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Geography of antisemitism

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Title: Geography of antisemitism  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Antisemitism, Antisemitism in the Arab world, Religious antisemitism, Antisemitic canard, Antisemitism in contemporary Austria
Collection: Antisemitism by Country or Region, Human Geography
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Geography of antisemitism

This is a list of countries where antisemitic sentiment has been experienced. This list is organized by country.


  • Africa 1
    • Algeria 1.1
    • Egypt 1.2
    • Libya 1.3
    • Morocco 1.4
    • South Africa 1.5
    • Tunisia 1.6
  • Asia 2
    • Bahrain 2.1
    • India 2.2
    • Iraq 2.3
    • Japan 2.4
    • Pakistan 2.5
    • Syria 2.6
    • Turkey 2.7
    • Yemen 2.8
  • Europe 3
  • North America 4
    • United States 4.1
    • Canada 4.2
  • See also 5
  • References 6



Almost all Jews in Algeria left upon independence in 1962. Algeria's 140,000 Jews had French citizenship since 1870 (briefly revoked by Vichy France in 1940), and they mainly went to France, with some going to Israel.

Since 2000, there has been a large, consistent flow of Algerian origin Jews moving from France to Israel.


Professor Peter Schafer of the Freie University of Berlin has argued that antisemitism was first spread by "the Greek retelling of ancient Egyptian prejudices". In view of the anti-Jewish writings of the Egyptian priest Manetho, Schafer suggests that antisemitism may have emerged "in Egypt alone".[1] According to the 1st century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus,[2] Manetho, a Hellenistic Egyptian chronicler and priest, in his books on Egyptian history, alleges that in the 3rd century BCE, Moses was not a Jew, but an Egyptian renegade priest called Osarseph, and portrays the Exodus as the expulsion of a leper colony. Josephus argues that Manetho's claims are inconsistent.

In 629 the Roman emperor Heraclius I. had driven the Jews from Jerusalem this was followed by a massacre of Jews throughout the empire—in Egypt, aided by the Copts, who had old scores to settle with the Jews, dating from the Persian conquest of Alexandria at the time of Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I (502) and of the Persian general Shahin (617), when the Jews assisted the conquerors in fighting against the Christians.

The mad caliph Al-Ḥakim (996-1020) vigorously applied the Pact of Omar, and compelled the Jews to wear bells and to carry in public the wooden image of a calf. A street in the city, Al-Jaudariyyah, was inhabited by Jews. Al-Ḥakim, hearing that they were accustomed to mock him in verses, had the whole quarter burned down.

Under the Bahri dynasty (1250–1390), one of the Mamluk dynasties, the Jews led a comparatively quiet existence; though they had at times to contribute heavily toward the maintenance of the vast military equipment, and were harassed by the cadis and ulemas of these strict Muslims. Al-Maqrizi relates that the first great Mameluke, Sultan Baibars (Al-Malik al-Thahir, 1260–77), doubled the tribute paid by the "ahl al-dhimmah." At one time he had resolved to burn all the Jews, a ditch having been dug for that purpose; but at the last moment he repented, and instead exacted a heavy tribute, during the collection of which many perished.

In 1324 the Jews were accused of arson at Fostat and Cairo; they had to exculpate themselves by a payment of 50,000 gold pieces.Under the Burji Mamelukes the Franks again attacked Alexandria (1416), and the laws against the Jews were once more strictly enforced by Sheik al-Mu'ayyid (1412–21); by Ashraf Bars Bey (1422–38), because of a plague which decimated the population in 1438; by Al-Ẓahir Jaḳmaḳ (1438–53); and by Ḳa'iṭ-Bey (1468–95). The lastnamed is referred to by Obadiah of Bertinoro.[3] The Jews of Cairo were compelled to pay 75,000 gold pieces.

In 1948, approximately 75,000 Jews lived in Egypt. About 100 remain today, mostly in Cairo. In 1948, Jewish neighborhoods in Cairo suffered bomb attacks that killed at least 70 Jews. Hundreds of Jews were arrested and had their property confiscated. The 1954 Lavon Affair, in which Israelis and Egyptian Jews were arrested for bombing Egyptian and American targets served as a pretext for further persecution of the remaining Jewish community in Egypt. After the 1956 Suez Crisis, Egypt expelled over 25,000 Jews, confiscated their property, and about 3,000 were imprisoned. About 1,000 more were imprisoned or detained. In 1967, Jews were detained and tortured, and Jewish homes were confiscated as emigration continued.

