Anti-Semitism and Israel

2015-September/October

A Present Problem

Anti-Semitism and Israel

“Jehovah builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel” (Psalms 147:2 NAS).

Leonard Griehs

In September, 2014, anti-Israel rallies and anti-Semitic attacks broke out across Europe. Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Germany, observed: “Not a single Jewish institution in [Germany] can go without police protection today.” The Arab-Jewish conflict in Israel has caused tension between Muslims and Jews everywhere. Anti-Semitic chants and threats have marred pro-Palestinian protests in France, Germany, and Italy.

A July 30, 2014 Newsweek cover story featured a one-word headline: EXODUS. Europe’s Jews were fleeing again, particularly from France. In January, 2015, Bridges for Peace, said aliyah in Israel reached a 10-year high, at 26,500. Immigrants from France in 2014 were 7000, more than double the previous year. It was the first year that more Jews moved to Israel from France than from any other country. Jews fleeing the Ukraine almost tripled, from 2020 to 5840 in 2014. Those moving to Israel from Western Europe increased 88 percent and those returning from countries of the former Soviet Union increased by 50 percent.

The Newsweek article was based on a survey of 53,100 adults in 102 countries and territories by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), The ADL Global100: An Index of Anti-Semi- tism. The conclusion: “Anti-Semitic attitudes are persistent and pervasive around the world.” About 26 percent were deeply infected with anti-Semitism, suggesting one billion people in the world harbor ill will toward the Jewish people.

Among the Findings

  • 26% harbor anti-Semitic attitudes.
  • 54% have never heard of the Holocaust.
  • First stereotype: “Jews are more loyal to Is- rael than to … the countries they live in.”
  • Second stereotype: “Jews have too much power in the business world.”
  • 74% surveyed had never met a Jew, yet, one- fourth of them harbor anti-Semitic attitudes.
  • 30% believe Jews make up 1% to 10% of the world population (The actual percentage is 0.19%).

Professor Sarah Feinberg of Georgetown University led the forum “European Judaism under Siege,” discussing protests over Palestinian deaths in the Israeli conflicts. She cited the killing in Syria of 160,000 civilians, including 1800 Palestinians, without a single anti-Syria protest in Europe. Feinberg coined the term “Is- raelization,” saying that the “Jewish question” — whether the Jews in Europe under Hitler had a right to exist — has been reborn as the “Israeli question” — does Israel have a right to exist?

Feinberg says the “intellectual side of society,” that raise the loudest protest, now ally with misfits, anti-government, anti-business, and anti-institutional people to blame Jews for whatever bad happens in the Middle East.

God Will Intervene

In that day that I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone unto all peoples: all that burden themselves with it shall certainly be wounded, and all the nations of the earth shall be assembled together against it” (Zechariah 12:3, Darby).

Many Bible Students believe this scripture is being fulfilled today. Allies of Israel are criticized. Few nations are willing to support Israel. Israel’s very existence is threatened. Former friends hedge their position. Evidently Israel will stand alone, without military intervention from others, in the final crisis. God, however, will deliver them (Joel 2:18-20, Ezekiel 38:18- 23, Zechariah 14:3-9).

 

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