Page:The International Jew - Volume 1.djvu/63

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59
ANTI-SEMITISM—WILL IT APPEAR IN THE U. S.?

articles, betrays a worse spirit in the critics than in the author. But enough of that. There is much yet to do, and what is done must stand on what merit remains after friend and foe alike are through with praise and blame.


II.


Anti-Semitism has unquestionably swayed large sections of humanity at various times, warping the vision, twisting the characters and staining the hands of its victims, but the most amazing statement that can be made of it is that it has never accomplished anything in behalf of those who used it, and it has never taught anything to the Jews against whom it was used.

The grades of anti-Semitism are fairly numerous, and a few of them may be cited here:

1. There is first that degree of anti-Semitism, if it may be so described, which consists in plain dislike of the Jew as a person, no matter whom he may be. This is often found in people of all grades. It is found mostly, however, in those whose contact with Jews has been very limited. It begins sometimes in childhood with an instinctive dislike for the word “Jew.” It is encouraged by the misuse of the word “Jew” as an epithet, or as an adjective generally descriptive of unpopular practices. The feeling is not different from that which exists toward Gentiles, concerning whom the same notions are held, but it differs in that it is extended to the race of unknown individual Jews instead of being restricted to known individuals who may justify such a feeling.

Congeniality is not within our choice, but control of the sentiment of uncongeniality is. Every fair-minded person is compelled at times to reflect that it is not impossible that the person for whom he feels a dislike may be as good and possibly a better person than he. Our dislike merely registers the result of attraction and repulsion as they operate between another person and oneself; it does not indicate that the disliked person is unworthy. Of course, wherever intelligence is joined with this instinctive withdrawal from social contact with members of the Jewish race, prejudice is forestalled, except, of course, in those persons who hold that there are no individuals among the Jews worthy of re-