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  • Goldie Benarroch

The Destructive Power of Hate: How One Person's Words Can Influence Many

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

Given history’s bad record on antisemitism, one would expect us to have learned from history’s mistakes, but antisemitism sentiment and incidents have dramatically risen in the past decade. Historical antisemitism dates back to biblical times when Abraham, the father of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, and his family moved to Canaan in BCE, where Jews experienced persecution for refusing to worship idols and adopt the customs and culture of the new ruler. Then in 70 C.E., the Jewish state was destroyed by Romans, forcing Jews to spread across the world because of the threat of Judaism to establish Christianity as the most prominent world religion. Jews refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah and thus were seen as a threat to Christianity. In Europe during the Middle Ages, Jews were accused of “blood libels” to explain the death of Christians and were rumoured to have horns and tails. In 1095, the Crusades started, massacring, looting, and raping Jews.

When the bubonic plague spread throughout Europe in the middle of the 14th century, fear led to the need to blame the Jews because of the myths and notions spread about them. In the late 1800s, secret police published The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which consists of documents accusing rabbis of secret plans to control the world, which led to Pogroms and the mass murder of Jews in Ukraine. Then, the Holocaust: the murder, torture, ill-treatment, and robbery of millions of Jews by the Nazi regime in an effort to exterminate Jews. Due to the horrors and magnitude of the Holocaust, individuals and countries would less widely accept expressions of antisemitism immediately after the Holocaust.

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