Anti-Semitism in 2019: A Year in Review – Part 1

Posted by Olivier Melnick on December 23, 2019

When my first book on the topic came out in 2007, I received a lot of feedback from skeptics telling me that things couldn't possibly get "that bad" for the Jewish people. I will resist the temptation to say "I told you so", simply because I would much rather stand corrected and be wrong, but as most of the world has now seen, it is not the case. In fact, it could be argued that things are even worse than I predicted when I started my research in 1999. Part of me is irate, part of me is concerned and part of me is not surprised.
I am irate because, after 2,000 years of antisemitism culminating in the Holocaust, I didn't think that men could be so cruel and evil to other men. I am concerned by the lack of interest and reaction from people who know better, including evangelicals, but I am not really surprised because biblically speaking, I know that at some point in the history of mankind, the whole world will go against the Jews. We are getting there faster than I thought possible and 2019 was a sad example of that.

January 2019: The Pervasiveness of BDS in American Politics!
BDS proponents are very inconsistent with what Israeli products they boycott. If a product or technology comes from Israel but doesn’t really create a huge inconvenience, BDS people will denounce and boycott with a lot of fanfare. On the other hand, if the technology is a big part of their life, like cell phones, computers, thumb drives, etc, hypocritically, there’s no boycott. Case in point, Mahmoud Abbas recent case of severe pneumonia successfully treated by an Israeli doctor.
Additionally, the very people who choose to boycott Israel will then turn a blind eye on a myriad of countries and/or entities that are blatant human rights abusers and violators such as China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Gaza, and others. BDS proponents are not interested in facts. If they were, they would actually support Israel. This in no means is an attempt at exonerating Israel from any responsibilities in the Middle East crisis, but a genuine desire for balance and fairness and an unbiased approach to the issue. Instead, we see how pervasive the BDS movement has become in the last few years, and how widespread it has developed across all segments of the population, and particularly, how it has started to infuse the fabric of the US government. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the UN has looked at Israel through the biased lens of the Palestinian narrative, fueled by a postmodern approach to truth and social justice. More resolutions have been passed against Israel than any other country combined that are UN members, and this by a long shot.

February 2019: Not Exactly “A Pope for All Seasons!”
The Pope just co-signed a document with Al Azhar Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb (once named “the most influential Muslim in the world”), titled Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together“. Ecumenically speaking, the document is a dream come true for mankind, and many have described it as a “historical breakthrough“. I would venture to say that it might be a “biblical breakthrough,” but not necessarily for the same reasons. The document says of God “He is the Creator who has formed us with His divine wisdom and has granted us the gift of life to protect it. It is a gift that no one has the right to take away, threaten or manipulate to suit oneself. Indeed, everyone must safeguard this gift of life from its beginning up to its natural end. We, therefore, condemn all those practices that are a threat to life such as genocide, acts of terrorism, forced displacement, human trafficking, abortion, and euthanasia.” The Pope might be thinking that because God created all men equally (a biblical view that I share with him), Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb shares his views, but just because the Grand Imam signed the document doesn’t mean that he will uphold it. Here we see that the Pope is taking a pluralistic position demanding that all men respect one another regardless of their beliefs since “The pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race, and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. The proverbial roads that all lead to Rome are no longer sufficient, now they all need to also lead to God. The same god for Roman Catholics and Muslims, that is!

March 2019: The Greedy Jew is Alive and Well!
To understand the extent of the “Greedy Jew” canard, we must look at a recent incident that took place in Aalst, Belgium during a yearly street carnival dating back to the Middle Ages. It includes parading floats with music on various themes. This year’s float from the group Vismooi’ln was titled “Sabbath Year 2019”, which according to the builders of the float was decided based on the fact that they might have to take a break from the Carnival in 2020 because of its rising cost. What followed was outrageously anti-Semitic. The front of the float included two giant caricatures of orthodox Jews with streimels (Jewish fur hats) on their heads, side curls and long beards. The facial features included mean looks and large crooked noses (another anti-Semitic stereotype.) Adding insult to injury, the two giant puppets were standing, surrounded by bags of money at their feet and money coming out of their coat pockets (yet another anti-Semitic stereotype.) There were also over a dozen people dressed up as Orthodox Jews, gyrating on the second float with a very apparent lack of respect. Once again, and this time around the world, the bystanders are quickly becoming co-perpetrators in a myriad of anti-Semitic acts because, in 2019, anti-Semitism has become the new normal.

