Persecution of Jews

Persecution of Jewish people has been a major part of Jewish history, prompting shifting waves of refugees throughout the diaspora communities.


When Judea fell under the authority of the Seleucid Empire, the process of Hellenization was enforced by law.[1] This effectively meant requiring pagan religious practice.[2][3] In 167 BCE Jewish sacrifice was forbidden, sabbaths and feasts were banned and circumcision was outlawed. Altars to Greek gods were set up and animals prohibited to Jews were sacrificed on them. The Olympian Zeus was placed on the altar of the Temple. Possession of Jewish scriptures was made a capital offense.

Roman Empire

The Jewish Encyclopaedia refers to persecution of Jews and paganisation of Jerusalem during the reign of Emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD):

"The Jews now passed through a period of bitter persecution: Sabbaths, festivals, the study of the Torah and circumcision were interdicted, and it seemed as if Hadrian desired to annihilate the Jewish people. His anger fell upon all the Jews of his empire, for he imposed upon them an oppressive poll-tax. The persecution, however, did not last long, for Antoninus Pius (138-161) revoked the cruel edicts."[4]

Western and Christian antisemitism

Jews from Worms, Germany wear the mandatory yellow badge. A money bag and garlic in the hands are an antisemitic stereotype (sixteenth-century drawing).

In the Middle Ages antisemitism in Europe was religious. Although not part of Catholic dogma, many Christians, including members of the clergy, held the Jewish people collectively responsible for killing Jesus. As stated in the Boston College Guide to Passion Plays, "Over the course of time, Christians began to accept … that the Jewish people as a whole were responsible for killing Jesus. According to this interpretation, both the Jews present at Jesus Christ's death and the Jewish people collectively and for all time, have committed the sin of deicide, or 'god-killing'. For 1900 years of Christian-Jewish history, the charge of deicide has led to hatred, violence against and murder of Jews in Europe and America."[5]

During the High Middle Ages in Europe there was full-scale persecution in many places, with blood libels, expulsions, forced conversions and massacres. An underlying source of prejudice against Jews in Europe was religious. Jews were frequently massacred and exiled from various European countries. The persecution hit its first peak during the Crusades. In the First Crusade (1096), flourishing communities on the Rhine and the Danube were utterly destroyed, a prime example being the Rhineland massacres. In the Second Crusade (1147) the Jews in France were subject to frequent massacres. The Jews were also subjected to attacks by the Shepherds' Crusades of 1251 and 1320. The Crusades were followed by expulsions, including in 1290, the banishing of all English Jews; in 1396, 100,000 Jews were expelled from France; and, in 1421 thousands were expelled from Austria. Many of the expelled Jews fled to Poland.[6]

As the Black Death epidemics devastated Europe in the mid-14th century, annihilating more than a half of the population, Jews were taken as scapegoats. Rumors spread that they caused the disease by deliberately poisoning wells. Hundreds of Jewish communities were destroyed by violence in the Black Death persecutions. Although Pope Clement VI tried to protect them by papal bull on July 6, 1348 - with another following later in 1348 - several months afterwards, 900 Jews were burnt alive in Strasbourg, where the plague hadn't yet affected the city.[7]

One study finds that Jewish persecutions and expulsions increased with negative economic shocks and climactic variations in Europe over the period 1100-1600.[8] The authors of the study argue that this stems from people blaming Jews for misfortunes and weak rulers going after Jewish wealth in times of fiscal crisis. The authors propose several explanations for why Jewish persecutions significantly declined after 1600:

  • (1) there were simply fewer Jewish communities to persecute by the 17th century;
  • (2) improved agricultural productivity, or, better-integrated markets may have reduced vulnerability to temperature shocks;
  • (3) the rise of stronger states may have led to more robust protection for religious and ethnic minorities;
  • (4) there were fewer negative temperature shocks.
  • (5) the impact of the Reformation and the Enlightenment may have reduced antisemitic attitudes.[8]

In the Papal States, which existed until 1870, Jews were required to live only in specified neighborhoods called ghettos. Until the 1840s, they were required to regularly attend sermons urging their conversion to Christianity. Only Jews were taxed to support state boarding schools for Jewish converts to Christianity. It was illegal to convert from Christianity to Judaism. Sometimes Jews were baptized involuntarily, and, even when such baptisms were illegal, forced to practice the Christian religion. In many such cases, the state separated them from their families, of which the Edgardo Mortara account is one of the most widely publicized instances of acrimony between Catholics and Jews in the Papal States in the second half of the 19th century.

