Translation of Talmud Permeated with Anti-Semitism

Arabic translation of Talmud is laden with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories; alleges that text reveals racist character of Jewish people.

Rachel Hirshfeld,

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book image
Israel news photo: Flash 90

A newly released Arabic translation of the Talmud contains an introduction laden with age-old anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, including the accusation that the ancient text reveals the racist character of the Jewish people, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The introduction also portrays Israel as the modern-day embodiment of the alleged racist ideologies found in the holy book.

“The discrimination which Arabs in Israel face is an extension of the racist spirit included in many Talmud texts and explanations,” alleges the translation, published by the Middle East Studies Center (MESC), a Jordanian think tank.

The think tank, in an effort to illustrate the inherently racist sentiments of the text, exploits and takes certain passages out of context, as well as quoting minority opinions,  in order to “prove” that Jews regard non-Jews as inferior.

“These texts confirm the racist and hostile perception toward the non-Jews, especially those who threaten the ‘chosen nation’ and stand in the way of its ambitions and hopes,” the introduction states.” There is no doubt that Israel is the best example of this racist position, both in the level of its daily crimes against the Palestinians and the level of its rejection and contempt for international resolutions and laws.

“For what applies to other countries in the world does not apply to contemporary Israel, as it is unique...Jews, according to this racist position [of the Talmud], are permitted to do what is not permitted for non-Jews,” It adds.

The introduction attempts to convince readers of such propaganda, by adding that the Talmud claims that non-Jews are inhuman, may be tricked or cheated, and that it is permissible to kill them.

“The Talmudic heritage has a significant impact on the formulation of Jewish identity based on holy [principles of] racial isolation…It [the Talmud] also established the extreme positions that advocate hatred toward non-Jews, the violation of their rights and looting of their lands and property,” concludes the hate-ridden introduction.  

The publisher then refers to the Zionist movement’s alleged “crimes” against the Arabs as an example of the Talmud’s validation of racist policies, notes the ADL.

The MESC Jordan-based think tank, which is highly critical of Israel, was established in 199 and has a special unit on Israeli affairs, which monitors Israel, Zionist organizations and Hebrew-language media.

Al-Jazeera has specifically promoted this book as a contribution to the “establishment of Arabic language Jewish studies” and claims that the translation “identifies the features of the Jewish character that blend elements of racial superiority with Mosaic teachings.”

In the MIddle Ages, the Talmud was often accused of being racist. Jews expunged some sentences that talked about idol worship from the Talmud and prayers so as to avoid being persecuted for them. However, most of what is written in the Talmud about non-Jews has to do with condemning pagan idol worshippers, many of whom sacrificed their own children to their gods - and much of what is written on the subject are the opinions expressed in open discussions that are brought down in the Talmud, not legal or ethical teaching.