Ferrer), who combed Europe and promoted antisemitism through their often fiery, emotional appeals.[118]

As the Black Death epidemics devastated Europe in the mid-14th century, causing the death of a large part of the population, Jews were used as scapegoats. Rumors spread that they caused the disease by deliberately poisoning wells. Hundreds of Jewish communities were destroyed. Although Pope Clement VI tried to protect them by issuing two papal bulls in 1348, the first on 6 July and an additional one several months later, 900 Jews were burned alive in Strasbourg, where the plague had not yet affected the city.[119]

During the mid-to-late 17th century the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth was devastated by several conflicts, in which the Commonwealth lost over a third of its population (over 3 million people), and Jewish losses were counted in the hundreds of thousands. The first of these conflicts was the Khmelnytsky Uprising, when Bohdan Khmelnytsky’s supporters massacred tens of thousands of Jews in the eastern and southern areas he controlled (today’s Ukraine). The precise number of dead may never be known, but the decrease of the Jewish population during that period is estimated at 100,000 to 200,000, which also includes emigration, deaths from diseases and captivity in the Ottoman Empire, called jasyr.[120][121]

European immigrants to the United States brought antisemitism to the country as early as the 17th century. Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch governor of New Amsterdam, implemented plans to prevent Jews from settling in the city. During the Colonial Era, the American government limited the political and economic rights of Jews. It was not until the Revolutionary War that Jews gained legal rights, including the right to vote. However, even at their peak, the restrictions on Jews in the United States were never as stringent as they had been in Europe.[122]

In the Zaydi imamate of Yemen, Jews were also singled out for discrimination in the 17th century, which culminated in the general expulsion of all Jews from places in Yemen to the arid coastal plain of Tihamah and which became known as the Mawza Exile.[123]

In 1744, Frederick II of Prussia limited the number of Jews allowed to live in Breslau to only ten so-called “protected” Jewish families and encouraged a similar practice in other Prussian cities. In 1750 he issued the Revidiertes General Privilegium und Reglement vor die Judenschaft: the “protected” Jews had an alternative to “either abstain from marriage or leave Berlin” (quoting Simon Dubnow). In the same year, Archduchess of Austria Maria Theresa ordered Jews out of Bohemia but soon reversed her position, on the condition that Jews pay for their readmission every ten years. This extortion was known as malke-geld (queen’s money). In 1752 she introduced the law limiting each Jewish family to one son. In 1782, Joseph II abolished most of these persecution practices in his Toleranzpatent, on the condition that Yiddish and Hebrew were eliminated from public records and that judicial autonomy was annulled. Moses Mendelssohn wrote that “Such a tolerance… is even more dangerous play in tolerance than open persecution.”

In 1772, the empress of Russia Catherine II forced the Jews of the Pale of Settlement to stay in their shtetls and forbade them from returning to the towns that they occupied before the partition of Poland.[124]

According to Arnold Ages, Voltaire’s “Lettres philosophiques, Dictionnaire philosophique, and Candide, to name but a few of his better known works, are saturated with comments on Jews and Judaism and the vast majority are negative”.[125] Paul H. Meyer adds: “There is no question but that Voltaire, particularly in his latter years, nursed a violent hatred of the Jews and it is equally certain that his animosity…did have a considerable impact on public opinion in France.”[126] Thirty of the 118 articles in Voltaire’s Dictionnaire Philosophique concerned Jews and described them in consistently negative ways,[127]

Historian Martin Gilbert writes that it was in the 19th century that the position of Jews worsened in Muslim countries. Benny Morris writes that one symbol of Jewish degradation was the phenomenon of stone-throwing at Jews by Muslim children. Morris quotes a 19th-century traveler: “I have seen a little fellow of six years old, with a troop of fat toddlers of only three and four, teaching [them] to throw stones at a Jew, and one little urchin would, with the greatest coolness, waddle up to the man and literally spit upon his Jewish gaberdine. To all this the Jew is obliged to submit; it would be more than his life was worth to offer to strike a Mahommedan.”[128]

In the middle of the 19th century, J. J. Benjamin wrote about the life of Persian Jews, describing conditions and beliefs that went back to the 16th century: “they are obliged to live in a separate part of town Under the pretext of their being unclean, they are treated with the greatest severity and should they enter a street, inhabited by Mussulmans, they are pelted by the boys and mobs with stones and dirt.”[129]

In 1850 the German composer Richard Wagner published Das Judenthum in der Musik (“Jewishness in Music”) under a pseudonym in the Neue Zeitschrift fr Musik. The essay began as an attack on Jewish composers, particularly Wagner’s contemporaries (and rivals) Felix Mendelssohn and Giacomo Meyerbeer, but expanded to accuse Jews of being a harmful and alien element in German culture. Antisemitism can also be found in many of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, published from 1812 to 1857. It is mainly characterized by Jews being the villain of a story, such as in “The Good Bargain (Der gute Handel)” and “The Jew Among Thorns (Der Jude im Dorn).”

The middle 19th century saw continued official harassment of the Jews, especially in Eastern Europe under Czarist influence. For example, in 1846, 80 Jews approached the governor in Warsaw to retain the right to wear their traditional dress, but were immediately rebuffed by having their hair and beards forcefully cut, at their own expense.[130]

In America, even such influential figures as Walt Whitman tolerated bigotry toward the Jews. During his time as editor of the Brooklyn Eagle (1846-1848), the newspaper published historical sketches casting Jews in a bad light.[131]

The Dreyfus Affair was an infamous antisemitic event of the late 19th century and early 20th century. Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish artillery captain in the French Army, was accused in 1894 of passing secrets to the Germans. As a result of these charges, Dreyfus was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island. The actual spy, Marie Charles Esterhazy, was acquitted. The event caused great uproar among the French, with the public choosing sides on the issue of whether Dreyfus was actually guilty or not. mile Zola accused the army of corrupting the French justice system. However, general consensus held that Dreyfus was guilty: 80% of the press in France condemned him. This attitude among the majority of the French population reveals the underlying antisemitism of the time period.[132]

Adolf Stoecker (18351909), the Lutheran court chaplain to Kaiser Wilhelm I, founded in 1878 an antisemitic, anti-liberal political party called the Christian Social Party.[133][134] This party always remained small, and its support dwindled after Stoecker’s death, with most of its members eventually joining larger conservative groups such as the German National People’s Party.

Some scholars view Karl Marx’s essay On The Jewish Question as antisemitic, and argue that he often used antisemitic epithets in his published and private writings.[135][136][137] These scholars argue that Marx equated Judaism with capitalism in his essay, helping to spread that idea. Some further argue that the essay influenced National Socialist, as well as Soviet and Arab antisemites.[138][139][140] Marx himself had Jewish ancestry, and Albert Lindemann and Hyam Maccoby have suggested that he was embarrassed by it.[141][142] Others argue that Marx consistently supported Prussian Jewish communities’ struggles to achieve equal political rights. These scholars argue that “On the Jewish Question” is a critique of Bruno Bauer’s arguments that Jews must convert to Christianity before being emancipated, and is more generally a critique of liberal rights discourses and capitalism.[143][144][145][146] David McLellan and Francis Wheen argue that readers should interpret On the Jewish Question in the deeper context of Marx’s debates with Bruno Bauer, author of The Jewish Question, about Jewish emancipation in Germany. According to McLellan, Marx used the word Judentum colloquially, as meaning commerce, arguing that Germans must be emancipated from the capitalist mode of production not Judaism or Jews in particular.[147]

Between 1900 and 1924, approximately 1.75 million Jews migrated to America, the bulk from Eastern Europe. Before 1900 American Jews had always amounted to less than 1% of America’s total population, but by 1930 Jews formed about 3.5%. This increase, combined with the upward social mobility of some Jews, contributed to a resurgence of antisemitism. In the first half of the 20th century, in the USA, Jews were discriminated against in employment, access to residential and resort areas, membership in clubs and organizations, and in tightened quotas on Jewish enrolment and teaching positions in colleges and universities. The lynching of Leo Frank by a mob of prominent citizens in Marietta, Georgia in 1915 turned the spotlight on antisemitism in the United States.[148] The case was also used to build support for the renewal of the Ku Klux Klan which had been inactive since 1870.[149]

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Beilis Trial in Russia represented incidents of blood-libel in Europe. Christians used allegations of Jews killing Christians as a justification for the killing of Jews.

Antisemitism in America reached its peak during the interwar period. The pioneer automobile manufacturer Henry Ford propagated antisemitic ideas in his newspaper The Dearborn Independent (published by Ford from 1919 to 1927). The radio speeches of Father Coughlin in the late 1930s attacked Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and promoted the notion of a Jewish financial conspiracy. Some prominent politicians shared such views: Louis T. McFadden, Chairman of the United States House Committee on Banking and Currency, blamed Jews for Roosevelt’s decision to abandon the gold standard, and claimed that “in the United States today, the Gentiles have the slips of paper while the Jews have the lawful money”.[150]

In the early 1940s the aviator Charles Lindbergh and many prominent Americans led The America First Committee in opposing any involvement in the war against Fascism. During his July 1936 visit to Germany, Lindbergh wrote letters saying that there was “more intelligent leadership in Germany than is generally recognized”. The German American Bund held parades in New York City during the late 1930s, where members wore Nazi uniforms and raised flags featuring swastikas alongside American flags. Sometimes race riots, as in Detroit in 1943, targeted Jewish businesses for looting and burning.[151]

In Germany, Nazism led Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, who came to power on 30 January 1933, instituted repressive legislation denying the Jews basic civil rights. In 1935, the Nuremberg Laws prohibited sexual relations and marriages between “Aryans” and Jews as Rassenschande (“race disgrace”) and stripped all German Jews, even quarter- and half-Jews, from their citizenship, (their official title became “subjects of the state”). It instituted a pogrom on the night of 910 November 1938, dubbed Kristallnacht, in which Jews were killed, their property destroyed and their synagogues torched.[152] Antisemitic laws, agitation and propaganda were extended to German-occupied Europe in the wake of conquest, often building on local antisemitic traditions. In the east the Third Reich forced Jews into ghettos in Warsaw, Krakw, Lvov, Lublin and Radom.[153] After the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 a campaign of mass murder, conducted by the Einsatzgruppen, culminated from 1942 to 1945 in systematic genocide: the Holocaust.[154] Eleven million Jews were targeted for extermination by the Nazis, and some six million were eventually killed.[154][155][156]

Antisemitism was commonly used as an instrument for personal conflicts in the Soviet Union, starting from conflict between Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky and continuing through numerous conspiracy-theories spread by official propaganda. Antisemitism in the USSR reached new heights after 1948 during the campaign against the “rootless cosmopolitan” (euphemism for “Jew”) in which numerous Yiddish-language poets, writers, painters and sculptors were killed or arrested.[157][158] This culminated in the so-called Doctors’ Plot (19521953). Similar antisemitic propaganda in Poland resulted in the flight of Polish Jewish survivors from the country.[158]

After the war, the Kielce pogrom and “March 1968 events” in communist Poland represented further incidents of antisemitism in Europe. The anti-Jewish violence in postwar Poland has a common theme of blood-libel rumours.[159][160]

In 1965 Pope Paul VI issued a papal decree disbanding the cult of Simon of Trent, the shrine erected to him was dismantled,[161] and Simon was decanonized.[162]

Robert Bernstein, founder of Human Rights Watch, says that antisemitism is “deeply ingrained and institutionalized” in “Arab nations in modern times.”[163]

In a 2011 survey by the Pew Research Center, all of the Muslim-majority Middle Eastern countries polled held strongly negative views of Jews. In the questionnaire, only 2% of Egyptians, 3% of Lebanese Muslims, and 2% of Jordanians reported having a positive view of Jews. Muslim-majority countries outside the Middle East held similarly negative views, with 4% of Turks and 9% of Indonesians viewing Jews favorably.[164]

According to a 2011 exhibition at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, United States, some of the dialogue from Middle East media and commentators about Jews bear a striking resemblance to Nazi propaganda.[165] According to Josef Joffe of Newsweek, “anti-Semitismthe real stuff, not just bad-mouthing particular Israeli policiesis as much part of Arab life today as the hijab or the hookah. Whereas this darkest of creeds is no longer tolerated in polite society in the West, in the Arab world, Jew hatred remains culturally endemic.”[166]

Muslim clerics in the Middle East have frequently referred to Jews as descendants of apes and pigs, which are conventional epithets for Jews and Christians.[167][168][169]

According to professor Robert Wistrich, director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (SICSA), the calls for the destruction of Israel by Iran or by Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, or the Muslim Brotherhood, represent a contemporary mode of genocidal antisemitism.[170]

Dean Phillip Bell documents and enumerates a number of categories and causes for anti-Jewish sentiment. He describes political, social, and pseudo-scientific efforts to separate Jews from “civil” society and notes that antisemitism was part of a larger attempt to differentiate status based on racial background. Bell writes, “Socio-psychological explanations focus on concepts of projected guilt and displaced aggression, the search for a scapegoat. Ethnic explanations associated marginalization, or negative representation of the Other, with perceived ethnic differences. Xenophobia ascribes anti-Jewish sentiment to broader concern over minority groups within a national or regional identity.[171]

There are a number of antisemitic canards which are used to fuel and justify antisemitic sentiment and activities. These include conspiracy theories and myths such as: that Jews killed Christ, poisoned wells, killed Christian children to use their blood for making matzos (the Blood libel), or “made up” the Holocaust, plot to control the world (the Protocols of the Elders of Zion), harvest organs, and other invented stories. A number of conspiracy theories also include accusations that Jews control the media or global financial institutions.

A March 2008 report by the U.S. State Department found that there was an increase in antisemitism across the world, and that both old and new expressions of antisemitism persist.[172] A 2012 report by the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor also noted a continued global increase in antisemitism, and found that Holocaust denial and opposition to Israeli policy at times was used to promote or justify blatant antisemitism.[173]

In Egypt, Dar al-Fadhilah published a translation of Henry Ford’s antisemitic treatise, The International Jew, complete with distinctly antisemitic imagery on the cover.[174]

On 5 May 2001, after Shimon Peres visited Egypt, the Egyptian al-Akhbar internet paper said that “lies and deceit are not foreign to Jews[...]. For this reason, Allah changed their shape and made them into monkeys and pigs.”[175]

In July 2012, Egypt’s Al Nahar channel fooled actors into thinking they were on an Israeli television show and filmed their reactions to being told it was an Israeli television show. In response, some of the actors launched into antisemitic rants or dialogue, and many became violent. Actress Mayer El Beblawi said that “Allah did not curse the worm and moth as much as he cursed the Jews” while actor Mahmoud Abdel Ghaffar launched into a violent rage and said, “You brought me someone who looks like a Jew… I hate the Jews to death” after finding out it was a prank.[176][177]

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, former president of Iran, has frequently been accused of denying the Holocaust.

In July, the winner of Iran’s first annual International Wall Street Downfall Cartoon Festival, jointly sponsored by the semi-state-run Iranian media outlet Fars News, was an antisemitic cartoon depicting Jews praying before the New York Stock Exchange, which is made to look like the Western Wall. Other cartoons in the contest were antisemitic as well. The national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, condemned the cartoon, stating that “Here’s the anti-Semitic notion of Jews and their love for money, the canard that Jews ‘control’ Wall Street, and a cynical perversion of the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism,” and “Once again Iran takes the prize for promoting antisemitism.”[178][179][180]

In 2004, Al-Manar, a media network affiliated with Hezbollah, aired a drama series, The Diaspora, which observers allege is based on historical antisemitic allegations. BBC correspondents who have watched the program says it quotes extensively from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.[181]

Although Malaysia presently has no substantial Jewish population, the country has reportedly become an example of a phenomenon called “antisemitism without Jews.”[182][183]

In his treatise on Malay identity, “The Malay Dilemma,” which was published in 1970, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad wrote: “The Jews are not only hooked-nosed… but understand money instinctively…. Jewish stinginess and financial wizardry gained them the economic control of Europe and provoked antisemitism which waxed and waned throughout Europe through the ages.”[184]

The Malay-language Utusan Malaysia daily stated in an editorial that Malaysians “cannot allow anyone, especially the Jews, to interfere secretly in this country’s business… When the drums are pounded hard in the name of human rights, the pro-Jewish people will have their best opportunity to interfere in any Islamic country,” the newspaper said. “We might not realize that the enthusiasm to support actions such as demonstrations will cause us to help foreign groups succeed in their mission of controlling this country.” Prime Minister Najib Razak’s office subsequently issued a statement late Monday saying Utusan’s claim did “not reflect the views of the government.”[185][186][187]

See original here:
Antisemitism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Talmud – Metapedia

El Talmud (del hebreo ) es una obra que recoge las discusiones rabnicas sobre leyes judas, tradiciones, costumbres, leyendas e historias. El Talmud se caracteriza por preservar la multiplicidad de opiniones a travs de un estilo de escritura asociativo, mayormente en forma de preguntas, producto de un proceso de escritura grupal a veces contradictorio.

El judasmo considera al Talmud la tradicin oral, mientras que la Tor (el Pentateuco) es considerada como tradicin escrita.

La mayor paradoja que puede hallarse en toda la historia de la humanidad, es la de encontrar un pueblo que fuese el elegido y seguidamente el vomitado por Dios; que no es otro ms que el judo. En su continuo deambular por la vida, aferrado a sus tradiciones como ningn otro, va transmitiendo de padres a hijos sus creencias religiosas y sociales de forma que, a travs de los siglos, el judasmo arrastra a una casta indomable, atribuyndose a s misma la condicin de casta superior, instruyndose en que el judo es el nico Dios viviente en la tierra, el Adam Kadmn, el hombre celeste; todos los dems han sido puestos en la tierra para servir al hebreo.

Predicando entre s un odio espantoso contra todos los dems pueblos, a los que azuza como a perros a la pelea, y adoctrinndose entre ellos con la terrible idea de que, “aun al mejor de entre los goim (los no judos), se les debe exterminar.”

El porqu y cmo viene ocurriendo todo esto, se puede explicar con razones sencillas y comprensibles que no hay porqu ocultar. En primer lugar, porque los hebreos tienen un espritu demonaco, “tiene por padre al diablo que es el padre de toda mentira, y slo quieren hacer las cosas de su padre”; en segundo lugar, porque estn sometidos entre ellos, a una frrea disciplina a travs de los Kahales (Consejos nacionales, regionales y locales) y de los rabinos; en tercer lugar, porque tienen un Cdigo sagrado y secreto al que no puede sustraerse ningn judo, y rige desde fechas inmemoriales; y, por ltimo, porque todos estn sujetos a pagar un tributo econmico al Kahal al margen de los otros impuestos, lo que convierte al judasmo en la secta mejor organizada, pagada y sostenida del mundo entero.

Pero ahora no vamos a hacer ms que una breve referencia a la vasta obra del Talmud, pues no se trata realmente de un libro sino de una coleccin de 63; y basndonos en trabajos hechos por varios escritores, escasos sobre el tema, tratamos ahora de darlo a conocer en Espaa, que ha sido y sigue siendo la cuna del criptojudasmo, como reconoce el eminente historiador judo contemporneo Cecil Roth, en su Historia de los marranos. Esta obrita aunque es pequea, es de una labor ardua y paciente.

Hay que resaltar de entrada que El Talmud se acepta y respeta con veneracin por los judos del mundo entero, particularmente por todos los ortodoxos, que son la inmensa mayora.

Se trata de una obra elaborada exclusivamente por rabinos, por aquellos considerados como los ms sabios entre ellos, y actualmente est de tal forma tan impuesto entre la judera, que ya cualquier rabino, aisladamente, es incapaz de formular la menor crtica sobre su contenido. Ninguno puede alzar su voz contra l, slo el Gran Rabinato reunido podr ir lenta y ocasionalmente corrigiendo aquellos aspectos que ms repugnen a las mentes de los dems rabinos.

De las dos partes de que consta El Talmud: La Misn y La Guemar, quiz sea la primera la parte principal de todo l. As como la Ley Moiss, es considerada la primera Ley o Ley fundamental; la Misn es como una Ley ordinaria, y La Guemer, como el Reglamento que la desarrolla y complementa. Pero ninguna de estas dos puede ser vulnerada por ningn israelita. La Ley de Moiss s.

Y creemos sinceramente, que cuando no se conoce bien una materia, lo primero y ms juicioso es informarse antes de afirmar o entrar en discusin sobre ella, porque esto es ms propio de irresponsables. Las pginas que siguen no pretenden otra cosa. Slo satisfacer a alguien que sienta un sano inters por saber lo que es el Talmud y lo que ensea, y ya nos damos por satisfechos. Y cualesquiera que sean las criticas que produzca, an las opiniones ms encontradas, ser la recompensa a este pequeo trabajo.

Y rematemos ya esta introduccin con una tradicional oracin que durante siglos se vino repitiendo en la liturgia de cada Viernes Santo, desde el Papa de Roma hasta el ltimo pastor de almas, que aunque qued excluida de dicha liturgia por el Concilio Vaticano II, casi al mismo tiempo que Pablo VI reconoca pblicamente que el humo de satans haba penetrado en la Iglesia de Cristo, y el comn de la curia romana admita que algn diablo se paseaba vestido de prpura por la ciudad del Vaticano; no por ello hemos de entender que est prohibida, pues a diario se pide a Dios por toda clase de autoridades, instituciones, pecadores, y, por qu no por los judos.

La oracin reza as:

“Oremos tambin por los prfidos judos para que Dios quite el velo de sus corazones, a fin de que reconozcan con nosotros a Jesucristo Nuestro Seor.

Omnipotente y sempiterno Dios, que no excluyes de Tu Misericordia ni an a los prfidos judos: oye los ruegos que te dirigimos por la ceguedad de aquel pueblo, para que reconociendo la luz de Tu verdad, que es Jesucristo, salgan de sus tinieblas. Por el mismo Dios y Seor Nuestro.”

Penetrad en las moradas de aquel pueblo, y veris la miseria espantosa que lo aflige. Hallaris a los padres haciendo leer a sus hijos un libro misterioso que a su vez lo harn tambin leer los hijos a sus hijos.


