Originally posted by dunwichwitch
I can definitely see that. Even if some jewish moneylenders are corrupt, you can't blame all Jews.
Does anybody have an idea of whether there may be some sort of historical reference for the idea that people should be suspicious or even downright
hateful of popular Jewish practices such as money lending and such?
This is grossly oversimplified, but here's the core:
Historically, Christianity hated and resented Jews for their merchant and moneylending activities, but needed them because cities and states cannot
grow without someone lending money and providing trade.
The hatred comes from the christian prohibition on usury – at that time considered to be any form of moneylending – and is usually referred back
to the story of Jesus entering the Temple and overturning the tables of the moneylenders.
There is a spiral that goes on: Christians hate moneylending, so Jews step in as moneylenders. Christians end up in debt to Jews, so they resent
Jewish moneylenders. That's pretty much the picture throughout the early Christian era and the middle ages.
So to answer your question, there are a couple of historical sources for hatred of Jews and Jewish practices of moneylending: one, christian culture
is historically suspicious of any moneylending activity; and two, people always resent people they owe money to.
Here's a Google books link to some historical information:
Religious Violence Between Christians And
As for why you specifically resent Judaism, I would first ask, "do you resent and hate Christianity?"
A lot of people on ATS do, for a lot of the reasons that you've given for resenting Judaism. All of which have to do with political ramifications of
the religious institutions rather than either the belief system itself or the individuals who adhere to it.
In your OP you say something about, you don't know any Jews, or if you do you're not aware of it. I think that's key too. You won't think of
someone as a Jew unless they call attention to their Jewishness, and most people in most contexts won't do that.
There are in fact Jews who hate what the state of Israel is doing, and there are Jews who don't much like it but don't see an alternative, and there
are Jews who don't much concern themselves with politics.
I believe that there are more Jews in New York City than there are anywhere else in the world, but I'll have to check that.
And there are many many different factions of Judaism.
I guess what I'm saying is that I don't think you should be bothered by your reaction to the actions of the State of Israel, but I think you might
be interested to learn more about judaism both historically and currently, to gain perspective on the religion as opposed to the politics.
EDIT to add: whenever a faction is doing something that I find repulsive, whether it's Israeli actions in Gaza, Islamic jihadists bombing civilians,
or Christians protesting gay rights, it seems like they claim to be doing it on behalf of the religion as a whole. I've found it helps not to let the
people who I think have things backward define the terms for me, but to look beyond them to see the larger picture. There are almost always members of
that religion who are equally appalled as I am by the actions of the few.
[edit on 2/10/09 by americandingbat]