Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak, author of The Zionist Conspiracy: (and how to join it), reflected on the Book of Daniel in explaining the motives of antisemitism during an interview with Sebastian Gorka on Friday.
“The other explanation [for antisemitism] is envy, because Jews have been successful throughout the years,” Pollak said on the America First radio show, “and again, there are poor Jews, there are Jews who have failed in various ways, there are Jews who are criminals who end up in jail like Bernie Madoff or Harvey Weinstein or whatever.”
Pollak summarized the biblical story of Daniel:
Jews are not a perfect people, but just read the book of Daniel in the Old Testament — a classic story — Daniel is exiled from Israel to Babylonia and rises to become one of the king’s top [and] most skillful advisors, and the other advisors are jealous, and so they convince the king to pass a law that anyone who bows to another god or obeys a different law must be put to death and thrown into the lion’s den.
He continued, “That’s in fact what happens, and Daniel of course survives that, and then the people who wrote the law and hatched the plot are then thrown into the lion’s dead in his stead.”
Jewish distinction and separation from others through religious traditions and rules can drive resentment among non-Jews, Pollak assessed.
“That’s a story as old as the Old Testament,” he said. “It’s the idea that this is a people that live by a different set of rules in some ways, that they impose on themselves, that we we take upon ourselves.”
Pollak noted Jews are religiously bound to obey the laws of the lands in which they reside.
He stated, “It does not mean disobeying or being disloyal to the society we live in. There’s a principle in the Talmud — dina d’malchuta dina — the law of the land you live in is your religious law. It is your law. You are duty-bound to obey the laws of the country are in.”
“So that’s why Jews have fought patriotically for the United States and for other countries in which Jews have lived,” he added. “But there’s still this idea that people have that the success of Jews is something that is somehow nefarious.”
Pollak described antisemitism as “a hatred with a long history.”
“If you read the Bible or the Talmud, there is almost a sense of resignation that this kind of hatred is permanent,” Pollak concluded. “It has to do with the fact that Jewish people live by a different set of laws, and we’re not perfect — we’re as human as anybody else — but we do have a set of aspirations that is quite stringent, and that means that we are sometimes seen as a people who set themselves apart from others, whether linguistically, culturally, or religiously.”