In the 1930’s the world stood silent and unengaged as the Nazi regime attempted to methodically erase Jews from the planet. The signs were everywhere: Jews were not allowed in certain professions, could not open shops and sell their goods, and were forced to wear clothing and symbols that identified them as Jews. Jewish synagogues were burned to the ground, Jews were made to live only in certain areas, and eventually, right before the public eye, they were gathered up and hauled as cattle to slaughter.
Europe and the rest of the world were deathly quiet.
When the Holocaust was finally brought mercifully to an end, over 6 million Jews had lost their lives, and people everywhere declared, “Never again!” Yet, here we are, only a generation removed, and we’re seeing discrimination equally as appalling, and violence equal to the pre-concentration camp days. Across Europe, and even to some degree in America (particularly on college campuses), we see the same not-so-subtle signs of anti-Semitism.
But do we have a good picture of how bad it is? If so, why aren’t we doing more about it? If not, why not?
According to the Jewish News Service, one of the most “methodologically sophisticated and comprehensive reports in dissecting the growth of Europe’s anti-Semitism problem” was just completed by Dr Johannes Due Enstad of the Center for Research on Extremism at the University of Oslo. The study looked at anti-Semitism in 7 European countries: France, the U.K., Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Russia. Per the article, key findings include:
- France tends to exhibit the highest levels of anti-Semitism, causing Jews to want to emigrate.
- Jews in most of those countries will not wear, carry or display anything that identifies them as Jews, for fear of attack.
- In every country except Russia, the perpetrators are disproportionately Muslim. (In Russia, there are vast distances between heavily populated Muslim areas and heavily populated Jewish areas, thus creating a buffer.)
In Europe, it is becoming harder and harder for a Jewish person to express Jewish culture or beliefs. Sadly, we see the same disease creeping into America. Ethically, This should not be.
But, what evil doers mean for evil, God uses for good (Genesis 50:20). God’s Word says He will gather His people from the four corners of the earth (including Europe):
He will raise a signal for the nations
and will assemble the banished of Israel,
and gather the dispersed of Judah
from the four corners of the earth.
Indeed, the Lord will bring His people home to their own land. Many have made comfortable lives for themselves elsewhere, but when it’s time to come home, we can rest assured that the Lord will somehow get them there. Perhaps the evil of anti-Semitism will drive them home. Let’s pray for the ingathering of God’s chosen people to God’s chosen land…and plead for God’s mercy to draw them before anti-Semitism drives them!
UPDATE: Think anti-Semitism is only a European problem? Think again. This incident happened right here in my own city on 4th of July.