Anti-Jewish Writing

On the True Meaning of Hate Speech

“A law against Jew-hatred is usually the beginning of the end for the Jews.”
—Joseph Goebbels, diary (April 19, 1943)[1]

‘Hate’ is such an ugly word.  And such a juvenile word.  It calls to mind the stereotypical eight-year-old girl who screams “I hate you!” to her mother when she is not allowed to join the local sleep-over.  The word is most often used half-jokingly—“I hate the Yankees!”, “I hate broccoli!”, etc.—or to describe some detested task (“I hate cleaning the bathroom”).  Or it can be used for rhetorical effect.  But the use of the term in the context of ‘hate speech’ is silly, juvenile, and formally meaningless.  We may dislike someone or some group, or be repulsed by them, or wish to dissociate from them.  But to hate them?  Seriously—what mature individual today is willing to openly and earnestly say “I hate you” to anyone?  Only a highly insecure or severely distressed person would do such a thing.  It’s a sign of weakness.

And yet today, hate seems to be the ethos of the moment.  More specifically, we seem to be surrounded by talk of ‘hate speech’ in the mass media.  To judge by various headlines and liberal pundits, hate speech would appear to be among the greatest dangers of modern existence—on par with racism and “White supremacy,” and greater than political corruption, international terrorism, global pandemics, financial instability, environmental decline, overpopulation, or uncontrollable industrial technology.  Most European countries have legal prohibitions against various forms of hate speech, however ill-defined, as do Canada and Australia.  Even in the US there is increasing pressure to create legal sanction for some such concept, the First Amendment notwithstanding.

I take this whole topic very personally.  It’s no secret that I’ve written harshly against Jews and other minorities.  It’s no secret that I prefer living in a White community and a White nation.  I have no need to apologize for any of this.  And yet, for these very reasons, some people find it appropriate to call me a ‘hater’:  “Dalton hates the Jews”; “he hates Blacks,” “he hates Latinos,” etc., etc.  But I state here, for the record, that nothing is further from the truth.  I hate no one.  I may dislike certain people, I may find them malevolent and malicious, I may want them punished, and I may want to separate myself from them; but this does not mean that I hate them.  In this era of “hate crimes” and “hate speech laws,” this requires some explanation.

As usual, we should start by knowing what we are talking about.  What, exactly, is it to ‘hate’?  The word has ancient origins, deriving from the Indo-European kədes and Greek kedos.  Originally, and surprisingly, it meant simply ‘strong feelings’ in a neutral sense, rather than something negative.  In fact, the Old Irish word caiss includes both love and hate.  But the negative connotation emerged with the Germanic khatis (later, hass), the Dutch haat, and eventually became ingrained in the English ‘hate.’

The standard dictionary definition typically runs something like this:  “intense or extreme dislike, aversion, or hostility” toward someone or something.  As such, the word is fairly innocuous; I can hate my job, hate asparagus, and even hate my boss.  But this is not at issue.  We are more concerned about hate as a mindset, and specifically as oriented toward classes of people, or increasingly, toward certain privileged ideologies.

But we immediately confront a major problem here:  Hate is a feeling, and feelings are indelibly subjective.  And anything that is completely subjective cannot be quantified in objective terms.  No one can say with certainty that “Dalton hates X.”  Only I can say, “I hate X,” precisely because it is my own feeling.  If there is one thing that I insist upon, it is complete sovereignty over my own feelings.  No one else will ever dictate how I feel about anything.

And even if I say “I hate X,” how does anyone else know that I really feel the hatred?  They don’t.  Maybe I’m being sarcastic.  Maybe I’m joking.  Maybe I’m just trying to cause a stir.  No one will ever know my actual feelings except me—precisely because they are my own.  No one will ever know if I am expressing “real” hatred, or just pretending.  (Does that even matter?)

The point here is that hatred, because it vanishes into a subjective void that is utterly inaccessible to others, can never be quantified or objectified, and thus can never be the basis for legal enforcement—at least, not in any rational sense.  Therefore, the corresponding concept of ‘hate speech,’ viewed as the expression of hatred, likewise melts into thin air.  It is, technically, an incoherent concept when put forth as a basis for law.  This fact, of course, does not stop corrupt lawmakers around the globe from trying to enforce it, though for very different reasons, as I will explain.

So, let’s take a look at how some attempt to define the indefinable.  Here is one interesting definition from the Cambridge Dictionary:  hate speech is

public speech that expresses hate or encourages violence toward a person or group based on something such as race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation (= the fact of being gay, etc.)

This is a hugely problematic definition, on several grounds.  First, how public is ‘public’?  If I tell my neighbor, is that public?  If I publish something in a private chat room, is that public?  What if I mumble something aloud to a friend while in a shopping mall?  Am I responsible if a private email to a colleague gets reposted online?  And so on.

Second:  it involves the “expression of hate,” or “encouragement of violence.”  These are two vastly different things.  ‘Expression of hate’ is, as I said, functionally meaningless.  What, exactly, does it take for something to qualify as an “expression of hate”?  Presumably if I say “I hate X,” that counts.  But what else?  Does “I really, really, really dislike X” count?  Does “I’d like to see X die” count?  What about “I’d like to see X get very ill”?  Does “X is a total scumbag” count?  We can see the problems.  Incitement to violence is somewhat less ambiguous, but still problematic.  Who, for example, is to judge ‘encouragement’?  This is another highly subjective term.  And how much violence is necessary to qualify?  Is a good shove violent?  A pie in the face?  Tripping someone?  Is ‘emotional distress’ violence?  What about financial loss?

Third, we notice that it’s not violence per se, but rather violence “based on something such as race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.”  This is very odd.  What does the phrase “something such as” mean here?  The qualifiers mentioned are usually assumed to be intrinsic to the person or group (race, gender)—except that religion, and even sexual orientation, can be changed at the drop of a hat.  Therefore, the qualities need not be intrinsic.  So what, exactly, is this mysterious criteria, this “something such as,” that is so crucial for the whole concept?

The point here is that the whole notion of ‘hate speech,’ like hate itself, dissolves into a subjective void.  In objective terms, it is virtually meaningless.  How, then, can be it be subject to the force of law?

The UN Takes a Shot

As if they don’t have enough on their plate already, the United Nations is now highly distressed by the spread of hate speech around the world.  Recently, in May 2019, they issued a short statement called “Strategy and plan of action on hate speech.”  It included this observation:

There is no international legal definition of hate speech, and the characterization of what is ‘hateful’ is controversial and disputed.  In the context of this document, the term ‘hate speech’ is understood as any kind of communication in speech, writing or behaviour, that attacks or uses pejorative or discriminatory language with reference to a person or a group on the basis of who they are—in other words, based on their religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, colour, descent, gender or other identity factor.  This is often rooted in, and generates, intolerance and hatred and, in certain contexts, can be demeaning and divisive.

The key phrases here:  “controversial and disputed” (obviously), “any kind of communication” (very broad), “pejorative or discriminatory language” (highly subjective and undefined), and “on the basis of who they are” (mostly intrinsic factors, except for nationality and religion, and possibly “other identity factors”).  And then we read the subsequent explanatory paragraph:

Rather than prohibiting hate speech as such, international law prohibits the incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence (referred to here as ‘incitement’).  Incitement is a very dangerous form of speech, because it explicitly and deliberately aims at triggering discrimination, hostility and violence, which may also lead to or include terrorism or atrocity crimes.  Hate speech that does not reach the threshold of incitement is not something that international law requires States to prohibit.

So, hate speech per se is not to be prohibited, but rather only a special kind of hate speech—“inciteful (to violence) hate speech.”  In other words, only the worst of the worst, apparently.  Clarification and elaboration would soon follow.

Also, the Foreword to the statement reveals something of the deeper motives at work here.  We find, in the opening paragraph, references to “anti-Semitism,” “neo-Nazis,” and the dreaded “White supremacy.”  Strange how we inevitably find such terms in any discussion of hate speech; more on this below.

Evidently dissatisfied with this short statement, the UN issued a 52-page “detailed guidance” report, under the same name, in September 2020.  Here they establish three levels of hate speech:  1) the worst kind: “direct and public incitement to violence” (including to genocide), 2) a grey zone of hate speech to be prohibited based on “legitimate aims” and only as “necessary and proportionate”, and 3) an unrestricted and lawful form that may still be “offensive, shocking, or disturbing.”  Level One (“Incitement”) hate speech in turn is based on, and determined by, six conditions:

  • 1) social and political context
  • 2) status of the speaker (!)
  • 3) intention of the speaker (!)
  • 4) form and content of the speech
  • 5) extent of dissemination
  • 6) likelihood of harm

Level One Hate must satisfy all six criteria, meaning (presumably): a sensitive time or social context, an influential or important speaker, bad intent, provocative style, widely disseminated, and with reasonable probability of harm.  Again, all six are required, for Level One status.  Levels Two and Three may meet some, or none, of these.  The six criteria are elaborated on pages 17 and 18 of the report.

Later in the document we find an interesting admission:  “The terms ‘hatred’ and ‘hostility’ should be understood to refer to intense and irrational emotions of opprobrium, enmity, and detestation towards the target group” (p. 13).  This is actually quite a relief; any opposition to Jews or other minorities, if rational and non-emotional (e.g., fact-based) cannot count as hate speech!  Therefore, writings by scholars, academics, or other serious researchers, who build a case based on facts, history, and plausible inference, are under no circumstances engaging in hate speech.  This is a huge loophole that somehow slipped past the ideological censors, one which we should be able to use to our advantage.

We (some of us, at least) get further relief on the following page, where we read that Level Three (allowable) Hate includes not only “expression that is offensive, shocking, or disturbing” but also covers “denial of historical events, including crimes of genocide or crimes against humanity.”  As the UN sees it, so-called Holocaust denial is permissible, or at least non-punishable, hate speech.[2]  And in Figure 4 they go further still, stating that Level Three hate “must be PROTECTED” as a form of free expression.  This is a remarkable concession.  Ah, but there’s a catch:  “unless such forms of expression also constitute incitement to hostility, discrimination, or violence under article 20 (2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”  This document, written in 1966 and made effective in 1976, includes these words under article 20:  “Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.”  So it would seem that, for example, Holocaust “denial” (whatever that means) is not prohibited as long as it avoids any connection to “incitement” of any kind.  Presumably discussing it as a historical subject is fine; just don’t implicate anyone today who promotes, exploits, or profits from the conventional Holocaust story.

