What's Behind the Troubling Rise in Anti-Semitism

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What's Behind the Troubling Rise in Anti-Semitism

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On July 4 Americans celebrate the beginning of their country as a separate and independent nation. It all began in 1492 when Christopher Columbus sailed from southern Spain and rediscovered what came to be called the Americas. Few realize that in the same year another armada of wooden ships left Spain carrying thousands of Jews expelled from their homes and businesses with little more than the clothes they wore on their backs.

Ferdinand and Isabella wanted to create a strong, united Spain. They considered Jews and Muslims to be a threat to this goal. Spain earlier had been a place where three religions—Christianity, Islam and Judaism—coexisted side by side with a certain degree of tolerance. That indulgence was to end for two of the three when Ferdinand and Isabella brought the Spanish Inquisition to their kingdom.

In 1480, they instituted the infamous Inquisition, a court that imprisoned and/or killed Christians suspected of not following Roman Catholic teachings. Non-Christians were given the ultimatum to accept Christianity or leave the country. Over the course of several years, hundreds of thousands of Jews were expelled from Spain and Portugal. Their mission began with the Muslim Moors and finished with the Jews.

That cry of "baptism or death" heard a century earlier fell upon them again. Many Jews compromised. Thousands of others pretended to convert to the state-backed religion to avoid the torture of the inquisitors. It only bought them a little time. Later their pretense was exposed and they were tortured and put to death. In the end, religious compromise failed to preserve their citizenship, as all Jews were required to hastily depart Spain or face certain death.

The final solution was "The Edict of Expulsion." This order gave all Jews until the end of July, 1492, to leave Spain. After receiving a two-day extension, on August 2 the last of the "fleet of misery and woe" left Spain one day ahead of Columbus’s three ships.

Today in Europe we are seeing a resurgence of anti-Semitism. In the two years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, anti-Semitism has been on the increase in Europe.

The United States is the world's dominant power both militarily and economically. But Europe is not content to play the role of second fiddle in the world of politics. Europeans see much of the cause of terrorist activity linked with the lack of progress in settling the Palestinian problem. Many consider the intransigence of the Jewish state to be due to the support of United States, and this is contributing to a parallel rise in anti-Americanism. So in much of the Western world the Americans and Jews are increasingly seen as the two major obstacles to world peace.

A recent poll in Arabic countries reveals two startling developments. Anti-Americanism has risen sharply in many Arab countries since the war with Iraq, even in countries at one time considered friendly to or as allies of the United States.

A high percentage of Muslims believe America’s real intent is to destroy the Muslim religion. They do not believe that the United States is able to deal fairly toward the Palestinians because of its friendship with Israel.

The same survey found that a high percentage of the populations in those same countries believe that "no way can be found for Israel and the Palestinians to coexist."

Bible prophecy continues to move forward, setting the stage for a future conflict beyond imagination between Europe, the Islamic world and those of Israelite descent. People will once again be forced to give their total allegiance to a religion and a religious figure or face death. Prophecies in the book of Revelation speak of these times and events: "He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed" (Revelation 13:15).

To learn more about these future sobering events, request our free booklet The Book of Revelation Unveiled.

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