Antisemitic canard

Antisemitic canard

An antisemitic canard is a deliberately false story inciting antisemitism. [ [ "canard."] Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 09 Jun. 2008.] The word "canard" is French for "duck," referring to a hoax. Despite being thoroughly disproved, [See the article section on the Times' expose on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion] antisemitic canards are often part of broader theories of Jewish conspiracies. According to Kenneth S. Stern,

Historically, Jews have not fared well around conspiracy theories. Such ideas fuel anti-Semitism. The myths that Jews killed Christ, or poisoned wells, or killed Christian children to bake matzo, or "made up" the Holocaust, or plot to control the world, do not succeed each other; rather, the list of anti-Semitic canards gets longer. The militia movement today believes in the conspiracy theory of the "Protocols", even if some call it something else and never mention Jews. From the perspective of history, we know that this is the type of climate in which anti-Semitism can grow. [Kenneth S. Stern (1997): "A Force upon the Plain: The American Militia Movement and the Politics of Hate". University of Oklahoma Press. p.247]

Contradictory accusations

Antisemitism has been called "the longest hatred." [ [ Our common inhumanity: anti-semitism and history] by Richard Webster (a review of "Antisemitism: The Longest Hatred" by Robert S. Wistrich, Thames Methuen, 1991] A number of researchers noted contradictions and irrationality across antisemitic myths. Leon Pinsker noted as early as 1882:

Friend and foe alike have tried to explain or to justify this hatred of the Jews by bringing all sorts of charges against them. They are said to have crucified Jesus, to have drunk the blood of Christians, to have poisoned wells, to have taken usury, to have exploited the peasant, and so on. These and a thousand and one other charges against an entire people have been proved groundless. They showed their own weakness in that they had to be trumped up wholesale in order to quiet the evil conscience of the Jew-baiters, to justify the condemnation of an entire nation, to demonstrate the necessity of burning the Jew, or rather the Jewish ghost, at the stake. He who tries to prove too much proves nothing at all. Though the Jews may justly be charged with many shortcomings, those shortcomings are, at all events, not such great vices, not such capital crimes, as to justify the condemnation of the entire people. [Leon Pinsker (1882): ""]

Jocelyn Hellig writes in her 2003 book "The Holocaust and Antisemitism: A Short History":

Michael Curtis has pointed out that no other group of people in the world has been charged simultaneously with:
* alienation from society and cosmopolitanism;
* being capitalist exploiters and agents of international finance, and also revolutionary agitators;
* having a materialist mentality and being people of the Book;
* acting as militant aggressors, yet being cowardly pacifists;
* adhering to a superstitious religion and being agents of modernism;
* upholding a rigid law while also being morally decadent;
* being a chosen people, yet having an inferior human nature;
* being both arrogant and timid;
* emphasizing individualism and yet upholding communal adherence.
* being guilty of the crucifixion of Christ, yet blamed for the invention of Christianity.Curtis points out that this catalogue of contradictory accusations cannot possibly be true and no single people could feasibly have such a total monopoly on evil. [Michael Curtis (1986): "Antisemitism in the Contemporary World". Westview Press. p.4, cited in: Jocelyn Hellig (2003): "The Holocaust and Antisemitism: A Short History" Oneworld Publications. ISBN 1851683135. pp.75-76]

Antisemitic canards

Accusations of deicide

According to Jeremy Cohen, " [e] ven before the Gospels appeared, the apostle Paul (or, more probably, one of his disciples) portrayed the Jews as Christ's killers ["... the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets." (I Thessalonians 2:14-15) [] [] ] ... But though the New Testament clearly looks to the Jews as responsible for the death of Jesus, Paul and the evangelists did not yet condemn all Jews, by the very fact of their Jewishness, as murderers of God and his messiah. That condemnation, however, was soon to come." [Jeremy Cohen (2007): "Christ Killers: The Jews and the Passion from the Bible to the Big Screen". Oxford University Press. p.55 ISBN 0195178416]

According to the New Testament accounts, the Jewish authorities in Judea charged Jesus with blasphemy and sought his execution, see Sanhedrin Trial of Jesus. However, the Jewish authorities lacked the authority to have Jesus put to death, according to ) The Tanakh (Old Testament) and Jewish teaching portray human sacrifice as one of the evils that separated the pagans of Canaan from the Hebrews.(, ). Ritual cleanliness for priests prohibited even being in the same room as a human corpse ().

When "Church and secular leaders sharply denounced these defamations,... people refused to abandon this myth. ... Popes, kings and emperors declared that Jews, if for no other reason than their strict dietary laws banning even the smallest drop of blood in meat or poultry, were incapable of the crime. The Christian populace was not impressed. In 1385, Geoffrey Chaucer published his "Canterbury Tales" which included an account of Jews murdering a deeply pious and innocent Christian boy. This blood libel become a part of English literary tradition." [Alexis P. Rubin, ed. (1993) pp.106-107]

Among those who refuted blood libel against Jews were Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in 1236: "...we pronounce the Jews of the aforementioned place [Fulda] and the rest of the Jews in Germany completely absolved of this imputed crime," [Alexis P. Rubin (1993) pp.113-115, also in: Robert Chazan (1980) pp.124-126] Pope Gregory IX in Papal Bull dated October 7, 1272: "We decree... that Christians need not be obeyed against Jews in a case or situation of this type, and we order that Jews seized upon such as silly pretext be freed from impisonment, and that they shall not be arrested henceforth on such a miserable pretext, unless - which we do not believe - they be caught in the commission of the crime," [Alexis P. Rubin (1993) pp.115-116, also in: Jacob R. Marcus (1938, 1961): "The Jew in the Medieval World". World Publishing. pp.153] Pope Clement VI on September 26, 1348: "Jews are not responsible for the Plague." [Alexis P. Rubin (1993) pp.116-117, also in: Edward Synan (1965): "The Popes and the Jews in the Middle Ages". Macmillan. p.133]

Blood libel stories have appeared a number of times in the state-sponsored media of a number of Arab and Muslim nations, their television shows and websites. Books alleging occurrences of Jewish blood libel are not uncommon. [Antisemitic blood libel in the modern world:
*In 1986, Defense Minister of Syria Mustafa Tlass authored book "The Matzah Of Zion". The book renews anti-Jewish ritual murder accusations of 1840 Damascus affair and alleges that "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" is a factual document. (Frankel, Jonathan. "The Damascus Affair: "Ritual Murder," Politics, and the Jews in 1840", pp. 418, 421. Cambridge University Press, 1997. ISBN 978-0-521-48396-4)
* In 2001 an Egyptian film company produced and aired a film called "Horseman Without a Horse", partly based on Tlass's book.
* The TV series "Ash-Shatat" ("The Diaspora"), sponsored by the Syrian government, depicts Jews engage in a conspiracy to rule the world, murder Christian children, and use their blood to bake matzah. ( [ U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2004 - Syria] February 2005, [!OpenDocument Written statement submitted by the Association for World Education, a non-governmental organization on the Roster] Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and All Forms of Discrimination. Question of Violation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in Any Part of the World. Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. UN Commission on Human Rights. 60th session. E/CN.4/2004/NGO/5. 10 February 2004)
* [ Iranian TV Blood Libel] December 20, 2005
*King Faisal of Saudi Arabia accused Jews of a blood libel in Paris. (Gane S. Gerber (1986): "History and hate: the dimensions of anti-Semitism". Jewish Publication Society of AmericaISBN 0827602677 p. 88
* [ Israel Is 'Stealing Palestinian Children's Eyes,' Iranian TV Series Says] by Susan Jones (CNSNews) December 23, 2004

Some Arab writers have condemned blood libel. The Egyptian newspaper "Al-Ahram" published a series of articles by Osam Al-Baz, a senior advisor to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. He explained the origins of the anti-Jewish blood libel and said that Arabs and Muslims have never been anti-Semitic as a group and urged people not to succumb to "myths" such as the blood libel. [ [ Al-Ahram Weekly Online, January 2-8, 2003 (Issue No. 619)] ]

Demonization, accusations of impurity

Jeremy Cohen writes:

Yet the very impulse that propelled the Christian imagination from the Jew as a deliberate killer of Christ to the Jew as perpetrator of the most heinous crimes against humanity also led to the portrayal of the Jew as inhuman, satanic, animal-like, and monstrous. ... Popular traditions of the later Middle Ages, for example, characterize Jews as having a distinctive foul odor. ... By all accounts, the bestiality of the Jew climaxed in the image of the "Judensau"... [Jeremy Cohen (2007). p.204-207]

German for "Jews' sow", "Judensau" was the derogatory and dehumanizing imagery of Jews that appeared around the 13th century. Its popularity lasted for over 600 years and was revived by the Nazis. The Jews, typically portrayed in obscene contact with unclean animals such as pigs or owls or representing a devil, appeared on cathedral or church ceilings, pillars, utensils, etchings, etc.

