Standing with Israel
Monthly Archives: July 2011
I’d like to begin today with a story about one of my favorite biblical heroes – Elijah the prophet (the same guy for whom we set a place at the Passover seder and for whom we open the door while singing “Eliyahu HaNavi” – “Elijah the Prophet”). He may be considered a hero today but in his own time he wasn’t very popular. The political leaders hated him; the king called him THE trouble-maker of Israel. The queen wanted him dead. Religious leaders despised him because he dared to tell the truth and rebuke them for what they were doing wrong – like worshiping the gods of the surrounding pagan peoples and engaging in their lascivious behavior. In short, he refused to follow or condone the politically correct philosophy of the day.
On top of that, he looked like a wild man – hairy, dressed in what would be considered rags – like something just blown in off the desert. In today’s jargon Elijah was a right-wing nut job. Scripture records his miraculous victory over hundreds of pagan (false) prophets. You can read the entire account here.
But Elijah felt alone, threatened, discouraged and ran away into the desert. There he plopped himself under a bush, complained to God that even though he himself had been very zealous he was the only one left standing for the truth – so why bother living any more? The world was going to hell quickly…why not just forget about it, die and let them go along on their merry way. God didn’t put up with his whining. First of all, he was wrong: he wasn’t alone. God had 7,000 people who were standing with him against the forces of evil. That’s not a lot in a whole nation, but it’s something. Secondly, Elijah wasn’t ready for retirement. God basically told him to get up off his tuchus (rear end) and continue the work he was supposed to do.
Sometimes we who stand with Israel and the Jewish people may feel isolated in an increasingly hostile world. It’s politically correct now to be pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist (read “anti-Jew”); just ask the UN, EU, the Obama administration, Arab nations, leftist NGO’s, campus and church BDS groups (boycott, divestment, sanctions), Hollywood celebrities, mainstream media, etc., etc. Those who take the opposite view and dare to express it are often labeled right-wing nut jobs, ignorant, trouble-makers, even terrorists…sound familiar? Because of extreme media bias, these brave souls even have difficulty getting their message out without having it twisted. It’s up to you and me not to allow them to be “voices crying in the wilderness”.
Thanks to conservative talk radio, blogs and newsletters like mine (what a shameless plug!) we can unearth the truth – it frequently takes a lot of digging – and pass it around to others. Here are a couple of youtube videos I’ve included in the past: Michele Bachmann and Allen West sharing their views on Israel. If you haven’t already done so, please watch them. These people aren’t just speaking to woo Jewish voters or Jewish donations to their campaigns. They really mean what they say and have backed it up with action regardless of political cost.
Then there’s Glenn Beck. Yes, I know he’s a Mormon. Yes, I know that he may have some odd ideas about various and assorted topics. But the reason he’s been more vilified in the mainstream media than almost anyone else is his uncompromising stand for Israel.
On Tuesday, July 19, Glenn Beck gave the keynote address in Washington, DC at the Christians United For Israel (CUFI) convention. Here’s a video highlights of his speech (7:54) – inspiring and moving, a must-see! For the the full speech (42:32) click here. Despite theological differences I’m thankful for men like him, Pastor John Hagee and others associated with CUFI.
Then there’s you and me, average folks who aren’t making speeches or Youtube videos. How can we get up off our collective tuchus and do something positive? Here are three simple things:
1. Forward my blog – another shameless plug.
2. Do some research on your own and pass your findings on to others. Remember that your friends won’t find this info on the evening news and so they may be totally unaware of the truth unless you inform them. Of course, be sure to check out the veracity of your sources first so that even if people accuse you of being a wild-eyed nut case, you won’t be. In my blog, The Media’s Assault on Israel, I listed reliable resources that I myself use.
3. Be proactive! It is inexcusable to say I don’t have the time or my opinion doesn’t matter! Emails to newspapers, congressmen, senators, companies and local businesses can and do make a difference. When the city of Seattle, WA, agreed to allow public bus ads which read, “Israeli War Crimes: Your tax dollars at work”, accompanied by huge, pathetic-looking pictures of “poor oppressed Palestinians”, I and apparently thousands of others immediately fired off emails to Seattle city commissioners. Because of pressure applied from so many concerned citizens, the ad campaign was cancelled.
