Blue Flower

A number of incidents of anti-Semitism in Europe have been reported this year, and there is growing concern for the freedom and safety of Jews across the world. The situation has prompted the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to invite Jews from around the world to emigrate to Israel. We quote from a CNN article of 17 February:
“The door is open”, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said to Jews worldwide. Extremist Islamic terrorism has struck Europe again, this time in Denmark," he said Sunday. "We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe. To the Jews of Europe and to the Jews of the world I say that Israel is waiting for you with open arms."
Mr Netanyahu extended the invitation after violent acts of anti-Semitism, most recently the killing of two people in Copenhagen, one at a free-speech forum and the second outside a synagogue. This followed similar statements in January after terrorists killed 19 people over three days in Paris, including during an attack on a kosher grocery.
Another reminder of anti-Semitism came in February when it was announced that five teenagers were charged with vandalizing a Jewish cemetery in France.
Naturally these events provoke strong responses from the leaders of the countries involved. The Prime Minister of Denmark Helle Thorning-Schmidt said, "An attack on Denmark's Jews is an attack on everyone." And Prime Minister Manuel Valls of France (no doubt aware of the valuable role Jews play in so many vital professions) has urged his country’s 500,000 Jews not to leave.
We could quote many more reports and comments from around the world. The following sites give a variety of facts and/or opinions, and are for reference only:
Why does this all matter to Christadelphians, and why is the prospect of large numbers of Jews emigrating to Israel a ‘Sign of the Times’?
The Bible shows that the Jews are at the centre of God’s overall plan for the future of mankind. They were selected as his special people from the time of Abram (later renamed Abraham), who became the father of the Jewish nation. Promises were made to him by God that ultimately will affect not only his natural descendants, but all other nations on earth. The first of these involved God telling Abram to leave Mesopotamia, the land of his birth, and go into the land of Canaan (now Israel). These events and promises can be found from the end of Genesis 11 through several subsequent chapters; we will cite just the first of the promises...

Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” [Genesis 12:1-3]
The Old Testament then outlines the history of Abraham’s nation who settled in the ‘Promised Land’ and who became known as the Jews. Laws were given to the nation through the prophet Moses, beginning with the ten commandments of Exodus 20, and detailed instructions very clearly outlined the blessings they would have for obedience and the punishments for disobedience to God. For example Deuteronomy 28:1-2 has this...

Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:

The chapter continues with a list of blessings until, from verse 15, a list of curses for disobedience runs through to the end of the chapter. Here is a small extract from that list of curses...

You shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of heaven in multitude, because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God. And it shall be, that just as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good and multiply you, so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you and bring you to nothing; and you shall be plucked from off the land which you go to possess. Then the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known - wood and stone. And among those nations you shall find no rest, nor shall the sole of your foot have a resting place; but there the LORD will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and anguish of soul. Your life shall hang in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night, and have no assurance of life. In the morning you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were morning!’ because of the fear which terrifies your heart, and because of the sight which your eyes see. [Deuteronomy 28:62-67]
Studying the Old Testament brings us into contact with all the ups and downs of their lives, including exile. However, there is also a strong element of forgiveness, and chances were given for them to repent and start again. The prophets gave messages of doom, but also of hope, including the promise that God’s own son would one day take over the throne of Israel for ever (2 Samuel 7:12-16). When we come to the New Testament we read of the beginning of the fulfilment of this promise when God’s Son Jesus was born through the power of the Holy Spirit to a woman called Mary, and grew up to preach salvation to his nation, the Jews. Tragically, the nation’s leaders rejected Jesus’ claim to be the promised king (the Christ), and through jealousy for their own positions, incited the people to turn against him, and together they persuaded the Romans to crucify him.
Of course, God’s plans cannot be thwarted: Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead, ascension to God in heaven and his future return to the earth to rule the world from Jerusalem are not only New Testament teaching, but are clearly foretold in Old Testament prophecy - as is the promise that the Jews would be gathered back to the land of Israel (Deuteronomy 30:3-4; Jeremiah 32:37; Ezekiel 11:17, 34:12-13, 37:21-22 etc.) and ultimately recognise Jesus as their King. (…then they will look on me whom they pierced. Zechariah 12:10)
Following the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, the ultimate punishment for the Jews was expulsion from their land. Just as it was predicted in Deuteronomy 28:64, they were scattered abroad, and eventually throughout the world. This situation lasted until after World War 2 when, following an unsuccessful United Nations Resolution of 29 November 1947 to partition the land, and the Israeli declaration of independence of 14 May 1948, Israel became an accepted member of the UN on 11 May 1949. Thus, after nearly 1900 years of exile the Jews were no longer stateless. The fulfilment of God’s promises to gather His people back to the land had begun!
Today, 6.2 million Jews (out of an estimated world total of 14.2 million) live in Israel, and the number grows every year: 26,500 returned last year[2014], and the predicted Jewish immigration for 2015 is 30,000, with the possibility of 10,000 coming from France. As we saw at the start of this article, anti-Semitism is becoming one of the main reasons behind this rising number. Anyone who studies the Bible with an open mind will see God’s hand in these events, and take comfort in the knowledge that His promises to Abraham, and His revelations through prophets, apostles and Jesus Christ are being fulfilled. They will see that the return of Jews to Israel is an essential part of His plan to bring an end to man’s misrule of this world, and replace it with the Kingdom of God under the reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We refer you to Matthew 24, where we can read that Jesus spoke to his disciples of the signs indicating the end of the present world order. In verses 32-33 he refers to Israel in symbol as a fig tree...

Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near - at the doors!
The Bible is clear that Jesus Christ will, at the time of God’s choosing, return from heaven to set up on earth a kingdom that will never be destroyed. (Daniel 2:44 also Psalm 110:1-2 and Acts 1:6-11). The Bible sets out the reasons and events leading up to this. The importance of the Jews is at the heart of this plan...

...for out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. [Isaiah 2:3.]

A way has been made available for anyone who searches out and responds to the fundamental truth of the Bible to be included in God’s glorious plan when, at the return of Jesus, the good and faithful Jewish and Gentile servants will work together to be part of a perfect world, just as God planned in Eden. Then will God’s promise to the father of the Jewish nation - “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” - be fulfilled.
Bible quotations are from the New King James Version