Rising Antisemitism in America and the Need to Stand against It

Dr. Susan Michael, USA Director, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem

Israel’s people long for a better world with peace in the Middle East. But the resulting wave of antisemitism that swept across the globe after Israel legally responded to the barbaric attacks on innocent civilians on October 7 shattered their dream of acceptance by the family of nations.

Since the war began, hate crimes against Jews in the United States have skyrocketed. On social media, antisemitic messages of hate for Jews have overwhelmed messages of support for the Jewish people. At universities across the United States — which should be a safe place for all students to learn — anti-Israel protests calling for the death of Jews and the death of Israel have left Jewish students fearful for their lives. Many Jews are asking, “Where are the voices of our friends?” They feel they are left to fight alone.

Antisemitism often acts as an early-warning system — a canary in the mineshaft — alerting us to hateful movements that can threaten society. That alarm is now sounding, and the Evangelical Christian demographic is the only one with the political and moral weight to push back against this evil. But we must first understand what antisemitism is and why now is the time to stand up and speak out against it.


New York, NY, USA October 18, 2023: A “Stand with Palestine” protest in front of the CUNY grad center. The group was met by a small number of Pro-Israel counter protesters.

An age-old hatred

Antisemitism — opposition and hostility toward Jews — is an ancient hatred that includes delegitimizing, demonizing and dehumanizing Jews individually and as a group. Opposition toward the Jewish people and Jewish State is a blatant demonstration of opposition to God and His decision to choose a particular people for a unique purpose. Zechariah 2:8 says, “He who touches you [Israel] touches the apple of His eye.” In other words, those who oppose Israel are poking God in the eye.

Many Christians aren’t aware that antisemitism exists even in the church — and has for almost 2,000 years. In addition to opposing God, Christian antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment demonstrate a lack of understanding and/or rejection of the eternal covenant God made with Abraham and his descendants in Genesis 12:1–7. In this passage, God promised Abraham and his descendants land, that they would be a great nation and that God would bless all families of the earth through Abraham. The land — specifically Jerusalem — would be like a stage from where God would enact His grand plan of redemption. The great nation is the Jewish people, and the land is Israel.

The enemy of God knows this. His disdain for God and His word shows in the persecution and hatred toward Jews that began long before Christianity. Pharaoh, Haman and Antiochus Epiphanes are only a few examples of evil men who tried to destroy God’s chosen people. It’s an age-old hatred that has embodied itself since the beginning, just as God’s Word says it would. The psalmist wrote that God’s enemies would plot to “cut them [the Jewish people] off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more” (Psalm 83:4).

While the Jews have had many enemies throughout history, Christians should be concerned about the part some of our forbearers played in this disturbing drama. The fact that persecution of the Jews rose from within our ranks is a tragedy and shame the Christian community must deal with and an unarguable reason for standing against it today.


Fueling the fire

Antisemitic tropes have helped fuel antisemitism. These myths or sensational reports, misrepresentations, or lies defamatory toward Judaism or the Jewish people as an ethnic or religious group have existed since the birth of Christianity — like discussions of the Jews controlling the media and the global financial system with the goal of world domination. The Nazis used such propaganda to rally the Germans to support the persecution of Jews, war and, ultimately, genocide. By the time of the Holocaust, these stereotypes and images were so familiar that people didn’t realize they had adopted such erroneous views as truth.

Since Israel’s war with Hamas began, social media posts and anti-Israel protests across the world have blatantly used this same type of propaganda to shift people’s thinking that Israel is the enemy rather than the evil terrorists bent on Israel’s destruction. In the first two weeks of Israel’s war with Hamas, those lies contributed to an almost 400 percent increase in antisemitic incidents in the United States.

The surge in antisemitic incidents and the rise of repackaged lies and conspiracies are disturbing and verify why Christians must understand what antisemitism is and speak out against it, so history does not repeat itself.

Antisemitism is ultimately not only against the Jews but against God’s word — which makes Christians vulnerable too. We must learn to recognize and stand against the antisemitism of our day. The current political form, anti-Zionism, seeks to rid the world of the influence of the Jewish people by challenging their right to be a nation. At its worst, this new brand of antisemitism condones the mass destruction of Jews in their restored homeland.

Antisemitism’s goal in the modern Christian world is to rob Christians of the root that sustains our faith. The return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland promised to Abraham demonstrates the truth of the Bible and God’s faithfulness to keep His word. As the apostle Paul said, the Jewish faith is the root that supports us (Romans 11). To be separated from that root means spiritual death.

Therefore, the battle against this evil ideology is our battle. It behooves us to do everything we can to help churches recognize it for what it is and stand against it.

Learn How to Start Opposing Antisemitism

Get ICEJ USA Director Susan Michael’s booklet Antisemitism: What Every Christian Needs to Know and How to Counter It on Amazon or your favorite book retailer.

Learn how a group of students are helping Israel at: https://www.goodnewsfl.org/pbau-students-serve-crisis-in-israel/

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