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Jewish Oppression: A Closer Look at One of the World’s Most Persecuted Religions

Lenny Bruce

It appears that everyone enjoys poking fun at the Jews from time to time. Comments are easy to spurt off and range from light hearted rabbi jokes to belittling nick names. White supremacy groups like the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis paint our culture with crosses, swastikas and other racist propaganda.

Some Jewish people even make fun of themselves. Hard to swallow? Just find old Lenny Bruce recordings. Watch an episode of Seinfield. Watch Sarah Silverman’s comedy. Better yet, let me introduce you to an acquaintance of mine, Jerome. Upon meeting he will stun one comments like “Of course I have money ; I’m a Jew!” He will ridicule the Hasidics and amuse one with prayers in Hebrew all in one breath. This behavior embodies the modern Jewish attitude, he says. He mocks my accent as he says “Hey if you can’t beat ‘um, join ‘um.”

I, a Methodist Christian, who knows so little-beg to differ. There has never been a large era in which Jewish race/religion was not under severe oppression. Never did they display that attitude. Here in this Diaspora they are generally safe and free to prosper. Especially compared to their entire bloody history in their home land and else where.

They were enslaved in Egypt. They trekked through the desert for forty years until they finally found their Canaan Land. They fell to the Assyrians, then the Greeks.

It is rarely brought to light how the religion survived the Crusades. For the first two Crusades the Jews suffered virtually no persecution as they were an important factor in the economic aspects. They later became direct targets due to the Christian notion that they were “Christ killers”. During this era they were subject to unspeakable acts of violence and torture.

Leader of the third crusade Richard the Lionheart, destroyed a village of approximately four thousand defenseless Jews. The quiet village had very few weapons. Women and children were slaughtered in the bloody siege in the name of Jesus Christ.

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In the year 1190 the Jews were once again under the attack by Lionheart and strove to seek shelter in a castle. Out numbered, defenseless and determined not to slaughtered by Christians again, they slaughtered themselves.

In the fourteenth century the bubonic plague was somehow blamed on the Jews. Superstition and ignorance played a role in this accusation. Many decades too late science came to the defense of the Jews and proved that bacteria, fleas and rats were the culprits.

In England in the year 1144 a vicious rumor spread like wildfire and spawned hate crimes which went unpunished. It was said that Jews bought and stole young boys by the name of William. They then tortured, killed and drained the blood of the Williams to drink and use in Passover rituals. This was known as the Blood Libel.

New Blood libels popped up every where. Christian leaders and Pope Innocent IV came to the defense of the Jews albeit too late. Vigilante groups stormed Jewish communities.

Later it was said in Germany and Switzerland that the Jews were stealing and torturing communion wafers. The supposed symbolism in this ritual was to torture Christ, as wafers represent the body of Christ.

In Russia Czar Alexander I allowed the Jews to expand as a group in religion and culture. Later Catherine the Great was even kind to the Jews in her country. However, the first of many issues for the Jews arose in Moscow. Christian and Catholic merchants are believed to have instigated incidents as they were envious of their Jewish competitors. Soon Jewish commerce was regulated. Then the Jews were forced out of major cities and other areas altogether.

By 1812 the borders were set. Jews were restricted to what is known today as Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, Crimea, and a portion of Poland. This was known as The Pale of Settlement. Jews were bombarded by numerous pogroms.

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This was the Russian Jews’ way of life until communism. Communism eventually wiped out all religions due to the Marxist belief that religion caused further separation of the socio- economic classes. Judaism was no exception. However with the rise of communism the Jews as a race began living better. The Pale of Settlement was no more and Jews could leave impoverished areas like Ukraine, where cannibalism was not unheard of.

They moved back to the cities to flourish as well as one could under this party.

The merchants and peasants who instigated issues had a taste of Karma as they were forced into collectivism. Many Jews held offices in the Communist party and began to build a life under the new government.

Lenin’s’ death and Stalin’s victory raised no red flag (no pun intended) for the soviet union, but after awhile it became apparent that Stalin was anti-semantic. Jews were classified as “cosmopolitan snobs” and purged from the communist party. Jews among others were imprisoned and executed. In true Red fashion, the ordeal was kept very quiet.

Stalin’s death was no relief as he had influenced Khrushchev. Eventually Jews were allowed to leave the country under the last Soviet dictator Gorbechov. He asked for economic assistance in return.

The European hatred for the Jews for which ever reason, was prevalent and all come to a head as the belief that Jews had plotted to rule the world by grand conspiracy spread far and wide. Proof magically surfaced in the form of Protocols of the Elders of Zion. In summation it read that Jewish leaders meet every one hundred years to devise plans to control the world.

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Phase 1:Non-Aryans were to be eliminated from all official occupations.

Phase 2:Numberg Laws-nullification of the progresses of Emancipation

Phase 3:Gestapo and Storm troopers enforce the laws.

The Gestapo and Storm Troopers would be Hitler’s henchmen, enforcing laws by means of starvation in concentration camps. They worked the gas chambers, preformed premeditated torture and various forms of execution. Five to six million Jews were killed as a result of phase three. Jews were allowed to leave the country and Albert Einstein and others had the means do so. However, many were left to think “Wie a heen zul ich gayn?” (Where shall I go?)

Due to wealth, superstition, or fleas and rats the Jews as a race and a religion have been persecuted , oppressed and ridiculed. The Tanak tells of the Jews’ forty years in the desert and how sometimes they obeyed Yahweh and how some times they didn’t. Some wonder how they could loose such faith and resolve that loosing faith is human nature. We should look to much larger questions. Here is mine “How can I strive to obtain the multitude and magnitude of a faith whose religion has survived and flourished through the long bloody centuries without harming any one as the Jews have?”

In 1933 Germany elected a brilliant man by the name of Adolph Hitler instilled a sense of militarism in the country. Little did Germany know He believed in the European hate mantra like his father and his obsession would soon be his down fall. He planned to destroy the semantic race in three steps: