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Business site raises eyebrows by asking 'Why Do Some People Hate Jews?'
Business Insider CEO and Editor-in-Chief Henry Blodget in New York earlier this year.
May 30th, 2012
10:25 AM ET

Business site raises eyebrows by asking 'Why Do Some People Hate Jews?'

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - The Business Insider, a popular business-focused news website, posted a curious headline on its site: “Why Do Some People Hate Jews?”

Tuesday's headline and accompanying blog post, from Business Insider CEO and Editor-in-Chief Henry Blodget, wound up turning a lot of heads. The avalanche of response and criticism prompted Blodget - a high-profile former Wall Street analyst - to revise his headline and offer explanations/defenses of his post throughout the day.

“Along with many other sites, this site is occasionally visited by people whose mission in life appears to be to express hatred of Jews,” Blodget wrote in his original post. “And hatred of Jews has obviously been an ongoing theme worldwide for centuries.

“What is the source of this animosity? Why does it perpetuate itself? Where did this prejudice come from?”

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The query drew plenty of tongue wagging from many corners of the Internet. “That’s right, there sure is nowhere better to suss out the reasoning behind one of the greatest attempted genocides of our modern times than in an Internet comments section,” Mediaite jested in a post that seethed disapproval.

“Is this how websites get traffic now?” Mediaite writer Jon Bershad continued. “Should Mediaite’s next slideshow be 'Top 10 Stereotypes About Black People'?"

Later Tuesday, Blodget updated his piece with a new headline, “What Are the Sources of Anti-Semitism?” explaining the initial headline “made a lot of people angry ...  (s)o I changed it.”

Blodget also subbed out the original photo, which he characterized as featuring a pair of “jovial Orthodox Jews,” with a picture of Jewish actress Natalie Portman. He wrote that some readers found the original photo “needlessly provocative.”

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By day’s end, Blodget offered his seventh update, saying that he wish he’d never published the piece. “Whatever interesting responses came from the post, I now regret writing it,” Blodget wrote. "I am very sorry to anyone I offended. I sincerely apologize.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Judaism

soundoff (1,236 Responses)
  1. AverageJoe76

    The hatred comes from religion. Or was my answer too simple?

    May 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Samuel

      You are correct.
      Your answer is too simple.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Darwi

      The hatred is not simple or from one source. Religion is a source and a target, but it is not the only one.
      Yes, your post was too simplistic.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  2. BGko

    While many people are truly Anti-semitic, it is a largely created concept by Jews themselves who use it as a screen to hide behind when anyone criticizes policies of Israel. Rather than attempt to counter-argue the issues raised, they call "anti-semitism" as a way to avoid addressing the issue and demonize anyone who disagrees with them. This is the equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears and saying, "Nanni-nani-boo-boo, I can't hear you!"

    May 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Dumbfounded Beyond Belief

      Ignorant.... Jewish people and Israel are two differnt topics. Are all Catholics Italian?

      May 30, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • sbp

      Sure, because no one hated Jews before the founding of Israel in 1948.... dimwit.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • BGko

      Whether or not they are two different groups of people does little to take away the fact that many Jews use a guise of anti-semitism to avoid issues revolving around Israel. Also, Catholics outside of Italy do not have a form of Zionism that tries to separate them from non-Catholic groups. Why would Jews be surprised that they are viewed as outside society when many deliberately make this distinction on their own?

      May 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • BGko

      @sbp – I acknowledged in my first words that Anti-semitism is a reality outside of Israel, so when the state of Israel was founded has little to do with the issue I raised. My comment never inferred that avoidance of talking about issues was the sole reason or a justification for anti-semitism. I merely pointed out the it is used improperly by many in the Jewish community to avoid issues that have no relevance to ethnicity or religion. Questioning policies of Israel does not make one anti-semitic, just as questioning Obama's policies does not make one a racist when race is not brought up in the subject, however many Jews call out anti-Semitism where there is none. Do you have facts to otherwise dispute this?

