Essay by sybilHigh School, 12th gradeA+, December 2003

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Through out ancient and modern times it seems as though there has been an almost universal hatred and mistrust of Jewish people. This can be seen in the ancient mistrust of the people of Israel found in the Bible. Such passages as Esther 3:6, "Haman plotted to do away with all the Jews," and the Jewish nations' enslavement under the Egyptians found in the book of Exodus , clearly, demonstrate the anti-Semitism present in ancient times. As one moves further through history, the lowly condition of the Jews under Roman and then Muslim subjugation is evidence of anti-semantic thought in those societies. And in modern times, anti-Semitism has manifested it self in the atrocity known as the Holocaust. In America subtler versions, such as those viewed in the motion picture "A Gentleman's Agreement", typify the anti-Semitic actions of the nation.

Can all this be connected? Can the irrational fear and ancient hatred of an entire people be rationalized or explained away? Before the holocaust there was very, little scholarly attention paid to Jew hatred in the world.

Most of these works focused mostly on anti-semantic thoughts and actions in a specific historical situation (Government persecution or individual pogroms). But after this atrocity was perpetrated against humanity the, rage that followed produced a surge in the literary works devoted to the study of anti-Semitism and its causes. Psychologists, historians, and sociologists began to study the origins of anti-Semitism and were trying to find something universal about it in all its manifestations. The next, and perhaps final, step in understanding the essence of anti-Semitism comes in the form of a question that these people hedged around and exposed. Is the hatred and rejection of Jews - known as Anti-Semitism since the last quarter of the nineteenth century - the same phenomenon...