Middle East and Arab antisemitism

According to Mark R. Cohen, during the rise of Islam, the first encounters between Muslims and Jews resulted in friendship when the Jews of Medina gave Muhammad refuge. Conflict arose when Muhammad expelled certain Jewish tribes after they refused to swear their allegiance to him and aided the Meccan Pagans. He adds that this encounter was an exception rather than a rule.[9]

Traditionally, Jews living in Muslim lands, known as dhimmis, were allowed to practice their religion and administer their internal affairs but were subjects to certain conditions.[10] They had to pay the jizya (a per capita tax imposed on free adult non-Muslim males) to Muslims.[10] Dhimmis had an inferior status under Islamic rule. They had several social and legal disabilities such as prohibitions against bearing arms or giving testimony in courts in cases involving Muslims.[11] Contrary to popular belief, the Qur'an did not allow Muslims to force Jews to wear distinctive clothing. Obadiah the Proselyte reported in 1100 AD, that the Caliph had created this rule himself.[12]

Resentment toward Jews perceived as having attained too lofty a position in Islamic society also fueled antisemitism and massacres. In Moorish Spain, ibn Hazm and Abu Ishaq focused their anti-Jewish writings on this allegation. This was also the chief motivation behind the 1066 Granada massacre, when "[m]ore than 1,500 Jewish families, numbering 4,000 persons, fell in one day",[13] and in Fez in 1033, when 6,000 Jews were killed.[14] There were further massacres in Fez in 1276 and 1465.[15]

In the Zaydi imamate of Yemen, Jews were also singled out for discrimination in the 17th century, which culminated in the general expulsion of all Jews from places in Yemen to the arid coastal plain of Tihamah and which became known as the Mawza Exile.[16]

The Damascus affair occurred in 1840 when a French monk and his servant disappeared in Damascus. Immediately following, a charge of ritual murder was brought against a large number of Jews in the city including children who were tortured. The consuls of the United Kingdom, France and Germany as well as Ottoman authorities, Christians, Muslims and Jews all played a great role in this affair.[17]

Following the Damascus affair, Pogroms spread through the Middle East and North Africa. Pogroms occurred in: Aleppo (1850, 1875), Damascus (1840, 1848, 1890), Beirut (1862, 1874), Dayr al-Qamar (1847), Jerusalem (1847), Cairo (1844, 1890, 1901–02), Mansura (1877), Alexandria (1870, 1882, 1901–07), Port Said (1903, 1908), Damanhur (1871, 1873, 1877, 1891), Istanbul (1870, 1874), Buyukdere (1864), Kuzguncuk (1866), Eyub (1868), Edirne (1872), Izmir (1872, 1874).[18] There was a massacre of Jews in Baghdad in 1828.[14] There was another massacre in Barfurush in 1867.[14]

In 1839, in the eastern Persian city of Meshed, a mob burst into the Jewish Quarter, burned the synagogue, and destroyed the Torah scrolls. This is known as the Allahdad incident. It was only by forcible conversion that a massacre was averted.[19]

In Palestine there were riots and pogroms against Jews in 1920 and 1921. Tensions over the Western Wall in Jerusalem led to the 1929 Palestine riots,[20] whose main victims were the ancient Jewish community at Hebron which came to an end.

In 1941, following Rashid Ali's pro-Axis coup, riots known as the Farhud broke out in Baghdad in which approximately 180 Jews were killed and about 240 were wounded, 586 Jewish-owned businesses were looted and 99 Jewish houses were destroyed.[21]

Border police discovered on March 2, 1974, the bodies of (clockwise from top left: Fara Zeibak, Mazal Zeibak, Eva Saad and Lulu Zeibak, in a cave in the Zabdani Mountains.

During the Holocaust, the Middle East was in turmoil. Britain prohibited Jewish immigration to the British Mandate of Palestine. In Cairo the Jewish Lehi (also known as the Stern Gang) assassinated Lord Moyne in 1944 fighting as part of its campaign against British closure of Palestine to Jewish immigration, complicating British-Arab-Jewish relations. While the Allies and the Axis were fighting for the oil-rich region, the Mufti of Jerusalem Amin al-Husayni staged a pro-Nazi coup in Iraq and organized the Farhud pogrom which marked the turning point for about 150,000 Iraqi Jews who, following this event and the hostilities generated by the war with Israel in 1948, were targeted for violence, persecution, boycotts, confiscations, and near complete expulsion in 1951. The coup failed and the mufti fled to Berlin, where he actively supported Hitler. In Egypt, with a Jewish population of about 75,000, young Anwar Sadat was imprisoned for conspiring with the Nazis and promised them that "no British soldier would leave Egypt alive" (see Military history of Egypt during World War II) leaving the Jews of that region defenseless. In the French Vichy territories of Algeria and Syria plans had been drawn up for the liquidation of their Jewish populations were the Axis powers to triumph.

The tensions of the Arab–Israeli conflict were also a factor in the rise of animosity to Jews all over the Middle East, as hundreds of thousands of Jews fled as refugees, the main waves being soon after the 1948 and 1956 wars. In reaction to the Suez Crisis of 1956, the Egyptian government expelled almost 25,000 Egyptian Jews and confiscated their property, and sent approximately 1,000 more Jews to prisons and detention camps. The population of Jewish communities of Muslim Middle East and North Africa was reduced from about 900,000 in 1948 to less than 8,000 today.