Often, the images combined several antisemitic motifs and included derisive prose or poetry. Cohen continues:

"Dozens of Judensaus... intersect with the portrayal of the Jew as a Christ killer. Various illustrations of the murder of Simon of Trent blended images of Judensau, the devil, the murder of little Simon himself, and the Crucifixion. In the seventeenth-century engraving from Frankfurt [Cohen's book includes an earlier variation of the same image.] ... a well-dressed, very contemporary-looking Jew has mounted the sow backward and holds her tail, while a second Jew sucks at her milk and a third eats her feces. The horned devil, himself wearing a Jewish badge, looks on and the butchered Simon, splayed as if on a cross, appears on a panel above." [Jeremy Cohen (2007) p.208]

In the Spanish language, the word "marrano" means "Christianized Jew", "pig" and "dirty".

More recently, " [t] he main recurrent motif in Arab cartoons concerning Israel is "the devilish Jew" [ [ Major Anti-Semitic Motifs in Arab Cartoons.] An Interview with Joël Kotek. JCPA. Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism. No. 21. 1 June 2004] and " [t] he core anti-Semitic motif of the Jew as the paradigm of absolute evil has a set of submotifs. These, in turn, recur over the centuries but are differently cloaked according to the predominant narrative of the period." [ [ The Twenty-first-century Total War Against Israel and the Jews. Part One] by Manfred Gerstenfeld. JCPA. Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism. No. 38. 1 November 2005]

Accusations of well poisoning

During the Black Death (often identified as bubonic plague epidemic) throughout the late Middle Ages, crowded cities were especially hard hit by the disease, with death tolls as high as 50% of the population. In their distress, emotionally distraught survivors searched for something, or someone, to blame. The Jews proved to be a convenient scapegoat.

There were no mass attacks against "Jewish poisoners" after the period of the Black Death, but the accusation became part and parcel of antisemitic dogma and language. It appeared again in early 1953 in the form of the "doctors' plot" in Stalin's last days, when hundreds of Jewish physicians in the Soviet Union were arrested and some of them killed on the charge of having caused the death of prominent Communist leaders... Similar charges were made in the 1980s and 1990s in radical Arab nationalist and Muslim fundamentalist propaganda that accused the Jews of spreading AIDS and other infectious diseases. [Walter Laqueur (2006)" "The Changing Face of Antisemitism: From Ancient Times to the Present Day", Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-530429-2. p.62]

Accusations of plotting to control the world

The "Protocols" are widely considered to be the beginning of contemporary conspiracy theory literature.Svetlana Boym, "Conspiracy theories and literary ethics: Umberto Eco, Danilo Kis and The Protocols of Zion": "Comparative Literature", Spring 1999.]
Daniel Pipes notes that the "Protocols" emphasize recurring themes of conspiratorial antisemitism: "Jews always scheme", "Jews are everywhere", "Jews are behind every institution", "Jews obey a central authority, the shadowy 'Elders'", and "Jews are close to success." [Daniel Pipes (1997): "Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From" (The Free Press - Simon & Shuster) p.86-87. ISBN 0-684-83131-7]

Included in this canard is not only written text that seeks to accuse Jews of trying to control the world, but also graphic imagery depicting Jews, or their supporters, as trying to control the world. Examples of this imagery include Nazi cartoons that depict Jews as octopi, encircling the globe. [ [ Nazi Propaganda] as part of the Zichronam l'Vracha site. Accessed 24 September 2006.] A more recent example is the 2001 re-printing of Henry Ford's anti-semitic text, The International Jew in Egypt, with the same octopus imagery on the front cover. [ [ Examples of anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim world] on, site of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centerat the Center for Special Studies (C.S.S), Israel. Accessed 24 September 2006.]

