Can one refute Judaism?

Anti-Semitism in conspiracy ideologies

A conspiracy belief takes its course

An event sparked an allegation of conspiracy against the Jews that was to last for centuries: in 1144, the English apprentice William was found dead in the forest of Norwich. His mother spread the rumor that only the Jews could be responsible, with no evidence to back up the allegations.

The murder remained unsolved. A few years later, the Benedictine monk Thomas of Monmouth appeared on the scene. He wanted to make Norwich a pilgrimage center and declared the slain William a saint. To do this, the boy must have been cruelly killed, for example by a ritual murder.

On the basis of the sparse evidence, the monk constructed a conspiracy presumption through rumors and speculations, which stated that Jews murdered Christians in a religious ritual.

This assumption always found new nourishment. In the 13th century, the Dominican monk Thomas von Cantimpré claimed that the Jews killed Christians in ritual murders and that the sacrificed blood was distributed to all Jewish communities.

The fact that various popes repeatedly placed the Jews under their protection could not protect them from attacks. The last Jewish pogrom because of an alleged ritual murder took place in Poland right after the Second World War. 41 Jews were killed by angry Christians in the Polish city of Kielce.

Jews - the scapegoats par excellence

For centuries, Jews were the number one enemy. There could only be one culprit for epidemics or other disasters that befell people. When the plague broke out in the 14th century, the Jews felt all the hatred of their non-Jewish fellow citizens. They were accused of poisoning the wells and causing the epidemic to break out.

Under torture, "confessions" were extorted from individual Jews to prove their criminal acts. For the medieval population it was astonishing that the plague did not rage so badly in Jewish neighborhoods. But that had only to do with the depth of the wells.

Jews were required to dig wells particularly deep because of religious purity laws. In this way, the Jewish wells did not come into contact with the surface water contaminated by plague pathogens.

Even in cities that the plague had not yet reached, the Jewish residents were not spared. They were accused of already planning to poison the wells.

The "Protocols of the Elders of Zion"

From the early 20th century, the theory that the Jews aspired to world domination spread. "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" served as "evidence". The Jews were assumed to want to remove the ruling system in various countries and take over world domination.

For a long time it was assumed that the font was launched by the tsarist secret service. In fact, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" are based on a satire, the "Conversations in the Underworld between Machiavelli and Montesquieu" and other fictional stories.

Although it has already been proven several times that "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" are a forgery, they have had a terrible widespread effect.

The alleged minutes are said to have played a role in the murder of Walther Rathenau by supporters of the right-wing extremist "Organization Consul" in June 1922. The Foreign Minister of the Weimar Republic was defamed for being one of the "300 Elders of Zion". However, Rathenau had already been threatened many times - not because he was striving for power, as assumed, but simply because he was Jewish.

The Nazis used the script for their propaganda and the protocols are still widespread in the Arab world to support the alleged striving of the Jews for world domination.

In Germany, the writings are banned and have been on the index of writings harmful to young people since 2001. Their dissemination is prosecuted for inciting incitement to hatred. Nevertheless, they turned up at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2005 on the stand of a state-owned Iranian publisher - without any criminal prosecution.

The deniers of the Holocaust

One of the best-researched times in modern history is the Third Reich with the Holocaust. Meticulously processed, described by surviving contemporary witnesses, documented in many places by crime scenes and finds. But the genocide of the Jews is repeatedly denied or played down - claims that are now criminalized in Germany.

But the anti-Semitic denial of the genocide is repeatedly mixed with absurd conspiracy ideologies. According to this, the genocide is a lie, invented by the Allies to harm Germany. Alternatively: Everything is invented so that "the Jews" can repeatedly extort reparation payments.

It is also often claimed that there was no poison gas and that it was not possible to burn so many corpses in Auschwitz. Celebrities also always appear as Holocaust deniers, for example the British historian David Irving. One of the most prominent deniers of the Holocaust in Germany is the former radio presenter Ken Jebsen, who also spread conspiracy stories about the corona pandemic.

New World Order or reaching for world domination

The conspiracy tale of Jewish world domination has been around for centuries. Sometimes it is assumed that the Jews are striving for it, sometimes it is claimed that it already exists. Jews who are behind everything as conspirators - this assumption cannot be dispelled even in the 21st century.

After the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, some conspiracy ideologues were quick to blame Jewish financiers. Nobody of Jewish faith was in the World Trade Center during the attacks - this claim is false, but it is still circulating.

In the case of New World Order (NWO), the secret world government that is supposed to pull the strings in the background, the conspiracy ideologues - mostly politically very right-wing - are not entirely in agreement. Sometimes NWO consists of Illuminati, Freemasons or even reptilians, sometimes there are Jews or very disdainful politicians without such characteristics.

And that very secret government is responsible for all evil - wars, diseases, disasters and more.

QAnon sees Satanists at work

QAnon also insinuates people of Jewish faith that they - together with other elites - have already secretly taken over the world. The adventurous allegations are very reminiscent of anti-Semitism in the deepest Middle Ages: The international elites are a network of satanic child molesters. They tried to prolong their own lives with the blood of children - this is the old accusation of ritual murder.

The most hated elite of QAnon's conspiracy supporters include people of Jewish faith, such as the Rothschild banking family or the billionaire George Soros. The QAnon supporters also believe that Angela Merkel is Hitler's daughter or at least related to him.

Even in their protests against the Corona measures, the QAnon supporters make their anti-Semitic stance clear: For example, many wore a yellow star on their clothing during demonstrations, with the inscription: "not vaccinated".

Conspiracy legends in politics

With the entry of right-wing extremists in the German state parliaments and in the Bundestag, anti-Semitic statements by politicians, sometimes paired with conspiracy ideologies, are receiving greater attention. In 2018, AfD member of the state parliament, Till Schneider, insinuated in a speech to the Central Council of Jews that he wanted to use Islam to "bring about multicultural conditions" and to abolish the German people.