The Roots of Antisemitism
Antisemitism, when and where did it raise its ugly head, how did we get to where we are today, experienced in the 19th century, and why it is rapidly gaining mainstream acceptance?
Before I share this, I would like to thank Avinoam Ben Dor who translated this from Hebrew to English, think this is far too important not to share.
Thousands of years of Anti-Judaism/Antisemitism
Matan Peleg | 01/05/2019
The Jewish Ethical monotheistic ideology eventually defeated the ancient cultures: Rome converted to Christianity, and Islam was created. But it only fueled the nations’ need to delegitimize Judaism and to cast blame on the Jews.
Centuries of Antisemitism. (Credit photos: Wikicommons)
Sometimes I ask myself: what is the origin of the old and new Antisemitism? The origin of this timeworn obsession is a question in itself. In order to start giving some answers – and although Passover is right behind us – we should return to the story of the Jewish People’s Exodus from Egypt.
The story of the Exodus is one of mankind’s greatest stories, and certainly a revolutionary” story in Human culture. It is an unfolding process that resulted in the creation of a nation who has self-awareness and an unprecedented Ethics and morals, different from anything previously known: Instead of a life whose only meaning depended on the whims of dozens of gods, most enshrined as idols, endlessly fighting each other (and certainly not caring at all about humans); Moses carved his own rock. His was not a rock to be worshipped as a deity. He brought to the world, the great and earth-changing message that both the life of the nation and that of its individuals are sacred.
Moses’ message was not only revolutionary. It was profoundly disconcerting, throwing over, as it did, all the existing assumptions and attitudes about the importance of the individual. It is perhaps no wonder that in those days many attempts were made to disparage and denigrate the nation that brought these values into the world. Countless efforts were made to cast doubt and aspersions on Moses and the people of Israel. As early as 300 BCE, we find the first written effort at delegitimization of the Jewish people: “The Leper’s Plot”. Written by a Greek philosopher named Hecataeus of Abdera, the manifest presents the Jews as a band of impious lepers who defiled Egypt until they were finally expelled from it.
Though, perhaps the greatest impetus to cast doubt upon and to denigrate the founding ethos of the Jewish people, arose after the Torah was translated into Greek, in the third century BCE (“The Septuagint.”) Suddenly, more and more sages and philosophers from very different horizons and cultures were exposed to the ideas of Moses and the Israelites – therefore, such exposure created among some of them the need for counter-narratives, stories, and worldviews.
The first to act upon it was probably the Hellenistic priest, Manetho, who lived in Egypt at the time of the Torah’s translation. Manetho not only reiterated the story of the ancient lepers but also pointed out that the Israelites invaded Egypt since they were not permitted to settle in Egypt. He also distorted the story and claimed that they’ve stayed there until the Egyptians managed to defeat and expel them.
In the second century BCE, the Egyptian writer, Lichimus, wrote his own version of the leper’s plot: he explained that it was only when the Jewish people were in the desert, that Moses offered to invade and conquer the land [of Israel] and kick out its inhabitants.
The Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, also rewrote and paraphrased leprosy’s story of Hecataeus of Abdera. Apion, a Hellenized Egyptian also wrote an expanded version of this story. He claimed that the lepers were not the only ones expelled from Egypt. He claimed that thousands of blind people, sick and infected people with other diseases were also expelled. Apion also claimed that Jews did human sacrifices and worshiped donkeys’ heads. Seneca, a Roman philosopher, called the Jews “a cursed people” and Tacitus, a historian, and senator of the Roman Empire, vehemently denounced the “cult” that Moses had created and claimed that “The Jewish cult contradicted everything known to mankind”.
At first glance, the intensity of their obsession to cast doubt on the story of the Exodus from Egypt is incomprehensible. But, the more you consider the impact of the Exodus story, the more their motives become understandable. The ethos of the Bnei Yisroel is simply more attractive and the Ethics and Morals of the Torah of Israel threatened all the cultures around. Not with the sword, but with an ideology, a vision. Indeed, the Jewish Ethical monotheistic ideology eventually defeated its competitors. Rome converted to Christianity, meaning that they adopted a more contemporary Judaism and made their own adaptations accordingly. The same happened to the Orient nations of the world: they have somehow “Judaized” and based on the Torah, they added new texts that altogether created what is known today as Islam.
