Britain 2018: Another Record Year for Anti-Semitism
There were more recorded incidents of anti-Semitism in Britain in 2018 than ever before. The Community Security Trust (cst) released its 2018 Anti-Semitic Incidents Report on February 7, detailing the third year in a row of record-breaking anti-Semitic statistics.
Since the cst began recording anti-Semitic incidents in Britain in 1984, 2016 had the most incidents ever reported, at 1,375. The next year, that mark was topped at 1,420. In 2018, the record was shattered again, rising 16.3 percent to 1,652.
In each month last year, more than 100 incidents were reported. It was the first time that incidents reached the century mark every month of the year since the cst was founded. From 2007 to 2015, only six months reported more than 100 incidents.
The number of attacks against Jews in Britain swelled in correspondence with the Palestinian March of Return occurring at the Israeli-Gazan border, highlighting the connection between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.
The incidents reported by the British charity organization were divided into six categories, ranging from anti-Semitic literature to extreme violence.
The majority of incidents (1,300) fell into the category of abusive behavior. This broad category includes any verbal or written anti-Semitic attacks (excluding mass-circulated letters, e-mails, etc, which are included in the literature category). 2018 had the highest number of incidents ever recorded in this grouping.
Most examples of abusive behavior reported to the cst last year involved profane language and offensive Holocaust-related references, anti-Israel dogma and comparisons of Jews to Nazis.
Anti-Semitic graffiti in London included the word “HOLOHOAX.”
A tweet read, “The Israelis are worse than the NAZIS ever were, Israel cancer of the world.”
Out of the 1,652 incidents in 2018, only one was categorized as extreme violence. This classification would include “any attack potentially causing loss of life or grievous bodily harm,” according to the cst report.
However, violent anti-Semitism was high in Central Europe. In Germany last year, 62 violent offenses were committed against Jews, marking a 60 percent increase from 2017. Forty-three of these attacks resulted in injuries. Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, called this a “frightening trend” of rising anti-Semitic hate crimes.
These violent attacks are included in the 1,646 anti-Semitic incidents that were recorded by German police in 2018. That number, as Schuster said, excludes any incidents beyond the “threshold for criminal liability.”
The rise of anti-Semitism in Germany prompted Berlin to create the new office of anti-Semitism commissioner. On Sept. 1, 2018, Chief Prosecutor Claudia Vanoni became the first anti-Semitism officer under the attorney general of Berlin.
During an interview with the Berliner Zeitung, Vanoni said, “I have the impression that anti-Semitism is becoming louder, more open and aggressive. In addition, in comparison to the population in Germany, most anti-Semitic offenses are recorded nationwide. Unfortunately, this also applies to anti-Semitic violent crime.”
She went on to say that anti-Semitism is “deeply rooted” in German society.
Prejudice against Jews is also becoming more and more evident in France. French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said on February 11 that there was a 74 percent increase in anti-Semitic acts between 2017 and 2018.
In a high-profile incident, which occurred earlier that day, a Jewish memorial tree in Paris was chopped down. The tree was planted in remembrance of Ilan Halimi, a young Jewish man who was kidnapped, tortured for three weeks, and killed in 2006.
Earlier that weekend, other instances of anti-Semitism were highly publicized. In one example, swastikas were scrawled on portraits of the famous Frenchwoman Simone Veil. Veil was a Jewish Holocaust survivor who died in 2017. Prior to her death, she was a respected lawyer and politician.
In a separate case, the word “Juden,” German for “Jews,” was spray-painted on the window of a bagel bakery, reminiscent of the way Jewish businesses were marked in Nazi Germany in the lead-up to World War ii.
Anti-Semitism is a problem all over the European continent.
cnn’s November 2018 European anti-Semitism report, which surveyed over 7,000 people in mainland Europe and Britain, garnered much attention and showed how widespread anti-Semitism is in all of Europe. It also showed that 34 percent—one third—of Europeans know little to nothing about the violence and rank murdering of Jews in the Second World War era. About 5 percent say they have never even heard of the Holocaust—in France alone, that figure is 20 percent!
For those familiar with the history of the Holocaust, about 33 percent say that the Jews use the memory of it “to advance their own positions or goals.”
Another survey, this one conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (fra), polled nearly 16,500 European Jews. Eighty-nine percent of those who responded said they believe anti-Semitism in Europe has increased over the past five years, and the overwhelming majority agreed that anti-Semitism is the biggest social or political problem in the media, social media, politics and public areas.
“Anti-Semitism is spreading like a poison,” said Castaner.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe warned in November that his nation was “very far from being finished with anti-Semitism.”
In truth, Europe as a whole is far from being finished with anti-Semitism.
The deadliest war this Earth ever experienced followed on the heels of increasing anti-Semitism. Prior to World War ii, Britain, Germany, France, Poland, Austria and other European countries experienced similar warning signs to what we see today.