      May 30, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • sbp

      NO, you said anti-Semitism is LARGELY a concept created to shield criticism of Israel. That is a crock. Just read the posts here (including many of yours). Jews are greedy, cheaters, control the media, and on and on.... having nothing to do with Israel.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  3. lantenec

    "I hate everyone equally
    You can't tear that out of me
    No segregation, no separation
    Just me and my world of enemies..."

    May 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  4. GraceNYC

    Spiritual Warfare. The Jews were / are God's chosen people bc of the faith of Abraham. They were promised the resource rich land of Canaan, which they eventually possessed. This land was highly desired by non-Jews and as such they were fought for access / ownership to this land. Over time the animosity + spiritual warfare against this group of people grew. God also allowed them to experience hardships so that they would return to Him. His love for them is fierce.

    May 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Uruk-hai

      *Burp* Get a life.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  5. Bryce

    Jews are always bragging about everything from their doctor to their son's college. They can't stop with the bragging already. Give it a rest and we may like you more better.

    May 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Be nice!

      You are a hater.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • meMyself and I

      "more better" ... really?

      May 30, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Joe Gerken

      Generalize much?

      May 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Dumbfounded Beyond Belief

      You shouldn't be allowed to use the internet. We would be a more better world if we could prevent you and others like you from doing so.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Bob

      That's new – bragging is now an exclusively Jewish phenomenon?

      May 30, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • jm

      You would like them "more better"? Perhaps you should top being ignorant and go brush up on your grammar.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • sbp

      I guess that means all those trash-talking NBA players must be Jewish. Dope.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Nosy b@stard

      Are you talking about Donald Trump?

      May 30, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  6. mike

    it's a fair question. jews are and have been the most hated people. oddly they only make up 5% of the worlds population. the bigger fear might be from muslims over populating the world...

    May 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Bruce

      5% of the world's population? You must be living in new York City, Los Angeles or Israel- try less than 1%

      May 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  7. Dumbfounded Beyond Belief

    Wow so the blogger was right all along and most of you have proven it. First, Jewish people and Israeli's are two different groups of people. While Israel may be the Jewish homeland there are just as many muslims and many other religions accounted for by Israeli citizens. Second, hating just because of who a person is or what their religious beliefs pushes America back hundreds of years. There are no inferrior people only inferrior minds. The Civil Rights Movement in the United States helped millions of people who had less rights than others and those who where discriminated against because of who they are or what they looked like. How is the hatred spewed on this comment section any different than the oppression those who fought for civil rights have encountered? Check yourselves....

    May 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  8. EasyRhino

    If someone complained to you that in the past 10 years, that they went to about 100 parties and each time they were asked to leave, you might justifiably ask what behavior they engaged in that their host invited them to leave.

    May 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Joe Gerken

      Unless you were a black man in 1950s Mississippi. Then your "behavior" would be being black.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Freedom

      They ate all my kosher pickles...

      May 30, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  9. James Phifer

    Hitler was right and the Final solution is coming, all praise for Iran.

    May 30, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  10. YBP

    The New Testament stokes the flames of hatred for Jews, both explicitly and in various subtle ways. For example, the perceived traitor Judas is an allegorical character. His name means 'Jew.' (Of course Jesus himself is also an allegorical character, equally fictional. His name means 'God saves.' But very few Christians understand that the Gospels were originally intended as allegory, not biography.) Mark gives us jeering Pharisees at the foot of the cross. Luke gives us the Good Samaritan...compare him to the two other Jewish travelers on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. Luke also wrote Acts. Listen to some of what the character Peter has to say in Acts. Matthew gives us the infamous Blood Curse, one of the worst lines of all. And John and Paul pull out all the stops...I can't even list all the anti-Jewish and anti-Judaism passages, there are so many. It doesn't help that many Jews are xenophobic. They bring some of it on themselves. An inconvenient truth.