“It’s always about the Jews!”

So, let’s get down to the rub.  I have a tentative hypothesis that I am willing to put forward:  Hate speech is by, for, and about Jews.  (Oops—is that hate speech?)  That is, that hate speech laws have been invented and promoted by Jews, primarily for their benefit.  I further hold that Jews are the master-class haters in world history, and that they understand the power of hatred better than any other people.  They have furthermore learned how to project their hatred onto others in service of their own ends, including by trickery and deception.  Let me marshal whatever evidence I can, mostly implicit, to build a case for this hypothesis.

Start with a little history of Jews and hatred.  Perhaps the first explicit connection came way back in 300 BC, in a short writing by Hecateus of Abdera titled “On the Jews.”  Only two fragments remain, one of which is relevant:  As a result of the Exodus, “Moses introduced a way of life which was, to a certain extent, misanthropic (apanthropon) and hostile to foreigners”.[3]  It is striking that, even at that early date, the Jews had a reputation for misanthropy—a hatred of humanity.  The same theme recurs in 134 BC, when King Antiochus VII was advised “to destroy the Jews, for they alone among all peoples refused all relations with other races, and saw everyone as their enemy.”  The king’s counselor cited “the Jews’ hatred of all mankind, sanctioned by their very laws.”[4]  Not only was their hatred notable, so too was the fact that it was “they alone, among all peoples”; the Jews were exceptional haters, it seems.

It is worth further expanding on the idea that Jewish hatred is “sanctioned by their very laws”—by which they mean, the Old Testament.  We know, of course, that the Jews viewed themselves as “chosen” by the creator of the universe:  “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God.  The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth” (Deut 7:6).  Clearly, then, everyone else is second-best.  We also know that God supposedly gave the Jews a kind of dominion over the other nations of the Earth.  The Book of Exodus states, “we [Jews] are distinct…from all other people that are upon the face of the earth” (33:16).  Similarly, the Hebrew tribe is “a people dwelling alone, and not reckoning itself among the nations” (Num 23:9).  In Deuteronomy (15:6), Moses tells the Jews “you shall rule over many nations”; “they shall be afraid of you” (28:10).  There is Genesis:  “Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you” (27:29); or Deuteronomy, where God promises Jews “houses full of all good things, which [they] did not fill, and cisterns hewn out, which [they] did not hew, and vineyards and olive trees, which [they] did not plant” (6:11).  And outside the Pentateuch, we can read in Isaiah:  “Foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you…that men may bring you the wealth of the nations” (60:10–11); or again, “aliens shall stand and feed your flocks, foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers…you shall eat the wealth of the nations” (61:5–6).  What is this but explicit misanthropy, sanctioned by God, and sustained “by their very laws”?

Around 50 BC, Diodorus Siculus wrote Historical Library where, in the course of discussing the Exodus, he observes that “the nation of Jews had made their hatred of mankind into a tradition” (34,1).  A few decades later, Lysimachus remarked that the Hebrew tribe was instructed by Moses “to show good will to no man” and to offer only “the worse advice” to others.  And in the early years of the Christian era, the writer Apion commented on the Jewish tendency “to show no goodwill to a single alien, above all to Greeks.”[5]  Again, repeated observations of Jewish hatred toward Gentile humanity.

The most insightful ancient critique, though, comes from Roman historian Tacitus.  His works Histories (100 AD) and Annals (115 AD) both record highly damning observations on the Hebrew tribe.  In the former, the Jews are described as “a race of men hateful to the gods” (genus hominum invisium deis, V.3).  Somewhat later, he remarks that “the Jews are extremely loyal toward one another, and always ready to show compassion, but toward every other people they feel only hate and enmity” (hostile odium, V.5).  But his most famous line comes from his later work, Annals.  There he examines the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD, and Nero’s reaction to it.  Nero, says Tacitus, pinned the blame in part on the Christians and Jews—“a class of men loathed for their vices.”  The Jews “were convicted, not so much on the count of arson as for hatred of the human race” (odio humani generis, XV.44).  Clearly this was the decisive factor, certainly in Tacitus’ eyes and perhaps in all of Rome:  that the Jewish odio humani generis, hatred of humanity, was a sufficient crime to banish and even slay them.

I could go on, but the message is clear:  The ancient world viewed the Jews as exceptional haters.  I could also cite, for example, Philostratus circa 230 AD (“The Jews have long been in revolt not only against the Romans, but against all humanity”) or Porphyry circa 280 AD (The Jews are “the impious enemies of all nations”)—but the point is made.

Importantly, this impression carried on for centuries in Europe, into the Renaissance, the Reformation, and even through to the present day.  Martin Luther’s monumental work On the Jews and Their Lies (1543) includes this passage:  “Now you can see what fine children of Abraham the Jews really are, how well they take after their father [the Devil], yes, what a fine people of God they are.  They boast before God of their physical birth and of the noble blood inherited from their fathers, despising all other people.”[6]  Two centuries later, circa 1745, Jean-Baptiste de Mirabaud wrote that “The Jews…were hated because they were known to hate other men.”[7]  And then we have Voltaire’s entry on “Jews” in his famous Philosophical Dictionary, which reads as follows:

It is certain that the Jewish nation is the most singular that the world has ever seen, and…in a political view, the most contemptible of all. …  It is commonly said that the abhorrence in which the Jews held other nations proceeded from their horror of idolatry; but it is much more likely that the manner in which they, at the first, exterminated some of the tribes of Canaan, and the hatred which the neighboring nations conceived for them, were the cause of this invincible aversion.  As they knew no nations but their neighbors, they thought that, in abhorring them, they detested the whole earth, and thus accustomed themselves to be the enemies of all men. …  In short, we find in them only an ignorant and barbarous people, who have long united the most sordid avarice with the most detestable superstition and the most invincible hatred for every people by whom they are tolerated and enriched.[8]

British historian Edward Gibbon stated the following in his classic work of 1788, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:

The Jews…emerged from obscurity…and multiplied to a surprising degree. …  The sullen obstinacy with which they maintained their peculiar rites and unsocial manners seemed to mark them out a distinct species of men, who boldly professed, or who faintly disguised, their implacable hatred to the rest of human-kind.[9]

A similar observation came from the pen of German philosopher Johann Fichte in 1793:

Throughout almost all the countries of Europe, a mighty hostile state is spreading that is at perpetual war with all other states, and in many of them imposes fearful burdens on the citizens: it is the Jews.  I don’t think, as I hope to show subsequently, that this state is fearful—not because it forms a separate and solidly united state, but because this state is founded on the hatred of the whole human race…[10]

Who, then, are the master haters in all of history?

Particularly striking are the words of Nietzsche.  A long series of negative comments on the Jews began in 1881 with his book Daybreak, where he observes in passing (sec. 377) that “The command ‘love your enemies’ had to be invented by the Jews, the best haters there have ever been.”  So it would seem that the Jews are truly best at something after all: hatred.  Then in The Gay Science (1882), Nietzsche sarcastically notes that the Jews are indeed ‘chosen’ people, precisely because “they had a more profound contempt for the human being in themselves than any other people” (sec. 136).

But the most stunning discourse appears in Nietzsche’s work of 1887, On the Genealogy of Morals, where he offers a detailed analysis of hatred from the Judeo-Christian perspective.  In short, Jewish hatred is manifested most visibly in their rabbis, religious men, and their priests.  Sanctioned by God, priestly hate is the deepest and most profound; it is the hatred of those without tangible power.  Jewish hatred then metastasized in Christianity, taking form as its nominal opposite, namely, love.  The First Essay is a masterpiece of literature and philosophy; I quote it at length:

As is well known, priests are the most evil of enemies—but why?  Because they are the most powerless.  From their powerlessness, their hate grows among them into something huge and terrifying, to the most spiritual and most poisonous manifestations.  The really great haters in world history and the most spiritual haters have always been priests—in comparison with the spirit of priestly revenge, all the remaining spirits are generally hardly worth considering.

Let us quickly consider the greatest example.  Everything on earth which has been done against “the noble,” “the powerful,” “the masters,” “the rulers” is not worth mentioning in comparison with what the Jews have done against them: the Jews, that priestly people, who knew how to get final satisfaction from their enemies and conquerors through a radical transformation of their values, that is, through an act of the most spiritual revenge.  This was appropriate only to a priestly people with the most deeply repressed priestly desire for revenge.  In opposition to the aristocratic value equations (good = noble = powerful = beautiful = fortunate = loved by god), the Jews, with an awe-inspiring consistency, dared to reverse things and to hang on to that with the teeth of the most profound hatred (the hatred of the powerless)…  (sec. 7)

But you fail to understand that?  You have no eye for something that needed two millennia to emerge victorious? … That’s nothing to wonder at: all lengthy things are hard to see, to assess.  However, that’s what took place: out of the trunk of that tree of vengeance and hatred, Jewish hatred—the deepest and most sublime hatred, that is, a hatred which creates ideals and transforms values, something whose like has never existed on earth—from that grew something just as incomparable, a new love, the deepest and most sublime of all the forms of love: —from what other trunk could it have grown?

However, one should not assume that this love arose essentially as the denial of that thirst for vengeance, as the opposite of Jewish hatred!  No: the reverse is the truth!  This love grew out of that hatred, as its crown, as the victorious crown unfolding itself wider and wider in the purest brightness and sunshine, which, so to speak, was seeking for the kingdom of light and height, the goal of that hate, aiming for victory, trophies, seduction, with the same urgency with which the roots of that hatred were sinking down ever deeper and more greedily into everything that was evil and possessed depth.  This Jesus of Nazareth, the living evangelist of love, the “Saviour” bringing holiness and victory to the poor, to the sick, to the sinners—was he not that very seduction in its most terrible and most irresistible form, the seduction and detour to exactly those Jewish values and innovations in ideals?  (sec. 8)

On this view, Christian ‘love’ grows out of Jewish ‘hate,’ like the crown of the tree from its roots.  The Jews (and Paul specifically), the master haters, purveyors of the “deepest and most sublime hatred” that has ever existed, created the idea of a saviour who loves everyone.  They did so as cover for their hatred of humanity, and as an enticement into their Jewish-inspired worldview—one of a Jewish man-god (Jesus), of Jehovah the Almighty, of heaven and hell.  These destructive and nihilistic “values and innovations” could only be foisted upon a humanity that was detested.  Christianity was thus the greatest manifestation of Jewish hatred ever conceived.

Nietzsche summarizes his thesis concisely in section 16:

In Rome the Jew was considered “guilty of hatred against the entire human race.”  And that view was correct, to the extent that we are right to link the health and the future of the human race to the unconditional rule of aristocratic values, the Roman values.

The nihilistic Christian values—based on a mythical God and an unknowable and perhaps nonexistent future life—managed to undermine and ultimately displace the superior Greco-Roman values that had flourished for 800 years and created the foundation of all of Western civilization.  Only an overthrow of Judeo-Christianity and a return to classic, aristocratic values can save humanity at this point.  The quoted passage refers, of course, to Tacitus.

We can’t leave the Genealogy without brief mention of a fascinating and humorous allegory on hatred that Nietzsche offers in section 13.  There he compares the situation between lowly (Judeo-Christian) haters and the strong and noble (Roman) aristocrats to the opposition that might exist between baby lambs and some nasty predator (Raubvogel), like an eagle.  The lambs are innocently and peacefully munching grass in a field, but live in constant fear of a predator who may, at any time, swoop in and snatch them up.  The weak lambs are haters; they hate those birds of prey.  But the noble eagles don’t hate at all.  Nietzsche explains:

But let’s come back: the problem with the other origin of the “good,” of the good man, as the person of ressentiment has imagined it for himself, demands its own conclusion.  —That the lambs are upset about the great predatory birds is not a strange thing, and the fact that they snatch away small lambs provides no reason for holding anything against these large birds of prey.  And if the lambs say among themselves, “These predatory birds are evil, and whoever is least like a predatory bird, especially anyone who is like its opposite, a lamb—shouldn’t that animal be good?” there is nothing to find fault with in this setting-up of an ideal, except for the fact that the birds of prey might look down on them with a little mockery and perhaps say to themselves, “We are not at all annoyed with these good lambs.  We even love them.  Nothing is tastier than a tender lamb.”

The noble don’t hate; they rule and dominate.  Only the weak hate.  The weak haters furthermore seek to portray the strong and noble in the harshest possible terms: “evil,” “killers,” “sinners.”  But this is ludicrous, of course.  The strong are just doing what is appropriate to their nature.  The haters might then try to confuse the strong, to guilt them into changing their behavior, to get them to become ‘weak’ and ‘good’ like the haters themselves.  But this would be the death of them, just as a life of munching grass—so pleasant for a lamb—would mean death for an eagle.  Nietzsche emphasizes this very point:

[I]t’s no wonder that the repressed, secretly smouldering feelings of rage and hate use this belief for themselves, and basically even maintain a faith in nothing more fervently than in the idea that the strong are free to be weak and that predatory birds are free to be lambs: —in so doing, they arrogate to themselves the right to blame the birds of prey for being birds of prey.

Today, weak and lowly haters—Jews, Jewish-inspired Christians, and Jewish lackeys in the media—have been working hard to convince the strong and noble that they are bad, evil, bigoted, racist, and supremacist.  And to the extent that they have succeeded, it has been the death of noble humanity.  We must resist this tendency with all our might.

Hate Speech in the Twentieth Century

With growing wealth and financial clout, and with a 2,000-year history of skill in hatred under their belts, organized Jewry began to press the case for legal sanctions against their opponents.  With the flood of Jewish immigrants around the turn of the century, it is perhaps not surprising that Jewish legal advocacy took hold in the US.  In the first two decades, a number of major pro-Jewish groups emerged, including the American Jewish Committee (1906), the Anti-Defamation League (1913), the American Jewish Congress (1918), and the American Civil Liberties Union (1920).  All these groups were de facto anti-hate speech advocates, even if the federal legal apparatus did not really exist at that point.  Their focus was on so-called “group libel,” a novel legal concept that was formulated specifically to benefit Jewish interests.

Meanwhile, across the ocean, Jews were making better legal progress in the proto-Soviet Union.  The rise of Jewish Bolsheviks from around 1900, including Leon Trotsky and the quarter-Jewish Vladimir Lenin, brought a new concern with anti-Semitism to the Russian Empire.  When they took power in the February Revolution of 1917, they immediately set to work to make life better for Russian Jews.  Pinkus (1990) explains that these Bolsheviks “issued a decree annulling all legal restrictions on Jews” in March 1917.[11]  He adds that, unsurprisingly, “Even before the October [1917] Revolution, Lenin and the Bolshevik Party were hostile to anti-Semitism.  Lenin castigated it in the strongest terms on a number of occasions.”  As soon as July 1918, the Soviet Council issued a decree (though without legal enforcement) stating that “the anti-Semitic movement and the anti-Jewish pogroms are a deadly menace to the Revolution”; all Soviet workers are called upon “to fight this plague with all possible means”.[12]  Lenin himself continued to press his pro-Jewish propaganda; in one short but notable speech of March 1919, he said:

Anti-Semitism means spreading enmity towards the Jews.  When the accursed Czarist monarchy was living its last days, it tried to incite ignorant workers and peasants against the Jews.  The Czarist police, in alliance with the landowners and the capitalists, organized pogroms against the Jews.  The landowners and capitalists tried to divert the hatred of the workers and peasants who were tortured by want against the Jews. … Only the most ignorant and downtrodden people can believe the lies and slander that are spread about the Jews.  This is a survival of ancient feudal times, when the priests burned heretics at the stake, when the peasants lived in slavery, and when the people were crushed and inarticulate.  This ancient, feudal ignorance is passing away; the eyes of the people are being opened.

It is not the Jews who are the enemies of the working people.  The enemies of the workers are the capitalists of all countries.  Among the Jews there are working people, and they form the majority.  They are our brothers, who, like us, are oppressed by capital; they are our comrades in the struggle for socialism. … Shame on accursed Czarism which tortured and persecuted the Jews.  Shame on those who foment hatred towards the Jews, who foment hatred towards other nations.

As (non-Jew) Joseph Stalin rose to power in the 1920s, he found it expedient to continue working with the Soviet Jews and generally defended their status.  Consequently, that decade became a sort of ‘golden age’ for Jews; it saw the emergence of the likes of Lazar Kaganovich, Yakov Sverdlov, Lev Kamenev, Karl Radek, Leonid Krasin, Filipp Goloshchekin, and Yakov Agranov—all high-ranking Jews in the Soviet hierarchy.[13]  Partly because of this governmental dominance, anti-Semitism among the Russian masses continued to percolate.  Eventually, “in 1927, a decision was reached to take drastic steps to repress anti-Semitism.”[14]  Various forms of propaganda were employed, including books, pamphlets, plays, and films; the process culminated in harsh legal action against anti-Jewish hate, up to and including the death penalty.  Stalin confirmed this in writing in 1931:

Anti-Semitism is of advantage to the exploiters as a lightning conductor that deflects the blows aimed by the working people at capitalism.  Anti-Semitism is dangerous for the working people as being a false path that leads them off the right road and lands them in the jungle.  Hence Communists, as consistent internationalists, cannot but be irreconcilable, sworn enemies of anti-Semitism.  In the USSR, anti-Semitism is punishable with the utmost severity of the law as a phenomenon deeply hostile to the Soviet system.  Under USSR law, active anti-Semites are liable to the death penalty.

The Jewish Golden Age in the Soviet Union lasted until the late 1930s, when Stalin inaugurated a retrenchment of Jewish power, apparently in response to the National Socialist stance.[15]

But the Soviet (and Bolshevik) philo-Semitic policies of the 1920s and 1930s were not lost on Hitler.  He and Goebbels were relentless, and justified, in their critiques of “Jewish Bolshevism” as a dominant threat to Germany and Europe.  Goebbels in particular noted the growing push for ‘hate speech’ and ‘hate crime’ laws in defense of Jews in both the USSR and the UK; for him, this was proof of (a) a deep-seated and imminent mass uprising against the Jews, and (b) an over-playing of their legal authority.  Anti-hate laws are a sign of desperation; they indicate that the end-game is near.  In a revealing diary entry of 19 April 1943, Goebbels writes:

The Jews in England are now calling for legal protection against anti-Semitism.  We know that from our own past, in the times of struggle.  But even that didn’t give them much advantage.  We’ve always understood how to find gaps in these protective laws; and moreover, anti-Semitism, once it rises from the depths of the people, cannot be broken by law.  A law against Jew-hatred is usually the beginning of the end for the Jews.  We will make sure that anti-Semitism in England does not cool down.  In any case, a longer-lasting war is the best breeding ground for it.[16]

The following month, in his published essay “The War and the Jews,” Goebbels commented on the legal situation in the USSR—the very law that Stalin described above, and that was still in force some 13 years later:

We constantly hear news that anti-Semitism is increasing in enemy nations.  The charges being made against the Jews are well-known; they are the same ones that were made here.  Anti-Semitism in enemy nations is not the result of anti-Semitic propaganda, since Jewry fights that strongly.  In the Soviet Union, it receives the death penalty.[17]

The status of anti-Semitic hate speech laws was of importance to Goebbels right to the very end.  In his last major essay, “Creators of the World’s Misfortunes” (1945), he reiterated the significance of the Soviet law:

Capitalism and Bolshevism have the same Jewish roots—two branches of the same tree that in the end bear the same fruit.  International Jewry uses both in its own way to suppress nations and keep them in its service.  How deep its influence on public opinion is in all the enemy countries and many neutral nations is plain to see: it may never be mentioned in newspapers, speeches, and radio broadcasts.