Lo cierto es que, aunque los judos no exhiben el Talmud, o conjunto de libros que lo integran, ms bien lo ocultan, es considerado por ellos como una ley propia y superior, y su ‘existencia es tan real como el crimen ritual mismo. Y el Talmud no es otra cosa ms que un conjunto de disposiciones y reglas de conducta, de muy obligado y severo cumplimiento para el judo, en donde lo religioso no es materia nica, y ms bien seundaria; en donde todo est en abierta contradiccin con la moral cristiana, y en donde todo aparece escrito y con la suficiente claridad, acerca de la consideracin y el posible asesinato de los goim, los no judos.[1]

Basta esta sola cita del Talmud para formar criterio y emitir un juicio ponderado:

Slo el judo es humano, todos los dems no judos son animales. Son bestias con forma humana. Cualquier cosa es permitida que est en contra de ellos. El judo puede mentirles, trampearlos y robarlos. Puede violarlos y asesinarlos.

Pudiendo comprobarse que principios semejantes se reiteran en varios libros del Talmud, como veremos ms adelante [ii].[2]

Y esto, aunque parezca inverosmil, es real y est escrito, y lo escrito, escrito est. Quod scripsi, scripsi; verba volant, scripta manent.

Por consiguiente, el Talmud resulta ser un amplio texto escrito punible por si mismo en muchsimas de sus partes, ya que su contenido ha desbordado la mente humana, el mbito de la intencionalidad o de los malos pensamientos, traspasando lo probable y cayendo dentro de lo comprobable o verificable. Ello aparte las muchas frases injuriosas contra otras religiones, particularmente las cristianas y musulmana, sin que las palabras ni el espritu con que se utilizan permitan tampoco la menor duda acerca de la intencin injuriosa, (quando verba sunt per se injuriosa, animus injuriandi praesumitur).

Hemos de continuar, pues, adelante, con el examen del nico cdigo sagrado de los judos, antes de sentar que su reprobable contenido es un hecho inconcuso; que est en abierta contradiccin con la ley mosaica, en la que dicen que se inspira, as como con el Antiguo Testamento, y por descontado contra el Nuevo, porque ni siquiera lo admite, y por consiguiente, en pugna con el alegato aducido por los defensores de Israel, de que sus leyes no prescriben la efusin de sangre. Por el contrario, el Talmud preconiza el crimen y lo justifica.

Parece necesario, por consiguiente, hacer una referencia mucho ms amplia al Talmud, para saber de l y averiguar, sin lugar a dudas, la opinin que a travs del mismo tienen los judos sobre los no judos, y el comportamiento a que les compele a todos los israelitas en general, y a los sionistas en particular.

Digamos de entrada que el Talmud es una voz hebrea derivada a su vez de lamud, que significa enseanza, y recoge, por escrito, la tradicin oral juda sobre diversas materias: religiosas, sociales, e incluso polticas y de medicina. Por Talmud, se conoce, pues, una vasta compilacin de los preceptos enseados por los rabinos ms autorizados o maestros de la ley, (khakhams o doctores), sobre varias materias, recogiendo y explicando completamente toda la ciencia y enseanza del pueblo judo, ya milenaria; y que, los israelitas, vienen observando tan rigurosamente, si no ms, que la propia ley de Moiss o Pentatuco.

Los exgetas concuerdan en considerar a Moiss como el autor del Pentatuco, esto es, de los cinco primeros libros del Antiguo Testamento (Gnesis, xodo, Levtico, Nmeros y Deuteronomio), que si no lleg a redactarse todo por l completamente, interviniendo otros, dadas ciertas diferencias que se sealan, particularmente de estilo y las varias denominaciones que se le dan a Dios, al menos 33 nombres diferentes, si se hizo bajo su direccin. Como tambin se acepta generalmente que Moiss utiliz escritos ya anteriores a l, as como cierta tradicin oral. Y dada la pretendida inspiracin del Talmud en la ley mosaica, y basndose en ello, surgen diferencias, toda vez que algunos escritores -incluidos rabinos-, sostienen que los preceptos rabnicos -o talmdicos- proceden de Moiss, mientras que otros le atribuyen una mayor antigedad, como el alemn J. Streicher, para quien las leyes talmdicas provienen de hace ms de 3.000 aos, y -dice-, son tan vlidas hoy como lo fueron entonces.

El caso es que, los israelitas, quienes llaman al Pentatuco simplemente: La Ley o Tor, le dan ms valor a las interpretaciones talmdicas que a todo el Antiguo Testamento, incluido, por supuesto, el Pentatuco, al que estiman mucho menos. Es decir, el valor de la Ley (mosaica) es inferior al del Talmud.

Para sostener esto ltimo, domina una corriente rabnica segn la cual, argumentan que, Moiss, al subir al monte Sina para recibir del mismo Dios la ley escrita sobre las doce tablas de piedra con los mandamientos, tambin recibi las interpretaciones de la misma, o sea, la ley oral; pues de otra manera no necesitaba permanecer tanto tiempo en el monte, por cuanto Dios le pudo haber entregado la ley escrita en un solo da. Y tratan de apoyar esta tesis recurriendo al xodo, (cap. 24, 12), en donde se refiere el mandato de Dios a Moiss:

“Dijo Yav a Moiss: Sube a lo alto del monte en donde estoy y detente all. Yo te dar unas tablas de piedra con la ley y los mandamientos que tengo escritos en ellas, a fin de que los ensees al pueblo.”

Los doctores de la ley -rabnicos- interpretan que en este pasaje bblico, las palabras tablas de piedra significan los diez mandamientos; que la ley significa el Pentatuco; los mandamientos significa la “Misn; que tengo escritos en ellas, los profetas y los hagigrafos; y a fin de que los ensees al pueblo, la “Guemar”. Y as consta en el libro llamado “Berakhoth”, el primero del Talmud.

Hay que distinguir, por lo tanto, entre tradicin oral y tradicin escrita. Es decir, tradicin bblica anterior y posterior a Moiss. La tradicin oral de los preceptos talmdicos, vinieron transmitindose mezclados con los de la Cbala entre los judos. Cbala, etimolgicamente en hebreo significa eso: tradicin.

Las diferencias que se sealan entre Talmud y Cbala, son las de que, mientras los preceptos talmdicos son dados para el conocimiento y dominio del comn de los judos, con carcter secreto para todos los dems, y sin perjuicio de que sus interpretaciones queden reservadas para los doctores de la ley; la doctrina cabalstica fue depositada en una minora juda, elitista, y su enseanza es dirigida exclusivamente a personas seleccionadas entre estos mismos, generalmente rabinos. La enseanza talmdica es exotrica; la cabalstica, totalmente esotrica u oculta. Y mientras, las enseanzas talmdicas son de inspiracin monotesta con marcado acento egosta, basadas en el monotesmo de la misma ley mosaica, la Cbala es netamente pantesta, basada en las costumbres de Caldea, Egipto y otros pueblos antiguos, que adoraban a los dolos e incluso a los diez principales demonios, practicaban la magia, la cartomancia y otras ciencias ocultistas o supersticiosas, y desde luego ofrendaban nios a los dioses.

Lo que s se puede afirmar igualmente y sin el menor temor a errar, es que los dogmas filosficos y rituales de la Cbala, se fueron transmitiendo hasta nuestros das a travs de la masonera, la que los mantiene igual que hace siglos. Ha de hacerse notar que la masonera, tal como la conocemos actualmente, aflor en el ao 1717 en Inglaterra, mas, es muy anterior, puesto que naci de una secta secreta fundada por nueve judos en el ao 43 despus de Cristo, bautizada con el nombre de La Fuerza Misteriosa, con dos propsitos principales: El primero, combatir a los nazarenos de creciente expansin, y contrariar sus predicaciones. Y el segundo, conservar la influencia poltica israelita.

En medio del confusionismo existente, o que pretende crearse, sobre el origen de la masonera, creemos que es decisivo lo que al respecto dio a conocer el judo brasileo de procedencia rusa, Jorge Samuel Laurant, bajo el titulo: La Disipacin de las Tinieblas o el Origen de la Masonera. Este Laurant, descendiente de uno de los nueve judos fundadores de la secta, fue el ltimo heredero y depositario de esta historia familiar, la cual vino recogindose por sus antepasados con anotaciones sobre uno de los mismos documentos originales de la fundacin, y fue publicada por primera vez a finales del siglo XIX, en francs, despus vertida al rabe y turco, por el libans ortodoxo Awad Khoury, con la mediacin del entonces presidente de la Repblica de Brasil, Doctor Prudente Jos de Moraes Barros (1841 – 1902), de quien Khoury era el “Encargado de Negocios privados de S.E. o prsidente da Repblica dos Estados Unidos do Brazil”; y ms recientemente traducida al espaol por Ivan Zodca, en la Argentina en 1962.[3]

Los nombres de los otros herederos o depositarios de aquel pacto secreto, de los ochos restantes fundadores, todava se desconoce.

El bisabuelo de dicho Laurant, que ya se haba convertido al cristianismo protestante por influencia de su esposa, y decidido a desvelar este misterio, fue asesinado, sin que posteriormente pudiese descubrirse jams al autor o autores. Resulta curioso leer en tal libro, lo que dej escrito un judo que lleg a alcanzar la ms alta graduacin masnica: “Sin embargo, el esclavo conoce a su amo, pero nosotros, en cambio, no conocemos a quien nos ordena, y le obedecemos ciegamente”.

Monseor Len Meurin, jesuita, arzobispo de Port Louis en Madagascar, afirma en su obra Filosofa de la Masonera: “La doctrina cabalstica no es en el fondo ms que el paganismo en forma rabnica; y la doctrina masnica, esencialmente cabalstica, no es otra cosa que el antiguo paganismo reavivado, oculto bajo una capa rabnica y puesto al servicio de la nacin juda”. Ms adelante, tambin emite este juicio: “La doctrina del Talmud es para el judo la teologa moral, como la Cbala es la teologa dogmtica”. Y en otro lugar an vuelve con la siguiente observacin: “Examinemos las doctrinas y la alta direccin de la Orden, y en todas partes encontraremos a los judos. Los emblemas y enseanzas de las logias muestran, sin lugar a dudas, que la Cbala es la doctrina, el alma, la base y la fuerza oculta de la masonera”.[4]

Nicols Serra y Caussa, escribe tambin a este respecto en su obra El Judasmo y la Masonera: “El inventor, fundador o introductor del sistema masnico, si no fue judo por la circuncisin, tan judo era de corazn como los mejores circuncidados; pues la masonera respira judasmo por los cuatro costados”.

Luego cita Nicols Serra la opinin de un judo, de Jos Lehmann, despus sacerdote catlico, recogindole estas palabras sobre el particular: “El origen de la francmasonera debe atribuirse al judasmo; no ciertamente al judasmo en pleno, pero, por lo menos a un judasmo pervertido”.

El historiador judo francs Bernard Lazare, escribi a finales del S. XIX: “Es evidente que slo hubo judos, y judos cabalistas, en la cuna de la masonera”.

Por su parte, el rabino Isaac Wise escribi en 1855: “La masonera es una institucin juda, cuya historia, grados, cargos, seales y explicaciones, son de carcter judo desde el principio hasta el fin”.

El filsofo alemn Fischer anot en 1848 esta otra observacin: “La gran mayora de la orden masnica no admite al cristianismo, sino que lo combate a punta de cuchillo; y la prueba de ello la tenemos en la admisin de todos los judos en las logias”.

Otra perspectiva digna de tenerse en cuenta sobre la influencia juda en la masonera, es la que hace el ex masn M. J. Doinel, quien despus de haber militado en el Gran Oriente de Francia, y ya convertido al cristianismo, sienta lo siguiente: “Los masones se lamentan de la dominacin que los judos ejercen en las logias, en los Grandes Orientes, en todos los ‘puntos del tringulo’, en todas las naciones, en toda la extensin de la tierra. Su tirana se impone en el terreno poltico y financiero. Desde la Revolucin Francesa han invadido las logias y actualmente la invasin es total. As como la masonera es un Estado dentro del Estado, as los judos forman una masonera dentro de la masonera. El espritu judo reina en los ‘talleres’ con la metafsica de Lucifer, y gua la accin masnica, totalmente dirigida contra la Iglesia Catlica, contra su jefe visible, el Papa, y contra su jefe invisible, Jesucristo; repitiendo el grito deicida: Crucifcalo! La Sinagoga en el pensamiento de Satans tiene una parte preponderante, inmensa. Satans cuenta con los judos para gobernar la masonera, como cuenta con la masonera para destruir a la Iglesia”.

Pero la mejor caricatura de estos ilusos y siervos soadores, quizs la haya trazado el judo hngaro Teodoro Herzl, famoso por ser el padre de la moderna doctrina sionista, escritor y periodista, quien convoc y presidi el primer congreso sionista celebrado en Basilea en cuya ocasin afirm: “Las logias masnicas establecidas en todo el mundo se prestarn a ayudarnos en lograr nuestra independencia. Es que aquellos cerdos, de los masones no judos, no comprendern jams el objeto final de la masonera”.

Otro importante personaje de la cabalstica esotrica hebrea, ni financiero ni hombre pblico, el judo francs Saint-Yves d’Alveydre (1849-1909), el terico y maestro, formulador de la llamada doctrina de la Sinarqua, antecedente inmediato de la sionista, y por consiguiente de las lneas maestras del futuro Gobierno Mundial, no oculta su criterio sobre aquellos ilusos, escribiendo en uno de sus libros (Misin de los Judos, en 1884): “Si se dejara en manos de masones y papanatas el plan arquitectural y su ejecucin, jams se levantara el monumento”.[5]

Pudiramos aportar otros muchos criterios autorizados, pero sobre este extremo, no vamos a insistir ms puesto que no es nuestro propsito hacer aqu un examen de la masonera ni mucho menos de los crmenes de la masonera. Baste ahora hacer la observacin, para concluir, de no difcil comprobacin, de que ni la masonera en su conjunto, ni un solo masn siquiera ocasionalmente, al menos durante su militancia, haya hecho o dicho lo ms mnimo que pudiese daar o simplemente molestar a los judos o a su poltica imperialista. Por el contrario, santifican cualquier atrocidad juda, como los brutales y sucios asesinatos de palestinos que se suceden mes tras mes, actitud que incluso encuentra eco en la misma ONU, con su visible tolerancia, no pasando de las frmulas de consuelo y condena, cuando de crmenes y ocupaciones de territorios ajenos, por los judos se trata.

Se le achaca a la ONU el ser una institucin de inspiracin juda, pero al menos, por lo que se ve, es la caja de resonancia del imperialismo sionista, normalmente a travs del norteamericano, o mejor, del angloamericano, que se limita a pedir “mayor moderacin” ante los excesos sionistas, o veta propuestas que ponen claramente de manifiesto que, en tal Organizacin, la igualdad, democracia y justicia, no tienen el mismo significado para todas las naciones integrantes, como tampoco para los judos o medio judos, unidos por los mismos lazos y sentimientos sionistas.[6]

Tambin hay que decir que, la masonera siempre fue tanto de la mano del capitalismo como de su secretismo. Y aun del comunismo, salvo en aquellos pases en donde ste queda impuesto, porque entonces la masonera comienza a ser cercenada. Consumada la traicin ya no es menester el traidor! Vase si no el ejemplo de Rusia durante los ltimos 70 aos, en donde la masonera ha estado totalmente prohibida.

Por otra parte, en relacin con las guerras y su explotacin, veamos lo que opina Henry Ford, el famoso industrial norteamericano inventor del automvil que lleva su nombre, y escritor, comentando en uno de sus artculos periodsticos publicado en el Daily Mail, de 21-9-1923 (luego recogidos en su libro El judo internacional): “No necesitamos la Liga de Naciones para poner fin a la guerra. Poned bajo control a los cincuenta financieros judos ms ricos, que promueven guerras para su nico provecho, y las guerras cesarn”[7]

Por ltimo, hagamos notar sobre este punto que, en el acta de la sesin del ‘convento’ (asamblea), del Gran Oriente Francs celebrado en 1929, se hizo constar esta advertencia:

“Nuestra Orden no puede conservar su fuerza y valor ms que manteniendo su carcter secreto. El da en que perdamos nuestro carcter especfico en lo referente a nuestra discrecin y secreto, nuestra accin en el pas habr finalizado”.

Y, para finalizar, digamos que el 20 de febrero de 1959, la Asamblea Plenaria de Cardenales, Arzobispos y Obispos de Argentina, publicaba una declaracin colectiva recordando la condena formal de la masonera por los Papas, desde Clemente XII a Po X, y subrayando que la francmasonera y el comunismo persiguen el mismo objetivo, diciendo:

“Para llegar a sus fines, la Franc-Masonera se sirve de la alta finanza, de la alta poltica y de la prensa mundial; el marxismo, por su parte, se sirve de la revolucin social y econmica contra la patria, la familia, la propiedad, la moral y la religin”.

Volvamos a la tradicin talmdica y cabalstica. El hecho es que tanto a una historia como a la otra, se pretende rodearlas de misterio e incluso ocultarlas. Una corriente rabnica sostiene que Moiss transmiti la ley oral a Josas; Josas a su vez la transmiti a los setenta ancianos (o sabios); estos ancianos a los profetas, y los profetas a la Gran Sinagoga; posteriormente pas en forma sucesiva a ciertos rabinos, hasta que ya no fue posible retenerla por ms tiempo oralmente.

Pero aparte estas especulaciones dogmticas aportadas por los propios judos, lo cierto es que unos y otros preceptos, talmdicos y cabalsticos, fueron siendo recogidos por escrito casi al mismo tiempo. Primero se recoge la doctrina cabalstica, por el filsofo Filn el Judo (13 a.C. – 54 d.C.), de Alejandra; y poco despus la talmdica por el rabino Jehud, desde finales del siglo II y principios del III, entre el ao 190 y el 220, aunque ya antes de Cristo existan en Palestina colegios que enseaban Talmud. Alguno afirma que empez a redactarse despus de la destruccin de Jerusaln.

El primero que le dio forma al Talmud, fue por consiguiente, el rabino Jehud o Yehud ha Nas[8], pero no totalmente a todo l, sino a la primera parte del mismo, conocida por la Misn, segunda ley o ley repetida, tambin as llamada porque es un comentario a la primera ley o ley de Moiss. Jehud llev a cabo una recopilacin de todo cuanto haba escrito sobre la materia, anterior a l, as como recensin de lo legado oralmente, ordenndolo y dndole forma, y dividindolo en seis partes o cdigos, cada cdigo en libros, y, los libros en captulos.

Estas seis partes o cdigos de la Misn -seguimos aqu a Pranaitis-, son las siguientes:[9]

I. ZERAIM: Sobre la agricultura: semillas, frutas, hierbas, rboles, y uso de las frutas. Contiene once libros.[10]

II. MOED: Sobre las fiestas: tiempo en que deben comenzar y finalizar, y cmo celebrar tanto el sabat como las otras festividades. Contiene doce libros.[11]

III. NASCHIM o Nasim: Trata del matrimonio, las mujeres, repudio de las esposas, sus deberes, relaciones matrimoniales, y enfermedades. Consta de siete libros.[12]

IV. NEZIKIN: Sobre Derecho penal y civil, penalidades e indemnizaciones. Consta de diez libros.[13]

V. KODASCHIM: Concerniente al Derecho religioso o sagrado, los sacrificios y los ritos. Once libros.[14]

VI. TOHOROTH: Concerniente a las purificaciones e higiene. Trata sobre la suciedad y purificacin de las embarcaciones, ropa de cama y otras cosas. Consta de doce libros.[15]

El talmud no es, pues, un slo libro como parecen dar a entender algunos escritores que lo citan, sino por el contrario, un extenso cuerpo de obra que abarca 63 libros en total, como acabamos de ver, distribuidos en 613 captulos.[16] Casi tantos como la Biblia. Y consta de dos grandes partes: la Misn, la primera parte, a que acabamos de referirnos; y la Guemar, que es una glosa a la anterior, es decir, un comentario del comentario. En realidad, estas dos partes van en cada libro; la segunda a continuacin de la primera, o incluso intercalada con ella.

Redactada la Misn, sta fue siendo objeto de estudio y enseanza, particularmente entre los siglos II y V, por las dos escuelas o academias rabnicas ms importantes de aquel entonces, la palestina o de Jerusaln y la babilnica [xvii].[17] Ese fue el motivo por el que, sucesivamente, fue recibiendo ms aadidos y ulteriores comentarios, que, reunidos, vinieron a constituir la segunda parte o Guemar.

Cada escuela sigui sus propios mtodos, y as, dieron nacimiento a un Guemar doble, que, posteriormente, tras distintas interpretaciones y polmicas, concluy con dos redacciones distintas. La versin del Guemar de Jerusaln, se debe principalmente al rabino Jochanan, quien presidi la sinagoga de Jerusaln durante ocho aos y concluy sus trabajos en el ao 230 d.C. La versin babilnica, sin embargo, se fue compilando por distintos rabinos y pocas. El rabino Aschi trabaj en la tarea de su redaccin durante sesenta aos -se dice-, desde el 327. La sigui posteriormente el rabino Maremar, desde el ao 427, y la complet el rabino Ravina alrededor del ao 500. Se acepta generalmente, que la versin de Jerusaln, por su brevedad y vaguedad, es ms rehusada por los judos, en cambio la babilnica, fue tenida siempre en ms estima por los judos de todas las pocas.

La Guemar, por consiguiente, no es ms que una suma de comentarios sobre la Misn. Si bien, algunos preceptos de la Misn no fueron examinados, ya que su explicacin se dej para la venida de Elas y del Mesas. Pero, por lo de pronto, la Guemar, no solamente entr a formar parte del Talmud, sino que lleg a ms, lleg a alcanzar una ms alta consideracin que la Misn y la propia Tor o Ley mosaica.

Es el Talmud el que viene a avalar esta ltima afirmacin. En el tratado Sopherim (25, 7, fol. 13 b), se sienta esta curiosidad: “La Sagrada Escritura se asemeja al agua, la Misn al vino, y la Guemar al vino aromtico”.

Ya en dos libros anteriores del Nezikin -IV parte o cdigo-, se hace una valoracin sobre este particular. En el libro Baba Metsia (fol. 33 a) se dice al respecto: “Aquellos que se dedican a leer la Biblia ejercitan una determinada virtud, pero no mucha; aquellos que estudian la Misn ejercitan una virtud por la que sern premiados; pero, no obstante, aquellos que se dedican a estudiar la Guemar ejercitan la ms grande de las virtudes”.

Y en el tratado Sanhedrn (10, 3, fol. 88 b), se rebaja igualmente a un segundo plano el valor de la Ley o Tor, es decir, el Pentatuco, la misma Biblia, al establecer que:

“Aquel que quebranta las palabras de los escribas peca ms gravemente que aquellos transgresores de las palabras de la Ley”. Asimismo, esto aparece sentado en el libro Erubhin (2 libro del II cdigo o Moed): “Hijo mo, presta atencin a las palabras de los escribas antes que a las palabras de la Ley”

De donde se deduce claramente, por consiguiente, que lo inspirado tiene ms fuerza que la fuente inspiradora. Las palabras de los rabinos valen mucho ms que las Escrituras Sagradas. Y de aqu se desprende que, si los rabinos preconizan el crimen -adems de otras cualesquiera barbaridades-, en sus aberrantes interpretaciones del Pentatuco, no cabe duda de que sus enseanzas son las que valen y se imponen para todos los judos. Resulta deplorable aquel alegato de los defensores de Israel, de que sus leyes se inspiran en la ley mosaica, porque lo que realmente hacen es tergiversar y sobar sobre aquella ley segn mejor les convenga; como los buenos curtidores de pieles antes de rematar el curtido. Y desde luego el Talmud prescribe el delito como cosa normal frente a los goim (los no judos).

Hay que hacer la salvedad de que a los 63 libros del Talmud, a que ya hemos hecho referencia, se le han agregado cuatro breves tratados ms, por posteriores escritores, pero que no han sido incluidos en el Talmud corriente. Destacando Pranaitis, que casi todas las ediciones del Talmud tienen la misma cantidad de folios y la misma disposicin del texto; solamente vara el tipo de imprenta o formato, segn sea modelo grande o pequeo.

Como de todas formas, esta obra fue hacindose voluminosa y desordenada, los judos sintieron la necesidad de algo ms sencillo y manejable, lo que fue originando una nueva tendencia, no de compilacin sino de recopilacin o breve compendio, que empez a dar sus frutos a partir del siglo XI. El primero que lleg a publicar un Talmud breve, fue el rabino Isaac ben Jacob Alphassi, aunque no lleg a tener xito.

Pero segn Pranaitis, el primero en editar una obra bien ordenada sobre la Ley Juda, fue el rabino Moische ben Maimn, a quien los judos llamaban abreviadamente Rambam, o “El guila de la Sinagoga”, y tambin rabino Iarchi o Raschi; ms conocido entre los cristianos por Maimnides, que fue el nombre que prevaleci. Un judo-espaol que naci en Crdoba en 1135, all estudi medicina y filosofa, y a travs de sus traducciones Europa conoci la cultura griega, a Platn y a Aristteles. Y muri exiliado en Egipto en 1204, malviviendo de la medicina.

Moiss Maimnides, escribi en rabe y hebreo sobre temas filosficos, mdicos y talmdicos. Sobre stos, redact primero unos comentarios al Talmud que public en un libro llamado Perusch, incluido en la Guemar. Posteriormente, en 1180, concluy su gran obra denominada Misn Tor (Repeticin de la Ley), tambin llamada Iad Chazakah (La Mano Fuerte), que es un compendio del Talmud, dividido en cuatro partes o volmenes con 14 libros en total. Incluy conceptos filosficos propios y nuevas leyes, motivo por el que fue excomulgado por su pueblo y condenado a muerte, y aunque no fue ejecutado s fue perseguido. Despus de Maimnides, el mundo judo qued dividi en dos bandos, el de sus seguidores y el de sus detractores. A pesar de ello, el valor de su obra fue en aumento. Tanto es as, que actualmente entre los judos circula como mxima, el aforismo:

“De Moiss a Moiss (Maimnides), no ha habido otro Moises”.

Su grey no le ha abandonado. En 1935, con motivo de la conmemoracin del VIII centenario de su nacimiento y la fraternal colaboracin del masnico gobierno de la II Repblica espaola, en la sinagoga de Crdoba se descubri una lpida de mrmol blanco con la siguiente inscripcin:

Sin embargo, todo hay que decirlo, Maimnides, con toda su inteligencia y capacidad de trabajo, no fue sino una mente luciferina al igual que algunos otros eminentes de la judera. Guardan cierto parentesco con los demonios, quienes siendo creados espritus puros, nacidos ngeles, les perdi la ambicin y acabaron rebelndose contra el mismo Dios, pensando que podran ser tanto como l y, claro est, lo que alcanzaron fue la eterna condena, aunque el dao ya lo dejaron hecho. Ya veremos ms adelante cmo Maimnides interpreta el “no robars” o el “no matars”: slo a judos, no a los dems, porque los otros no son personas sino animales, bestias. Sabrn esto los masones! Su egosmo le llev incluso a abjurar del mosasmo para abrazar el islamismo.

Con posterioridad a Maimnides, ya solamente merece la pena citar a dos rabinos en relacin con los trabajos del repetido Talmud, a Jacob ben Ascher y a Joseph Caro ben Efraim. Ascher, public en 1340 un compendio de la obra de Maimnides, expurgada de todo cuanto consider superfluo y personal, dividida en cuatro partes, que no alcanz el xito esperado.

Es obligado destacar al otro rabino, por su importancia, a Jos Caro (1488-1577), de Palestina, quien, siendo nio, juntamente con sus padres procedentes de Toledo, fue expulsado de Espaa en tiempos de los Reyes Catlicos. ste fue el que dio satisfaccin a la necesidad generalmente sentida, de un libro breve y sencillo para la inteligencia de todos los judos: su famoso Schulchan Arukh (La Mesa Preparada), que lleg hasta nuestros das y es actualmente considerada como la obra ms sagrada para los judos ortodoxos, su obligado Cdigo de Leyes.

El Schulchan Arukh no es ms que una condensacin del Talmud. Un Talmud abreviado, dividido en cuatro pequeos libros, y stos en pargrafos numerados. Es pues, el Cdigo imperante para los judos, salvo para una minora que no reconoce ms que la Ley mosaica, motivo por el cual unos pocos son sojuzgados por la mayora y condenados al ostracismo. Tanto es as, que tradicionalmente las comunidades judas conciertan un contrato con todo nuevo rabino, para conducir a la comunidad segn este Cdigo de Leyes, sin admitir discrepancias.[18]

Jos Caro con esta obra termin con las polmicas habidas entre los rabinos anteriores a l, aunque inicialmente tampoco dio plena satisfaccin a todos, ya que dividi a los judos orientales de los occidentales.

En lo que no hay unanimidad de criterio es en cuanto a la fecha de redaccin del Schulchan Arukh, y aun sobre su origen. A. Luzsenszky, quien tradujo el Talmud y el Schulchan Arukh al alemn, en la Introduccin a este ltimo seala al rab Ascher como el compilador originario, pero atribuyndole al rab Jos Caro la redaccin definitiva en el ao 1490, cuando en este ao, segn el Rvdo ruso Pranaitis, Caro solamente tena dos aos de edad, y, por otra parte, deba encontrarse todava en Espaa puesto que la expulsin de los judos tuvo lugar en 1492, o a partir de este ao. El profesor Pranaitis no cita fecha de redaccin de este libro, slo dice que utiliza la edicin de Venecia de 1594. Monniot afirma que fue escrito por el rab Josiel hacia 1576, en Palestina. Josiel debe ser el mismo Joseph (Caro), pero esta ltima fecha nos parece muy tarda por cuanto Caro ya tena 88 aos y falleca al siguiente. El judo Teodoro Reinach, dice simplemente que debi ser redactado a mediados del siglo XVI. Mas, no vamos aqu a entrar en ms detalles sobre este particular, no es una cuestin primordial.

Lo que si se debe resaltar respecto del Schulchan Arukh, en cuanto a su autor, es que el criterio dominante es unnime: su autor es Jos Caro, en lo que concuerdan los israelitas. En el Univers Isralite de 18 de octubre de 1912, escriben:

“El principal aflujo se produjo en 1492, despus de la expulsin de los judos de Espaa que buscaron refugio en el Este de Europa. Entre los que emigraron a Nicpoli estaba el rabino Ephraim Caro, de Toledo, cuyo hijo Joseph fue el jefe religioso de la comunidad, establecindose ms tarde en Safed: es el autor del Schulchan Arukh, que qued como cdigo del judasmo”.

Sobre este libro sagrado, nos parece muy importante el decir tambin que, en un snodo israelita celebrado en Hungra en el ao 1866, los asistentes tomaron, entre otros, el siguiente acuerdo:

“Hay que negar pblicamente el Schulchan Arukh a los ojos de los no judos, pero en realidad, todo judo en todo pas est obligado a cumplir en todo momento estas leyes”. Resolucin que fue suscrita por 94 rabinos, 182 abogados, 45 mdicos y 11.672 judos de distintos estamentos.[19]

Alguien podr preguntarse cmo llenar alguna laguna o aclarar algn precepto talmdico de difcil interpretacin. Pues bien, se puede decir al respecto que carecen de jurisprudencia pero no de pragmatismo, pues los rabinos lo hacen todo, para los judos son el alma y el sostn de Yav en la tierra, hacen y deshacen sin apelacin. Se puede traer aqu una cita del libro talmdico Horcoim, en el que sientan una regla de oro ante la necesidad de alguna interpretacin, que es del tono siguiente:

“Los rabinos ensean tambin, respecto al Talmud, que si se encuentra algo en un libro que salga del orden natural o que sobrepase nuestra inteligencia, se debe culpar a la debilidad del entendimiento humano, ya que al meditarlo profundamente, se observa que el Talmud no contiene ms que la pura verdad”.

Ah queda una vez ms la reafirmacin de que los mandatos talmdicos son obligatorios, han de obedecerse ciegamente por los judos; y ya sabemos que estn en abierta contradiccin con la Biblia. En donde se inspiran es en su ancestral espritu de casta, jams superado por ningn otro grupo humano.

La existencia del Talmud ya no puede ser negada por nadie. Ya hemos dicho que lo escrito, escrito est. Pero se pretende poner en tela de juicio su permanente vigencia, su actualidad, aunque parezca en principio ser un intento ftil. Pues son ellos mismos los que nos muestran con frecuencia todo lo contrario.

Sobre este particular podemos traer aqu como prueba, una sentencia no muy lejana, divulgada en Espaa por la agencia Efe, con fecha 20.12.1979, diciendo que:

“El Tribunal rabnico de Haifa (Israel), ha condenado hoy a un marido a tener relaciones sexuales con su mujer.-La vctima es un profesor de enseanza media de 32 aos, cuya esposa se querell porque desde hace ocho meses no mantena relaciones sexuales con ella”. Y aade que, “la decisin de los jueces rabnicos se ha basado en el Talmud (sic), que prescribe que los esposos han de tener relaciones sexuales continuadas, salvo el caso de fuerza mayor. La multa ha de ser pagada segn lo fijado por el Talmud”.

En lo que yerra la nota de prensa, es en sealar que el Talmud fue redactado en el ao 600 antes de Jesucristo.

Aunque sea de pasada, hagamos la observacin de que la moral sexual israelita, en este punto, no anda muy lejos de la de sus hermanos en Abraham, los musulmanes; ambas muy distantes de la cristiana. A propsito de esta sentencia, creemos que los jueces, necesariamente tuvieron que tener a la vista, aparte otras consideraciones, el Libro IV del Schulchan Arukh, dedicado al Derecho matrimonial, a la mujer, sus enfermedades, dote, etc., en estos pargrafos numerados que vamos a ver, los que muestran su estancamiento en una moral primitiva, verdaderamente arcaica y discriminatoria para la mujer -todava se justifica la poligamia, el aborto, y la consideracin de mujer objeto-, y transcribimos seguidamente ya sin ms comentarios, dejndolo al criterio ajeno:

“1. A todo israelita le est permitido tener tantas mujeres simultneamente como pueda alimentar. Pero los sabios han recomendado mantener slo cuatro mujeres, para que por lo menos recaiga una vez sobre cada mujer un ayuntamiento carnal. Para la mujer el mandamiento de la procreacin no tiene fuerza obligatoria”.

“6. Un kohen (sacerdote judo) no debe casarse con una divorciada, ramera o debilitada. Quin es una ramera? Cualquier mujer no juda, o tambin una juda que ha tenido relacin con alguien a quien no le estaba permitido casarse con ella”.

“44, 8. Cuando un israelita se casa con una akum (no juda) o una esclava, entonces el casamiento es nulo, porque no son capaces de ser tomados en casamiento, e igualmente cuando un akum o esclavo se ha casado con una israelita”.

(En el pargrafo 27, anterior, se dice que “slo es prostitucin, aun en el caso de previa conversin de la otra parte a la religin israelita”).

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Talmud – Metapedia

What is Judaism and what do Jews believe? – GotQuestions.org

Question: “What is Judaism and what do Jews believe?”


Dictionary definitions of a Jew include a member of the tribe of Judah, an Israelite, a member of a nation existing in the land of Israel from the 6th century B.C. to the 1st century A.D., a person belonging to a continuation through descent or conversion of the ancient Jewish people, and one whose religion is Judaism.

According to rabbinical Judaism, a Jew is one who has a Jewish mother or one who has formally converted to Judaism. Leviticus 24:10 is often cited to give this belief credibility, although the Torah makes no specific claim in support of this tradition. Some rabbis say that it has nothing to do with what the individual actually believes. These rabbis tell us that a Jew does not need to be a follower of Jewish laws and customs to be considered Jewish. In fact, a Jew can have no belief in God at all and still be Jewish based on the above rabbinical interpretation.

Other rabbis make it clear that unless the person follows the precepts of the Torah and accepts the Thirteen Principles of Faith of Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, one of the greatest medieval Jewish scholars), he cannot be a Jew. Although this person may be a biological Jew, he has no real connection to Judaism.

In the Torahthe first five books of the BibleGenesis 14:13 teaches that Abram, commonly recognized as the first Jew, was described as a Hebrew. The name Jew comes from the name of Judah, one of the twelve sons of Jacob and one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Apparently the name Jew originally referred only to those who were members of the tribe of Judah, but when the kingdom was divided after the reign of Solomon (1 Kings 12), the term referred to anyone in the kingdom of Judah, which included the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi. Today, many believe that a Jew is anyone who is a physical descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, regardless of which of the original twelve tribes he descends from.

So, what is it that Jews believe, and what are the basic precepts of Judaism? There are five main forms or sects of Judaism in the world today. They are Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed, Reconstructionist, and Humanistic. The beliefs and requirements in each group differ dramatically; however, a short list of the traditional beliefs of Judaism would include the following:

God is the creator of all that exists; He is one, incorporeal (without a body), and He alone is to be worshipped as absolute ruler of the universe.

The first five books of the Hebrew Bible were revealed to Moses by God. They will not be changed or augmented in the future.

God has communicated to the Jewish people through prophets.

God monitors the activities of humans; He rewards individuals for good deeds and punishes evil.

Although Christians base much of their faith on the same Hebrew Scriptures as Jews do, there are major differences in belief: Jews generally consider actions and behavior to be of primary importance; beliefs come out of actions. This conflicts with conservative Christians for whom belief is of primary importance and actions are a result of that belief.

Jewish belief does not accept the Christian concept of original sin (the belief that all people have inherited Adam and Eve’s sin when they disobeyed God’s instructions in the Garden of Eden).

Judaism affirms the inherent goodness of the world and its people as creations of God.

Jewish believers are able to sanctify their lives and draw closer to God by fulfilling mitzvoth (divine commandments).

No savior is needed or is available as an intermediary.

The 613 commandments found in Leviticus and other books regulate all aspects of Jewish life. The Ten Commandments, as delineated in Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21, form a brief synopsis of the Law.

The Messiah (anointed one of God) will arrive in the future and gather Jews once more into the land of Israel. There will be a general resurrection of the dead at that time. The Jerusalem Temple, destroyed in A.D. 70 by the Romans, will be rebuilt.

Beliefs about Jesus vary considerably. Some view Him as a great moral teacher. Others see Him as a false prophet or as an idol of Christianity. Some sects of Judaism will not even say His name due to the prohibition against saying an idol’s name.

The Jews are often referred to as God’s chosen people. This does not mean that they are in any way to be considered superior to other groups. Bible verses such as Exodus 19:5 simply state that God has selected Israel to receive and study the Torah, to worship God only, to rest on the Sabbath, and to celebrate the festivals. Jews were not chosen to be better than others; they were simply selected to be a light to the Gentiles and to be a blessing to all the nations.


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What is Judaism and what do Jews believe? – GotQuestions.org

Palestine | Article about Palestine by The Free Dictionary

Palestine, region, Asia Palestine (pl`stn), historic region on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, at various times comprising parts of modern Israel, the West Bank and Gaza (recognized internationally by nations as independent Palestine), Jordan, and Egypt; also known as the Holy Land. The name is derived from a word meaning “land of the Philistines.” This article discusses mainly the geography and the history of Palestine until the United Nations took up the Palestine problem in 1947; for the economy and later history, see IsraelIsrael , officially State of Israel, republic (2005 est. pop. 6,277,000, including Israelis in occupied Arab territories), 7,992 sq mi (20,700 sq km), SW Asia, on the Mediterranean Sea. ….. Click the link for more information. , JordanJordan, officially Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, kingdom (2005 est. pop. 5,760,000), 35,637 sq mi (92,300 sq km), SW Asia. It borders on Israel and the West Bank in the west, on Syria in the north, on Iraq in the northeast, and on Saudi Arabia in the east and south. ….. Click the link for more information. , and Palestinian AuthorityPalestinian Authority (PA) or Palestinian National Authority, interim self-government body responsible for areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip under Palestinian control. ….. Click the link for more information. , West BankWest Bank, territory, formerly part of Palestine, after 1949 administered by Jordan, since 1967 largely occupied by Israel (2005 est. pop. 2,386,000), 2,165 sq mi (5,607 sq km), west of the Jordan River, incorporating the northwest quadrant of the Dead Sea. ….. Click the link for more information. , and Gaza StripGaza Strip , (2007 pop. 1,416,543) rectangular coastal area, c.140 sq mi (370 sq km), SW Asia, on the Mediterranean Sea adjoining Egypt and Israel, in what was formerly SW Palestine, now officially administered by the Palestinian Authority. ….. Click the link for more information. .

In the Bible, Palestine is called Canaan before the invasion of Joshua; the usual Hebrew name is Eretz Israel [land of Israel]. Palestine is the Holy Land of Jews, having been promised to them by God according to the Bible; of Christians because it was the scene of Jesus’ life; and of Muslims because they consider Islam to be the heir of Judaism and Christianity and because Jerusalem is the site, according to Muslim tradition, of Muhammad’s ascent to heaven. The Holy Land derives its special character from being a place of pilgrimage. Shrines, shared in common by several religions, cluster most numerously in and about Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Hebron.

Palestine’s boundaries, never constant, always included at least the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. So defined, the region is c.140 mi (225 km) long and c.30 to c.70 mi (50115 km) wide. Outside these bounds were such biblical lands as EdomEdom , Idumaea, or Idumea , mountainous country, called also Mt. Seir. According to the Book of Genesis, it was given to Esau, also called Edom, and his descendants. It extended along the eastern border of the Arabah valley, from the Dead Sea to Elat. ….. Click the link for more information. , GileadGilead , in the Bible.

1 Eponym of the Gileadites, grandson of Manasseh.

2 Gadite.

3 Jephthah’s father.

4 City near Mizpah, denounced by Hosea.

5 Fertile, mountainous region, NE of the Dead Sea. ….. Click the link for more information. , MoabMoab , ancient nation located in the uplands E of the Dead Sea, now part of Jordan. The area is unprotected from the east, hence its history is a chain of raids by the Bedouin. ….. Click the link for more information. , and Hauran. The British mandate of Palestine (192048) included also the Negev, a c.100-mile-long (160-km) desert stretching S to the Gulf of Aqaba.

From east to west, Palestine proper comprises three geographic zones: the depressionnorthernmost extension of the Great Rift Valleyin which lies the Jordan River, Lake Hula, the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias), the Dead Sea, and the Arabah, a dry valley S of the Dead Sea; a ridge rising steeply to the west of this cleft; and a coastal plain c.12 mi (20 km) wide. In N Palestine the ridge is interrupted by the Plain of Esdraelon (Jezreel) and the connecting valley of Bet Shean (Beisan), the most fertile part of the region. The highland area to the north is called GalileeGalilee , region, N Israel, roughly the portion north of the plain of Esdraelon. Galilee was the chief scene of the ministry of Jesus. The Sea of Galilee (see Galilee, Sea of), the countryside, and the townsCana, Capernaum, Tiberias, Nazarethare repeatedly referred ….. Click the link for more information. , its chief centers being ZefatZefat , town (1994 pop. 21,600), NE Israel. One of Israel’s four holy cities, it has a thriving artists’ colony and many museums and ancient synagogues. Ceramics, diamonds, and handicrafts are produced in the town, which has a large Orthodox Jewish population. Founded c.A.D. ….. Click the link for more information. and NazarethNazareth , town (1993 pop. 53,500), N Israel, in Galilee. As the home of Jesus, it is a great pilgrimage and tourist center. Nazareth is also the trade center for an agricultural region. The town’s manufactures include processed food, cigarettes, and pottery. ….. Click the link for more information. , near which rises Mt. Tabor. To the south of the Plain of Esdraelon the broad ridge stretches unbroken to the Negev. First there are the hills of SamariaSamaria , city, ancient Palestine, on a hill NW of modern-day Nablus (Shechem). The site is now occupied by a village, Sabastiyah (West Bank). Samaria (named for Shemer, who owned the land) was built by King Omri as the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel in the early 9th ….. Click the link for more information. , with northward prongs (to the east Gilboa and to the west Mt. Carmel) fronting on the Bay of Acre. The center of Samaria is NablusNablus , Heb. Shechem, city (2003 est. pop. 127,000), the West Bank. It is the market center for a region where wheat and olives are grown and sheep and goats are grazed. Manufactures include soap made from olive oil and colorful shepherds’ coats. ….. Click the link for more information. , which lies between Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim. The mountains of JudaeaJudaea or Judea [Lat. from Judah], region, Greco-Roman name for S Palestine. It varied in size in different periods. In the time of Jesus it was both part of the province of Syria and a kingdom ruled by the Herods. ….. Click the link for more information. are W of the Dead Sea. In Judaea are JerusalemJerusalem , Heb. Yerushalayim, Arab. Al Quds, city (1994 pop. 578,800), capital of Israel. It is situated on a ridge 2,500 ft (760 m) high that lies west of the Dead Sea and the Jordan River. ….. Click the link for more information. , BethlehemBethlehem [Heb.,=house of bread or house of Lahm, a goddess], Arab. Bayt Lahm, town (2003 est. pop. 28,000), in the West Bank. It is traditionally considered the birthplace of Jesus and is one of the world’s great shrines. ….. Click the link for more information. , and HebronHebron, Arab. Al-Khalil, city (2003 est. pop. 155,000), the West Bank. Hebron is situated at an altitude of 3,000 ft (910 m) in a region where grapes, cereal grains, and vegetables are grown. ….. Click the link for more information. . Well to the south, in the Negev, lies BeershebaBeersheba [Heb.,=seven wells or well of the oath], city (1994 pop. 147,900), S Israel, principal city of the Negev Desert. It is the trade center for surrounding settlements and for Bedouins, who hold a weekly market in Beersheba. Construction is the city’s main industry. ….. Click the link for more information. .

