Anti-Semitism in 2019: A Year in Review – Part 2

Posted by Olivier Melnick on January 4, 2020

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. Part 1 can be found here, this is part 2.

July 2019: Anti-Semitism Clearly Acknowledged at DOJ Summit, Now What?
A Summit on combating anti-Semitism was held at the Justice Department in Washington, DC on July 15, 2019. The one-day summit was filled with presentations and panel discussions on various topics such as anti-Zionism, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement (BDS), anti-Semitism and the First Amendment, Campus anti-Semitism and others. A myriad of experts was present to provide the audience with exposés on the various contemporary iterations of anti-Semitism. The Summit was good at identifying the problem, as others have partially done in the recent past. Now we must move into action to rectify, stop and prevent anti-Semitism from growing bigger. Mr. Barr described it as cancer and rightfully so. But nobody would ever think of leaving cancer unchecked. Unfortunately, the cancer of anti-Semitism is no longer localized. It is almost fully metastasized. Is it too late to eradicate? Probably not, but like with all cancer that has become aggressive, treatment must also be aggressive. Step one, America has identified that anti-Semitism is a real problem, now we have to show that we truly want to stop it by making some changes on campuses, within organizations and even possibly within Congress, otherwise, it will keep poisoning the Jewish community to death. Oh, and America… Your accountability partner is the Jewish community. Let’s get busy!

August 2019: Omar, Tlaib and Israel: A lose/Lose Situation No Matter What!
Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar recently prepared for a trip to Israel. Technically, no member of the US Congress should be banned from visiting Israel. As a matter of fact, the best way to get a balanced understanding of the Middle East crisis is to visit Israel and look at both sides of the conflict. If such a visit could be accomplished without any preconceived notions of who is at fault, much progress could be made towards peace. When Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar announced their decision to visit Israel, it was first agreed that they could go, but there is a law in Israel that prevents people from entering the country if they support the boycott of Israel. It is known as “Amendment No. 28 to the Entry Into Israel Law (No. 5712-1952).” It is an amendment to a 1952 Law giving Israel’s government the right to refuse entry to any foreigner with or without a visa. The 2017 amendment was passed (46-28) specifically to bar BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) supporters and promoters from entering Israel. I am having a hard time understanding why Ms. Tlaib and Ms. Omar were surprised when they were stopped from entering Israel. Considering their positions on Israel’s right to exist and their promoting of the BDS movement, they should have not been surprised.

September 2019: Is Antisemitism becoming Mainstream in America?
Only days after the UN special rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed, released a report to denounce antisemitism titled “Combating Antisemitism to Eliminate Discrimination and Intolerance Based on Religion or Belief“, one would tend to be a bit hopeful for the Jewish people. The report was described by many as “unprecedented.” Considering the United Nation’s apparent obsession with faulting Israel over any other country in the world, it was indeed unprecedented. The rapporteur understands that antisemitism is often unreported or under-reported. The report delineates the global distribution of almost 15 million Jews and then continues to identify the age-old diatribes against the Jews such as the murder of Jesus (deicide), the blood libel, ritual murder and control of the world. My reason for not being so hopeful is simply because I have noticed the lack of interest from the main public. People are often apathetic when it comes to antisemitism sometimes they might even be favorable. A very good test to determine if we are indeed going in the tragic direction of mainstreaming antisemitism is the 3D test created years ago by Natan Sharansky. The three Ds are Demonization, Delegitimization and Double-standards. Sharansky explains, “There is always a place for criticism of Israel, as there is for criticism of any other free society. But it must not cross the line of anti-Semitism. When people talk about Israel, we have to identify whether these three elements of delegitimization, demonization and double standards apply to judge whether that criticism is tainted with anti-Semitism.

