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  Anti-semitism is intellectual hatred of, or prejudice towards, Judaism and Jews. Anti-semitism takes many forms: a hatred of Jews for their exclusivity and unique religious practices; a Christian hatred of Jews as the alleged killers of Christ; and in modern times is normally racist, suggesting that Jews are genetically inferior and inherently evil, and conspiratorial, suggesting that Jews control the world\'s finances, large-scale enterprises and communist parties.

Zionists claim that there is a modern political form of anti-semitism which rejects the idea that the state of Israel should exist. For them the question ‘does Israel have the right to exist?’ is equivalent to asking ‘do Jews have the right to exist?’. Anti-Zionists vigorously reject the argument that opposition to Zionism is a form of anti-semitism, maintaining that the smear of anti-semitism is a rhetorical strategy designed to avoid criticisms of Israeli settler-colonialism in Palestine.

Religious anti-semitism has been prevalent in pre-Christian, Christian and Islamic cultures for over two millennia. Racist anti-semitism emerged in the form of a backlash against the legal emancipation of Jews which began in Europe at the end of the 18th century. In the 1870s, the writings of Germans like Marr, Stoecker and von Treitschke established a doctrine of Jewish racial inferiority which spread throughout central and eastern Europe, and to France in a somewhat milder form.

The political and economic crises in Germany and Austria in the 1920s and 1930s fostered anti-semitism, and it became an integral component of Nazi doctrine, in which Jews were scapegoated for the evils of capitalism and communism. Anti-semitism culminated in Hitler\'s Third Reich and the murder of six million Jews—his ‘final solution’ for the ‘Jewish problem’. Today racist anti-semitism remains an important component of neo-fascist and integral nationalist movements in Europe and America. BO\'L

See also race and racism.Further reading Michael Curtis, Anti-semitism in the Contemporary World; , Léon Poliakov, The History of Anti-semitism, I-IV.



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