So let’s not waste time on hand-wringing and kvetching (complaining). Let’s dust ourselves off like Elijah did and let’s be encouraged – we’re not alone!
Yours for Israel and our Jewish people,
Like an out-of-control cancer, Jew-hatred is insidiously spreading its tentacles around the world. It’s rearing its ugly head in every country and unashamedly showing itself, frequently disguised as self-righteous anti-Zionism, in every kind of venue imaginable.
The tens of thousands of articles, books and blogs that have been written on anti-Semitism (just a watered-down name for Jew-hatred) haven’t touched the heart of the issue. All the well-intentioned attempts at identifying the roots of the problem, outlining its history and suggesting solutions have done virtually nothing. The beast continues to grow, even, sorry to say, infecting many Jewish people.
C’mon, you might say, you’re just being paranoid – or sensationalist – or you’re looking under every rock for signs of Jew-hatred. I wish that were the case. But this week, as I went to my usual sources, as the title of Dr. Jonathan Spyer’s article says, …Jew Hatred is on Full Display.
How is it being displayed?
• Number of anti-Semitic incidents
Is Jew Hatred really on the rise? According to a posting on CNN.com, a report by the US State Department says the answer is definitely YES – and on a world-wide scale! The report details physical acts of anti-Semitism, such as attacks, property damage, and cemetery desecration. It also lists manifestations such as conspiracy theories concerning Jews, Holocaust denial, anti-Zionism and the demonization of Israel. “Over much of the past decade, U.S. embassies worldwide have noted an increase in anti-Semitic incidents, such as attacks on Jewish people, property, community institutions, and religious facilities.”
I recommend a weekly check of the CFCA website (The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism) at http://antisemitism.org.il/list/1. It is a valuable tool for those who want to grasp the scope of Jew-hatred throughout the world. Sadly many Jewish people, especially in the US, will pay very little attention to things like that until the monster touches their own personal lives – and by then it may be too late to do anything about it. In my newsletter I have included four examples from the above website coming out of Switzerland, Australia, Mexico and the United States.
• Intensity of anti-Semitism
Prior to the United Nations Durban II anti-racism conference in April, 2009, the European Jewish Congress and Tel Aviv University jointly released new survey findings regarding worldwide anti-Semitism. The report brought out two new phenomena:
1. The Operation Cast Lead effect – “after Israel’s Operation Cast Lead against the murderous Hamas terrorist organization, 250 anti-Semitic incidents of all types were counted (in January, 2009), compared to 35 during the same month in 2008. An estimated 1,000 incidents occurred in January 2009 around the world, including nearly 90 violent cases – three times more than in January 2008.”
From this we can conclude that any legitimate action that Israel may take to defend herself will be met by vicious outbreaks of hate and violence.
2. Equating Nazism with Israel – The report states that “anti-Semitic expressions evident at the beginning of 2009 were not classic stereotyping of Jews and Israelis, but rather abuse of the Holocaust as a political tool against Israel. The analogy of Israelis/Zionists/Jewish supporters of Israel with Nazis became almost an axiom.”
What is really being said is that just as Nazism has no right to exist, neither does Israel. An apartheid state has no legitimate right to exist either, and so the same people who call Israelis Nazis have branded Israel an apartheid state. Who cares that nothing could be further from the truth? It’s got a certain ring to it that appeals to activists who are looking for a cause – poor Palestinian under-dogs, starving children, etc., etc. And that’s what sucks in clueless Liberal Jews…you gotta feel good…never mind that what you’re doing may not actually be right or good (in their mind-set there’s no right and wrong anyway and there’s no such thing as an enemy; the “enemy” is just some poor schlemiel whom we haven’t yet “reached out” to enough).
Yep – demonization, delegitimization and double standards, today’s weapons of choice.
• New sources of anti-Semitism
Because of technology, the internet and social networking, we are seeing anti-Semitism becoming more innovative. This weekend we were introduced to a new form of anti-Israel activity – the Air Flotilla (also called Flightilla and Flytilla). Pro-Palestinian “activists” from various countries including the United States, Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands planned to arrive at Ben-Gurion airport and make a ruckus to embarrass Israel. At least we didn’t need Paul Revere to warn us: “one if by land, two if by sea, three if by air”? No, the warning came from Israeli Intelligence. Many of the leftists were intercepted and sent packing before they could even board their Israel bound flights. Those who made it on their flights were met by a “greeting committee” on arrival at Ben Gurion and after being interrogated most were sent home.
