This week we have commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day by studying the Holocaust, commemorating the day (January 27), and now examining Antisemitism. If you have missed previous posts, you will find them here:
- Putting faces to the Holocaust
- The Holocaust in context and “What is the Holocaust?”
- How do we know it was 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust?
- Commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day
- What is Antisemitism?
In conclusion, let’s consider signs of Antisemitism today and our response to it.
There are recognizable characteristics of Antisemitism in Nazi Germany that seem to be recurring today. Among them:
- Boycott of the Jews. In the late 1930’s German society (under Nazi influence) began isolating Jews by boycotting their businesses. Today, the BDS Movement (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) is gaining steam, as nations of the world are choosing to boycott Israeli products and increasing calls for sanctions on Israel.
- Laws against the Jews. Laws in Europe during the Nazi regime targeted Jews, and we are seeing Antisemitic laws enacted today, such as the EU’s requirements for labeling of products from “illegal” Israeli settlements.
- Disenfranchised Jews. Just as during the time leading up to the Holocaust, companies are refusing to do business with Israel. Again, the BDS Movement is driving disenfranchisement today.
- Jews stripped of citizenship. In Nazi-controlled Europe, Jews were forces to wear yellow stars and other symbols in order to be identified as something less than citizens of the countries they inhabited. Today, there are places where Jews are not welcomed and are denied citizenship.
- Jews forced to emigrate. Before the decision to kill all the Jews in Europe, the Nazi strategy was to drive them out. Today, Jews are being driven from parts of Europe due to the violence perpetrated against them.
- Hatred perpetuated by “racial” motives. Hitler perpetuated the idea of a “superior race” and the need to eliminate others. Today we hear chants of “Death to Israel,” simply because they are Jews.
- Genocidal thinking. The Nazi goal (“The Final Solution”) was to totally eliminate the Jewish people, not unlike today’s genocidal ambitions of radical Islam that wishes to “wipe Israel off the map.”
Indeed, we are seeing attitudes and actions trend along the same lines that were seen during Nazi occupation and control of Europe in the 1930-40’s, and little is being done to combat it. What should our response be, as Christians? Here are some thoughts:
- Remember! As followers of Jesus Christ, it is important to know that He promised a memorial and a name! (Isaiah 56:5) Should we give them any less? Commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and keep in mind that, as people called by God, we will ultimately be targeted as well.
- Hear their stories. The Holocaust remembrance is not about killing fields, gas chambers, and piles of dead bodies. It is about faces and names. Those who perished and those who lived have faces and names. Find their names and faces here, or hear their stories here.
- Stand against Antisemitism. Speak up! It is growing rampant in America, particularly on college campuses. Be educated about what is really behind Antisemitic movements such as BDS. Very importantly, vote your values! If a candidate does not stand firmly and squarely with Israel, don’t stand with that candidate! (Genesis 12:3, Joel 3:2)
- Support causes that focus on Holocaust and Antisemitism awareness. I recommend Christian Friends of Yad Vashem.
Christian friends, be strong in your stand with Israel, and pray that Christians around the world would do so as well. Pray that confusion would be brought to the enemies of Israel who wish to destroy her through military, political, or economic means. Finally, pray fervently that Antisemitic initiatives on college campuses would be thwarted, and that our young people would come to know and understand truth.
We are living in that last days as we know them. Let’s continue to stand firm on the Word of God, understanding what it means to rightly relate to God’s chosen land and God’s chosen people.