Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the featured star of the Zohar and one of the most prominent sages of the second century, coined the adage, “It is known that Esau hates Jacob.” Meaning, anti-Semitism is part of nature, like rain and snow in winter and unbearable heat in summer, like birds and bees and earthquakes. It’s part of God’s grand design.
But it could be argued that it is a worthwhile thing to find out just how much Esau hated Jacob in 2019, compared with 2018. Which is why the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Thursday published its global survey of 18 Countries which found that “Hardcore Anti-Semitic Attitudes Remain Pervasive.”
Rabbi Shimon would not have fallen off his chair, to say the least.
The poll of 18 countries was conducted between April and June 2019 in Eastern and Western Europe, Canada, South Africa, Argentina and Brazil. Using an 11-question index ADL polling has used since 1964, the survey of more than 9,000 adults found that anti-Semitic attitudes in Argentina, Brazil, Poland, Russia, South Africa and Ukraine have seen marked increases.
But before we continue, you have to know this fun fact: the ADL survey was paid for by… Volkswagen.
Back to our story: “About one in four Europeans polled harbor pernicious and pervasive attitudes toward Jews,” according to the new global survey that was commissioned by ADL. And while anti-Semitic attitudes held mostly steady in Western Europe, the survey discovered that hateful notions about Jews are rising in Eastern and Central European countries, where long-held beliefs about the Jews controlling everything and maintaining a dual loyalty remain “widespread.”
It’s a funny thing, that dual loyalty notion. It was first recorded by the Torah in the Book of Exodus (1:10), when the Pharaoh tells his cabinet: “In the event of war they would ally themselves with our enemies, and fight against us.”
Where did he get this idea? Where did the rest of them get it? Jews have been the most loyal citizens in every country where we lived – there isn’t a single recorded event where the Jewish population collaborated with the enemy, and yet this nasty notion remains the go-to thing even in today’s US Congress – in both major parties.
Jewish “disloyalty” is a widespread anti-Semitic stereotype in the Western European countries surveyed. In Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain, more than 40% of the public believe that Jews are more loyal to the State of Israel than to their own country. This canard also scored high in Brazil (70%), South Africa (60%), and in Canada (25%).
Many people surveyed also believe Jews still talk too much about the Holocaust.
Notice that no one cares about the Jews mourning their lost holy temples too much on the 9th of Av – possibly because we don’t share it with the world. It’s our private, intimate loss. But once we insist the gentiles take responsibility for their genocide against our families – they turn squeamish.
“Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust” was a statement supported by large segments of the populations of many of the European countries polled, even in Germany, where 42% of the population agreed. This sentiment was also prevalent in Austria (44%), Belgium (40%) Italy (38%) and Spain (37%).
In Poland, where restitution of Holocaust-era Jewish property was widely debated in recent years, anti-Semitic attitudes rose to 48% of the population, up from 37% in 2015.
Because we want our money back, grubby Jews that we are.
Oh, and roughly three out of four respondents in Poland agreed that “Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust.”
And that’s in a country where one is exposed to criminal prosecution for using the term “Polish concentration camps,” or for mentioning that the vast majority of Poles eagerly collaborated with the Nazi occupation, taking over Jewish property abandoned by its condemned Jewish owners.
Finally, a demonstration of classical insanity by ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt, who lamented: “It is deeply concerning that approximately one in four Europeans harbor the types of anti-Semitic beliefs that have endured since before the Holocaust.”
Of course, the sane conclusion of these grim findings must be a resounding call for all the Jews of Europe and the rest of the world to sell everything and rush while they still can to Israel, where they can live among their millions of Jewish brothers and sisters.
Nope. He didn’t say any of that. Instead, in the best tradition of Albert Einstein who defined insanity as doing the same thing and expecting different results, Greenblatt said: “These findings serve as a powerful wake-up call that much work remains to be done to educate broad swaths of the populations in many of these countries to reject bigotry, in addition to addressing the pressing security needs where violent incidents are rising.”
Quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat. Put it in your Google Translate. It’s Latin for: “Those whom God wishes to destroy, He first deprives of reason.”