Armed Hostilities

“Collective Victimhood and Social Prejudice” by Giorgos

Table of Contents
  1. Summary of the Source
  2. Evaluation of the Source
  3. Relationship to Other Sources
  4. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Possible Use of the Source
  5. Works Cited

Summary of the Source

A critical analysis of events during the Second World War demonstrates that anti-Semitism was an excuse that was used by some of the European powers to eliminate people they considered outsiders. In this book, the author describes the anti-Semitism attitudes based on the Theory of Scapegoating. In pre-Nazi Germany, Jews were considered economically empowered, especially in the banking sector. They controlled several major financial institutions. However, after the First World War, the German economy started experiencing challenges, partly because of the financial burden that was placed on the country because of its involvement in the war. The political class found it easy to blame Jews because of their significant involvement in the financial sector of the country’s economy. As explained in the Scapegoating Theory, the political leaders used the dominance of Jews in the financial sector to promote a belief that Jews were working in the interest of outside forces to bring down the German community. Using that as a scapegoat, the Nazis came to power (Ter-Matevosyan 108). To ensure that it maintained its trust with the public, the Nazi government had to plan and execute mass murders of Jews as part of its strategy in solving the country’s socio-economic and political problems.

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According to this article, Scapegoating Theory helps in explaining the reasons why the minority Jew was attacked in Nazi Germany. They were seen to be economically prosperous in the country. They were aggressive and keen on maintaining their socio-economic fabric. However, that is not the same case when one analyzes injustices that were committed by the same German government against other Christian minorities in the country. Armenians were a minority group that was already subdued politically, economically, and socially in the German community (Dyck). They were trying to integrate into the German social fabric, unlike Jews. However, they were also targeted and massacred in the Ottoman Empire despite their socio-political inferiority. Drawing a parallel between the holocaust and the genocide against Armenians demonstrate that the society was generally intolerant towards the minority group irrespective of their socio-economic and political status. The long period of radicalization had created an environment where ethnicity and ethnic tension were at their highest point in the country.

Evaluation of the Source

Collective Victimhood and Social Prejudice: A Post-Holocaust Theory of Anti-Semitism is a very objective source that analyzes the problem of anti-Semitism in modern society. In the study, the authors investigated the prevalence of anti-Semitism in various parts of the world. The Middle East was one of the regions where anti-Semitic sentiments were very common. The study attributed the animosity to the growing socio-political conflict in the region between Jews and Muslims, especially Palestinians. According to Pawlikowski, the majority of Muslims often view Jews as outsiders and intruders who are oppressing Palestinians (8). The Six-Day War between Israel and the Arab nation strengthened the hatred. The fact that Israel won the war despite the odds and its expansion of the Jewish territory after the war made the Israeli nation to be hated in the region.

The constant conflict that emerged afterward between the Israeli army and Palestinians, especially in the West Bank and Gaza has promoted anti-Semitism in the region. Shaw re-affirms this argument by stating that in the Middle East, anti-Zionism was strong as the local Muslim population rejected and resisted the creation and expansion of the Israeli nation in the region (184). As the Israeli nation grew stronger (and it became apparent that the regional powers could do little to eliminate the occupation), the anti-Zionism was transformed into anti-Semitism (Dyck). The hatred is so strong that some political leaders in the Middle East have called for the complete annihilation of the Israeli nation. They view the Israeli nation as a threat to the existence of Palestinians and the Muslim population, especially those within the Middle East. The tight control that the Israeli government has over the West Bank and Gaza is a constant reminder to most of the Arab nations that they lost the war against Jews.

This research was very objective in looking at the prevalence of anti-Semitism in the global society. In a study conducted in 2013-2014, it was reported that Europe is one of the regions where anti-Semitism is still very common. The study found out that Italy scored 20%, Germany 27%, Spain 29%, Hungary 41%, and Greece 69% (Pawlikowski 12). Statistics confirmed a unique pattern in Europe regarding anti-Semitism. It was established that countries that are going through socio-economic or political problems tend to register high levels of anti-Semitism. When the study was conducted, countries that were experiencing economic crunches such as Greece and Hungary recorded the highest incidences of anti-Semitism. For instance, Greece at that time was relying on austerity measures put in place by European Union to help its battered economy. On the other hand, economically stable countries such as Italy registered the lowest incidences of anti-Semitism. The study confirms the Scapegoating Theory where the social and political leaders often blame the minority groups, especially the Jews when economic problems emerge.

The study went ahead to look at personal traits when analyzing the problem of anti-Semitism in modern society. “Research on anti–Semitism has identified a strong link between personality traits, ideology and prejudice against Jews” (Giorgos et al. 4). The study also found out that the prevalence of the problem is largely determined by the literature that people are exposed to at different stages of education. In the United States, anti-Semitism is not as common as it is in some parts of Europe. However, people who have embraced the attitude were largely influenced by the kind of literature they were exposed to while at school or the people they related with at different stages of development. Some Muslims in the United States and other parts of the world have not embraced anti-Semitism although they are opposed to the war between Israel and Palestinians.

Relationship to Other Sources

The source is related to various other sources used in this document. It is related to the source The Overlapping of Fools: Drawing the Line between Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism in the Wake of the 2014 Gaza Protests by Kahn in explaining the prevalence of anti-Semitism in the global society (2). The two sources explain how the growth of anti-Semitism is facilitated by the War in Gaza and the West Bank.

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­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Possible Use of the Source

The source will be critical in the argumentative essay because it explains the prevalence of anti-Semitism after the holocaust. It was generally expected that after the mass murder of Jews in Germany, the global society would avoid anti-Semitic views (Shaw 187). However, that is not the case and this source explains why.

Works Cited

Burden, Thomas. “Rivers of Blood and Money: The Herero Genocide in German Southwest Africa.” The Student Researcher, vol. 2, no. 2, 2017, pp. 2-25.

Dyck, Kirsten. “Situating the Herero Genocide and the Holocaust among European Colonial Genocides.” Przeglad Zachodni. 2014, Web.

Giorgos, Antoniou, et al. “Collective Victimhood and Social Prejudice: A Post-Holocaust Theory of anti-Semitism.” Working Paper, vol. 10, no. 1, 2015, pp. 1-36.

Kahn, Rob. “The Overlapping of Fools: Drawing the Line between Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism in the Wake of the 2014 Gaza Protests.” Legal Studies Research Paper, vol. 15. no. 11, 2015, pp. 1-29.

Pawlikowski, John. “Christian Anti-Semitism: Past History, Present Challenges: Reflections in Light of Mel Gibson’s the Passion of the Christ.” Journal of Religion & Film, vol. 8, no 1, 2016, pp. 1-15.

Shaw, Martin. “Book Review: Genocide as Social Practice: Reorganizing Society under the Nazis and Argentina’s Military Juntas.” Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal, vol. 9, no. 3, 2016, pp. 183-187.

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Ter-Matevosyan, Vahram. “Book Review: Justifying Genocide: Germany and the Armenians from Bismarck to Hitler.” Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal, vol. 11, no. 2, 2017, pp. 106-108.

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