The towns of the coastal plain are AkkoAkko or Acre , Fr. Saint-Jean d’Acre, Arab. Acca, city (1994 pop. 45,300), NW Israel, a port on the Bay of Haifa (an arm of the Mediterranean Sea). Its manufactures include iron and steel, chemicals, and textiles. The city was captured (A.D. ….. Click the link for more information. (Acre), HaifaHaifa , city (1994 pop. 246,700), NW Israel, a port on the Mediterranean Sea, at the foot of Mt. Carmel. Haifa is the chief city of N Israel and the country’s principal oil refining center. ….. Click the link for more information. , NetanyaNetanya , city (1994 pop. 144,900), W central Israel, on the Mediterranean Sea; also spelled Nathania. It is a beach resort and the trade center for agricultural settlements in the region. Diamond cutting and polishing and citrus packing are the chief industries. ….. Click the link for more information. , and the twin cities of Tel AvivTel Aviv , city (1994 pop. 355,200), W central Israel, on the Mediterranean Sea. Oficially named Tel AvivJaffa, it is Israel’s commercial, financial, communications, and cultural center and the core of its largest metropolitan area. ….. Click the link for more information. and JaffaJaffa , Heb. Yafo, part of Tel Aviv, W central Israel, on the Mediterranean Sea. Originally a Phoenician city, Jaffa has been historically important largely because of its port (which was closed in 1965, when the port of Ashdod was completed). ….. Click the link for more information. . Near Tel Aviv are Petah TiqwaPetah Tiqwa , town (1994 pop. 152,000), W central Israel. Its industries produce textiles, plastics, processed foods, tires and other rubber products, and soap. There are extensive citrus groves on the outskirts, and building stone is quarried nearby. ….. Click the link for more information. , LodLod , city (1994 pop. 51,200), central Israel. It is also known as Lydda. Its manufactures include paper products, chemicals, oil products, electronic equipment, processed food, and cigarettes. ….. Click the link for more information. , RamlaRamla or Ramleh [Arab.,=sand], town (1994 pop. 57,300), central Israel, in a farming area. Ramla may be the biblical Ramathaim-zophim, but more probably it was founded (c.716) by the Arabs. ….. Click the link for more information. , and RehovotRehovot or Rehoboth , town (1994 pop. 84,900), central Israel. It is the trade center for a large citrus-growing area, and its industries include fruit packing and the production of citrus concentrates. ….. Click the link for more information. . To the south is GazaGaza, Ghazzah , or Ghuzzeh , town (2003 est. pop. 380,000), principal city and administrative center of the Gaza Strip, SW Asia, on the Philistia plain between the Mediterranean Sea and W Israel. ….. Click the link for more information. . The various sections of the plain are named the Valley of Zebulun, or Plain of Acre, S of Akko; Sharon, S of Mt. Carmel; and the Shephelah, or Philistia, in the extreme south.

Agriculture in the Jordan valley centers around Lake Hula and the Sea of Galilee. The chief town is TiberiasTiberias , town (1994 pop. 36,400), NE Israel, on the Sea of Galilee, 682 ft (208 m) below sea level. It is one of the four holy cities of Judaism and a trade center for agricultural settlements. A resort town, Tiberias has hotels, a hot springs spa, and a lake port. ….. Click the link for more information. . Farther south the valley is too narrow to be of much use, except for providing water power, and there is only one city, JerichoJericho [Heb.,=fragrant, or city of the moon god], Arab. Ariha, town (2003 est. pop. 19,000), West Bank, in the Jordan valley N of the Dead Sea; nearby is the site of the ancient city of Jericho. ….. Click the link for more information. , E of Jerusalem. The surfacec.1,300 ft (400 m) below sea levelof the Dead Sea, into which the Jordan empties, is the lowest spot on the earth’s surface.

The earliest known inhabitants of Palestine were of the same group as the Neanderthal inhabitants of Europe. By the 4th millennium B.C. Palestine was inhabited by herders and farmers. It was in the 3d millennium that most of the towns known in historical times came into existence. They became centers of trade for Egyptian and Babylonian goods. During the 2d millennium, Palestine was ruled by the Hyksos and by the Egyptians. Toward the end of this period Moses led the Hebrew people (see JewsJews [from Judah], traditionally, descendants of Judah, the fourth son of Jacob, whose tribe, with that of his half-brother Benjamin, made up the kingdom of Judah; historically, members of the worldwide community of adherents to Judaism. ….. Click the link for more information. ) out of Egypt, across the Sinai, and into Palestine.

Around 1200 B.C., the Philistines (“Sea Peoples”) invaded the southern coastland and established a powerful kingdom (see PhilistiaPhilistia , region of SW ancient Palestine, comprising a coastal strip along the Mediterranean and a portion of S Canaan. The chief cities of Philistia were Gaza, Ashqelon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath; strategically located on the great commercial route from Egypt to Syria, they ….. Click the link for more information. ). The Hebrews were subject to the Philistines until c.1000 B.C., when an independent Hebrew kingdom was established under SaulSaul, first king of the ancient Hebrews. He was a Benjamite and anointed king by Samuel. Saul’s territory was probably limited to the hill country of Judah and the region to the north, and his proximity to the Philistines brought him into constant conflict with them. ….. Click the link for more information. , who was succeeded by DavidDavid, d. c.970 B.C., king of ancient Israel (c.1010970 B.C.), successor of Saul. The Book of First Samuel introduces him as the youngest of eight sons who is anointed king by Samuel to replace Saul, who had been deemed a failure. ….. Click the link for more information. and then by SolomonSolomon, d. c.930 B.C., king of the ancient Hebrews (c.970c.930 B.C.), son and successor of David. His mother was Bath-sheba. His accession has been dated to c.970 B.C. According to the Bible. ….. Click the link for more information. . After the expansionist reign of Solomon (c.950 B.C.), the kingdom broke up into two states, Israel, with its capital at Samaria, and Judah, under the house of David, with its capital at Jerusalem. The two kingdoms were later conquered by expanding Mesopotamian states, Israel by AssyriaAssyria , ancient empire of W Asia. It developed around the city of Ashur, or Assur, on the upper Tigris River and south of the later capital, Nineveh. Assyria’s Rise

The nucleus of a Semitic state was forming by the beginning of the 3d millennium B.C. ….. Click the link for more information. (c.720 B.C.) and Judah by BabyloniaBabylonia , ancient empire of Mesopotamia. The name is sometimes given to the whole civilization of S Mesopotamia, including the states established by the city rulers of Lagash, Akkad (or Agade), Uruk, and Ur in the 3d millennium B.C. ….. Click the link for more information. (586 B.C.).

In 539 B.C. the Persians conquered the Babylonians. The Jewish Temple, destroyed by the Babylonians, was rebuilt (516 B.C.). Under Persian rule Palestine enjoyed considerable autonomy. Alexander the Great of Macedon, conquered Palestine in 333 B.C. His successors, the Ptolemies and Seleucids, contested for Palestine. The attempt of the Seleucid Antiochus IVAntiochus IV (Antiochus Epiphanes) , d. 163 B.C., king of Syria (175 B.C.163 B.C.), son of Antiochus III and successor of his brother Seleucus IV. His nephew (later Demetrius I) was held as a hostage in Rome, although still claiming the throne. ….. Click the link for more information. (Antiochus Epiphanes) to impose Hellenism brought a Jewish revolt under the MaccabeesMaccabees or Machabees , Jewish family of the 2d and 1st cent. B.C. that brought about a restoration of Jewish political and religious life. They are also called Hasmoneans or Asmoneans after their ancestor, Hashmon. ….. Click the link for more information. , who set up a new Jewish state in 142 B.C. The state lasted until 63 B.C., when Pompey conquered Palestine for Rome.

Palestine at the time of Jesus was ruled by puppet kings of the Romans, the Herods (see HerodHerod, dynasty reigning in Palestine at the time of Jesus. As a dynasty the Herods depended largely on the power of Rome. They are usually blamed for the state of virtual anarchy in Palestine at the beginning of the Christian era.

Antipater (fl. c.65 B.C. ….. Click the link for more information. ). When the Jews revolted in A.D. 66, the Romans destroyed the Temple (A.D. 70). Another revolt between A.D. 132 and 135 was also suppressed (see Bar Kokba, SimonBar Kokba, Simon, or Simon Bar Cochba [Heb.,=son of the star], d. A.D. 135, Hebrew hero and leader of a major revolt against Rome under Hadrian (132135). He may have claimed to be a Messiah; the Talmud relates that Akiba ben Joseph credited him with this title. ….. Click the link for more information. ), Jericho and Bethlehem were destroyed, and the Jews were barred from Jerusalem. When Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity (312), Palestine became a center of Christian pilgrimage, and many Jews left the region. Palestine over the next few centuries generally enjoyed peace and prosperity until it was conquered in 614 by the Persians. It was recovered briefly by the Byzantine Romans, but fell to the Muslim Arabs under caliph Umar by the year 640.

At this time (during the Umayyad rule), the importance of Palestine as a holy place for Muslims was emphasized, and in 691 the Dome of the Rock was erected on the site of the Temple of Solomon, which is claimed by Muslims to have been the halting station of Muhammad on his journey to heaven. Close to the Dome, the Aqsa mosque was built. In 750, Palestine passed to the Abbasid caliphate, and this period was marked by unrest between factions that favored the Umayyads and those who preferred the new rulers.

In the 9th cent., Palestine was conquered by the Fatimid dynasty, which had risen to power in North Africa. The Fatimids had many enemiesthe Seljuks, Karmatians, Byzantines, and Bedouinsand Palestine became a battlefield. Under the Fatimid caliph al Hakim (9961021), the Christians and Jews were harshly suppressed, and many churches were destroyed. In 1099, Palestine was captured by the Crusaders (see CrusadesCrusades , series of wars undertaken by European Christians between the 11th and 14th cent. to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. First Crusade Origins

In the 7th cent., Jerusalem was taken by the caliph Umar. ….. Click the link for more information. ), who established the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. The Crusaders were defeated by SaladinSaladin , Arabic Salah ad-Din, 1137?1193, Muslim warrior and Ayyubid sultan of Egypt, the great opponent of the Crusaders, b. Mesopotamia, of Kurdish descent. ….. Click the link for more information. at the battle of Hittin (1187), and the Latin Kingdom was ended; they were finally driven out of Palestine by the Mamluks in 1291. Under Mamluk rule Palestine declined.

In 1516 the Mamluks were defeated by the Ottoman Turks. The first three centuries of Ottoman rule isolated Palestine from outside influence. In 1831, Muhammad Ali, the Egyptian viceroy nominally subject to the Ottoman sultan, occupied Palestine. Under him and his son the region was opened to European influence. Ottoman control was reasserted in 1840, but Western influence continued. Among the many European settlements established, the most significant in the long run were those of Jews, Russian Jews being the first to come (1882).

In the late 19th cent. the Zionist movement was founded (see ZionismZionism, modern political movement for reconstituting a Jewish national state in Palestine. Early Years

The rise of the Zionist movement in the late 19th cent. ….. Click the link for more information. ) with the goal of establishing a Jewish homeland in Palestine, and dozens of Zionist colonies were founded there. At the start of the Zionist colonization of Palestine in the late 19th cent., the rural people were Arab peasants (fellahin). Most of the population were Muslims, but in the urban areas there were sizable groups of Arab Christians (at Nazareth, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem) and of Jews (at Zefat, Tiberias, Jerusalem, Jericho, and Hebron).

At the same time Arab nationalism was developing in the Middle East in opposition to Turkish rule. In World War I the British, with Arab aid, gained control of Palestine. In the Balfour Declaration (1917) the British promised Zionist leaders to aid the establishment of a Jewish “national home” in Palestine, with due regard for the rights of non-Jewish Palestinians. However, the British had also promised Arab leaders to support the creation of independent Arab states. The Arabs believed Palestine was to be among these, an intention that the British later denied.

In 1919 there were about 568,000 Muslims, 74,000 Christians, and 58,000 Jews in Palestine. The first Arab anti-Zionist riots occurred in Palestine in 1920. The League of Nations approved the British mandate in 1922, although the actual administration of the area had begun in 1920. As part of the mandate Britain was given the responsibility for aiding the Jewish homeland and fostering Jewish immigration there. The British stressed that their policy to aid the homeland did not include making all Palestine the homeland, but rather that such a home should exist within Palestine and that there were economic limits on how many immigrants should be admitted (1922 White Paper).

In the 1920s, Jewish immigration was slight, but the Jewish communities made great economic progress. In 1929 there was serious Jewish-Arab violence occasioned by a clash at the Western, or Wailing, Wall in Jerusalem. A British report found that Arabs feared the economic and political consequences of continued Jewish immigration with its attendant land purchases. Zionists were angered when a new White Paper (1930) urged limiting immigration, but they were placated by Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald (1931).

The rise of Nazism in Europe during the 1930s led to a great increase in immigration. Whereas there were about 5,000 immigrants authorized in 1932, about 62,000 were authorized in 1935. Arabs conducted strikes and boycotts; a general strike in 1936, organized by Haj Amin al Husayni, mufti of Jerusalem, lasted six months. Some Arabs acquired weapons and formed a guerrilla force. The Peel commission (1937), finding British promises to Zionists and Arabs irreconcilable, declared the mandate unworkable and recommended the partition of Palestine into Jewish, Arab, and British (largely the holy places) mandatory states. The Zionists reluctantly approved partition, but the Arabs rejected it, objecting particularly to the proposal that the Arab population be forcibly transferred out of the proposed Jewish state.

The British dropped the partition idea and announced a new policy (1939 White Paper). Fifteen thousand Jews a year would be allowed to immigrate for the next five years, after which Jewish immigration would be subject to Arab acquiescence; Jewish land purchases were to be restricted; and within 10 years an independent, binational Palestine would be established. The Zionists were shocked by what they considered a betrayal of the Balfour Declaration. The Arabs also rejected the plan, demanding instead the immediate creation of an Arab Palestine, the prohibition of further immigration, and a review of the status of all Jewish immigrants since 1918.

The outbreak of World War II prevented the implementation of the plan, except for the restriction on land transfers. The Zionists and most Arabs supported Britain in the war (although Haj Amin al Husayni was in Germany and negotiated Palestine’s future with Hitler), but tension inside Palestine increased. The Haganah, a secret armed group organized by the Jewish Agency, and the Irgun and the Stern Gang, terrorist groups, were active. British officials were killed by the terrorists. The horrible plight of European Jewry led influential forces in the United States to lobby for support of an independent Jewish state, and President Truman requested that Britain permit the admission of 100,000 Jews. Illegal immigration, often involving survivors of Hitler’s death camps, took place on a large scale. The independent Arab states organized the Arab League to exert internationally what pressure they could against the Zionists.

An Anglo-American commission recommended (1946) that Britain continue administering Palestine, rescind the land-transfer restrictions, and admit 100,000 Jews, and that the underground Jewish armed groups be disbanded. A plan for autonomy for Jews and Arabs within Palestine was discussed at a London conference (1947) of British, Arabs, and Zionists, but no agreement could be reached. The British, declaring their mandate unworkable and despairing of finding a solution, turned the Palestine problem over to the United Nations (Feb., 1947). At that time there were about 1,091,000 Muslims, 614,000 Jews, and 146,000 Christians in Palestine.

The United Nations Special Committee on Palestine devised a plan to divide Palestine into a Jewish state, an Arab state, and a small internationally administered zone including Jerusalem, and the General Assembly adopted the recommendations on Nov. 29, 1947. The Jews accepted the plan; the Arabs rejected it. As the British began to withdraw early in 1948, Arabs and Jews prepared for war (see Arab-Israeli WarsArab-Israeli Wars, conflicts in 194849, 1956, 1967, 197374, and 1982 between Israel and the Arab states. Tensions between Israel and the Arabs have been complicated and heightened by the political, strategic, and economic interests in the area of the great powers. ….. Click the link for more information. ).

See M. Avi-Yonah, A History of the Holy Land (tr. 1969); Esco Foundation for Palestine, Palestine: A Study of Jewish, Arab, and British Policies (2 vol., 1947, repr. 1970); J. C. Hurewitz, Struggle for Palestine (1950, repr. 1968); J. W. Parkes, The Emergence of the Jewish Problem, 18781939 (1946, repr. 1970) and Whose Lands? A History of the Peoples of Palestine (1971); A. Schalit, ed., The Hellenistic Age: Political History of Jewish Palestine from 332 B.C.E. to 67 B.C.E. (1972); M. Russell, Palestine (1985); J. Murphy-O’Connor, The Holy Land: An Archaeological Guide from Earliest Times to 1700 (1986); I. Abu-Lughod, ed., The Transformations of Palestine (2d ed. 1987); T. Segev, One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate (2000); B. Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 19471949 (1987) and The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited (2004); S. K. Farsoun, Culture and Customs of the Palestinians (2004); G. Krmer, A History of Palestine: From the Ottoman Conquest to the Founding of the State of Israel (2002, tr. 2008); R. Davis and M. Kirk, ed., Palestine and the Palestinians in the 21st Century (2013).

1.the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea in which most of the biblical narrative is located

2.the province of the Roman Empire in this region

3.the former British mandatory territory created by the League of Nations in 1922 (but effective from 1920), and including all of the present territories of Israel and Jordan between whom it was partitioned by the UN in 1948

a historical region in southwest Asia.

Historical sketch. Archaeological data indicate that Palestine was settled in the Paleolithic. The Mesolithic Natufian culture flourished here between the tenth and eighth millennia B.C. The area was settled by Canaanite tribes in the third millennium B.C. In the 18th century B.C., Palestine was conquered by the Hyksos, who in turn were defeated by the Egyptians in the 16th century B.C. While under Egyptian rule, the area was also influenced by the culture of Babylon.

The conquest of Palestine by ancient Hebrew tribes began in the 13th century B.C. In the 12th century the coast was conquered by the Philistines (Old Hebrew, Pelishtim), who gave their name to the entire region. In the 11th century B.C., ancient Hebrew tribes founded the Kingdom of Israel and Judah on the remaining territory; the kingdom was ruled first by Saul and later by David and Solomon. Around 928 B.C., the kingdom was divided into the Kingdom of Israel in the north, which lasted until 722 B.C., and the Kingdom of Judah in the south, which survived until 586 B.C. In 722 the Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Assyrian king Sargon II, who destroyed its capital, Samaria, and exiled most of the population to remote provinces in Assyria. In 587586 B.C. the Kingdom of Judah was conquered by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II and became the province of Judea. Jerusalem was burned, and many inhabitants were taken captive.

After the conquest of Babylon by the Persians in 539 B.C., Palestine became part of the Achaemenid state. In 332 B.C., it was incorporated into Alexander the Greats empire. In the third and second centuries, the area was ruled first by the Egyptian Ptolemies (from 301 B.C.) and later by the Syrian Seleucids (from 200 B.C.). In 167 B.C., Judas Maccabeus led a popular uprising in Judea against the political and religious oppression and heavy taxation of the Seleucids. The revolt resulted in the founding of the independent Hasmonean state in 142 B.C., named after the Hasmonean dynasty.

A Roman protectorate was established in 63 B.C., and in A.D. 6 the area became a Roman province ruled by a procurator. Several large, fierce popular revolts broke out against Roman rule: the Jewish War of 6673, Bar Kochbas Rebellion of 132135, and uprisings in the mid-second and third centuries.

In 395, Palestine became part of Byzantium. In 640 it was conquered by the Arabs, and under the Umayyads it was one of the more privileged provinces. During the disintegration of the Abbasid Caliphate, the area fell under the control of the Egyptian Tulunid, Ikhshidid, and Fatimid dynasties. During the First Crusade (109699), Palestine was conquered by the Crusaders, who founded the Kingdom of Jerusalem on the territory. In 1187, the Crusaders were expelled by the Egyptian sultan Salah-al-Din, and most of Palestine was annexed to Ayyubid, and later Mameluke, Egypt. Palestine remained under Mameluke control until the Turks conquered it in 1516. From 1750 until 1775 much of the area, under the rule of Sheikh Zahir Al-Umar, was virtually independent of the Ottoman Empire.

In the 19th century the anti-Turkish liberation movement in Palestine intensified, and uprisings broke out in Jerusalem, Nab-lus, and Bethlehem in 1825 and in Nablus and elsewhere in 1830. From 1832 until 1841, Palestine was ruled by the Egyptian pasha Muhammad Ali, who centralized the government, and curbed feudal lawlessness and Bedouin raids, all of which promoted economic development. However, oppressive taxation and the introduction of military conscription provoked anti-Egyptian revolts in 1834 and 184041.

