One of the sign posts on the second coming of Christ was the restoration of Israel as a nation. People who study end-times prophecy, such as Isaac Newton (1642-17260), believed it was necessary. Though Israel did not exist in Newton’s day, from his study of the Bible he said it needed to happen before Christ’s second coming.
“Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things?
Can a land be born in one day?
Can a nation be brought forth all at once?
As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons. (Isaiah 66:8 NASV)
That event predicted in the Old Testament miraculously happened on May 14, 1948.
But along with this, the prophets also predicted that the Jews would pour back into the promised land from nations around the world. They would literally flood in:
And He will lift up a standard for the nations
And assemble the banished ones of Israel,
And will gather the dispersed of Judah
From the four corners of the earth. (Isaiah 11:12 NASV)
After Israel was restored shortly after World War II, there were waves of migration as Jews mostly from Europe — having suffered horrific persecution under the Nazis — fled to Israel. After this initial spurt, migration to the promised land slowed down.
However, recently there has been a dramatic increase in immigration to Israel that is paralleling the influx that happened shortly after Israel was first formed.
The return of the Jews to Israel is referred to as aliyah (literally the ascending).
According to reports, the number of Jews migrating to Israel, particularly from Europe, has doubled over the last couple of years.
One of the countries leading the way is France where there are about 500,000 Jews. Of the 9,800 Jewish immigrants who came to Israel from Western Europe last year 8,000 were from France.
France has not led Jewish immigration since 1948. The increase jumped dramatically in 2014 when 7,000 Jews decided to immigrate to Israel, double the 3,500 of the previous year.
The Jews are fleeing France for much the same reason they did in the early 50s — antisemitism.
A recent survey of French Jews revealed that 43% (about 200,000) are considering leaving France with many of them looking to Israel as a possible destination. The same survey revealed that 43% of Jews have suffered some form of attack with 18% stating it has happened several times. 51% of those surveyed said they were threatened for being Jewish and 63% claimed they were ridiculed.
The survey also showed that 59% of French Jews have already seen a family member leave the country. The survey of 724 French Jews took place in September, 2015, prior to the Paris attacks in November.
Earlier this year, a representative of the Jewish community in Marseilles, France told Jewish men to quit wearing the kippah (skullcap) when out in the public to avoid assaults. The statement was made after the machete attack on Benjamin Amsalem by a Muslim extremist. Amsalem, who was wearing a skullcap, suffered only minor injuries.
A similar statement was issued by the German Central Council of Jews who warned Jews in that country against wearing the kippah in public for much the same reason.
Over the past few years, there have been several attacks on Jews in Europe. In 2012, a Muslim extremist attacked a Jewish school in Toulous, France killing seven including three children. During the 2011 Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, there was a corresponding attack on a Jewish supermarket where four were killed.
Most Jewish institutions in France now post armed guards because of fear of attacks.
In his story in The Atlantic, “Is it time for Jews to leave Europe,” Jeffrey Goldberg writes:
France’s 475,000 Jews represent less than 1 percent of the country’s population. Yet last year, according to the French Interior Ministry, 51 percent of all racist attacks targeted Jews. The statistics in other countries, including Great Britain, are similarly dismal.
But it is not just France. Last year, two Jews were killed during an attack on a Copenhagen Synagogue/cultural center. One of the men killed was Dan Uzan who was serving as a guard at the bar mitzvah being held at the center. The killer was Palestinian.
France is not the only country seeing mass immigration. In Eastern Europe the numbers are climbing dramatically as well. In 2014, 5,800 Jews immigrated to Israel from the Ukraine. This was double the number of immigrants that came in 2013.
The same percentages are happening in other countries though on a lesser scale due largely to smaller Jewish populations. Brazil has a Jewish population of only 14,000, and the number of Jews immigrating to Israel has more than doubled between 2011 and 2014.
As part of this return, Israel has passed legislation encouraging Jews to return to Israel. Called the Law of Return, the state provides immigration subsidies to Jews seeking to move to Israel. They will also provide settlement assistance and quick citizenship.
The return of Jews to Israel as prophesied in the Old Testament may suggest another page has turned in the prophetic calendar. It is setting the stage for Israel to finally accept Jesus as their Messiah (Romans 11:26).
- French Jews flee the country in record numbers from antisemitism: New York Daily Magazine
- Jews leaving Europe for Israel in record numbers: The Daily Caller
- Fleeing recession and violence, Brazilian Jews moving to Israel in record numbers: Jerusalem Post
- Is it time for the Jews to leave Europe? The Atlantic
- Why have antisemitic attacks on French Jews doubled in a year?: PBS
- Aliyah from Western Europe hits an all-time high, Jewish agency says: JNS
- Copenhagen shootings: Denmark buries Jewish victim Dan Uzan: The Telegraph
- Operation French Kiss: 200,000 French Jews planning Aliyah: Israel Today