Of course, the nations’ respective adoptions and transformations of Judaism, did not end their need to try and delegitimize Judaism and to cast blame on the Jews – quite the contrary. Jews had to be found “unworthy” of the Torah, in order to justify these new religions.
Thus, a new concept was born: “anti-Semitism.”
The Greek Lepers’ plot was replaced with the accusation of the Jews being responsible for the murder of Jesus (in the 4th century), and later on, with the crazy plot that the Jews were preparing matzah from Christian children’s blood. (England 1149). After that, it was said that the Jews were poisoning wells (Switzerland 1348), then that the Jews were planning to take over the world (The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in Russia, early 20th century) etc… Some of these tales appear again are even in our modern days as if nothing had changed. After all, there is no fundamental difference between the “Matzah- blood” plot of the 12th century and the claim made by the Swedish newspaper “Aftonbladet” in 2009, which claimed that IDF soldiers harvest Palestinians’ organs for commercial purposes. We can almost not differ between the plot of poisoning the wells of Switzerland in the 14th century, and the allegedly “poisoning of Palestinian water” that activists of “Breaking the Silence” like to tell to European tourists. As I like to say: there is nothing new under the sun!
There is no question that it is of great importance to tell and represent Israel’s truth against the lies that the Europeans and their aides propagate. On the other hand, it is worth remembering that these murderous lies are thousands of years old. It started with Moses – and it’s not going to end any time soon.
Matan Peleg is the CEO of “Im-Tirzu”.
(Translated to English by Avinoam Ben Dor. Adaptation: Rachel Touitou)
(We at 0censor have to add, this is the opinion of the writer, not 0censor, we felt it was best to leave everything in and not censor, to allow you the reader to understand where the frame of mind is coming from) We will add commentary when we see what is what we view as a false statement, but leave the statement up.
Constantine stated in his letter after the First Council of Nicaea (which had already decided the matter):
“… it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this holiest feast we should follow the practice of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin and are, therefore, deservedly afflicted with blindness of soul … Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Saviour a different way.”
Eusebius, Life of Constantine Vol. III Ch. XVIII Life of Constantine (Book III)
“During the Dark Ages when the Church ruled, antisemitism reigned, and Jews lived in constant terror.
Anyone who has read the Christian Bible will no doubt be alarmed by the demonization of the Jewish people that served for many centuries to enforce antisemitic acts and attitudes practiced throughout Christendom. Historically, the countless Christian massacres and persecutions and the omnipresent antisemitic attitudes purveyed by preachers and popes alike were defended as following naturally from Christian scripture, which above all else blamed the Jews for murdering Jesus.
The Acts of the Apostles.
Jews are referred to as vipers and poisonous snakes, hard-hearted and hypocrites, thieves and robbers, and the blind guiding the blind. We are told that they reject the commandments, reject God’s purpose, and plotted on multiple occasions to kill Jesus and eventually did.
The Gospel According to John makes these assertions: God’s word and God’s love are not with the Jews; none of the Jews do what is written in the Torah; they know neither Jesus nor the father; and they are descendants of their own father, who is not God but Satan.
The Gospel of John at no time singles out the Jews, it says that all, not the Jews have sinned. Further, it was not mentioning Jews, the passage speaks of the Pharisees, the writer here ignores this.
Whenever unnamed Jews appear, they do so almost always as villains. When unnamed Gentiles appear, they almost always heed the words of the gospels and say random things like “Truly this was the son of God!” as one Roman centurion exclaims at the crucifixion as Jewish crowds revel in Jesus’ pain. Romans, known by historians for their unfettered willingness to kill, is shown repeatedly in the New Testament as trying to save Jesus and his followers, notably Paul. Even in cases where the gentiles ignore the apostles or try to kill them, as occurs in Iconium and Antioch, we are told on both occasions that the Jews had first “stirred up the other Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.”
