Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Anti-Semitism in Europe

It is an understatement to say that what is happening at the moment in the conflict between Israel and Hamas is horrendous.

There is tremendous fault on many sides, but I have a different view than many and although that is not what I am writing about, I will add a few of my own thoughts to this matter. One of the issues at the very beginning of modern Israel were accusations by some that the Jewish people were too passive in the face of Hitler and the Nazi’s plans for genocide.

While that was not true in many places, including the Warsaw Ghetto, historically Israel has made sure that they would “never again” forfeit there own existence. Israel now faces thousands of peoples, who like Hitler, are seeking genocide. That includes Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Iranian leadership. For them the so called occupation is not an occupation of Gaza, etc. but of all of what was called Palestine by the Romans. In other words according to these radical Muslims' interpretation "no occupation" means no Israel at all.

The other part of the equation is that the world community has some accountability for what is happening in Gaza at the moment. That is, in my opinion, the UN should have sent peace keepers into Gaza to stop Hamas from sending rockets into Southern Israel.

The moderate Arab nations should have encouraged Hamas to stop the rockets. The world media should have been much more careful in their news stories about Hamas’ barrage of rockets on Israel making that an important story. The WCC and NCC should have made statements about the rockets condemning them in no uncertain terms. But that is all my opinion.

But here is something of which I am very sure. Anti-Semitism is rising in Europe as it is in the United States. And that is something all Christians should be concerned about.

MSNBC on line has an article
Jews in Europe targeted as Gaza anger grows.” Some of the information is:

“PARIS - Signs are mounting that
the conflict in Gaza is starting to spill over into violence in Europe's towns and cities, with assaults against Jews and arson attacks on Jewish congregations in France, Sweden and Britain.

Assailants rammed a burning car into the gates of a synagogue in Toulouse, in southwest France, on Monday night. A Jewish congregation in Helsingborg, in southern Sweden, also was attacked Monday night by someone who "broke a window and threw in something that was burning," said police spokesman Leif Nilsson. Neighbors alerted rescue services before the fire took hold.”

And in Amsterdam, on the third of this new year, “parliament member Harry van Bommel (Socialist Party) calls for intifada against Israel during anti-Israel / pro Gaza, pro Hamas, pro Hezbollah demonstration."

France and its anti-Semitism is not such a surprise. Before Hitler came to power in Germany, France experienced more anti-Semitism than any country in Europe. But Amsterdam and the Netherlands as a whole were known for their resistance to the Nazis. Many citizens hid Jews during the German occupation.

Evangelical Christians will not forget the story and ministry of
Corrie ten Boom who lost most of her family in the concentration camps because they came to the assistance of the Jewish people. Her story is told in the book and movie “The Hiding Place.” Another excellent video is of an enactment entitled “Corrie Remembers”:

Praying for the peace of Jerusalem also means praying for the Jewish people in Europe and the United States.

Hat/tip to Debbie Berkley and Will Spotts for information.


kpd said...

I appreciate your comments, Viola, but am worried that labeling the support being expressed for the people of Gaza as anti-semitism can limit the conversation. What happened (and is happening) towards Jews is horrendous and beyond words. However, we cannot turn a blind eye towards the inequities and yes, even violence, that is being supported and expressed by Israel.

It is a messy, messy place that requires our prayers and thoughtful discourse.

Thanks for your words and perspective.

Kerri Peterson-Davis
Solon, Ohio

Viola Larson said...


Thanks for leaving your comment. This all does require our prayers and thoughtful discourse.

I wasn't strictly aiming at those people who are standing up for Gaza, but rather at those who were ramming burning cars into synagogue gates and throwing burning objects into houses. And of course at those protesters that are suggesting that Jews should find a large oven. See posting below for that.

Viola Larson said...

Sacramento, Ca

Presbyman said...


Along the lines of your post, here is an excellent article by Mark Steyn about this very problem. We need to hear more about it. The poisonous anti-Israel/anti-Zionist ravings from supposedly respectable sources (and from within the church) leads to awful consequences:


John Erthein,
Erie, PA

Viola Larson said...

Thanks for the links John, It was hard to read.