On March 2, 1974, the bodies of four Syrian Jewish girls were discovered by border police in a cave in the Zabdani Mountains northwest of Damascus. Fara Zeibak 24, her sisters Lulu Zeibak 23, Mazal Zeibak 22 and their cousin Eva Saad 18, had contracted with a band of smugglers to flee from Syria to Lebanon and eventually to Israel. The girl’s bodies were found raped, murdered and mutilated. The police also found the remains of two Jewish boys, Natan Shaya 18 and Kassem Abadi 20, victims of an earlier massacre.[22] Syrian authorities deposited the bodies of all six in sacks before the homes of their parents in the Jewish ghetto in Damascus.[23]


The persecution of Jews reached its most destructive form in the policies of Nazi Germany, which made the destruction of the Jews a priority, culminating in the killing of approximately 6,000,000 Jews during the Holocaust from 1941 to 1945.[24] Originally, the Nazis used death squads, the Einsatzgruppen, to conduct massive open-air killings of Jews in the territories they conquered. By 1942, the Nazi leadership decided to implement the Final Solution, the genocide of the Jews of Europe, and increase the pace of the Holocaust by establishing extermination camps for the specific purpose of killing Jews as well as other undesirables such as people who openly opposed Hitler.[25][26]

This was an industrial method of genocide. Millions of Jews who had been confined to diseased and massively overcrowded ghettos were transported (often by train) to death camps, where some were herded into a specific location (often a gas chamber), then killed with either gassing or shooting. Other prisoners simply committed suicide, unable to go on after witnessing the horrors of camp life. Afterward, their bodies were often searched for any valuable or useful materials, such as gold fillings or hair, and their remains were then buried in mass graves or burned. Others were interned in the camps where they were given little food and disease was common.[27]

Escapes from the camps were few, but not unknown. The few escapes from Auschwitz that succeeded were made possible by the Polish underground inside the camp and local people outside.[28] In 1940, the Auschwitz commandant reported that "the local population is fanatically Polish and … prepared to take any action against the hated SS camp personnel. Every prisoner who managed to escape can count on help the moment he reaches the wall of the first Polish farmstead."[29]

Russia and the Soviet Union

Czarist Russia

For much of the 19th century, Imperial Russia, which included much of Poland, Ukraine, Moldova and the Baltic states, contained the world's largest Jewish population. From Alexander III's reign until the end of Tsarist rule in Russia, many Jews were often restricted to the Jewish Pale of Settlement and they were also banned from many jobs and locations. Jews were subject to racist laws, such as the May Laws, and they were also targeted in hundreds of violent anti-Jewish riots, called pogroms, which received unofficial state support. It was during this period that a hoax document alleging a global Jewish conspiracy, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, was published.

The Czarist government implemented programs which ensured that the Jews would remain isolated. However, the government tolerated their religious and national institutions as well as their right to emigrate. The restrictions and discriminatory laws drove many Russian Jews to embrace liberal and socialist causes. However, following the Russian Revolution many politically active Jews forfeited their Jewish identity.[30] According to Leon Trotsky,

[Jews] considered themselves neither Jews nor Russians but socialists. To them, Jews were not a nation but a class of exploiters whose fate it was to dissolve and assimilate.

In the aftermath of Czarist Russia, Jews found themselves in a tragic predicament. Conservative Russians saw them as a disloyal and subversive element and the radicals viewed the Jews as a doomed social class.[30]

Soviet Union

Even though many of the Old Bolsheviks were ethnically Jewish, they sought to uproot Judaism and Zionism and established the Yevsektsiya in order to achieve this goal. By the end of the 1940s, the Communist leadership of the former USSR had liquidated almost all Jewish organizations, with the exception of a few token synagogues. These synagogues were then placed under police surveillance, both openly and through the use of informants.

The campaign of 1948–1953 against so-called "rootless cosmopolitans," the alleged "Doctors' plot," the rise of "Zionology" and subsequent activities of official organizations such as the Anti-Zionist committee of the Soviet public were officially carried out under the banner of "anti-Zionism,", and by the mid-1950s the state persecution of Soviet Jews emerged as a major human rights issue in the West as well as domestically.

Apartheid South Africa

During the 1930s, many Nationalist Party leaders and wide sections of the Afrikaner people came strongly under the influence of the Nazi movement which dominated Germany from 1933 to 1945. There were many reasons for this. Germany was the traditional enemy of Britain, and whoever opposed Britain was seen as a friend of the Nationalists. Many Nationalists, moreover, believed that the opportunity to re-establish their lost republic would come with the defeat of the British Empire in the international arena. The more belligerent Hitler became, the higher hopes rose that a new era of Afrikanerdom was about to dawn.[31]

The National Party of D F Malan closely associated itself with the policies of the Nazis. Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe was controlled under the Aliens Act and it soon came to an end during this period. Although Jews were accorded status as Europeans, they were not accepted into white society. The Kelvin Grove sports club, for example, had an exclusive Europeans Only and No Jews policy until recent times. Some 11 such sports clubs had similar policies. Many Jews lived in mixed race areas such as District Six, from where they were forcibly removed in order to make way for a whites-only development.

