“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is a time of trouble unto Jacob, but out of it shall he be saved.” Jeremiah 30:7 (The Israel Bible™)
From a Biblical perspective, it is possible to see the uptick in anti-Semitism as a sign of the coming Redemption.
In his address to the Israeli Knesset on December 29, Irwin Cotler, a celebrated human rights lawyer, warned that Israel and the Jewish people are suffering from a “new, escalating, global, sophisticated, virulent and even lethal anti-Semitism.”
Cotler characterized this new anti-Semitism as “discrimination against, denial of, assault upon the right of Israel and the Jewish people to live as an equal member of the family of nations, in fact the right even to live, with Israel emerging as the collective Jew among the nations – the targeted collective Jew among the nations.”
The prophet Daniel, writing about the End of Days, warned that we would witness “a time of trouble, such as never was”:
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time; and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” (Daniel 12:1)
The angel Michael historically stands to defend the Jewish people in Heaven. The “time of trouble” is understood by the Jewish sages to refer to the oppression of the Jewish people at the hands of the descendents of Ishmael at the End of Days. In other words, “the time of trouble” is a reference to the Arab terrorism of today, and the associated attempts to erase the very existence of Israel from the world.
An example of this trend of delegitimizing Israel can be seen in a recent op-ed, published by Forbes, in response to Kuwait Airlines’ recent decision to stop flying between New York and London. As a matter of policy, Kuwait Airlines refuses service to travelers with Israeli passports.
Rather than opposing this discrimination against Israelis, author Martin Rivers, an aviation journalist and Middle East politics blogger, calls the legitimacy of Israel into question. His op-ed, titled “It’s Easy To Blame Kuwait Airways For Discrimination Against Israelis – But It’s Wrong”, finds justification for Kuwait’s refusal to recognize Israel “as a legitimate country” and for its national airline to refuse to serve Israeli passengers.
“The tiny Gulf state, like 16 other mostly Arab nations, does not recognize Israel as a legitimate country. As backwards as this may seem, its stance reflects the unique manner in which the Jewish State was founded in 1948,” Rivers writes. “Even Israel’s most ardent supporters will concede that its establishment, or re-establishment, after World War II was cumbersomely managed. Displaced Arabs living in what had hitherto been known as British Mandate Palestine endured grave hardships during the process. Colonial Britain deserves much of the blame.”
Ironically, though Rivers cast aspersions on Britain, a recent report released by the Met Police in Britain indicates that, between November 2014 and November 2015, anti-Semitic crimes in Britain shot up by 61 percent.
Prolific End of Times author Rabbi Pinchas Winston told Breaking Israel News that rising anti-Semitism worldwide is a Biblical clue that it’s time for the Jewish people to return to Israel.
“We learn from the great Patriarch Jacob how anti-Semitism is an important precursor of redemption. It was the libel he heard from his brothers-in-law, and then the worsening of his relationship with his father-in-law, Laban, that alerted Jacob that it was time to leave the Diaspora and return back to Israel,” he explained to Breaking Israel News.
“The ‘anti-Semitism’ told him that the Divine protection that had kept Laban at bay until then was ‘moving on,’ and that he should do likewise. He heeded the message and remained safe. It’s when we haven’t [heeded the message] that anti-Semitism has increased, often resulting in the destruction of all that kept us in the Diaspora, and our lives as well.”
Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf, adult Jewish educator and award-winning author of 11 books, told Breaking Israel News that the antidote to today’s anti-Semitism lies with the Jewish people. According to Apisdorf, “[W]hen the entire Jewish people can speak with one clear voice and say from the depths of our collective soul that the land of Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people because God gave it to us—that will make all the difference in the world.”
On a more optimistic note, although both prophets Jeremiah and Daniel foretold of the increased anti-Semitism Israel would experience at the End of Days, they also both mentioned that, ultimately, salvation and deliverance would come for the Jewish people. On the verse in the Book of Daniel, Rashi, the foremost Jewish Biblical commentator, specifically assures that, “The kingdom of Gog will be destroyed and Israel will escape.”