October 2019: New Training Grounds for the Next Generation of Anti-Semites!
One place where antisemitism runs rampant and almost always completely unchecked is the Ameican university campus. This is the place where young people fresh out of high school come to learn and hopefully become equipped for life and career. These young minds are very malleable and usually very open to change their philosophical, social, political and/ or spiritual position. Many enter the campus with a belief in God and by the time they graduate, they have become atheists or agnostics at best. A university campus is a place of indoctrination like no other. The new antisemites have known that fact for quite a while now, and the educational platform has been used and abused to demonize, ostracize and even verbally and physically abuse the Jewish people. The American university campus has become the new training ground for the next generation of antisemites!  These statistics are for the last year.
• Classical antisemitic incidents have decreased by 42%, but Israel-related incidents significantly increased by 70% in both number and intensity.
• Demonizing and delegitimizing Israel have increased by 32%.
• Expressions used to demonize Israel have increased from 22% to 147%.
• Promoting or condoning terrorism against Israel has increased by 67%.
• Promoting academic BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) has more than doubled.
• Academic BDS-compliant behavior was linked to 86% of Israel-related acts of antisemitic harassment.
• The promotion of BDS-related activity has more than quadrupled.
• The number of events sponsored by school faculty and encouraging the demonization or delegitimization of Israel increased by 85%.

November 2019: Kristallnacht: Yesterday and Today!
During the night of November 9-10, 1938, a critical event took place in Germany that would seal the fate of six million European Jews. That was 81 years ago. The event is known as Kristallnacht or “The Night of Broken Glass.” The reason given by the Nazis was the assassination of German official Ernst vom Rath, shot two days prior by Herschel Grynszpan, a Polish teenager reacting to his parents’ deportation. In reality, the boycott/pogrom of Jewish synagogues, schools, businesses and homes resulting in the death of almost 100 Jewish people and the destruction of 7,500 properties were well planned, and anything but a reaction to the death of a German official.  Additionally, 30,000 Jewish people were sent to concentration camps. Historians agree that Kristallnacht was the onset of the Holocaust, shifting nazi antisemitism from mere rhetoric to pure violence.
So, it is very important to remember Kristallnacht and tell our children about it, especially in light of current world events. We have seen an increase in acts of antisemitism worldwide, in several cases leading to the death of people in Europe and the United-States. Antisemitism is now becoming a reality almost on a daily basis. It can no longer be ignored, and yet in the eyes of many, it is not really that important of an issue. Too many people seem to suffer from the “I am not Jewish” syndrome! It should become very clear to us that in 2019 all the elements are in place again for a new Kristallnacht to take place:
1. Antisemitism is at its worse since the end of World War Two with Jewish people being killed again.
2. Radical Islam is plaguing Western civilization and is now clearly starting to infiltrate various governments and hold key positions in Europe and the United States
3. Many people, especially on the left are relying on big government taking over and controlling more and more.
4. The internet and social media have rendered communication global and instantaneous.
5. Various economic hardships, demographics migrations and other crises are looming over the planet.
6. The Jewish people continue to hold first place as the “Scapegoats of humanity.”

December 2019: Who Can Fight Antisemitism With Words?

France, which is the third-largest Jewish community after Israel and the United States, has been the focus of much antisemitism lately. Just a few days ago, 107 Jewish tombstones were desecrated with painted swastikas in Westhoffen, in the Alsace region of France. This was not an isolated incident, but more of a recurring crisis in a country that has seen a 69% increase in antisemitic acts in 2018. As a result of the cemetery defacing, President Macron was heard saying that “Anti-Semitism is a crime and we will fight it in Westhoffen as everywhere until our dead can sleep in peace.”  or “Those who attack them, even their graves, are not worthy of the idea we have of France.” or even “Jews are and make France.” These words sound great if you isolate them. Unfortunately, you cannot do that because antisemitism never happens in a vacuum and has been plaguing the Jewish people since biblical days, and in many instances, much worse in France and other parts of Europe. Words are cheap, but even when Mr. Macron says that France will fight until her dead can sleep in peace, what is he really saying? Don’t quote me wrong, the departed need our utmost respect and need to be in our memories. But, instead of worrying about graves, we need to implement some real reforms so that the LIVING Jews can sleep in peace and wake -up the next morning. The French track record for fighting antisemitism is pathetic at best. Another committee to discuss how to fight antisemitism is akin to fighting a deadly virus by quarantining the infected until they die. It never solves the problem. Only eradicating the virus does. The virus is antisemitism and it is killing the Jews. Laws must be passed AND enforced in every case until those targeting Jews fear the repercussions. Until then, the only ones fearing…and fleeing France and other parts of the world, are the Jews!

We are way beyond using words only. 2020 is the year to take serious action against the New Antisemitism!

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