In 1936, Hendrick Verwoerd joined a deputation of six professors who protested the admission of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany to South Africa. Following the demands of the Nationalist Party, Eric Louw, later Foreign Minister, introduced another anti-Semitic bill that strongly resembled Nazi legislation - the Aliens Amendment and Immigration Bill of 1939. His bill was a means of suppressing all Jews. This bill suggested that Jews threatened to overpower Protestants in the business world, that they were innately cunning and manipulative and that they were also a danger to society. To support his claim, Louw maintained that Jews were involved in the Bolshevik Revolution and therefore intended to spread Communism worldwide. This bill defined Jews as anyone with parents who were at least partly Jewish regardless of their actual religious faith or practices." [32]

Another organization with which the Nationalists found much in common during the thirties was the 'South African Gentile National Socialist Movement', headed by Johannes von Strauss von Moltke, whose objective was to combat and destroy the alleged 'perversive influence of the Jews in economics, culture, religion, ethics, and statecraft and re-establish European Aryan control in South Africa for the welfare of the Christian peoples of South Africa'.[31]

During the 1960s, Oswald Mosley, the British fascist leader, was a frequent visitor to South Africa, where he was received by the Prime Minister and other members of the Cabinet. At one time, Mosley had two functioning branches of his organization in South Africa, and one of his supporters, Derek Alexander, was stationed in Johannesburg as his main agent.

Upon Verwoerd's assassination in 1966, BJ Vorster was elected by the National Party to replace him. While Vorster had been a supporter of Hitler during WWII, his policy towards Jews in his own country, however, can best be described as ambivalent.

The 1980s saw the rise of far-right neo-Nazi groups such as the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging under Eugene Terreblanche. The AWB modeled itself after Hitler's National Socialist Party replete with fascist regalia and an emblem resembling the swastika.



  1. ^ VanderKam, James C. (2001). An Introduction to Early Judaism. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans. pp. 18–24. ISBN 978-0-8028-4641-9.
  2. ^ "An Introduction to Early Judaism - 2001, Page viii by James C. Vanderkam. - Online Research Library: Questia".
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Gottheil, R. and Krauss, S., Hadrian, Jewish Encyclopaedia, 1906, accessed 4 April 2019
  5. ^ Paley, Susan, and Koesters, Adrian Gibbons, eds. "A Viewer's Guide to Contemporary Passion Plays", accessed March 12, 2006.
  6. ^ "Why the Jews? – Black Death". Archived from the original on 2007-04-29. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
  7. ^ See Stéphane Barry and Norbert Gualde, La plus grande épidémie de Histoire ("The greatest epidemics in history"), in L'Histoire magazine, n°310, June 2006, p.47 (in French)
  8. ^ a b Anderson, Robert Warren; Johnson, Noel D.; Koyama, Mark (2015-09-01). "Jewish Persecutions and Weather Shocks: 1100-1800". The Economic Journal. 127 (602): 924–958. doi:10.1111/ecoj.12331. ISSN 1468-0297.
  9. ^ Cohen, Mark R. Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages, Princeton University Press, 1994, p. 163. ISBN 0-691-01082-X
  10. ^ a b Lewis (1984), pp.10,20
  11. ^ Lewis (1984), pp. 9,27
  12. ^ Scheiber, A. (1954) "The Origins of Obadiah, the Norman Proselyte" Journal of Jewish Studies London: Oxford University Press. v.5. p.37
  13. ^ Gottheil, Richard and Mayserling, Meyer (1906) "Granada" in Jewish Encyclopedia
  14. ^ a b c Morris, Benny (2001) Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist–Arab Conflict, 1881–2001. New York:Vintage Books. pp.10–11.
  15. ^ Gerber (1986), p. 84
  16. ^ Qafiḥ, Yossef (1989) Ketavim (Collected Papers), c.2, Jerusalem, Israel. pp.714-ff. (Hebrew)
  17. ^ Frankel, Jonathan (1997) The Damascus Affair: 'Ritual Murder', Politics, and the Jews in 1840 Cambridge, UK:Cambridge University Press. p.1. ISBN 0-521-48396-4
  18. ^ Bodansky, Yossef (1999) Islamic Anti-Semitism as a Political Instrument. The Ariel Center for Policy Research and The Freeman Center for Strategic Studies. ISBN 0-9671391-0-4, ISBN 978-0-9671391-0-4
  19. ^ Patai, Raphael (1997). Jadid al-Islam: The Jewish "New Muslims" of Meshhed. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 978-0-8143-2652-7.
  20. ^ Ovendale, Ritchie (2004). "The "Wailing Wall" Riots". The Origins of the Arab–Israeli Wars. Pearson Education. pp. g.71. ISBN 978-0-58282320-4. The Mufti tried to establish Muslim rights and the Jews were deliberately antagonized by building works and noise.
  21. ^ Levin, Itamar (2001. Locked Doors: The Seizure of Jewish Property in Arab Countries. Praeger/Greenwood. p.6. ISBN 0-275-97134-1
  22. ^ Friedman, Saul S. (1989). Without Future: The Plight of Syrian Jewry. Praeger Publishers. ISBN 978-0-275-93313-5
  23. ^ Le Figaro, March 9, 1974, "Quatre femmes juives assassins a Damas," (Paris: International Conference for Deliverance of Jews in the Middle East, 1974), p. 33.
  24. ^ Dawidowicz, Lucy. The War Against the Jews, Bantam, 1986.p. 403
  25. ^ Manvell, Roger Goering New York:1972 Ballantine Books – War Leader Book #8 Ballantine's Illustrated History of the Violent Century
  26. ^ "Ukrainian mass Jewish grave found". BBC News. 2007-06-05. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
  27. ^ Berenbaum, Michael. The World Must Know," United States Holocaust Museum, 2006, p. 103.
  28. ^ Linn, Ruth. Escaping Auschwitz. A culture of forgetting, Cornell University Press, 2004, p. 20.
  29. ^ Swiebocki, Henryk. "Prisoner Escapes," in Berenbaum, Michael & Gutman, Yisrael (eds). Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp, Indiana University Press and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1994, p. 505.
  30. ^ a b Pipes, Daniel (December 1989). "The Jews in the Soviet Union Since 1917, by Nora Levin; The Jews of the Soviet Union, by Benjamin Pinkus". Commentary. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
  31. ^ a b "The Rise of the South African Reich - Chapter 4". 15 July 2007.
  32. ^ Jemison, Elisabeth Lee. "The Nazi Influence in the Formation of Apartheid in South Africa", The Concord Review


