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Thursday, July 25, 2024
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A global catalogue of shame: Anti-Semitism at its worst since the Nazis

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INCIDENTS of blatant anti-Semitism appear to be gathering pace across the world.

Within the UK alone, a report by the Community Security Trust reveals a staggering 589 per cent increase in incidents last year compared with 2022. Two-thirds of the 2023 incidents occurred after October 7 – totalling 2,699, compared with 392 over the same period in 2022. Revealingly, the week immediately after the October 7 massacre saw the highest levels overall, suggesting the spike in anti-Semitism was prompted by celebrations of Hamas’s atrocities rather than Israel’s military response in Gaza.

Such incidents included 266 violent assaults on Jews, exactly half of which occurred in just five boroughs – Barnet (56) and Hackney (41) in London; Bury (17) and Salford (13) in Greater Manchester; and Gateshead (6). Forty cases of assault were perpetrated by children against other children. Unprecedentedly, anti-Semitic incidents were recorded by every police force in the UK, with the majority – more than 2,400 – in London.

Not included in the above figures, the following cases have been reported in the last week or so:

  • The Muslim Tory Mayor of Salisbury, Atiqul Hoque, was expelled from the Conservative Party after condemning ‘Zionist paymasters’ and referring to an anti-Semitic trope about Jews being Christ-killers.
  • In a truly shocking incident, a little-known comedian, Paul Currie, ‘hounded out’ a Jewish audience member from his Soho show ‘because he refused to applaud a Palestine flag’. The racist comedian is accused of encouraging the crowd to chant ‘get the f*** out’ and ‘free Palestine’. The Jewish man said he feared the comic was going to punch him. Soho Theatre has since banned Currie.
  • The Jewish chaplain at the University of Leeds was forced into hiding with his family after receiving numerous death threats over his service as a reservist in the Israel Defence Forces.
  • Rochdale by-election candidate Azhar Ali was finally expelled by the Labour Party after claiming that Israel deliberately allowed the Hamas atrocity on October 7 so they could invade Gaza and create ‘genocide’ among its inhabitants. A second Labour parliamentary candidate was also expelled after referring to ‘f****** Israel’ during a local party meeting.
  • Senior Tory MP Tobias Ellwood had to call in police protection after a 100-strong pro-Palestinian mob surrounded his family home and branded him a ‘war criminal’ over his backing for Israel.
  • Students chanted ‘Zionists off our campus’ and ‘death to Zionists’ during a rally at the University of Birmingham.
  • Hillel House – a ‘safe place’ for Jewish students at the University of Leeds – was vandalised with graffiti reading ‘Free Palestine’. Police are treating this as a hate crime.

To think that all the above incidents, plus others not recorded here, occurred in the UK within the past ten days begins to show the scale of the problem.

Of course, such events are by no means confined to Britain. They are equally common in other European countries, and indeed throughout the world. Typical of Continental statistics, it was reported this week that Jew-hatred was ‘far higher’ in Italy in 2023 than 2022, with 454 anti-Semitic incidents representing the largest ever such figure in the country. From France, it was revealed last week that no fewer than 43 Jewish pupils have left Parisian public high schools since October 7 due to increasing ‘attacks and threats’ against them and the schools’ inability to ‘ensure their protection’.

In neighbouring Switzerland a few days ago, a sign written in Hebrew was put up at a ski shop near Davos, barring Jews from renting equipment from the store ‘following several items going missing’. Regional police have opened an investigation into possible ‘incitement to hatred’.

Nearer home, Ireland’s women basketball team sought to boycott a match against Israel last week but were threatened with serious punishments by a ruling body. So they played, but refused to engage in the traditional exchanging of gifts, handshakes before or after the game, or standing to face their opponents during the national anthems. (Israel thrashed Ireland by 87 points to 57!)

Shockingly, over 45 per cent of worldwide anti-Semitic incidents since October 7 have occurred in the United States, home to the largest Jewish community outside Israel. A national study has found that nearly two-thirds of American Jews feel less secure in the US than they did a year ago. A quarter of Jewish Americans say they avoid identifying as Jewish publicly.

In New York, just a few days ago, a lawsuit was filed against Columbia University on behalf of an Orthodox Jewish student, alleging that she was forced out of a university programme due to anti-Semitism. It’s not many weeks since the presidents of other American universities – Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania – even argued before a tribunal that calls for genocide of the Jews by their students did not violate their code of conduct.

It is believed that much of the anti-Semitism in US universities can be traced to their receiving funding from foreign states such as Qatar, and organisations promoting jihad.  

Clearly, and most disturbingly, anti-Semitism is more prevalent than at any time since the beginning of the Nazi movement. We have even witnessed the murder of Jews in several nations over the past few months – not least, the US, Tunisia, and Egypt.

We should all be alarmed to think that the Hamas attacks on October 7 were not just against Israel. Amichai Chikli, the Israeli government minister who handles issues relating to Jews worldwide, says: ‘The global jihad agenda is not just related to Jews and it’s not just related to Israel, it’s the Western civilisation as a whole.’

Of course, post-October 7, it is quite right and natural to feel profoundly saddened and deeply concerned at the massive loss of life in Gaza, particularly the thousands of children and elderly killed. And it is perfectly legitimate to question the Israeli government’s tactics and plan. Indeed, nowhere is this more debated than in Israel itself.

But anti-Semitism is something different. As pointed out earlier, there was a massive surge following October 7 long before any counter-offensive by Israel. The increase in Islamists, and Islamist sympathisers, in the West have clearly driven this.

But they are encouraged by a lack of resistance from a population and from governments unwilling to oppose them. This is fed by an undercurrent in left-liberal circles of demonising anything that smacks of ‘colonialism’ or ‘privilege’, while utterly failing even to try to understand the full context of the conflict.

Deeper than this still, however, is the ancient hatred which is being stirred up again, one fomented to thwart God’s purposes by the adversary, Satan. Let us remember this as we pray for our Jewish neighbours near and far for God’s protection for them from their many enemies, and, not least, from the Enemy of Souls.

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Tom Lennie
Tom Lennie
Tom Lennie is executive editor of Prophecy Today.

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