There’s a law in the Soviet Union that punishes ‘anti-Semitism’—or in plain English, public education about the Jewish Question—by death.  Any expert in these matters is in no way surprised that a leading spokesman for the Kremlin said over the New Year that the Soviet Union would not rest until this law was valid throughout the world.  In other words, the enemy clearly says that its goal in this war is to put the total domination of Jewry over the nations of the Earth under legal protection, and to use the death penalty to threaten even a discussion of this shameful attempt.  It is little different in the plutocratic [Western] nations.

Even at the bitter end, this theme still impressed Goebbels.  In one of his final diary entries, he wrote:

The Jews have already registered for the San Francisco Conference [on post-war plans].  It is characteristic that their main demand is to ban anti-Semitism throughout the world.  Typically, having committed the most terrible crimes against mankind, the Jews would now like mankind to be forbidden even to think about them.[18]

And indeed, they have succeeded, at least in part.  The postwar German Volksverhetzung and the Austrian Verbotsgesetz both stand as among the most embarrassing legal capitulations to Jewish interests in the Western world.

Thus we clearly see the origins of hate speech legislation in the twentieth century: it was first constructed by Jews and their sycophants (like Stalin), both in the US and in the Soviet Union, to quell any looming opposition to their power structure.  So intent were they on stifling objection to Jewish rule that they were willing to kill those who opposed them.

To the Present Day

With the growing dominance of Jewish influence in American government over the past five decades, and ongoing influence in Europe, calls to restrict and punish any anti-Jewish commentary via hate speech laws have become ever more strident.  The U.S. government—or at least the Republicans—have so far mostly resisted such efforts, but social media has come around to the philosemitic stance.  Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram, Twitter, and Google-owned YouTube, have all taken it upon themselves to censor hate speech, especially of the anti-Semitic variety.  Google has altered its search algorithms to de-rank offensive and “hate” sites.  All this is perfectly understandable, given the huge Jewish presence atop Big Tech; we need only mention Mark Zuckerberg, Sergei Brin, Larry Page, Larry Ellison, Michael Dell, Sheryl Sandberg, Safra Katz, Susan Wojcicki, Steve Ballmer, Brian Roberts, Marc Benioff, Craig Newmark, and Jeff Weiner, for starters.

Parallel to Big Tech censorship, Jewish advocacy groups like the SPLC and the ADL continue to press civil cases against those ‘haters’ who they believe have violated the rights or reputation of some aggrieved party.  The SPLC has a section of its website dedicated to “anti-Semitism and hate speech,” and the ADL—well, that’s their raison d’etre.  Third-party lawsuits and tech censorship serve the purpose of implementing de facto pro-Jewish hate speech policies, at least within the U.S.


But to come full circle:  I began this piece with a discussion about the logical vagueness and incoherence of the concept of hate speech.  Clearly, though, many powerful, Jewish-inspired corporations and politicians find the concept useful.  For them, in the most basic and practical terms, it becomes quite simple:  Hate speech is any speech that Jews hate.  Yes, they may claim to hate anti-Muslim speech or anti-Black speech, but this is so only because it is a necessary corollary to anti-Jewish hate speech.  The Jews are not so stupid today as to push for uniquely Jewish, “anti-anti-Semitism” laws; those are a thing of the past.  Today, such laws require cover language that, at least in theory, includes other “oppressed” groups.  Jews and their defenders must appear universal and fair—when in reality most seem to have utter contempt for virtually all non-Jewish groups (there’s that “hatred of humanity” again).  Hate speech is any speech that Jews hate.

Consider:  If you hate what I say, who’s the hater?  It’s you, not me.  The fact that you may not like what I’m saying does not make me a hater.  It makes you the hater.  And if you happen to be a champion, master-class, world-historical hater, well then—it’s all hate to you.

Thomas Dalton, PhD, has authored or edited several books and articles on politics, history, and religion, with a special focus on National Socialism in Germany.  His works include a new translation series of Mein Kampf, and the books Eternal Strangers (2020), The Jewish Hand in the World Wars (2019), and Debating the Holocaust (4th ed, 2020), all available at  For all his writings, see his personal website

[1] Reprinted in Goebbels on the Jews (2019; T. Dalton, ed), p. 199.  This and most other books cited below are available at

[2] For the record, I am no denier.  I believe that there was a Holocaust of the mid-20th century:  it was called World War Two, and some 60 million people died as a result of Jewish-instigated actions both here and in Europe.  Jewish fatalities seem to have numbered around 500,000, according to the major revisionists.  For more on these issues, see my books The Jewish Hand in the World Wars (2019) and Debating the Holocaust (4th ed, 2020).

[3] Eternal Strangers (2020; T. Dalton, ed), p. 16.

[4] Emilio Gabba, “The growth of anti-Judaism,” in The Cambridge History of Judaism (vol. 2, 1984; Cambridge University Press), p. 645.

[5] Eternal Strangers, pp. 19, 21, and 25, respectively.

[6] On the Jews and Their Lies (2020, T. Dalton, ed; Clemens & Blair), p. 53.

[7] Eternal Strangers, p. 68.

[8] Eternal Strangers, pp. 70-71.

[9] The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1788/1974, vol. 2; AMS Press), p. 3.  See also Eternal Strangers, p. 59.

[10] Eternal Strangers, p. 78.

[11] Benjamin Pinkus, The Jews of the Soviet Union (1990; Cambridge University Press), p. 84.

[12] In Pinkus, p. 85.

[13] The parallels to the Biden regime are striking; see my recent piece “Confronting the Judeocracy.”

[14] Pinkus, p. 86.

[15] Postwar, Stalin’s purging of high-ranking Jews accelerated, resulting in a decade-long period of virtual state-sponsored anti-Semitism, ending only with Stalin’s death in 1953.

[16] Goebbels on the Jews, p. 199.

[17] Ibid., pp. 206-207.

[18] 4 April 1945, in Goebbels on the Jews, p. 255.

Namatianus and the Sullen Jew

For a sullen Jew was guardian of the spot,
An animal that spurns at sound human food.
He charges our bill for the bushes disturbed, the sea weed,
Struck with our sticks, and clamours that his loss
Is grievous in the water that we drink.
We fling fit answer to the filthy race,
That upholds shameless circumcision —
They are a height of stupidity; cold sabbaths charm their heart;
And yet their heart is even colder than their creed,
Each seventh day to shameful sloth’s condemned,
An effeminate picture of a wearied god!
Their other wild fancies from a bazaar of lies
Not even a child in their sleep would believe.
Would that Judea ne’er had been subdued,
By Pompey’s wars and under Titus’ sway!
The plague’s contagion all the wider spreads;
The conquered presses on the conquering race.

From On His Return, by Rutilius Claudius Namatianus, 416 A.D.

I recently devoted some time to reading the entirety of Saint John Chrysostom’s eight homilies on the Jews, an experience I’m not inclined to recommend to anyone seeking a clinical exploration of Jewish influence. The homilies are masterworks of rhetoric and invective, but, like many pre-Enlightenment texts tackling problematic Jewish behavior, they are overwhelmingly dominated by Christian theology, and empirical analysis of the socio-economic relationship between Jews and Europeans is only hinted at. It would be redundant for me to labor these points here since the best exploration of Chrysostom’s hints and allusions to Jewish socio-economic misbehavior can be found in Kevin MacDonald’s Separation and Its Discontents (pp.95-97, 116-118 in paperback), and in a 2015 TOO post by MacDonald that in turn reflects on an interesting article by Roger Pearse, a scholar of Christianity. I was, however, prompted by my reading of Chrysostom to search for ancient writers that did offer the kind of analysis or critique that met my expectations, and that hadn’t already been covered by MacDonald’s treatment of late Roman anti-Semitism in Separation and Its Discontents (pp. 109-139 in the paperback version)—at a time when anti-Jewish writing emphasized Jews enslaving Christians; and accusations of Jewish greed, wealth, love of luxury and of the pleasures of the table became common. I was also keen to move beyond some of the more familiar figures of the ancient world to whom anti-Jewish remarks have been attributed: Cicero, Seneca, Tacitus, Horace, Quintilian, Dio Cassius, Celsus, Plutarch, and Strabo. It was while reading “Cultivated Pagans and Ancient Antisemitism,”[1] a 1939 article from The Journal of Religion, that I finally encountered a substantial reference to the remarkable piece of poetry opening this essay. What follows is an effort to analyze the poem and place it in historical and cultural context.

Rutilius Claudius Namatianius was a high Roman functionary, aristocrat, and Imperial poet. He was a native of southern Gaul, having his origins somewhere near modern Toulouse. His long Imperial career saw him occupy influential roles at a time when Rome was in chaos, and Namatianus claimed to have personally witnessed the final sack of Rome in 410 and its aftermath. Around the year 415, Namatianus undertook a voyage home to Gaul, later penning a kind of travel memoir in epic poetic form titled On His Return. The poem, of which only the initial third has survived, offers unique insight into a period not normally associated with literary treasures (the early ‘Dark Ages’), as well as a singular example of late Pagan lament on civilizational decline and the characteristics and growing influence of the Jews.

The episode opening this essay occurs during Rutilius’s trip, after he passed the island of Elba and landed at the port of Falesia Portus. I have been unable to determine precisely where on a modern map this would be, but I assume it’s somewhere between modern Piombino and Livorno. At Falesia Portus, Rutilius and his travelling companions watched celebrations organized for the god Osiris, before exploring and enjoying their surroundings:

Landing, we seek the town and roam the wood;
The ponds delight us, sweet, with shoals begirt,
The waters, spread within the enclosed flood,
Allow the sportive fish amid the pools,
To dart and play.

This peaceful commune with nature offers some reprieve from the omnipresent signs of social and political collapse. Problems begin, however, when the group arrive at their lodgings, a villa and gardens whose conductor (the middleman who administrated the inn and its domain) is a Jew.

But he who leased the spot,
A harsher landlord than Antiphates,
Made this reposeful loveliness pay dear.

