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THE CRUSADES AND THE JEWS - WHAT HAPPENED?
I've just learned something new about the Crusades.
The old story. Bad Crusaders went and invaded the Middle East. Murder and mayhem. This version of the Crusades is trotted out every time there's any mention of Islamic jihad terrorism, Islamic invasions, Islamic conquests, etc.
The next story. The Crusaders went to the Middle East in response to Islamic invasion, murder and mayhem, in response to desperate cries for help from Christian leaders in the Middle East.
Quite a change.
A further revised story. The Crusaders gathered to go to the Middle East in response to Islamic invasion, murder and mayhem, and in response to Christian cries for help. Along the way, many Crusaders rampaged against Jewish communities in Europe, often against the commands of religious and secular Christian leaders.
Bishops might have to take refuge from these Crusaders. Massacres and mayhem. Those most likely to attack Jews were the least educated and least disciplined.
A long-term consequence was vastly increased Jew hatred:
In the memory of the Jews, the Crusades became the symbol of the opposition between Christianity and Judaism, and the tension aroused by the persecutions was far more severe than that which had existed since the origins of Christianity. The debate ceased to be a theological one, to the extent that this had ever been the case. The Christians saw the Jews as the implacable enemies of their faith and in this climate the blood libel became widespread. From the 12th century comes the first expression of the idea of a Jewish plot against the Christian world: it was alleged that the Jews had to sacrifice one Christian each year, and held an annual council to decide the site of the sacrifice and the name of the victim. At Blois in 1171, all members of the Jewish community were burned at the stake following such an accusation, and from the 13th century similar charges were raised in Germany.
Maybe you already knew this. I didn't.
Important for all of us to know.
Thanks to Dorene Weisberg, the reader who pointed this out to me.
(The story of the Crusades is of course even more complex, including economic reasons for attacks on Jews by local gentry, economic incentives for going on the Crusades, and the promised remittance of sins through 'indulgences for those who went. I'm not even going to try to sort through this. My point here is just that I had no idea of the impact of the Crusades on the Jews in Europe.)
Why write about this? "And the truth shall set you free." We need to know the truth. At the time of the Crusades, those who stayed with the truth about who was the target of the Crusaders (Islamic invaders) did not attack the Jews.
Further lesson. The people who got out much more of the truth about the Crusades - that the impetus was Islamic invasion -
appear to have been Christians and not Jews, or why has the piece of truth about what happened to the Jews been missing from what I have heard? On the other hand, unlike the distortion about bad Crusaders invading the Middle East (and therefore any Islamic invasion is no worse), the omission seems just that, an omission, rather than a deliberate distortion.
Still another lesson. The people most fueled by rage and the desire to attack, rather than by the desire to protect Christians in the Middle East, were the people most likely to attack the Jews. I think of the rage inherent in the BlackLivesMatter movement, the NoOneIsIllegal movement, the ClimateChange movement, in what is known as political correctness - dangerous.
I also know that some counter jihad people have what I would call "rage fuel." Important to let this go.
There's lots of space for fact-centered outrage, what we could term righteous rage (meaning based on truth).
Not always easy to sort through what is too rage-fueled, where there could be more emotion-fuel, and so on. On the one side are those with no access to outrage, to intense emotion - on the other are those often burning with outrage without paying attention to the direction, like those Crusaders who attacked Jews instead of keeping their outrage for those who had been invading Christian territory and attacking Christians.
And now, all the best to all who care and dare,
Aug 8, 2016
PS. A reminder: there is a fund raising drive underway for Geert Wilders - a major force for truth and against Islam. I've heard him called the bravest man in the world. He's lived for over a decade with round the clock security - but will not stop speaking out. Now he's facing a trial which may result in his going to jail before he has the chance to be elected prime minister of the Netherlands. For more information and to donate: http://westindanger.com/geert-wilders.html
For lots more, come explore
posted Aug 8, 2016
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