Rabbi Lord Sacks had everyone listening in House of Lords’ debate on antisemitism

by Phil Schneider

When hate goes unchecked, it grows.  It goes from a little dangerous to lethally dangerous.  And then it takes on a life of it’s own.  This is part of the message that Lord Sacks makes in this speech on anti-semitism.  He labels antisemitism, “the world’s oldest hatred.”  What a sad but true statement.

What do Anti-Semites think of themselves?

Lord Sacks explains that most anti-semites do not think that they are anti-semites.  In the middle ages, they said, “We don’t hate Jews – just their religion.”

In the 19th century they said, “We don’t hate Jews – just their race.”  And now, they say, “We don’t hate Jews – just their nation-state.”

Lord Sacks is probably the most eloquent speaker today on the topic of world antisemitism.

When does it get dangerous?

Lord Sacks explains that antisemitism becomes deadly dangerous when the following 3 things occur:

  1.   It moves from the fringes of politics to a main-stream party.
  2.   When the party sees that their reputation is not harmed through their anti-semitic views.
  3.  When those who stand up and protest are vilified and abused.

Where is anti-semitism rampant today?

Lord Sacks claims that England now contains all 3 of the above factors.  France, Germany, and Belgium also have clear indicators of the 3 above factors.  But the United States – for now – does not have any of the above indicators.  In the US, pre-World War II, these factors all existed.  The main political parties had very strong anti-semitic factions within them, and they were more popular than controversial.

However, today, it is hard to imagine that what is going on in England with Jeremy Corbyn could happen in the United States.  But, as Lord Sacks said, he never thought he would live to see the day that such attitudes would be mainstream in England.

Antisemitism comes and goes in waves.  But it never disappears.  It just morphs or “mutates” into different forms.  We need to be vigilant, and to be willing to stand up, and fight for the Land of Israel.

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