Antiphates, of course, was the king of the Laestrygonians, described in Homer’s Odyssey as a race of giants known for devouring foreigners. The comparison with Antiphates sets the stage for Namatianus’s poetic reflections on the misanthropic, anti-social, and exploitative nature of the Jews, both in the personal interaction with the Jewish innkeeper, and in the much broader clash between Jews and the late Roman Empire. It’s worth recalling that it was unusual for Jews to be found so far north in Italy during the 400s, because, in a preference that has remained almost constant to the present, Jews tended to cluster around seats of government and commerce. In the Italy of the 400s, this meant Jewish concentration around Rome, Milan, Ravenna, and Aquileia. More predictably, it’s notable that this Jew is not a rustic farmer, soldier, or craftsman, but a middleman.

The standard narrative of most apologetic histories of the Jews will earnestly feed readers the fairytale that Jews were sons of the soil, much like any other people, until Christians persecuted them, counter-productively it would seem, into powerful and exploitative financial positions. This is despite a clear record of evidence demonstrating that the special relationship between Jews and money preceded Christianity. Jews had settled among European host populations since ancient times, with the oldest communities located in the urban centers of the Mediterranean. A list of Jewish colonies in this area can be found in the First Book of Maccabees, and in the early Roman empire clusters of Jews could be found as far north as Lyon, Bonn and Cologne.[2] The economic nature of these communities was uniform, and similar to those in the East. Even prior to the Talmudic era, c.300–500 A.D., Jews had developed a strong interest and aptitude in commerce and banking and, from its beginning, Jewish involvement in these spheres was regarded by host populations as malevolent and exploitative. In one of the earliest examples, a papyrus from the first half of the first century B.C., a man named Heracles writes to a friend in Hellenistic Egypt about some associates who “detest the Jews.”[3] In another, dated to 41 A.D., an Alexandrian merchant warns a friend to “beware of the Jews.”[4] During the fourth century, Alexandria witnessed a number of anti-Jewish riots, almost all of them provoked by accusations of economic exploitation. Under Tiberius, several Jewish middlemen in Rome were discovered to have been misappropriating silver and gold, prompting the expulsion of 4000 Jews to Sardinia in 19 A.D.[5] In short, Namatianus’s Jewish innkeeper is not so much of an aberration as might first appear to those schooled only in mainstream apologetic scholarship.

It’s clear that Namatianus already has a pre-existing animus towards Jews, an aspect of his politics and worldview presumably shaped over decades as a Roman administrator. For Namatianus, this sullen innkeeper is primarily an anti-social “animal,” and a true example of his breed. Namatianus expresses no surprise at the character traits of the innkeeper, nor does he attempt to explain his complaints. He clearly expected his readers to understand and sympathize with what he has to say about Jews and Judaism. Namatianus rather nonchalantly sets the sullen Jew in the context of his tribe, pointing out before anything else that the innkeeper is part of an ethnically solipsistic race that sets itself apart even through diet by avoiding “sound human food” like seafood and pork (similar complaints were made by Juvenal in his Satires and Tacitus in his Histories). Roman hatred of Jewish separatism ran deep, with its origins at least as far back as Pompey’s siege of Jerusalem in 63 B.C. Jewish rebellion began almost immediately, and accelerated after the establishment of the province of Judea in 6 A.D. Roman officials were unanimous in attributing this rebellious behavior to Jewish ethnocentrism, the sense of Jewish uniqueness, and the Jewish belief that, as Tacitus expressed it, the East would be victorious and leaders from Judea would come to rule the world (Historiae, 5, 13: “ut valesceret Oriens profectique Iudeaea rerum potirentur”).

The sullen Jew encountered in Falesia Portus is money-driven. He “charges our bill for the bushes disturbed, the sea weed, Struck with our sticks, and clamours that his loss, Is grievous in the water that we drink.” Namatianus and his companions finish their enjoyment of the landscape only to find that their every move has been watched, and every broken branch accounted for. We might presume that this is a well-used process of exploitation for the innkeeper, regularly employed to milk ignorant travelers for more profits. Jews are thus not merely presented as a people apart, but unscrupulous, unreasonable, and untrustworthy in financial transactions of any type. In a scene almost comical, the Jewish innkeeper is so miserly and exploitative that he would even go so far as to demand money for water drunk from pools on his land, pleading that, by quenching their thirst, Namatianus and his men had caused him a “grievous” financial loss. Namatianus’s account of this stingy Jew, shamelessly hard in business, is a pointed rejoinder to those who claim that ‘tropes’ about Jewish financial misbehavior were a side-effect of the putatively accidental (!) entry of the Jews into highly lucrative moneylending niches during the Middle Ages.

Namatianus recounts that he responded to the innkeeper’s attempted exploitation with “fit answer to the filthy race,” by which we must assume that he responded with verbal abuse or aggression of some kind. The term “Jew” was itself a pejorative at the time, with even the Jewish Midrash containing a story about two Roman women who argue only to later reconcile apart from one outstanding issue — the insulted party could not forgive the other party for saying she “looked like a Jew” during the argument.[6] Roman aversion to Jewishness was such that both Vespasian and Titus refused to accept the honorific ‘Judaicus’ after having suppressed the great revolt and their victory in Judea (unlike the very willing traditional adoption of titles such as “Britannicus,” “Germanicus” and “Africanus”).

In popular Roman culture, two aspects of Jewish identity were singled out for particular scorn and derision — circumcision and the sabbath. As with diet, both were viewed as symbols of Jewish separatism, but both also included further strata of meaning. Namatianus’s use of the term gens obscena, “filthy race,” is directly connected with the remark on circumcision, and it’s likely that Namatianus responded to the innkeeper not only by referring to his Jewishness, but also with some kind of reference to circumcision and perversion. In the Roman mind, both were linked, and accusations of hyper-sexuality or perversion among Jews are common in the literature of the period. At the more comedic end of the scale, Juvenal chuckled at the strangeness of Jews who “worship the sky” and “by and by, shed their foreskins,” (Satires, 14.99), while at the more serious end there were accusations from figures like Tacitus that Jews were addicted to lust. Sexual slander of competing groups was of course extremely common on all sides during the period. The Jewish literature, for example, depicted Romans as addicted to pederasty, and gentiles in general as prone to bestiality. In this regard, Tractate Avodah Zarah 22b, an entire chapter of the Talmud dedicated to the subject, has some truly remarkable allegations, including the stunningly improbable account of a Rabbi who says he witnessed a gentile engage in bestiality with a goose before roasting and eating it, and the claim that “The animal of a Jew is more appealing to gentiles that their own wives.”

Namatianus’s comments on the sabbath are equally interesting. The allusion to the “chilly” nature of the sabbath, and coldness more generally in the first instance, is a likely reference to the then frequently mocked fact Jews could not light fires on that day. But Namatianus immediately reflects on something deeper in the Jewish personality, implying that this “cold” concept of a day of rest “charms their heart” because “their heart is even colder than their creed.” For Namatianus, there is something fundamentally cold, sterile, and inhuman about the Jews and their religion, something hinted at first in the exploitative approach of the Jewish innkeeper, but now expanded upon as a primary racial characteristic. The philosophical background influencing many Roman aristocratic groups, to which Namatianus belonged, included a respect for humanitas—the ability of men to be sociable. The coldness of Jews is found in their lack of humanitas, which was an essential structuring aspect of higher Roman society. Being incapable of humanitas, Jews were inevitably seen as being themselves disruptive and undesirable within a society they were not prepared to co-operate with but merely exploit. Such perspectives are remarkably similar to complaints made about the social behavior of Jews in the early twentieth century, as they entered and ascended the Western middle class, upsetting many social conventions in the process.

As well as “coldness,” the sabbath is also linked to the idea that Jews are given over to a “shameful sloth,” dictated by a god apparently lassatus or “wearied” and therefore, in a Roman culture where masculinity was linked to motion and action, irredeemably mollis or “effeminate.” When not engaged in active rebellion or sedition, one of the primary perceptions of Jews among the Romans was of a people prone to, as Tacitus put it (Historiae, 4, 3), “the charms of indolence.” That the brief interaction with the sullen innkeeper at Falesia Portus would prompt a reflection on the sabbath may indicate Namatianus’s opinion that the innkeeper was slothful. The complaint that Jews are unique in their apparent dedication to avoiding physical work has been common in anti-Jewish writing for almost 2000 years, and the linkage here is difficult to side-step. For Namatianus, the sullen Jew is cold and lazy, preferring, like a spider, the passive exploitation of those who fall into his web rather than the active earning of his own daily bread. In the Roman aristocratic worldview, such an approach to life is not only lacking in morality and human warmth, but is fundamentally effeminate.

It’s especially interesting that Namatianus implies that Jews are not merely superstitious in holding to these traditions, but also prone to advancing falsehood. He situates Jewish religious customs, “wild fancies,” as originating from “a bazaar of lies, Not even a child in their sleep would believe.” The reference to the bazaar or marketplace (catasta—literally, the stage on which auctions take place), is a further association with Jews and merchant activity, but it also suggests a proliferation or abundance of falsehood for profit, and the idea that the Jews themselves are a fountain of lies and exaggerations.