Another positive note – the Gaza Flotilla (by sea) seems to have fizzled. Thanks to the government of Greece, the ships that docked in Greek ports were forbidden to continue on to Gaza and many of the provocateurs returned to their respective countries, including the 50 activists on the US Audacity of Hope.
In spite of the aforementioned successes, the battle rages on. In addition to my article of the week, I’ve included articles dealing with Jew-hatred in Egypt, Norway and South Africa, a violent assault on a Jewish student at the University of California (Berkeley), attacks on Israel by Protestant and Catholic churches, billionaires funding Jew-hatred and President Obama’s latest foreign policy blunder of reaching out to the very people who want to exterminate us: the Muslim Brotherhood.
Lest you be left in a state of doom and gloom, I’d like to end on a note of encouragement. This is the end of the story – and those who attend synagogue sing it every Shabbat morning, usually not really thinking about the words. Think about them – because this is reality!
והיה יהוה למלך על כל הארץ ביום ההוא יהיה יהוה אחד ושמו אחד
And the LORD (the God of Israel) shall be King over all the earth.
In that day it shall be—
“The LORD is one,”
And His name one.
“For behold, in those days and at that time,
When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will also gather all nations,
And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat (meaning “God judges”);
And I will enter into judgment with them there
On account of My people, My heritage Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations;
They have also divided up My land.” (Joel 3:1,2)
The prophet Joel describes a time in history, for him personally still far in the future. At that time, after God has brought His people Israel back to their own land, He Himself gathers all the nations against them – for the purpose of judgment, judgment for having scattered and persecuted the Jewish people and for having divided up “My land”. The land of Israel belongs to God…woe to those who mess with it!
Are we living in those days and at that time?
Maybe, although we have to be careful not to get dogmatic and start setting “prophetic” dates like some American preachers who at this point can remain nameless. However, we can and should examine trends to see where they’re leading.
All the nations haven’t yet come against Israel militarily, but the war of words is heating up on many fronts.
At the UN: a recent United Nations meeting in Support of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process was convened in Brussels, June 28 and 29. The theme of the meeting was: “The role of Europe in advancing Palestinian statehood and achieving peace between Israelis and Palestinians”. Sounds positive, doesn’t it? Apparently it was anything but. Shimon Samuels, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s director for international relations, whose organization was the only Jewish NGO to attend the meeting came out of it horrified! He wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, saying that the meeting’s title “was nothing but a political euphemism to campaign for the 27 states of the European Union – and the European institutions themselves – to endorse the September UN General Assembly vote on a Palestinian unilateral declaration of independence.”
In addition Samuels reported that campaigns “resonant of a third intifada” were discussed, including calls for mass demonstrations beginning in July in Israel, Europe and North America under the title United for Palestine Independence.
The animus and rancor toward Israel was so intense that he spoke of “veiled threats” made by delegates, quoting some as saying that “this mother of all conflicts can bring violence to all the nations of the world”.
The Gaza Flotilla: preparations are moving forward for another provocative attempt to break Israel’s legitimate blockade of Gaza. This year’s flotilla contains the first ship from America named, The Audacity of Hope. The endeavor was endorsed by President Obama’s good friend, Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi. Khalidi, who helped raise $370,000 for the effort, has called Israel a “racist” state with an “apartheid” system. Two participants on this adventure cruise to Gaza are Code Pink founders, Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin, both of whom have close ties to the Obama administration.
U.S. Policy: Will the United States be one of those countries that come against Israel in the time of Joel’s prophecy? Up until recently it would be hard to imagine such a thing. But whether through insanity, naivete or malice, the Obama Administration has just established a policy of formal contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood. The agenda of our new negotiating partner? Islamicizing societies, ultimately establishing a global caliphate, destroying Israel and incrementally expanding sharia throughout the West. As Andrew McCarthy, author of the book, The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America, said, “don’t say I didn’t warn you!”
We’re being warned and it’s not enough to wring our hands and groan, “Oy vey!” Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Do not allow evil to triumph. Do not sit by and do nothing.
Yours for Israel and our Jewish people,