April 2019: The fire at Notre-Dame didn’t have to be a terrorist attack!
First, they came for the Jews... Then they came for the Christians!
Many French Catholic churches have been desecrated and even set on fire in the last year. In some cases, people even get in to defecate on the premises. Both Germany and France have reported that crimes against Christian churches have increased since Muslim migrants became part of the demographics. France alone saw over 1,300 attacks against Christian churches and facilities in 2018 (almost 900 of them being fires.) These attacks, outside of a few coming from deranged citizens of France, didn’t come from the French people, they didn’t come from the Jewish community (as anti-Jesus as a Jewish person might be), but they mostly came from people who ideologically hate Christianity, the indoctrinated radical Muslims. They are the first victims of the hate that has been injected in their DNA for decades. We might never really know the source of the Notre-Dame fire, but the situation is such in France and much of Western Europe, that at least, it makes it possible for one to speculate and leave the door open for a terrorist attack. The soil is fertile to allow more hatred to grow and choke Christianity and Western Civilization. As a matter of fact, ISIS, who didn’t claim responsibility for the fire, threatened to start another one to finish the job. They were not involved, but they were quick to rejoice and post photos of the burning structure on social media with the caption: “It’s time to say goodbye to your oratory polytheism.” Notre-Dame’s fire didn’t have to be a terrorist attack to draw the attention of those who promote Christianity and Western values. There is a track record of the destruction of Christianity in Europe that has existed for a while now. Lovers of freedom and democracy ought to be really concerned.

May 2019: Who Cares about the Holocaust Anymore?
This year more than ever we need to remember what took place in Nazi Germany almost 80 years ago:
• At a time when Israel is falsely accused of ethnic cleansing in their very own land, we must remember the days when Jews were almost eradicated from the face of the earth.
• At a time when it is becoming more and more dangerous to be Jewish anywhere in the world (except Israel), we must remember those who died simply because they were Jewish.
• At a time when worshipping in a synagogue could end in a lethal terror attack, we must remember the victims of Pittsburgh and San Diego and all other houses of worship around the globe.
• At a time when the world is pushing for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, we must remember that it already took place during the November 1938 Kristallnacht and that there is nothing new under the sun.
• At a time when the US Congress has been infiltrated with a new generation of anti-Semitic representatives, we must remember when Jewish people didn’t have a voice in government.
• At a time when a mainstream US newspaper publishes yet another virulently anti-Semitic cartoon, we must remember 2,000 years of anti-Jewish caricatures leading to thousands of unnecessary deaths.
• At a time when two-thirds of millennials do not know what Auschwitz is, we must remember the motto “NEVER AGAIN.”
• At a time when anti-Semitism is becoming the new normal around the world, we must remember that according to Edmund Burke, “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil, is that good men do nothing.”

June 2019: The US Senate Antisemitism Resolution: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!
On June 13, 2019, a joint resolution was introduced by Sens. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, and Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, and on June 14, it passed unanimously! The resolution is a short document that unequivocally denounces antisemitism. It comes less than three months after the House brought another resolution of the sort, but changed the wording at the last minute to speak of “bigotry of all kinds” instead of clearly denouncing antisemitism. This is a bold and necessary move in the right direction at a time in our history when global antisemitism is increasing exponentially on a daily basis. That resolution is definitely a move in the right direction.  It uses words that cannot be misconstrued. The opening statement says ” Antisemitism is a unique form of prejudice stretching back millennia that attacks the equal humanity of the Jewish people.” It is indeed very unique and history’s longest-lasting hatred against one specific group of people. We need to take a close look at that bi-partisan resolution that was just passed unanimously. Indeed, we need to look at the good, the bad and the ugly! Let’s start with the ugly. What I think is very ugly, is the fact that we even have to pen such a resolution in 2019. How long will the Jewish people have to suffer unmerited persecution before the world wakes up to the reality of antisemitism? It is so despicable to have to come up with a resolution condemning antisemitism in all its forms, just a few months after a similar attempt was made, but watered down in its verbiage. It is pathetic that Senator Cruz would even have to list some of the myths that have been believed about the Jewish people. To be sure, I do not criticize Senator Cruz’ initiative, but rather the fact that he would even have to delineate what antisemitism has done over the last two millennia.

Part II will be published in the first week of January 2020.



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