The Jews in Christian scripture represent, in reality, and in metaphor, the shadows in the contrast of good and evil. The righteousness of Jesus and his followers are held against the backdrop of Jews who seek to stifle his message and kill him if need be. In the words of Jonah Daniel Goldhagen, in his book A Moral Reckoning, “The antisemitism of the Christian Bible is not incidental to it but constitutive of its story. … The Christian Bible presents its Christian faithful with a relentless and withering assault on Jews and Judaism … presented as the ontological enemy of Jesus and therefore of goodness.” The scholar William Nicholls put it more plainly: “No uncritical reader of the New Testament could easily come away with any but the most negative opinion of Jews.”
As a child of both faiths, I don’t agree with this author, the Christian author accurately states the Jews did as a whole reject Jesus, but his disciples were all Jewish. The Christian scriptures did not have a good vision of the Pharisees, but it did not extend to the Jews.
Just about all of the Gospels directly or indirectly accuse the Jews of actually killing God, which would seem ridiculous if it hadn’t visited so much actual death and persecution on Jewish communities across Europe over the past 2,000 years. Mark depicts Jesus being condemned before the Jewish supreme court, the Sanhedrin, on the night of the Seder — though they would never convene for a capital case on a night or on a holiday — before being sentenced to death for blasphemy and handed over to the Romans. The Roman governor Pontius Pilate tries repeatedly to have Jesus spared, but the Jewish crowds beg for his execution. Matthew adds that Pilate, whom historians tell us was a monster recalled to Rome for murdering unarmed Samaritan demonstrators, tried to save Jesus’ life and physically washed his hands of Jesus blood as the braying Jewish crowds screamed for the Messiah’s innocent blood to “be upon our heads and upon our children’s.” Luke does away with both the Jewish and Roman trials entirely — mentioning no crime, witnesses, or formal condemnation — which, Nicholls points out, converts the Roman Crucifixion into a Jewish lynching of Jesus.
The gospels state that Jesus died as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, it was Romans that put Jesus to death, although in all fairness the Jews did not pick to free Jesus when offered a choice. But remember, there at most a couple of hundred Jews there, this hardly represented the whole.
Worse than killing God once, the Jews are accused of being something like serial killers, but for prophets. Jesus repeatedly refers to the historical Jewish crimes of killing divine messengers, such as Zachariah; and Luke, Matthew, and John each mention a separate Jewish attempt on Jesus’ life even before the crucifixion. The most damning target of the Jewish prophet-killing obsession isn’t even Jesus, it’s Paul. While the Jews try to kill Jesus no more than four times, they try to kill Paul no less than nine — in Damascus, Jerusalem, Iconium, Lystra, Thessalonika, Corinth, twice again in Jerusalem, and on the road from Caesarea (the Romans, of course, were there to save him.) Those aside, the New Testament depicts the Jews killing Stephen, approving Herod’s killing of James, and instigating plots to kill Lazarus and Peter.
As bad as what the New Testament has to say about Jews is what it has to say about Judaism, which is depicted throughout as old and defunct and in need of replacement. Jesus, in Matthew, tells the Jews that “the kingdom of God will be taken away from you [Jews] and given to a people that will produce its fruit [the Christians].” John takes the metaphor terrifyingly further, calling the Jewish people a fruitless tree waiting to be axed, “cut down and thrown into the fire.”
John at no time states this, he says if a tree bears no fruit you chop it down, the Christian doctrine teaches that the Jews rejected Jesus, thus there was a time of the Gentiles when Gentiles would be grafted to the tree, the tree at no time is chopped down, the promise to the Jews has never halted.
As a result of growing agricultural surpluses in the 12th Century, the development of widespread trade was allowed, which in turn increased the economic importance of money lending.
“The (Catholic) Church struggled with interest-bearing Christians as the economy expanded and loans were required.
“Those who deal with their own usurious interest will inherit hell and those who do not deal with usury interest loans will be impoverished,” wrote an Italian playwright.
One of the methods used by the (Catholic) Church to solve the dilemma, starting in the 12th C, was to exclude Christians from engaging in this prohibited or necessary economic activity, by permitting only Jews to engage in it.
The Jews were not subject to the prohibitions of ecclesiastical law, and in any case, were subjected to the flames of hell forever and ever because they betrayed Yeshua.
Pope Nicholas V, for example, preferred that “this nation will be permitted to draw usurious interest and not Christians from one another.”
