Anti-Semitism and Holocaust

Anti-Semites: Enemies of Humanity

By Alan Caruba - February 2002

Just over a half century since the wholesale murder of Jews by the Nazis, anti-Semitism is back in fashion. It is a murderous obsession throughout the Middle East and gaining growing acceptability in Europe, the scene of the Holocaust in the 1940’s.

The world of late has been reading about teenagers dying as they gathered for a night of dancing, a family celebrates a special birthday, mothers with their children enjoying a pizza, and all the other normal activities of life. We understand soldiers dying in battle, but it is difficult to understand why civilians die while shopping. It is not that difficult, however, if they are Jews.

In early February, The Wall Street Journal reprinted an essay by Hillel Halkin that had originally appeared in Commentary magazine. It was titled,
The Return of Anti-Semitism: To be against Israel is to be against the Jews.”

There is a stark reality to this statement. “To be against Israel is to be against the Jews.” I am inclined to add that to be against Israel is to reject Christianity. I say this because Jesus and all of his apostles were Jews. Jesus was born, preached, and died in Israel. To reject Israel, the nation that has come back to life out of the ashes of the Holocaust, is to reject not just Jews, but Christianity as well.

Christians around the world are being persecuted by Muslims wherever they hold power. Events in the Holy Land demonstrate the fate of Christian churches and even entire communities is a new Holocaust. Yasser Arafat pulled the strings when the PLO destroyed the Lebanese town of Damour, a Christian community about 20 miles south of Beirut in 1996. The following year, in Jerusalem, Muslims attempted to break into the Church of the Holy Sepulcher from the adjacent al-Hanaqa Mosque. The list of Muslim desecrations of Christian and Jewish holy places is too long to publish here.

As it evolved Christianity took a different path from Judaism, though its moral precepts are mainly rooted in Judaism. The primary exception is the Christian belief that Jesus was the Messiah, the son of God, and the entity through whom one can find personal salvation. Fundamental to Judaism is the belief that one’s salvation is predicated on one’s own deeds in life and there is no barrier between a Jew and his Creator. Each year, on the holiest day of Yom Kippur, every Jew must renew his or her request to be forgiven for their sins and to be inscribed in the book of life for one more year. This is a very profound concept, as they must actively seek to correct any wrongs that may have occurred.

Profound, too, is the central prayer of all Jews: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” There is no equivocation here. God is singular in nature and, to be a Jew, one cannot accept any other definition. God is to be loved - and obeyed - with every fiber of being. A Jew goes from birth to death without any image of God as this is forbidden. The Jew lives in a world of history and pure faith.

Paul, the former Saul of Tarsus, a Jew who was also a Roman citizen, proposed that God was a trinity, the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit. He lived in an age and time when the Emperor of Rome was a living god. He lived in an age when most of the population was composed of slaves. The appeal of Judaism was widespread and many “believers” attended Jewish synagogues, but did not make the full commitment to the religion. The Romans, for the most part, granted special rights and exemptions to Jews who composed, at the height of the Empire, at least ten percent of the population.

The Jews, however, were forever in contention with Rome. Ultimately, in 70 AD, they were driven out of Israel and the emperor Hadrian, in an effort to stamp out all memory of these stubborn people, renamed Israel Palestine, a Roman interpretation of the enemies of the Jews, the Philistines. The name would take on new meaning when modern-era Arabs began calling themselves Palestinians and declaring that they were a separate kind of Arab with rights to the land of Israel.

Bear in mind that there has never been a nation called Palestine. There has, however, always been an Israel, despite its occupation by Romans, Muslims, and, prior to its independence, the British.

This has not stopped the European Union from breaking ranks with the United States to urge a Palestinian State in the midst of Israel. In December, members of the United Nations celebrated a pro-Palestinian solidarity day. This is anti-Semitism in the guise of diplomacy. No one is fooled by it. A Palestinian state is simply a ploy in the effort to destroy Israel. No one should be surprised, either, that France, one of the leading advocates of the EU, is experiencing a new spate of anti-Semitic attacks. The Jewish community there is seriously worried. They should be. During WWII, the French did not hesitate to hand over their Jewish citizens to the Nazis.

Has there been a rebirth of anti-Semitism in the world? Or has anti-Semitism merely been dormant in the wake of the genocide of World War II? I think it is the latter.

The existence of Jews has always been a problem for Christianity. It poses an even greater problem for Islam. If the latter is the true faith as preached by Mohammed, the proclaimed last prophet, then there is no room in the world for a single Jew, nor a single Christian. Nor Buddhist. Nor Hindu. Ad infinitum. It took a millennium or more for the Vatican to renounce its hostility to Judaism.

To align oneself with those who hate Jews is to align oneself with those within Islam seeking the destruction of Israel and the Jews for whom it has been their birthright for 3,500 years. To be a Christian and hate Jews is to hate Jesus the Jew, the Jesus who preached in the synagogues.

I do not know if there is more or less anti-Semitism in the world. For me, there has always been anti-Semitism. It is the serpent in the garden of both Christianity and Islam. It whispers that neither faith is valid so long as Jews exist. It is Satan. Muslims embrace it. Christians must reject it.

For it is written that when God told Moses how to address Pharaoh, His words were: “Thus saith the Lord: Israel is My son, My first-born. And I have said unto thee: Let My son go, that he may serve Me; and thou hast refused to let him go.” Things did not go well for Pharaoh after that.

“I am the Lord, and there is none else, Beside Me there is no God.” The prophet Isaiah expressed the conundrum for those who are not Jews. “I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I am the Lord, that doeth all these things.”

Anti-Semitism is a great and ancient evil; a rejection of Judaism and the people who live and die for the Commandments God set before them. Yasser Arafat, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, the ayatollahs of Iran, and others will learn what Pharaoh learned.

©2002 - JewsWeek.com

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