Before World War ii, anti-Semitism was in vogue all across Europe and Britain. William Manchester called attention to this in his book The Last Lion:
The martyrdom of Jews in the 1940s would strip anti-Semitism of its respectability, but in the 1930s, it was quite an ordinary thing to see restaurants, hotels, clubs, beaches and residential neighborhoods barred to people with what were delicately called “dietary requirements.” … Contempt for [Jews] was not considered bad form. They were widely regarded as unlovable, alien, loud-mouthed, “flashy” people who enriched themselves at the expense of Gentiles.
Ladies wore bracelets with swastika charms; young men combed their hair slant across their foreheads.
Of course, hatred of the Jews was not the only cause of World War ii, but it showed the deep, underlying sickness of European nations, as Jonathan Freedland wrote for the Guardian: “Conspiracy theory, fake news, demonization of an unpopular group: What happens to our politics if all these become the norm? This is why Jews have often functioned as a canary in the coal mine: When a society turns on its Jews, it is usually a sign of wider ill health. … Once the virus is inside, it does not rest until it has infected the entire body.”
In his May 2009 Trumpet article “Anti-Semitism: Why You Should Be Alarmed,” Brad Macdonald draws the link between the persecutions the Jews face today with the persecution they faced in the 1930s. European media, celebrities—and, increasingly, European political leaders—are condoning anti-Zionism and even embracing some violent anti-Jew sentiments. Prior to World War ii, it was not only acceptable but fashionable to despise the Jews. Today, you are viewed as a heartless warmonger, an enemy of democratic values, an ignorant fool if you support the State of Israel.
“Call this 1930s-style anti-Semitism, if you will,” Mr. Macdonald wrote. “And history shows that unless it is checked, it leads directly to Jews being gassed and tossed like worthless fodder into ovens, or what in hindsight might be called 1940s-style anti-Semitism.”
The Trumpet takes history seriously, and we strive to learn from it. But it is not just through this history that we see where Europe is headed—there are prophecies in the Bible specifically for this time we are living in now! One of the prophecies that shows where Europe’s anti-Semitism is leading is the Psalm 83 alliance.
“The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah” (Psalm 83:6-8). This is a conglomeration of Middle Eastern nations that are allied together for a single cause, and they are led by Germany!
Looking into the ancient origins of nations, one can determine the modern identity of these peoples: Edom and Amalek are modern-day Turkey; the Ishmaelites are Saudi Arabia and its neighboring Gulf states; Moab and Ammon are Jordan; the Hagarenes are Syria; Gebal and Tyre are Lebanon; the Philistines are the people who today live in Gaza. Assur is modern-day Germany.
Notice the purpose that unites these nations: “They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee” (verses 4-5). Through other prophecies (notably those in Daniel 11), we know that a Catholic-led united European superpower helmed by Assyria, or Germany, will be the king of the north. (Read our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire for proof.) The king of the north—these European nations that are bent on hatred of Israel—will ally with the Middle Eastern nations mentioned in Psalm 83 and lead them in an attempt to not only destroy the Jewish state called Israel, but even wipe out the name of Israel from memory! (Prophetic Israel also includes the United States and Britain, which you can prove by reading our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong.)
That is a lot of hatred for one group of people, and such animosity does not swell up overnight. We are seeing the seeds of this prophecy sprouting right now as anti-Semitism continues to build in Europe!
Even as far back as the fifth century b.c., Jews have faced persecution and anti-Semitism. In ancient Persia, the Jews were falsely blamed as being an enemy of the state, and their annihilation was officially legalized by the king! The book of Esther in the Old Testament, specifically chapter 3, documents this history. Under Hitler’s regime, the murder of millions of Jews was not only legalized by the German government, but even initiated and carried out.
God says that He uses Germany as the “rod of [His] anger” to correct the nations of Israel (Isaiah 10:5-7). This persecution is going to come upon America, Britain and Jewish Israel because they are a “hypocritical nation.” God is correcting Israel for its sins!
Because the nations of Israel today—and the world as a whole—are “lovers of their own selves, covetous … blasphemers … Without natural affection … highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4), God is going to do the only thing He can do in order to get their attention. He will correct them through Assyria.
The suffering of World War ii was the worst this world has ever seen, but God Himself says that World War iii will be much worse! The suffering that is coming soon on this world is unlike anything ever experienced! (Matthew 24:21).
But beyond this bleak immediate future that awaits Israel, there is a glorious future. The king of the north and its allies will not be successful in wiping out Israel’s name from existence.
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes in his free booklet Great Again: “When God chose the biblical nation of Israel, He intended it to be an example and a blessing to all nations, leading them into a relationship with Him (read passages like Deuteronomy 4:5-8). Though that nation failed, the goal that God had for Israel anciently is still one He intends to accomplish. God still wants Israel’s descendants to fulfill the glorious purpose of serving as a shining example to the world! And one day soon, they will be!”
There will come a day when anti-Semitism will be a thing of the past—when all nations will admire and benefit from the example that Israel sets in following God’s law—but that day can only come after the nations of Israel learn to turn to God wholeheartedly.