  • Lewis, Bernard (1984) The Jews of Islam. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-00807-8

External links

Alhambra Decree

The Alhambra Decree (also known as the Edict of Expulsion; Spanish: Decreto de la Alhambra, Edicto de Granada) was an edict issued on 31 March 1492, by the joint Catholic Monarchs of Spain (Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon) ordering the expulsion of practicing Jews from the Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon and its territories and possessions by 31 July of that year. The primary purpose was to eliminate their influence on Spain's large converso population and ensure they did not revert to Judaism. Over half of Spain's Jews had converted as a result of the religious persecution and pogroms which occurred in 1391. Due to continuing attacks, around 50,000 more had converted by 1415. A further number of those remaining chose to convert to avoid expulsion. As a result of the Alhambra decree and persecution in prior years, over 200,000 Jews converted to Catholicism and between 40,000 and 100,000 were expelled, an indeterminate number returning to Spain in the years following the expulsion.:17The edict was formally and symbolically revoked on 16 December 1968, following the Second Vatican Council. This was a full century after Jews had been openly practicing their religion in Spain and synagogues were once more legal places of worship under Spain's Laws of Religious Freedom.

In 1924, the regime of Primo de Rivera granted Spanish citizenship to the entire Sephardic Jewish diaspora. In 2014, the government of Spain passed a law allowing dual citizenship to Jewish descendants who apply, to "compensate for shameful events in the country's past." Thus, Sephardi Jews who can prove they are the descendants of those Jews expelled from Spain because of the Alhambra Decree can "become Spaniards without leaving home or giving up their present nationality."

Antiochus IV Epiphanes

Antiochus IV Epiphanes (; Ancient Greek: Ἀντίοχος ὁ Ἐπιφανής, Antíochos ho Epiphanḗs, "God Manifest"; c. 215 BC – November/December 164 BC) was a Hellenistic Greek king of the Seleucid Empire from 175 BC until his death in 164 BC. He was a son of King Antiochus III the Great. His original name was Mithradates (alternative form Mithridates); he assumed the name Antiochus after he ascended the throne. Notable events during the reign of Antiochus IV include his near-conquest of Egypt, his persecution of the Jews of Judea and Samaria, and the rebellion of the Jewish Maccabees.

Antiochus was the first Seleucid king to use divine epithets on coins, perhaps inspired by the Bactrian Hellenistic kings who had earlier done so, or else building on the ruler cult that his father Antiochus the Great had codified within the Seleucid Empire. These epithets included Θεὸς Ἐπιφανής "manifest god", and, after his defeat of Egypt, Νικηφόρος "bringer of victory". However, Antiochus also tried to interact with common people by appearing in the public bath houses and applying for municipal offices, and his often eccentric behavior and capricious actions led some of his contemporaries to call him Epimanes ("The Mad One"), a word play on his title Epiphanes.

