Antisemitism in 2015: A Year in Review!

Within a week of the start of 2015, terrorism hit France in what became the worst terror attack in decades, claiming 17 lives. Eleven month later, in some sort of an erie xenophobic bookend, France was hit again, this time losing 130 innocent people. As I see the fabric of our global village changing daily, especially with the recent migrant crisis in Europe, I am greatly concerned with the fate of my people and of Israel. 2015 was packed with events, incidents and tragedies affecting Jewish people globally, yet, for the most part, the world kept going, trying to convince us that global warming is our biggest enemy. Of course, if by global warming you mean a nuclear meltdown instigated by Iran, then I guess IT IS our biggest problem! But there is much more. Let us take a quick look at antisemitism in 2015.

JANUARY: Will the Paris March Against Terror only be a Historic Day?
After three horrific days of unprecedented terror in Paris resulting in the death of 17 innocent victims, the City of Lights was the center of a historic event on Sunday, January 11, 2015. A solidarity march was organized by the French government, hoping to rally its citizens under the banner of unity and freedom of expression. What took place on that Sunday made history with 4,000,000 all over France and 2,000,000 in Paris alone. About 50 heads of state were present at the march. America also made history on that Sunday as President Obama’s absence was an embarrassment and a message in and of itself. French Prime minister Manuel Valls said: “France without its Jews isn’t France anymore”. I agree with him, even though I am not sure that he fully grasps the meaning of his statement. No matter what follows, Sunday January 11, 2015 will always be remembered as the Paris march against terror. On that Sunday, France led the free world in showing us how to stand up against the cancer of extremism, but we all know that diagnosing cancer is pointless if you don’t aggressively attack the disease. Tomorrow will tell!

FEBRUARY: Eschatological Anti-Semitism is Here and the Clock is Ticking!
While Jews around the world have been able to preserve their identity through the ages, they have not been so successful in escaping the re-birth of antisemitism. As a matter of fact, I believe that we live in an age where the recent New antisemitism is merging with classic antisemitism giving birth to a new hybrid hatred of the Jews that I call “Eschatological antisemitism." By this I mean that the already loathsome and pervasive hatred of the Jews that we have witnessed through the centuries has now joined forces with post-modern antisemitism and anti-Zionism. The goal being the final blow on God’s chosen people. This is the final chapter in Satan’s book of hatred against the Jews. It was evident in France, where last February, Paris witnessed a street protest of about 20,000 people that would make both Hitler and Ahmadinejad very proud. In an interesting turn of events, the march that was originally labeled as “Day of anger against Hollande” turned into a march against French Jews where people did the Nazi salute and chanted slogans such as: “Jews, get out, France is not for you!” Eschatological antisemitism shouldn’t surprise any serious student of the Bible, but it should compel us to reach out to our Jewish friends with Yeshua as the final chapter of human history is being written.

MARCH: Fear not American Jews, our government is “disappointed” at antisemitism!
In March, President Obama was on his way to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where he met with the Saudi King. Prior to his Riyadh visit, Mr. Obama received requests from numerous non-governmental agencies as well as a bi-partisan group from Congress to confront Saudi Arabia about their ongoing human rights violations. But, the boldness required to confront the Saudis about their treatment of women, activists, religious minorities and Jews is something that simply doesn’t seem to exist within the current administration. Incidentally, Jerusalem Post Washington Bureau Chief, Michael Wilner originally planned to join Mr. Obama and staff. But Michael Wilner was denied a visa to the gulf country. He is the only journalist who was denied entry to Saudi Arabia on this upcoming trip. Mr Wilner is Jewish, not Israeli Jewish, simply a Jew who lives in America and reports for the Jerusalem Post. What greatly concerned me was the US administration’s reaction to the banning of Mr. Wilner’s entry into Saudi territory. They are not disgusted, outraged, or even highly offended. They simply are “deeply disappointed” as was stated: “We are deeply disappointed that this credible journalist was denied a visa, we will continue to register our serious concerns about this unfortunate decision.” The US administration’s decision to make such a weak statement certainly sent a clear message.

