Freemasonry and Judaism - Leon de Poncins

Causes of Hostility Between Jews and Non-Jews

The Jews have always been the object of general hostility on the part of the peoples among whom they lived; are they then victims, as they pretend, or oppressors? As Bernard Lazare one of themselves, says clearly:

"If this hostility, even aversion, had only been shown towards the Jews at one period and in one country, it would be easy to unravel the limited causes of this anger, but this race has been on the contrary an object of hatred to all the peoples among whom it has established itself. It must be therefore, since the enemies of the Jews belonged to the most diverse races, since they lived in countries very distant from each other, since they were ruled by very different laws, governed by opposite principles, since they had neither the same morals, nor the same customs, since, they were animated by unlike dispositions which did not permit them to judge, of anything in the same way, it must be therefore that the general cause of Anti-Semitism has always resided in Israel itself and not in those who have fought against Israel."

The reasons of this antipathy have been exposed many times and may be summed up in the three following groups:

  • The Jews everywhere and always have been strangers, parasites and revolutionaries, moreover, during the Middle Ages they were regarded as the putters to death of Christ.
  • The accusation of putting Christ to death, having with the weakening of Christianity lost its vigor, we only mention it without commentary.
  • They are strangers: unsociable and not to be assimilated because they are exclusive and intolerant.

"What virtues and what vices brought upon the Jew this universal emnity? Why was he in turn equally maltreated and hated by the Alexandrians and the Romans, by the Persians and the Arabs, by the Turks and by the Christian nations? Because everywhere and up to the present day, the Jew was an unsociable being.

"Why was he unsociable? Because he was exclusive and his exclusiveness was at the same time political and religious, or, in other words, he kept to his political, religious cult and his law. To his unsociability the Jew added exclusiveness. Without the Law, without Israel to practise it, the world would not exist, God would make it return again into a slate of nothing; and the world will not know happiness until it is subjected to the universal empire of that law, that is to say, to the empire of the Jews. In consequence the Jewish people is the people chosen by God as the trustee of his wishes and desires; it is the only one with which the Divinity has made a pact, it is the elected of the Lord . . .

"Israel is the favourite son of the Eternal, the one who alone has the right to his love, to his benevolence, to his special protection, and other men are placed beneath the Hebrews; they have only the right through pity to the Divine bounty, since the souls of the Jews alone descend from the first man. The possessions entrusted to the nations belong in reality to Israel, and we see Jesus himself reply to the Greek woman:

"'It is not right to cast the bread of the children to the dogs.' This faith in their predestination, in their election, developed in the Jews an immense pride; they came to look upon non-Jews with contempt and often with hatred, when patriotic reasons were added to theological ones."

Beyond the fact of being strangers, the Jews have been reproached with being parasites producing nothing themselves but exploiting the work of others. It is unnecessary to return to this subject which we have treated in the chapter: Jews and Economic Life.

Let us pass therefore to the third complaint: the Jews are revolutionaries. They have always been so and the numerous examples which we have quoted of their activity in socialism bring to the support of this assertion an alarming confirmation.

Their revolutionary tendencies assume today two phases. On the one hand they are rebels fighting against all authority and on the other they are revolutionaries in the present meaning of the word, that is to say, they are the best supporters of the principles of 1789 and socialism is to a great extent one of their creations.

"They were always malcontents.

"I do not mean to suggest by that that they have been simply fault-finders and systematic opponents of all government, but the state of things did not satisfy them; they were perpetually restless, in the expectation of a better state which they never found realized. Their ideal was not one of those which is satisfied with hope — they had not placed it high enough for that — they could not lull their ambition with dreams and visions. They believed in their right to demand immediate satisfactions instead of distant promises. From this has sprung the constant agitation of the Jews.

"The causes which brought about the birth of this agitation, which maintained and perpetuated it in the soul of some modern Jews, are not external causes such as the effective tyranny of a prince, of a people, or of a harsh code; they are internal causes, that is to say, which adhere to the very essence of the Hebraic spirit. In the idea of God which the Israelites imagined, in their conception of life and of death, we must seek for the reasons of these feelings of revolt with which they are animated.