Antisemitism in the West is out in the open, not hiding in plain sight

The antisemitism that once hid behind a fig leaf of anti-Israel sentiment has largely shed this pretense. Antisemites are now comfortable being open about their hatred.

A visitor views a makeshift memorials outside the Tree of Life synagogue  in Pittsburgh, in 2018. (photo credit: ALAN FREED/REUTERS)
A visitor views a makeshift memorials outside the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, in 2018.
(photo credit: ALAN FREED/REUTERS)
For several years, Christians United for Israel (CUFI) has been deeply concerned that antisemitism was hiding in plain sight in the US and Europe. We’ve worked to sound the alarm and advance policies in Washington that combat this abomination. But in recent months we have seen that those Westerners who hate Jews no longer feel the need to hide.
The antisemitism that once hid behind a fig leaf of anti-Israel sentiment has largely shed this pretense. Antisemites are now comfortable being open about their hatred. And they are acting on it in the most horrific and violent ways. They are no longer hiding. They are here and their mask has been discarded.
In just a few short years, antisemitism went from taboo to chic. On college campuses across the country hatred for both the Jewish state and the Jewish people is not simply accepted, it is often expected from those who seek to don the post-patriotic and post-religious cap and gown. Likewise, antisemites from the fringe Right and Left have found favor and followings across the West – from small communities to the halls of Congress.
This is the world that leaders meeting this week in Israel must confront. Likewise, as allies in the fight against antisemitism, we must acknowledge the problem and seek ways to solve it.
At its core, the spread of antisemitism is enabled by ignorance. A 2018 study found that while a majority of Americans “believe something like the Holocaust could happen again,” nearly a third of Americans and more than 40% of millennials “believe that substantially less than 6 million Jews were killed (two million or fewer) during the Holocaust,” and nearly half of millennials cannot name a single concentration camp.
The adage that “those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it” is sadly being proven accurate.
It is with this in mind that several months ago CUFI set out to educate a new generation about the history and horrors of antisemitism. Today, we are announcing that we are in the end stages of producing a feature length documentary film, “Never Again?”
From Dr. Deborah Lipstat, to ambassador Michael Oren, to Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, this film gets to the heart of the issue and confronts the consequences of antisemitism. As a result, viewers, who will be guided on this journey by a Holocaust survivor and a former radical Islamist, will learn about the dark history of this scourge and come to understand why all of us, regardless of faith or political persuasion, have a holy and solemn responsibility to keep the promise of Never Again.
We must fight against the rising tide of antisemitism sweeping across the West. We must confront the antisemites, regardless of their stated rallying cry, wherever and whenever we find them. And above all, we must educate the next generation about the perils and horrific consequences of this hatred.
Pastor John Hagee is the founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel.


Tags hate crime