Anti-Semitism is known as the oldest hatred. That is because it comes from the origins of Christianity. Replacement theology is the concept that Christianity in effect replaced Judaism. This was explicit from the era of the Emperor Constantine who embraced Christianity and set most of its rules (such as that Christ was supposed to be the “son of God,” a very Greek concept). Although Christianity, that was previously forbidden was suddenly kosher, Judaism remained punishable and heretical in the Roman Empire. Then there was the fear and hatred of the “other.” For a long time Jews were the only “other” minority that all the tribes of Europe knew.
But, all the tribes of Europe hated each other too. So the Hungarians and the Romanians fought each other, and the Lithuanians and the Russians and the Swedes, and the French and the Italians and the Austrians, and the Germans who hated everyone else and fought them too. But, the Jews were the only common minority without any army to defend themselves and they were universally hated. And this was long before any Black Africans came on the scene.
The British (whereof I come, so I know of what I speak) were supposed to be “good chaps,” more decent than the rest, and under their democratic system, more tolerant of minorities. Good in theory, not so good in practice. In Britain there were typically two forms of anti-Semitism, one for the lower classes, extreme, physical and crude, and one for the upper classes, polite, condescending and exclusionary. Those of us who grew up there suffered from both.
But, if you want to understand why the three great European nations, Britain, France and Germany, are anxious to continue the terrible deal that they made with Iran and with US President Obama, here are the reasons. These nations have always been ready to throw the Jews under the carriage when it came to power politics. Self-interest comes before any supposed humanitarian considerations. The actions of these nations in relation to the Nazis are an indication of their basic nature. The Germans of course adored Hitler and followed him without question (there were a small minority of opponents, but they didn’t count). The French first capitulated and then collaborated (yes, there were a minority who fought back). But, the British fought the Germans, because they could not allow a greater power to control the Continent of Europe (some think it was for democracy or humanitarian reasons, but not so).
However, at no point did the British do anything to really help the Jews: 1. They did not allow Jewish immigration into the UK (apart from a few thousand children); 2. After the change in policy to placate the Arabs (the so-called White Paper of 1939) Britain actively prevented Jews from emigrating to Palestine/Israel. In fact they had a vast spy network before, during and after the war intercepting and preventing Jews fleeing to Palestine (they let Hitler do their dirty work); 4. After the attacks by Palestinian Jews on British forces in the 1930’s, Jews were forbidden to carry arms and it was usual for the British forces to disarm all Jews, even though the Arabs were allowed to carry weapons, that the British knew they were using to murder Jews. Very decent of them, old chap. 5. They also refused to bomb the camps or the railway lines leading to them (too much bother for a few Jews, old chap)
After the defeat of Nazi Germany, when the weakened Jewish survivors dragged themselves from the camps and were unable to return “home,” they all wanted to go to Palestine/Israel. But, the British instituted a policy of interception, that included attacking unarmed survivors in decrepit civilian ships. They even took the survivors who managed to reach Palestine into camps, either at Atlit south of Haifa or to Cyprus. And when the camps there were full, as the anti-Semitic Labor Party Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin said “to teach them a lesson,” they even shipped them back in prison ships to Hamburg and to the camps in Germany. So much for the decency of the British.
Regarding the French, apart from Vichy, I will only mention that it was the French gendarmes who rounded up 13,000 Jews (including 4,000 children) in Paris and imprisoned them for three days in the Velodrome d’Hiver without food or water and then shipped them off to Auschwitz. Great allies. And by the way, the reason Pres. Obama signed the Iran deal was so that he could appear to the world as if he were European, like the other Europeans, so civilized and liberal. So don’t expect anything of the Europeans, they would be happy to continue to trade with Iran, even if they were firing missiles into Israel (AS THEY ARE DOING). Only hope that Pres. Trump stands firm and the Europeans will eventually be forced to toe the US line.
A liberal is someone who believes that man is intrinsically good, but potentially evil, a conservative believes the opposite, that man is essentially evil but potentially good. I am a cynic, I believe neither. To paraphrase the great English writer and philosopher H.G. Wells “in the future everything will change, except human nature.”