The imagery revived on the cover of the 2001 Egyptian edition of The International Jew by Henry Ford.

Egypt was once home of one of the most dynamic Jewish communities in their diaspora. Caliphs in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries CE exercised various repressive policies, culminating in the destruction and mass murder of the Jewish quarter in Cairo in 1012. Conditions varied between then and the advent of the Ottoman Empire in 1517, when they deteriorated again. There were at least six blood libel persecutions in cities between 1870 and 1892.

In more recent times, the fraudulent Protocols of the Elders of Zion have been published and promoted as though they were authentic historical records, fueling antisemitic sentiments in Egyptian public opinion.

Also recently published in Egypt, has been Henry Ford's antisemitic treatise, The International Jew, with distinctly antisemitic imagery on the cover.[4]


The area now known as Libya was the home of one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world, dating back to at least 300 BCE.

The Shoah (Hebrew word for catastrophe; genocide of the Jews during World War II): In the late 1930s, the pro-Nazi Fascist Italian regime began passing antisemitic laws. As a result of these laws, Jews were fired from government jobs, some were dismissed from government schools, and their citizenship papers were stamped with the words "Jewish race." Despite this repression, 25% of the population of Tripoli was still Jewish in 1941 and 44 synagogues were maintained in the city. In 1942, German troops fighting the Allies in North Africa occupied the Jewish quarter of Benghazi, plundering shops and deporting more than 2,000 Jews across the desert. Sent to work in labor camps, more than one-fifth of this group of Jews perished.

In 1948, about 38,000 Jews lived there.

A series of pogroms started in November 1945, when more than 140 Jews were killed in Tripoli and most synagogues in the city looted. The pogroms continued in June 1948, when 15 Jews were killed and 280 Jewish homes destroyed.[5]

Upon Libya's independence in 1951, most of the Jewish community emigrated from Libya. After the Suez Crisis in 1956, another series of pogroms forced all but about 100 Jews to flee. When Muammar al-Gaddafi came to power in 1969, all remaining Jewish property was confiscated and all debts to Jews cancelled.

Although the main synagogue in Tripoli was renovated in 1999, it has not reopened for services. The last Jew in Libya, Esmeralda Meghnagi died in February 2002. Israel is home to about 40,000 Jews of Libyan descent, who maintain unique traditions.[6][7]


Jewish communities, in Islamic times often living in ghettos known as mellah, have existed in Morocco for at least 2,000 years. Intermittent large scale massacres (such as that of 6,000 Jews in Fez in 1033, over 100,000 Jews in Fez and Marrakesh in 1146 and again in Marrakesh in 1232)[8][9] were accompanied by systematic discrimination through the years. During the 13th through the 15th centuries Jews were appointed to a few prominent positions within the government, typically to implement decisions. A number of Jews, fleeing the expulsion from Spain and Portugal, settled in Morocco in the 15th century and afterwards, many moving on to the Ottoman Empire.

In 1875, 20 Jews were killed by a mob in Demnat, Morocco; elsewhere in Morocco, Jews were attacked and killed in the streets in broad daylight.[10]

The imposition of a French protectorate in 1912 alleviated much of the discrimination.

The Shoah in French Morocco. While the pro-Nazi Vichy regime during World War II passed discriminatory laws against Jews, King Muhammad prevented deportation of Jews to death camps (although Jews with French, as opposed to Moroccan, citizenship, being directly subject to Vichy law, were still deported.)

In 1948, approximately 265,000 Jews lived in Morocco. Between 5,000 and 8,000 live there now, mostly in Casablanca, but also in Fez and other cities.

In June 1948, soon after Israel was established and in the midst of the first Arab-Israeli war, riots against Jews broke out in Oujda and Djerada, killing 44 Jews. In 1948-9, 18,000 Jews left the country for Israel. After this, Jewish emigration continued (to Israel and elsewhere), but slowed to a few thousand a year. Through the early fifties, Zionist organizations encouraged emigration, particularly in the poorer south of the country, seeing Moroccan Jews as valuable contributors to the Jewish State:

...These Jews constitute the best and most suitable human element for settlement in Israel's absorption centers. There were many positive aspects which I found among them: first and foremost, they all know (their agricultural) tasks, and their transfer to agricultural work in Israel will not involve physical and mental difficulties. They are satisfied with few (material needs), which will enable them to confront their early economic problems. (Yehuda Grinker (an organizer of Jewish emigration from the Atlas), The Emigration of Atlas Jews to Israel, Tel Aviv, The Association of Moroccan Immigrants in Israel, 1973.[1])

In 1955, Morocco attained independence. Jews occupied several political positions, including three Members of Parliament and a Minister of Posts and Telegraphs. However, emigration to Israel jumped from 8,171 in 1954 to 24,994 in 1955, increasing further in 1956. Beginning in 1956, emigration to Israel was prohibited until 1963, when it resumed.[2] In 1961, the government informally relaxed the laws on emigration to Israel; over the three following years, more than 80,000 Moroccan Jews emigrated there. By 1967, only 60,000 Jews remained in Morocco.

