For Such a Time as This: NCLCI Call-to-Action on antisemitism
We are Christians from a variety of backgrounds who are compelled to offer a warning about the rising tide of anti-Semitism that is manifesting itself throughout the world. The signs of growing contempt and hostility for the Jewish people are unmistakable and undeniable.
Most alarmingly, it is manifesting itself in Europe where two thirds of the continent’s Jews were murdered during the Shoah.
For example, Jews have been murdered in cold blood on a number of occasions in France during the past few years. During last summer’s conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, protesters in France called for Jews to be gassed. Synagogues have been attacked.
Simply put, antisemitism is on the march in France, prompting record numbers of Jews to leave the country for Israel.
The problem is not restricted to France, but is manifesting itself elsewhere in Europe.
In Holland, where only 25 percent of that country’s Jews survived the Shoah, soccer fans recently chanted a song that included the phrase, “Jews burn the best.” They also chanted, “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.”
Soccer fans from Bosnia, where 90 percent of that country’s Jews were killed during the Shoah, recently chanted, “Kill the Jews” while marching in the streets of Vienna.
The United States is not free of antisemitic violence. Attacks against Jews range from the shooting spree last April at a pair of Jewish institutions in Kansas, to swastika graffiti on synagogues and Jewish fraternities, to vandalized menorahs. Jews have been harassed and attacked on college campuses throughout the country. Offensive, antisemitic postings abound on social media.
Sadly, expressions of antisemitism have been rampant in the Middle East for decades, eliciting few, if any expressions of concern from Christians who would bring piece to the region.
Jews have even been subjected to terrible acts of violence in their homeland. Several months ago, four Jews were killed while praying at a synagogue in Jerusalem.
Some commentators have attempted to downplay the horror of these escalating acts of violence by stating that they are merely the consequence of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The fact is, these acts of violence, which threaten to escalate into mass killings, are motivated by an age-old hate that all people of good will, Christians especially, are obligated to name, confront and condemn.
This resurgence of antisemitism, which had been quiescent in the first few decades after the Shoah, can no longer be ignored or denied, for it threatens the very fabric of civilization.
We call on Christian leaders in the United States – and the rest of the world – to educate their flocks about the evils of antisemitism and to warn their followers about its terrible impact on peoples’ hearts and on society at large.
National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel