Anti-Semitism is the belief that people of Jewish ancestry are inherently inferior to people of other ancestry; it is a type of racism mixed with religious persecution. Anti-Semites (so called) typically blame Jews, as a group for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
People who dislike Jews often claim to hate the Jewish race. Nonetheless, Jews are not actually a race; they are an evolving religious civilization that started out as a nationality in exile. Historians, as well as Jewish people themselves, see Judaism as a type of ethnic group. It is unlike many other ethnic groups, as it allows outsiders to join, so it is an ethnic group with people of all races and ethnicities in it.
More commonly, there is prejudice against Jews largely on account of the fact that Jews are often, in spite of what ethnic and religious differences they have with the population at large, in positions of power and prestige. Hence, anti-Jewish prejudice is very often, by the defenders of Jews and Jewishness, ascribed to envy more than to any sort of religious concern.
This seems not to be the case in Israel and the Middle East generally, where the Jews of Israel are widely resented both for their religious differences and for the fact that they now live un what was once the predominantly Muslim territory of Palestine. According to Islamic law, all lands fall into one of only two possible legal categories (A) Land currently under Islamic control, and (B) Land once controlled by Muslims, that all Muslims worldwide are bound to re-conquer; such lands, including the State of Israel and Spain, are termed "lands under the sword." Much of the modern day anti-Semitism in these nations is due to indoctrination of young children to hate Jews from an early age. For example, Palestinian television programs for kindergarten age children feature songs about becoming suicide-bombers, and drenching shopping malls with Jewish blood; and textbooks that deny the very existence of the State of Israel. Children who have grown up in this atmosphere don;t even see themselves as anti-Semitic. In the last few years American and European politicians and human rights groups have begun criticising the Palestinian Authority and other middle-eastern Arab nations for such television shows and textbooks; they are held to be violations of the Oslo accords. No remedial action has yet been taken, and the shows continue.
Anti-Semitic beliefs are often held by people of many different ethnicities. Anti-Semitism has a long history, including persecution of Jews in Europe, the Middle East and the Western World at large. (Can someone expand on this?) Relations between Christians and Jews have at times been horrible, other times bad, yet at other times peaceful. In recent years there has been much reconciliation between Jews and Christians. In many nations there has been a remarkable decline in anti-semitism.
The most damaging anti-semetic act ever created to cause hatred against Jews is the infamous Russian hoax, the Protocols_of_the_Elders_of_Zion.
Anti-Semitic beliefs are often held by people of many different ethnicities. Anti-Semitism has a long history, including persecution of Jews in Europe, the Middle East and the world at large. Can someone expand on this?
The word "anti-Semitism" was coined in Germany in 1879 by Wilhelm Marr as a more euphonious way of saying "Judenhass" (Jew-hatred). At the time, one might have mistakenly applied this term to Arabs, though it was not the case. According to a (now discredited) nineteenth century theory that held that racial groups and linguistic groups coincide, Semites were defined as natives of a group of Middle Eastern nations closely related in ethnicity, culture and language. Under this theory, the modern day Semites would be the Jews and Arabs. Ancient nationalities such as the Assyrians, Canaanites, Carthaginians, Aramaeans and Akkadians (one of the ancestors of the ancient Babylonians) were also counted among the Semitic nations. Given that the theory of "semites" and non-"semites" is now discredited, the preferred term to use is "Anti-semitism", which has a general connotation of "anti-Jewish".