By Amy Zewe—
Antisemitism takes form in many ways within the many folds of society. You may have noticed I have been concentrating on college campus happenings for a while now. The reason is because the dissemination of antisemitism into the greater community—into our halls of government, offices of associations and businesses, and even the among teachers and leaderships within schools and religious humanitarian institutions –well, most of those folks went through some sort of college program.
Moreover, the book The Casualty of Contempt, a collectively written collection of essays to identify and combat antisemitism among college-aged and young Christian adults is now in print and available for purchase. Those who buy it through The Jerusalem Connection will see a portion of the proceeds go directly to this organization. I will sign the copy we send out.
As well, The Jerusalem Connection is starting a new initiative for a scholarship program to send one Christian college student per academic year to study for one full semester at The Hebrew University’s Jerusalem campus. This is an ambitious goal, but we believe that a full semester for a Christian to live and study in Israel will help equip them for the lifelong battle against antisemitism starting at the university they come home to, and thereafter within any endeavor, industry, or organization they engage in throughout their adult lives.
Antisemitism on college campuses is a problem in the public and private secular universities—no doubt. But please don’t assume that Christian universities or churches and even Christian schools are engaged in accurate education about Israel, the Holocaust, the history that led to it, and even sound teachings from the Bible—Old and New Testament. Replacement Theology is alive in mainstream Christian denominations and while you may see my focus on the antisemitism that arises on secular campuses—both public and private, often that is to reveal the hostility and pain it causes Jewish students and faculty on those campuses. But we cannot neglect that bad theology and faulty teachings on Christian campuses may not result in immediate hostility against Jewish students (as they are usually not on those campuses) but it does trickle right on out to our general society.
How so? Christians educated in the thinking of Replacement Theology seem to have no trouble turning a blind eye or deaf ear to antisemitism as it manifests in the culture—for example:
Saturday Night Live’s last episode, in their mock-news report called “Weekend Update,” the anchor reported that “Israel has reported vaccinating half their population against COVID-19 so far—and I am sure that is the Jewish half.”
Many folks don’t even understand the hurt and liable behind this “joke.” It implies that Israelis are somehow racist and exclusive and only offering the vaccine to Jewish inhabitants—never mind that of those vaccinated, 43% have been Arab. Partially the issue is that the Arabs are told not to trust the Israeli leadership and their vaccine. And, when it was offered to the Gaza and PA regions, it was rejected.
Other areas of antisemitism being accepted happens among social justice movements, across social media platforms, and in the general entertainment industry. Christians with no awareness or red flag to the problems will ignore them, and even help perpetuate them.
And then there is our own general elections. Christians not properly educated on the reality of what Israel and the Jews are in God’s plan and our call to “comfort ye” often don’t exercise good discernment in elections. When voters do not understand the issues, then vote for candidates who ignore, discount, or vilify Israel.
The notion of never again and never forget regarding the Holocaust can only be achieved through proper education and awareness of the virulent strain of hate that reiterates with every generation. Each new generation must fight it and work to inoculate itself.
Through our ministry outreaches, our Holocaust Education initiative, the scholarship program, our books as well as our eNews and Red Alerts, we hope to continue the battle against antisemitism.
Shavua Tov. Have a great week.