The section’s final four lines are perhaps the most thoughtful and poignant. Namatianus regrets that Judea had been conquered by Pompey and Titus because these conquests facilitated the ingestion of that which could not be digested. The annexation of Jewish territories and the free movement of Jews within the empire brought into the Roman body a “plague’s contagion” that “all the wider spreads.” The sullen Jewish innkeeper, who, in his rejection of humanitas, is not prepared to co-operate with his guests but merely to exploit them, is therefore merely symbolic of the broader gens obscena who reject humanitas and thus live within the Roman Empire not to co-operate and take part in it but merely to exploit and destroy it. Through such an approach, inconceivable though it may have been to his contemporaries, Namatianus argues that “The conquered presses on the conquering race.” The term has close resonance with Seneca’s complaint of the Jews that “the vanquished have given laws to their victors,”[7] as well as with some of the most famous and pessimistic anti-Jewish texts of the nineteenth century including Marr’s The Victory of Jewry over Germandom and Toussenel’s The Jews: Kings of the Epoch. Marie Roux comments, in her analysis of On His Return, that “The biological metaphor used by Rutilius forms part of his argumentation according to which Jews are and will remain pernicious enemies of Rome that had clearly taken advantage of Rome’s generosity. … Jews are presented as internal enemies that show the limits of Rome’s imperialist policy.”[8]

By making such clear references to Jewish misanthropy, financial exploitation, social disruptiveness, and status as an “internal enemy,” this remarkable poem by Rutilius Namatianus offers a shocking riposte from the early fifth century to those keen to portray such concepts as simply the warped byproduct of Christianity or as the recent invention of bigots. One of the most surprising aspects of the poem is how fresh it appears in its concerns and complaints. One might imagine it written today, referring perhaps to a sullen slumlord in Brooklyn, or to Jewish influence in the declining American empire. It is this last element that I find especially haunting. Namatianus was a man writing at the twilight of his age, in almost total disbelief that the all-conquering European force to which he belonged had succumbed to something so outwardly pathetic and yet so inwardly fanatical, cold, and unmoving. For me, the poem speaks volumes.

[1] N. W. Goldstein, “Cultivated Pagans and Ancient Antisemitism,” Journal of Religion, 19:4 (1939), pp.346-364.

[2] P. Johnson, A History of the Jews (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1987), p.171.

[3] S. Almog (ed), Antisemitism Through the Ages (Jerusalem: Pergamon, 1988), p.16.

[4] S. Baron (ed) Economic History of the Jews (New York: Schocken, 1976), p.22.

[5] Almog, p.18.

[6] Lamentations Rabbah, 1:11.

[7] See St. Augustine, City of God, VI. 11.

[8] Marie Roux: Rutilius Namatianus, On His Return I.377-398.

Slavoj Žižek’s “Pervert’s Guide” to anti-Semitism

“ [Kevin] MacDonald’s theory is a new chapter in the long process of the destruction of Reason.”
Slavoj Zizek

“Žižek is, at his best, a posturing charlatan.”
Thomas Moller-Nielsen, Current Affairs, Oct. 18 2019.


This is an essay on anti-Semitism, but because it’s also about Slavoj Žižek we’re going to have to start with the subject of extra-marital affairs. Very early in my academic career, I was asked to take part in a cross-faculty seminar, where PhD students could present small talks on the development of their research. It was hoped that, as a newly-minted PhD, I’d ask presenting students some tough but helpful questions, and thus somehow contribute to a team atmosphere in my department. I was provided with a list of proposed talks and immediately felt an overwhelming sense of apathy at the litany of feminist tripe and quasi-Marxist navel-gazing, none of which was in any way related to my own fields of research. I was eager to please in my new role, however, and so I fell dutifully into line. I’ll never forget the first presentation because it was so remarkably surreal, being an effeminate young African-American who quite literally gave a performance poem titled “Black Skin” about, well, you get the idea. But the more memorable event of the day came later, when a young woman gave a presentation on gender in the media, or something to that effect. Something about her manner irritated me considerably, so I gave her a hard time during the Q & A. This was picked up on by a senior figure in the department, a soft meek-looking and much-gossiped-about English historian, who, after the seminar had finished, invited me to his office for a discussion on gender and sex politics.

I’ve been politically aware since I was a teenager. I’d read deeply about Marxism since the age of seventeen, and was familiar with its cultish elements. None of this prepared me for my adventure in this otherwise unremarkable Englishman’s office, the walls of which were festooned with small red flags and quasi-religious images of Lenin and Trotsky. So, I thought, here was a Red in the flesh. I was in the presence of a dedicated Marxist, and that right there in front of me stood a solitary tangible example of the long march through the institutions. He made tea, and we sat down. He began to talk, I listened. During his initial monologue, my host started speaking from a personal perspective, explaining that even in his private life he aimed to live in accordance with his “socialist beliefs.” Before he got married, he explained, he and his fiancée agreed that they wouldn’t take traditional vows, agreeing they wouldn’t be so possessive as to make an oath of exclusivity to one another. They might “expect” exclusivity, but they wouldn’t demand it. They believed in “freedom,” he said, and ultimately this was what social progressivism and modern gender and sex politics was all about. It wasn’t anything to get upset over, he implied, or laugh about.

Except that it was. The faculty gossip I’d heard was that the wife of this “free love” advocate had been on a short-term teaching stint in Norway and had just recently decided to permanently settle there with a Norwegian lover she’d been having an affair with for some time. She had the marital couple’s two children with her in Norway, and was making it extremely difficult for the meek, permissive, Lenin-loving Englishman to see them. The family home had also been declared off-limits, and my Marxist colleague was apparently reduced to staying in a local bed and breakfast. Tragic? Quite possibly. Hilarious? Most definitely. All of this flooded my mind as the cuckolded Leninite sat opposite me recounting his lukewarm marriage vows, tea in hand, eyes glistening with — tears? Steam from the tea he said, wiping them casually and glancing at the window. My face was stone. The time passed, and my host gradually fell silent. I thanked him most disingenuously, and made a hasty retreat, taking a deep breath as I emerged from the building. I never set foot in that office again.

What does any of this have to do with anti-Semitism? If you’re the superstar Marxist intellectual Slavoj Žižek, it has everything to do with anti-Semitism, since as we will find out, infidelity and anti-Semitism are irrefutably linked. I say “irrefutably” quite deliberately, because his arguments are irrefutable — and they are irrefutable because they are nonsensical. Read more

The Tory Parliamentary Struggle to Preserve English National Identity, 1753–1858: Parts IV and V

Part IV: The Collapse of the Anti-Jewish Party, 1847–1858

The agitation for Jewish “emancipation” would not begin again in earnest until the Whig ministry of Lord Russell. There was no law against Jews taking up seats in Parliament; rather, they were effectively barred from taking office because of a technicality. In 1847, Lionel de Rothschild, Nathan’s son, was elected to the Commons. Unable to swear the Oath of Abjuration because of the words “upon the true faith of a Christian,” he could not take his seat. A Jewish Disabilities Removal Bill was again sent through the Commons in 1848. This provoked significant opposition among High Tories because it placed Jews on an equal footing with Roman Catholics. It was passed in the Commons, but rejected in the Lords. Following the Whig failure to get the bill passed through the Lords, Rothschild vacated his seat. He was re-elected in 1850. In consequence, the Whigs introduced into the House of Commons an Oath of Abjuration Bill, which would allow Rothschild to swear a modified oath and take his seat. Although it was passed in the Commons, it was ultimately rejected by the Lords in 1851.

Lord Russell, now Foreign Secretary in Lord Aberdeen’s Conservative cabinet, passed another Jewish Disabilities Bill in 1853. This was steered through the Commons without issue, but Lord Shaftesbury had urged its rejection in the Lords, where it was voted down after a second reading. Russell tried to pass a bill modifying the Oath of Abjuration, but it also abolished the Catholic version of the oath. This provoked considerable opposition among members of the Commons and it was voted against by a majority of MPs. In 1856, during Lord Palmerston’s Whig ministry, the MP for Manchester introduced a bill proposing the abolition of the Oath of Abjuration, but this measure was rejected after a second reading in the Lords. In 1857, Palmerston and Rothschild were returned to Parliament, with a large Whig majority. Palmerston passed an oaths bill in the Commons with the aim of substituting the Oath of Abjuration for another. This time, the Catholic version of the oath was left intact. This passed the Commons, but was rejected by the High Tories. Again Baron Rothschild again vacated his seat but was subsequently re-elected to the Commons. Lord Russell introduced another oaths bill, but before the second reading could be completed, Lord Palmerston’s ministry had fallen and was replaced by Lord Derby’s Conservative ministry in 1858. The Lords read the bill, then removed the clause affecting Jews, an amendment that was promptly rejected by the Commons.

Eager to break the stalemate between Houses, a committee was established by the Commons, with Baron Rothschild, much to the disgust of the Lords, appointed as a member. The committee’s purpose was to provide reasoned objections to the Lords’ stance on Jewish civil and legal disabilities. This would be submitted to the Lords for consideration. The Lords would then appoint a committee to come up with reasons in favor of maintaining the status quo, then submit these to the Commons for examination. During the committee stage, the High Tories, after decades of intra-Parliamentary squabbling, finally cracked. Much to their abhorrence, the Tories found themselves drawing up a compromise bill out of political expediency, even though the majority were still against Jews in parliamentary office. This was then sent to the Commons.

On the third reading of the Jewish Disabilities Bill (1858), Tory MP Samuel Warren protested, describing the measure as a “wholly unprecedented course …  calculated to lower the Legislature in the estimation of the country.” Forcing the Tories to embrace a bill they opposed on Christian principles would hurt the Conservative party. If Jews were allowed in Parliament, it would lead to the national repudiation of Christianity.

“The Jew must, therefore, in the whole tone of his thoughts, and in the whole series of his principles,” said Warren, “be so at variance with the principles and tone of thought of a Christian community, that he cannot safely be trusted with the discretionary power of making laws for that Christian community.”

He objected to the elitist nature of the campaign for Jewish relief:

The admission of Jews into the Legislature is opposed to public opinion and the wishes of the people, which ought to be distinctly ascertained by means of a general election before taking a step so seriously affecting the constitution of the Legislature. … The Bill before the House is, in the above and other respects, without precedent in our legislation; opposed to the genius and spirit of the Constitution; offensive to the Jew; derogatory to the dignity of this House; provocative of disunion and collision between the two Houses; and violates equally the principles of both parties to this unhappy contest.[1]

With the passage of the Jewish Relief Act of 1858, the Tories were forced to shed an integral part of their English ethnic identity. This is doubtless why the contest between both houses was a protracted one. The bill gave each House the ability to decide which oath they would use. It did not expressly give Jews the right to sit in Parliament, but they would be able to sit in the Commons upon alteration of the oath. The Tories would see to it, in determining what oath they would use, that the seats in the Lords would be reserved for Christians, a state of affairs that continued until 1885.

