Anti-Semitism Is a Threat to Western Civilization Itself

December 31, 2019 | Daniel Johnson
About the author: Daniel Johnson, the founding editor (2008-2018) of the British magazine Standpoint, is now the founding editor of TheArticle and a regular contributor to cultural and political publications in the UK and the U.S.

On Saturday night, a man burst into a rabbi’s home in Monsey, NY, where a Hanukkah party was taking place, and began stabbing people with a machete. In North London, that same night, the walls of a synagogue and several shops were spray-painted with anti-Semitic slogans. Daniel Johnson comments on both incidents:

The appearance of graffiti in North London seems, by comparison, merely symbolic. Yet the fact that it happened against the background of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labor party gives it a sinister significance.

The fact that these incidents happened at Hanukkah is also ominous. In the German city of Halle, a synagogue was attacked by a gunman at Yom Kippur only last month. Jewish festivals present opportunities for anti-Semites to target victims wherever they gather together. By deliberately turning solemn occasions of communal worship into times of fear and anxiety, anti-Semites seek to disrupt the rhythm of the religious calendar that is the essence of Judaism.

Yet the Jewish people has never allowed itself to be intimidated, let alone subdued, by such threats. The Hebrew Bible is the story of a nation that survived every attempt to crush its identity and suppress its faith in the God of Abraham and Isaac.

It is up to the rest of society to show their Jewish friends and neighbors that they will not look the other way as the oldest hatred renews itself. . . . Western leaders, too, have a responsibility to protect their Jewish citizens. This Hanukkah, Boris Johnson tweeted: “Britain would not be Britain without its Jewish community.” True enough, but tweets and gestures are not an adequate answer to lies, murder, and mayhem. Anti-Semitism is a mortal threat not only to the Jewish people but to Western civilization itself.

Read more on The Article: