The Jews are not what some of us think they are

By Alex P. Vidal

“Anti-Semitism has no historical, political and certainly no philosophical origins. Anti-Semitism is a disease.”—Daniel Barenboim

ONE morning sometime in September 2015, while I sat on a bench in front of the Fox News building on Avenue of Americas (otherwise known as Sixth Street) in New York’s Midtown Manhattan, I read on the building wall’s news ticker or the electronic scrolling news bar the following headline or update: “Iran supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says Israel will be erased from earth in 10 years.”

If my computation is right, 10 years after 2015 is 2025 or two years from now. I personally don’t believe this; as a Christian and a pragmatist, I strongly reject this bizarre and cruel prognostication.

I told some of my Jewish employers about this and most of them answered me with a silent stare, or they looked at me in the eyes but said nothing.

The gesture could mean either they were hurt, or my information irritated them. Or they didn’t take me seriously dismissing my news as akin to saying, “Bugs Bunny hates Elmer Fudd.”

I did not press further.

For what it is worth, Khamenei’s threat was scary. In fact, it remained on my mind for a while.

Eight years since reading that Fox News scrolling news bar, I learned from the news recently that Iran was being suspected of “financing” Hamas’ barbaric and shocking onslaught in southern Israel on October 7 that resulted in thousands of casualties on both sides (as of this writing the death toll was increasing owing to the non-stop and full-scale pounding by Israel forces on the Gaza Strip, where the Hamas militants were believed to be hiding and where they brought the more than 100 hostages abducted during the attack).


Why do some people consider the Jews to be the supreme villains of mankind? Where did the hatred originate?

If some of us have a wrong notion about the Jews, it’s because of the way they were painted in history that resulted in centuries of antisemitism.

Interestingly, some of the best employers I had—and still have—in the United States were and are Jews. Contrary to what Hitler and the antiSemites want us to believe, the Jews, based on my personal knowledge and experience, aren’t cruel or “distasteful”—except for one Rabbi in Brooklyn who agreed to pay my wages only after I lodged a complaint in the Department of Labor five years ago.

Let’s not forget that the historical Jesus was Jew. If the Lord, the Son of God was Jew, therefore, the Jews are not the history’s baddest people.

Antisemitism is the most ancient hatred, rooted in Christian religious teachings that go back millennia.

According to American Jewish Committee (AJC) Global Voice, over that time antisemitism has morphed into variants that are both blatant and insidious, but equally harmful to Jews.

The shape-shifting nature of antisemitism is part of what sets it apart. Antisemitism is also different from other forms of racism, which often vilify victims as inferior, it added.

“In addition to emphasizing how unworthy, unclean, and greedy Jews can be, antisemitism emphasizes that Jews see themselves as superior and deny opportunities to others,” AJC Global Voice explained.

“It accomplishes this with conspiracy theories about Jews controlling the media, banks, and government, as well as with derogatory stereotypes such as myths about ‘Jewish power’ or the ‘Jewish lobby.’ This type of antisemitism, assailing Jews for their perceived power, especially resonates in today’s context of anti-racism, which aims to disrupt traditional power structures.”


Throughout history, antisemitism has presented itself in a number of ways, while constantly holding individual Jews responsible for the “misdeeds” of Jews in general, warned AJC Global Voice.

“While there were pre-Christian Greco-Roman persecutions, anti-Jewish sentiment originally began through a Christian lens, including interpretations of Christian doctrine, and early Church fathers’ teaching of contempt toward Jews. This included the charge that Jews killed Jesus, which is known as ‘deicide.’ The deicide charge holds all Jews responsible for that act.”

In the Medieval era, this discrimination was reportedly used to scapegoat Jews for a plethora of misfortunes. Jews were blamed for the kidnapping and death of Christian children, known as the blood libel claim. They also were accused of spreading disease, a charge known as poisoning the well.

“As Jews began to assimilate in Europe and were allowed to take part in professions and public positions previously denied to them, conspiracies about Jewish power began to proliferate,”added the AJC Global Voice.

It warned that since the creation of the State of Israel, “antisemitism has come to target the modern Jewish collective: the Jewish state. No other country has faced such overwhelming odds against its very survival or experienced the same degree of never-ending demonization and vilification by other nations. Today’s multiform antisemitism comes from all of these concepts.

“Another form of antisemitism that targets the Jewish state emerged with the creation of the State of Israel. The belief that the Jews, alone among the people of the world, do not have a right to self-determination—or that the Jewish people have no religious and historical connection to Israel—singles out and discriminates against Jews, and is fueled by the same motives that have existed for millennia.

“All of these expressions of antisemitism are still found today: in societies with and without Jews, online and in textbooks across the Arab world, in both the fringes of society and, increasingly, in

mainstream discourse. The shape-shifting nature of antisemitism is part of what sets it apart.”

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)