The ugliness of antisemitism

A few days after October 7, the female president of a Jewish synagogue in Detroit was stabbed to death outside her home.  Two weeks later, a young Jewish woman was murdered in her home in Lyon, France and a swastika painted on her door. On the 6th November, a Jewish man was killed after being assaulted by a pro-Palestinian protestor. And in Indianapolis, a woman identifying as a Muslim rammed her car into a school hoping to harm Jewish students. Many university campuses are reportedly up in protest. The UK has seen a pro-Palestine protest override Remembrance Day which was always observed solemnly to remember those in the armed forces who fell in the line of duty. At the UK protest in London, protesters assaulted a 78-year-old veteran selling poppies.  The police were posted at the protests did nothing when the protesters turned violent. The police admitted in one sector admitted they were outnumbered. Posters of the kidnapped hostages which include many children are repeatedly being torn down, and the police look on in inaction. These incidents are all sourced from ‘One for Israel.’

In the days of ISIS, one of their instructions was to attack Jewish embassies, synagogues and Jewish economic interests.  Antisemitism is getting uglier and uglier. 

In Dagestan, Russia, a mob gathered at the airport to lynch Jewish passengers on a flight that had come from Tel Aviv. ‘The day after October 7 was a horrifying wake up call to the levels of hatred...and indifference…towards the Jewish people,’ writes One for Israel.It does not stop there. Some churches are boycotting Israel for attacking Hamas. 

Antisemitism has always been around. The Amalekites were probably the first instances of antisemitic warfare. Or maybe it was Pharaoh who enslaved the descendants of Jacob in Egypt, since the Amalekites appear when they attacked the weak members of the Israelites from the back and killed them. There are interesting teaching videos claiming the spirit of Amalek is awake and active again in the present Israel-Hamas war,and it is a war that also uses propaganda and falsities of many kinds. 

Joel Richardson writes about Protestant reformer Martin Luther and his anti-Jewish treatise calling for the burning of synagogues, the burning of their prayer books, destruction of their homes, and forbidding their rabbis to teach. He advocated reducing them to the same status as gypsies, calling them an ‘insufferable devilish burden.’ Luther’s treatise was used by Hitler to arrest, imprison, and murder 6 million Jews. Not satisfied with killing Jews who lived within the borders of Germany, the Nazi government effectively used spies to identify Jews in other European countries and deport them to the gas chambers where they would meet their deaths. When you speak in terms of statistics, it becomes impersonal and fails to move people with the horror of what the Nazis did in their time, and what the spirit of Amalek achieved down the centuries. AC was only three years when German collaborators in her town came to take away her Jewish father in the night. She never saw him again. They took him and his two brothers and immediately deported them to Auschwitz. All three died there. AC grew up without a father, and with no means of healing the void in her life. She says her Christian faith has taught her to forgive her father’s killers including the collaborators who came to take him away. Today AC is 79 years old, and the worldwide climate of antisemitism grieves her deeply. Not only is she reminded again of the cruelty visited on her father and uncles, (all of whom were successful traders in the town they lived), she is living through the fact that antisemitism is possibly even more alive in her day than ever before. For the remaining Holocaust survivors, October 7 was s second holocaust, reopening old wounds and exposing them to virulent Jew hate. 

It is educative to read up on replacement theology and restorationism, both elaborated on by Joel Richardson in his book, ‘When a Jew rules the World’. Both present very diverse views about the place of Israel in a biblical interpretation. And Richardson’s book is a good place to start if you want to understand. The problem of antisemitism is not going to go away, and understanding the historical origins and the spiritual origins is the kind of clarity we need at this time.