Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. In 2005, antisemitism was defined as "hatred toward Jews—individually and as a group—that can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity." A person who holds such views is called an "antisemite."
With the overwhelming public and international rejection of antisemitism and Holocaust denial, some Middle Eastern governments, media and publics have joined forces with the racist right-wing fringes elsewhere in the world in promoting and championing both these racist causes. The proliferation of antisemitic propaganda in the Arab world in recent years has raised grave questions of the significance of the threat it could pose on a regional and worldwide scale.
The UN human rights commission formally condemned antisemitism in a 1994 resolution (in the face of some bitter opposition, led by Syria), formally charging its special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism with the responsibility of examining and reporting on antisemitic incidents worldwide.
By 1945, the Germans and their collaborators killed nearly two out of every three European Jews as part of the "Final Solution," the Nazi policy to murder the Jews of Europe.
The Final Solution moved into its last stages as Allied forces began to close in on Germany in 1944. The Project Reinhardt camps were razed. A prisoner work-gang called the Blobel Commando began digging up and burning the bodies of those killed by the Einsatzgruppen
The Soviets liberated Auschwitz, the largest extermination and concentration camp, in January 1945. The Nazis had forced the majority of Auschwitz prisoners to march westward (in what would become known as "death marches"), and Soviet soldiers found only several thousand emaciated prisoners alive when they entered the camp. There was abundant evidence of mass murder in Auschwitz.
The Holocaust was the biggest of the killing programmes and, in certain important ways, different from the others. The Jews figured in Nazi ideology as the arch-enemy of the 'Aryan race', and were targeted not merely for terror and repression but for complete extinction.
Another type of anti-Semitism in America during this time was “passive anti-Semitism.” While many Americans would not physically harm a Jew, they had negative internal feelings towards them. Throughout history, Jews have been continuously looked down upon, and have been used as scapegoats. Therefore, during the Holocaust, “passive anti-Semitism” meant that these people were already inclined not to care about the Jews in Europe, let alone America’s response to this crisis
In America, anti-Semitism, which reached high levels in the late 1930’s, continued to rise in the 1940’s. During the years before Pearl Harbor, over a hundred anti-Semitic organizations were responsible for pumping hate propaganda throughout the American public. Furthermore, especially in New York City and Boston, young gangs vandalized Jewish cemeteries and synagogues, and attacks on Jewish youngsters were common. Swastikas and anti-Jewish slogans, as well as anti-Semitic literature were spread.
Initially, the Romans allowed the Jews to practice their religion freely, but this did not last. The Jews were ordered to worship Roman gods. Jews resisted, but division among Jews followed, one side insisting on orthodoxy, the other side (including Jesus) arguing that Jews must be willing to adapt. After the death of Christ, his followers renounced Judaism and established Christianity.
In ancient times, the Jewish people established themselves as a distinct and separate people by their belief in one God (monotheism) and by their refusal to accept the dominant religion. Jews often became the scapegoat, a people to blame for the hardships of mankind, real and imagined. The history of anti-Semitism, or hatred of the Jews, is part and parcel of western civilization.