Antisemitism in Pakistan

Antisemitism in Pakistan refers to the hostility or discrimination against Jewish people in Pakistan. There are general stereotypes against Jews in Pakistan, most of which overlap and are related to the common antisemitic views prevalent in the Muslim world.

Jews are regarded as miserly. The Magain Shalome Synagogue in Karachi was attacked, as were individual Jews. The persecution of Jews resulted in their exodus via India to Israel (see Pakistanis in Israel), the UK, Canada and other countries. The Peshawar Jewish community ceased to exist although a small community reportedly still exists in Karachi.

Pakistani cricket icon and politician Imran Khan's marriage to Jemima Goldsmith, an Englishwoman of Jewish origin, 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.Arch rival India's establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992 have given rise to antisemitism in Pakistani media, usually combined with anti-Zionist rhetoric. India has been referred to as a "Zionist Threat".Pakistan-based Islamist group Lashkar-e-Toiba have also expressed antisemitic views. They have declared the Jews to be "Enemies of Islam", Israel to be the "Enemy of Pakistan".Military leaflets have been dropped over Waziristan to urge the tribesmen to beware of foreigners and their local supporters who had allied themselves with the "Yahood Aur Hanood". Tribesmen who read the leaflets were wondering over the use of the word "Yahood Aur Hanood" to describe the enemy in the leaflets. Most thought it meant the Jews worldwide and the dominant Hindus of India.The U.S. State Department's first Report on Global Anti-Semitism finds an increase in antisemitism in Pakistan. In Pakistan, a country without Jewish communities, antisemitic sentiment fanned by antisemitic articles in the press is widespread. Pakistan refuses to recognize Israel as a legitimate state on account of their sympathies with the Arabs in the Arab–Israeli conflict.

A substantial number of people in Pakistan believe that the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York were a secret Jewish conspiracy organized by Israel's Mossad, as were the 7 July 2005 London bombings, allegedly perpetrated by Jews in order to discredit Muslims. Pakistani political commentator Zaid Hamid claimed that Indian Jews perpetrated the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Such allegations echo traditional antisemitic theories.

The Jewish religious movement of Chabad Lubavich had a mission house in Mumbai, India that was attacked in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, perpetrated by militants connected to Pakistan led by Ajmal Kasab. Antisemitic intents were evident from the testimonies of Kasab following his arrest and trial.

Antisemitism in the Russian Empire

Antisemitism in the Russian Empire included numerous pogroms and the designation of the Pale of Settlement, from which Jews were forbidden to migrate into the interior of Russia, unless they converted to the Russian Orthodox state religion.

Russia remained unaffected by the liberalising tendencies of this era with respect to the status of Jews. Before the 18th century Russia maintained an exclusionary policy towards Jews, in accordance with the anti-Jewish precepts of the Russian Orthodox Church. When asked about admitting Jews into the Empire, Peter the Great stated "I prefer to see in our midst nations professing Mohammedanism and paganism rather than Jews. They are rogues and cheats. It is my endeavor to eradicate evil, not to multiply it."

History of the Jews in Germany

Jewish settlers founded the Ashkenazi Jewish community in the Early (5th to 10th centuries CE) and High Middle Ages (circa 1000–1299 CE). The community survived under Charlemagne, but suffered during the Crusades. Accusations of well poisoning during the Black Death (1346–53) led to mass slaughter of German Jews and they fled in large numbers to Poland. The Jewish communities of the cities of Mainz, Speyer and Worms became the center of Jewish life during Medieval times. "This was a golden age as area bishops protected the Jews resulting in increased trade and prosperity." The First Crusade began an era of persecution of Jews in Germany. Entire communities, like those of Trier, Worms, Mainz and Cologne, were murdered. The war upon the Hussite heretics became the signal for renewed persecution of Jews. The end of the 15th century was a period of religious hatred that ascribed to Jews all possible evils. The atrocities during the Khmelnytsky Uprising committed by Khmelnytskyi's Cossacks (1648, in the Ukrainian part of southeastern Poland) drove the Polish Jews back into western Germany. With Napoleon's fall in 1815, growing nationalism resulted in increasing repression. From August to October 1819, pogroms that came to be known as the Hep-Hep riots took place throughout Germany. During this time, many German states stripped Jews of their civil rights. As a result, many German Jews began to emigrate.