Among the most notable early refutations of the "Protocols" as a forgery were a series of articles printed in "The Times" of London in 1921. This series revealed that much of the material in the "Protocols" was plagiarized from earlier political satire that did not have an antisemitic theme. Since 1903, when the "Protocols" appeared in print, its earliest publishers have offered vague and often contradictory testimony detailing how they obtained their copy of the rumored original manuscript. [John Spargo, "The Jew and American Ideals". Harper & Brothers Publishers New York 1921 p. 20-40.]

The text was popularized by those opposed to Russian revolutionary movement, and was disseminated further after the revolution of 1905, becoming known worldwide after the 1917 October Revolution. It was widely circulated in the West in 1920 and thereafter. The Great Depression and the rise of Nazism were important developments in the history of the "Protocols", and the hoax continued to be published and circulated despite its debunking. Despite the fact that numerous independent investigations have repeatedly proven the "Protocols" to be a plagiarism and a literary forgery, the hoax is still frequently quoted and reprinted by antisemites, and is sometimes used as evidence of an alleged Jewish cabal, especially in the Middle East. [ UNISPAL] United Nations Economic and Social Council, "Dissemination of racist and antisemitic hate material on television programs" (Retrieved Sept 2005)]

According to Rabbi Sidney Schwarz,

"One of the most widely distributed anti-Semitic tracts in history is "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", a book of canards authored in the nineteenth century that portrays Jews as conspiring to seek global dominance. Similarly, American-based racist groups in this last century have frequently leveled accusations against Jews for controlling both banks and public officials." [Rabbi Sidney Schwarz (2006): "Judaism and Justice: The Jewish Passion to Repair the World". Jewish Lights Publishing. ISBN 1580233120. p.96]

Accusations of causing wars, revolutions, and calamities

As many European localities and entire countries expelled their Jewish populations after robbing them, and others denied them entrance, the legend of the "Wandering Jew", a condemned harbinger of calamity, gained popularity.

German politician Heinrich von Treitschke in the 19th century coined a phrase "Die Juden sind unser Unglück!" ("The Jews are our misfortune!") adopted as a motto by "Der Stürmer" several decades later.Ben-Sasson, H.H., ed. (1976): "A History of the Jewish People". (Harvard University Press, Cambridge). ISBN 0-674-39730-4, p.875]

The term "Judeo-Bolshevism" was adopted and used in Nazi Germany to refer to Jews and communists together, implying that the communist movement served Jewish interests. [Walter Laqueur (1965): "Russia and Germany" (Boston: Little, Brown and Company)]

The Franklin Prophecy was unknown before its appearance in 1934 in the pages of William Dudley Pelley's pro-Nazi weekly magazine "Liberation". According to the 2004 US Congress report, "Anti-Semitism in Europe: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on European Affairs of the Committee on Foreign Relations":

"The Franklin "Prophecy" is a classic anti-Semitic canard that falsely claims that American statesman Benjamin Franklin made anti-Jewish statements during the Constitutional Convention of 1787. It has found widening acceptance in Muslim and Arab media, where it has been used to criticize Israel and Jews..." ["Anti-Semitism in Europe: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on European Affairs of the Committee on Foreign Relations" by United States Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations. Subcommittee on European Affairs. 2004. p.69]

Some recent conspiracy theories hold that Jews or Israel played a key role in carrying out the September 11, 2001 attacks. According to the paper published by the Anti-Defamation League, "anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have not been accepted in mainstream circles in the U.S.," but "this is not the case in the Arab and Muslim world." [" [ Unraveling Anti-Semitic 9/11 Conspiracy Theories." New York: Anti-Defamation League, 2003.] p. 1] A claim that 4,000 Jewish employees skipped work at the WTC on September 11 has been widely reported and widely debunked. The number of Jews who died in the attacks - typically estimated at around 400 [Gary Rosenblatt. [ The Mitzvah To Remember] "The Jewish Week" September 05, 2002] [ The Resuscitation of Anti-Semitism: An American Perspective] An Interview with Abraham Foxman. JCPA. Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism. No. 13. 1 October 2003] [ [ The 4,000 Jews Rumor surrounding Sept. 11th proved untrue] USINFO. U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs. 14 January 2005. Accessed: April 25, 2007] - tracks closely with the proportion of Jews living in the New York area. Five Israelis died in the attack. [cite news |first = Greer Fay|url = |last = Cashman|title = Five Israeli victims remembered in capital|work = The Jerusalem Post |publisher = The Jerusalem Post |page = 3|date = 2002-09-12 |accessdate = 2006-10-17]

