Hate Crime Against the Jewish Community
Hate crimes directed toward the Jewish community have been existent in society for centuries. Although hatred toward various groups and communities has been prevalent across societies, deep-rooted hatred towards Jews otherwise known as anti-Semitism has been widespread and more persistent in society than any other form of hate crime in the world. The Christians accused them of persecuting Christ and His followers and forced them to convert to Christianity and those who declined were openly massacred during Christian crusades. Martin Luther, the founder of Protestantism as well as the the persecution of Jews and accused them of many negative events that were taking place at the time (Gerstenfeld, 2004, p. 151).
against the Jewish community were executed in many forms. The community was often prohibited from owning land in many regions of the world and consequently resided in the ghettos. As a result, most of them sought to generate income from trade and merchanting, and this highly facilitated the development of the stereotype that the Jews were greedy and wealthy.
The Jews were constantly subject to governments exploitation in these regions and whenever the governments needed money, they often seized the property and wealth of Jews which was more marketable relative to land and justified these seizures by defaming the Jews (Gerstenfeld, 2004, p. 151).
Since the Jew community represented a small fraction of the population in every country that they lived in, they often formed a minority group with different orientations in terms of religion, traditions, and customs as well as their language (Gerstenfeld, 2004, p. 151). These cultural differences significantly promoted hate crimes against the group especially in Europe where ethnic identity remains an issue of great importance.
Further, the Jews were denied citizenship in their own countries and were subjected to widespread discrimination and exclusion by other communities. A clear evidence of the restrictions imposed upon the Jews is the requirement by the Nazis in the 20thcentury to wear yellow stars in their clothing; in addition, they were forced to convert to Christianity while in countries like Spain the Jews were literally expelled from the country. Further, approximately 100,000 Jews were murdered between 1648 and 1658 in Eastern Europe (Gerstenfeld, 2004, p. 151).
One of the major indicators used to measure anti-Semitism is the measurement of peoples attitudes and social behaviors towards the Jewish community. Surveys can be conducted to assess populations belief in anti-Semitic notions and stereotypes as well as the preferred social distance and attitude towards the Jewish community (Marrus, 2005, p. 38).
Factors Promoting Victimization of the Jewish Community
The anti-Semitism trend has significantly declined in modern society relative to the post-war period. The modern American Jews still retain the high and with a considerable number occupying prestigious positions in government and such as medicine and law (Gerstenfeld, 2004, p.153). Research has further revealed a substantial decline in anti-Jewish feelings and stereotypes with the catholic and the Lutheran church has officially abandoned anti-Jewish doctrines and apologized for the wrongs committed by their predecessors.