(Ames, Iowa) — In a few hours, I will address The 2014 Family Leadership Summit here in Ames.
Most of the speakers are Governors, Senators, Congressmen and potential presidential contenders for 2016. They will focus on vital issues ranging from how best to defend the sanctity of innocent human life and the sanctity of traditional marriage, to how best to revive our struggling economy and improve education for our children and get America back on track morally, spiritually and economically.
My topic is a bit different — “The Future of America, Israel & The Middle East In The Light of Scripture.” I will be discussing how America’s future and those of Jews and Arabs in the epicenter are inextricably linked, based on several important passages in the Bible. On Monday, I hope to post my notes, as well as observations from the Summit.
But for now I did want to draw your attention to one of the issues I intend to raise: a rapidly rising wave of vicious, wicked anti-Semitism that is spreading across the globe, and which is particularly pernicious in Europe.
Never in my lifetime have I seen and experienced so many anti-Semitic attacks, in this case often through Twitter. I can’t even quote most of the Tweets I’m getting. They are so vile, filled with F-bombs and other obscenities, and language like, “Jews should burn.” and “Hitler was right.”
I’ll comment more in my address today, and in the days and weeks to come ,about what this dangerous trend means and how we can and must counter it.
But for right now, let me just bring some key articles to your attention.
A new report in The Guardian newspaper in the U.K. this week was headlined, “Antisemitism on rise across Europe ‘in worst times since the Nazis’ — Experts say attacks go beyond Israel-Palestinian conflict as hate crimes strike fear into Jewish communities.”
A chilling cover story in Newsweek (July 29th edition) was headlined, “EXODUS: Why Europe’s Jews are fleeing once again.”
Last month, a Jewish news service focused on stunning remarks by Natan Sharansky, the head of the Jewish Agency. The article was headlined, “In Paris, Sharansky warns of ‘beginning of end’ for European Jewry.”
Consider in particular excerpts from The Guardian story:
- In the space of just one week last month, according to Crif, the umbrella group for France’s Jewish organisations, eight synagogues were attacked.
- One, in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles, was firebombed by a 400-strong mob.
- A kosher supermarket and pharmacy were smashed and looted; the crowd’s chants and banners included “Death to Jews” and “Slit Jews’ throats”.
- That same weekend, in the Barbes neighbourhood of the capital, stone-throwing protesters burned Israeli flags: “Israhell”, read one banner.
- In Germany last month, molotov cocktails were lobbed into the Bergische synagogue in Wuppertal – previously destroyed on Kristallnacht – and a Berlin imam, Abu Bilal Ismail, called on Allah to “destroy the Zionist Jews … Count them and kill them, to the very last one.”
- Bottles were thrown through the window of an antisemitism campaigner in Frankfurt.
- An elderly Jewish man was beaten up at a pro-Israel rally in Hamburg.
- An Orthodox Jewish teenager punched in the face in Berlin.
- In several cities, chants at pro-Palestinian protests compared Israel’s actions to the Holocaust; other notable slogans included: “Jew, coward pig, come out and fight alone,” and “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.”
- “These are the worst times since the Nazi era,” Dieter Graumann, president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, told the Guardian. “On the streets, you hear things like ‘the Jews should be gassed’, ‘the Jews should be burned’ – we haven’t had that in Germany for decades. Anyone saying those slogans isn’t criticising Israeli politics, it’s just pure hatred against Jews: nothing else. And it’s not just a German phenomenon. It’s an outbreak of hatred against Jews so intense that it’s very clear indeed.”
- Roger Cukierman, president of France’s Crif, said French Jews were “anguished” about an anti-Jewish backlash that goes far beyond even strongly felt political and humanitarian opposition to the current fighting.
- “They are not screaming ‘Death to the Israelis’ on the streets of Paris,” Cukierman said last month. “They are screaming ‘Death to Jews’.”
- Crif’s vice-president Yonathan Arfi said he “utterly rejected” the view that the latest increase in antisemitic incidents was down to events in Gaza. “They have laid bare something far more profound,” he said.
Please take some time to read them, and share them with others. And please pray for the Lord to protect the Jewish people, and the nation of Israel, at this dark time.
The Bible describes the Lord as “the God of Israel” and “the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob.” The Bible makes clear that God loves the Jewish people “with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3), as He loves all people (John 3:16). What’s more, in His Word, the Lord commands us to love and bless Jews and Israel or face consequences.
“Those who bless you, I will bless,” the Lord says, “and those who curse you I will curse.” (Genesis 12:3)
Let us take this warning to heart as we see what is happening in our world today.
- Learn more about The Joshua Fund (www.joshuafund.com). This is an organization my wife and I founded in 2006 to educate and mobilize Christians to bless Israel and her Arab neighbors in the name of Jesus, including caring for the poor and needy with food and other humanitarian relief. Read our 2013 Donor Report. Please pray for our team, especially as they care for Jews and Arabs in the region. And please prayerfully consider making a generous, tax deductible, secure, on-line contribution.
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