2014-05-15 – Do you remember when McDonalds used to advertise the number of hamburgers they’d sold and what a big deal it was when the hundred-million sign was replaced by the billion sign? Over one billion sold!
That’s the image that came to mind when I read the recent report of the Anti-Defamation League that the world now has over one billion Anti-Semites. If you go to the ADL Global 100 survey site, you find a forest of widgets that you can post on your favorite social media site.
Spread the word: we are now hated by over one billion people world wide!
I’m wondering. Does that entitle us to a coupon for a free Unhappy Meal at least?
Now, I am not saying that Anti-Semitism is a joke. It is a very serious problem when people burn you at the stake or gas you or blow you up. As it is said in the Passover Seder, “it wasn’t just one who rose up against us to destroy us.” My kids have never seen it, but I was beaten for being Jewish when I was a kid. While I don’t think Anti-Semitism is a joke, it’s no great honor either (to paraphrase Tevye).
There are two kinds of goyim (gentiles) in the world. There are goyim who have contact with Jews and there are goyim who don’t. There are just under 14 million Jews in the world and there are just over 7 billion goyim. That’s two of us for every thousand of them.
It’s amazing that a billion people even have an opinion about Jews. There’s only one and a half of us for every person who has an opinion. Considering that almost all of us are concentrated in Israel and the United States, a sizable fraction of the world’s Anti-Semitic population couldn’t possibly have even encountered a Jew.
We are that almost-nonexistent people that people love to hate.
Why is that?
Well, two major religions of the world, Christianity and Islam, have made quite a business out of hating Jews. There’s two of the one billion right there. It’s a matter of faith. They love an invisible god. And they hate an invisible people.
But let’s look at it this way, at least six billion either like us or have no opinion.
You can say what you want about an invisible god, and you can say what you want about an invisible people.
Only, we’re not entirely invisible. And their god (or their prophet, in the case of Islam) was a Jew. It’s a kind of love-hate relationship.