Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

As Jews around the world gather this week to observe the holiday of Passover and as Christians celebrate Easter, and Muslims, Ramadan, it comes at a time when violent acts of anti-Semitism and the slaughter of Christians have spiked as incidents have been reported around the world.

It is one of history’s oldest and most virulent of prejudices where Jews have cynically been used as scapegoats by empires and despots to ensure their own survival.


As early as 1899, following a year in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the iconic American author Mark Twain observed that the leaders of the Habsburg Empire directed scorn at the Jewish community to maintain unity within their precarious empire.

Twain would take stock of the Jewish will to survive throughout multiple epochs by writing, “He has made a marvellous fight in this world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him.”

The Passover holiday that observes the Jewish exodus from Egypt is just one more chapter in the history of a people that have been singled out for persecution. While history, and today’s headlines, remind us there are others who have suffered violent religious bigotry, none were the victims of an organized genocide that enlisted the power of a modern state to commit murder on an industrialized scale.

In his writings, Twain, citing the disappearance of the Babylonians and Romans, marveled at how the Jews outlasted many of their historic adversaries. Still, the author would have had to put his pen down and weep at the legacy of the Holocaust.

This Jewish holiday is an appropriate time for good people of all faiths to contemplate the rise of religious hatred here and around the world and then to pledge ourselves to confronting it wherever and whenever we find it.


{Reposted from Gatestone Institute}


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Lawrence Kadish, a Long Island real estate investor, is a trustee of the Gatestone Institute.