Origins of Modern Anti-Semitism: ‘A New Hypothesis’
“(T)he great outburst of anti-Semitism in Western Europe in the High Middle Ages (1000-1300) and, carrying over into the Later Middle Ages (1300-1500) and into modern times, was due not so much to the dei-cide charge (‘god- or faith-killing’), nor to the socio-economic rivalry between Jews and Christians, but rather to the fact that the Jews, to a great extent, seem to have been equated (by European Christians) with the Muslims, against whom tremendous hatred was generated during the period of the Crusades, and thus (Jews) were considered Islamic ‘fifth columnists’ in Christian territory. As agents of the foreign, Islamic conspiracy, therefore, the Jews either had to be degraded, converted, exiled, or killed.”
— Allan Cutler
The characters in my current German fiction name their ideal Promised Land “Utopia.” (Someone has offered this advice to writers, generally: “Follow the Utopians.”)
Both Islam and Judaism (as well as Christianity) contain the idea of the “eternal refugee” — the “Wanderers on the Desert,” etc. (I suppose we all wander, at some point or another.)
In the tradition of wandering utopians, we try to make the Promised Land real. As Dr. King said, it may not be a place that all of us reach together, but we should all work together to try.
The following is described in Tom Reiss’s very fine prize-winning book, The Orientalist:
Different kinds of Jews emigrated to Palastine, seeking solace from hatred after 1933. Orientalist Jews believed that they might assimilate in the Mideast. In their minds, Islam was related enough to Judaism to allow mixing with native Palestinians, in a way denied to them by German fascism.