    May 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Darwi

      YBP, could I get you to start using paragraphs? You wrote a good post but it would be easier to read if it were broken up into paragraphs.
      Thanks.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  11. Jimbo

    I also grew up in a Jewish neighborhood and never really knew people didn't like them until later in life. They seemed pretty normal to me except you would always see them walking around in the middle of the nights on weekends, back from the synagog I think. They would be dressed in black and you would have to be careful not to run them over.

    May 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  12. MP

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6037708729636407580

    May 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  13. MP

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GexZF5VIMU&feature=relmfu

    May 30, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • magnus

      Because rabbis teach jews that they are superior to gentiles and they should not touch, marry, or breed with non-jews. Jews marrying non-jews is the new holocaust. See for yourself.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wr2UFn1UcfE&feature=related

      May 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  14. Fight Injustice

    jewwatch.org

    Here is your answer.

    May 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  15. DC Observer

    I have had a lot of very good friends and colleagues over 30 yeras that are Jewish. I have Jewish friends married to Catholic friends. I have always been unsure about one thing - Is it anti semetic to criticize the politics of Israel? or is it anti semetic only to be critical of jews and their religion? This is a serious question

    May 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      "The term Semite means a member of any of various ancient and modern Semitic-speaking peoples originating in southwestern Asia, including; Akkadians (Assyrians and Babylonians), Eblaites, Ugarites, Canaanites, Phoenicians (including Carthaginians), Hebrews (Israelites, Judeans and Samaritans), Ahlamu, Arameans, Chaldeans, Amorites, Moabites, Edomites, Hyksos, Arabs, Nabateans, Maganites, Shebans, Sutu, Ubarites, Dilmunites, Maltese, Mandaeans, Sabians, Syriacs, Mhallami, Amalekites and Ethiopian Semites." – Wiki

      May 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Steve

      Even many American and Israeli Jews criticize Israel. What they are criticizing is the politics and government policies, not the necessity for a Jewish Homeland. We criticize our politicians every day, but the right calls all critics "liberals" and the left calls all critics "Nazis". That is the equivalent of anti-Semitic comments about Jews when they are called miserly or when they are blamed for all the world problems.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • schaz

      As with so many other things the answer is "it depends."

      There are many points where a criticism of Israel may be valid, and therefore not anti-Semitic. However if one uses Israel as a proxy for Jews in general then it is anti-Semitic.

      A good test might be would you criticize another country for doing what Israel is doing? i.e. If you criticize Israel for building a fence along its border, do you also criticize the U.S. for doing the same with Mexico and Canada? If you criticize Israel for the displacement of Arabs in the 1948 War of Independence do you criticize the Arab nations for expelling the Jews who lived their countries in that same time period?

      If the answers to the above questions are "I only criticize Israel." Then it might be anti-Semitism.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  16. Bribarian

    anti-semitism is reactionary

    May 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  17. Steve

    From a group that represents 0.02% of the world's population they gave us more than 20% of all Nobel Prize winners in Science, Medicine, Economics, etc. I think they have done more to advance humanity than any other group of people. The reason people hate them is they are either afraid of them, don't understand their religion (they mostly pray in Hebrew), or they need someone to blame for their ills. Since they are such a small percentage of the world's population it is easy for fearful insecure people to pass blame on to them because there is little chance for many anti-Semites even meeting one in real life. Try blaming a larger group for the worlds evils, like the Russians or the Chinese. That would be harder because both Russia and China are quite powerful and might just strike back.

    May 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • BGko

      I think your figures are wrong. "Hardly a chance of even meeting one?" I see Jewish people every single day. .02% is not correct.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • schaz

      BGko:

      It depends on where you live. If you live in a major U.S. city, the chances are really good that you know Jews, who you know are Jews. You probably also know some Jews who you don't know are Jews. If you live in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etc the chances are slim to none. The same for China, India or Pakistan. Central or South America, outside major cities chances are slim.

      A few years ago, I met a woman in her 20s who's parents were Christian Missionaries. I was the first Jew who she had ever met, who she knew was Jewish. She was living in Los Angeles at the time.

