Tragically, the question has become unavoidable. As we look on in horror at the bone-chilling spectacle of Islamist savagery, followed by pro-Hamas, anti-Israel protests, and now rabid mobs infected with anti-Semitism assembling across the globe, are we witnessing a world given over to blind hatred of Jews as it was 100 years ago — and all the way back to biblical times?
It started in the 1920s with a few violent hatemongers on the fringes of society screaming into the darkness. It ended in the 1940s with the extermination of millions of Jews, along with anyone else who did not bend the knee to the megalomaniacal tyrant ruling Germany and overrunning much of Europe. Ordinary Germans stood by, at best allowing it to happen and at worst enthusiastically participating in the march of evil. It is no secret that the German people felt betrayed and humiliated by the terms of the Treaty of Versailles bringing World War I to an end. They looked for a scapegoat, and the Jews, with all their success and wealth, became an easy target.
Is it happening all over again?
Just the fact that we must ask such a question — one most believed, or perhaps merely hoped, would never again have to be asked — is distressing enough. But far more terrifying is that we can no longer answer the question of whether another Holocaust is on the horizon in the negative with any degree of confidence. The weeks since the invasion of Israel by Hamas terrorists intent on murdering as many Jews as possible in unspeakably barbaric fashion have provided irrefutable evidence that millions across the globe would welcome a repeat of the most notorious genocide in human history. And unlike many socio-cultural movements over time, which begin with hysteria but ultimately run out of steam — think BLM — the trajectory of worldwide anti-Semitism circa 2023 is clearly upward as it was in the 1930s and appears to grow with each passing day since the Hamas invasion. There is scant reason for optimism that the centuries-old disputes can ever be settled — or that the hatred can be buried.
Anti-Semitism in Close Quarters
Americans living with the natural protection of oceans east and west and friendly neighbors north and south cannot comprehend the fragility of living in a postage stamp-sized country surrounded by a mass of far larger enemies allied in their commitment to destroy Israel — and the United States, if they could. At the same time, when a political agreement displaces a people from their homeland, as was the fate of inhabitants of what had until 1948 been called Palestine, was it not inevitable that victimhood and rebellion would become the currency of those who were told the country was no longer theirs?
Some, such as Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), AOC (D-NY), and their Squad will argue that point in order to change the subject from rank anti-Semitism, claiming that being anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, or merely in favor of less support for our longtime ally is distinct and separate from being anti-Jewish. Unfortunately, the evidence from across the world over these last weeks all but puts the lie to that assertion. How many Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims would willingly utter the old trope applied to free speech in the USA: “I disagree with Israel, but I will defend to the death its right to exist”?
The reason Israel was created as an act of the United Nations 75 years ago was to prevent the very type of anti-Semitic atrocities we have witnessed in recent days, the kind uncovered in Nazi concentration camps that caused American soldiers rescuing the emaciated bodies of the survivors to recoil in horror and disbelief. And yet, despite a mass of photographic evidence documenting the Nazis’ crimes against humanity, many if not most participating in the pro-Hamas protests metastasizing on college campuses across the country and in public squares across the world will deny that the Holocaust even happened. The hatred of Jews burned into Middle Eastern Muslims from a young age is so deep that it requires the creation of an alternate reality to support their twisted fantasies.
The Real Culprit in This Anti-Semitic Outbreak
The role of big corporate media in this turn of events cannot be understated. By rushing out with reports of Israel’s culpability in the Gaza hospital explosion that killed 500 people, the pied piper New York Times and its sycophantic followers on the left triggered a furious response that might best be described as toothpaste squeezed from the tube. Attempts to stuff it back in inevitably prove fruitless; by the time careful investigation revealed that the hospital was blown up by a terrorist misfire, likely by Islamic Jihad, it was too little, too late to quell the widespread, overheated anti-Semitism set in motion by reckless initial reporting.
Somehow, it has become acceptable — and in some circles even fashionable — once more to debate the validity of Israel’s existence. Some Jewish college students have said they feel unsafe, like they are living in 1930s Germany. But that is the cry only of those in the educated class who have cared to study World War II and the Holocaust. Among the rest, willful ignorance abounds as gullible students are whipped into a froth by progressive academics with their anti-Israeli indoctrination disguised as education.
Does the fact that World War II happened before 90% or more of the world’s population was alive also have something to do with this revival of anti-Semitism? Much like Jews after the Holocaust who vowed to never forget and never let it happen again, those who lived through Soviet tyranny believed — or hoped — that with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the Soviet Union, the scourge of communism had been eradicated from the earth forever. But now we see naive, pro-socialist Gen Zers romanticizing tyranny once more — just 30 years after tens of millions died under the boot of Soviet totalitarianism. There is nothing new under the sun.
How could any human with a heart and conscience willingly participate in unconscionable atrocities against defenseless elderly, women, and children, innocents all? Well, as the Bible tells us, the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. And as history has repeatedly demonstrated, the conscience embedded in us by the Creator can be buried beyond the point of recognition in those driven by the deadly sins of pride, wrath, and envy — and twisted by hatred.
If man is not inherently sinful, then why must countless trillions of dollars be expended every year on police and military to enforce the law and preserve peace — essentially protecting mankind from itself? Can we look upon the tinderbox known as the Middle East and believe that the evil being unleashed can be contained by a reasoned response, as one would have when confronted by an adversary driven by comparable morality — or any principles at all beyond conquest? It happened in the 1930s in Europe. It is happening now in the Middle East. But the Gaza Strip populated by Muslims has nothing to do with Christian, post-World War I Germany. They are decidedly separate historical circumstances — with one glaring similarity: hatred of Jews.
Like racism or any other form of hatred, anti-Semitism can never be thoroughly eradicated. Human nature simply does not allow for it. But it is one thing to hold such views privately, as many do, but quite another when hatred of Jews is embraced by institutions, accepted by heads of state, or becomes official national policy. The schism between Jews and Muslims, inflamed further by the worldwide leftist movement, runs deep — to political, religious, and cultural levels — despite their common Semitic heritage and monotheism. Israelis do not seek the destruction of Islam, wishing merely to live in peace. But for the third time since its inception in 1948, that always fragile peace is profoundly threatened. Those who chose to live in Israel amid the cauldron that is the Middle East survived the Six-Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War 50 years ago in 1973. Can they survive one more time?