The following is an op-ed by Knesset Member Yoel Razvozov (Yesh Atid), chairman of the Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs:
Had I told you about the acts that are carried out with the sole purpose of hurting Jews; about pogroms against Jewish communities; about boycotts on stores owned by Jews and the smashing of their display windows; about throwing pigs` heads at synagogues and a massacre at a Jewish-owned shopping mall; about severe acts of violence targeting rabbis and Jews leaving synagogue after Friday evening prayers; about the murder of a teacher and students at a Jewish school; had I told you about all of these things, you would have certainly thought I was talking about the era of the Nazi regime.
In case you haven`t noticed, or if you preferred to browse only through the back pages of newspapers, let me inform you that all of the aforementioned incidents occurred during the past three years.
The reality on the ground proves that anti-Semitism is spreading uncontrollably all over the world. My fear is that one day I will open a newspaper and read that another Kristallnacht-style pogrom has taken place. It is important that you understand; this is not an apocalyptic prophecy; rather, it is a statement that is based on numerous studies which repeatedly describe this intensifying trend. Many have said that ”history repeats itself,” and therefore we must nignore any anti-Semitic incident.
To the good fortune of the Jewish people, there is one significant difference between the current era and the 1930s – the State of Israel. Apart from the national home we try to be for the Jewish people, we possess the strength and wherewithal to combat global anti-Semitism. Furthermore, I believe it is our duty as a state to protect our people in the Diaspora. They, the members of the Jewish communities around the world, serve as real ambassadors of the State of Israel in its dealings with the leaders of the foreign countries in which Jews live. They create for us a channel of communication to the decision-makers and make certain that State of Israel`s national interest is preserved.
Therefore, now that our status as a strong and democratic country is no longer put into question, we have a new national mission – to ensure the security of Jews worldwide. As chairman of the Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, I make it a point to be in constant contact with the various Jewish communities in order to better understand what their expectations from Israel are. Our diplomatic efforts in foreign countries help protect the Jewish communities, but often times this is not enough.
The leaders of the anti-Semitic movement rarely take to the streets, but the hatred they disseminate in the virtual world is breaking records and crossing all boundaries. Anti-Semitism is spreading on the web like a tsunami wave that may wash us all away in the future. If we do not rise up and act, Jews everywhere will find themselves in existential danger. The State of Israel is a technological powerhouse, and the largest corporations are searching for their next startup in Israel`s high-tech industry; so we undoubtedly possess the tools to curtail this hatred and lead a positive public opinion of Israel in the world.
In the framework of a discussion I initiated in the Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs on the escalation of anti-Semitism online, I requested that the Foreign Ministry summon all the relevant elements and place one body in charge of the efforts to combat global anti-Semitism. Clearly, we need a national plan that will stop this phenomenon, because the wave of incitement against the State of Israel and the Jewish people may one day crash upon us.