Thus began the link between making money and Jews, a link that strengthened the despicable image of the trade in the eyes of Christians and which, as we shall see, was to survive in renewed incarnation even in the sayings of modern intellectuals.
In the iconography of the early Middle Ages money was often associated with feces and described as disgusting and obnoxious. Now the Jews themselves were described as stinking. Illustrated representations of greed often included symbols identified with Jews.
In Passion Plays, Judas of Iscariot’s relations with Jewish leaders in his days, during the Late 2nd Temple period, were presented as bargaining between Jewish money lenders, as typical medieval Jewish usury lenders.
The identification of Jews with usurious interest was so tight that in the middle of the 12th Century, Christian religious leaders used the term, Iudaizare, which means ‘to act as a Jew’, meaning collectors of usurious interest, and naming usurious Christians as “Jews who were baptized”.
The kings of England and France, who needed loans from Christian loan sharks, some even church members, created a legal fiction to protect them:
They were considered legally “Jewish,” and therefore subject to the king’s exclusive patronage. The Jewish spear “of usury.” To symbolically identify the forms of capitalism that are perceived as most obnoxious as “Jewish” will persist for a long time to come.
European Jews, who in the past earned their livelihood in agriculture and crafts, became, throughout the 12th and 13th centuries, a population primarily engaged in commerce – with emphasis on money lending. A host of factors directed them to the field. The church had purged the Jews from owning land, as Jewish landowners did not pay tithe to the coffers.
From the artisans’ world, Jews were ejected with the growth of guilds, which limited membership only to Christians. Another factor was the undermined security of Jewish communities. The Jews depended on their living quarters based on the tolerance of Christian nobles and kings and therefore lived in constant fear of displacement and deportation. Jews were therefore attracted to the mobile property, in particular precious metals and gems, which could be easily concealed.
Moreover, Jews were attracted to commerce in general and the lending businesses in particular as a by-product of Torah studies which was at the top of their values.
The livelihood of commerce and banking allows leeway for study than work in agriculture and crafts. Finally, the widespread redeployment of Jewish communities, that had a common legal practice (Halacha) and a common language (Hebrew), throughout Europe and Asia gave Jews a great advantage as international merchants.
Martin Luther On the Jews and Their Lies
“Another antisemitic treatise was written in 1543 by the German Reformation leader Martin Luther. Luther’s attitude toward the Jews took different forms during his lifetime. In his earlier period, until 1537 or not much earlier, he wanted to convert Jews to Lutheranism, but failed.”
From Charles Joseph
“Voltaire was a vile racist antisemite of the lowest order. He believed the Jews to be unchangeably, intrinsically nasty by race. He invented the genre of race-based Jew-hatred and opened the doors to exterminist theory and the murder of two-thirds of Europe’s Jews. Truly a great thinker, inspiration for revolutions, and deeply bigoted, not a man of his time, but in contradistinction to men of his time that worked successfully against Voltaire against racism. He did not like Black people either. From the NYT: “Two citations will suffice. In his ”Letter of Memmius to Cicero” (1771), Voltaire, in the pose of an ancient Roman reporting on the Jews, wrote: ”They are, all of them, born with raging fanaticism in their hearts, just as the Bretons and the Germans are born with blond hair. I would not be in the least bit surprised if these people would not some day become deadly to the human race.” In the next year, writing the essay ”One Must Take Sides” – introduced as ”the last word by Voltaire on metaphysics” – he ridiculed each of the major religions, but he was meanest to the Jews: ”You have surpassed all nations in impertinent fables, in bad conduct, and in barbarism. You deserve to be punished, for this is your destiny.” This is hardly the rhetoric of a man who thinks that Jews are just other people waiting to be enlightened. It is the talk of a ”noble Roman,” his favorite self-definition, who has no patience with inferior people such as Jews and, for that matter, blacks.” All I have written here is taken from this article: Voltaire and the Jews.”
Fichte and the Jews by Shahar Ozeri Fichte and the Jews
“Very often I find reading Fichte annoying because his rhetorical strategies are often somewhat obnoxious (see Science of Knowledge, for one, but on the upshot, it’s often amusing at the same time). This morning I came across this comment by Fichte in his essay “A State within a State:”
“…the Jewish nation excluded itself…from the German nation by the most binding element of mankind—religion…It (the Jewish nation) separates itself from all others in its duties and rights, from here until eternity.”