The Six-Day War in 1967 led to increased Arab-Jewish tensions worldwide, including Morocco. By 1971, the Jewish population was down to 35,000; however, most of this wave of emigration went to Europe and North America rather than Israel.

Despite their current small numbers, Jews continue to play a notable role in Morocco; the king retains a Jewish senior adviser, André Azoulay, and Jewish schools and synagogues receive government subsidies. However, Jewish targets have sometimes been attacked (notably in Al-Qaeda's bombing of a Jewish community center in Casablanca, see Casablanca Attacks), and there is sporadic antisemitic rhetoric from radical Islamist groups. Late King Hassan II's invitations for Jews to return have not been taken up by the people who emigrated.

South Africa

While South Africa is better known for the apartheid system of racial discrimination against blacks, antisemitism has been a feature of that country's history since Europeans first set foot ashore on the Cape Peninsula. In the years 1652-1795 - a period twice as long as the 20th century reign of the National Party - Jews were not allowed to settle at the Cape. Subsequent Cape administrations - Batavian and British - were more progressive. An 1868 Act would sanction religious discrimination.[11] Although antisemitism did not disappear in the 19th century, it would reach its apotheosis in the years leading up to World War II. Inspired by the rise of national socialism in Germany the Ossewabrandwag (OB) - whose membership accounted for almost 25% of the 1940 Afrikaner population - and the National Party faction New Order would champion a more programmatic solution to the 'Jewish problem'.[12] The Simon Wiesenthal Center reports that these two groups advocated three mechanisms: Jews who had entered the country after 1933 were to be repatriated; Jews who had arrived prior to 1933 would be regarded as foreign nationals; lastly, a system regulating Jewish numbers in business and the professions would be instituted.[13] The same report lists some of the reasons South African gentiles gave for disliking Jews: too many of them in commerce and professions; profiteering; black market offences; loud and ostentatious; are apart and different; buy up the land; and most communists are Jews.


Jews have lived in Tunisia for at least 2300 years. In the 13th century, Jews were expelled from their homes in Kairouan and were ultimately restricted to ghettos, known as hara. Forced to wear distinctive clothing, several Jews earned high positions in the Tunisian government. Several prominent international traders were Tunisian Jews. From 1855 to 1864, Muhammad Bey relaxed dhimmi laws, but reinstated them in the face of anti-Jewish riots that continued at least until 1869.

The Shoah in French Tunisia. Tunisia, as the only Middle Eastern country under direct Nazi control during World War II, was also the site of racist antisemitic measures activities such as the yellow star, prison camps, deportations, and other persecution.

In 1948, approximately 105,000 Jews lived in Tunisia. About 1,500 remain today, mostly in Djerba, Tunis, and Zarzis. Following Tunisia's independence from France in 1956, a number of anti-Jewish policies led to emigration, of which half went to Israel and the other half to France. After attacks in 1967, Jewish emigration both to Israel and France accelerated. There were also attacks in 1982, 1985, and most recently in 2002 when a bomb in Djerba took 21 lives (most of them German tourists) near the local synagogue, in a terrorist attack claimed by Al-Qaeda.

The Tunisian government makes an active effort to protect its Jewish minority now and visibly supports its institutions.



Bahrain's tiny Jewish community, mostly the descendants of immigrants who entered the country in the early 1900s from Iraq, numbered 600 in 1948. Over the next few decades, most left for other countries, especially England; some 36 remain (as of 2006.)[14]

Relations between Jews and Muslims are generally considered good, with Bahrain being the only state on the Arabian Peninsula where there is a specific Jewish community and the only Gulf state with a synagogue. One member of the community, Rouben Rouben, who sells electronics and appliances from his downtown showroom, said “95 percent of my customers are Bahrainis, and the government is our No. 1 corporate customer. I’ve never felt any kind of discrimination.”[14]

Members play a prominent role in civil society: Ebrahim Nono was appointed in 2002 a member of Bahrain's upper house of parliament, the Consultative Council, while a Jewish woman heads a human rights group, the Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society. According to the JTA news agency, the active Jewish community is "a source of pride for Bahraini officials".[14]

In Bahrain's 2006 parliamentary election, some candidates have specifically sought out the Jewish vote; writer Munira Fakhro, Vice President of the Leftist National Democratic Action, standing in Isa Town told the local press: "There are 20- 30 Jews in my area and I would be working for their benefit and raise their standard of living."[15]


India is home to several communities of Jews. Over the course of the twentieth century, several important Hindu leaders, scholars and politicians, such as Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Sita Ram Goel, Arun Shourie and others have vocally condemned antisemitism and have expressed support for Israel and the Jewish right to self-determination.[16]

Antisemitism first came to India with the Portuguese Christian Missionaries in the 16th century. Christian antisemitism in India manifested itself through the Goa Inquisition that resulted in the depopulation of the Jews in Goa, and the persecution of South Indian Jews by the Portuguese in Kerala.


During the Sassanid rule over Assyria (Assuristan) (225 to 634) both Assyrian Christians and Jews suffered occasional persecution, especially under Sassanian high-priest Kartir The first legal expression of Islam toward the Jews, Assyrian Christians, Mandeans and Zoroastrians after the conquests of the 630s were the poll-tax ("jizyah"), the tax upon real estate ("kharaj") was instituted.

The Umayyad Caliph, Umar II. (717-720), persecuted the Jews. He issued orders to his governors: "Tear down no church, synagogue, or fire-temple; but permit no new ones to be built". it is said that the law requiring Jews to wear a yellow badge upon their clothing originated with Harun.

Historian Martin Gilbert writes that it was in the 19th century that the position of Jews worsened in Muslim countries. In 1828, there was a massacre of Jews in Baghdad.[8]

In 1948, there were approximately 150,000 Jews in Iraq. In 2003, there were 100 left, though there are reports that small numbers of Jews are returning in the wake of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

In 1941, following Rashid Ali's pro-Axis coup, riots known as the Farhud broke out in Baghdad in which approximately 200 Jews were murdered (some sources put the number higher), and up to 2,000 injured.

Like most Arab League states, Iraq forbade the emigration of its Jews for a few years after the 1948 war on the grounds that allowing them to go to Israel would strengthen that state. However, intense diplomatic pressure brought about a change of mind. At the same time, increasing government oppression of the Jews fueled by anti-Israeli sentiment, together with public expressions of antisemitism, created an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty.

In March 1950, Iraq passed a law of one year duration allowing Jews to emigrate on condition of relinquishing their Iraqi citizenship. Iraq apparently believed it would rid itself of those Jews it regarded as the most troublesome, especially the Zionists, but retain the wealthy minority who played an important part in the Iraqi economy. Israel mounted an operation called "Ezra and Nehemiah" to bring as many of the Iraqi Jews as possible to Israel, and sent agents to Iraq to urge the Jews to register for immigration as soon as possible.

The initial rate of registration accelerated after a bomb injured three Jews at a café. Two months before the expiry of the law, by which time about 85,000 Jews had registered, a bomb at the Masuda Shemtov Synagogue killed three or five Jews and injured many. The law expired in March 1951, but was later extended after the Iraqi government froze the assets of departing Jews (including those already left). During the next few months, all but a few thousand of the remaining Jews registered for emigration, spurred on by a sequence of bombings that caused few casualties but had great psychological impact. In total, about 120,000 Jews left Iraq.

In May and June 1951, the arms caches of the Zionist underground in Iraq, which had been supplied from Palestine/Israel since the Farhud of 1942, were discovered. Many Jews were arrested and two Zionist activists, Yusuf Basri and Ibrahim Salih, were tried and hanged for three of the bombings. A secret Israeli inquiry in 1960 reported that most of the witnesses believed that Jews had been responsible for the bombings, but found no evidence that they were ordered by Israel. The issue remains unresolved: Iraqi activists in Israel still regularly charge that Israel used violence to engineer the exodus, while Israeli officials of the time vehemently deny it. According to historian Moshe Gatt, few historians believe that Israel was actually behind the bombing campaign—based on factors such as records indicating that Israel did not want such a rapid registration rate and that bomb throwing at Jewish targets was common before 1950, making the Istiqlal Party a more likely culprit than the Zionist underground. In any case, the remainder of Iraq's Jews left over the next few decades, and had mostly gone by 1970.


