When the Roman historian Tacitus pointed
out 19 centuries ago that the Jews are unique among the peoples of the
world in their intense hatred and contempt for all peoples but their own,
he was only repeating what many other scholars had discovered before him.
For the next 1,900 years other investigators came to similar conclusions,
either from a study of the Jews' religious writings or from a study of
the Jews' behavior toward non-Jews.
Notable among these was the reformer, Martin
Luther, who in 1543 wrote in "Von den Juden und Ihren Lugen": "Does
not their Talmud say, and do not their rabbis write, that it is no sin
to kill if a Jew kills a heathen, but it is a sin if he kills a brother
in Israel? It is no sin if he does not keep his oath to a heathen. Therefore,
to steal and rob, as they do with their usury, from a heathen is a divine
service. For they hold that they cannot be too hard on us nor sin against
us, because they are of the noble blood and circumcised saints; we, however,
are cursed goyim. And they are the masters of the world, and we are their
servants, yea, their cattle..."Should someone think that I am saying too
much, I am not saying too much, but much too little. For I see in their
writings how they curse us goyim and wish us all evil in their schools
and their prayers."
The Jews responded to Luther like they responded
to all the others. They put him down as just another "hater," blinded
by religious bigotry. And today that's still the Jews' standard answer
to everyone who says or writes anything about them except the most fawning
When British newsman William Cash, Los Angeles
correspondent for London's Daily Telegraph, reported late last year in
a magazine article the simple fact that the executives in Hollywood's motion
picture industry are nearly all Jews, they shrieked at him, "Hater!"
and denied his fact. When famous actor Marlon Brando later repeated the
same fact, he was as well attacked for being an "anti-Semite."
Thus, Israel Shahak's book "Jewish History,
Jewish Religion: The Weight of 3,000 Years" is all the more important
for being a document by a acknowledgeable Jew; a Jewish "insider,"
about the beliefs and behavior of his fellow Jews. Born in Warsaw in 1933,
Shahak spent a portion of his childhood in the concentration camp in Belsen,
from which he immigrated to Palestine in 1945.
He grew up in Israel, served in the Israeli
military, and became a chemistry professor. Like all Israelis, he became
fluent in Hebrew. He also became acclimated to the peculiar moral atmosphere
of Israeli society: a combination of overweening arrogance and deceit,
a mixture of pugnacious self-righteousness and duplicity.
Unlike his fellow Israelis, however, Professor
Shahak is deeply troubled by this peculiar atmosphere. Whereas the Jews
around him take it for granted that the goyim on whom they depend for economic,
military, and diplomatic support are too stupid ever to figure out what
the Jews think about them and say about them behind their backs and plan
to do to them when they can, and too sheeplike ever to take effective action
if they do figure it out, he worries. He remembers that the Romans figured
it out, and they consequently sacked Jerusalem and ended their cult in
Palestine. He remembers that the Germans figured it out, and that's why
he became an involuntary tenant in a concentration camp. He's worried that
if his fellow Jews continue behaving as they always have, they will get
themselves into some really serious trouble -- again.
In particular, Professor Shahak is concerned
about the behavior of those of his people who adhere to "Judaism."
He is not one of these himself, and so he is able to look with some degree
of objectivity at the mixture of superstition, Jewish chauvinism, and hatred
of non-Jews which makes up the Jewish religion and its sacred writings.
He deplores traditional Jewish teachings, not only because of the danger
that some new Martin Luther will come along and spill the beans to the
Gentiles, but because of the spiritually debilitating effect these teachings
have had on the Jews themselves. Of the world of medieval Jewry in Europe,
the world of the ghetto and the shtetl which modern Jewish writers refer
to in euphoric tones as a world of quaint tradition and piety, Shahak says:
"It was a world sunk in the most abject superstition, fanaticism, and
He cites a number of specific instances of the
ways in which Jewish religious authorities have kept their flocks under
control. In general, the rabbis have taught their fellow Jews that their
Gentile neighbors are spiritually and morally unclean; that they are subhuman,
on a level with the beasts of the field; and that they hate Jews and must
be hated in return. Jews are taught that the Christian religion is a religion
fit only for animals, and that its founder, Jesus, was the son of a prostitute
and is presently immersed in a pit of boiling excrement in hell.
