In a few days Jews will celebrate the holiday of Purim, a holiday rooted in the Biblical story of Esther. It takes place in the ancient Persian Empire, when most Jews were still in exile, only a small minority already having gone back home to the Land of Israel. It's a seemingly absurd story, where a king kills his queen at the behest of his adviser, and after having raised that adviser to the rank of chief minister – has him killed at the behest of his new queen.

We read of a liberal, pluralist society, where everyone can do much as they please, because that's the law of the king; a multi-racial government for an even more multi-racial empire, where there are good roads and a good atmosphere of tolerance. Yet the same tolerant king is persuaded by his chief minister to order the annihilation of an entire people, without the king even asking which people. The justification given for this decree of genocide was because their laws and customs differed from everyone else. The people singled out for genocide were the Jews. No one raises a voice against this planned genocide, no one demonstrates against, except one man – Mordechai the Jew, who enlists the queen, Esther the Jewess, to start to roll back the monstrous plan to kill all the Jews.

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The Jewish people are optimistic, because we believe that humanity is created in the "image of God", that humanity has the ability to live a Godly life. Yet in the story of Esther we came face to face with the possibility of humanity's being the devil incarnate, total evil. We learned that this evil is full of hatred and that the hatred is focused on the Jewish people. We also learn that the goal of that non-rational or irrational hatred is genocide, with the goal of annihilating all Jews, regardless of political positions or degree of religiosity. In addition we learn that the law of the land cannot really help the Jews, because once the law was signed with the king's signet ring, that anyone can kill Jews and the police or army won't intervene,  it cannot be abrogated. Therefore the only solution is a new law that allows the Jews to defend themselves against those that attempt to attack them, in essence: the Jews must defend themselves against genocidal tendencies of some people.


That is anti-Semitism in a nutshell, from the time of Haman over two thousand years ago and up until this day.

Recently it has been said that in the United States of America anti-Semitism is on the rise. There have been many bomb threats called in to about one hundred Jewish community centers or synagogues – all threats that, thank God, turned out to be false. Still – they jolt the nerves of the Jewish community. There have been as of now two instances of Jewish cemeteries being desecrated by anonymous vandals who damaged several hundred gravestones.

I wouldn't want to belittle any form of anti-Semitism, yet I cannot avoid thinking that no one has been hurt: there have been fake bomb scares and dead Jews' gravestones have been desecrated. Neither is a life-threatening event.

On the other hand – there is a type of anti-Semitism that threatens real and severe danger to the Jewish people. It seeks to cause the death of millions of Jews or at the least their displacement and exile, either directly by supporting enemies of Israel, the Jewish state, or indirectly by propagating anti-Israel libels and propaganda in a process of preparing the hearts and minds of people around the world to once again accept the singling out of the Jewish nation for annihilation.

This anti-Semitism is rampant on university campuses in the guise of anti-Zionism, from BDS to such agitation as Israel Apartheid Week(s), masquerading as a struggle for human rights, .

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has been credited with having said to an anti-Zionist: “When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism”. Clarence B. Jones, personal attorney and close adviser to Martin Luther King Jr, said, “I can say with absolute certainty that Martin abhorred anti-Semitism in all its forms, including anti-Zionism".

So-called anti-Zionism is real anti-Semitism, threatening real, live Jews and Jewish rights, and it may be growing in the United States in a civilized disguise.

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