This is an account of life in Persia in the 19th century:
“They are obliged to live in a separate part of town…; for they are considered as unclean creatures… Under the pretext of their being unclean, they are treated with the greatest severity and should they enter a street, inhabited by Mussulmans, they are pelted by the boys and mobs with stones and dirt… For the same reason, they are prohibited to go out when it rains; for it is said the rain would wash dirt off them, which would sully the feet of the Mussulmans… If a Jew is recognized as such in the streets, he is subjected to the greatest insults. The passers-by spit in his face, and sometimes beat him… unmercifully… If a Jew enters a shop for anything, he is forbidden to inspect the goods… Should his hand incautiously touch the goods, he must take them at any price the seller chooses to ask for them… Sometimes the Persians intrude into the dwellings of the Jews and take possession of whatever please them. Should the owner make the least opposition in defense of his property, he incurs the danger of atoning for it with his life… If… a Jew shows himself in the street during the three days of the Katel (Muharram)…, he is sure to be murdered”
This wasn’t only about money or power.
Antisemitism stems from ethnic racial reasons, religious reasons, and yes – also economical reasons.
But the core of the issue is that Jews were persecuted for being Jews. Many were murdered even though they were not rich or powerful. And being rich and powerful rarely protected them anyway.
19th century zionists proposed that being a majority in one country would be better than being a minority in all countries. As a majority – you cannot be expelled, as they were from England, Spain, Yemen and elsewhere. As a majority – you cannot be subjected to specific taxes only applicable to your religion. You cannot be forced to wear a certain hat or to work in a certain profession.
Not sure why that sounds such unreasonable thinking to you.
Being a minority is not so good even in the 21st century.
Palestinians living in Haifa, Muslims living in France, Kurds living in Iraq will all agree.
Mooser – I was under the impression we were talking about Zionism. Happy to discuss Kashmir or Brazil if that is what you wanted to talk about.