Among the Hassidim (Hebrew for "pious ones")
all of these teachings are kept current. Shahak points out that a central
thesis of the Hassidic doctrine is that only Jews are human beings, and
that the universe was created for them alone. Non-Jews were created only
to be used by Jews. Although this teaching about the subhumanity of Gentiles
is most open and explicit among the bearded, side locked, black-hatted
Orthodox Jews that one sees in Jewish strongholds such as New York City,
it comes from the core of Jewish tradition and is accepted to a greater
or lesser degree by all pious Jews. It is, for example, a specific tenet
of the Jewish Defense League and is cited in the membership handbook for
Especially frustrating to Professor Shahak is
the clever deception which his fellow Jews use to conceal the true nature
of Judaism from their Gentile neighbors. Regarding the veil of false piety
which conceals from Gentile eyes the malevolent doctrine of the Hassidim,
he writes: "A chief deceiver in this case, and a good example of the
power of deception, was Martin Buber. His numerous works eulogizing the
whole Hassidic movement (including Habbad) never so much as hint
at the real doctrines of Hassidism concerning non-Jews." Buber (1878-1965)
promoted Hassidism in Germany during the rise of the National Socialists;
in fact, until 1938, when he left for Palestine, and Shahak considers Buber's
efforts, despite their deceptiveness, at least partly responsible for the
National Socialist reaction to the Jews.
Another example of Jewish deception given by
Professor Shahak concerns the etymology of the Yiddish word for a Gentile
girl, Shiksa. He cites the popular English-language book "The Joys of
Yiddish" (New York, 1968), by Leo Rosten, which tells its readers that
Shiksa comes from the Hebrew word sheqetz, meaning "blemish." Writes
Shahak, "This is a barefaced lie, as every speaker of Hebrew knows.
The Megiddo Modern Hebrew-English Dictionary, published in Israel, correctly
defines sheqetz as follows: 'unclean animal; loathsome creature, abomination...'
Professor Shahak writes with passion. He evidently
feels that liberating Jews everywhere from the shackles of their misanthropic
superstitions and freeing Israeli state policy in particular from the stifling
influence of Judaism is a matter of some urgency. He focuses our attention
especially on the inherent hatefulness of Judaism with citations from a
number of Jewish religious writings.
In a chapter titled "The Laws against Non-Jews,"
he writes: "...[T]he Halakhah, that is the legal system of classical
Judaism; as practiced by practically all Jews from the 9th century to the
end of the 18th and as maintained to this very day in the form of Orthodox
Judaism, is based primarily on the Babylonian Talmud. However, because
of the unwieldy complexity of the legal disputations recorded in the Talmud,
more manageable codifications of Talmudic law became necessary...The most
authoritative code, widely used to date as a handbook, is the Shulhan 'Arukh..."
He then cites the teaching of this code regarding
homicide: "According to the Jewish religion, the murder of a Jew is
a capital offense and one of the three most heinous sins (the other
two being idolatry and adultery). Jewish religious courts and secular
authorities are commanded to punish, even beyond the limits of the ordinary
administration of justice, anyone guilty of murdering a Jew...When the
victim is a Gentile, the position is quite different. A Jew who murders
a Gentile is guilty only of a sin against the laws of Heaven, not punishable
by a court. To cause indirectly the death of a Gentile is no sin at all."
Thus, one of the two most important commentators
on the Shulhan 'Arukh explains that when it comes to a Gentile, "one
must not lift one's hand to harm him, but one may harm him indirectly,
for instance by removing a ladder after he had fallen into a crevice ...
there is no prohibition here, because it was not done directly...A Gentile
murderer who happens to be under Jewish jurisdiction must be executed whether
the victim was Jewish or not. However, if the victim was Gentile and the
murderer converts to Judaism, he is not punished."
Then Shahak gives us a rabbi's answer to an
Israeli soldier who has asked whether or not it is proper to kill Arab
women and children. In his answer the rabbi quotes from the Talmud: "The
best of the Gentiles -- kill him; the best of snakes -- dash out its brains."
