Anti-Semitism, which is defined as "hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group," is not only the world's longest hatred. It is also the most irrational.
The anti-Semitic events of the last three weeks, from Kansas City to Ukraine, remind us that Jew-hatred is always near, looking for the slightest provocation to raise its ugly head.
If there is a problem in the society, surely there is a Jew to blame.
When the Black Plague decimated Europe in the Middle Ages, the Jews, already branded as Christ-killers by the church, thereby guilty of deicide, were accused of starting the plague by poisoning the wells with a mixture made of spiders, lizards and the hearts of Christians mixed together with the sacred elements of the Lord's Supper. Outraged mobs slaughtered thousands of Jews as a result of this pernicious rumor.
When the Catholic Church declared in 1215 that the elements of communion literally became the body and blood of Jesus, Jews were accused of stealing and torturing communion wafers, leading to whole Jewish communities being burned at the stake.
In the Muslim world today, it is still believed that every year, Jews kidnap and torture an innocent victim, using his blood to make Passover matzah (unleavened bread).
The Muslim world, along with many non-Muslims, also takes seriously the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious forged document from the late 19th century that claims to report the secret plans of a hidden group of Jewish leaders who are poised to take over the entire world, ultimately bringing it into subjection to the Hindu god Vishnu. To quote from the Protocols: "Our kingdom will be an apologia of the divinity Vishnu, in whom is found its personification."
Anti-Semites claim that Israel was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks, making the even more outrageous charge that no Jews died in the attacks that day. In keeping with such theories, one anti-Semitic website claims that, "Zionist Jews opposed the truth-seeking efforts of Democratic New Jersey senator, Robert Torricelli, when he attempted to uncover the facts surrounding the 9/11 tragedy in a speech before the Senate on Sept. 26, 2001." Of course, it was "the Zionist-Jewish occupied press" that was able to stonewall the investigation.
Even more bizarre are the claims of widely visited websites like JewWatch.com (let the Web surfer beware), with headlines like, "Vatican Jewish Paper Shows Judiazation [sic] of Catholicism" and "Was Pope John Paul II Jewish?" (The answer, of course, is "likely" yes.)
Those visiting this website will even find stories about the "100,000,000 Christian innocents who were exterminated by the anti-Christian Jewish Red Commissars in Russia under the orders of Trotsky, the Jewish Commissar of Commissars. Yet Spielberg will never direct a 'Schindler's List' movie for them or their genocide. Why is that? Because Jews did it."
Perhaps more bizarre still are the ever-increasing stories that accuse the Israelis of harvesting human organs, as in this report in the Kaperville Daily News, which states, "Israelis Harvesting Black and Hispanic Childrens [sic] Organs."
The article begins with a warning: "People, protect your children! This is real. All of these children being killed and being found without organs is not a coincidence. They are even doing it down here, in Haiti."
The report even provides alleged documentation for its claims: "Costa Rican authorities announced on Wednesday that they had broken up an international organ trafficking ring that worked with Israeli doctors and specialized in selling kidneys to patients in Israel and East Europe."
What is sobering about all this is that people actually believe these charges to be true, to the point that if one single Jew could be connected with a single crime, that would make all Jews guilty in the eyes of these anti-Semites. And if no real evidence could be found? That would provide evidence of the all-powerful Jewish media that succeeded in covering up the truth, aided and abetted by the rich Jews who control the world's finances.
The fact that, in recent generations, Jews have had a level of social and financial prominence in America and some European countries only fuels the fires of anti-Semitism and proves to them that the Protocols are true.
As for Israel's very real, mortal enemies, like Hamas, conspiracy theories abound, including this one, found in Article Seventeen of the Hamas Charter: "Zionist organizations under various names and shapes, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, espionage groups and others are all nothing more than cells of subversion and saboteurs. These organizations have ample resources that enable them to play their role in societies for the purpose of achieving the Zionist targets and to deepen the concepts that would serve the enemy."
So, not only do Jews control the media, finances, the political system and the Vatican (according to some theorists); not only are the Jews guilty of covering up Israel's involvement in the 9/11 attacks, murdering hundreds of millions of Christians and others (this was the claim of the Kansas City shooter) and harvesting human organs; but the Jews, specifically the Zionists, also control the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs and other "espionage groups," all of which are "nothing more than cells of subversion and saboteurs."
Of course, these horrific charges are so absurd that they are laughable, except for the fact that multiplied millions of people believe these irrational lies to be true.
And that is nothing to laugh about.