Growing Anti-semitism

One of the signs of the times is the rising tide of anti-Semitism. Observers of history are comparing it to the circumstances in which anti-Jewish feeling was whipped up in the 1930s in Germany and culminated in the Holocaust. This time the anti-Jewish sentiment, from elements of the left and right and Islamic rage, is not directed against individual Jews as much as it is against their collective presence in the land to which they have returned - Israel is viewed as illegitimate and an obstacle to world peace. In this article, the author reviews the new outbursts of hatred and how they will be solved by the coming of the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

Many words can be used to describe the underlying history of the Jewish people. Few of them would engender thoughts of serenity. None of them would imply complacency. To say that modern day Jews can be characterized by their collective anxiety would be the understatement of a tumultuous century. Unfortunately for them, their apprehensions are well founded. The roots of anti-Semitism run deep. Its foundations are virtually impregnable, having been meticulously layered through centuries of underlying, reinforced, and skillfully focused hatred.

If, however, it can be said that the foundations of hatred are virtually impregnable, then logically, that would imply a defensive force of massive potential; for to repel such hatred would take something extremely unique. Well - Brothers, Sisters, and friends of God's truth everywhere - words have yet to be contrived by the hand of man that adequately exemplifies the indelible spirit of God's chosen people. They survived the Exodus. They maintained their collective identity through the Diaspora. The holocaust could not break them. Why? Exodus 19: 4-5 provides the answer, "ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine." They survive because the great God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Creator and Sustainer of all that live, move, and have being deems it to be so. Even still, many contest.

The nature of modern day anti-Semitism is fluid. Its very premise lends it to evolve and attack where vulnerabilities exist. Like cracks in a dyke, anti-Semitic ideology and rhetoric is designed to easily find, and penetrate pliable minds. As believers in the gospel message, we strive to "choose life" as we're instructed in Duet 30:19. "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life..." To love is vastly more demanding than to hate. Hatred, unfortunately, is like breathing; it seems to come naturally, as if born of instinct. Human beings are inherently flawed. Antagonists of Judaism are keenly aware of this. In fact, they feast on it, reveling in the fact that we're all so easily manipulated.

To that end, if someone were to publicly refute the existence of the holocaust they would be labeled clinically insane, correct? From the perspective of logic and reason perhaps, but this is precisely what the government of Romania attempted to do in June 2003. In an official communiqué published less than a year ago, the Romanian government is quoted as stating, "Holocaust atrocities did not occur on the territory of Romania during the years of 1940-1945." To the student of history, this statement is nothing less than absurd. The following month, in July of 2003, the President of Romania granted an interview with the Hebrew newspaper Haaretz, mainly due to the furor surrounding his earlier remarks. In it he stated that the fate of the Jews during the holocaust was not unique.

Denial, however, is but one of the weapons in the arsenal of the modern day anti-Semite. In keeping with the vein of political absurdity, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, recently went on record as saying, "Today the Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them." Many observations can be made about the preceding statement, the most glaring of which is - look who's making it.

Its author wasn't standing on a rickety soapbox in Timbuktu. Like the President of Romania before him, the Prime Minister of Malaysia is the most powerful voice for a highly industrialized and intelligent people. His comments weren't second hand. This was the prime influence for an entire geographic region going on record in a highly public forum, graphically maligning the Jewish collective.

Also noteworthy, are those two simple words, Jewish collective. In times past,

Anti-Semitism was commonly directed at individual Jews, usually born of envy. During the Diaspora, forced relocation typically drove the Jews from country to country. At each new locale, they would begin forming centers of influence placing an extremely high value on the merits of education. From a secular perspective, this more than anything else can be credited with their longevity as a people. In a word, they flourished, and they did so despite any efforts to thwart their prosperity.

In short, the anti-Jewish sentiment of old was usually born of jealousy and projected at individual Jews, until of course, the collective became too prominent; at which time they were summarily made to leave, most often not by request. It wasn't, however, until 1948 that the paradigm truly began to shift. With the onset of a national identity, the new anti-Semitism was no longer bound by individual loathing; in the proclamation that the nation of Israel was born, the hatred of the Jewish collective found new life - and a new direction. Ezek 37:5 "Thus says the Lord God unto these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live." With these words hatred got fresh legs.

As in times past, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob flourished in their new environment. Advancements in the fields of agriculture, engineering, and economics, coupled with unfettered Jewish immigration and strategic alliances with the West, made a land that formerly consisted of dust and intermittent settlements into a prosperous, divinely orchestrated oasis. Fast forward to today. These are the facts: Israel is a leader in almost every major field of influence from aeronautics to agriculture. Fact, major armed conflict involving the collective Arab might has failed to remove Israel or weaken its resolve. Fact, the strategic alliances that the west formed with Israel 50 years ago hamper the underlying goal of driving Israel into the sea. Strategy going forward: if the collective Proximal Arab might has failed...perhaps the collective strength of Islam may be necessary for success.

The following is a direct quote from the current cleric of the central mosque of Mecca. In describing the Jewish people he writes, "They are infidels, worshipers of calves, murderers of prophets, who attempted to murder the prophet Mohammed." Another prominent Saudi cleric later went on to add, "How can Moslems not be joyful when in the killing of Jews and infidels?" Both statements, by the way, were taken directly from a speech given on January 26, 2004 to the Prime Minister of Sweden by a representative of Israel at the fourth Stockholm conference on the prevention of genocide.

Therefore, and by way of conclusion, the methods of the anti-Semitic message might be fluid, but the motivation for it is most definitely rigid - erasing the finality of the seed of Isaac. Gen 17:20-21 states, "And as for Ishamel, I have heard thee: behold I have blessed him and will make him fruitful...but my covenant will I establish with Isaac..." And as the enmity grew, so did the severity of the prophesies concerning it, Ezek 35:2-7 heralds, "Son of Man, set thy face against mount Se-ir, and prophesy against it...Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel...Thus will I make mount Se-ir most desolate." And finally in Obadiah vs. 18, the brutal finality of centuries of stalking Jewish blood comes to a vicious end, "and the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them."

It is the earnest prayer of all those who love the Gospel message that everyone, Jew and Gentile alike, should come to the "one faith" spoken of in Ephesians. Hatred in all its forms, especially directed against God's chosen people, is folly. Therefore, let us "redeem the time" and rededicate our energies in earnest prayer for the soon return of our absent Lord and Master. May the day swiftly come when Judah's Lion shall arrive "as lightening coming out of the east", to act as a spiritual compass for a society who has visibly lost its way.

Michael Arabia

Hamilton, ON