Here comes the part that caused me to raise my eyebrows slightly, but very dramatically:
“I see absolutely no way of giving them [the Jews] civic rights, except perhaps if one chops off all of their heads and replaces them with new ones, in which there would not be one single Jewish idea.
While I think it’s fairly well known that Fichte denied that Judaism had any moral value and for the most part, harbored a traditional, run of the mill antisemitic attitude, I think this is a pretty nice straw man: portray Jewish religion as fundamentally inflexible in order to pave the way for political forms of antisemitism. Enter Wagner?”
“French socialist Alphonse Toussenel’s Les Juifs, rois de l’époque and places his hostility toward Jews on the spectrum of varieties of antisemitism. “Hep-Hep riots – Wikipediahttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/276830212_A_Socialist_Drumont_Alphonse_Toussenel_and_the_Jews
“Édouard Adolphe Drumont was a French journalist and writer. He initiated the Antisemitic League of France in 1889 and was the founder and editor of the newspaper La Libre Parole. After spending years of research, he synthesized three major types of antisemitism.”Édouard Drumont – Wikipedia
“Eugen Dühring (1833-1921) was one of the most significant of the early socialist theoreticians, economists, and positivist philosophers who opposed the hijacking of original socialist thought by what Dühring called “Jewish agitators and intriguers” such as Ferdinand Lassalle and Karl Marx. Dühring’s treatise on the Jews was the first major work to identify the Jewish Question not as a religious and cultural problem but, rather, as one based on the inherent and unchangeable character of the Jewish people. One important feature of Dühring’s anti-Semitism is his clear distinction between the Jews and other Semites, and his consideration of the former as “the most vicious minting of the entire Semitic race.” The Jewish religion, Dühring said, has no truly religious character but, instead, a markedly economic-political one that aims to dominate and exploit non-Jews. Indeed, the Jewish god Jehovah is nothing but an embodiment of the Jewish self-interest and represents the opposite of the Indo-European natural pantheon. Dühring was also firmly against the Marxist doctrine of class-warfare since he considered this to be a subversive strategy that furthered the opposition between the powerful warrior nobilities of the past and powerless social groups – to the advantage of the Jews. As a solution to the Jewish problem, Dühring demanded the complete expulsion of Jews from western society. Dühring’s radical realist and anti-religious worldview thus served as the philosophical backdrop to the emergence of Hitlerian anti-Semitism and marked a turning point in world history.”
“The International Jew is a four-volume set of antisemitic booklets or pamphlets published and distributed in the early 1920s by Henry Ford.”The International Jew – Wikipedia
“The Protocols of the Elders of Zion or The Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion is a fabricated antisemitic text purporting to describe a Jewish plan for global domination.”The Protocols of the Elders of Zion – Wikipedia
Anti Zionism by Melanie Phillips
“Anti-Zionism has weaponized antisemitism. The unique characteristics of antisemitism are replicated in anti-Zionism because anti-Zionism is the modern mutation of antisemitism.
Antisemitism is an obsessional hatred based entirely on lies; it accuses the Jews of crimes of which they are not only innocent but the victims; it holds them to standards expected of no one else; it depicts them as a global conspiracy of unique malice and power.
Anti-Zionism has exactly the same characteristics. It singles out the Jewish people alone as having no right to their own ancient homeland and, based on the big lie that the Jews stole the land, writes the Jews uniquely out of their own history.
The associated Israel-bashing demonizes, dehumanizes and delegitimizes Israel in order to bring about its destruction. It does this through a narrative of lies.
Anti-Zionism is intrinsically anti-Jew because it singles out the Jews alone as a people who have no right of self-determination in their own country. It does this on the basis of the big lie that uniquely writes the Jews out of their own history as the only people for whom the land of Israel was ever their national kingdom.