      If you look at the numbers that Steve put up, I have to agree with you on a number basis that 0.02% is off. Let's say that the population of the world is 7 billion people. Let's also say that there are 7 million Jews in the world. That leaves us with one out of 1000 people or 0.1% are Jewish. If there are 14 million Jews in the world, then we still have only two out of 1000 or 0.2% of the world population.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Thegoodman

      The nobel prize comment is irrelevant. The Jewish population traditionally comes from one of privilege and is thus in a position where the pursuit of the sciences was a luxury afforded to them. The individuals who won those prizes no doubt earned them, but not because of some intrinsic Jewish superior intellect. The same argument could be made for why men, especially white men, are superior to women and/or minorities; which clearly is not true.

      The Holocaust was not all about the Jews, it was about Nazi Germany's attempt to kill off ALL who did not comply with their standards of a human being.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Nosy b@stard

      On my opinion the main reason the high percent among the Nobel Prize are Jewish is because there is no TV in most Orthodox Jewish housholds. No BS, no brain numbing cartoons and reality shows. Children read, listen to music and COMMUNICATE with each other and grown ups.
      As soon as you expose a jewish child to a mass media he or she will grow up to be either a corrupted mafia lawer or a Columbian drug money laundering banker. LOL

      May 30, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  18. Bravo

    Hmmm, let me answer those questions he has, first,....

    “What is the source of this animosity? The source is religion,...the Bible pointed out that Jews were the chosen people, and obviously when someone has that sort of ego, people on the outside are going to despise it,....in this case it was Christianity, Catholicism (same as Christianity), Islam, etc who felt they were the chosen people and so the hatred began.

    Why does it perpetuate itself? Children,....it is easy to warp a young mind and very difficult to change a set one. Perpetuate your hatred to your children and drill that hatred deep into their skulls and let them spread it to their children and so on,...I am 100% sure that all anti-Semites couldn't tell you why they hate the Jews,....only that they do. Most children do not grow up and come to the realization that their parents were hate mongering retards,...that takes a free mind, free from religion, free from judgement, free from hatred,...and most don't have what it takes to break free from those shackles.

    Where did this prejudice come from?” Prejudice comes from the parents, whom derive their prejudice from their parents,...whom ultimately derived their hatred from their faith. Religion is simple, good and evil, that is the premise of all religions. It is about control and to attain and master that power one must control something and what better thing to control than evil, but first evil must be defined for the dull masses because you can't have a savior without something to save from something. Jews just happen to be the easy target for this hatred.

    Ultimately, religion in all of its facets is the source of a good majority of all hatred on the planet. It gives licenses to kills, maim and subjugate and that appeals to the core of human nature. Religion is simply the brake that hampers our progress as a society.

    May 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Steve

      The problem is that Christians misinterpret the term "Chosen People". The interpretation from many Jewish Scholars and religious texts is that it means "Chosen to Serve God" not better than anyone else. Remember that religious texts were written by humans who may not have understood the potential nuances of each word or phrase or how they might be misinterpreted years after they wrote down the words.

      May 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • clearick

      Excellent response! Well done.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • BGko

      Steve – Is it Christians who misinterpret "Chosen People"? Or is it not the Jews themselves who propagate the idea that they are God's chosen race of people?

      May 30, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • magnus

      Steve, i think you mean well and you articulate your response well. But, jews think they are better than everyone else because they are the chosen ones – better ones, not because they were chosen to carry the word of God. You need to explain your message to your fellow jews, not to the gentiles. thank you

      May 30, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  19. Mass Debater

    Some people hate them because they are still waiting around for the Messiah to come and usher in the new Kingdom they were promised where they rule as Kings and Priests over all mankind...

    May 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      As opposed to a group of people who had a Messiah come 2000 years ago and hasn't done jack since?

      May 30, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • BGko

      Jaque – In religious context, wasn't Jesus supposed to be the Jewish Messiah? So when you talk about a group of people who had a Messiah come 2000 years ago and hasn't done jack since, are you referring to the correct group of people?

