After a hiatus of relative calm, anti-Semitism has been accelerating at an alarming pace across the globe. Its most ominous surge is in Europe, Australia and North America—those traditional bastions of equal rights. All is not quiet on the Western front. Global anti-Semitism rose 30 percent in 2013 and 40 percent in 2014; in Europe, it increased sevenfold from the 1990s to the 2000s. "These are the worst times since the Nazi era," German Jewish leader Dieter Graumann told The Guardian. “It's pure hatred against Jews, nothing else.” Last year, anti-Semitism exploded exponentially, prompting U.S. Jewish leader Malcolm Hoenlein to warn of a “pandemic in formation.”
The story of Hanukkah is often told with an emphasis on the evil ruler, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, King of the Hellenistic Seleucid empire, who was bent on the Hellenization of the Jewish people. Had he succeeded it would have meant the demise of the Jewish faith and thereby, the Jewish people. God’s plan to bring salvation to the world through their Messiah would have died with them.