Perhaps even more offensive are the Jewish beliefs
on sexual matters. Shahak writes: "Sexual intercourse between a married
Jewish woman and any man other than her husband is a capital offense for
both parties, and one of the three most heinous sins. The status of Gentile
women is very different." The Halakhah presumes all Gentiles to be
utterly promiscuous and the verse "whose flesh is as the flesh of asses,
and whose issue [of semen] is like the issue of horses" is applied
to them...Therefore, the concept of adultery does not apply to intercourse
between a Jewish man and a Gentile woman; rather the Talmud equates such
intercourse to the sin of bestiality.
"According to the Talmudic Encyclopedia":
"He who has carnal knowledge of the wife of a Gentile is not liable
to the death penalty, for it is written: 'thy fellow's wife' rather than
the alien's wife...and although a married Gentile woman is forbidden to
the Gentiles, in any case a Jew is exempted."
"This does not imply that sexual intercourse
between a Jewish man and a Gentile woman is permitted; quite the contrary.
But the main punishment is inflicted on the Gentile woman; she must be
executed, even if she was raped by the Jew"
"If a Jew has coitus with a Gentile woman,
whether she be a child of three or an adult, whether married or unmarried,
and even if he is a minor aged only nine years and one day; because he
had willful coitus with her she must be killed, as is the case with a beast,
because through her a Jew got into trouble."
The Talmud's overriding concern with matters
of money and property mirror that of the Jews, and Professor Shahak offers
a number of hair-splitting examples of Jewish beliefs on the subject and
the way in which distinctions are made between the property of Jews and
Gentiles, and between Jewish dealings with another Jew and with a Gentile.
Two of these examples will suffice here:
"If a Jew finds property whose probable owner
is Jewish, the finder is strictly enjoined to make a positive effort to
return his find by advertising it publicly. In contrast, the Talmud and
all the early rabbinical authorities not only allow a Jewish finder to
appropriate an article lost by a Gentile, but actually forbid him or her
to return it..."
"It is forbidden to defraud a Jew by selling
or buying at an unreasonable price." However, "Fraud does not apply
to Gentiles, for it is written: 'Do not defraud each man his brother'..."
Shahak points out that "the Halakhah interprets
all such idioms [as 'each man his brother' or 'neighbor'] as referring
exclusively to one's fellow Jew."
How have the Jews managed to keep teachings
of this sort concealed from the Gentiles among whom they live? The truth
of the matter is that they have not always been able to do so. Luther was
not the only Christian scholar who learned Hebrew, peered into the Talmud,
and was horrified by what he saw. Sometimes the Jews were able to bribe
the Christian authorities to overlook such things, but throughout the later
Middle Ages there were prohibitions and burnings of Talmudic literature
by outraged popes and bishops. The Jews developed a clever system of double
bookkeeping to circumvent such "persecution." They modified or
deleted the offending passages from new editions of the Talmud, and they
made up a separate compendium -- Talmudic Omissions, or in Hebrew Hesronot
Shas -- which circulated surreptitiously among the rabbis. In Israel today,
feeling cocky enough to dispense with most such deceptions, the Jews are
putting the passages which formerly had been omitted or modified back into
the latest editions of the Talmud or the Shulhan 'Arukh in their original
form. They are still careful with translations into Gentile tongues,
however. Professor Shahak gives an example:
"In 1962 a part of the Maimonidean Code...the
so-called Book of Knowledge, which contains the most basic rules of Jewish
faith and practice, was published in Jerusalem in a bilingual edition,
with the English translation facing the Hebrew text. The latter has been
restored to its original purity, and the command to exterminate Jewish
infidels appears in it in full: "It is a duty to exterminate them with
one's own hands." In the English translation this is somewhat softened
to: "It is a duty to take active measures to destroy them."
But then the Hebrew text goes on to specify
the prime examples of "infidels" who must be exterminated: "Such
as Jesus of Nazareth and his pupils, and Tzadoqand Baitos [the founders
of the Sadducean sect] and their pupils, may the name of the wicked
rot." Not one word of this appears in the English text on the facing
page (78a). And, even more significant, in spite of the wide circulation
of this book among scholars in the English-speaking countries, not one
of them has, as far as I know, protested against this glaring deception.
Israel Shahak is a rare Jew indeed, and his
book is essential reading for anyone interested in the problem of the Jews.