Jewish Leaders: Koran and Bible — Sources of Anti-Semitism?

In the photo — Ariel Musikant, Vice President of the EJC, presents the adopted document.

Recently, the European Jewish Congress organized a conference on anti-Semitism in Vienna. Later we will discuss why it took place in Vienna and who participated in it.

Let’s start with the decisions made by the conference participants. They adopted a document entitled «An End to Antisemitism! A Catalogue of Policies to Combat Antisemitism». The authors of this work claim its revolutionary character, and this is the only point on which we can agree with them. Among other things, it calls for the monitoring of the sacred texts of the two leading world civilizations: the Koran and the Bible, Islam and Christianity, respectively.

According to the authors of the document and the representatives of European Jewry who supported them, these two fundamental books for Muslims and Christians are the main doctrinal sources of anti-Semitism prevalent in Muslim and Christian communities. Therefore, the document asserts that «Translations of the New Testament, the Koran, and other Christian and Muslim literature need dictionaries and introductions that emphasize their continuity with the Jewish heritage and warn readers of the anti-Semitic passages contained in these books.»

In other words, representatives of European Jewry are suggesting that Muslims and Christians should henceforth publish their literature under Jewish supervision, whether direct or invisible.

Of course, the fighters against anti-Semitism have not called for a similar fight against antigoyism. According to Jewish tradition, «goy» refers to any non-Jew, and many religious Jewish texts, teachings, and regulations contain rather unfavorable opinions about goyim (which includes Muslims, Christians, and other non-Jews).

It is understandable why this is so, since it would mean recognizing the Torah, Talmud, and other canonical Jewish texts as sources of anti-goy sentiment. In this regard, it is worth recalling that in the 2000s in Russia, several hundred people signed a letter (known as the 500 Letter) demanding the banning of the canonical Jewish text, «Shulchan Aruch,» which is taught in yeshivas (religious educational institutions). The reason is the same — it is filled with anti-goy passages.

Of course, such initiatives are absurd, as are all bans on canonical texts that exalt one’s religion and its adherents above others and condemn its fierce opponents, which historically have included Jews. And, for example, despite the real anti-Semitism that existed in medieval Christian Europe, no Christian ruler ever considered controlling the content of revered Jewish books or requiring their teaching in any form. Perhaps this is because religious people who cherished their books and values had far more tact and genuine pluralism in such matters than today’s «democratizers» of all religions.

And now to Vienna. It is no coincidence that the European Jewish Congress was held there. One of its participants was none other than Sebastian Kurz, the Prime Minister and leader of Austria’s ruling party and coalition (in the photo below, he is paying his respects to the Chief European Jew, Moshe Kantor), who supported the decisions and recommendations of the conference.

It is significant in this story that Kurz aspires to be one of the leaders of the forces that present themselves as defenders of traditional (Christian) values in Europe. In other words, he represents a kind of modern European «Christian conservatism and patriotism» which, out of fear of the Jews, is ready to warn Europeans against the contents of the most important book of Christian civilization.

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