Anti-Semitism isn’t new to the U.S. But a recent Anti-Defamation League annual report says it’s rising at an unprecedented rate.
“Data released in November and presented to the Knesset’s Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee last week show a 67 percent increase in antisemitic incidents across the U.S.,” reported The Jerusalem Post in early January. The article further quoted FBI data showing that more than half of “anti-religion incidents” in the U.S. targeted Jewish people, despite the fact that they make up only 2 percent of the U.S. population.
What’s behind this increase?
Today’s version of anti-Semitism comes from “three different sides at the same time,” says Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of modern Jewish history and Holocaust studies at Georgia’s Emory University
She named progressivism, Islamic extremism and white nationalism as those three fronts, adding that “a perfect storm of antisemitism is not just brewing, (it) is upon us.”
Anti-Semitism Cloaked as Social Justice
Lipstadt warned that some social justice advocates are working to institutionalize anti-Semitism. She said this group “cannot distinguish legitimate criticism of particular Israeli policies from bigoted attacks” on Jewish people.
She suggested that “some progressives deny Jews their right to a national identity, accuse Jews of being puppet masters controlling governments’ policies, insinuate that American Jews are disloyal to the U.S., and make such bizarre and evidence-free accusations as the fabrication that Israelis harvest the organs of dead Palestinians.”
Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came under fire this week after a phone call with Britain’s Labor Leader Jeremy Corbyn, known for his anti-Semitic and anti-Israel views. Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, which voted to adopt the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
Two more freshman members of Congress also have come under fire for their anti-Semitic statements.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is the first Somali-American to be elected to Congress. While a state legislator, she voted against a bill to stop financially punishing Israel. During her congressional campaign, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), deemed a terrorist group by the United Arab Emirates, fundraised for Omar.
Despite declaring Israel an “apartheid regime” and tweeting during Israel’s hostilities with the terror group Hamas that “Israel has hypnotized the world,” Omar is a new appointee to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. House Democrats changed the 181-year-old rule barring head coverings of any kind to allow Omar to wear her hijab.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants. She supports cutting aid to Israel because it “doesn’t fit the values of our country.” She also supports a one-state solution to the Israel-Palestine peace, which would jeopardize Israel’s status as a Jewish state. She is a member of the Facebook group Palestinian American Congress, which in January posted a video questioning Holocaust facts and calling Jewish people satanic. She has garnered a seat on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said the election of these and some other members of Congress shows “the mainstreaming of anti-Semitism.”
Lipstadt said, “Islamist extremists have made Jew-hatred a cornerstone of their ideology.” She attributed many physical attacks on European Jewish people to migration of Islamic extremists. “When someone calls attention to the fact that Islamists have been responsible for so many violent attacks on Jewish people and others in Europe, some pundits are quick to condemn that as Islamophobia.”
Lipstadt attributed some antisemitism to the category of White Nationalists. The extremists in this group hate Jews, African Americans, and other ethnic groups and desire to have an all-white America. This position is rejected by the Bible and all sides of our own political spectrum.
Please pray with us that God will intervene in the alarming rise in anti-Semitism around the world, but especially in the U.S., which has traditionally been a friend to Israel and the Jewish people. Also pray for:
- Protection of Jewish people experiencing anti-Semitism and violence
- The world’s education systems to counter Holocaust deniers