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Anti-Semitic Awakening

Anti-Semitic Awakening

Why does such vile enmity wrack Europe, while America not only remains free of it but persists in standing by Israel in the present clash with the Palestinians?


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The shocking revival of anti-Semitism in Europe has brought much grief to America's Jewish community, and to our Christian fellow citizens as well. President Bush reacted to recent events with the heartening statement that "We reject the ancient evil of anti-Semitism, whether it is practiced by the killers of [Wall Street Journal reporter] Daniel Pearl or those who burn synagogues in France." Commentators have sought an explanation for the seemingly unkillable hatred, practiced as street violence by youthful Arab hoodlums in European cities and looked upon with indifference by the European elite, a hatred sparked by Israel's attempt to defend herself from Palestinian terrorists.

A question that doesn't seem to have occurred to anyone is this: Why does such vile enmity wrack Europe, while America not only remains free of it but persists in standing by Israel in the present clash with the Palestinians? Why do Americans so overwhelmingly favor Israel, while Europeans regard the Jews there as wretched interlopers?

The answer is to be found in the Bible -- specifically in the first words of Genesis: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Everyone knows the Five Books of Moses are concerned with defining the laws that govern Jewish life. Why then does the Torah begin by recounting the Creation of the world? Why not start like any other legal code, launching directly into a recitation of laws?

The Midrash prophetically teaches that this is to provide a response to critics who call the Jewish people "thieves" of land, as Europeans and Palestinians do today. One message of Genesis 1:1 is that "All the earth belongs to the Holy One, Blessed Be He. He created [Israel] and bestows it upon whoever he chooses." The verse is like the opening clause of a deed of ownership: The land of Israel is Jewish land because God made the earth and can divide it up among the nations as He wishes. Anyone who accepts the text of the deed will accept the Jewish claim on the land.

We are witnessing two distinct religious civilizations in conflict: that of the Koran, allied with the believers in no God, violently challenging the civilization of the Bible.

So we see why Christians are so sympathetic to the Jewish side in this painful conflict: It is because they revere the Bible. And America, quite simply, is the most enthusiastically Christian nation on earth.

Muslims, on the other hand, disdain the Bible and revere the Koran. Secularists disdain all Scripture. And Europe is now a secular land, having shed its former Christian faith.

It may be attractive to think of Christians, Jews, and Muslims as forming one great "Abrahamic" civilization, linking all believers in the One God. But the truth is that today we are witnessing two distinct religious civilizations in conflict: that of the Koran, allied with the believers in no God, violently challenging the civilization of the Bible, of Christianity and Judaism.

In Belgium and England, Italy and Ukraine, Greece and Holland, Germany and Slovakia, most especially in France, Arabs and post-Christians join together in reviling the Jews of the land of Israel, and by extension Jews everywhere. Synagogues burn. Cemeteries are desecrated. School buses and soccer teams are assaulted. Rabbis are beaten and knifed. And newspapers and political leaders look on, either denying that it is anti-Semitism or running editorial cartoon demonizing Israel, suggesting, as one member of the House of Lords told a writer for the London Spectator, "The Jews have been asking for it."

Meanwhile, in America, Christians rally alongside Jews -- as they did in large numbers at the marvelous April 15 rally for Israel on Capitol Hill -- pleading that the Jewish state be allowed to defend her civilians. It is no coincidence that President Bush -- who told the Saudi Crown Prince "We will not allow Israel to be crushed" -- is himself an evangelical Christian. In America, Irish Catholic journalists like Sean Hannity and Michael Kelly put some blasé Jewish Americans to shame with their passionate support of Israel. Indeed, American Jews seems at last to be waking up to the blessing of friendship with America's Christians.

For ten years the organization I serve, Toward Tradition, has been calling on American Jews to recognize who our friends are. One could not think of a better time than the present to do so, and to express gratitude.

May 11, 2002

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Visitor Comments: 24

(23) Ben Mauldin, November 14, 2016 9:48 PM

A Christian's love for Israel.

As a 62-year-old American Christian, I want to thank you for your kind words. As a child, I was raised to love and revere the Jewish people and, by extension, the nation of Israel. Israel was, is, and always will be the Chosen of God. I fear, though, that rising secularism in the US is beginning to erode our national support of Israel. I am certain that if we ever turn our backs on Israel, God will finally turn his back on us . . . but the Chosen people of Israel will remain.

(22) Anonymous, August 25, 2015 11:14 AM


Antisemitism is alive and well in the US. Yes, I love the US. And I love Israel. But please don't be blind to what is going on around us. Where I am, it's Jew or Muslim. And, it's terrifying. And for the most part, antisemitism is not just our problem but an Arab one, too. We say "not here". It is here. Especially in our Universities. And it is in our workplaces. Hopefully, our politics, which are under Hashem's control, will continue to be on our side. But as another beautiful person said. Every Jew needs a key. And every Jew needs a passport. NEVER EVER FORGET.

(21) Anonymous, January 29, 2014 10:23 PM

I did not see the original document. However, many , Christians have risked their lives for Jews. I have a terrible time with the history, but I think and hope there is a different spirit today, of recognizing the Jews as God's Chosen, the flock h

I am sorry. I used the above space to write my commentary.

(20) Lolita Cohen, May 8, 2005 12:00 AM

Thank you for the great article

Unfortunately,Canada is not like the USA but more like Europe.I work at a research place where out of 6000 professors I am the only jew. I get support from secretaries and low paid cleaners who go out of their way to find jewish things. For example I used to leave on Friday's according to shabbat but they did not believe a religion which goes according to sunset. So now I leave every Friday at 2:00PM they are happier ( and me too I have more time). I never felt antisemitism when I was in the US.
I tried to send an article to Canadian newspaper on how Israel treats its jewish refugees. (I am one of them, We came from Egypt, I was 17, when we arrived via Italy ( my father was one of the 32 jews put in jail because they lost the war with Israel) and I had not finished high school. I was told that it would be difficult for me to go to high school because lectures and books are in hebrew. They suggested me to go to the Technion, where a Professor with a very big heart (David Ginsburg) help me get in the Technion, study 4 years and be in the dormitory..and he told me ...when I will finish I will have to return all this money with a big interest. They never wanted me to pay anything. In the contrary, he gave me a great recommendation so I could do a Ph.D at Yale University and then a post-doctorat at harvard.
This is how Israel treats its jewish refugees.
Our son studies at a yeshiva in Brooklyn and we intend to move back to Israel all the family in a year or two.
Shavuah Tov
Lolita Cohen

(19) Gelbman nuts!, October 20, 2003 12:00 AM

Gelbman is nuts!

The commentor below has truly lost it.

His argument simply is that since over 160 years ago the Christians have begun to support the Jews and their safety that somehow this is not a good reason to accept their friendship!!

In a world in which the Left and its associates in the secular and Muslim world are making the mass murder of Jews acceptable, we have apologists like this who would have us ignore one of the last resources that we have.

The real problem here is the fact that so many Jews are fundamentalsit about being Liberal that even if it means siding with Anti-semites, so be it!

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