In search of a scapegoat for the Iraq War, some commentators noted that " [f] rom left to right, anti-Semitic claims abound in U.S. press." [Bret Stephens, Melissa Radler. [ From left to right, anti-Semitic claims abound in U.S. press.] "Jewish SF" March 28, 2003]

On October 16, 2003, the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed drew a standing ovation at the 57-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference for his speech, in which he said: " the Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them... They invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so that they can enjoy equal rights with others. With these they have gained control of the most powerful countries and they, this tiny community, have become a world power." [ [ "Mahathir attack on Jews condemned"] ,, October 17, 2003.] He further urged Muslims to emulate Jews in this regard in order to achieve similar results.

Accusations of causing antisemitism

In January 2005, a group of Russian State Duma deputies demanded that Judaism and Jewish organizations be banned from Russia. "Their seven-page letter... accused Jews of carrying out ritual killings, controlling Russian and international capital, inciting ethnic strife in Russia, and staging hate crimes against themselves. "The majority of antisemitic actions in the whole world are constantly carried out by Jews themselves with a goal of provocation," the letter claimed." After sharp protests by Russian Jewish leaders, human rights activists, and the Foreign Ministry, Duma members retracted their appeal. [ [ Deputies Urge Ban on Jewish Organizations, Then Retract] - Bigotry Monitor. Volume 5, Number 4. January 28, 2005. Published by UCSJ. Editor: Charles Fenyvesi]

Accusations of usury and profiteering

In the Middle Ages, Jews were ostracized from most professions by the Christian Church and the guilds and were pushed into marginal occupations considered socially inferior, such as tax and rent collecting and moneylending. This was said to show Jews were insolent, greedy usurers. Natural tensions between creditors and debtors were added to social, political, religious, and economic strains.

... financial oppression of Jews tended to occur in areas where they were most disliked, and if Jews reacted by concentrating on moneylending to gentiles, the unpopularity - and so, of course, the pressure - would increase. Thus the Jews became an element in a vicious circle. The Christians, on the basis of the Biblical rulings, condemned interest-taking absolutely, and from 1179 those who practised it were excommunicated. But the Christians also imposed the harshest financial burdens on the Jews. The Jews reacted by engaging in the one business where Christian laws actually discriminated in their favour, and so became identified with the hated trade of moneylending. [Johnson, Paul: "A History of the Jews" (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1987) ISBN 0-06-091533-1. p.174]

Peasants who were forced to pay their taxes to Jews could personify them as the people taking their earnings while remaining loyal to the lords on whose behalf the Jews worked. Gentile debtors may have been quick to lay charges of usury against Jewish moneylenders charging even nominal interest or fees. Thus, historically attacks on usury have often been linked to antisemitism.

In England, the departing Crusaders were joined by crowds of debtors in the massacres of Jews at London and York in 1189-1190. In 1275, Edward I of England passed the Statute of Jewry which made usury illegal and linked it to blasphemy, in order to seize the assets of the violators. Scores of English Jews were arrested, 300 hanged and their property went to the Crown. In 1290, all Jews were expelled from England, allowed to take only what they could carry, the rest of their property became the Crown's. The usury was cited as the official reason for the Edict of Expulsion.According to Walter Laqueur,

"The issue at stake was not really whether the Jews had entered it out of greed (as antisemites claimed) or because most other professions were barred to them... In countries where other professions were open to them, such as Al-Andalus and the Ottoman Empire, one finds more Jewish blacksmiths than Jewish money lenders. The high tide of Jewish usury was before the fifteenth century; as cities grew in power and affluence, the Jews were squeezed out from money lending with the development of banking." [Walter Laqueur (2006): "The Changing Face of Antisemitism: From Ancient Times to the Present Day", Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-530429-2. p.154]

Accusations of lack of patriotism and cowardice

As Jewish Emancipation progressed, new antisemitic accusations appeared. Often Jews were accused of insufficient patriotism. In the late 19th century France, a political scandal known as the Dreyfus affair involved the wrongful conviction for treason of a young Jewish French officer. The political and judicial scandal ended with his full rehabilitation.

