|Hate for hate's sake|
“”It is offensive when people say I am one of the 'good Jews'. What does that mean? Is the implication that Jews are bad people, but I managed to somehow not be? Is there a private club of 'good Jews'? How do you qualify to make it into this elite group of chosen people?
The Evil Jew is a racist stereotype that paints Jews as being a racial hivemind, greedily controlling the world's capital and politics, and having sneaky secret agendas. As a result of this mindset, Jews are commonly blamed for various financial crises, terrorist events (e.g. 9/11), the creation of communism, "poisoning the youth", pushing for some New World Order, making children gay or transgender, and/or genocide. The Evil Jew stereotype is a frequent element of conspiracy theories (especially the International Jewish Conspiracy theory), and was a central factor in the Holocaust, the industrialized mass murder of 6 million Jews by Nazi Germany.
In contrast to the above view of Jews as a monolithic evil, more refined racists prefer to use the "good Jews and bad Jews" dichotomy. "Good Jews" are those who happen to agree with a person's positive stereotypes (and, hence, ought to be protected from criticism) while "bad Jews" are those who fulfill negative stereotypes. Either straw-man "group" can be a majority or minority, but both usually fulfill the lowest expectations of non-Jews (usually in Christian- or Muslim-dominated territories) of how a Jewish person should be perceived.
Common to all Evil Jew caricatures is the idea that all Jews act in unison – i.e., they are in a perfect race-based conspiracy and that they are an organized group of people with the same goals and interests in mind. This claim is frankly ridiculous, for multiple reasons. First, it should be obvious that the Jews themselves spread thinly throughout the world – making communication, especially secret communication, very difficult. Second, it should be clear that Jews have not been in positions of power for the vast majority of their history – having long been pushed to the fringes of Muslim and Christian society during the Middle Ages of Europe, it wasn't until the 20th century that Jews started to gain political positions. Third, it should be apparent that Jews are not politically unanimous. For proof, one need only look to the voting patterns of American Jews, who consistently vote Democratic (and thus against unconditional support of Israel in the Middle East). If Jews were of a single racial mind, then surely they would all work towards their common interests – yet they do not. And fourth, Jews are individuals just like everybody. They practice different forms of Judaism, they have different beliefs, agendas, opinions, political affiliations, backgrounds, and occupations. Even when Jews are in the media or in banking, more often than not, they do not frequently overlap with each other or work together as they have separate, unrelated goals.
“”Anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools.
|—Ferdinand Kronawetter[note 1]|
It's often noted that the banking and financial sectors are disproportionately inhabited by Jews. As a result, there are a proliferation of Jewish banker conspiracy theories, in which Jews are portrayed as controllers of the world's money, usually through banks and national monetary institutions.
There is a simpler explanation for Jewish overrepresentation in banking. The Bible prohibits usury, or lending money for interest, to anyone but foreigners.[note 2] Christians in Medieval Europe were for all intents and purposes prohibited from practicing usury by religious law. The Catholic Church regarded interest-bearing loans as an "unnatural" use of money and therefore sinful. (Ironically, the Vatican now owns its own bank which loans money and has been riddled with scandal.) This left a societal niche for European Jews to fill, and so they did. (In fact, the origin of the word "bank" comes from the Old Italian for "bench" – because Jewish lenders were so ostracized that they were forced to practice their banking on benches in the streets.) Banking was also one of the few trade professions open to Jews, as most medieval guilds banned Jews from their membership.
An interesting side effect of this social arrangement is that it actually gave rulers a practical reason to tolerate Jews, as the Jewish bankers would understandably not loan money or do business with those who persecuted them. (That said, this often led to Jews being persecuted after they had loaned said ruler the money, as an easy way to get out of paying their loans.)
This concentration of Jews in banking has led to various types of racist conspiracy theories, documented below. It has also, oddly enough, led to a pro-Semitic racialist pseudoscience that asserts Jewish supremacy, using their presence in the banking system as "evidence" of this.
Many of the modern conspiracy theories revolve around or involve the Rothschild family, probably the most powerful banking family in the world[note 3], which began its ascendancy in the late 18th century. Oddly, part of the success of the Rothschild banking activity is that Meyer Rothschild operated on the principle of never lending to anyone to finance a business opportunity unless the opportunity was good for the borrower. A borrower who makes more off his business than his payments of interest and principal to a lender has little worthy of complaint about being in hock to the lender, which is more than one can say of dealings with loan sharks, who are contemptible whatever their ethnicity.
