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Growing Anti-Semitism in a World of Tolerance

By Amanda Morad | November 8, 2012

Susan Michael, U.S. Director for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem

For all the "Coexist" bumper stickers and pleas from religious and social groups for tolerance, distinct hatred for the people of Israel continues to surge, says Susan Michael, U.S. Director for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. Michael spoke at the monthly assembly of Regent University's College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) on Monday, Nov. 5.

"There are two great ideals in our time: one is tolerance; on is the total rejection of every kind of racism," Michael acknowledged. "But does it really mean we've become more tolerant? No. Anti-Semitism not only survives today, but thrives."

Michael noted that anti-Semitism is the oldest recorded hatred in history and, instead of becoming a shameful relic of the past as other cultural hatreds have, it remains one of the most pervasive. "In recent years, there has been an alarming rise in anti-Semitism across the world in the form of holocaust denial, hate speech and violence in the Muslim world, across Europe and even in the United States," Michael said.

Scholars and historians have often asked, why the Jews? From Michael's perspective, "The story of Israel is the story of God's love for the world .... This tiny nation has not only survived but is now at the center of the world's stage for the final chapter of God's redemptive story for the world."

Michael described what modern day anti-Semitic campaigns look like. The strategy often includes first discriminating against the Jewish people and then delegitimizing the Jewish culture, with the ultimate goal of dismantling the nation of Israel. The nation has even been accused of practicing South African Apartheid-like policies toward Palestine.

"You and your generation have a lot of work to do," she challenged students. "The idea that our world is becoming more tolerant is a fantasy."

"We must stop the hate, no matter who it is against," Michael said. Let's learn from history; let's stand with our friends and end this now."

Held each month, the CAS assembly aims to provide students with the chance to hear from distinguished scholars in a variety of fields.

Learn more about the College of Arts & Sciences.

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