Originally Japan, with no Jewish population, had no antisemitism, however, Nazi ideology and propaganda left its influence on Japan during World War II, and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were subsequently translated into Japanese. Today, antisemitism and belief in Jewish manipulation of Japan and the world remains despite the small size of the Jewish community in Japan. Books about Jewish conspiracies are best sellers. According to a 1988 survey, 8% of Japanese had read one of these books.[17]


There is a general stereotype against Jews in Pakistan. Jews and Hindus are regarded as "miserly".[18] The founding of the Islamic state of Pakistan immediately prior to the creation of Israel in the Levant created insecurity among Pakistan's Jews. After Israel's independence in 1948, violent incidents occurred against Pakistan's small Jewish community of about 2,000 Bene Israel Jews. The synagogue in Karachi was attacked, as were individual Jews. The persecution of Jews resulted in their exodus to India, Israel, and the UK. The Peshawar Jewish community ceased to exist.[19]

Pakistani cricket icon Imran Khan's marriage to Jemima Goldsmith in 1996 caused furor in Pakistan and Khan was accused of acting as an agent of the "Jewish Lobby". Egyptian newspapers in Pakistan made other antisemitic accusations against Khan. After Khan complained, the stories were retracted.[19]


In Roman times about 10,000 Jews lived at Damascus, governed by an ethnarch.[20] During the conflicts between the Byzantines and the Persians the city frequently suffered heavily. When Syria was conquered by the Persians (614), the Jews of Damascus, profiting by the presence of the invaders, joined with their coreligionists of Palestine to take vengeance on the Christians, especially those of Tyre. During the Crusades, a large number of Palestinian Jews sought refuge at Damascus from the enormous taxes imposed upon them by the Crusaders, thus increasing the community.

During the nineteenth century the Jews of Damascus were several times made the victims of calumnies, the gravest being those of 1840 and 1860, in the reign of the sultan Abdülmecit I. That of 1840, commonly known as the Damascus affair, was an accusation of ritual murder brought against the Jews in connection with the death of Father Thomas.[21] A Jewish barber was tortured until he "confessed"; two other Jews who were arrested died under torture, while a third converted to Islam to save his life. The second accusation brought against the Jews, in 1860, was that of having taken part in the massacre of the Christians by the Druze and the Muslims. Five hundred Muslims, who had been involved in the affair, were hanged by the grand vizier Fuad Pasha. Two hundred Jews were awaiting the same fate, in spite of their innocence, and the whole Jewish community had been fined 4,000,000 piastres.[22] The condemned Jews were saved only by the official intervention of Fuad Pasha himself; that of the Prussian consul, Dr. Wetzstein; of Sir Moses Montefiore of London, and of the bankers Abraham Salomon Camondo of Constantinople and Shemaya Angel of Damascus. From that time to the end of the nineteenth century, several further blood accusations were brought against the Jews; these, however, never provoked any great excitement.[10]

There is a tiny Syrian Jewish community that is confined mainly to Damascus; remnants of a formerly 40,000 strong community. After the 1947 UN Partition plan in Palestine, there were heavy pogroms against Jews in Damascus and Aleppo. The Jewish property was confiscated or burned and after the establishment of the State of Israel, many fled to Israel and only 5000 Jews were left in Syria. Of these, 4000 more left after agreement with the United States in the 1990s. As of 2006, there are only 100-200 Jews left in Syria.

Rioters in Aleppo in 1947 burned the city's Jewish quarter and killed 75 people.[23] In 1948, there were approximately 30,000 Jews in Syria. The Syrian government placed severe restrictions on the Jewish community, including on emigration. Over the next decades, many Jews managed to escape, and the work of supporters, particularly Judy Feld Carr,[24] in smuggling Jews out of Syria, and bringing their plight to the attention of the world, raised awareness of their situation. Following the Madrid Conference of 1991 the United States put pressure on the Syrian government to ease its restrictions on Jews, and, in 1992, the government of Syria began granting exit visas to Jews on condition that they not emigrate to Israel. At that time, the country had several thousand Jews; today, under a hundred remain. The rest of the Jewish community have emigrated, mostly to the United States and Israel. There is a large and vibrant Syrian Jewish community in South Brooklyn, New York. In 2004, the Syrian government attempted to establish better relations with the emigrants, and 12 Syrian-Jews visited Syria.[25]