Another common — and false — trope is that Jews control the Federal Reserve. It is asserted that Jews manipulate the world's financial system through the use of fractional-reserve banking and central banks. The most common conspiracy theory asserts that Jews are using financial fraud or other trickery in order to take over the field of finance — which, according to the conspiracy theory, they already control.
Use of the terms "bank$tah" and "debt slavery" are usually a sign that you have reached the more unseemly and conspiratorial area of the internet. These areas should be avoided, as the information they display can confuse the average mind (however, if a user is sensible and intelligent, there is no harm in viewing these places recreationally).
New World Order
The Jews are alleged to have leveraged their power in the financial industry and involvement in Freemason and Illuminati conspiracies to have completely taken over the world. Many of these "theories" were codified in the pseudohistorical hoax The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. Besides banks, Jews are commonly alleged to especially control the media, governmental bodies, academia, and the arts. The Anti-Defamation League's Abe Foxman says he prefers to frame it this way: "I think Jews are disproportionately represented in the creative industry." But this does not denote "control." LA Times pundit Joel Stein snarkily puts it that gentiles should be grateful: "Without us, you'd be flipping between 'The 700 Club' and 'Davey and Goliath' on TV all day."
Communism is often painted as a Jewish invention and Karl Marx is painted as a Jew. Oddly enough, the German Nazis and Italian Fascists themselves often asserted that Jews controlled both capitalism and communism, which would suggest that capitalism and communism were in no conflict whatsoever.
The Nazi Party famously promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and myths. The most notable of these was the stab-in-the-back legend, which claimed Jews were in bed with the Reds and caused Germany to lose World War I. This is still expounded by followers of neo-Nazi ideology. Holocaust denial is another piece of pseudohistory promoted by neo-Nazis.
Ironically, during World War I, the German military performed a census in order to try and prove that Jews were disloyal to Germany. The result? Jews were disproportionately overrepresented in the German military.
Some Truthers invoke anti-Semitic tropes in their conspiracy theories, usually involving Mossad plots or the international Jewish conspiracy. The anti-Semitic versions of 9/11 conspiracy theories are popular in the Middle East. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a vocal proponent of these theories.
Much anti-Semitism originates from the "Christ-killer" narrative, which posits that all Jews are guilty of deicide against Jesus. This meme wasn't repudiated by the Catholic Church until the Second Vatican Council in 1965. Because they forget that Jesus was a Jew, and that if he hadn't been killed, mankind couldn't have been forgiven for the original sin (per Christian doctrine).
A common myth originating in Medieval Europe was that Jews murdered Christians in order to spice up their Matzot with the blood of the dead. Some blood libel theories claimed that the Jews preferred small children and babies and that they would kill them in Satanic murder rituals.
The dichotomy dates back to ancient stereotypes regarding Jews as evil people, particularly those stereotypes spread in Christian-ruled polities. However, due to the focus of the Bible upon ancient Israel/Judah/Judea/Canaan and its inhabitants (and all the purported divine interventions in reality as written in the Bible), these same Christians also accord a strong religious significance (often to the point of obsession-fetish) upon anything that has to do with Judaism, Jews or Israel.
Racialist, religionist and nationalist arguments often hold that the smaller of a population of Jews in a country, the less of a "Jewish problem" (they being the source of the great "international Jewish conspiracy" and all) there will be. Anders Behring Breivik, the perpetrator of the 2011 bombing and massacre in Norway, wrote such in his 2083: A European Declaration of Independence:
There is no Jewish problem in Western Europe (with the exception of the UK and France) as we only have 1 million in Western Europe, whereas 800 000 out of these 1 million live in France and the UK. The US on the other hand, with more than 6 million Jews (600% more than Europe) actually has a considerable Jewish problem. But please learn the difference between a nation-wrecking multiculturalist Jew and a conservative Jew. Don’t make the same mistake that NSDAP did. Never target a Jew because he is a Jew, but rather because he is a category A or B traitor. And don’t forget that the bulk of the category A and B traitors are Christian Europeans. 90% of the category A and B traitors in my own country, Norway, are Nordic, Christian category A and B traitors.
Christian Zionism generally espouses that Jews should (re)move themselves and their families to Israel as a matter of fulfilling "Biblical prophecy" (including Christian rhetoric regarding the "End Times" and the "Second Coming" of Jesus). Bad Jews, on the other hand, are those who do not move to Israel, or who call out Evangelical ideologues on their bullshit.
