Why does Jew-hatred exist? What fuels racism? According to Safed's Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the crux of the matter lies in the gentiles' "jealousy of God's chosen people."
In a lesson held at the Machon Meir Yeshiva in Jerusalem, Eliyahu claimed that the brutal shooting of a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse on Monday was a clear indication that the world hates Jews because God chose them for his patronage.
"This attack, and others like it around the world, prove that this is not a battle against the people of Israel within their country," the rabbi posited.
"All Jews are proof that God Almighty exists in the world… They hate us because we are 'called by the name of the Lord.' That's the only reason and there is no other."
Eliyahu maintained that anti-Semitism does not exist "because we bombed children in Gaza, or because we abuse the Palestinians."
What stands behind Jew hatred, the rabbi said, "is the saying 'Since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name,'" referring to the passage in the Book of Exodus where God promises to defend the people of Israel from the Egyptian king.
'Media slanders Israel'
The Rabbi said during the lesson that "the global media's slander of Israel" was a factor in triggering the attack.
"Anti-Semitism isn't the only thing that kills Jews, like it did in France," he said. "Anti-Semitism begins with the slander of the Jews. Haman was the world champion in defaming the Jews, that was where it all began. Just like (Nazi paper) Der Stürmer, or today's BBC."
The rabbi noted that mass persuasion is what makes anti-Semitism thrive.
"When Netanyahu went to speak to Obama, I was reminded of Esther, who went to King Ahasuerus and asks him to hang Haman… The US is the one to strike Hitler. There are so many points of comparison between the two stories."