From the time of Moses Mendelssohn until the 20th century, the community gradually achieved emancipation, and then prospered. In January 1933, some 522,000 Jews lived in Germany. After the Nazis took power and implemented their antisemitic ideology and policies, the Jewish community was increasingly persecuted. About 60% (numbering around 304,000) emigrated during the first six years of the Nazi dictatorship. In 1933, persecution of the Jews became an official Nazi policy. In 1935 and 1936, the pace of antisemitic persecution increased. In 1936, Jews were banned from all professional jobs, effectively preventing them from participating in education, politics, higher education and industry. The Schutzstaffel (SS) ordered the Night of Broken Glass (Kristallnacht) the night of November 9–10, 1938. The storefronts of Jewish shops and offices were smashed and vandalized, and many synagogues were destroyed by fire. This prompted a wave of Jewish mass emigration from Germany throughout the 1930s. Only roughly 214,000 Jews were left in Germany proper (1937 borders) on the eve of World War II.

Beginning in late 1941, the remaining community was subjected to systematic deportations to ghettos and ultimately, to death camps in Eastern Europe. In May 1943, Germany was declared judenrein (clean of Jews; also judenfrei: free of Jews). By the end of the war, an estimated 160,000 to 180,000 German Jews had been killed by the Nazi regime, by the Germans and their collaborators. A total of about 6 million European Jews were murdered under the direction of the Nazis, in the genocide that later came to be known as the Holocaust.

After the war, the Jewish community in Germany started to slowly grow again. Beginning around 1990, a spurt of growth was fueled by immigration from the former Soviet Union, so that at the turn of the 21st century, Germany had the only growing Jewish community in Europe, and the majority of German Jews were Russian-speaking. By 2014, the Jewish population of Germany had leveled off at 118,000, not including non-Jewish members of households; the total estimated 'enlarged' population of Jews living in Germany, including non-Jewish household members, is close to 250,000. Currently in Germany, denial of the Holocaust or that six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust (§ 130 StGB) is a criminal act; violations can be punished with up to five years of prison. In 2006, on the occasion of the World Cup held in Germany, the then Interior Minister of Germany, Wolfgang Schäuble, urged vigilism against far-right extremism, saying: "We will not tolerate any form of extremism, xenophobia, or anti-Semitism." In spite of Germany's measures against these groups and anti-Semites, a number of incidents have occurred in recent years.

History of the Jews in the Byzantine Empire

The history of the Jews in the Byzantine Empire has been well-recorded and preserved.

Letter of the Karaite elders of Ascalon

The Letter of the Karaite elders of Ascalon (c. 1100) was a communication written by six elders of the Karaite Jewish community of Ascalon and sent to their coreligionists in Alexandria nine months after the fall of Jerusalem during the First Crusade. The contents describe how the Ascalon elders pooled money to pay the initial ransom for pockets of Jews and holy relics being held captive in Jerusalem by the Crusaders, the fate of some of these refugees after their release (including their transport to Alexandria, contraction of the plague, or death at sea), and the need for additional funds for the rescuing of further captives. It was written in Judeo-Arabic, Arabic using the Hebrew alphabet.This and other such letters related to the Crusader conquest of Jerusalem were discovered by noted historian S.D. Goitein in 1952 among the papers of the Cairo Geniza. Goitein first published his findings in Zion, a Hebrew journal, and then presented a partial English translation of the letter in the Journal of Jewish Studies that same year. Since then, it has been retranslated in several other books pertaining to the Crusades. Goitein's final and most complete English translation appeared in his final book posthumously published in 1988.

Lithuanian Security Police

The Lithuanian Security Police (LSP), also known as Saugumas (Lithuanian: Saugumo policija), was a local police force that operated in German-occupied Lithuania from 1941 to 1944, in collaboration with the occupational authorities. Collaborating with the Nazi Sipo (security police) and SD (intelligence agency of the SS), the unit was directly subordinate to the German Kripo (criminal police). The LSP took part in perpetrating the Holocaust in Lithuania, persecuting Polish resistance and communist underground.

Maria Barbara Carillo

Maria Barbara Carillo (Jaén, 1625 – Madrid, 18 May 1721) was burned at the stake for heresy during the Spanish Inquisition. She was executed at the age of 95 or 96 and is the oldest person known to have been executed at the instigation of the Inquisition.Carillo was sentenced to death for heresy for returning to her faith in Judaism. She belonged to a large group of people that were Jews baptized by compulsion, who were accused of secretly practicing the Jewish religion.

Nazi persecution of Jews during the 1936 Olympic Games

The 1936 Summer Olympic Games were hosted in Germany, as determined by voting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) between May 1930 and April 1931, two years prior to the rise of the Nazi Party to power. Nazi influence in Germany grew exponentially after the German Federal Elections in 1932 and 1933, coinciding with the appointment of Adolf Hitler, the head of the Nazi Party, as Chancellor in November 1932. The strict racial policies of the Nazis began to take effect after Adolf Hitler gained power though the Enabling Act, passed by the German Parliament in March 1933. The Games were seen by Hitler as a time to show the strength of the new Nazi Germany to the world; not only would the festivities be exciting and bold, but the Germans would dominate in every aspect of athletic competition. The Nazis used the Olympics to their political advantage, promoting a peaceful German state, and hiding their anti-Semitism.

