List of claimed reasons for antisemitism

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This list is about claimed reasons for the phenomenon of antisemitism. For an alternative non-wiki view, see the external link anti-Semitism at
For an extensive socio-historical analysis as viewed from the perspective of contemporary scholarship, see:

Antisemites accuse Jews of various conspiracies perpetrated against non-Jews. Antisemitism is generally seen as a cultural phenomenon, and as worse than oppressing other minority groups. Antisemitism is also alleged to be more intense and deeper-rooted than other forms of discrimination, like a particularly pernicious meme.

Jewish populations in Europe and Asia have come under various evolutionary selection pressures.[1] According to theories of human biodiversity, Jews are more likely to be K-selected, meaning that due to their outsider status they have had more difficulties in forming families that have left surviving offspring. This implies that Jewish populations may have been forced to select for various cognitive traits like intelligence,[2] the ability to cooperate with each other, and to get along with non-Jews in various challenging environments. This may also have been reflected in Jewish culture. Antisemites are likely to claim that Jews have evolved to take advantage of their host populations in ways that damage and weaken these hosts, and that antisemitism is an evolved response to this threat.

There have been countless attacks of non-Jews against Jews throughout history, mostly in Europe, Eurasia, and in the Middle East and Muslim north Africa. The worst was probably the Holocaust. However, the face of antisemitism has changed in the twenty-first century. By the 2010s, it was most commonly perpetrated by Muslim immigrants to Western countries against local Jewish populations, that had often lived there for centuries. In the 2010s, opposition to alleged Jewish political influence in the West became expressed in the triple parentheses meme. Various online subcultures also began to question and challenge pro-Jewish and/or pro-Israel narratives, though such groups were rapidly deplatformed by mainstream media organizations.

List of claimed reasons for antisemitism

Many different reasons for Antisemitic beliefs, statements, and deeds have been given through the centuries. However, these reasons are often contradictory.[3] It remains unclear why Antisemitism appears in so many guises, and is so strongly felt. Therefore this list is highly speculative:

Identity politics

Jews are considered to have a strong group identity.[4] Members of other groups may not feel affinity with that identity. They may recognize a separate culture they can't be part of, and dislike the perceived Jewish personality type(s).


Jews have been quite successful.[5][6] Those who are less successful may hate them for that reason alone, and invent other reasons to justify the hate.

Claimed nepotism

Some critics have accused Jews of forming favor networks among each other that give them unfair advantages. These critics claim Jews form partnerships with other Jews on terms they don't extend to gentiles. Gentiles supposedly do not normally favor each other to the same extent.[7][8] Jewish cohesion allegedly allows them to cooperate and rely on each other, making it easier to exploit gentiles.[9] Antisemitism would be a way to "redress the balance".[10]

Claimed elite nepotism

Jews are accused of being particularly over-represented in the most influential institutions such as government agencies, leading media organizations (including political opinion leaders), and elite academic institutions like the Ivy League in the United States. This is claimed to be the result of Jewish members of these institutions tacitly supporting each other for admission and promotions. Right-of-center and mainstream conservative intellectuals like Jordan Peterson have denied that Jewish representation in elite institutions is due to nepotism, instead claiming that the phenomenon can be entirely explained by Jews being vastly more intelligent than other groups. This claim is strongly disputed, however.[11][12] This has also led to the adoption of the term "countersemitic" to replace "antisemitic" by right-wing opponents of alleged elite nepotism. The Anti-Defamation League strongly opposes use of this term, however.[13]

Claims about Jewish long-term advantages

Some antisemites may feel that non-Jews like them are being manipulated by the Jews, but they can't resist because they aren't as disciplined. Jews are claimed to be very patient, an alleged genetic advantage. This allegedly helps them to improve their position, and gives them an unfair advantage over time.[14][15] A related advantage might be their higher average IQ, an aspect of human biodiversity.

Opposition to diversity

Aware of their own minority position, Jews may encourage other existing minority groups to assert their identity, so they will be safer to express their own identity. Jews may also encourage minority groups to immigrate to dilute the influence of the existing majority.[16] The existing majority may oppose this, Antisemites violently so.[17]

Opposition to progressive culture

Jews may encourage new minority groups to form, and strive to dilute the existing majority culture by encouraging new factions and interests groups to form (feminism, homosexuals, birth control).[18] Traditionally-minded opponents may consider these new groups and practices useless or degraded.

Jews are accused of encouraging social atomization of Gentile communities, while maintaining cohesive Jewish communities.[19][20] However, Jewish communities have themselves experienced increasing outmarriage with other groups.[21]

Diabolical conspiracy theories

The legend of the Wandering Jew describes Jews as bringers of calamity by nature. In the twentieth century Jews were described as Rootless Cosmopolitans.