This discourse of anti-Zionism and loathing of Israel has exactly the same unique characteristics as Jew-hatred through the ages. It singles out Israel for obsessive falsehoods; it reverses victim and oppressor in this particular conflict; it holds Israel responsible for a global conspiracy of evil, and it seeks not just to deprive the Jewish people uniquely of their right to self-determination, but to remove from them the country in which they alone are the indigenous people of the land.”
The problems in Eurabia are not the Jews, they are the people of that continent who have been inoculated with a vile anti-Semitic virus for over two millennia without searching for a cure.
On the other side, the Jews have not learned anything from History if they still hope to live and assimilate on the blood-soaked soils of this forsaken continent.”
“Make no mistake, those who foster anti-Semitism, who build their careers and foreign policy on a foundation of hatred will be judged harshly by history. When you demonize the Jewish state, it is a reflection of your moral bankruptcy, nothing more,”
CUFI’s Kasim Hafeez told the UN body.
An example of blind hate:
In relation to the Jews, the Brits were and are no better than the rest of Europe. Please read:
Trials of the Diaspora by Anthony Julius
Anti – Judaism by David Nirenberg
Modern Antisemitism and degradation of Jewish human rights. When Human Rights Become Acceptable Collateral Damage
Contemporary American and British Antisemitism
Accusing Jews of apartheid, racism, and colonialism, especially among young adults is made possible, even easy, by biased and inaccurate media coverage.
It’s called “Word Crimes”: Reclaiming The Language of The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by Donna Robinson Divine Source: Israel Studies, Vol. 24, No. 2, Word Crimes; Reclaiming The Language of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Summer 2019), pp. 1-16 Published by: Indiana University Press
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.24.2.01 “The Jewish state, today, stands accused of practicing apartheid, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and of sustaining itself as a remnant of an outdated and thoroughly delegitimized colonial order. The Jewish state has not simply been re-branded; it has essentially been re-named. Once thought distinctive, Israel’s singularity is now presented as an example of horrific bigotry if not savagery.” “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis”
As an example:
“A controversial resolution promoting an academic boycott of Israel was narrowly voted down at a prestigious social science academic association over the weekend.
The resolution, which was co-authored by Melissa Weiner, an associate professor of sociology at the College of Holy Cross, and Johnny E. Williams, a professor of sociology at Trinity College, called on the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) to “promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by academic institutions,
Williams, one of the sponsors of the BDS resolution, retweeted a video titled, “Don’t drink the blood of the Palestinians,” which recalled medieval blood libels.”https://www.algemeiner.com/2019/08/12/major-academic-association-votes-down-bds-resolution/
It that’s not anti-Semitic libels than what is?
What is Antisemitism? description from CAMERA:
Another example of Eurabia’s bias against Israel
CUFI fighting Antisemitism
Hypocrisy of academics
Why Is Anti-Semitism Making a Comeback? Nita Lowey and David Harris (New York Times)
“Why, when American Jews have felt unmatched levels of inclusion an equality, is anti-Semitism making a comeback? Anti-Semitism dates back millenniums. Its ability to reinvent itself should never be underestimated. Even here in the U.S., it never entirely vanished.
The resurgence of anti-Semitism could be a result, in part, of the vanishing legacy of the Holocaust. Recent surveys reveal abysmal levels of knowledge among young people about what happened to the Jewish people in the Second World War.
Social media may also be playing a role. In the past, anti-Semites lived in small ideological circles with limited reach. Now the Internet amplifies the voices and influence of these otherwise marginal groups.
We need to recognize the problem for what it is: an epidemic. We are no longer talking about isolated, occasional actions but a regular-phenomenon. There are multiple ideological sources feeding this hate; it is not a result of a single political outlook. There is no one-size-fits-all profile for the perpetrators of these attacks.
We cannot allow this situation to become the “new normal,” as if attacks on Americans because of their religious or ethnic identities are now an expected part of our everyday lives. These attacks violate everything that Americans should hold dear. An attack on any American group is a threat to the pluralistic fabric of our nation.
In a survey of American Jews by the American Jewish Committee, released in October,31% said that they had taken steps to hide their Jewish identity in public, while 25% said they now avoided Jewish sites. This is unacceptable. It is not our America.
Nita Lowey is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York. David Harris is the chief executive of the American Jewish Committee.”