One of the Benefits of the Jewish Emancipation (1849-1858). An old Jew shows his wife a sucking pig and says_ Dare mine dear, see vot I’ve pought you! tanks to de Paron Roast-child & de Pill.

Part V: The Destruction of English National Identity

In the History of the Jews in England, Jewish historian Cecil Roth wrote, with an air of triumph:

“On Monday, 26 July 1858, Baron de Rothschild at last took his seat in the House. Two hundred years after Cromwell’s death the work that he had begun reached its culmination, and an English Jew was for the first time recognized as an equal citizen of his native land.”[2]

The High Tories were the racial consciousness of the English nation, the last bulwark of the nation’s racial defenses against alien intruders. They were willing to fight tooth and nail for the preservation of England’s distinctive ethnic character. With the numbers and influence of the High Tories seriously diminished by late nineteenth century, who would stand for England?

The triumph of the Judeo-Liberal vision was possible for two reasons:

(a) The millenarian beliefs of evangelical Christians. Millenarian beliefs among English Puritans introduced a world-denying and ascetic spirit into the English culture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These destructive tendencies exacerbated the Englishman’s weaknesses, especially his relative lack of ethnocentrism, his individualism, and his tendency to promiscuous altruism.

Christianity is not an intrinsically destructive force; from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century, it functioned as an Anglo-Saxon ethnic identifier. On the other hand, its universalist tendencies could be exploited by hostile elites—Jews, Whigs, liberals etc.—to dissolve and replace English national identity with a raceless cosmopolitanism. For example, historians speculate that Cromwell had both economic and millenarian reasons for re-admitting the Jews in 1656, believing this would lead to mass conversion of Jewry, ushering in the Millennium. The Jew Bill of 1753 was interpreted within a similar eschatological framework of mass Jewish conversion and universal redemption. In the nineteenth century, many Christians believed it was their duty to fight for Jewish relief because it would usher in the Second Coming. The Anglican evangelical Robert Grant, who tirelessly agitated for the removal of Jewish disabilities in the Commons during the 1830s, was an advocate of pro-Jewish millenarianism.

Perhaps our solution to this paradox is found in Oswald Spengler, who wrote: “It was not Christianity that transformed Faustian man, but Faustian man who transformed Christianity—and he not only made it a new religion but also gave it a new moral direction.”

If the birth of Western civilization occurred in the late Middle Ages, as Spengler contended, then Faustian man inherited the Christianity of late antiquity and “made it a new religion,” one that reflected Faustian man’s affirmation of life and striving towards the infinite. Faustian man transformed an ascetic and syncretistic Middle Eastern cult into a militant faith that would alter the course of world history. The music, architecture and literature of the late medieval period, like the Scientific Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, all sought to expand Faustian man’s consciousness.  Christianity, by accommodating itself to the Germanic warrior ethos, served as an ethnic marker that preserved English identity when faced with ethnic conquest and subversion by hostile invaders. In this Faustian regime, Europeans did not hesitate to drive out Jews and Saracens who threatened their survival as a race or the territorial integrity of their homeland. This warrior ethos permeated the medieval doctrines of the Christian church, i.e., the military orders, the code of chivalry, the rejection of infidels as sworn enemies of Christ, the glorification of the book of Revelation’s warrior Christ, the importance of jus ad bellum etc.

Faustian Christianity concealed a double-edged sword. The world-denying and universalistic dogmas of the old Magian religion, never completely submerged by ethnocultural Germanization, could be recovered and used to de-emphasize the religion’s significance as a Germanic ethnic marker. These dogmas, i.e. pacifism, universal love, the brotherhood of man, would be employed by hostile elites—Whigs, Jews, and liberals—to exploit European vulnerabilities. As a result, Europeans would no longer be willing to fight for what their ancestors had handed down to them. Courage, bravery, honor, glory, wealth—these were the values of Faustian Christianity, of Columbus, the conquistadors, the English settlers in America. The Magian-like Christianity that now dominates the Western World is a complete reversal of these values, the last gasp of a dying civilization.

(b) Whiggism, which evolved into modern liberalism. This political philosophy, in its earliest form, stressed the economic benefits of Jewish immigration. It assumed a Benthamite utilitarian cast as time wore on. Liberals who fought alongside the Jews to sabotage English identity argued that maximizing Jewish happiness would increase the happiness of the greatest number. Although Bentham himself was not an egalitarian, many of the Jews’ liberal champions were just as much concerned with liberty as they were with equality.

The diseases of liberalism and cosmopolitanism were already in existence by the mid-seventeenth century, albeit in an inchoate, nascent form. In the Whig-liberal narrative, the Jewish attack on English national identity was portrayed as the underdog’s struggle for legal and civil equality in an oppressive society. The liberalism of the nineteenth century allowed Jews to establish a permanent foothold within the host society, with the aid of those Englishmen who had a diminished sense of racial consciousness. The Jews and their liberal regressive allies had succeeded against their “oppressors,” but only at great cost to the survival of Western civilization, which had been infiltrated and weakened from within. The roots of modern Western degeneracy are found in the emergence of the more inclusive liberal world-views of the nineteenth century.

The Whiggish view of history—the belief in endless social progress—does not promote mutual co-operation in an ethnically heterogeneous living space, but inter-ethnic warfare. When two distinct ethnic groups with diametrically opposed interests are confined to a single geographical area, the racially healthy group will always take advantage of the racially unhealthy; if lack of good racial health is defined as widespread promiscuous altruism, i.e., Lockean individual rights, religious tolerance, universal suffrage, feminism etc., the group with the strongest ethnic identity will use these as weapons against the group being infiltrated and subverted. By exploiting its weaknesses, such as the European’s promiscuously altruistic attitude toward outgroups, the invading Jewish ethny maximizes its own survival at the expense of the host.

The attempt to do away with English ethnicity in the early modern period was led by a Judeo-Whig-Liberal elite, in collusion with Anglican evangelicals. By the late twentieth century, it would become so powerful that race-conscious whites would find their civilization being taken away from them and given to racial aliens. The attempt to encourage ethno-racial amalgamation between Jews and Englishmen was an attempt to redefine English national identity to accommodate Jewish ethnic interests. The result was inter-ethnic warfare, followed by subversion of English national identity from within. Once the Jewish influence had spread throughout the English body politic, English national identity would be further expanded to accommodate the peoples of the Third World, a development that will ultimately lead to the ethnic extinction of the English. The year 1948, the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush on English shores (see Andrew Joyce’s “The SS Empire Windrush: The Jewish Origins of Multicultural Britain”), was really the culmination of a series of events set in motion by Oliver Cromwell.

The parallel between Judeo-Whig-Liberal elite betrayal of the English public from 1753–1858 and Judeo-Liberal elite betrayal of the European public from 1948 to the present is striking. Cromwell invited Jewish foreigners to settle on English soil for economic reasons, just like the globalist elites, who invite Third-World immigrants to colonize Western countries so they can be economically exploited as a source of cheap labor. Jews were also re-admitted for millenarian reasons, with the Puritans believing that Jewish colonization of England was part of the divine plan, one that would usher in humanity’s universal redemption; in the same vein, Third World immigrants are imported by neoliberal globalists to recreate heaven on earth, similar to the New Jerusalem of the English Puritans.

There are other similarities. The Jew Bill was the result of Jewish meddling in English affairs at the highest levels of government, with the collusion of the Whig elite. Similar events occurred in the United States during the 1960s, where Jewish involvement in the demographic transformation of the country, in collusion with liberal elites, has been among the most decisive factors.[3] That Jews have always been a weapon of Western elites eager to advance their narrow economic and ideological goals is an inescapable conclusion. The difference, of course, is that national populist resistance to Judeo-Whig-Liberal elite power in 1753 was able to exploit the patriotic sentiments of the Anglo-Saxon peasantry to devastating effect, temporarily thwarting Jewish infiltration of English society.

Self-identified Jews pushing for dissolution of English national identity while maintaining their ethnic identity as Jews, would be a recurring leitmotiv in the history of Jews in Europe and the New World. This aspect of Jewish behavior would figure prominently in the twentieth century and would be a major factor in the undoing of Western civilization in the Anglosphere.

Whether the integrity of one’s racial identity can be preserved or not typically depends on the resolve of the elites, since a nation’s world-view or “ruling ideology” is ultimately a reflection of elite power. If the elites value the survival of the people they rule, they will preserve their distinct ethno-racial character; if they do not, they will undermine it by importing racial aliens. This was the case in early Victorian England; public opinion was molded by the millenarian evangelicalism and utilitarian liberalism of the Judeo-Liberal elite, placing the Lords at a strategic disadvantage because of the increased public pressure to resolve the intra-Parliamentary disputes in favor of the Jews and their allies. At some point in the late 1850s, resistance to Jewish interests became futile and High Toryism ceased to exist as a major force in English politics.

The victory of the Judeo-Liberal elite in 1858 spelled the death of English national identity. If the Jew could be an Englishman, anyone could be an Englishman. The effects of this decline have worsened considerably since Jewish “emancipation” and are now unstoppable, unless drastic measures are taken.


Alderman, Geoffrey. “Not Quite British: The Political Attitudes of Anglo-Jewry.” In The Politics of Race by Ivor Crewe (2015).

Endelman, Todd M. The Jews of Britain: 1656 to 2000. Univ. of California Press, 2002.

Endelman, Todd M. The Jews of Georgian England, 1714-1830: Tradition and Change in a Liberal Society. University of Michigan Press, 1999.

Hibbert, Christopher. Wellington: A Personal History. HarperCollins Publishers, (2010).

Latimer, B. “Samuel Richardson and the ‘Jew Bill’ of 1753: A New Political Context for Sir Charles Grandison.” The Review of English Studies, 66 (275), 2015b, 520–539.

‌Panayi, Panikos. Germans in Britain since 1500. Hambledon Press, 1996.

Perry, Thomas Whipple. Public Opinion, Propaganda, and Politics in Eighteenth Century England. Harvard University Press, 1962.