The Blood Libel claimed Jews use human sacrifice of Gentiles as part of their rituals. They were also said to practice Host Desecration.

Claims about Jewish plots to subvert society from within most famously include The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. That book and other conspiracy theories claim Jews knowingly conspire at high levels to corrupt and exploit their host societies. Such plots would be treasonous if true, like the Stab-in-the-back myth. Today, Antisemites claim the USA has been diabolically corrupted by the Zionist Occupation Government (ZOG).

All the above claims have been debunked in the sense that no accepted proof has ever been produced beyond hearsay and unsourced writings. Often these sources have been shown to be forged.[22] Many counter-arguments have also been produced.

Diabolical Antisemites

Jean-Paul Sartre wrote in his essay Anti-Semite and Jew (1946) that Antisemites have contemptible personality defects, and that is the only reason for Antisemitism. If Jews didn't exist, then Antisemites would do other evil things instead.

Diabolical world theory

The world might really be diabolical, a belief sometimes called malism, but not only the Jews should be blamed for that. Even if the Jews were mostly to blame (and relatively few people believe that), the gentiles might be just as bad for having allowed these bad things to happen.[23]

Talmud conspiracy claims

It has been claimed the Jewish Talmud contains many writings that slander and threaten non-Jews, who are also called gentiles or goyim.[24][25]

Kosher tax conspiracy theory

A much smaller conspiracy theory claims that privately-run Jewish firms providing voluntary Kosher certification for many food products are exploiting non-Jewish consumers, who must still pay for the certification through their purchases. Allegedly, these services are much too expensive. The certifiers' websites and their clients decline to state these fees. Their defenders claim that food producers choose to pay these fees. The resulting sales to Jews lower the cost per item despite the included fees.[26] However, food producers may also pay these fees, estimated to be "in the billions" by their opponents, to avoid being charged with Antisemitism.[27]

Conflict with Christianity

Jews retained their religious identity as Europe became Christianized.

The majority Christian culture punished them for this reason.[28] Christian Antisemitism often took the form of the Jewish deicide story, which states the Jews are collectively responsible for executing Jesus Christ.[29]

Over-representation in politics and business

Jews are claimed not to have a monopoly, but a better understanding than other groups of the "hidden" power levers that control society.[30] Jews themselves counter that while they have indeed been successful, they have earned their success through honest work, and their contributions have been a net positive.[31]

Over-representation in the legal system

Through the years Jews have specialized in complex services like finances and legal representation. Critics allege the legal system has deliberately been made too complex and too expensive, or commercialized,[32] and open to abuse,[33] and that its practitioners (many of them Jewish) use it to extract excessive wealth.

However, the laws they use were passed by legislators, most of them non-Jews. Also, non-Jews will not hesitate to call upon Jewish lawyers for help.[34]

Over-representation in the media

Critics allege Jews wield excessive influence in publishing, motion pictures, and popular entertainment.[35] Jews mostly serve as executives[36] in these industries, though many columnists are also Jewish. They have been blamed for promoting degenerate content and exploitation of artists.[37]

Jews have been accused of using social control, in the form of political correctness, to change social mores. Specifically, of moving the Overton Window leftward.[38]

Alleged vulnerability of non-Jews to clever rhetoric

It is claimed that non-Jews are easier to manipulate into changing their society by activists like George Soros. It is said they don't even notice the effects until it's too late, and that they can then only resist through antisemitism.[39]


Jews have been accused of pursuing socially useless or harmful professions.[40] However, many papers have extolled the social benefits of banking and legal services in the economy and as a means of conflict resolution. Jews as a group have been blamed for exploiting the labor of others.[41]

The Free Rider problem

A small but well-organized group passionate about its identity may promote its interests over a majority that is opposed to these interests, but not as passionate about them. That way interest groups may establish tariffs and regulations that benefit them.

Critics allege this is how Jews have subverted the rules and practices of legal, financial,[42] and political[43] systems for their own benefit.

Holocaust hoax theories

Critics claim the Jews invented the myth of the Holocaust to gain sympathy for themselves and make it riskier to criticize them (the "Holohoax"). However there is a great deal of evidence the Holocaust happened.

Holocaust revisionists claim that Jewish scholars won't publish accurate figures, including times and places of the murders; only personal stories designed to elicit sympathy.[44] These critics say the absence of such data implies the actual Holocaust death toll was as low as one tenth the usual quoted figure. However, mainstream historians say these critics are knowingly dishonest, and should be called Holocaust denialists instead.[45]

Critics are angry about laws passed in Europe that make it a crime to deny the Holocaust happened or to justify it, claiming this is an attack on free speech.

