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'The Longest Hatred'

Evangelicals must fight the resurgence of anti-Semitism.
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Last fall, two Muslims attending an exclusive secondary school in Paris began harassing and beating another student, an 11-year-old Jewish boy, shouting, "We'll finish Hitler's job!" Traumatized, the victim had to go on tranquilizers. The headmaster moved him to another class and filed a lawsuit against the assailants. But without an admission of guilt or witnesses willing to testify, prospects of a conviction are slim. "We're in a dead-end," the headmaster said.

The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights issued a report in 2002 titled "Fire and br /oken Glass." It chronicles a rising European tide of firebombings of Jewish synagogues, schools, and homes; desecrations of Jewish cemeteries and Holocaust memorials; attacks by skinheads; and marches by people who chanted "Sieg heil!" and "Jews into the sea!"

Often such vitriol accompanies over-the-top criticism of Israel. The Italian daily La Stampa recently printed a front-page cartoon with an Israeli tank pointing its gun at the baby Jesus, who exclaims, "Surely they don't want to kill me again."

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While such examples of anti-Semitism are new, the disease is not. Historian Robert Wistrich has called anti-Semitism "the longest hatred." Elie Wiesel writes in the foreword to Gabr /iel Schoenfeld's new book, The Return of Anti-Semitism, "Those of us who naively believed that Auschwitz put an end to anti-Semitism were wrong."

Militant Muslims and Arab rulers, seeking to deflect attention from their own corrupt rule, are major conduits of this new mayhem. During a recent sermon in Mecca, a sheikh said, "Oh God, give victory to the mujahedeen [holy warriors] everywhere. Give them victory in Palestine. Oh God, inflict your wrath on the criminal Zionists." In November, ...

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This article is from the April 2004 issue. Christianity Today - 2004 - April
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