In the mid-19th century, particularly after the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, the strategic and economic importance of Palestine increased, and the European powers competed for influence in the region. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the imperialist powers made use of Zionism, the reactionary chauvinistic ideology of the Jewish bourgeoisie, in their struggle for control over Palestine. One of Zionisms chief aims was the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine, where Jews from various countries could resettle.

During World War I, British troops occupied Palestine. On Nov. 2, 1917, the British government issued the Balfour Declaration, promising to promote the creation of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. At the San Remo Conference in April 1920, Great Britain received a mandate to govern Palestine, which was ratified by the League of Nations in July 1922. In September 1922, Great Britain created the mandate of Transjordan, out of part of Palestine. The Balfour Declaration did not extend to Transjordan.

After seizing key positions in the economy and political life of Palestine, Great Britain encouraged Jewish colonization and Zionist activity, as well as the influx of Jewish capital, linked with imperialist monopolies. To further its aims, Great Britain promoted Jewish immigration, and 452,000 Jewish immigrants arrived in Palestine between 1919 and May 1948. Under British protection, Zionist organizations received various concessions in Palestine and bought up the best land, forcibly driving away the Arab peasants (fellahin). All authority was concentrated in the hands of the British high commissioner, who headed the Palestinian government, consisting of British bureaucrats. Also operating in Palestine was the Jewish Agency, ostensibly an advisory body under the British high commissioner. In practice the agency exercised broad powers in matters of colonization and immigration and regulated the economic and political activity of the Jewish community. As the Zionist organizations grew stronger, they sought to free themselves from British supervision.

British colonial policy, resting on cooperation with the Zionists, caused growing discontent among the Arabs. Armed rebellions against the British colonialists and the Zionist colonization of Palestine broke out in 1920, 1929, 1933, and from 1936 to 1939. The Socialist Workers Party of Palestine was founded in 1919; two years later it was renamed the Palestine Communist Party. The party called for a joint struggle of the Jewish and Arab laboring masses against British imperialism and for the liberation of Palestine from British colonial domination, to be followed by the creation of an Arab-Jewish independent state.

Seeking to weaken the national liberation struggle of the Palestinian Arabs and to retain control over Zionist policies, Great Britain announced in the late 1930s that it would limit and then end Jewish immigration and would restrict the acquisition of land by Zionist organizations. Dissatisfied with British policy, the Zionists shifted their strategy toward an alliance with the USA by exploiting Anglo-American controversies and the American oil monopolies efforts to entrench themselves in the Near East.

After World War II, the struggle of the peoples of Palestine to abolish the British mandate intensified. In 1947 the British government was obliged to refer the question of Palestine to the UN. On Nov. 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for the abolition of the British mandate, the withdrawal of British troops from Palestine, and the creation of two independent states on its territoryone Arab and the other Jewisheconomically tied to each other. Jerusalem was designated an independent administrative unit with a special international government under UN direction. In view of the realities of the situation, the Soviet Union voted for the resolution.

On May 14, 1948, part of Palestine was proclaimed the state of Israel. The Arab people of Palestine, however, were unable to exercise their right to create an Arab state because the Zionists, Western imperialist circles, and reactionary forces in the Arab countries provoked the Arab-Israeli War of 194849. Boundary lines were established under the 1949 truce between Israel and the neighboring Arab states. As a result of the war, Israel seized more than half of the area that the UN General Assembly had designated for the creation of an Arab state (6,700 sq km), as well as the western part of Jerusalem. Eastern Palestinethe West Bank of the Jordan Riverand eastern Jerusalem were annexed by Jordan in 1950, and the Gaza Strip came under the control of Egypt. Israeli armed forces drove more than 900,000 Arabs from the conquered territory. The problem of the Palestinian refugees arose as one aspect of the Palestinian problem, which can only be resolved by guaranteeing the lawful national rights of all the Arab people of Palestine.

In June 1967, Israel committed another aggression against the neighboring Arab countries, occupying not only the entire territory of the former Palestine mandate but also the Sinai Peninsula, belonging to Egypt, and Syrias Golan Heights. The problem of the Palestinian refugees, numbering more than 1.5 million persons in 1974 according to UN sources, became more acute. Palestinian Arabs in the Palestinian resistance movement, directed by the Palestine Liberation Organization, are struggling to eliminate the consequences of the Israeli aggression of 1967 and to achieve a just solution to the Palestinian problem through a political resolution of the Near East crisis that would ensure the lawful rights of the Arab people of Palestine.

M. A. KOROSTOVTSEV (to the fourth century), I. M. SMILIANSKAIA (fourth century to 1914), and E. A. LEBEDEV (since 1914)

Architecture and fine and applied art. Palestinian art originated in the Mesolithic (Natufian culture). Art objects discovered in the ancient settlement of Jericho date from the pre-ceramic Neolithic period (seventh and sixth millennia B.C.). Pottery from the fifth millennium B.C. is adorned with engraved or painted geometrical designs.

The Chalcolithic age (fourth millennium B.C.) is represented by the ruins of fortified settlements at Beisan (Beth-Shean) and Megiddo, where the remains of apsidal dwellings have been discovered, as well as by subterranean dwellings near Beersheba. Painted and glazed red and gray pottery, ivory figurines, and jewelry have been found. Especially noteworthy are the wall paintings at Tulaylat al-Ghusul.

In the third and second millennia B.C., when Palestine was settled by the Canaanites, urban settlements developed, of which the most important were Jerusalem, Jericho, Beisan, Megiddo, and Lachish (Tell el-Duweir). These towns had fortifications of stone or adobe, stone temples similar in layout to Syrian and Phoenician temples, and water tunnels. Among art works discovered in the towns were reliefs, sculpture in the round similar to that of Syria, figurines, and ceramic vessels in the shape of birds and other animals. The most important structure at the time of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah (second half of the tenth to sixth century B.C.) was the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem (tenth century B.C.), known from descriptions in the Bible. Glyptics, seals with depictions of birds and beasts, were well developed.

Tombs with frescoes in the burial chambers, such as those at Mareshah, first appeared in the Hellenistic period and continued to be built until the fourth century A.D. The remains of temples (for example, the temple of Dionysus in Beisan), theaters (Beisan and Caesarea), aqueducts, and dwellings, often adorned with mosaics and sculpture, have survived from the Roman period. Marble sarcophagi with funeral busts and reliefs have also survived. Synagogues combining features of local, Roman, and Syrian architecture were built in the second to fourth centuries A.D. The best example of this style is the synagogue at Capernaum (Kefar-Nahum). Basilicas, monasteries, churches, and fortifications have survived from Byzantine times.

After conquering Palestine in the seventh century, the Arabs introduced mosques and madrasahs. Outstanding examples of Arab architecture and art are the mosques of Kubbet es-Sakhra and al-Aksa in Jerusalem and the palace of Khirbat al-Mafjar. The principal architectural works from the time of the Crusaders (11th to 13th centuries) are castles (Caesarea) and fortresses.

Outstanding architectural achievements from the period of Turkish rule, which lasted from the 16th to the early 20th century, are the synagogue in Safad (mid-16th century) and the mosque in Jaffa (1810). With the influx of Jewish immigrants into Palestine beginning in the late 19th century, the artistic traditions of various countries began to influence the indigenous culture. Initially, private and public buildings were built in the eclectic style, but later contemporary Western European architectural forms were adopted by such architects as E. Mendelsohn and R. Kaufman. A Jewish style, employing themes from Jewish history and literature, evolved in professional art. Gradually, the arrival of artists who had received their training in many different countries resulted in the coexistence of a variety of styles in the arts, ranging from academic realism to abstract art.

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Palestine | Article about Palestine by The Free Dictionary

Anti-Semitism: Why Does It Exist? And Why Does it Persist?

Anti-Semitism: Why Does It Exist? And Why Does it Persist?

By Mark Weber

Over the centuries, hostility against Jews has repeatedly erupted in terrible violence. Again and again, Jews have been driven out of countries where theyd been living. Why does anti-Semitism exist? And why has rage against Jews broken out, again and again, in the most varied nations, eras and cultures? Closely related to this is the broader issue of relations between Jews and non-Jews a subject that many writers and scholars have called the Jewish question.

All too often, discussions of anti-Semitism and the Jewish question have been distorted by prejudice, bigotry and lack of candor. But this important subject deserves careful, informed and honest consideration.

Prominent Jewish leaders claim to be puzzled by the persistence of anti-Jewish sentiment and behavior. Insisting that anti-Semitism is a baseless and unreasonable prejudice, they often compare it to a mysterious virus or disease.

Elie Wiesel is one of the best-known Jewish authors and community figures of our age. His memoir of wartime experiences, entitled Night, has been obligatory reading in many classrooms. Hes a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, and for years has been a professor at Boston University. Wiesel is considered to be an authority on anti-Semitism, but he says that hes puzzled by it. The source and endurance of anti-Semitism in history remains a mystery, he told an audience in Germany in April 2004. /1 In another address he described anti-Semitism as an irrational disease. Speaking at a conference in October 2002, Wiesel went on to say: The world has changed in the last 2,000 years, and only anti-Semitism has remained … The only disease that has not found its cure is anti-Semitism. /2

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is one of the worlds largest and most influential Jewish-Zionist organizations. It considers itself the foremost center for monitoring and combating anti-Semitism, and educating the public about this dangerous phenomenon. In his 2003 book, Never Again?: The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism, ADL national director Abraham Foxman expressed grave concern about what he sees as rising hostility toward Jews: I am convinced we currently face as great a threat to the safety and security of the Jewish people as the one we faced in the 1930s if not a greater one. /3 Remarkably, he too claimed to be perplexed about the reasons for the origin and durability of discord between Jews and non-Jews. I think of anti-Semitism as a disease, Foxman writes. Anti-Semitism also resembles a disease in being fundamentally irrational … Its a spiritual and psychological illness. /4

Charles Krauthammer, an influential Jewish-American writer who is a fervent defender of Israel, is similarly puzzled by the endurance of anti-Jewish sentiment. The persistence of anti-Semitism, that most ancient of poisons, is one of historys great mysteries, he wrote in a Washington Post column that also appeared in many other newspapers across the country. /5

Wiesel, Foxman and Krauthammer, along with other prominent Jewish-Zionist leaders, are unable — or unwilling — to provide an explanation for the persistence of anti-Semitism. They believe, or claim to believe, that because its an entirely irrational and baseless disease, theres no relation between what Jews do, and what non-Jews think of Jews. In their view, the strife and tension between Jews and non-Jews that has persisted over the centuries is not caused by, or is even related to, Jewish behavior.

Fortunately, a reasonable explanation for this enduring phenomenon has been provided by one of the most prominent and influential Jewish figures of modern history: Theodor Herzl, the founder of the modern Zionist movement. He laid out his views in a book, written in German, entitled The Jewish State (Der Judenstaat). Published in 1896, this work is the basic manifesto of the Zionist movement. A year and a half later he convened the first international Zionist conference.

In his book Herzl explained that regardless of where they live, or their citizenship, Jews constitute not merely a religious community, but a nationality, a people. He used the German word, Volk. Wherever large numbers of Jews live among non-Jews, he said, conflict is not only likely, its inevitable. The Jewish question exists wherever Jews live in noticeable numbers, he wrote. Where it does not exist, it is brought in by arriving Jews … I believe I understand anti-Semitism, which is a very complex phenomenon. I consider this development as a Jew, without hate or fear. /6

In his public and private writings, Herzl explained that anti-Semitism is not an aberration, but rather a natural response by non-Jews to alien Jewish behavior and attitudes. Anti-Jewish sentiment, he said, is not due to ignorance or bigotry, as so many have claimed. Instead, he concluded, the ancient and seemingly intractable conflict between Jews and non-Jews is entirely understandable, because Jews are a distinct and separate people, with interests that are different from, and which often conflict with, the interests of the people among whom they live.

Anti-Jewish sentiment in the modern era, Herzl believed, arose from the emancipation of Jews in the 18th and 19th centuries, which freed them from the confined life of the ghetto and brought them into modern urban society and direct economic dealings with middle class non-Jews. Anti-Semitism, Herzl wrote, is an understandable reaction to Jewish defects. In his diary he wrote: I find the anti-Semites are fully within their rights. /7

Herzl maintained that Jews must stop pretending — both to themselves and to non-Jews — that they are like everyone else, and instead must frankly acknowledge that they are a distinct and separate people, with distinct and separate goals and interests. The only workable long-term solution, he said, is for Jews to recognize reality and live, finally, as a normal people in a separate state of their own. In a memo to the Tsar of Russia, Herzl wrote that Zionism is the final solution of the Jewish question. /8

Israels first president, Chaim Weizmann, expressed a similar view. In his memoirs, he wrote: Whenever the quantity of Jews in any country reaches the saturation point, that country reacts against them … [This] reaction … cannot be looked upon as anti-Semitism in the ordinary or vulgar sense of that word; it is a universal social and economic concomitant of Jewish immigration, and we cannot shake it off. /9

Such candor is rare. Only occasionally do Jewish leaders today explain anti-Semitism as a reaction to the behavior of Jews. One of the wealthiest and most influential figures in todays world is George Soros, the Hungarian-born billionaire financier. Generally he avoids highlighting his ties to the Jewish community, and only rarely attends purely Jewish gatherings. But in November 2003 he addressed a meeting in New York City of the Jewish Funders Network. When he was asked about anti-Semitism in Europe, Soros did not respond by saying that it is an irrational disease. Instead, he said that it is the result of the policies of Israel and the United States. There is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. The policies of the Bush administration and the Sharon administration contribute to that, he said. If we change that direction, then anti-Semitism also will diminish,” he went on. I cant see how one could confront it directly. /10

Jewish community leaders reacted angrily to Soros remarks. Elan Steinberg, senior adviser at the World Jewish Congress (and former executive director of that influential organization), said: Lets understand things clearly: Anti-Semitism is not caused by Jews; its caused by anti-Semites. Abraham Foxman called Soros comments absolutely obscene. The ADL director went on to say: He buys into the stereotype. Its a simplistic, counterproductive, biased and bigoted perception of whats out there. Its blaming the victim for all of Israels and the Jewish peoples ills. /11

Most people readily accept that positive feelings by non-Jews toward Jews have some basis in Jewish behavior. But Jewish leaders such as Foxman, Wiesel and Steinberg seem unwilling to accept that negative feelings toward Jews might similarly have a basis in Jewish behavior.

Along with all other social behavior over time, conflict between Jews and non-Jews has an evident and understandable basis in history and human nature. The historical record suggests that the persistence of anti-Semitism over the centuries is rooted in the unusual way that Jews relate to non-Jews.

Israeli and Jewish- Zionist leaders affirm that Jews constitute a people or a nation that is, a distinct nationality group to which Jews everywhere are supposed to feel and express a primary loyalty. /12 Some American Jewish leaders have been explicit about this. Louis Brandeis, a US Supreme Court justice and a leading American Zionist, said: Let us all recognize that we Jews are a distinctive nationality of which every Jew, whatever his country, his station or shade of belief, is necessarily a member. /13 Stephen S. Wise, president of the American Jewish Congress and of the World Jewish Congress, told a rally in New York in June 1938: “I am not an American citizen of the Jewish faith. I am a Jew … Hitler was right in one thing. He calls the Jewish people a race, and we are a race.” /14 In keeping with this outlook, Israeli leaders also say that the Zionist state represents not just its own Jewish citizens, but Jews everywhere. /15

While affirming — usually only among themselves that Jews are members of a separate nationality to which they should feel and express a prime loyalty, Zionists simultaneously insist that Jews must be welcomed as full and equal citizens in whatever country they may wish to live. While Zionist Jews in the US such as Abraham Foxman speak of the Jewish people as a distinct nationality, they also claim that Jews are Americans like everyone else, and insist that Jews, including Zionist Jews, must be granted all the rights of US citizens, with no social, legal or institutional obstacles to Jewish power and influence in American life. In short, Jewish-Zionist leaders and organizations (such as the World Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Committee) demand full citizen rights for Zionist Jews not only in their country, Israel, but everywhere.

Major Jewish-Zionist organizations, and, more broadly, the organized Jewish community, also promote pluralism, tolerance and diversity in the United States and other countries. They believe this is useful for Jews. Americas pluralistic society is at the heart of Jewish security, wrote Abraham Foxmam. In the long run, the ADL director went to explain, what has made American Jewish life a uniquely positive experience in Diaspora history and which has enabled us to be such important allies for the State of Israel, is the health of a pluralistic, tolerant and inclusive American society. /16

For some time, the ADL has promoted the slogan Diversity is Our Strength. In keeping with this motto, which it claims to have invented, the ADL has devoted effort and resources to persuading Americans — especially younger Americans — to welcome and embrace ever more social, cultural and racial diversity. /17

This campaign has been very successful. American politicians and educators, and virtually the entire US mass media, promote diversity, multiculturalism and pluralism, and portray those who do not embrace these objectives as hateful and ignorant. At the same time, influential Jewish-Zionist organizations such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) insist that the US must recognize and defend Israel as a specifically Jewish ethnic-religious state. /18 Pluralism and diversity, it seems, are only for non-Jews. Whats good for Jews in their own homeland, Jewish-Zionist leaders seem to say, is not pluralism and diversity, but a tribalistic nationalism.

What Jews think is important because the Jewish community has the power to realize its goals. In a remarkable address in May 2013, Vice President Joe Biden said that the immense and outsized Jewish role in the US mass media and cultural life has been the single most important factor in shaping American attitudes over the past century, and in driving major cultural- political changes. I bet you 85 percent of those [social- political] changes, whether its in Hollywood or social media, are a consequence of Jewish leaders in the industry. The influence is immense, he said. Jewish heritage has shaped who we are all of us, us, me as much or more than any other factor in the last 223 years. And thats a fact, he added. /19

Biden is not alone in acknowledging this clout. It makes no sense at all to try to deny the reality of Jewish power and prominence in popular culture, wrote Michael Medved, a well-known Jewish author and film critic in 1996. /20 Joel Stein, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, wrote in 2008: As a proud Jew, I want America to know about our accomplishment. Yes, we control Hollywood … I dont care if Americans think were running the news media, Hollywood, Wall Street or the government. I just care that we get to keep running them. /21

Even though Jews have more influence and power in US political and cultural life than any other ethnic or religious group, Jewish groups are uncomfortable when non- Jews point this out. In fact, says Foxman and the ADL, one sure sign that someone is an anti-Semite is if he agrees with the statement that Jews have too much power in our country today. /22 For Foxman, apparently, there can never be too much Jewish influence and power.

Anti-Semitism is not a mysterious disease. As Herzl and Weizmann suggested, and as history shows, what is often called anti-Semitism is the natural and understandable attitude of people toward a minority with particularist loyalties that wields greatly disproportionate power for its own interests, rather than for the common good.

Source Notes

— December 2013. Revised January 2014.

About the Author

Mark Weber is a historian, author and current affairs analyst. He studied history at the University of Illinois (Chicago), the University of Munich, Portland State University and Indiana University (M.A., 1977).

For Further Reading

Norman F. Cantor. The Sacred Chain: A History of the Jews. New York: Harper, 1994.

Benjamin Ginsberg. The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State. The Univ. of Chicago Press, 1993.

Peter Harrison, What Causes Anti-Semitism? Review of Macdonalds Separation and Its Discontents. The Journal of Historical Review, May-June 1998. ( http://ihr.org/jhr/v17/v17n3p28_Harrison )

Stanley Hornbeck. Review of Macdonalds The Culture of Critique. American Renaissance, June 1999. ( http://www.csulb.edu/~kmacd/review-AR.html )

Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab. Jews and the New American Scene. Harvard University Press, 1995.

Kevin MacDonald, A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy. Praeger, 1994.

Kevin MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism. Praeger,1998

Kevin MacDonald, The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements. Praeger, 1998 (Softcover edition, 2002).

W. D. Rubinstein. The Left, The Right and the Jews. New York: Universe Books, 1982.

Israel Shahak. Jewish History, Jewish Religion. London: Pluto Press, 1994,

Goldwin Smith. The Jewish Question. From: Essays on Questions of the Day. New York: Macmillan, 1894. ( http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v17/v17n1p16_Smith.html )

Mark Weber, A Straight Look at the Jewish Lobby ( http://ihr.org/leaflets/jewishlobby.shtml )

Mark Weber, Holocaust Remembrance: What’s Behind the Campaign? Feb. 2006. ( http://www.ihr.org/leaflets/holocaust_remembrance.shtml )

Mark Weber, Jews: A Religious Community, a People, or a Race?, March-April 2000. ( http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v19/v19n2p63_Weber.html ) ;

Mark Weber, Straight Talk About Zionism: What Jewish Nationalism Means. April 2009. ( http://www.ihr.org/zionism0409.html )

Mark Weber, The Weight of Tradition: Why Judaism is Not Like Other Religions. Oct. 2010. ( http://www.ihr.org/judaism0709.html )

Mark Weber, Vice President Biden Acknowledges ‘Immense’ Jewish Role in American Mass Media and Cultural Life, July 2013. ( http://ihr.org/other/biden_jewish_role )

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Anti-Semitism: Why Does It Exist? And Why Does it Persist?

Israel – Kids

HISTORY Settled in 9500, B.C. the Arab city of Jericho is one of the oldest human settlements. People farmed crops and kept animals. There is little documentation on the earliest inhabitants of modern Israel.

Throughout history many powers have ruled the area, including the Egyptians, Persians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, and Islamic leaders. Fighting continues today in the region.

Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, is considered a holy city by Muslims, Jews, and Christians alike. This city is the historical hub of all three religions and faithful followers of each religion have fought over it. Jews believe the Messiah will one day appear here, Muslims believe that Muhammad ascended to heaven from here, and Christians believe this is where Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

After the Nazi takeover of many countries in Europe, the Jews who were able to leave needed a new home. Many went to Israel. The State of Israel was created after Israel fought six wars with its Arab neighbors and the British left Palestine in 1948.

In 1967, after the Six Day War, Israel took control of Arab areas of Palestine which included the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Sinai, and the Golan Heights. The areas became known as the Occupied Territories. To secure peace, Israel in 1982 ended its occupation of the Sinai Peninsula and returned the land to Egypt.

Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981 after capturing it in 1967Syria still claims this territory.

A Palestinian rebellion, called an intifada, began in 1987 and took hundreds of lives before negotiations resulted in a 1993 accord that granted Palestinian self-rule in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank city of Jericho.

The Israeli military withdrew from all West Bank cities by 1997and also left southern Lebanon in 2000. After peace talks failed another intifada started in September 2000, and most of the West Bank was reoccupied by 2002.

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Israel – Kids

Israel: Geography, History, Politics, and More – Fact Monster

State of Israel

President-elect: Reuven Rivlin (2014)

Prime Minister: Benjamin Netanyahu (2009)

Land area: 7,849 sq mi (20,329 sq km); total area: 8,019 sq mi (20,770 sq km)

Population (2014 est.): 7,821,850 (growth rate: 1.46%); birth rate: 18.44/1000; infant mortality rate: 3.98/1000; life expectancy: 81.28

Capital and largest city (2009 est.): Jerusalem, 791,000 Note: Israel proclaimed Jerusalem as its capital in 1950, but the U.S., like nearly all other countries, maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv.

Other large cities: Tel Aviv-Yafo 3.381 million; Haifa 1.054 million

Monetary unit: Shekel

National name: Medinat Yisra’el

Current government officials

Languages: Hebrew (official), Arabic, English

Ethnicity/race: Jewish 75.1% (of which Israel-born 73.6%, Europe/America/Oceania-born 17.9%, Africa-born 5.2%, Asia-born 3.2%), non-Jewish 24.9% (mostly Arab) (2012 est.)

Religions: Jewish 75.1%, Muslim 17.4%, Christian 2%, Druze 1.6%, other 3.9% (2012 est.)

National Holiday: Independence Day, April or May 14

Literacy rate: 97% (2004 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2014 est.): $273.2 billion; per capita $36,200. Real growth rate: 3.3%. Inflation: 3.9%. Unemployment: 1.7%. Arable land: 13.68%. Agriculture: citrus, vegetables, cotton; beef, poultry, dairy products. Labor force: 3.493 million; agriculture 1.65%; industry 18.1%; services 80.3% (2012). Industries: high-technology projects (including aviation, communications, computer-aided design and manufactures, medical electronics, fiber optics), wood and paper products, potash and phosphates, food, beverages, and tobacco, caustic soda, cement, construction, metals products, chemical products, plastics, diamond cutting, textiles, footwear. Natural resources: timber, potash, copper ore, natural gas, phosphate rock, magnesium bromide, clays, sand. Exports: $62.32 billion (2012 est.): machinery and equipment, software, cut diamonds, agricultural products, chemicals, textiles and apparel. Imports: $67.03 billion (2013 est.): raw materials, military equipment, investment goods, rough diamonds, fuels, grain, consumer goods. Major trading partners: U.S., Belgium, Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland, UK, China (2006).

Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 3.594 million (2012); mobile cellular 9.225 million (2012). Broadcast media: state broadcasting network, operated by the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA), broadcasts on 2 channels, one in Hebrew and the other in Arabic; 5 commercial channels including a channel broadcasting in Russian, a channel broadcasting Knesset proceedings, and a music channel supervised by a public body; multi-channel satellite and cable TV packages provide access to foreign channels; IBA broadcasts on 8 radio networks with multiple repeaters and Israel Defense Forces Radio broadcasts over multiple stations; about 15 privately owned radio stations; overall more than 100 stations and repeater stations (2008). Internet hosts: 2.483 million (2012). Internet users: 4.525 million (2009).

Transportation: Railways: total: 975 km (2008). Roadways: total: 18,566 km; paved: 18,566 km (including 449 km of expressways) (2011). Ports and terminals: Ashdod, Elat (Eilat), Hadera, Haifa. Airports: 47 (2013).

International disputes: West Bank and Gaza Strip are Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement – permanent status to be determined through further negotiation; Israel continues construction of a “seam line” separation barrier along parts of the Green Line and within the West Bank; Israel announced its intention to pull out Israeli settlers and withdraw from the Gaza Strip and four settlements in the northern West Bank in 2005; Golan Heights is Israeli-occupied (Lebanon claims the Shab’a Farms area of Golan Heights); since 1948, about 350 peacekeepers from the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) headquartered in Jerusalem monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements, prevent isolated incidents from escalating, and assist other UN personnel in the region.

Major sources and definitions

Israel, slightly larger than Massachusetts, lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Egypt on the west, Syria and Jordan on the east, and Lebanon on the north. Its maritime plain is extremely fertile. The southern Negev region, which comprises almost half the total area, is largely a desert. The Jordan, the only important river, flows from the north through Lake Hule (Waters of Merom) and Lake Kinneret (also called Sea of Galilee or Sea of Tiberias), finally entering the Dead Sea 1,349 ft (411 m) below sea levelthe world’s lowest land elevation.

Parliamentary democracy.

Palestine, considered a holy land by Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and homeland of the modern state of Israel, was known as Canaan to the ancient Hebrews. Palestine’s name derives from the Philistines, a people who occupied the southern coastal part of the country in the 12th century B.C.

A Hebrew kingdom established in 1000 B.C. was later split into the kingdoms of Judah and Israel; they were subsequently invaded by Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Persians, Romans, and Alexander the Great of Macedonia. By A.D. 135, few Jews were left in Palestine; most lived in the scattered and tenacious communities of the Diaspora, communities formed outside Palestine after the Babylonian exile. Palestine became a center of Christian pilgrimage after the emperor Constantine converted to that faith. The Arabs took Palestine from the Byzantine empire in 634640. Interrupted only by Christian Crusaders, Muslims ruled Palestine until the 20th century. During World War I, British forces defeated the Turks in Palestine and governed the area under a League of Nations mandate from 1923.

As part of the 19th-century Zionist movement, Jews had begun settling in Palestine as early as 1820. This effort to establish a Jewish homeland received British approval in the Balfour Declaration of 1917. During the 1930s, Jews persecuted by the Hitler regime poured into Palestine. The postwar acknowledgment of the HolocaustHitler’s genocide of 6 million Jewsincreased international interest in and sympathy for the cause of Zionism. However, Arabs in Palestine and surrounding countries bitterly opposed prewar and postwar proposals to partition Palestine into Arab and Jewish sectors. The British mandate to govern Palestine ended after the war, and, in 1947, the UN voted to partition Palestine. When the British officially withdrew on May 14, 1948, the Jewish National Council proclaimed the State of Israel.

U.S. recognition came within hours. The next day, Arab forces from Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq invaded the new nation. By the cease-fire on Jan. 7, 1949, Israel had increased its original territory by 50%, taking western Galilee, a broad corridor through central Palestine to Jerusalem, and part of modern Jerusalem. Chaim Weizmann and David Ben-Gurion became Israel’s first president and prime minister. The new government was admitted to the UN on May 11, 1949.

The next clash with Arab neighbors came when Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal in 1956 and barred Israeli shipping. Coordinating with an Anglo-French force, Israeli troops seized the Gaza Strip and drove through the Sinai to the east bank of the Suez Canal, but withdrew under U.S. and UN pressure. In the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel made simultaneous air attacks against Syrian, Jordanian, and Egyptian air bases, totally defeating the Arabs. Expanding its territory by 200%, Israel at the cease-fire held the Golan Heights, the West Bank of the Jordan River, Jerusalem’s Old City, and all of the Sinai and the east bank of the Suez Canal.

In the face of Israeli reluctance even to discuss the return of occupied territories, the fourth Arab-Israeli war erupted on Oct. 6, 1973, with a surprise Egyptian and Syrian assault on the Jewish high holy day of Yom Kippur. Initial Arab gains were reversed when a cease-fire took effect two weeks later, but Israel suffered heavy losses.

A dramatic breakthrough in the tortuous history of Mideast peace efforts occurred on Nov. 9, 1977, when Egypt’s president Anwar Sadat declared his willingness to talk about reconciliation. Prime Minister Menachem Begin, on Nov. 15, extended an invitation to the Egyptian leader to address the Knesset in Jerusalem. Sadat’s arrival in Israel four days later raised worldwide hopes, but an agreement between Egypt and Israel was long in coming. On March 14, 1979, the Knesset approved a final peace treaty, and 12 days later, Begin and Sadat signed the document, together with President Jimmy Carter, in a White House ceremony. Israel began its withdrawal from the Sinai, which it had annexed from Egypt, on May 25.

Although Israel withdrew its last settlers from the Sinai in April 1982, the fragile Mideast peace was shattered on June 9, 1982, by a massive Israeli assault on southern Lebanon, where the Palestinian Liberation Organization was entrenched. The PLO had long plagued Israelis with acts of terrorism. Israel destroyed PLO strongholds in Tyre and Sidon and reached the suburbs of Beirut on June 10. A U.S.-mediated accord between Lebanon and Israel, signed on May 17, 1983, provided for Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. Israel eventually withdrew its troops from the Beirut area but kept them in southern Lebanon, where occasional skirmishes would continue. Lebanon, under pressure from Syria, canceled the accord in March 1984.

A continual source of tension has been the relationship between the Jews and the Palestinians living within Israeli territories. Most Arabs fled the region when the state of Israel was declared, but those who remain now make up almost one-fifth of the population of Israel. They are about two-thirds Muslim, as well as Christian and Druze. Palestinians living on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip fomented the riots begun in 1987, known as the intifada. Violence heightened as Israeli police cracked down and Palestinians retaliated. Continuing Jewish settlement of lands designated for Palestinians has added to the unrest.

In 1988, the leader of the PLO, Yasir Arafat, reversed decades of PLO polemic by acknowledging Israel’s right to exist. He stated his willingness to enter negotiations to create a Palestinian political entity that would coexist with the Israeli state.

In 1991, Israel was struck by Iraqi missiles during the Persian Gulf War. The Israelis did not retaliate in order to preserve the international coalition against Iraq. In 1992, Yitzhak Rabin became prime minister. He halted the disputed Israeli settlement of the occupied territories.

Highly secretive talks in Norway resulted in the landmark Oslo Accord between the PLO and the Israeli government in 1993. The accord stipulated a five-year plan in which Palestinians of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip would gradually become self-governing. Arafat became president of the new Palestinian Authority. In 1994, Israel signed a peace treaty with Jordan; Israel still has no formal agreement with Syria or Lebanon.

On Nov. 4, 1995, Prime Minister Rabin was slain by a Jewish extremist, jeopardizing the tentative progress toward peace. Shimon Peres succeeded him until May 1996 elections for the Knesset gave Israel a new hard-line prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, by a razor-thin margin. Netanyahu reversed or stymied much of the Oslo Accord, contending that it offered too many quick concessions and jeopardized Israelis’ safety.

Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in 1997 were repeatedly undermined by both sides. Although the Hebron Accord was signed in January, calling for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Hebron, the construction of new Jewish settlements on the West Bank in March profoundly upset progress toward peace.

Terrorism erupted again in 1997 when radical Hamas suicide bombers claimed the lives of more than 20 Israeli civilians. Netanyahu, accusing Palestinian Authority president Arafat of lax security, retaliated with draconian sanctions against Palestinians working in Israel, including the withholding of millions of dollars in tax revenue, a blatant violation of the Oslo Accord. Netanyahu also persisted in authorizing right-wing Israelis to build new settlements in mostly Arab East Jerusalem. Arafat, meanwhile, seemed unwilling or unable to curb the violence of Arab extremist.

An Oct. 1998 summit at Wye Mills, Md., generated the first real progress in the stymied Middle East peace talks in 19 months, with Netanyahu and Arafat settling several important interim issues called for by the 1993 Oslo Accord. The peace agreement, however, began unraveling almost immediately. By the end of April 1999, Israel had made 41 air raids on Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon. The guerrillas were fighting against Israeli troops and their allies, the South Lebanon Army militia, who occupied a security zone set up in 1985 to guard Israel’s borders. Public pressure in Israel to withdraw the troops grew.

Labor Party leader Ehud Barak won the 1999 election and announced that he planned not only to pursue peace with the Palestinians, but to establish relations with Syria and end the low-grade war in southern Lebanon with the Iranian-armed Hezbollah guerrillas. In Dec. 1999, Israeli-Syrian talks resumed after a nearly four-year hiatus. By Jan. 2000, however, talks had broken down over Syria’s demand for a detailed discussion of the return of all of the Golan Heights. In Feb., new Hezbollah attacks on Israeli troops in southern Lebanon led to Israel’s retaliatory bombing as well as Barak’s decision to pull out of Lebanon. Israeli troops pulled out of Lebanon on May 24, 2000, after 18 consecutive years of occupation.

Peace talks in July 2000 at Camp David between Barak and Arafat ended unsuccessfully, despite President Clinton’s strongest effortsthe status of Jerusalem was the primary sticking point. In September, Likud Party leader Ariel Sharon visited the compound called Temple Mount by Jews and Haram al-Sharif by Muslims, a fiercely contested site that is sacred to both faiths. The visit set off the worst bloodshed in years, with the deaths of around 400 people, mostly Palestinians. The violence (dubbed the Al-Aksa intifada) and the stalled peace process fueled growing concerns about Israeli security, paving the way for hard-liner Sharon’s stunning landslide victory over Barak in Feb. 2001. Attacks on both sides continued at an alarming rate. Palestinians carried out some of the most horrific suicide bombings and terrorist attacks in years (Hamas and the Al-Aksa Martyr Brigade claimed responsibility for the majority of them), killing Israeli civilians at cafs, bus stops, and supermarkets. In retaliation, Israel unleashed bombing raids on Palestinian territory and sent troops and tanks to occupy West Bank and Gaza cities.

In 2003, in an attempt to restart the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Israel and the United States resolved to circumvent Arafat, whom Sharon called irrelevant and an obstacle. Under U.S. pressure, Arafat reluctantly appointed a prime minister in April, who was to replace him in negotiating the peace process, Mahmoud Abbas, formerly Arafat’s second-in-command. On May 1, the Quartet (the U.S., UN, EU, and Russia) unfurled the road map for peace, which envisioned the creation of a Palestinian state by 2005. Although Sharon publicly acknowledged the need for a Palestinian state and Abbas committed himself to ending Palestinian violence, by fall 2003, it became clear that the road map led to a dead end as Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians continued, and Israel stepped up its targeted killings of Palestinian militants. Sharon also persisted in building the highly controversial security barrier dividing Israeli and Palestinian areas.

In May 2004, the UN Security Council condemned Israel’s attack on the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, the largest Israeli military operation in Gaza in decades. In July, in response to a ruling by Israel’s supreme court about the construction of the West Bank barrier, Israel revised the route so that it did not cut into Palestinian land. The UN estimated that the original route would have taken almost 15% of West Bank territory for Israel.

Yasir Arafat’s death in Nov. 2004 significantly altered the political landscape. Mahmoud Abbas was easily elected the Palestinian president in Jan. 2005, and at a summit in February, Abbas and Sharon agreed to an unequivocal cease-fire. A continued threat to this cease-fire were Palestinian militant groups, over whom Abbas had little control.

On Aug. 15, the withdrawal of some 8,000 Israeli settlers began. The evacuation involved 21 Gaza settlements as well as 4 of the more isolated of the West Bank’s 120 settlements. The majority of Israelis supported Prime Minister Ariel Sharons unilateral planwhich he pushed through the Knesset in Oct. 2004viewing it as Israel’s just and humane response toward the Palestinians as well as a significant step toward real security for Israelis. But tens of thousands on the right protested that Sharon, an architect of the settlement movement, had become the agent of Gaza’s dismantlement.

While Sharon was lauded for what has arguably been the most significant step in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process since the Oslo Accord, the prime ministers unstated motives in conceding Gaza were generally assumed to be the strengthening of Israel’s hold on the West Bank.

Israel’s political parties underwent a seismic shift in late Nov. 2005. The Labor Party elected left-leaning Amir Peretz as their new leader, a defeat for long time leader Shimon Peres. Shortly thereafter, Prime Minister Sharon quit the Likud Partya party he helped foundand formed the new, more centrist Kadima (Forward) Party. The Likud Party had largely disapproved of the Gaza withdrawal Sharon sponsored, and he faced increasing discontent from the more right-wing members of the Likud Party. Former prime minister and hard-liner Benjamin Netanyahu became Likud’s new leader.

In Jan. 2006, Ariel Sharon suffered a stroke that left him critically ill and unable to govern. Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert became acting prime minister, and in general elections on March 28, Olmert’s Kadima Party won the largest number of seats. In May, he formed a coalition between the Kadima, Labor, ultra-orthodox Shas, and Pensioners parties.

Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died on Jan. 11, 2014. The official cause of death was heart failure, although Sharon had been in a coma since suffering from the stroke in Jan. 2006.

Israeli-Palestinian relations were thrown into further turmoil when the militant Hamas Party won an unexpected landslide victory in the January Palestinian parliamentary elections. Although Hamas had been in a cease-fire with Israel for more than a year the party continued to call for Israel’s destruction and refused to renounce violence.

In April 2006, Hamas fired rockets into Israeli territory, effectively ending the cease-fire between them. After Hamas militants killed two Israeli soldiers and kidnapped another on June 25, Israel launched air strikes and sent ground troops into Gaza, destroying its only power plant and three bridges. Fighting continued over the summer, with Hamas firing rockets into Israel, and Israeli troops reoccupying Gaza.

In early July, Israel was involved in war on a second frontwhich was soon to overshadow the fighting in Gazaafter Hezbollah fighters entered Israel and captured two Israeli soldiers. In response, Israel launched a major military attack, bombing the Lebanese airport and other major infrastructures, as well as parts of southern Lebanon. Hezbollah, led by Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, retaliated by launching hundreds of rockets and missiles into Israel. After a week of fighting, Israel made it clear that its offensive in Lebanon would continue until Hezbollah was routed. Although much of the international community demanded a cease-fire, the United States supported Israel’s plan to continue the fighting until Hezbollah was drained of its military power. Hezbollah was thought to have at least 12,000 rockets and missiles, most supplied by Iran, and proved a much more formidable foe than Israel anticipated.

An Israeli opinion poll after the first two weeks of fighting indicated that 81% of Israelis supported the continued attack on Lebanon, and 58% wanted the offensive to continue until Hezbollah was destroyed. The UN brokered a tenuous cease-fire on August 14. About 1,150 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 150 Israelis, the majority of them soldiers, died in the 34 days of fighting.

A commission that investigated 2006′s war between Israel and Lebanon released a scathing report in April 2007, saying Prime Minister Olmert was responsible for “a severe failure in exercising judgment, responsibility, and prudence.” It also said that Olmert rushed to war without an adequate plan. Defense Minister Amir Peretz and former army chief Dan Halutz were also rebuked in the report. Olmert resisted calls for his resignation and survived a no-confidence vote in parliament.

Former prime minister Ehud Barak returned to politics in June, having been elected head of the Labor Party. He defeated Knesset member Ami Ayalon. In addition, Shimon Peres, of the Kadima Party, was elected president in June. The presidency is a mostly ceremonial post.

Israeli jets fired on targets deep inside Syria in Sept. 2007. American and Israeli intelligence analysts later said that Israel had attacked a partially built nuclear reactor. Several officials wondered aloud if North Korea had played a role in the development of the nuclear plant. Syria denied that any such facilities exist and protested to the United Nations, calling the attack a “violation of sovereignty.”

At a Middle East peace conference in November hosted by the U.S. in Annapolis, Md., Olmert and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas agreed to work together to broker a peace treaty. “We agree to immediately launch good-faith bilateral negotiations in order to conclude a peace treaty, resolving all outstanding issues, including all core issues without exception, as specified in previous agreements, a joint statement said. We agree to engage in vigorous, ongoing and continuous negotiations, and shall make every effort to conclude an agreement before the end of 2008. Officials from 49 countries attended the conference.

In Jan. 2008, the Winograd Commission released its final report on Israel’s 2006 war against Hezbollah in Lebanon. It called the operation a “large and serious” failure and criticized the country’s leadership for failing to have an exit strategy in place before the invasion began. Prime Minister Olmert was spared somewhat, as the commission said that in ordering the invasion, he was acting in “the interest of the state of Israel.”

Prime Minister Olmert faced legal difficultiesagain beginning in May 2008, when he faced accusations that he accepted hundreds of thousands dollars in bribes from a New York businessman. Olmert said the funds were campaign contributions. The businessman, Morris Talansky, testified in May that he gave Olmert about $150,000, mostly in cash, over 13 years. Talansky said the money was for election campaigns and personal expenses and did not expect Olmert to reciprocate in any way. Olmert has faced similar investigations in the past but deftly survived the scandals.

For the first time in eight years, Israel and Syria returned to the bargaining table in May 2008. Israel hopes an agreement will distance Iran from Syria and diminish some sway Iran holds over the Middle East, and Syria wants to regain control over the Golan Heights, which was taken by Israel in 1967.

After years of almost daily exchanges of rocket fire between Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Israel and Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, signed an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire in June. The fragile agreement held for most of the remainder of 2008. Israel continued its yearlong blockade of Gaza, however, and the humanitarian and economic crisis in Gaza intensified.

Olmert resigned in September, as expected, after Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was elected head of Kadima, the main party in the governing coalition. She was not able to form a new majority coalition, however.

While Palestinian and Israeli officials continued their dialogue throughout 2008, a final peace deal remained out of reach amid the growing rift between Fatah, which controls the West Bank, and Hamas. In addition, Israel’s continued development of settlements in the occupied West Bank further stalled the process. In late December 2008, days after the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas expired, Hamas began launching rocket attacks into Israel, which retaliated with airstrikes that killed about 300 people. Israel targeted Hamas bases, training camps, and missile storage facilities. Egypt sealed its border with Gaza, angering Palestinians who were attempting to flee the attacks and seeking medical attention. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the goal of the operation was not intended to reoccupy Gaza, but to restore normal life and quiet to residents of the south of Israel.

After more than a week of intense airstrikes, Israeli troops crossed the border into Gaza, launching a ground war against Hamas. Israeli aircraft continued to attack suspected Hamas fighters, weapons stockpiles, rocket-firing positions, and smuggling tunnels. After several weeks of fighting, more than 1,300 Gazans and about a dozen Israelis had been killed.