Despite close economic and military ties to Israel, Turkey has experienced a recent surge in anti-Semitic literature, most notably the sale of Mein Kampf, the autobiography of Adolf Hitler, which has become a bestseller through the country. Sales of the similarly themed books The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Henry Ford's The International Jew have also increased. In the same vein, the 2005 bestselling book Metal fırtına, which depicts a fictional war between Turkey and the United States, is described by the author, in an interview with Vatan, as helping people understand the realities behind Israel and the Jews, and would see how the Jews betrayed Turkey.[26]

While the exact reason for the book's popularity is uncertain, it may reflect anger over the treatment of fellow Muslim in Palestine by Israelis, anti-western sentiments caused by the war in Iraq, or simply backlash caused by Turkey's bid to join the European Union.

Antisemitic sentiments have also been observed in the Turkish media, such as in the nationalist Ortadogu, where Selcuk Duzgun, in an article titled Here is the Real Jew stated: "We are surrounded. Wherever we look we see traitors. Wherever we turn we see impure, false converts. Whichever stone you turn over, there is a Jew under it. And we keep thinking to ourselves: Hitler did not do enough to these Jews."

In the Milli Gazete, Turkish author Hakan Albayrak wrote an article accusing the Israeli Government of Genocide and stating Zionism itself constituted genocide.[26] On 8 January the Islamist daily Yeni Şafak, published an article which alleged that the Israeli Government was attempting to set up farms in southeastern Turkey, and populate them with Russian and Ethiopian Jews whose integration into Israel they found difficult. In 2005, it was reported by journalists such as Ayhan Bilgin in Vakit, that the Mossad and Israel were responsible for planting mines which killed Turkish soldiers in southeast Turkey. Such claims have created a very negative atmosphere against Israelis and Turkish Jews. Antisemitism has also recently been observed in the publications Anadoluda Vakit and Yeniçağ.[26]

Several antisemitic conspiracy theories from Islamists and ultra-nationalists in Turkey have attempted to demonize Jews and Israel. These theories have been fed in part by Turkish Israeli arms modernization projects, agricultural projects in southeast Turkey connected to the South-East Anatolia Agricultural Irrigation Project, which employ Israeli experts; mutual visits of Turkish and Israeli officials; and the alleged role of the Mossad in northern Iraq (the Iraq war is highly unpopular in Turkey) making statements such as "The Mossad is the boss in Northern Iraq" have all nourished these theories. The common conspiracy theory that Jews, the supposed chosen people who consider themselves superior, are trying to take over the world by creating internal problems has also been cited by Turkish newspapers.[26]

The well-known Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, often criticized and accused of being a traitor due to his interpretation of certain events in Turkish history, has been criticized as being "the servant of Jews," and "a Jew-lover" by the ultra-nationalist newspaper Yeniçağ.[26]


Including Aden, there were about 63,000 Jews in Yemen in 1948. Today, there are about 200 left. In 1947, riots killed at least 80 Jews in Aden. Increasingly hostile conditions led to the Israeli government's Operation Magic Carpet, the evacuation of 50,000 Jews from Yemen to Israel in 1949 and 1950. Emigration continued until 1962, when the civil war in Yemen broke out. A small community remained unknown until 1976, but it appears that all infrastructure is lost now.

Jews in Yemen were long subject to a number of restrictions, ranging from attire, hairstyle, home ownership, marriage, etc. Under the "Orphan's Decree", many Jewish orphans below puberty were raised as Muslims. This practice began in the late 18th century, was suspended under Ottoman rule, then was revived in 1918. Most cases occurred in the 1920s, but sporadic cases occurred until the 1940s. In later years, the Yemenite government has taken some steps to protect the Jewish community in their country.


The summary of a 2004 poll by the "Pew Global Attitudes Project" noted, "Despite concerns about rising antisemitism in Europe, there are no indications that anti-Jewish sentiment has increased over the past decade. Favorable ratings of Jews are actually higher now in France, Germany and Russia than they were in 1991. Nonetheless, Jews are better liked in the U.S. than in Germany and Russia."[27]

A German cartoon circa 1938 depicts Churchill as a Jewish octopus encircling the globe. [3]

However, according to 2005 survey results by the ADL,[28] antisemitic attitudes remain common in Europe. Over 30% of those surveyed indicated that Jews have too much power in business, with responses ranging from lows of 11% in Denmark and 14% in England to highs of 66% in Hungary, and over 40% in Poland and Spain. The results of religious antisemitism also linger and over 20% of European respondents agreed that Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus, with France having the lowest percentage at 13% and Poland having the highest number of those agreeing, at 39%.[29]

The Vienna-based European Union Monitoring Centre (EUMC), for 2002 and 2003, identified France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and the Netherlands as EU member countries with notable increases in incidents. Many of these incidents can be linked to immigrant communities in these countries and result from heightened tensions in the Middle East. As these nations keep reliable and comprehensive statistics on antisemitic acts, and are engaged in combating antisemitism, their data was readily available to the EUMC.