During World War I, the German Military High Command administered
Judenzählung (German for "Jewish Census"). It was designed to confirm allegations of the lack of patriotism among German Jews, but the results of the census disproved the accusations and were not made public. [ [ "Deutsche Jüdische Soldaten”] Bavarian National Exhibition] ["The results were not made public, ostensibly to "spare Jewish feelings." The truth was that the census disproved the accusations: 80 percent served on the front lines."Elon, Amos (2002): "The Pity of It All". Metropolitan Books. p.338]

Another variation of this notion is an accusation that Jews are cowards who evade military service. With the rise of racist theories in the 19th century, " [a] nother old anti-Semitic canard served to underline the putative 'femininity' of the Jewish race. Like women, Jews lacked an 'essence'." [Gregory Moore (2002): "Nietzsche, Biology and Metaphor" p.181] In their book "Genocide and Gross Human Rights Violations", Kurt Jonassohn and Karin S. Björnson wrote:

"Historically, Jews were not allowed to bear arms in the most of the countries of the diaspora. Therefore, when they were attacked, they were not able to defend themselves. In some situations, their protector would defend them. If not, they only had a choice between hiding and fleeing. This is the origin of the anti-Semitic canard that Jews are cowards." [Kurt Jonassohn, Karin Solveig Björnson (1998): "Genocide and Gross Human Rights Violations". p.89]

In Stalin's Soviet Union, the state-wide campaign against "rootless cosmopolitans" - an euphemism for Jews - was set out on January 28, 1949 with an article in the newspaper "Pravda":

"... unbridled, evil-minded cosmopolitans, profiteers with no roots and no conscience... Grown on rotten yeast of bourgeois cosmopolitanism, decadence and formalism... non-indigenous nationals without a motherland, who poison with stench... our proletarian culture." [ [ About one antipatriotic group of theater critics] . "Pravda" article (transliterated Russian). January 28, 1949]

Accusations of excessive militarism and cruelty

Sometimes, one antisemitic allegation morphs into another: "Israel disproved the anti-Semitic canard, popular during World War II, that Jews were cowards and poor soldiers. In fact, the image of militarist Israel became popular among fringe elements on the political Left." [Edward Steven Shapiro (1992): "A Time for Healing: American Jewry Since World War II" p.54]

"Nile to Euphrates" controversy

It has been alleged by some groups that the blue stripes on the Israeli flag actually represent the rivers Nile and Euphrates as the boundaries of Eretz Yisrael, the land promised to the Jews by God. [Genesis 15.18: "The Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying unto thy seed have I given this land from the river of Egypt [the Nile] unto the great river, the River Euphrates."] Those making this allegation insist that the flag "secretly" represents the desire of Jews to conquer all of the land between the Nile and Euphrates rivers, which would involve conquering and ruling over much of Egypt, all of Jordan, and some of Syria and Iraq. Yasser Arafat, Iran and Hamas also made the allegation, [ [ Playboy Interview: Yasir Arafat] , "Playboy Magazine", September 1988.
ARAFAT: Yes, because they don't want it. Look at the slogans they use: thatthe land of Israel is from the Euphrates to the Nile. This was written for many years over the entrance to the Knesset, the parliament. It shows their national ambition — they want to advance to the Jordan River. One Israel for them, what's left for us…Do you know what the meaning of the Israeli flag is?
ARAFAT: It is white with two blue lines. The two lines represent two rivers, and in between is Israel. The rivers are the Nile and the Euphrates.
] and repeatedly tied this notion to the stripes on the Israeli flag. [Rubin, Barry. [ The PLO between Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism, Background and Recent Developments] , The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1993. Accessed April 3, 2006.] Rubinstein, Danny. [ Inflammatory legends] , "Haaretz", November 15, 2004. Accessed April 3, 2006.]

