Europe never recovered from the last one, so it seems. It’s a sad combination of the dregs of medieval barbarity and the ingrained subservience of the ‘peasant’ class. The emergence throughout Europe of a new and virulent anti-semitism is evidence of a further disintegration of European morality and an ugly window to the not-too-distant past.
There are whole libraries on Hebraic history, and any number of highly educated and friendly scholars who will give of their time and knowledge to those who honestly seek the truth. The Judean diaspora is said to have had its advent with the conquering of Israel in 722 BC by the Assyrians, the Jewish peoples having been scattered throughout the middle east. Still, with typical Jewish stubbornness and determination, groups of Jews here and there maintained their religious and cultural identity despite being widely separated.
After the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 73 AD, following the Jewish revolt against Roman rule in 70 AD, the Romans harried the Jews from Palestine, scattering the remnants of the population across Asia, Africa, and Europe. Widely-scattered Jewish communities, stubbornly clinging to their religion and culture, were seldom welcomed in their adopted homelands, and being different were easy targets for both incidental and institutionalized discrimination and violence.
The word ‘pogrom’ means a violent attack, sometimes government or military sponsored, against a specific group of people. Pogroms were common throughout Europe and the Russia of the Tsars. Much of the hatred against European Jewry arose from the very success of these ‘interlopers’, as they were looked upon. Largely well-educated and prosperous through hard work and determination, they became easy targets in their isolated and powerless communities.That they were able to survive, much less prosper, under such conditions is no small testament to their adaptability.
Anti-semitism is a word coined by a German socialist, William Marr, in 1879. He founded the League for Anti-Semitism. The late philosopher Zvi Diesendruck stated that, “There has never been a standing term for this merely negative attitude, to any other people in history”. “Only anti-semitism; only against Jews”. The undercurrents of this pernicious practice can be seen right up to, and into, modern Europe. The culmination coming with the murders of millions of European Jews, and others, at the hands of the Nazis in Europe’s death camps.
After the war there was a diaspora in reverse, as hundreds of thousands of displaced and homeless Jews made their way to the infant state of Israel. Anti-semitism, at least for the years after the war, was a shameful thing scorned by most good citizens of Europe. That it still existed and was just under the surface cannot be denied. Discriminatory practices in the old Soviet Union states were endemic against Jews.
Now, with in increase in Islamo-fascist populations through Europe, we see a new impetus towards violence and hatred toward European Jewry. The Jewish population who were fortunate enough to have left Europe before World War Two, and those who could not and were slaughtered, constituted an educated-class brain-drain that much of Europe has yet to recover from. Had Hitler had a few more Einsteins and a few less chicken farmers named Himmler, we might be in a whole different world today.
Europe, in its hide-bound arrogance, has nothing to recommend itself to anyone who loves freedom… freedom from oppression, freedom from fear. There may be another out-migration of Europe’s Jewry. In this day and age, unlike the travel-restricted Europe of yore, there is nothing to prevent Europe’s Jews from voting with their feet.
It will be Europe’s loss and the world’s gain.
Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis
© Skip MacLure 2010