In western Europe, traditional far-right groups still account for a significant proportion of the attacks against Jews and Jewish properties; disadvantaged and disaffected Muslim youths increasingly were responsible for most of the other incidents. In Eastern Europe, (despite having a larger native Muslim population), neo-Nazis, fascists and others members of the radical political fringe were responsible for most antisemitic incidents. Antisemitism remained a serious problem in Russia and Belarus, and elsewhere in the former Soviet Union, with most incidents carried out by ultra-nationalist and other far-right elements. The stereotype of Jews as manipulators of the global economy continues to provide fertile ground for antisemitic aggression.

North America

United States

The KKK: Nazi salute and Holocaust denial

In the mid-1600s, Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch Director-General of the colony of New Amsterdam, sought to bolster the position of the Dutch Reformed Church by trying to reduce religious competition from denominations such as Jews, Lutherans, Catholics and Quakers. He stated that the Jews were "deceitful", "very repugnant", and "hateful enemies and blasphemers of the name of Christ". He warned in a subsequent letter that in "giving them liberty we cannot (then) refuse the Lutherans and Papists". However, religious plurality was already a legal-cultural tradition in New Amsterdam and in the Netherlands. His superiors at the Dutch West India Company in Amsterdam overruled him in all matters of intolerance.

Jews were often condemned by populist politicians alternately for their left-wing politics, or their perceived wealth, at the turn of the century. antisemitism grew in the years leading up to America's entry into World War II, Father Charles Coughlin, a radio preacher, as well as many other prominent public figures, condemned "the Jews," and Henry Ford reprinted The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in his newspaper.

In 1939 a Roper poll found that only thirty-nine percent of Americans felt that Jews should be treated like other people. Fifty-three percent believed that "Jews are different and should be restricted" and ten percent believed that Jews should be deported.[30] Several surveys taken from 1940 to 1946 found that Jews were seen as a greater threat to the welfare of the United States than any other national, religious, or racial group. [4] It has been estimated that 190,000 - 200,000 Jews could have been saved during the Second World War had it not been for bureaucratic obstacles to immigration deliberately created by Breckinridge Long and others.[31]

In a speech at an America First rally on September 11, 1941 in Des Moines, Iowa entitled "Who Are the War Agitators?", Charles Lindbergh claimed that three groups had been "pressing this country toward war": the Roosevelt Administration, the British, and the Jews - and complained about what he insisted was the Jews' "large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government." [32] The antisemitism of Lindbergh is one of the subjects of the novel The Plot Against America (2004) by Philip Roth.

Unofficial antisemitism was also widespread in the first half of the century. For example, to limit the growing number of Jewish students between 1919-1950s a number of private liberal arts universities and medical and dental schools employed Numerus clausus. These included Harvard University, Columbia University, Cornell University, and Boston University. In 1925 Yale University, which already had such admissions preferences as "character", "solidity", and "physical characteristics" added a program of legacy preference admission spots for children of Yale alumni, in an explicit attempt to put the brakes on the rising percentage of Jews in the student body. This was soon copied by other Ivy League and other schools, and admissions of Jews were kept down to 10% through the 1950s. Such policies were for the most part discarded during the early 1960s.

Some cults also support conspiracy theories regarding Jews as dominating and taking over the world. These cults are often vitriolic and severely anti-semititic. For instance, the Necedah Shrine Cult from the 1950s on to the mid-1980s, has Mary Ann Van Hoof receiving antisemitic "visions" from the Virgin Mary telling her that the Rothschilds, a prominent Jewish banking family, are "mongrel yids(Jews)" bent on dominating the entire world economy through international banking. Most of the worlds problems, from poverty to world wars, are the cause of International Banking Jews and their "satanic secret society," according to Van Hoof.[5]

American antisemitism underwent a modest revival in the late twentieth century. The Nation of Islam under Louis Farrakhan claimed that Jews were responsible for slavery, economic exploitation of black labor, selling alcohol and drugs in their communities, and unfair domination of the economy. Jesse Jackson issued his infamous "Hymietown" remarks during the 1984 Presidential primary campaign.

