EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The anti-Semitism that is so integral to European culture developed in a dominating hostile Christian environment over more than a millennium. This provided much of the cultural infrastructure of the Holocaust, which was executed by Germans with the help of many allies. During the Enlightenment and thereafter, many leading European thinkers expressed hatred towards Jews. In recent decades, the hatred towards Jews found in European societies mutated partly into anti-Israelism, which targets the Jewish state.
Saying that anti-Semitism is integral to European culture does not make one popular in Europe. This does not change even if one clarifies that this is not the same as saying that most Europeans are anti-Semites.
Yet the claim is not difficult to prove. European culture developed in a dominating, hostile Christian environment over more than a millennium. Major incitement against Jews initially stemmed from the Catholic Church. Later, several Protestant churches, including Lutherans, promoted Jew-hatred.
If powerful institutions and elites promote hatred over a very long period, that hatred comes to permeate the culture. In the 1960s, Christian historian and clergyman James Parkes analyzed the conflict between Christians and Jews during the first eight centuries of the Christian era. Concerning that period he concluded, “There was far more reason for the Jew to hate the Christian than for the Christian to hate the Jew – and this on the evidence of Christian sources alone.”