APRIL: Appeasement is a Weakness Leading to Collaboration!
Western civilization is now on a new threshold as world leaders met in Switzerland regarding Iran’s nuclear deal. The apparent progress made in April warranted that the dialogue would continue. One of the big issues that Iran has is with sanctions imposed on them. Their economy has suffered greatly in the last few years, and they demand that sanctions be lifted in a way that would also prevent them from being reinstated automatically. It is obvious that they are politically and ideologically very unstable. That fact was clearly delineated in a speech to Congress on March 3rd when Netanyahu risked his whole career, two weeks prior to the Israeli elections. His plea wasn’t for the safety of Israel but for the survival of Western civilization. The White House felt that this was the last straw that justified what could one day be remembered as “The Great Diplomatic Divorce” of the 21st Century. Never before had an American president showed so much contempt for Israel and its current Prime minister. Mr. Obama is trying to convince the world that Iran not only can be included to the negotiating table, but that they can also be trusted. So much so that it could be argued that Mr. Obama is no longer simply appeasing Iran but he is now collaborating with Iran. Let’s pray that the current “Appeaser-In-Chief” doesn’t turn into a “Collaborator-In-Chief”

MAY: BDS really stands for Bullying, Delegitimizing and Slandering!
Many people have never heard of BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions). This movement has picked up a lot of momentum in the past few months and has become quite pervasive. It was borne out of a Palestinian desire to enroll otherwise unengaged and apathetic people in their fight against Israel. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas’ goal might be the total destruction of Israel, at the end of the day you can only bomb and kill so many people before the more reasonable people in the world turn on you. But what if you could get support from a different angle, this would greatly help your cause, wouldn’t it? BDS does just that and it does it well, in the government, the universities (here and here) and even some Christian denominations such as PC USA (the same PC USA  that unsuccessfully tried to blot out “Israel” from their prayer and hymn books in 2014). BDS is most rampant on US university campuses. As a matter of fact BDS is the main weapon used on US campuses to delegitimize Zionism and demonize Israel. Anti-Israel proponents are organized, eloquent and very resourceful. BDS relies on the Bullying, Delegitimizing and Slandering of Israel and does it on a foundation of lies that can be debunked.

JUNE: Western Civilization’s Assisted Suicide!
I have watched the erosion of Judeo/Christian values over the last two decades with much sadness at first. I have great concern and even fear for the increasingly decaying state of the West. There is no doubt in my mind that western civilization is slowly committing assisted suicide. End-Times antisemitism is in full force across the globe, swinging it’s lethal pendulum from liberal Left to neo-Nazi extreme right. Somewhere on the edges we can spot the agnostics, secularists, atheists and universalists, along with radical Islam smack in the middle. While the pendulum swings destructively and endlessly from one extreme to the next, I believe that the bulk of the damage is performed by the center part. They have scared the West into unchallenged submission or “dhimmitude“ defined as "the Islamic system of governing populations conquered by jihad wars, encompassing all of the demographic, ethnic, and religious aspects of the political system.…. ruled by the same type of laws, based on the shari’a. Political correctness is one of the most viral enemies of America. It blinds people into one-sided tolerance and will lead to the death of Western civilization by assisted suicide!

JULY: Could the conspiracy of Psalm 83 against Israel involve ISIS?
It was only fifteen years ago that I was conducting research for my first book on anti-Semitism They Have Conspired Against You. This led me to an in-depth study of the 83rd Psalm written by Asaph and I was intrigued by the ten people groups who were described as conspiring against Israel. In digging a little deeper, I realized that this covenant of nations had never taken place in the history of Israel. Asaph could very possibly be using a literary device to express emphasis in despair akin to someone with a few foes saying:”The whole world hates me!” An equally valid interpretation could be that it is a future attack on Israel by a confederation of countries and/or states. I find it fascinating to look at the people described in Psalm 83:6- and compare them to their respective modern equivalent countries. The results are too close for comfort. We can then list Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq, Syria, the Sinai Peninsula among them. ISIS has infiltrated all the areas listed in Pslam 83, INCLUDING JORDAN AND EGYPT, the only two countries with existing peace treaties with Israel. The minute that ISIS crosses the line where Israel feels threatened, they [Israel] will respond swiftly and efficiently. No question about it. The prophetic hourglass was turned on May 14, 1948 and it is running out of sand in its top section!