Antisemitism S. Africa & BDS
In my travels, I am often asked: “Why is antisemitism so dramatically on the rise?”
Across the globe hatred of Israel and the Jews, in this new decade, soars to record heights on the wings of the global antisemitic BDS movement. South Africa played a historical role in the links of BDS and the rise of the ‘new antisemitism’ being seen worldwide.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) emerged at the 2001UN-sponsored World Conference on Racism, and Racial Intolerance which was held in Durban, South Africa. What ultimately was birthed from that meeting was a document called the ‘Declaration of Principles,’ declaring Israel to be a racist apartheid state. Israel was falsely accused of committing crimes against humanity, demanding punishment and world censure, as well as imposing sanctions on the diplomatic, economic, academic, social and military fronts between all nations and the Jewish State. It created a wave of hatred that has virtually washed over every continent in the past 20 years.
You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit. Exodus 23:1-3
In South Africa this fall, I engaged Christian leaders with the questions: “How could this happen? Why did the church remain silent? How could they join hands with wicked leaders to pervert justice by their silence?”
I’d like to be able to travel back in time and challenge the generation of Christians in Germany to ask them the same questions: “Why was Germany’s Reichstag so diabolically successful in transmitting lies into acceptable social policies to seed Jew-hatred and pave the way for Hitler, unchallenged by Christians? Germany, a country that claimed Judeo-Christian values turned a blind eye to the false witness leveled at Germany’s Jewish communities. Why was the church as a body missing in action during those dark days too?”
This week of a new year and a new decade, a new inescapable question arises: “How can antisemitism happen here in America?” Another generation, another Judeo-Christian value system—ours —is being eroded daily by a new resurgence of the same age-old hatred. The answer on all counts to all the above questions is the same: Antisemitism grows in the dark and deafening void of silence. That silence is created when Christians, Jews and all people of moral conscience fail to speak out.
The words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer ring across the decades: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil; God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
What has silence in our time brought?
Antisemitism increasingly becoming “the norm.”
Americans have systematically and consistently over the past several years, allowed three elected officials to openly and consistently spew their hatred of the Jews without fear of censure—in the name of free speech and in doing so, have allowed antisemitism to be “normalized” in our culture to a whole new generation of Americans. Fanned by left-wing interests and media, just as in the days of the German Reichstag, lies have been transmitted to Americans from a platform of power and the false narrative has grown to be acceptable in the day-to-day discourse of life. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have become pop culture heroines on our watch. On our watch—and as our children watch—they have mainstreamed antisemitism and hatred of and violence against the Jews acceptable on the mainstream stage of daily life in our nation. The problem is growing exponentially as new voices join the chorus and the violence against Jews in America is being fanned to an epidemic. Where are our voices now?
PJTN is daily engaged in the counter wave attack against antisemitism—and we are committed in 2020 to raise the volume of opposition to epic proportions with and through every available resource. We have a biblical mandate.
“Florida broadcast host and pastor Rick Wiles’ ongoing media campaign of antisemitic propaganda. Recent radio program headlines from his TruNews broadcasts claiming a “Jewish Coup Against Trump” and “Jews Defiling America” have brought Wiles into national scrutiny and criticism for escalating hostility at a time when antisemitism has brought increased violence in America.
Wiles recently stated on air: “Zionism will be the evil force that takes over the world in the last days and persecutes the body of Christ and makes war against the saints. It’s not the Muslims that are going to kill us, it’s the Jews.”
“Rick Wiles is a dangerous voice that in recent weeks has painted himself as a victim of an ugly attack for his bold ‘speaking truth’ on air. The real truth is his vile sentiments and lies against the Jews that hold the potential of both seeding hatred and inciting violence. These despicable lies are being presented as truth by him and all in the name of Jesus at a time when Christian nationalism and antisemitism have taken on dangerous new heights of a resurgence in America. The words this man is broadcasting are reminiscent of content from the pages of Martin Luther’s infamous book ‘The Jews & Their Lies.’ This is the very book Adolph Hitler used as an inspiration to legitimize the incitement of Kristallnacht, a night in which 1,000 synagogues were burned, Jews were killed and ultimately the Holocaust itself was birthed as an evil vision to eradicate an entire race of people.”