A worker removes anti-Semitic graffiti on a shop window in the Belsize Park neighbourhood of London Dec. 29, 2019. CNS photo/Aaron Chown, Reuters

Who will finally take out the anti-Semitic garbage?

  • November 24, 2022

Throughout history anti-Semitism has consistently raised its ugly head. From murderous pogroms in Russia to the ultimate in hatred that played out in the Holocaust. Even in Canada when Jews were trying to find refuge in Canada in the 1930s the popular slogan was: None Is Too Many.

There is a reason that Israelis are armed to the teeth. They know there are those whose life mission it to eradicate the Jewish people. If that’s not Jew-hatred then what is?

You can’t read a history of Europe without encountering violent anti-Semitism. Often it was in places where Jews had assimilated into the greater culture. It often started with rumours and libel and eventually exploded.

During the First World War, Jewish men fought for Germany. More than 100,000 in Germany alone volunteered for duty. A tenth of those men died for the Fatherland and the Kaiser. Many received the Iron Cross for bravery.

Not only were they patriots but they had roots in the German soil in some cases going back more than 1,000 years. Much of that time was spent in fear of attacks by their Christian neighbours and the authorities. Yet they stayed out of some sense of loyalty. 

Jews were leaders in media, industry and other endeavours. Some of the greatest German literature was written by Jews. Yet they were resented for being too successful. 

When Germany annexed Austria in 1938, ordinary citizens in Vienna, mostly good Catholics, had a great time dragging Jews out of their homes to scrub the streets on their hands and knees. You can find pics of gleeful Austrians having a riotous good time over the misfortune of people who had been their friends and neighbours. 

Anti-Semitism came in two general flavours. The Jews were an alien group that had no place in European lands. Some of this was Christian anti-Semitism. The Jews were the Christ killers. This always struck me as odd because the first followers of Jesus were Jews. It was a weak-kneed Roman who sent Christ to His death by crucifixion. 

I bring this up because of two recent public incidents of anti-Semitism.

 One concerned NBA star player Kyrie Irving and the other popular rap artist Kanye West. 

Irving also believes the world is flat (I’m not kidding) and supports Alex Jones, the same man who said the murder of 26 people, 20 of whom were children, never happened.  Irving recently promoted a book and film series called Hebrews to Negroes. It supports the usual anti-Semitic garbage that the Jews falsified the Holocaust for nefarious reasons and Jews were mainly responsible for the transatlantic slave trade. It also purports to prove Blacks were the true Hebrews and Jews are a fake ethnic group.

What makes this is even more disturbing is that Irving plays for the Brooklyn Nets. New York has a population of more than one million Jews. Yet it took a week to suspend Irving. 

More upsetting still was the reaction of Nets coach Steve Nash, the Canadian boy we all love. 

“There’s always an opportunity for us to grow and understand new perspectives,” Nash told Sports Illustrated. “I think the organization is trying to take that stance where we can communicate through this… and (have) both more understanding and more empathy for every side of this debate.”

More understanding about what? What about condemning what Irving said because it was hateful and a pack of lies? Imagine a white player promoting a film that said Black men make lousy fathers or that Latinos are lazy and criminals. Would Nash have seen that as an opportunity for debate?

A few days later, Irving said he wanted to “apologize deeply” and insisted he is not anti-Semitic. Maybe he was watching his NBA career go down the drain. Perhaps he was sincere. At least he was attempted to own up. 

Unlike Kanye West. This genius went on Twitter saying he would go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.” Meaning he would like to commit murder. Fellow rapper Sean Diddy Combs reminded Kanye that Jesus was a Jew. 

Part of me thought these two bigots should be ignored. But then I thought about the attacks on Jews throughout Europe. Think of the radical Islamists, under the banner for Free Palestine, who want the Jews wiped of the face of the Earth.

The Blessed Virgin Mary was a Jew. Joseph was a Jew. The apostles were Jewish. The first Christians were Jewish. Christ went to the synagogue. What else do you need to know? 

(Lewis is a regular contributor to The Catholic Register.)

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