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World News and Trends: Anti-Semitic, anti-Israel riots erupt in Europe

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Anti-Semitic, anti-Israel riots erupt in Europe

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The Jewish Chronicle called it "The Worst Wave of Hate for Quarter of a Century." Hatred of Jews suddenly became much more evident in the wake of the air strikes and Israeli incursion into Gaza. One observer said that anti-Semites are "using an overseas conflict as an excuse for their racism" (Leon Symons, Simon Rocker and Jonny Paul, Jan. 16, 2009, p. 1).

A demonstration in London against the Israeli action attracted 12,000 protestors. Over a period of about two weeks more than 150 anti-Semitic incidents were recorded across Britain—including arson, personal attacks on individuals, graffiti and abusive telephone calls (ibid.).

The "State of the Union" column in The Wall Street Journal reported: "A Pew study from September [2008] shows that 25% of Germans and 20% of French are still affected by the [anti-Semitic] virus. In Spain, 46% have unfavourable views of Jews.

"Is there really no connection between this statistic and the fact that the Spanish media and government are among Europe's most hostile toward the Jewish state? Is it just a coincidence that Europe's largest anti-Israeli demonstration took place Sunday in Madrid with more than 100,000 protestors?" (Daniel Schwammenthal, "Europe Reimports Jew Hatred," Jan. 13, 2009, p. 12).

It is increasingly difficult to conveniently separate anti-Israeli feelings and anti-Semitism, as London's chief rabbi has pointed out for many months. The Wall Street Journal piece plainly concluded that "the rejection of Israel's right to exist is what drives their attacks."

A Time feature article observed that "the threat posed by Hamas is only the most immediate of the many interlocking challenges facing Israel, some of which cast dark shadows over the long-term viability of a democratic Jewish state" (Tim McGirk, "Can Israel Survive Its Assault on Gaza?" Jan. 19, 2009, pp. 13-16).

For a comprehensive understanding of the immediate dangers and the biblically foretold, positive long-term outcome, please see our May-June 2008 Good News cover article "Can Israel Survive?" Also, to comprehend the historic and prophetic background of Israel's position in the world, request or download our free booklet The Middle East in Bible Prophecy. (Sources: The Jewish Chronicle [London], The Wall Street Journal, Time.)

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