In September, Richard Goldstone, a South African jurist, released a UN-backed report on the conflict in Gaza. The report accused both the Israeli military and Palestinian fighters of war crimes, alleging that both had targeted civilians. Goldstone, however, reserved much of his criticism for Israel, saying its incursion was a “deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate, and terrorize a civilian population.” Israel denounced the report as “deeply flawed, one-sided and prejudiced.” The United States also said it was “unbalanced and biased,” and the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution that called the report “irredeemably biased and unworthy of further consideration or legitimacy.”

Goldstone recommended that both Israel and the Palestinians launch independent investigations into the conflict. If they refused, Goldstone recommended that the Security Council then refer both to the International Criminal Court. The UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution in October that endorsed the report and its recommendation regarding the investigations. In November, the UN General Assembly passed a similar resolution. Both Israel and the U.S. said continued action on the report could further derail the peace process.

Parliamentary elections in Feb. 2009 produced inconclusive results. The centrist Kadima party, led by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, won 28 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, the most of any party. Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud took 27. The Labor Party fared poorly, garnering only 13 seats, behind the far-right party, Yisrael Beitenu, which took 15. Netanyahu, who became prime minister in April, formed a coalition government with Yisrael Beiteinu, led by Avigdor Lieberman, who was named foreign minister, and the Labor Party led by Barak, who became defense minister.

As a gesture of good will, compromise, and a fresh attempt at peace talks between Israel and Palestine, U.S. vice president Joe Biden traveled to Israel in March 2010 to begin indirect negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. Soon after Biden arrived, however, it was announced that 1,600 houses would be built for Jewish settlers on the Eastern tip of Jerusalem, a section of the city Palestinians saw as part of their future capital. Biden immediately condemned the plan. Prime Minister Netanyahu apologized for the timing, but refused to rescind the decision.

Just two weeks later, Netanyahu traveled to the United States to meet with President Barack Obama; their encounter was unusually secretive and specific discussions were not widely released. Obama was reportedly trying to force Netanyahu into making concessions, specifically to freeze the Jewish settlement-building plan in East Jerusalem. Obama insisted that Jerusalem and other larger issues of contention between Israel and Palestine be discussed in “proximity talks” and that eventual negotiations would have to include steps to build Palestinian confidence, such as releasing Palestinian prisoners and dismantling Israeli military road blocks. Netanyahu complained that his allies would rebel against him if such steps were promised. Obama emphasized that the two countries would have to resolve their issues themselves; the U.S. could only help in the discussion, not solve their problems for them.

In late May 2010, an activist group, Free Gaza Now, and a Turkish humanitarian organization, Insani Yardim Vakfi, sent a flotilla of aid to Gaza, a violation of a blockade that Israel and Egypt imposed on Gaza in 2007. The move was an apparent attempt to further politicize the blockade. In the early hours of May 31, Israeli commandos boarded one of the ships, and there are conflicting accounts of what happened next. The Israelis say the commandos were attacked with clubs, rods, and knives, and that they fired upon the activists in retaliation; the activists say the commandos opened fire when they landed on deck. Nine activists were killed in the conflict. Israel’s use of force on civilians was widely criticized as provocative and prompted leaders throughout the world to question the effectiveness of the blockade it has thus far failed to weaken Hamas but has had a punitive effect on the citizens of Gaza. Israel did in fact ease the blockade in June, allowing building materials and other essentials goods to be brought into Gaza.

Direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians resumed in September 2010. They hit a potentially deal-breaking snag early in the talks when Netanyahu allowed the 10-month moratorium on settlement construction to expire, and bulldozers were put to work almost immediately. Abbas, however, kept hopes for peace alive by saying he’d consult with other members of the Arab League before walking away from the table. Weeks passed with no progress, and as the impasse dragged on, the U.S. stepped in and offered to sell Israel 20 F-35 stealth airplanes and veto any anti-Israel resolutions put to a vote at the UN in exchange for a 90-day extension of the freeze. Netanyahu seemed open to the compromise, but failed to get the backing of his cabinet. The U.S. abandoned its pursuit of a deal in December, when it became clear that little would be accomplished in 90 days even if the deal were reached. At the same time, the U.S. declared that this round of negotiations had ended in failure.

In Jan. 2011, Ehud Barak, Israel’s minister of defense and Labor party leader, quit his party to set up a new party called Independence. Four other members of parliament left with him. The remaining eight Labor party members moved to the opposition, shrinking Netanyahu’s coalition from 74 seats to 66 in the 120-seat parliament. Netanyahu insisted that the shift made his coalition stronger because members became more ideologically aligned. However, the opposition became stronger, too, which may be a sign that peace negotiations with the Palestinians can be revived.

On May 19, 2011, attempting to capitalize on the season of change in the Arab world, President Obama declared that the borders demarcated before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war should be the basis of a Mideast peace deal between Israel and Palestine. He also said that the borders should be adjusted to account for Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Obama’s speech came a day before a scheduled meeting with Netanyahu in Washington. The Israeli government protested immediately, saying that a return to the pre-1967 borders would leave Israel “indefensible,” which Netanyahu reiterate during his meeting with Obama. However, Netanyahu maintained that Israel is open to negotiations.

On July 30, 2011, 150,000 people protested in streets across the country, including in Jerusalem. It was one of the largest demonstrations in Israel’s history and the biggest protest ever over economic and social issues. Protests started earlier in the month over rising housing costs, organized largely by a Facebook-driven campaign by young people, much like the social media campaigns that aided change in Egypt and other nations in the region. With much of the region knee-deep in political unrests, and no peace plan with Palestine in sight, protestors have grown tired of setting aside domestic issues for the sake of the nation’s security. While increasing housing costs were a catalyst, protestors were also reacting to a growing sense of frustration over the fact that the country’s soaring wealth remains in the hands of a few people, while the average Israeli struggles to cover basic expenses.

On July 31, 2011, the director general of the finance minister resigned over the protests. Although none of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition parties have pulled out, the protests could have an impact on the government, particularly in reviving the defeated left. Left wing parties could swing the power back in their direction with the public focused on social issues rather than settlements in the West Bank and a two-state solution with Palestine. Those latter two issues still put the left wing at odds with the majority in Israel.

As protests continued throughout August 2011, Israel announced a plan to build a 1,600-unit apartment complex in Ramat Shlomo, an area of East Jerusalem. The Interior Ministry also said that it would soon approve another 2,700 housing units in Ramat Shlomo, part of the area that Israel annexed after capturing it from Jordan. The announcement threatened the United States effort to renew the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The new housing plans angered the Palestinians and came a month before the Palestinian Authority was scheduled to go before the United Nations General Assembly to declare statehood. Israeli groups opposed to housing construction on land conquered in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War were also angered. These opposition groups accused the Israeli government of exploiting the country’s housing shortage, which has led to high rent costs and recent mass protests.

Tensions flared between Israel and Egypt in August 2011, when militants attacked the Israeli resort town of Eilat, on the Egypt-Israel border. Eight Israelis were killed and 30 were wounded. Six Egyptian border guards were also killed in the shootings. Israeli authorities blamed the attacks on the Popular Resistance Committees, a group that has worked with Hamas and said they believed the attackers crossed into Israel from Egypt. Egypt in turn blamed Israel for the deaths. Israel responded with several airstrikes on Gaza, killing the Popular Resistance Committee’s commander, among others. Egyptian officials denied that the attackers crossed through. Hamas also denied Israel’s accusations.

The cross-border attacks threatened the decades of peace between Israel and Egypt. Meanwhile, Palestinian militants fired several rockets into Israel from Gaza, killing one civilian and wounding six others. Hamas, which controls Gaza, took credit for the rockets fired into Israel.

In Sept. 2011, thousands of protestors attacked the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, demolishing a protective wall while Egyptian security forces watched. Two dozen protestors broke into the offices and threw documents into the street. The Israeli flag was ripped down. When riot police attempted to stop the attack, protesters fought back with Molotov cocktails and stones. At least two protestors died in the attack and at least 1,200 were injured. The attack in Egypt came just one week after Turkey expels Israel’s ambassador.

On Sept. 23, 2011, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas officially requested a bid for statehood at the UN Security Council. The request came after months of failed European and U.S. efforts to bring Israel and Palestine back to the negotiating table. The Palestinian Authority requested a Security Council vote to gain statehood as a full member of the UN rather than going to the General Assembly. One of the reasons for this was that the General Assembly could only give the Palestinian Authority non-member observer status at the UN, a lesser degree of statehood. In addition, the European states in the General Assembly made it clear that they would support the proposal if the Palestinians dropped their demand that Israel halt settlement construction. The Palestinians have long insisted that Israel cease the settlement construction and deemed the condition unacceptable. Therefore, the Palestinian Authority preferred to take its case to the Security Council even though the U.S. has vowed to veto the request.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the United Nation’s General Assembly hours after Abbas filed the bid for statehood. Netanyahu disagreed with the Palestinian’s proposal for statehood through the UN, urging Abbas to return to negotiating directly with Israel instead. “The truth is the Palestinians want a state without peace,” he said.

The following year, on Nov. 29, 2012, the United Nations General Assembly approved an upgrade from the Palestinian Authority’s current observer status to that of a non-member state. The vote came after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke to the General Assembly and asked for a “birth certificate” for his country. Of the 193 nations in the General Assembly, 138 voted in favor of the upgrade in status. While the vote was a victory for Palestine, it was a diplomatic setback for the U.S. and Israel. Having the title of “non-member observer state” would allow Palestine access to international organizations such as the International Criminal Court (ICC). If it joined the ICC, Palestine could file complaints of war crimes against Israel.

In response to the UN vote, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel would not transfer about $100 million in much-needed tax revenue owed to the struggling Palestinian Authority and would resume plans to build 3,000-unit settlement in an area that divides the north and the south parts of the West Bank, thereby denying the Palestinians any chance for having a contiguous state.

In Dec. 2012, Israel defied growing opposition from the international community by forging ahead with the building of new settlements. Israel’s Housing Ministry approved various new settlements throughout the last month of 2012. Construction on them began immediately. With the exception of the United States, every member of the UN Security Council condemned the construction, concerned that the move threatened the peace process with Palestine.

On Oct. 18, 2011, Gilad Shalit, a 25-year-old Israeli soldier, was released after being held for more than five years by Hamas, a militant Palestinian group. In a deal brokered by Egypt, Shalit was exchanged for 1,000 jailed Palestinians, some of whom were convicted planners or perpetrators of deadly terrorist attacks. After the swap, Hamas called for its members to capture more Israel soldiers to exchange them for the remaining 5,000 Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails.

Still many saw the exchange as a sign of hope. Shalit’s release had become a national obsession in Israel. He had been held in Gaza since Palestinian militants kidnapped him during a cross-border raid in 2006. In a televised address following Shalit’s release, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Today we are all united in joy and in pain.” Shalit was the first captured Israeli soldier to be returned home alive in 26 years.

In Jan. 2012, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met in Jordan. Seen as an effort to try to revive peace talks, it was the first time the two sides had met in over a year. On Jan. 25, 2012, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the discussions had ended without any significant progress.

Also in Jan., Iran blamed Israel and the United States for the death of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a nuclear scientist. A bomber on a motorcycle killed Roshan in Tehran during the morning commute, according to Iranian media. It was the fourth attack on an Iranian nuclear specialist in two years. Immediately following the attack, Iran accused the U.S. and Israel. The United States responded by denying any responsibility and condemning the attack. Tension between Israel and Iran intensified in Febrary, when Israeli officials accused Iran of being involved in multiple attacks against Israelis in Georgia and India.

In a speech on May 6, 2012, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for early elections. The speech was in response to unrest among his coalition as well as his opponents. The official reason for early elections was the upcoming expiration of the Tal Law, which exempts ultra-Orthodox Jews from Israeli Army service. However, some election analysts believed that Netanyahu wanted to act swiftly while his Likud Party was polling strongly.

Two days after the call for early elections, Netanyahu formed a unity government with Shaul Mofaz, the newly elected chief of Kadima, the opposition party. The new coalition gave Netanyahu a very large legislative majority and ended the need for early elections. Mofaz was made deputy prime minister under the terms of the agreement. Some saw the new coalition as a way for Netanyahu to gain even more political power. Former Kadima chief, Tzipi Livni, joined a protest against the alliance. A week earlier, after losing her position as both leader of the opposition and chief of the Kadima Party, Livni resigned from Parliament, saying she was not “willing to sell the country to the ultra-Orthodox in order to form a government.”

The new unity coalition turned out to be short-lived. In July 2012, Kadima left the coalition. Kadima chief Mofaz said his party pulled out due to irreconcilable differences with Netanyahu over the pending universal draft law.

In Aug. 2012, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that while economic sanctions have hurt Iran, they have not slowed progress on the country’s nuclear program. In fact, the report found that Iran’s nuclear program had progressed even faster than anticipated. The report validated Netanyahu’s suspicion that Iran’s nuclear program has continued to move at full speed despite the sanctions and diplomatic isolation imposed on Iran by an international community. The agency’s report also confirmed that three-quarters of nuclear centrifuges needed for an underground site had been installed.

The report brought out the differences between Israel and the United States on the issue of how to deal with Iran. The main disagreement between the two countries has been how much time it would take Iran to complete its production of nuclear weapons. Even within Israel there were signs of disagreement. On Sept. 27, 2012, Netanyahu spoke about the issue at the United Nations. “The relevant question is not when Iran will get the bomb. It is at what stage can we stop Iran from getting the bomb,” he said. A few days later, Netanyahu calmed fears that a preemptive attack was imminent in an address to the UN General Assembly. He said he believed Iran would not have the technology to enrich uranium until at least the spring of 2013 and therefore there was time for diplomacy to deter Iran’s nuclear program.

On Oct. 9, 2012, Netanyahu once again called for early parliamentary election, saying the lack of cooperation with his coalition partners made it impossible to pass a budget with severe cuts. He ordered them for January 2013, eight months ahead of schedule. He said the nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu Party would run with his conservative Likud Party on a joint ticket. Netanyahu’s political rivals warned that the alliance of Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu was exactly the kind of extremism that Israel didn’t need.

On Nov. 14, 2012, Israel launched one of its biggest attacks on Gaza since the invasion four years ago and hit at least 20 targets. One of those targets was Hamas military commander, Ahmed al-Jabari. He was killed while traveling through Gaza in a car. Al-Jabari was the most senior official killed by the Israelis since its invasion in 2008. The airstrikes were in response to recent repeated rocket attacks by Palestinian militants located in Gaza.

By Nov. 16, 2012, according to officials in Gaza, 19 people had been killed from the Israeli airstrikes. Hesham Qandil, Egypt’s prime minister, showed his country’s support by visiting Gaza. However, his presence did not stop the fighting. Heavy rocket fire continued from Gaza while the Israeli military called in 16,000 army reservists. For the second time since 2008, Israel prepared for a potential ground invasion.

Throughout mid-Nov. 2012, Israel continued to target members of Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza while Hamas launched several hundred rockets, some hitting Tel Aviv. Egypt, while a staunch supporter of Hamas, attempted to broker a peace agreement between Hamas and Israel to prevent the conflict from further destabilizing the region. Finally on November 21, Egypt’s foreign minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that a cease-fire had been signed. Both sides agreed to end hostilities toward each other and Israel said it would open Gaza border crossings, allowing the flow of products and people into Gaza, potentially lifting the 5-year blockade that has caused much hardship to those living in the region.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was elected to a third term in January 2013, but the election was not the expected landslide. Netanyahu’s Likud-Beiteinu won 31 seats, followed by Yair Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid party, with 19 seats. Tzipi Livni’s newly formed Hatnua (the Movement) party won six seats, as did Meretz, a pro-peace party. Netanyahu formed a coalition with Yesh Atid, Hatnua, and the Jewish Home party, which supports settlement building. He appointed Livni as justice minister and asked her to lead Israel’s peace talks with Palestine. Lapid was named finance minister.

In mid-March 2013, President Obama visited Israel. During the visit, he helped negotiate a reconciliation between Israel and Turkey. Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed sincere regret to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, for the commando raid in 2010 on a Turkish ship that killed nine people. Israel also offered compensation for the incident. Erdogan accepted Israel’s apology. After the apology, both countries announced that they would reinstate ambassadors and completely restore diplomatic relations.

In early May 2013, Israel ordered two airstrikes on Damascus. The first happened on May 3, and the second two days later. Israeli officials maintained that the airstrikes were not meant as a way for Israel to become involved in Syria’s ongoing civil war. Instead, the strikes focused on military warehouses in an effort to prevent Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite militia group with strong ties to Iran, from getting more weapons.

On Aug. 14, 2013, Israelis and Palestinians began peace talks in Jerusalem. Expectations were low going into the talks, the third attempt to negotiate since 2000, and nearly five years since the last attempt. The talks began just hours after Israel released 26 Palestinian prisoners. The prisoner release was an attempt on Israel’s part to bring Palestine back to the negotiating table. Israel said the prisoner release would be the first of four. Palestinian officials expressed concern about Israel’s ongoing settlement building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, land that would be part of an official Palestinian state.

Excerpt from:
Israel: Geography, History, Politics, and More – Fact Monster

Israel name meaning – SheKnows

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Biblical Meaning: The name Israel is a Biblical baby name. In Biblical the meaning of the name Israel is: Who prevails with God.

American Meaning: The name Israel is an American baby name. In American the meaning of the name Israel is: Who prevails with God.

Hebrew Meaning: The name Israel is a Hebrew baby name. In Hebrew the meaning of the name Israel is: May God prevail. He struggles with God. God perseveres; contends. In the bible when Jacob was in his nineties as a token of blessing God changed his name to Israel.

People with this name have a deep inner desire for a stable, loving family or community, and a need to work with others and to be appreciated.

People with this name tend to initiate events, to be leaders rather than followers, with powerful personalities. They tend to be focused on specific goals, experience a wealth of creative new ideas, and have the ability to implement these ideas with efficiency and determination. They tend to be courageous and sometimes aggressive. As unique, creative individuals, they tend to resent authority, and are sometimes stubborn, proud, and impatient.

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Israel name meaning – SheKnows

ADL Survey in Ten European Countries Finds Anti-Semitism …

New York, NY, March 20, 2012 Anti-Semitic attitudes in ten European countries remain at “disturbingly high levels,” according to a new poll from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released today, with large swaths of the population subscribing to classical anti-Semitic notions such as Jews having too much power in business, being more loyal to Israel than their own country, or “talking too much” about what happened during the Holocaust.

Attitudes Toward Jews in Ten European Countries(PDF), an ADL opinion survey of 5,000 adults 500 in each of ten European countries revealed that pernicious anti-Semitic beliefs continue to be held by nearly one-third of those surveyed.

The poll was conducted between Jan. 2-31, 2012 in Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom. The survey has a margin of error of between +/- 4.43 and +/- 4.85, depending on the specific country.

“The survey is disturbing by the fact that anti-Semitism remains at high levels across the continent and infects many Europeans at a much higher level than we see here in the United States,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “In Hungary, Spain and Poland the numbers for anti-Semitic attitudes are literally off-the-charts and demand a serious response from political, civic and religious leaders.”

In France, where a shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse yesterday claimed the lives of three small children and a teacher, the overall level of anti-Semitism increased to 24 percent of the population, an increase from 20 percent in a previous ADL poll conducted in 2009. In France, 45 percent of respondents attributed the violence against European Jews to anti-Jewish feelings, an increase from 39 percent in 2009.

Other findings for France include: 45 percent of the population responded “probably true” to the statement “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country; 35 percent agreed that “Jews have too much power in the business world; and 35 percent believe that “Jews still talk too much about what happened to them during the Holocaust.

When asked for their opinion about anti-Semitic violence directed against Jews, and whether that violence is the result of anti-Jewish feelings as opposed to anti-Israel sentiment, overall, 39 percent of Europeans responded that it was the result of anti-Jewish sentiments. “In France, you have a volatile mix,” Mr. Foxman said. “France has seen an increase in the level of anti-Semitism. At the same time, more people today believe that violence directed against European Jews is fueled by anti-Jewish attitudes as opposed to anti-Israel sentiment. “Those increases are all the more disturbing in light of the shooting attack at the Jewish school in Toulouse.”

In comparison with a similar ADL poll conducted in 2009, several of the countries showed dangerously high levels in the overall level of anti-Semitism, while other countries experienced more modest increases.

