The Witch Hunt: From Pontius Pilate to the Labour Party
By Gilad Atzmon
January 02, 2019 "Information Clearing House" - A witch hunt is a dangerous game. It entails a merciless campaign directed against people who hold unorthodox or unpopular views. But, as Jewish history tells us, a witch hunt can backfire and turn the pursuer into the hunted.
The Jewish past is littered with witch hunts that boomeranged. In fact, the birth of Christianity contains a classic example of this. Jesus’ persecution began with a hate campaign against a whistle blower who held some radical views, such as ‘love your neighbor’ or ‘turn the other cheek.’ Historically, it was the Sanhedrin war against Jesus that made him into Christ – the message as well as the messenger.
Jesus wasn’t the only casualty of such a campaign. The history of Jewish herem (Hebrew for excommunication), tells us that Spinoza was subjected to the apparatus of a similar highly orchestrated witch hunt. In the Jewish world, Herem is the highest rabbinical censure, such a verdict commands that the person suffer total exclusion from the Jewish community and beyond. As with Christ, it was Spinoza’s humanism and universalism, and not the dictates of the inquisitor rabbis, that planted the seeds of enlightenment and progress. While Spinoza’s Jewish contemporaries didn’t approve of the Dutch Jewish philosopher, the Goyim couldn’t have enough of his Wisdom.
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