Christian Anti-Semitism Is Still Here

Nov. 30 2022

While it is often assumed that the old European hatred of Jews, rooted in charges of deicide and theological animus, has long since been shunted aside by racial, or Islamic, or anti-Zionist varieties, Alvin Rosenfeld observes that traditional Christian sentiments still have significant purchase among American anti-Semites. He begins his general survey by citing a graffito reading, “The Jews are guilty.”

Surrounded by crudely drawn swastikas, these words were prominently spray-painted on the wall of the Holocaust museum in St. Petersburg, Florida in May 2021. Similar graffiti have appeared time and again on synagogues, Jewish schools, and other Holocaust monuments and memorials. Their purpose is clear: intimidate Jews by defacing their most emblematic institutions with hostile markings. This one, “The Jews are guilty,” is an expression of contempt that originates centuries ago in Christian teachings about Jews as agents of evil; in one form or another, it is alive still today. Versions of it, always accusatory and damning, are part of the contemporary rhetoric of anti-Jewish vilification.

The question needs to be asked: of what precisely are the Jews guilty? Answers vary, but to anti-Semites of all kinds, Jews, and increasingly the Jewish state, are denounced as being eternally at fault for causing whatever is bad, wrong, or evil in the world.

Of course, to numerous medieval preachers, and no small number of modern ones, Jews were guilty above all of killing Jesus. Rosenfeld also notes the association of Jews with Satan or Satanism, a notion with origins in the New Testament’s reference to the “synagogue of Satan.”

The Goyim Defense League, a small but aggressive neo-Nazi hate-group . . . regularly invokes New Testament references to Satanic Jews on large banners it displays on the highways of major American cities. Others who similarly call on Satan as justification for harming Jews may know nothing of the scriptural provenance of such vilification or be regular churchgoers, and yet they have absorbed the widespread image of devilish Jews and sometimes act upon it to assault Jews.

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Read more at Fathom

More about: American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Jewish-Christian relations

 

UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon Risk Their Lives, but Still May Do More Harm Than Good

Jan. 27 2023

Last month an Irish member of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was killed by Hizballah guerrillas who opened fire on his vehicle. To David Schenker, it is likely the peacekeeper was “assassinated” to send “a clear message of Hizballah’s growing hostility toward UNIFIL.” The peacekeeping force has had a presence in south Lebanon since 1978, serving first to maintain calm between Israel and the PLO, and later between Israel and Hizballah. But, Schenker explains, it seems to be accomplishing little in that regard:

In its biannual reports to the Security Council, UNIFIL openly concedes its failure to interdict weapons destined for Hizballah. While the contingent acknowledges allegations of “arms transfers to non-state actors” in Lebanon, i.e., Hizballah, UNIFIL says it’s “not in a position to substantiate” them. Given how ubiquitous UN peacekeepers are in the Hizballah heartland, this perennial failure to observe—let alone appropriate—even a single weapons delivery is a fair measure of the utter failure of UNIFIL’s mission. Regardless, Washington continues to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into this failed enterprise, and its local partner, the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Since 2006, UNIFIL patrols have periodically been subjected to Hizballah roadside bombs in what quickly proved to be a successful effort to discourage the organization proactively from executing its charge. In recent years, though, UN peacekeepers have increasingly been targeted by the terror organization that runs Lebanon, and which tightly controls the region that UNIFIL was set up to secure. The latest UN reports tell a harrowing story of a spike in the pattern of harassment and assaults on the force. . . .

Four decades on, UNIFIL’s mission has clearly become untenable. Not only is the organization ineffective, its deployment serves as a key driver of the economy in south Lebanon, employing and sustaining Hizballah’s supporters and constituents. At $500 million a year—$125 million of which is paid by Washington—the deployment is also expensive. Already, the force is in harm’s way, and during the inevitable next war between Israel and Hizballah, this 10,000-strong contingent will provide the militia with an impressive human shield.

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Lebanon, Peacekeepers, U.S. Foreign policy