Both Zionist and anti-Zionist authors have debunked the claim that the stripes on the flag represent territorial ambitions. Daniel Pipes notes "In fact, the blue lines derive from the design on the traditional Jewish prayer shawl", [Pipes, Daniel. [ Imperial Israel: The Nile-to-Euphrates Calumny] , "Middle East Quarterly", March, 1994. Accessed April 3, 2006.] and Danny Rubinstein points out that "…Arafat… added, in interviews that he gave in the past, that the two blue stripes on the Israeli flag represent the Nile and the Euphrates… No Israeli, even those who demonstrate understanding for Palestinian distress, will accept the… nonsense about the blue stripes on the flag, which was designed according to the colors of the traditional tallit (prayer shawl)…" Persistent critic of Israel and Zionism Israel Shahak is equally explicit. In his "The Zionist Plan for the Middle East" he states

A good example is the very persistent belief in the non-existent writing on the wall of the Knesset of the Biblical verse about the Nile and the Euphrates. Another example is the persistent, and completely false declarations, which were made by some of the most important Arab leaders, that the two blue stripes of the Israeli flag symbolize the Nile and the Euphrates, while in fact they are taken from the stripes of the Jewish praying shawl (Talit).

Saqr Abu Fakhr, an Arab writer, has also spoken out against this idea. He demonstrates that the "Nile to Euphrates" claim regarding the flag is one of seven popular misconceptions and/or myths about Jews which, despite being unfounded and having abundant evidence refuting them, continue to circulate in the Arab world. [Abu Fakhr, Saqr. "Seven Prejudices about the Jews", "Al-Hayat", November 12 1997 – November 14 1997.]

Nevertheless, the states "After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates," and as recently as January 29, 2006, Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar issued a demand for Israel to change its flag, citing the "Nile to Euphrates" argument. [Shiloh, Scott. [ Mofaz: Hamas Acting Responsibly; Hamas: Israel Must Change Flag] , "Arutz Sheva", January 30, 2006. Accessed April 3, 2006.]

Accusations of racism

A number of books and websites run by neo-Nazis, White supremacy advocates, Christian Identity adherents, and radical Islamist groups offer what they claim are authoritative quotes from rabbinic literature, all attempting to prove that Judaism is racist, Jews hate non-Jews and perceive them as non-human.

According to Joseph Soloveitchik: "Even as the Jew is moved by his private Sinaitic Covenant with God to embody and preserve the teachings of the Torah, he is committed to the belief that all mankind, of whatever color or creed, is "in His image" and is possessed of an inherent human dignity and worthiness. Man's singularity is derived from the breath "He [God] breathed into his nostrils at the moment of creation" (Genesis 2:7). Thus, we do share in the universal historical experience, and God's providential concern does embrace all of humanity." ["Man of Faith in the Modern World", p. 74]

According to a 1984 hearing record before the Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Organizations in the US Congress concerning the Soviet Jewry,

"This vicious anti-Semitic canard, frequently repeated by other Soviet writers and officials, is based upon the malicious notion that the "Chosen People" of the Torah and Talmud preaches "superiority over other peoples," as well as exclusivity. This was, of course, the principal theme of the notorious Tsarist "Protocols of the Elders of Zion." [Soviet Jewry: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Organizations, United States Congress. House. Committee on Foreign Affairs. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. 1984 p.56]

Holocaust denial

Most Holocaust denial claims imply, or openly state, that the Holocaust is a hoax arising out of a deliberate Jewish conspiracy to advance the interest of Jews at the expense of other peoples. For this reason, Holocaust denial is generally considered an antisemitic conspiracy theory. Holocaust denial has been illegal in many European countries since shortly after World War II, because it is seen as motivated by an antisemitic or neo-Nazi agenda.

Viewed as social phobia

In 1882, Leon Pinsker wrote that social phobia may explain the causes of Jew-hatred he called "Judeophobia":

"Judeophobia is a variety of demonopathy... this ghost is not disembodied like other ghosts but partakes of flesh and blood, must endure pain inflicted by the fearful mob who imagines itself endangered... To sum up then, to the living the Jew is a corpse, to the native a foreigner, to the homesteader a vagrant, to the proprietor a beggar, to the poor an exploiter and a millionaire, to the patriot a man without a country, for all a hated rival." [Leon Pinsker (1882): ""]


ee also

*History of antisemitism
*Timeline of antisemitism

External links

* [ Nazi Propaganda Illustrations] A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust. Produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology, College of Education, University of South Florida

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