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Why do so many people have such vitriolic prejudice and hatred against the Jews?
Recent attacks against Jewish people have brought the issue to the forefront lately, and once again the world confronts an epidemic of antisemitism.
We call such prejudice antisemitism probably because some Jewish people speak Hebrew, a Semitic language. But as a linguistic group, though, the Semitic languages also include Arabic and Amharic – and antisemitism definitely doesn’t afflict Arabs or Ethiopians, right? To be “Semitic” you certainly don’t need to be Jewish, so the term itself quickly loses meaning when you break it down. Since the term “Semitic” does not designate one racial or cultural group, how can anyone be antisemitic?
Like most prejudices, this one makes absolutely no sense when subjected to close analysis – and like most prejudices, it originates from fear and ignorance. The Baha’i teachings encourage every person on Earth to rid themselves of their biases:
All prejudices, whether of religion, race, politics or nation, must be renounced, for these prejudices have caused the world’s sickness. It is a grave malady which, unless arrested, is capable of causing the destruction of the whole human race. Every ruinous war, with its terrible bloodshed and misery, has been caused by one or other of these prejudices.
The deplorable wars going on in these days are caused by the fanatical religious hatred of one people for another, or the prejudices of race or colour.
Until all these barriers erected by prejudice are swept away, it is not possible for humanity to be at peace. – Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, pp. 146-147.
For Baha’is and for millions upon millions of people of all religions and no religion, human diversity is intrinsically beautiful and beneficial. All existence depends upon it.
The Baha’i teachings remind people of good faith the world over that we can take many steps not to forget the past – and not to repeat the past. We can all befriend and talk with Jewish people, read the antisemitic history they’ve been subjected to, and try to understand the horrors our Jewish brethren went through and still go through. If we all do this, we can recognize and prevent similar occurrences. As
O people! Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship. Thus hath the day-star of His sanction and authority shone forth above the horizon of the decree of God, the Lord of the worlds. – Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 22.
In an April 2002 letter to the World’s Religious Leaders, the Universal House of Justice wrote:
… the Baha’i community has been a vigorous promoter of interfaith activities from the time of their inception. Apart from cherished associations that these activities create, Baha’is see in the struggle of diverse religions to draw closer together a response to the Divine Will for a human race that is entering on its collective maturity.
The best way to remove the fear of faith-based differences? Get to know each other at a personal and community level. Abdu’l-Baha exhorted the Baha’is to do the following:
Therefore, to you my first admonition is this: Associate most kindly with all; be as one family; pursue this same pathway. Let your intentions be one that your love may permeate and affect the hearts of others so that they may grow to love each other and all attain to this condition of oneness.
The world of humanity is filled with darkness; you are its radiant candles. It is very poor; you must be the treasury of the Kingdom. It is exceedingly debased; you must be the cause of its exaltation. It is bereft of divine graces; you must give it impetus and spiritual quickening. According to the teachings of Baha’u’llah you must love and cherish each individual member of humanity. – The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 336.
An “answer” to “the Jewish problem,” then, presumes an initial question that requires an answer. Why do we even ask those kinds of senseless questions? They are fabrications made up by misguided, ignorant souls giving inhumane orders carried out by spiritually and morally bankrupt followers, many brainwashed through the propaganda of hatred to believe they are in the right.
Whenever it occurs, any prejudice for any reason is a falsehood, and against God’s law of universal love for all humanity:
Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world; they must bring to an end the benighted prejudices of all nations and religions and must make known to every member of the human race that all are the leaves of one branch, the fruits of one bough. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 277.
Good people everywhere must add their commitment, voices, and actions so that similar injustices and crimes against humanity do not happen. None of us are bystanders.