Antisemitism is prejudice against, hatred of, or discrimination against Jews – either as individuals or as the Jewish nation Israel. Today, antisemitism may be rhetorical, physical, cyber-based, social action or political maneuvering.
During the Nazi rule of Europe, Jews were forced to wear the Star of David as a form of identification. The particular star shown here had the German word for “Jew” written in Hebraic style. This, and the associated Holocaust is history’s most extreme example of Antisemitism.
Examples of Antisemitism
- The Catholic Church: Following the final and complete devastation of the Jews and their temple in 70 AD, history shows that mainstream Christianity, namely the Catholic Church, argued that God had rejected the Jews and that the church was the new Israel. As early as the second century, Christians were accusing the Jews of being “Christ killers”
- The Protestant Church: In the 16th century, Martin Luther’s harsh comments about the Jews are seen by many as a continuation of medieval Christian Antisemitism,
- Europe: During the Middle Ages in Europe (especially in Germany) there was a full-scale persecution of Jews in many places, with blood libels, expulsions, forced conversions and killings
- Russia: There were waves of pogroms (severe persecution of Jews) in the Russian Empire, especially between 1871 and 1917
- The holocaust: is the worst example of Antisemitism in recent years
- World-wide: Today about 26% of the world’s adult population hold Antisemitic views. Not surprisingly, it is worst in the Middle East with some 74% of the adult population expressing Antisemitic views
- Antisemitism in Europe: This is rising: Spain 29%, France 37%, Poland 45%, Greece 69% (2014). This is due, in part, to extreme left and right political activists and to the relative size of the Muslim populations. Over the past decade France has suffered at least 400 Antisemitic acts each year
- The United Nations: As of 2012, the UN had passed 79 resolutions directly critical of Israel, and 40% of UN Human Rights Council Resolutions have been against Israel.
- Christian Palestinianism: A political-religious campaign that is gaining worldwide acceptance as church leaders, denominations, charities, missions, and humanitarian groups are uniting with Muslims and other world religions against Israel
- BDS: The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). One form of BDS is the consumer boycott of Israeli products or businesses that operate in Israel.
- University Campus: Student groups seeking to isolate and delegitimize Israel. In the 2014-2015 academic year, there were more than 90 anti-Israel events scheduled to take place on U.S. campuses.
- Online Antisemitism: this is rampant in France, with website moderators being forced to censor typically 95% of comments made by French users.
Why Antisemitism? What’s the real reason for it?
Sadly, according to the Bible, it was the Jews who brought it upon themselves. Ancient Israel was given a warning that if they went away from God they would suffer amongst the Gentile nations:
The Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth; and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone …. Among those nations you shall find no rest … but there the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and despair of soul. So your life shall hang in doubt before you; and you will be in dread night and day, and shall have no assurance of your life. (Deut 28.64-66)
This uncertainty continues today in Europe. Jew hatred is on the rise in the UK, France, Italy and the Netherlands, and is encouraging many Jews to immigrate (aliyah) to Israel.