AUGUST: As a Jew, I can support Palestine!
Depending on which side of the Middle East fence you are on, Palestine and the Arab/Israeli conflict will vary greatly based on which definition you adhere to. Let us start with what we know from history and define a geographical Palestine. It is therefore critical to differentiate between the “Land of Palestine” as a geographical area and the “State of Palestine” as a political entity. Palestine is a piece of land in Eastern Asia between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, squeezed in a very strategic region between Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Iraq. The tide began to turn in 1929 during the Hebron Massacres and the Arab revolt of 1936-39. Around that time, it was still appropriate to speak of ” Palestinian Jews” and “Palestinian Arabs”. In 1948, Palestinian Jews became known as Israelis and Palestinian Arabs started to be called Palestinians as the narrative switched from geographical Palestine to “historic” Palestine. You can choose to call that land the Holy Land, Eretz Yisrael, Jewish Palestine or even Western Palestine as long as the name refers to a geographical area. From that angle, I support Palestine. The moment that it becomes a political entity with a fictitious displaced people, I draw the line! Geographical Palestine exists while historic Palestine never did. We might not be able to come-up with a viable solution any time soon, but this shouldn’t give us the liberty to ignore historical facts.

SEPTEMBER: Refugees, Migrants and Terrorists: Europe is out of Control!
At the very time when global borders should be tightly monitored because of the ISIS invasion, Europe is faced with a tsunami of migrants. The guidelines of acceptance vary from one European country to the next. It goes from Germany having pledged to receive in excess of 800,000 refugees in 2015 alone to other countries building fences and walls to prevent anyone from entering illegally. The one thing that all these countries have in common is a lack of preparedness for such a tidal wave of people. We have already seen issues in the area of space needed, health and safety. Curiously enough, most Gulf States like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait that speak a similar language, have similarity in culture and religion have taken none. NONE! They do have the space, a similar ideology and are some of the richest countries in the world and they have taken none, WHY? Then we have those who choose to pose as Syrians to be granted asylum but enter a country with a different agenda. The last 18 months have shown us the damage inflicted by ISIS infiltration and recruitment. It is virtually impossible to detect a Syrian from a non-Syrian refugee, so how do various European governments expect to detect ISIS impostors? Many European countries already have a severe “native birthrate drought” and are seeing a demographic Muslim takeover. This blurred combination of stealth jihad, demographic jihad and radical apocalyptic jihad is a lethal cocktail that Europe doesn’t seem to be able to control!

OCTOBER: Terror in Israel: Lone Wolves are still Wolves!
In October, Israel has reported almost 800 acts of terror. Much speculation arose in the media around the globe as to the possibility of a third Intifada slowly taking place. But if we compare the current events to those of the First Intifada of 1987-1991 and of the Second Intifada of 2000-2005, we are not seeing an out-of-control uprising of a large number of Palestinians. Yet it might end-up being more damaging than the previous two intifadas. If creativity prevails, we will see more attacks in ways that nobody could predict. This has become a logistical nightmare for Israel. No wonder the mayor of Jerusalem recently announced to its Jewish residents that if they had a valid carry license, they should never leave home without a firearm. The wolves attacking Israel might not come in packs and might be far from being well organized and structured, but they remain wolves with a ferocious appetite for Jewish lives. It is not about Jerusalem, it is not about the Temple Mount and it is not about the disputed territories. It is simply about the complete eradication of Israel and all Jews. I guess we could call it a "spontaneous Intifada."

NOVEMBER: France’s Second Chance to lead the War against Apocalyptic Islam!
On Friday November 13, 2015, France was hit by yet another series of terrorist attacks in Paris, claiming the lives of 130 innocent people in several locations practically simultaneously. I had just returned from my biannual ministry trip to France four days prior, on the 9th of November. On the 7th, my wife and I attended a concert in Paris in a place as frequented and as famous as the Bataclan. Almost everyday of our stay we ate meals at restaurants and bistros near the attacked venues. There was 130 victims, but it could have easily been us or it could have easily been you! France was devastated last January and had a chance to take action with the kind of authority and leadership that would have led the free world into an all out war against apocalyptic Islam. That ship has sailed! But now it returns as an armada and with a vengeance, because the Islamic State hates France and all that it represents. France is at a critical crossroads for the second time in one year. How many more terrorist attacks by ISIS will it take, in France or anywhere else, for us to take them seriously? Protect synagogues and Jewish schools and they attack a stadium, restaurants and a concert hall. Protect these venues and they will attack a movie theater, a mall or amusement park…and the list goes on! Too many innocent lives are destroyed by people who glorify death. This is France’s second chance to fight the war against Islamic terrorism and it might very well be Europe’s last chance!

