Commonly, all Jews are blamed for the supposedly immoral behavior of a few: tax farmers, liquor dealers, and the like. No other people are judged by that standard. Most Jews adhere to an exceedingly rigid code of conduct, prescribed by their Law, which prohibits immoral actions (usually) even toward gentiles.

Jews define morals differently from many gentiles. Jews believe in free will and that God generally leaves the world to run itself by the laws God created. Gentiles often believe in pervasive determinacy, where humans do not control themselves. It was, therefore, no transgression for Jewish tavern-keepers to sell alcohol to whoever wanted it, though some accused them of charging high prices and addicting people to alcohol—presumably by low prices. Jews engaged in businesses others avoided, since restrictions excluded them from agriculture, limited their trade rights and employment choices. They went where they could.
Although borrowing at interest is a matter of choice, the Law recognized that circumstances might force some to borrow against their free will and prohibited lending at interest to other Jews. Some Jews are moneylenders, but people flocked to them, because their rates were better than gentiles’. The same is true of Jewish liquor dealers and grocers. But gentiles disregard their unscrupulous co-religionists and carp on Jews.

Charges that Jews persecute Arabs are hypocritical in light of the streams of blood that established all countries, the historical standards against which Israel should be judged. Jews were accused of misanthropy because they hesitate to associate with gentiles. They did not associate with gentiles because gentiles do not observe Jewish laws of cleanliness and hold bizarre religious views, and though Jewish misanthropy may have intensified in response to their isolation in the Christian world, the Hebrews of antiquity held themselves apart from tolerant pagans—who welcomed Jews to their idolatrous festivals. A nation that introduced compulsory education twenty-three centuries ago could be snobbish. Whatever libel Jewish misanthropy did to others, the Christian authorities and commoners harmed Jews immensely more. Jews have never persecuted gentiles.

Opponents say the Jews would have persecuted the gentiles had the demographical situation been different. This is untrue as can be seen in the examples of the Khazari Khaganate and Israel, where other religions are tolerated scrupulously. While the ancient Judaic theocracy prohibited aliens from idol worship, the restriction was nothing compared to the pogroms Christians undertook against the Jews.

Some ostensibly spiritual Christians say Jews are materialists, though it is ludicrous to suggest that Jews are less spiritual than anyone else. They have clung to their religion during millennia of persecutions and consider serving God the most exalted calling. Contempt for the material often results from the inability to obtain it. Judaism praises worldly things, does not require anyone to distribute all his property for perfection, does not view the beautiful material world with Shinto melancholy. Man is not born for suffering or self-abnegation but for enjoyment. Would God have created us in his image just to make us suffer? Certainly not.
Jewish concern about the worldly looks excessive only against the background of religions and philosophies that cannot balance the spiritual and the material. Contrasted to the backdrop of hypocritical and superficial self-denial, Jews honestly accept worldly pleasures instead of repressing natural inclinations and make them boil. Jews live in peace with the material world and do not need to exile themselves to monasteries to serve God. The created world is the holiest of all places.

Some say anti-Semitism could not be so pervasive if it did not rest on a core of truth. Anti-Semitism’s universality, however, testifies against it. The situation of Jews has varied substantially in various lands and at various times, their economic and social relations with others unpredictable. Anti-Semitism must be based on something else, and that something else is fear and hatred of those “not like us”—especially if they are helpless. The establishment of a powerful Israel in 1948 began a steep decline in anti-Semitism worldwide. Now Israeli Jews, no longer helpless, can afford to be different. What they do with strength and coherence may arouse admiration or protest, but no more irrational hatred.