According to ADL surveys begun in 1964, African-Americans are "significantly more likely" than white Americans to hold antisemitic beliefs, although there is a strong correlation between education level and the rejection of anti-Semitic stereotypes.[33]


Canada’s Jewish community dates back to the 18th century, and anti-Semitism has confronted Canadian Jews since this time.[34][35]

See also


  1. ^ Schafer, Peter. Judeophobia, Harvard University Press, 1997, p 208.
  2. ^ Against Apion Bk 1.14, 1.26
  3. ^ Obadiah of Bertinoro p. 53
  4. ^ Examples of antisemitism in the Arab and Muslim world on, site of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies (C.S.S), Israel. Accessed 24 September 2006.
  5. ^ Harris, 2001, pp. 149-150.
  6. ^ [6]
  7. ^ Jews of Libya
  8. ^ a b Morris, Benny. Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001. Vintage Books, 2001, pp. 10-11.
  9. ^ For the events of Fez see Cohen, 1995, pp 180-182. On Marrekesh, see the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906.
  10. ^ a b Gilbert, Martin. Dearest Auntie Fori. The Story of the Jewish People. HarperCollins, 2002, pp. 179-182.
  11. ^ Milton, Shain (1994). The roots of antisemitism in South Africa. Johannesburg: Wiwatersrand University Press. pp. 9–18. 
  12. ^ South Africa - The Impact of World War II
  13. ^ Annual 4 Chapter 8 Part 2 - Simon Wiesenthal Center Multimedia Learning Center
  14. ^ a b c Larry Luxner, Life’s good for Jews of Bahrain—as long as they don’t visit Israel, JTA News, October 18, 2006. Accessed 25 October 2006.
  15. ^ Sandeep Singh Grewal, Dr Munira Fakhro hopes for better future, WomenGateway, October 2006. Accessed 25 October 2006.
  16. ^ Hindu Pro-Zionism at the Wayback Machine (archived April 23, 2006)
  17. ^ Japanese Attitudes Towards Jews Accessed October 8, 2006
  18. ^ Why are the Jews ‘kanjoos’? —Khaled Ahmed’s Review of the Urdu press,Daily times (Pakistan)
  19. ^ a b Jewish Virtual Library: Pakistan Accessed October 8, 2006
  20. ^ Acts 9-2; II Cor. 9-32
  21. ^ The Origins and the Development of German-Jewish Press in Germany till 1850 by Johannes Valentin Schwarz. (66th International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Council and General Conference. Jerusalem, Israel, 13–18 August 2000. Code Number: 106-144-E
  22. ^ The Damascus Blood Libel (1840) as Told by Syria's Minister of Defense, Mustafa Tlass (MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis Series - No. 99) June 27, 2002
  23. ^ Daniel Pipes, Greater Syria: The History of an Ambition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990) p. 57, records 75 victims of the Aleppo massacre.
  24. ^ Levin, 2001, pp. 200-201.
  25. ^ "The Jews of Syria," By Robert Tuttle
  26. ^ a b c d e Antisemitism And Racism
  27. ^ "A Year After Iraq War: Mistrust of America in Europe Even Higher, Muslim Anger Persists", Pew Global Attitudes Project, accessed March 12, 2006.
  28. ^ "ADL Survey in 12 European Countries Finds Antisemitic Attitudes Still Strongly Held", Anti-Defamation League, 2005, accessed March 12, 2006.
  29. ^ Flash Map of Attitudes Toward Jews in 12 European Countries (2005), Philo. Sophistry, accessed March 12, 2006.
  30. ^ Smitha, Frank E. "Roosevelt and Approaching War: The Economy, Politics and Questions of War, 1937-38", accessed March 12, 2006.
  31. ^ "Breckinridge Long (1881-1958)", Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), accessed March 12, 2006.
  32. ^ PBC: The Perilous Fight. Antisemitism Accessed October 8, 2006
  33. ^ "Anti-Semitism and Prejudice in America: Highlights from an ADL Survey - November 1998", Anti-Defamation League, accessed March 12, 2006.
  34. ^ Manuel Prutschi, "Anti-Semitism in Canada", Fall 2004. Accessed March 29, 2008.
  35. ^ Dr. Karen Mock, "Hate Propaganda and Anti-Semitism: Canadian Realities", April 9, 1996. Accessed March 29, 2008.
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