      May 30, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      The hatred stems from the following.
      1. Early Popes (and other Christian Church leaders) placed the blame on the Jews for the execution of Jesus. This allowed Kingdoms to place whatever restrictions they wanted on the Jewish people regarding residence, commerce, inheritance, etc. The Jews were later exonerated for the responsibility of Jesus' death, with the blame merely placed on certain members of the Sanhedrin, and the Roman Governor.
      2. Due to the laws against usury, Christians were not allowed to be money lenders. This restriction did not apply to the Jews in Europe. Everyone, including the Monarchs, borrowed from them for whatever they needed. Unlike the unlucky majority if the King owed the Jews a substantial enough amount of money, all he needed to do was confiscate their possessions that they could not wear, and expel them from the country. This was a popular motif especially with the Kings of France.
      3. Jews were protected by Muslims who controlled most of Spain, and parts of Sicily, serving as Doctors, teachers, scholars, etc. The Reconquista that recaptured these lands by Catholic monarchs resulted in one of three options for Jews – Maintain their faith and accept exile (after forfeiting all their possessions that they could not wear), convert to Catholicism (but don't get caught with a Menorah or Mezzuzah) and remain, maintain their faith and accept execution (after forfeiting ALL their possessions).
      4. Because they were always a minority population wherever they lived, the dominant polity found them a convenient excuse for whatever went wrong – crop failure, the plague, drought, flooding, excessive cold temperatures, excessive warm temperatures, defeat of the army by an enemy. You name it and they would blame the Jewish people.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • schaz

      Can you site chapter and verse for your claim that the Jews were promised "they rule as Kings and Priests over all mankind..."

      I don't remember reading that in any Bible or commentary.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • BGko

      schaz – I believe he's referring to Revelations, which is in the New Testament, and therefore not a promise to the Jewish people, but rather to Christians.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      "I believe he's referring to Revelations, which is in the New Testament, and therefore not a promise to the Jewish people, but rather to Christians"

      "One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed: of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed;
      of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed;
      of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed;
      of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed." Rev 7:4-8

      Christians may believe Revelation was written for them but John certainly didn't see it that way.

      May 30, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  20. barbarianofgor

    My issue with them is:

    They more or less control the media but....

    a. It SUCKS, tv SUCKS, etc.
    b. They failed at the news. As long as they keep outputting "Holocaust" garbage they ignore or rather let the media whitewash all the other bad stuff going on. Who cares about your tax dollars funding operations that would be at a loss otherwise, pure class warfare to destroy the middle class? Let's just show some celebrity scandal and Oy, Vey! Have you heard there was a "Holocaust"!?
    c. They don't just seem to choose people for the few slots of actors/musicians, etc. They seem to choose largely untalented ones to make sure that they are replaceable and that's for far more reasons than if they say anything the jews don't like.
    d. The USA truly has become ZOG (Zionist Occupied Government) with the USA worried about a nuclear Iran but not an existing nuclear ISRAEL in no small part because of their propaganda, not to mention their lobby that'd be "Sedition" in any other government, especially theirs...

    Christ forgave them his murder and they've been punished for it many times over regardless. I'm not for smashing bricks in their faces or burning them in ovens. But they have too much control of the media. But like any other human special interest group they only care about their own agenda, nothing else. So, long as they can go "Do you know there was Holocaust!?" and "Hallp ussss Anti Semitism Halllp us!" they don't care if our children's future and our nation's wealth is sold to the highest bidder. Who cares the only society in history it wasn't acceptable and fun to hit them with bricks is being destroyed, well they have power for once in...almost ever...and make good money off of it.

    May 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      This country was founded on several principles. One of them is free speech. I think you should take this opportunity and feel free to not speak. You sound like an idiot who can't put one coherent thought together. You are all over the place with your rant.

      May 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Marc

      Jews, unlike you, are educated and are where they are in society due to their education and smarts.
      Instead of being a sore loser, get off your axx and do something positive with your unimportant life and maybe you'll get somewhere. It's very easy to sit back and all your problems on everyone else. Get a life, a real one.

      May 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.