Need for a scapegoat

When things go wrong for inscrutable reasons, humans may feel an irresistible urge to blame someone. Jews may be the most convenient target.

Irrational overreaction

It cannot be ruled out a priori that some Jews have established genuinely unfair advantages on a systemic basis, even if this is not proven. Difficult to define and resolve, such arrangements could frustrate their rivals, stimulating them to lash out inappropriately and excessively.[46] Antisemites might also not really be angry at the Jews, but at the toleration of alleged Jewish influence by non-Jews.

Genetic self interest

Human evolution could have selected for hatred even if that hatred is irrational. The justification doesn't matter, as long as it helps genes to spread. This hate would likely target distinctly separate groups, as they are likelier to have different genes. Eliminating them would leave more resources for the survivors, making it easier for their genes to spread.[47]

The belief that it would be better if the Jews did not exist

People with such a belief may feel the world is too difficult, with too many inscrutable rules and regulations and hidden power networks.[48] Some people might really be better off if the Jews did not exist, and could be more successful under the ensuing social changes. This belief does not have to be hate-based. A right-handed man who doesn't know any left-handed people might be better off if the latter group all died, so there would be more resources for him. However, that wouldn't justify this belief any more than Genghis Khan's plans to create grazing lands justified killing millions of Chinese peasants.

Actions of Israel

The New Antisemitism asserts the Jewish people bears responsibility for the actions of Israel against its Arab minority population. In this case the Jews are operating from a position of strength, making it acceptable to oppose them.[49]

Many other countries treat their own minorities worse than Israel treats Palestinians. However, in those cases protests wouldn't work.

Repressed guilt

Antisemites could be lashing out because of subconscious feelings of moral inadequacy, since they themselves aren't able to live as morally justified lives as the Jewish people.[50]

Moral calculus error

It is possible the Jews really did many bad things. However, they might also have done more good things, making their contributions a net positive.[51] Antisemites would be unable to see these contributions, or would take them for granted.

Higher expectations

Jews themselves have speculated that Antisemitism is part of their destiny. Being unassimilatable, the Jews are meant to be an example for the world, and other people can sense this.[52] So far the Jews have failed to fix the world however, causing resentment.[53]

If Jews have organized or reorganized major portions of society, as Antisemites assert, they may be to blame for at least some of its faults, if any.


  1. Oxford University Press (Jan 16, 2013)
  2. William Saletan (Nov 1, 2007)
  10. Kurt Hilmar Eitzen, "Zehn Knüppel wider die Judenknechte", Unser Wille und Weg (6) 1936, p.309,, retrieved 2016/12/02
  11. Vox Popoli blog (Dec 10, 2018)
  12. "Occidental Observer" blog | Kevin MacDonald (May 10, 2018)
  13. Chateau Heartiste blog (Mar 9, 2018)
  14. Tani Goldstein (Oct 26, 2011),7340,L-4099803,00.html
  15. antisemitic article (2011)
  18. "Why Are Jews Liberals?", book by Norman Podhoretz, 2010
  19. The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements, Kevin MacDonald, ISBN-13: 978-0759672222
  21. A Portrait of Jewish Americans, Findings from a Pew Research Center Survey of U.S. Jews, 2013/10/01,
  22. Michelis, Cesare G. De (2004). The non-existent manuscript : a study of the Protocols of the sages of Zion. Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press
  23. David Mikics (Sep 4, 2013)
  24. (Jul 28, 2017)
  25. (retrieved Jul 28, 2017)
  30. Volume 4 of The International Jew: Aspects of Jewish power in the United States, Henry Ford, Dearborn Publishing Company, 1922
  31. Jewish Power in America: Myth and Reality, Henry L. Feingold, Transaction Publishers, 2011
  39. antisemitic examples (retrieved Jul 28, 2017) |
  40. G. G. Otto, "Der Jude als Weltparasit", Eher Verlag, 1943,
  41. The Dearborn Independent (Nov 13, 1920)
  46. "Anti-Semitism in America"; Harold Earl Quinley, Charles Young Glock; 1979; p. 87
  47. "The Psychology of Genocide, Massacres, and Extreme Violence: Why Normal People Come to Commit Atrocities"; by Donald G. Dutton; Praeger Security International; 2007
  48. (Nov 5, 2015)
  49. "Progressive" Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism, 2006, Alvin H. Rosenfeld, AJC
  51. (Sep 2014)