The Words That Killed Medieval Jews

In the decades around 1100, a shift in the focus of Christian veneration brought Jews to the fore. In an effort to spur compassion among Christian worshipers, preachers and artists began to dwell in vivid detail on Christ’s pain. Christ morphed from triumphant divine judge to suffering human savior. A parallel tactic, designed to foster a sense of Christian unity, was to emphasize the cruelty of his supposed tormentors, the Jews.

Partly out of identification with this newly vulnerable Christ, partly in response to recent Turkish military successes, and partly because an internal reform movement was questioning fundamentals of faith, Christians began to see themselves as threatened, too. In 1084 the pope wrote that Christianity “has fallen under the scorn, not only of the Devil, but of Jews, Saracens, and pagans.” The “Goad of Love, a retelling of the crucifixion that is considered the first anti-Jewish Passion treatise, was written around 1155-80. It describes Jews as consumed with sadism and blood lust. They were seen as enemies not only of Christ, but also of living Christians; it was at this time that Jews began to be accused of ritually sacrificing Christian children.

.. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Jews were massacred in towns where they had peacefully resided for generations. At no point did Christian authorities promote or consent to the violence.

.. For the rest of the Middle Ages, this pattern was repeated: Preaching about the crusades, proclamations of Jewish “enmity” or unsubstantiated anti-Jewish accusations were followed by outbreaks of anti-Jewish violence, which the same shocked authorities that had aroused Christians’ passions were then unable to restrain.

The Republican frontrunner is capitalizing on a market for anti-Muslim rhetoric developed by pundits like Ann Coulter.

If the right wants to defeat Trump, and the Trumps who will almost certainly follow, it needs to draw a clear line between being a conservative and being a bigot, as William F. Buckley did decades ago when he expelled anti-Semites from his movement’s ranks. When Ann Coulter stops appearing on Fox, we’ll know that the right’s intellectual counterattack against Trumpism has truly begun.

With Anti-Muslim Campaign, Canada Has Its Trump Moment

Effectively, Mr. Harper hopes to win his fourth term on Oct. 19 in part by demonizing those few who wear the niqab — and much of Canada’s Muslim population by extension.

.. In this fear-mongering, many see the hand of Lynton Crosby, the Australian political operative who had been advising the Conservatives, according to a campaign spokesman. A veteran of winning campaigns for the former Australian prime minister John Howard and Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, Mr. Crosby is known for his use of divisive social issues, if only to spur political apoplexy from political opponents and populist outrage from the masses.