Be Warned, Anti-Semitism is Rising
Several weeks ago, on Saturday, a couple of hashtags that expressed admiration for Hitler and his Jewish genocide were trending on Twitter, including #HitlerWasRight and #HitlerDidNothingWrong.1 These expressions are not limited to the internet; they are also being heard in public, with demonstrators in Paris vandalizing property and chanting, “Death to Jews,” and, “Hitler was right.”2
Right now there are many who are upset over Israel’s ground war against Gaza, but in this anger hatred has arisen. Threats of violence, great and small, are a symptom of a prejudice that has been seen against other minorities throughout history, similar to that once held against African-Americans.
While many of these acts have been in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict they did not start there; in fact, anti-Semitic activity was already increasing before this latest military campaign began. Last month the Washington Post published, “A ‘new anti-Semitism’ rising in France,” which read:
In a country that is home to the largest Jewish community in Europe, the first three months of the year saw reported acts of anti-Semitic violence in France skyrocket to 140 incidents, a 40 percent increase from the same period last year. This month, two young Jewish men were severely beaten on their way to synagogue in an eastern suburb of Paris.3
Pay attention to what is happening and be warned, this has been in the works for some time now. France has become extraordinarily hostile to the Jews, and there have been a number of incidents even within the United States, including Chicago, where pamphlets were distributed that threatened violence, and in Miami, where a Jewish synagogue was targeted and vandalized with anti-Semitic messages.4
I am not writing to proclaim another Holocaust, but it is my wish that others would take note of what is going on beyond the incidents occurring within the pro-Palestinian protests, because this trend began before those three Jewish teenagers were discovered dead in Israel, before Israel’s decision to invade Gaza, and before anyone began to protest. France’s hostility has increased to such a degree that many French Jews are immigrating to Israel:
“I walked into my kosher sandwich shop the other day and the owner asked me, ‘Is it time to leave? Are we Nazi Germany yet?’” said Shimon Samuels, the Paris-based international director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “We’ve got the National Front in first place. We’ve got Dieudonné, spreading his hate. So I told him, ‘Well, do you really want to be the last to go?’”
Indeed, French migration to Israel in 2013 jumped to 3,200 people, up 64 percent from 2012. A huge uptick in departures this year has Jewish leaders here predicting that at least 5,000 French Jews will leave in 2014.5
I hope that you will join me in prayer, asking that God would bring peace to both the Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Muslims, and that the anti-Semitic violence would end.
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee” (Ps. 122:6).6