There has been a recent surge in anti-Semitic incidents worldwide, even in Western countries, emphasizing the necessity of Israel’s existence.
Jews are Being Attacked and Killed
Over the past month, Jewish individuals have faced attacks not only in Israel and from Hamas, but globally, with physical assaults reported in the U.S. and Europe. These attacks, occurring in the wake of Hamas’s aggressive actions on October 7th, highlight the importance of Israel’s self-defense measures in Gaza.
The radical group, along with its supporters in the West, are engaging in what appears to be a war against Jewish people, extending beyond a mere territorial conflict with Israel. In instances where Western governments fail to adequately protect their Jewish citizens, Israel stands as the sole sanctuary for Jews.
Recent events include violent incidents targeting Jewish individuals in Dagestan, Russia, as well as in other parts of the North Caucasus. In Germany, anti-Semitic acts have surged, including a Berlin synagogue being targeted with Molotov cocktails on October 18th. Although German officials have condemned these acts, more proactive measures are necessary.
Jewish Schools Not Safe Anymore
In the UK, the safety concerns have led to the temporary closure of two Jewish schools in London, and many Jewish individuals feel unsafe displaying their religious symbols. Large-scale protests in London have echoed calls for the elimination of Israel and its citizens. Similarly, a crowd in Sydney, Australia, engaged in hate speech following the Hamas attack.
In the U.S., a recent report by the Anti-Defamation League highlighted a 388% increase in anti-Semitic incidents from October 7th to 23rd compared to the previous year. This includes physical assaults and support for Hamas during anti-Israel rallies.
These incidents underscore that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are indistinguishable. The targeting of synagogues, children, and airports cannot be justified as mere opposition to Israeli policies.
Ignorance and Antisemitism is Flourishing
Despite the evidence, some Western intellectuals and politicians continue to falsely differentiate between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. They are willing to overlook the violence committed by Hamas and its supporters, labeling it as anti-colonial resistance.
Israel must continue its fight for survival, and it is unjust for any Western politician to call for a cease-fire in Gaza while failing to protect Jewish citizens in their own countries. This complacency threatens to undermine the post-Holocaust commitment to “never again” allow such atrocities.
The Need to Safeguard Jews
The current global war on Jews serves as a crucial reminder for Western societies of their responsibility to safeguard their Jewish communities. History has shown that failure to protect Jewish citizens ultimately jeopardizes democracy itself.
History of Antisemitism
Antisemitism, or hostility and prejudice against Jews, has a long and dark history, dating back over two millennia. In Ancient Greece and Rome, Jews were marginalized due to their refusal to adopt the prevailing religious and cultural norms.
During the Middle Ages, Jews were often scapegoated for societal problems, leading to widespread persecution and expulsion from various European countries. In Spain, the Inquisition targeted Jews who had converted to Christianity but were suspected of secretly practicing Judaism. In other places, Jews were confined to segregated areas known as ghettos and subjected to discriminatory laws.
The most notorious example of antisemitism in history is the Holocaust, where approximately six million Jews were systematically murdered by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War II. This was the culmination of centuries of antisemitic laws and propaganda that depicted Jews as a threat to the German nation.
Antisemitism persisted even after the Holocaust, with Jews continuing to face discrimination, violence, and exclusion in various countries. In the Soviet Union, Jews were targeted by state-sponsored antisemitism, while in the Arab world, the conflict with Israel has often fueled antisemitic sentiments.
Today, antisemitism continues to manifest in various forms, including violent attacks, online harassment, and the spread of conspiracy theories. In some cases, antisemitism is veiled as criticism of Israel, with Jews being collectively blamed for the actions of the Israeli government. Antisemitism is also prevalent in far-right and far-left political movements, with Jews being scapegoated for societal problems or global events.
Antisemitism has a long and painful history that has evolved over time but remains a persistent and troubling problem today. Addressing and combating antisemitism requires recognizing its various forms and actively working to counteract its harmful effects on Jewish individuals and communities worldwide.