Sometimes, right-wing Jews (including those who are not Israeli) will express deep contempt for Jews with a differing opinion on Israel, the role religion or ethnicity should play in the political system, or other political issues. The most famous witch hunters are David Horowitz, Pamela Geller, and Melanie Phillips.
In Anti-Zionism, a "good Jew" is one who does one of the following:
- if living elsewhere, forswears moving to Israel
- if living in or born in Israel, agrees with anti-Zionist viewpoints regarding why Israel should not be classified, culturally, as a "Jewish state".
- tells "the truth" about "Jewish evil"
A "bad Jew" includes those who do not do these things, including everyone from Jewish settlers in the West Bank to nameless Israeli Jews in Tel Aviv.
Le Happy Merchant
Le Happy Merchant is an anti-Semitic image of an evil, conspiring Jew complete with a stereotypical yarmulke, greedy grin, long full beard and long nose, sinister expression, and conspiracy-implying hand rubbing. It is one of the most common anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi symbols across the web (next to the swastika and other Nazi symbols) and commonly used to demonize and Jew-bait anything leftist and liberal which is (supposedly) promoted by the Jews. This image originates from an anti-Semitic and racist cartoon by illustrator/film director Nick Bougas (a.k.a. A. Wyatt Mann) which he envisioned a world without blacks and Jews. The earliest usage of "Le Happy Merchant" outside of the Bougas illustration was the racist video game Ethnic Cleansing which had a poster that depicted a fictitious evil Jew named "Shecky Reubenstein" on a presidential poster. 4chan's /new/ (the precursor to /pol/) first posted this image and since then it has spread quickly with there being "Le Happy Merchant" webcomics and an entire song dedicated to this caricature. It is used frequently with other Le Happy Merchant-related terms such as "Shekels", "Goy", "Oy vey", "Judaism/Collecting/Hand Rubbing Intensifies", etc. In short, it's an anti-Semite's best way of using the Internet to spread hate about Jews.
Application to other demographics
"Good/reasonable atheists" are also claimed to exist by those who adhere to stereotypes about "militant atheists," and conservative pundit Ann Coulter claimed that Republican blacks are the better blacks.
- "B-but some of my best friends are Jewish!"
- Black brute
- Pamela Geller
- Hollywood values
- David Horowitz
- International Jewish Conspiracy, the source of all the Evil Jew nonsense
- No true Scotsman
- Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the document that is behind all the anti-Semitic accusations against Jews.
- Anita Sarkeesian, who is not Jewish, but has been the subject of antisemitic caricatures anyway. Of course, she's Armenian, so there's the connection of the "original" genocide…
- Smoloko News, a news website that thinks every anti-Semitic claim is true, even if they either contradict each other, are simply canards or just make no sense
- George Soros — a frequent target of the stereotype
- The saying is frequently attributed to Bebel, but probably originated with the Austrian democrat Kronawetter; it was in general use among German Social Democrats by the 1890s.
- ... or strangers or people outside your religion, depending on your preferred bible translation/interpretation.
- If you willfully ignore the Medicis, who married into every ruling family in Europe and were the source of at least 3 popes
- Ilana Angel. "Good Jew, Bad Jew, Red Jew, Blue Jew." Keeping the Faith. Archived from the original at JewishJournal.com. 2011 November 19.
- The Coming of the Third Reich by Richard J. Evans (2005) Penguin Group. ISBN 0143034693. p. 496. See the Wikipedia article on August Bebel.
- Handbook of Key Global Financial Markets, Institutions, and Infrastructure.
- "Opinion - Cleaning up the Vatican," Paul Valley, New York Times.
- "The Word “Bank” Comes From the Italian Word For Bench," Fact/Myth.
- "Jewish "Control" of the Federal Reserve: A Classic Antisemitic Myth," Anti-Defamation League.
- "Who runs Hollywood? C'mon," Joel Stein, Los Angeles Times.
- Elon, Amos, The Pity of It All (Metropolitan Books, 2002: ISBN 0312422814), p. 338.
- 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, pages 1163-4
- A. Wyattt Mann Know Your Meme
- Happy Merchant Know Your Meme
- Chris Hallquist. "Don’t say I’m one of the good atheists." The Uncredible Hallq. Patheos. 2012 March 15.
- Sam Seder. "Ann Coulter: Our Blacks are the Best!" Majority Report. YouTube. 2011 November 2.