Persecution of Jews and Muslims by Manuel I of Portugal

On 5 December 1496, King Manuel I of Portugal signed the decree of expulsion of Jews and Muslims to take effect by the end of October of the next year.

Picture Post

Picture Post was a photojournalistic magazine published in the United Kingdom from 1938 to 1957. It is considered a pioneering example of photojournalism and was an immediate success, selling 1,700,000 copies a week after only two months. It has been called the UK's equivalent of Life magazine.

The magazine’s editorial stance was liberal, anti-Fascist and populist and from its inception, Picture Post campaigned against the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. In the 26 November 1938 issue, a picture story was run entitled "Back to the Middle Ages": photographs of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and Hermann Göring were contrasted with the faces of those scientists, writers and actors they were persecuting.

Rhineland massacres

The Rhineland massacres, also known as the persecutions of 1096 or Gzerot Tatnó (Hebrew: גזרות תתנ"ו‎ Hebrew for "Edicts of 4856"), were a series of mass murders of Jews perpetrated by mobs of German Christians of the People's Crusade in the year 1096, or 4856 according to the Jewish calendar.

Prominent leaders of crusaders involved in the massacres included Peter the Hermit and especially Count Emicho. As part of this persecution, the destruction of Jewish communities in Speyer, Worms and Mainz was noted as the "Hurban Shum" (Destruction of Shum). These were new persecutions of the Jews in which peasant crusaders from France and Germany attacked Jewish communities. A number of historians refer to the antisemitic events as "pogroms".According to David Nirenberg, the events of 1096 in the Rhineland "occupy a significant place in modern Jewish historiography and are often presented as the first instance of an antisemitism that would henceforth never be forgotten and whose climax was the Holocaust."

Siege of Buda (1686)

The Siege of Buda (1686) was fought between the Holy League and the Ottoman Empire, as part of the follow-up campaign in Hungary after the Battle of Vienna. The Holy League took Buda (modern day Budapest) after a long siege.

Slánský trial

The Slánský trial (officially Proces s protistátním spikleneckým centrem Rudolfa Slánského meaning "Trial of anti-state conspiracy centered around Rudolf Slánský") was a show trial against elements of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) who were thought to have adopted the line of the maverick Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito. On 20 November 1952, Rudolf Slánský, General Secretary of the KSČ, and thirteen other leading party members, were accused of participating in a Trotskyite-Titoite-Zionist conspiracy and convicted: eleven including Slánský were hanged in Prague on December 3, and three were sentenced to life imprisonment. The state prosecutor at the trial in Prague was Josef Urválek.

Société des Avions Marcel Bloch

The Société des Avions Marcel Bloch was a French aircraft manufacturer of military and civilian aircraft that changed its name to Dassault Aviation after the end of World War II.

It was founded by Marcel Bloch (hence "MB" in the aircraft designations) who changed his name to Marcel Dassault (as in char d'assaut, French for "tank") due to persecution of Jews under the Vichy French regime.

Stephan Templ

Stephan Templ is an Austrian writer and journalist who is best known as the co-author of the book Unser Wien (Our Vienna) that details how hundreds of Jewish businesses in Vienna were seized by the Nazis and never given back.

Tomás de Torquemada

Tomás de Torquemada (October 14, 1420 – September 16, 1498) was a Castilian Dominican friar and first Grand Inquisitor in Spain's movement to homogenize religious practices with those of the Catholic Church in the late 15th century, otherwise known as the Spanish Inquisition, which resulted in the expulsion from Spain of thousands of people of Jewish and Muslim faith and heritage.

Mainly because of persecution, Muslims and Jews in Spain at that time found it socially, politically, and economically expedient to convert to Catholicism (see Converso, Morisco, and Marrano). The existence of superficial converts (i.e., Crypto-Jews) was perceived by the Spanish monarchs of that time (King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella) as a threat to the religious and social life of Spain. This led Torquemada, who himself had converso ancestors, to be one of the chief supporters of the Alhambra Decree that expelled the Jews from Spain in 1492.


Yahudi (Hindi: यहूदी, Jew), is a 1958 Bollywood film directed by Bimal Roy. It starred Dilip Kumar, Meena Kumari, Sohrab Modi, Nazir Hussain, Nigar Sultana and others. It was based on the play Yahudi Ki Ladki by Agha Hashar Kashmiri, a classic in Parsi-Urdu theatre, about persecution of Jews in the Roman Empire.The film's lyricist Shailendra won the Filmfare Awards award for best lyricist in the 6th Filmfare Awards, for the song "Yeh Mera Diwanapan Hai", sung by Mukesh.

The plot bears similarities to Jacques Fromental Halévy's opera La Juive.

The story revolves around the life of a foster relationship. Set in the era of the Roman Empire over 2000 years ago, it focuses upon the persecution of Jews at that time in the empire's centre - Rome.

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