So it has been another fruitful year for the demon of antisemitism as the world continues to be more self-absorbed and further blinded by the mirage of multiculturalism. Israel receives less and less support from government, academia, and even some of her long time friends in the evangelical churches. It seems as if the world has completely assimilated the Middle East Palestinian narrative as truth. With the Islamic State looming at any corner of the planet and Iran being months from having the bomb, we can only expect a 2016 even more volatile than 2015. Yet, in spite of all this, God remains in control because: "He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep" (Psalm 121:4.)

Now you can be a "Dirty Jew" even if you are not Jewish!

It was about a year ago that a café in Belgium posted a sign on its window stating that dogs were allowed inside but Jews weren't. The sign didn't stay on the window for very long as the outrage of several Jewish organizations was quickly demonstrated and the police was dispatched on the scene to take the sign down. They might have pulled the message away from the public, but they certainly didn't change the mindset of the café owner.

It was only a few days before that incident that another store in Belgium decided for a short time that they wouldn't sell merchandise to Jews. Similarly, the police came to that store to question the owner about their strange decision. The owner swore that this wasn't true and that in fact they had many Jewish customers. While it is again very hard to prove that they indeed chose not to sell to a Jewish woman, the behavior was symptomatic of serious problem.

A recent incident in Belgium further proves the point that anti-Semitism is viral, lethal and irrational. Yet at another café in Brussels, a European Union official insulted a woman, calling her a "dirty Jew". The woman engaged the EU official in conversation, complaining about an item he had in his hand that was displaying former Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. In sharp disagreement with the woman, the man said: "Dirty Jewess … Hitler should have exterminated all Jews, just like Jews today are exterminating Palestinians." Here again we see a display of anti-Semitism based on the false premise that Jews are killing Palestinians just like Nazis killed Jews. The altercation turned violent when the man by then identified as EU Maltese official Stefan Gersh started to hit the woman and add: "All you Jews should have been killed."

An investigation is taking place and the man will most likely be disciplined and possibly even lose his position within the European Union. After all, many of us remember how former Dior designer John Galliano lost his job after a similar incident in a Paris café where he praised Hitler and insulted two women in very similar terms as what just took place in Belgium. Galliano was caught on video speaking to the two women and saying: "I love Hitler, and people like you would be dead today. Your mothers, your forefathers, would be ... gassed and ... dead."

What is probably the most puzzling and disturbing aspect of Galliano's and Gersh's diatribes is that they were both directed at people who were not Jewish. This has to be the epitome of irrational hatred when you become verbally and/or physically abusive to someone you believe to be Jewish who in fact isn't.

This also should make decent people realize that we could now all become targets of anti-Semitism simply because of someone's preconceived idea that could potentially lead them to abuse and violence. This could be a game changer! Maybe this unfortunate twist in the way anti-Semitism is expressed and/or carried out is what is needed for people to speak-up. After all, there's no better way to fight a monster than when it is in your own backyard threatening to devour your entire family.

I used to say that “Anti-Semitism is hatred of the Jewish people characterized by destructive thoughts, words and/or actions against them.” I still believe that! Additionally, anti-Semitism goes further as it is the only kind of hatred that includes contempt for the people, the land and the law. All aspects of Jewish life, customs and culture, along with the Jewish homeland are not exempt from the vitriol of anti-Semitism. But today, it is no longer any act or behavior connected to Jewishness or Judaism that puts you at risk. You are at risk if you support Israel and the Jewish people or if you speak-up against pro-Palestinians or BDS proponents. Basically, you are also at risk if the person dispensing the vitriol of anti-Semitism decides that you are "Jewish enough" to deserve such a treatment. This makes absolutely no sense at all!

During the Middle Ages, the image of the Jew had been brought down to the lowest possible level as Jewish people were described as blood drinking devils with a stench. No wonder the masses saw it their obligation to rid medieval Europe of such a malevolent group of people. That trend has resurfaced globally and for the most part people are either drinking the proverbial Kool Aid or at the very least serving it to their community.

Most of the Church Fathers and Luther "theologized" anti-Semitism.
Adolf Hitler "industrialized" anti-Semitism.
Will our post-modern world "normalize" anti-Semitism?

In today's world, you don't even have to be Jewish to be a "dirty Jew". And all this time I thought that we–the Jews– were special!