On this auspicious occasion, leaders of the world are arriving to celebrate, but they are also going to discuss the problem of antisemitism, which is as widespread as it was 75 years ago and a solution hasn’t yet been discovered, just as a cure for cancer hasn’t been discovered.
Even though a cure for cancer eludes mankind, it is treated by radium therapy, which is to cut out the affected cells. Sometimes this helps, sometimes it doesn’t.
Unfortunately this kind of treatment is unthinkable; there are simply so many antisemites that destroying them would be worse than the disease.
The most important fact that we know about antisemitism is that it is widespread and it didn’t become so widespread overnight. It took centuries, even millennia.The only way that it could have spread so widely is by being around for a very long time.
This means that we need to look back into the dark past of mankind to find the cause of antisemitism. However, I don’t think we need look further than the beginning of the Roman Empire.
I don’t think that we need to go back to the Babylonian, Egyptian or Greek empires, simply because the Romans were spectacularly successful in achieving a goal, which no other nation before them contemplated, namely to compel all nations that they conquered to accept Christianity. We have many examples of religious tolerance amongst ancient empires, perhaps with the exception of the Greeks in a certain period of their history.
All the great empires sought to spread their culture to nations, who they considered primitive and they all succeeded to a certain extent. The evidence of their success is with us to this day, in the form of art, mathematics, drama, language and so on.
The main point of the Roman success was that every nation that they conquered, ended up adopting their religious ideas, namely Christianity.
Until the Romans adopted Christianity, starting with Constantine the Great in the 4th century, the Romans were happy to allow each nation under their control to worship their own gods, they even welcomed the building of temples, in Rome, to foreign gods.
Once Rome discovered Christianity their tolerance ended. Christianity gave them a new, brilliant idea, namely the spread of Christianity to all the world. The Romans became the standard bearers of Christianity and marched with the cross as their banner from one conquest to another, converting one nation after another.
They used all the power at their disposal to force every nation, under their control to accept Christianity.
Every society under their control, except the Jews, accepted Christianity. The Arabs also didn’t accept Christianiy, but they established Islam and continued to fight the Romans (in the form of Christianity) to this day . The Jews were different, they stopped fighting the Romans, yet kept their religion.
The Jews submitted to the Roman, i.e. Christian yoke and suffered to this day. To this day the Romans, i.e. Christians are trying to turn the Jews into Christians.
Jews in Arab countries faced the same predicament. They never became Moslems.
The Christians and the Moslems were infuriated and they remain so to this day. Although it seems that some Christians have given up the idea of forcing the Jews to convert and are trying to eradicate antisemitism from their midst, without much success. But the Moslems remain intransigent. In fact a Moslem leader suggested killing Jews as a way to dampen the Jewish celebration of the liberation of Auschwitz.
Considering this I am no longer puzzled at the presence of antisemitism. I wish the delegates to this conference fruitful discussions. I think that only a combined effort of all world leaders can reduce the occurrence of antisemitism, or perhaps eradicate it altogether. It’s a curse to the world and the world needs to be rid of it.