The overall findings among the countries for which comparison data is available:

In responding “probably true” to the statement, “Jews are more loyal to Israel” than their own country, the 2012 survey found:

In responding “probably true” to the statement, “Jews have too much power in the business world,” the 2012 survey found:

In responding “probably true” to the statement “Jews have too much power in international financial markets,” the 2012 survey found:

In responding “probably true” to the statement, “Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust,” the 2012 survey found:

ADL commissioned First International Resources to conduct the survey. Fielded in Europe by Ipsos-Reid Public Affairs, it was conducted in the national language of each country. The margin of error is +/- 4.43 to +/- 4.85, depending on the specific country, at 95% level of confidence.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

Read more:
ADL Survey in Ten European Countries Finds Anti-Semitism …

Israel News – Breaking news in Israel and the region | Israel …

The Statesman – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

A rocket-propelled grenade hit a hotel which houses members of the government of Yemen’s deposed President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi in the port city of …

Standard Digital – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

Israeli forces destroyed the homes of two Palestinian militants and sealed off part of a third in Jerusalem on Tuesday, in a crackdown launched by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after four …

Siasat Daily – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

West Bank: A Palestinian boy has been shot dead during clashes with the Israeli military at a refugee camp, a Palestinian hospital official has said. 13-year-old Abdel Rahman Abdullah was shot …

OpEdNews – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

. Salaita was fired by the University of Illinois for criticizing Israel on Twitter. Norman Finkelstein had been denied tenure by DePaul University for criticizing …

New Kerala – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

President Pranab Mukherjee leaves here on Saturday on a six-day three-nation visit to Jordan, Palestine and Israel, the first to the three countries by an Indian head of state, during which a number …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

Mourners carry the body of 13-year-old Palestinian Abdel Rahman Abdullah, who was shot dead by the Israeli army during clashes at a refugee camp near Bethlehem, during his funeral at the …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

A senior Russian Jewish leader has endorsed Moscows recent air campaign against the Islamic State in Syria despite previous statements by the countrys Chief Rabbi …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is photographed after speaking at the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh. (photo credit:BRIAN SNYDER / …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

BERLIN – A German actor who dressed up as Adolf Hitler and traveled through the country for four weeks chatting to smiling voters and stroking their pets for a film that opens …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

During the course of the investigation, the Shin Bet learned that one of the cell members hid the firearm in his store in Nablus. In a joint IDF-Shin Bet operation, security forces recovered the …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

Facebook on Monday announced a partnership with Israeli satellite company Spacecom and Europe’s Eutelsat to launch a satellite next year to help connect millions of people …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

A Palestinian youth helps another put on a scarf during clashes with IDF soldiers close to Bet El, in the West Bank. (photo credit:ABBAS MOMANI / AFP) …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

On the heels of the recent wave of terror attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank, hundreds of Christians gathered in the Christ Church in the Old City on Sunday, to participate …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

Eat orderly meals three main ones and one intermediate one Ben-Aharon advises and skip calorie-laden snacks. The meals should consist of a variety of nutritious foods, …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

Israel will place cameras both on the ground and in the air over the roads in Judea and Samaria that will be linked to command centers to provide immediate IDF response to …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

Newly-revealed documents on Tuesday showed that the Palestinian Authority has been paying Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails hundreds of thousands of shekels over the past …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

With violence and tension gripping Jerusalem, police have no plans to scale back their deployment of more than 2,000 extra police officers in the city in the months to come. …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

Yagil Henkin tells Army Radio how police failed to properly inform him of the murder of his brother and sister-in-law, saying he found out in a text message from a friend. …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

Four-and-a-half years after taking on Tel Aviv, the Tel-O-Fun bike sharing network officially expanded to the neighboring city of Givatayim on …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

The Under 30 Summit EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) event will bring together some 600 entrepreneurs and “game-changers,” a third each of which will come from the US, Europe, and …

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Israel News – Breaking news in Israel and the region | Israel …

Israel Faces ‘Assault’ on its Basic Legitimacy – Global …

Israel’s Minister of Internal Security and Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erdan, spoke on Thursday before a delegation of international parliamentarians as part of the Israel Allies Foundation’s annualJerusalem Chairman’s Conference.

After meeting with senior Israeliofficials on Tuesday and touring the country on Wednesday, the delegation of 22 MPsdrafted and signed a resolution Thursday declaring their support for Israel and vowing to take a stance against anti-Israel movementssuch as BDS.

On behalf of the Israeli government, the resolution was accepted by Erdan, who thanked the MPs for their vocal support of the “thriving” Jewish state.

Calling the BDS movement “immoral” and “anti-peace,” Erdan expressed gratitude for allies like the parliamentarians and said friends of Israel and Palestinians alike should reject BDS and instead work for true peace.

A full text of Erdan’s speech can be seen below:

Distinguished members of parliament, honored guests, dear friends,

It is a great honor to accept this resolution, and to welcome you to Jerusalem. One of the most important elements of the Sukkot holiday is to welcome guests into your Sukkah. In a figurative sense we welcome in the great figures of Jewish history- Abraham, Issac and Jacob, Moses and King David. In a literal sense we welcome in family and friends. It therefore gives me great pleasure to welcome you here today.

Friends, as you have seen and heard over the last several days, Israel is a thriving country, an almost unbelievable success story.

It is a country of many cultures and religions that maintains a vibrant, if sometimes noisy, democracy.

A country faced with unparalleled security challenges, which nevertheless guarantees human rights and freedoms to all.A country of few natural resources and many enemies, which has established an innovative and growing economy.A country built on an ancient history, which is making the world a better place through modern medicine, science, and agriculture.

Yet today Israel faces, as you have rightly noted, an unprecedented assault on its basic legitimacy and international standing. Israel’s enemies have learned that Israel cannot be overcome by conventional warfare or terrorism. They have therefore turned to political, economic and legal warfare as a means to achieve their ultimate goal- putting an end to Israel’s existence as the national homeland of the Jewish people.

A central element of this assault is what has become known as the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign, or BDS. Let me be clear- the BDS campaign in not only a challenge for the State of Israel and the Jewish people- it is a threat to all those committed to peace, to justice, and to universal human rights.

At its heart, the BDS campaign is based on deception and twisting reality. It hopes that by piling lie upon lie in the boardroom, college campus, and church assembly, it will be able to obscure the truth. It hopes that by manipulating the language of human rights and liberal values, it will be able to hide its real goals, which are anything but liberal.

It is a campaign based upon intimidation and coercion. When artists refuse to give in to BDS demands, BDS activists bully them. When corporations reject BDS pressure, BDS activists threaten them. When those on the left have the courage to speak out against BDS, they are immediately silenced and branded traitors.

The BDS movement must be rejected by all people of conscience for two key reasons: It is immoral and it is anti-peace.

It is immoral because it distorts the truth, demonizes the Jewish state, and subjects it to a campaign of libel and hate that would make history’s greatest anti-Semites proud.

It is immoral because it holds the entire world to one standard and Israel to another, singles it out for sanctions, blames it for the world’s problems and seeks to portray it as the epitome of evil.

The comparison of Israel to Apartheid South Africa or the American Jim Crow South is not only an affront to Israel and the Jewish people- It is an insult to the millions who suffered, and the brave men and women who fought against the apartheid and Jim Crow regimes. Anyone with even a basic understanding of the State of Israel understands that all such comparisons are baseless, groundless and disconnected from reality.

The BDS movement is anti-peace because it drives people apart rather than bringing them together, creates barriers and closes doors rather than building bridges and opening hearts.

It is a well-known principle of conflict resolution that a viable peace must be built upon dialogue and trust, mutual understanding and respect, both between leaders and between peoples.

If anyone is looking for a way to ensure that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lasts another hundred years, they should support the BDS movement.

For the rest of however, for all those who dream of a better future for Israeli and Palestinian children, and tranquility in the Holy Land- what can be done to turn that dream into a reality?

Prime Minister Netanyahu has called on the Palestinian leadership, over and over again, to walk with him down the only path that can lead to a lasting and viable peace- direct negotiations without preconditions in which all issues are on the table. We recognize that peace will require difficult negotiations, hard decisions and even painful compromises. There is no other way.

Therefore, parliaments, civil society organizations and people of conscience world-wide should do all that they can to encourage both sides to sit down at the negotiating table, without preconditions and without games. They should call on Mahmoud Abbas to stop wasting time on hateful speeches and empty gestures in the international arena, which do nothing to help the Palestinian people.

They should work to convince governments and particularly the European Union that one-sided sanctions and pressure against Israel only make peace more difficult to achieve. They convince the Palestinian leadership that it can achieve its political goals without negotiations or compromise, and the Israeli public that it cannot rely on the international community.

They should demand that the Palestinian Authority end its daily racist and anti-Semitic incitement against Israel on official PA TV, radio, newspapers, schools and summer camps. They should insist that the Palestinian leadership promote a culture of peace, and prepare its people for reconciliation and an end to the conflict. They should assist in developing a Palestinian government which respects the rule of law, human rights and freedoms.

Friends of both Israel and the Palestinians should reject and oppose the BDS movement in all its forms. This is not an issue of Left or Right, of Democrats or Republicans, Conservatives or Labour, Socialists or Christian Democrats. Opposition to BDS should be shared by all those who value human rights, who seek justice and who love peace. We appreciate the work that the Israel Allies Foundation is doing all over the world to oppose BDS and expose its true face.

Friends, I have to say that I am optimistic and hopeful. I am hopeful because in the end one cannot distort reality and hide the truth forever. One of our main goals is to bring as many people to Israel as possible. One hour in Israel, meeting its people, walking its streets, seeing its diversity, is enough to bring the towers of lies erected by the BDS campaign crashing down. We say that Israel sells itself. All we need to do is make sure that people have the opportunity to come and see it for themselves.

So I am hopeful because reality and truth are on our side.I am hopeful because the Jewish people have overcome great challenges time and time again throughout their history.And I am hopeful because I know that Israel has great friends and allies around the world like yourselves.

Thank you very much.

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Israel Faces ‘Assault’ on its Basic Legitimacy – Global …

Israel Facts, Israel Flag — National Geographic

Israel lies on the Mediterranean coast of southwest Asia, with most people living along the coastal plain. The eastern interior is dry and includes the Dead Seathe lowest point on the Earth’s surface. North are the rugged hills of Galilee, and south lies the Negev, a desert plateau. Israel’s population is about 81 percent Jewish; most of the rest is Arab. The Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories have some 3.5 million inhabitantsabout 11 percent Jewish, 89 percent Palestinian.

Born in battle after the British left Palestine in 1948, Israel has fought six wars with its Arab neighbors. To secure peace, Israel in 1982 ended its 15-year occupation of the Sinai Peninsula, returning it to Egypt. The intifada, a Palestinian rebellion that began in 1987, took hundreds of lives before peace negotiations resulted in a 1993 accord that granted Palestinian self-rule in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank city of Jericho. The Israeli military withdrew from all West Bank cities by 1997and also left southern Lebanon in 2000. However, peace talks stalled; a second intifada started in September 2000, and most of the West Bank was reoccupied by 2002. Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981 after capturing it in 1967Syria still claims this territory.

A “final status” agreement, leading to a Palestinian state, has yet to be reached between Israel and the Palestinians. Stumbling blocks include:

Jerusalem Palestinians want their capital in Jerusalem. Israel claims that Jerusalem is its capital and that its status is not negotiable.

Gaza Strip In 2004 Israel offered to withdraw its forces and Jewish settlements. Palestinians suspect that Israel will keep land in the West Bank after the Gaza pullout.

West Bank Responding to suicide bombers, Israel started building a West Bank barrier in 2002. Palestinians complain that Israel is using the wall to grab land inside the Green Linethe boundary between Israel and the West Bank based on the 1949 armistice line.


Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

Continued here:
Israel Facts, Israel Flag — National Geographic

The History of Israel

A history of Israel is one of persecution, struggle, oppression and survival. Long before Jacob became Israel, since the ancient beginnings of Genesis, this tiny nation has been in a constant state of survival. From the moment of Abraham’s arrival in the land of Canaan, God’s people have been surrounded by enemies on all sides.

Over the course of its history, time and time again, this band of 12 tribes has faced extermination, yet today stands among the worlds elite.

It is no coincidence that on the worldwide center stage is a country the size of New Jersey. Since the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, to the Caesars of Rome, Palestine has been caught in the middle of power struggles amongst empires.

Born in the “Cradle of Civilization”, the ancient Jews struggled against all odds to survive. The Old Testament Ancient Near East was made up of Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the Zagros mountains located on the westernmost edge of Iran. It was here that the cultures and influences of three continents converged – Africa, Asia, and Europe. Together these three cultures each left its imprint on the history of Israel.

God’s chosen people have faced persecution from nearly every single empire that has dominated the earth from the beginning of time. From the slavery of the Ancient Egyptians, to the Holocaust of the Third Reich, how is it possible that this nation today stands so strong?

The answer can be found in the Old Testament. The first five books of the Bible make up the Jewish Torah, or, the Books of Moses. It is in these books that the history behind God’s people is revealed.

God made a covenant with Abraham that stands as true today as it did centuries ago. And God has consistently delivered over the course of time. His latest deliverance was one of no less significance than anything found in the Old Testament.

In 1948, for the first time since 586 B.C., a Jewish state was created. God had once again brought His people together in the promised land. From the ancient banks of the river Chebar, the voice of Ezekiel can be heard saying;

“My people, and I will bring you into the land…”


Please pray for the Christians in Iraq currently under attack by the barbaric acts of Radical Islam. Their struggle is one of life and death. God please protect Your children.

Matthew 5:12

“Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

John 15:18

“If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you.”

Click on the link to view this Old Testament timeline and various dates within the ancient history of Israel.

Old Testament Timeline

Acts 2:20

“The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.”

Throughout the history of Israel, to the present hour, conflict and war characterized the relationship with Gaza. King David repeatedly called Yahweh his rock, shield, fortress, deliverer, stronghold and Lord. May Yahweh continue to protect His inheritance as He did in the days of King David, especially during the current heightened conflict with the Gaza Strip.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” –Matthew 5:10

Israel-a-history-of.com extends a thank you to the many visitors from around the world. Persecution of the Christian & Jewish faith continues in many corners of the globe, from Boko Haram & Radical Islam in Africa & the Middle East, to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and registration of Ukrainian Jews. May God protect, bless and be with His people in every nation, state and corner of the globe.

Anti-semitic ads may appear on the site from time to time. Israel-a-history-of.com aggressively seeks to locate and block these messages, and apologize for the appearance of such material. If you stumble upon an ad, please inform us and it will be blocked immediately. The efforts to undermine God’s people are at every corner, and take every angle. Thank you for your understanding and help in this matter.

When contacting http://www.israel-a-history-of.com via the Contact Us tab, please include your email address. Thanks to all of those regular visitors and contributors to the website. The submissions and comments grow daily, as well as those visiting the site. Thank you for taking time out of your day, and please give us your insights!

Do you live in Israel or Palestine? Do you have questions about God, religion, Israel, Palestine, or any other topic? Whether you’re an Atheist, Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu, Taoist, non-religious, or just curious, we want to create an interactive community of individuals freely and openly sharing their insights, comments, opinions, and questions. Join in on the discussion now!

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The History of Israel

Jerusalem Real Estate: Apartments Israel LTD: Jerusalem …

Welcome to Apartments Israel! a real estate agency located inJerusalem, Israeldealing with a great varierty offurnished & luxury apartments for temporary rental, long term rentals and properties for sale. Our vacation apartments in Jerusalemare fully furnished and equipped. We invite you to find with us your Israel Apartment!

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For sale in the quiet and green Arnona in Jerusalem. 2 bedrooms in the size of 3 bedroom apartment (84 sqm) with an option to a balcony. 2nd floor by stairs. Includes a storage room. The apartment is located at Ben Gavriel St.

3 bedroom apartment available for sale at Eliyahu Lenkin St, one of the most wanted areas in Jerusalem: the Young Arnona. Brand new building (approx 6 years old) with 2 elevators (one Shabbat). The apartment has a very nice balcony and includes 2 underground parking spaces and a storage room.

Jerusalem real estate for sale: This 3 bedroom and 1.5 bathrooms apartment is best located in the Talbie neighborhood at Mendele Mocher Sforim St between Jabotinsky and Keren HaYesod. Very close to the Prima Kings Hotel, The Inbal Hotel and the King David Hotel. The Great Synagogue, Ben Yehuda, Mamilla and the Old City are walking distance.

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Living in an apartment in a 5 stars hotel is now possible! This 3 bedroom and 2.5 bathroom apartment is located in the 11th floor of the Leonardo Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem: located at King George almost corner of Agron, in front of the Great Synagogue and minutes walking to Mamilla, Old City, City Center, Ben Yehuda and more! Public transportation, supermarket in the area and a pool, SPA, bar, restaurant in the building. Includes a parking spot.

A fully renovated luxury apartment: Located in the heart of Jerusalem, on Maavar Beit David St. It is a 10 minute walk to the old city of Jerusalem with its historical and religious monuments like the Western Wall (Kotel). Within a 5 minute radius you have Ben Yehuda, Mamilla and other hot spots. A wide variety of synagogues are located in the near vicinity.

A beautiful double apartment-villa in David’s Village is now available:The two story unit of over 330 square meters consists of 6 large bedrooms, (5 bed rooms with two beds each and 1 spacious office room has a pull out couch bed, option to add beds if required), 5 bathrooms, a spacious living room/ dining room area which spreads out onto an open terrace of 42 square meters (to be used as the sukkah – easily seating 40 people), an additional downstairs living area opening out to a 60 square meter gardendeck area.

1-bedroom studio apartment. The apartment is located in the Almog building on the Mediterranean Sea at the southern entrance to Haifa. 30 meters from the seashore, very close to public transportation.

Located on a quiet street, in a stone building, on the second floor (1.5 flights, no elevator), this is a beautiful, 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths luxurious vacation rental apartment. This apartment has just undergone an extensive renovation in high standards and was fully furnished and equipped to meet all your needs in a vacation rental. Each bedroom can sleep two guests.

Enjoy the luxury and magnificence of the Waldorf Astoria. This brand-new, breathtaking vacation apartment in front of the Mamilla mall, opposite the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, an easy walk from the Old City of Jerusalem!

Best located apartment for sale in Jerusalem City Center: this 3 bedroom apartment is located at Yoel Moshe Salomon St in the area of Nahalat Shiva (the heart of the city). Just a couple of minutes walking to Ben Yehuda, Mamilla, the Old City and more. The apartment was renovated a few years ago and can be sold with the furniture.

For sale in the quiet and green Arnona in Jerusalem. 2 bedrooms in the size of 3 bedroom apartment (84 sqm) with an option to a balcony. 2nd floor by stairs. Includes a storage room. The apartment is located at Ben Gavriel St.

Living in an apartment in a 5 stars hotel is now possible! This 3 bedroom and 2.5 bathroom apartment is located in the 11th floor of the Leonardo Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem: located at King George almost corner of Agron, in front of the Great Synagogue and minutes walking to Mamilla, Old City, City Center, Ben Yehuda and more! Public transportation, supermarket in the area and a pool, SPA, bar, restaurant in the building. Includes a parking spot.

A fully renovated luxury apartment: Located in the heart of Jerusalem, on Maavar Beit David St. It is a 10 minute walk to the old city of Jerusalem with its historical and religious monuments like the Western Wall (Kotel). Within a 5 minute radius you have Ben Yehuda, Mamilla and other hot spots. A wide variety of synagogues are located in the near vicinity.

3 bedroom apartment available for sale at Eliyahu Lenkin St, one of the most wanted areas in Jerusalem: the Young Arnona. Brand new building (approx 6 years old) with 2 elevators (one Shabbat). The apartment has a very nice balcony and includes 2 underground parking spaces and a storage room.

Jerusalem real estate for sale: This 3 bedroom and 1.5 bathrooms apartment is best located in the Talbie neighborhood at Mendele Mocher Sforim St between Jabotinsky and Keren HaYesod. Very close to the Prima Kings Hotel, The Inbal Hotel and the King David Hotel. The Great Synagogue, Ben Yehuda, Mamilla and the Old City are walking distance.

A beautiful double apartment-villa in David’s Village is now available:The two story unit of over 330 square meters consists of 6 large bedrooms, (5 bed rooms with two beds each and 1 spacious office room has a pull out couch bed, option to add beds if required), 5 bathrooms, a spacious living room/ dining room area which spreads out onto an open terrace of 42 square meters (to be used as the sukkah – easily seating 40 people), an additional downstairs living area opening out to a 60 square meter gardendeck area.

1-bedroom studio apartment. The apartment is located in the Almog building on the Mediterranean Sea at the southern entrance to Haifa. 30 meters from the seashore, very close to public transportation.

Located on a quiet street, in a stone building, on the second floor (1.5 flights, no elevator), this is a beautiful, 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths luxurious vacation rental apartment. This apartment has just undergone an extensive renovation in high standards and was fully furnished and equipped to meet all your needs in a vacation rental. Each bedroom can sleep two guests.

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Jerusalem Real Estate: Apartments Israel LTD: Jerusalem …

Israel travel advice – GOV.UK

This travel advice covers Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:


the Shebaa Farms and Ghajjar and within 500m of the border with Lebanon (the Blue Line) east of Metula, including the northern edge of the town

east of Route 98 along the Syrian border

There have been a number of violent incidents in the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Old City in recent days. The FCO judges that tensions remain high and further incidents are possible over the next few days. British government employees have been advised to consider the need for travel around the West Bank for the time being. Keep up to date with local advice.

On 3 October, 2 Israelis were killed when a group was attacked around the Lions Gate in Jerusalems Old City. There remains a possibility of further violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Keep up to date with local travel updates.

On 1 October, 2 Israelis were shot and killed on a road between the settlements of Elon Moreh and Itamar, near the Palestinian village of Beit Furik, east of Nablus. Take extra care near settlements in the West Bank, particularly near Nablus. Keep up to date with local travel updates and expect road closures and numerous checkpoints across the West Bank.

On 14 to 16 September, there were violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount site. Theres a possibility of further violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank in coming weeks. Keep up to date with media reporting and local travel updates.

On 20 August, rockets were fired into northern Israel from Syria, impacting in Israels Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights. There were no reports of injury or serious damage.

On 31 July, two houses were set on fire near Nablus. Three people died and 1 was injured in a settler terrorist attack.

On 19 June, two Israeli men were shot near the settlement of Dolev, north west of Ramallah. One of the men subsequently died from his injuries. Police are investigating the attack.

In May and June rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza, landing in open areas.

There is a risk of security incidents in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. There have been attacks on pedestrians on or near Jerusalems Light Rail stations in recent months, including an attack on pedestrians near the Shimon HaTzadik station on 5 March when a number of people were injured.

There have been attacks on buses in the Greater Tel Aviv area, including a knife attack on 21 January when 12 people were wounded.

Take extra care and be vigilant when using public transport, in particular the Light Rail in East Jerusalem and buses in the greater Tel Aviv area. You may wish to consider using other forms of transport.

The situation in East Jerusalem and the West Bank remains tense and the security situation is volatile. You should be especially vigilant after Friday prayers and on religious holidays. Demonstrations and other forms of civil unrest can occur at short notice and often turn violent. A heavy Israeli security presence is likely. Be extra vigilant and take great care, particularly at the Qalandiya checkpoint between East Jerusalem and Ramallah, in areas close to refugee camps, in and around Israeli settlements and in the cities of Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah and Hebron.

Visa and other entry requirements are complex. Make sure youre aware of Israeli immigration policies before you travel. Allow extra time for increased security measures and checks at airports during Israeli holidays and during the peak summer tourist season. See Entry Requirements

There is a high threat from terrorism. See Terrorism

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

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Israel travel advice – GOV.UK