Rabin, Dana Y. “The Jew Bill of 1753: Masculinity, Virility, and the Nation.” Eighteenth-Century Studies, vol. 39, no. 2, 2006, pp. 157–171., doi:10.1353/ecs.2005.0067.

Roth, Cecil. A History of the Jews in England. Clarendon Press, 1964.

Shapiro, J.S. Shakespeare and the Jews. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016.

‌Stanley, Arthur Penrhyn and Arnold, Thomas. The life and correspondence of Thomas Arnold, D.D. Two Volumes. London: T. Fellowes, 1858.


[2]     1964, pg. 266

[3] Kevin MacDonald, The Culture of Critique: Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements (Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2002; orig.: (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998).

The Tory Parliamentary Struggle to Preserve English National Identity, 1753–1858, Part III

Part III: The Jewish Campaign Against Parliamentary Anti-Judaism, 1829–1836

The movement for Jewish “emancipation” in nineteenth-century England was spearheaded by Jews and their Whig or Liberal allies, while the opposition was led by the High Tories:

The High Tory majority in the House of Lords had acted as a barrier to the advancement of Jewish ‘emancipation’ … and some of the arguments put forward against the Jews, both in and out of Parliament, reflected the traditional Tory view that Church and State were part of an inseparable entity, in the promotion of which Jews ought to play no part. (Alderman, 2015)

In practice, Anglo-Jewry had more freedoms than their compatriots in central Europe, but in late-Georgian England, the laws on the books indicated that they were less free. Cecil Roth writes:

The entire body of medieval legislation which reduced the Jew to the position of a yellow-badged pariah, without rights and without security other than by the goodwill of the sovereign, remained on the statute book, though remembered only by antiquarians. As late as 1818 it was possible to maintain in the courts Lord Coke’s doctrine that the Jews were in law perpetual enemies, ‘for between them, as with the devils, whose subjects they are, and the Christian there can be no peace.’[1]

Despite his freedoms vis-à-vis Ashkenazim of Central Europe, in the English society of the nineteenth century, politically and professionally, the Jew was still excluded from the mainstream:

Public life was, in law, entirely barred. Jews were excluded from any office under the Crown, any part in civic government, or any employment however modest in connexion with the administration of justice or even education, by the Test and Corporation Acts. … These made it obligatory on all persons seeking such appointment to take the Sacrament in accordance with the rites of the Church of England. … Naturally these disqualifications included the right to membership of Parliament, for which the statutory oaths in the statutory form were a necessary preliminary. For the same reason the universities were closed, and, as a consequence of this, various professions.[2]

The Jew says: “Come I sha—Open the door vill ye—I vants to come in—and heres a shentlemans a friend of mines—vants to come in too—dont be afeard—I dont vant a sheat for nothing—I can pay for it So help me Got.”

Read more

Jews in Edmund Burke’s Political Philosophy

The story of Jews in England begins with the Norman Conquest of 1066. Jews from Normandy, following in the footsteps of William the Conqueror, traveled to England to make their fortunes in a land that had always been, as far as they were concerned, terra borealis incognita. England was an ideal location for Jews; it was among the few places in Western Europe unaffected by the Crusading frenzy sweeping the continent, a state of affairs that lasted until the middle of the twelfth century  and often involved violence against Jews. Jewish immigration began as a trickle, but their numbers perceptibly increased with the establishment of permanent communities in metropolitan areas.  In medieval England, Jews influenced the English economy was far out of proportion to their small numbers. A growing Jewish population combined with their main occupation of money lending inevitably led to ethnic tensions with the Anglo-Saxon majority (see Andrew Joyce’s article on Jews in medieval England). The Jews practiced strange rites in an unknown tongue and deliberately segregated themselves from the general populace. This created an atmosphere of hostility, leading to occasional eruptions of sporadic anti-Jewish violence.

The Plantagenets, wishing to safeguard an important source of revenue, protected the Jews. The Jew was made a privileged foreigner, who answered to no one else but the king. Unlike the Anglo-Saxon peasant, the Jew had complete freedom of movement. As the king’s property, the royal sheriffs were obligated to ensure the Jew’s safety at all times and enforce collection of unpaid debts from gentile borrowers. Compared to the common people, Jews possessed great wealth and made enormous contributions to the Royal Exchequer. This mercenary relationship between English Crown and Jewry was not to last forever.

The Anglo-Saxon peasant saw the Jew as a predatory, money-grubbing foreigner. The Jew’s narrow- minded focus on the acquisition of wealth and power, regardless of cost, were always at the expense of the wider community. The church saw the Jews as a class of infidel moneylenders who actively resisted conversion to the Christian religion. The lesser barons also came to resent the Jews; they had to surrender land as collateral to Jewish financiers, otherwise they would not be able to cover their expenses while accompanying the king on his foreign military adventures. Many could not pay their loans back in full and became indebted to the Jews. Together, all three estates pressured Edward I into taking action. In 1275, the king enforced the ecclesiastical prohibition against usury; as a result, the Jews were banned from engaging in the practice on English soil. In 1286, Pope Honorius IV issued a bull to the Archbishop of Canterbury and his suffragans warning of the dangers of Jewish proselytism. In 1290, Edward, eager for a chance to display his Christian piety, ordered the expulsion of the Jews from England. They were not to return again until 1656, when they were invited back by Oliver Cromwell.

This medieval episode in English history is crucial to understanding Edmund Burke’s scathing denunciation of Richard Price’s 1789 speech on the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The Jew as the quintessential moneylender, without national allegiance of any kind, was a popular stereotype that had arisen during the Middle Ages. This conception of Jewish character served as the historical template for Burke’s negative characterization of Jews as greed personified. Like most ethno-racial and sex stereotypes, it was highly accurate. According to Gavin I. Langmuir, who cannot be accused of being biased against Jews:

“Jews had not been known as moneylenders in antiquity, but starting in the twelfth century, they became stereotyped as usurers. Like the Christ-killer stereotype, the usurer stereotype, although obviously an exaggeration, had a solid basis in reality. While medieval Jews were not all moneylenders and also engaged in other kinds of conduct, from the twelfth century onward they were in fact disproportionately concentrated in lending money at interest.”1

Of significance for Burke was Price’s delivery of his pro-Jacobin speech in a Protestant Dissenter’s meeting-house, colloquially known as the Old Jewry, in a part of London historically known by the same name. This was the main road in London’s medieval ghetto, which had been home to the Jews since the time of William the Conqueror, up until their expulsion in 1290. The Great Synagogue of London was located in the Old Jewry, an indication of the ghetto’s importance in medieval Jewish ritual and commercial life. Read more

Crypto-Jews, German Guilt, and the Wittenberg Jew-Pig

“Here on our church in Wittenberg a sow is sculpted in stone. Young pigs and Jews lie suckling under her. Behind the sow a rabbi is bent over the sow, lifting up her right leg, holding her tail high and looking intensely under her tail and into her Talmud, as though he were reading something acute or extraordinary, which is certainly where they get their Shemhamphoras [hidden name of God in Kabbalah].
Martin Luther, 1543 

During my early years researching the Jewish Question I was particularly struck by the strident and flamboyant nature of medieval and early modern anti-Jewish folklore and related art. I recall being fascinated at the strangeness and creativity of tales like the 16th-century Jewish woman said to have given birth to twin piglets,[1] the common 15th-century belief that Jewish males menstruate,[2] and speculation that Jews buried their dead with small rocks to throw at Christ in the afterlife. As with much of Jewish history and the historiography of anti-Semitism, the subject of anti-Jewish folklore has been dominated by Jewish scholars. My first introduction to the topic was thus The Blood Libel Legend: A Casebook in Anti-Semitic Folklore (1991) by the Jewish UC-Berkeley folklorist Alan Dundes (1934–2005), widely regarded as the field’s pre-eminent, and perhaps only, expert. In the book, as one might well expect, Dundes strips anti-Jewish folklore of context and presents instead a collection of “evil” and “dangerous” fantasies lacking any logical or rational basis.

Aside from the work of Dundes, direct scholarly engagement with the subject of medieval anti-Jewish folklore has been relatively rare, with most Jewish scholars preferring to probe medieval artistic linkages between Jews and the Devil (see, for example, the work of Robert Bonfil, Marvin Perry, and Frederick Schweitzer) rather than some of the more outlandish or colorful “memes” that then circulated. Almost all of these scholarly accounts utilize medieval anti-Jewish folklore as a means of denigrating and indicting medieval Christianity as irrational and prejudiced, and ultimately as the fons et origo of an equally irrational and prejudiced modern anti-Semitism. An explanatory account of medieval and early modern anti-Jewish folklore informed by historical context remains to be written, despite admirable and broadminded texts like The Singular Beast: Jews, Christians, and the Pig (1997) by Claudine Fabre-Vassas. This is a project I am giving serious consideration to undertaking. As luck would have it, it’s also becoming somewhat relevant again.

Of all the artistic manifestations of anti-Jewish folklore, few are more acute, vehement, and scatological than the imagery of the Judensau, or ‘Jew-Pig.’ In brief, the image, depicted in woodcuts or in stone (often on churches) between the 13th and 15th centuries, is an allegorical reference to Jews drawing sustenance from the Talmud, with Jews shown suckling from a sow and/or examining or eating its feces. The association of Jews with pigs in medieval Christian folklore was longstanding, owing something to the known aversion of the Jews to pork, and produced an array of stories and imagery that flagrantly ignored the ancient dietary commands in Leviticus. In one legend, for example, the aversion to pork dated from the time of Christ, when a sneering Jew challenged Christ to guess the contents of a barrel that the Jew knew to contain a slaughtered pig. Unknown to the Jew, the pig had been removed and his own children were hiding in the barrel. When Jesus answered that the man’s children were in the barrel, he was mocked and told there was a pig inside. “Let them be pigs then,” replied Jesus, and the children were transformed into piglets. From that day onward, so goes the tale, Jews avoided eating pork because for them that would be cannibalism. One suspects that seriousness was never a primary concern in the development of such folk tales — they served as entertaining and memorial “memes” to impart the message that Jews were different and were to be avoided. Read more