Devin Sper

Antisemitism: The loser’s creed 

A loser is defined by their inability to learn from mistakes and progress. They prefer to blame others for their inadequacies and failures rather than take responsibility for their poor decisions and learn from them. These people have always existed, hence the historical longevity of antisemitism. Antisemitism encourages its adherents to believe that all their problems stem from the Jews and that their problems would vanish if the Jews were eliminated. The depth of the loser’s frustration with their failures parallels the depth of their antisemitism.

This mindset is clearly visible today in the hate-filled faces and ignorant rhetoric of malcontents on US college campuses. What this says about the education they are receiving is concerning but not our subject here. To understand it however, we must realize that they are merely the latest manifestation of a phenomenon with ancient roots: antisemitism, the loser’s creed.

Violent mass antisemitism, as we know it, actually began 1,000 years ago with the First Crusade. In 1096 CE, a band of Crusaders led by a German noble named Emico attacked the Jews of the Rhineland. These were not the Crusader knights led by Godfrey de Bouillon but a separate group of 12,000 adventurers, criminals, and runaway serfs. Most were ignoramuses who made no provisions for their march across Europe and the Middle East, which they often imagined to be just beyond the next ridge. Motivated by greed for plunder and centuries of Christian antisemitic doctrine, these Crusaders attacked Jews everywhere they went, murdering 12,000. Ironically, not one of these Crusaders reached the Holy Land. Most of the 12,000 Crusaders were killed upon leaving Germany and entering Hungary and Bulgaria, who wanted no part of these violent invaders. The remaining few were killed at their first encounter with Muslims in Asia Minor near Nicaea.

Europe’s losers learned nothing from this and now made it their habit to blame the Jews for their problems. Impoverished and oppressed peasants and serfs were encouraged in this by their true oppressors – an aristocracy and church that enriched themselves at the people’s expense. To deflect anger from themselves, they encouraged the impoverished masses to target the Jews. This led to centuries of massacres and mass expulsions, culminating in the Russian pogroms of the 19th century, where hundreds of thousands of Jews were murdered. None of this improved the situation of the peasants or serfs, just as nothing Israel does will make campus malcontents more comfortable in their own skin, sex, or identities.

Prior to taking power, the Nazis also recruited from the gutter. While they billed themselves as a working-class party, they primarily attracted the underclass: criminals, thugs, sadists, the unhappy, and the disenfranchised. Even the Nazi leaders were losers: Goering was a heroin addict, Hess insane, and Hitler a failed artist and former homeless shelter resident. Hitler rose to power on the message that Germany’s defeat in WWI was the fault of the Jews, rather than the Germans who started and lost the war. This message resonated with Germany’s losers, who preferred to avoid responsibility for their poor choices, just as campus malcontents do today.

Arab anti-Zionism and antisemitism similarly attempt to blame Israel and the Jews for Arab societies’ failures. This prevents them from addressing their own problems realistically, resulting in a lack of progress in many Arab countries, which remain devoid of democracies and rank among the world’s most corrupt.

However, some Arab states now seek to leave behind the fruitless ideology of perpetual Palestinian victimhood and join the modern world. They view Israel not as a problem but as a model. This is why countries like Morocco, Bahrain, and the UAE have good relations with Israel and signed the Abraham Accords.

Those who believe in personal responsibility and learn from their mistakes often see the Jews and Israel as role models: a people and a nation that have fought against great odds over an extended period and achieved amazing success. This favorable view of the Jews by high-functioning, intelligent, and successful individuals also has a long historical tradition.

An early example is Alexander the Great. Having conquered the surrounding areas, Alexander approached Jerusalem but did not besiege it as he had other cities. The High Priest and his entourage met him, and the historian Josephus recounts Alexander’s show of great respect for God and his magnificent treatment of the entire priesthood. In return, the priests named all their sons born in the following year Alexander, a Jewish name to this day (Jewish antiquities 11.317-345).

Julius Caesar, too, was a great friend of the Jews. The Jews intervened to save Caesar in two crucial battles in Alexandria in 48 BCE, and he never forgot it. Upon becoming emperor, Caesar reunited Judea (after it had previously been divided by Pompey). Like Alexander, Caesar showed deference towards the High Priest, confirmed Jewish rights, and ensured their freedom of religion throughout the empire. This gained Caesar great respect among the Jewish masses, who mourned deeply upon his assassination (Suetonius, Life of Julius Caesar, 84). Caesar’s positive policies towards the Jews were continued and expanded by his successor Augustus, Rome’s first emperor. Augustus was also a patron of Judea’s King Herod and expanded his power and Judea’s territory.

An example from early America can be found in the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, the oldest in the United States. There, on the wall is a moving letter from George Washington to the congregation, dated 1790, in which he wrote:

“The Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance…May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

President Lincoln, too, was a friend of the Jews. During the Civil War, he approved the first Jewish military chaplain on September 18, 1862. In December of that year, the antisemitic General Grant issued a hateful decree expelling all Jews from areas under his control. Upon hearing about it Lincoln immediately revoked it.

In 1899, the great American author Mark Twain published a beautiful essay entitled, “Concerning the Jews”:

“If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of…His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in the world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind.”

Winston Churchill called the Jews “the most formidable and the most remarkable race.” He was a lifelong opponent of antisemitism, and a supporter of Zionism.

Ronald Reagan was an admirer of the Jews and a staunch supporter of Israel since her independence in 1948. He declared that “Jerusalem is now, and should continue to be, undivided…An undivided city of Jerusalem means sovereignty of Israel over the city.” He publicly disagreed with the Carter Administration’s efforts to characterize Israel’s West Bank settlements as illegal and reaffirmed this position shortly after the election. He denounced the PLO as a terrorist organization and described Israel as a “strategic asset,” and a “stabilizing force.”

In a speech to Holocaust survivors at the founding of the Holocaust Memorial on April 11, 1983, Reagan mentioned Churchill’s support for the Jews, quoted Washington’s letter, and went on to say: “Tonight we stand together to give thanks to America for providing freedom and liberty and, for many here tonight, a second home and a second life…and also to express our gratitude to you for choosing America.”

Historically we see a clear dichotomy in attitudes towards the Jews and Israel. On one hand, antisemitic losers, then as now, blame the Jews for their individual and collective discontent. Jewish success against the greatest odds and oppression that any people have ever known particularly irks today’s woke losers, who invent false intersectional oppressions, like Islamophobia, to justify their failures. In this, they are in the long tradition of ignorant antisemitic riff-raff of Europe who massacred the Jews, carried out pogroms in Russia, the Nazi brownshirts, and the Palestinian terrorists whose genocidal rhetoric they mindlessly parrot.

On the other hand, we find independent thinkers who respect, and identify with, Jewish and Israeli bravery and determination in standing against the mob, working hard to overcome great odds, and succeeding despite it all. Which side of this dichotomy we fall on clearly defines who we are. Choose wisely, for in that choice lies the path to either greatness or ruin.

About the Author
Devin Sper was born and raised in New York and lived in Israel for 10 years. He holds a degree in Jewish History from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and served in the Israel Defense Forces. Devin Sper is the author of The Future of Israel, winner of a 2005 GLYPH award.