When Did Jews Use Christian Blood for Passover?

During the season of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Passover, I am always reminded of the accusation that Jews, over the millennia, have used the blood of Christian children to make the matzah (unleavened bread) for Passover. This accusation is known as the "Blood Accusation" or "Blood Libel." It is, of course, a false allegation, but this hasn't stopped people from accusing Jews through the ages, and it has led to thousands of deaths.

The idea is that Jewish people murder young Christian children during the time of Passover, drain them of their blood, and use it to make unleavened bread. Passover often takes place around the time of Resurrection Sunday (Easter) and the Blood Libel can also be reinforced with the other lie about the Jewish people, the accusation of killing Christ or deicide (the killing of God.)

Biblically speaking, the Jewish people were to refrain from consuming blood, so much so that God made it very clear to them on several occasions (Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 7:26, 17:14; Deuteronomy 12:6, 15:23; Acts 15:20, 28-29.) It was a grave sin to consume blood. The children of Israel had a firm order from God, punishable by death, as in Leviticus 17:14, “For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off." The practice has continued through the ages, and one of the basic principles of kosher meat in contemporary Judaism is to drain the meat of all its blood before consumption.

So, when did it start in Jewish history? Like many of the false accusations, it started during the Middle Ages in Europe and has grown ever since. The first case on record was in 1144 in Norwich, England. When I say the case, I need to clarify that this is the first time that an accusation was made about the Jewish community, although there was absolutely no proof to make such an accusation.

A young child, known today as William of Norwich, died of a violent death (allegedly crucified by Jews on Easter Friday) during Holy Week in Norwich, England. The accusation was made by one single Benedictine monk, Thomas of Mommouth, who had claimed to have talked to some of the people in 1150 who witnessed the event. In other words, this was a second-hand story allegedly received by one monk six years after the alleged date of the murder that ignited the Blood Libel, occasionally still blazing across the globe today. This is so irrational, but that is the weapon of Satan to transform the irrational into the rational and make people believe it and go after the Jews.

The most recent book on the topic was Pasqua di Sangue (Passovers of Blood) by Ariel Toaff, published in His native Italian in 2007 and translated into English in 2016. That is 872 years after the death of William of Norwich. In his book, Ariel Toaff claims that the use of blood for Passover was a regular thing in Jewish communities, and it is very damaging to judeo/Christian relations. It should not come as a surprise, then, when we hear of people in the Middle East accusing Jews of the same crime today, as was the case in 2014, as reported in Time of Israel, “Israel is targeting the Palestinians… I would just like to remind you of the ruling by the Israeli rabbis, who have instructed the soldiers to knead the [dough for] the bread that the Jews eat with the blood of Arab and Palestinian children.” The old canard lives on, as irrational as ever and as believable as ever by those who loathe the Jews and seek their complete destruction.

If we want to connect Passover to blood, we can actually do it without too much difficulty, but it is not the blood of Christian children, but the blood of the Passover Lamb, sacrificed by each Jewish family after they came out of the Egyptian captivity and experienced the first Passover as retold in Exodus 12, and especially verses 21-22, "Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Bring out and take for yourselves lambs according to your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. And you shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and touch some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the doorway of his house until morning."

The blood of the lamb was to be applied to the doorposts and lintel of the Jewish homes where the families were securely inside, and the destroyer (angel of death) would smite the Egyptians and preserve the Jewish people. Even back then, there was no sign of any blood consumption by anyone whatsoever.

Taking this biblical story to its perfect fulfillment, we must first look at the purpose of the Passover lamb for the Jewish people, and the true meaning of "life is in the blood" comes to life. But beyond this, we can also look at the ultimate Lamb of God, Yeshua of Nazareth, who sacrificed His own life to pay for the sins of all people just like John the Baptist cried out, "behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John1:29.)" If we are to talk about blood during the Feast of Pesach (Passover), we'd better talk about the blood of Yeshua shed on the Cross for the salvation of all mankind. That is the only blood worth mentioning and it is not the blood of Christians, but the blood of Christ!

Are Modern Jews Descendants of the Khazars?

The world continues to distance itself from Israel and the Jewish people, giving increasing credence to the prophecies of Zechariah 12.  The weed of Jew-hatred has found fertile soil in the various conspiracy theories spun about the Jewish people, spanning over centuries.  Post-modernism has also added a challenge to debunking conspiracy theories since truth has become relative in many people's minds.  As a result, we are seeing an exponential increase in global antisemitism, and once again, the Jewish people are paying a high price as the ultimate scapegoats of humanity. 

The tragedy of October 7, 2023, in Israel, has also helped to increase the momentum that certain conspiracy theories had over time. As global antisemitism now seems to be completely out in the open with no restraining in sight, those who are friends of Israel and have a genuine love for the Jewish people must equip themselves on how to debunk the main conspiracy theories against the Jewish people.

I want to look at the theory that modern Jews are descendants of the Khazars and have no ties to the original Judean Jews. Some people call it a theory, and others call it a hypothesis. How about calling it a conspiracy theory? The Khazars and their connection to the Jewish people continue to be shrouded in mystery, and yet, the theory exists that modern Jews are descendants of the Khazars and not of biblical Jews from the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 

Khazaria was located between Turkey and Russia in the northern Caucasus region. At the beginning of the 7th century, the Khazars became independent of the Turkic empire. They settled and dominated an area between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. Their independence and existence lasted for about two centuries after that. A campaign was launched against them from Kyiv in 965, and by 969, Russia had fully conquered Khazaria. 

Around 740, King Bulan, the ruler of the Khazars at the time, is said to have led his country to convert to Judaism. Desiring to embrace a religion, the king is said to have invited three spiritual leaders—a Christian, a Muslim, and a Jew—to his palace and entered dialogue with each one individually, inquiring about the virtues of each religion. At the end of the meetings, the king chose Judaism, converted and influenced others within His realm to do likewise. How many others were converted has never been determined.

Rabbi Yehudah Halevi’s book The Kuzari: A Book of Argument in Defense of a Despised Religion, written in the twelfth century, details that story in detail. The book is a novel in which Halevi reconstructs the events that might have transpired, obviously preferring Judaism over the other two religions. It is important to consider that The Kuzari was written 500 years after the events it describes took place. 

Another line of evidence corroborating the Khazars' conversion to Judaism was the letters of Hasdai Ibn Shaprut in the 10th century. He was aware of the Khazars' story and decided to send emissaries to that region to investigate its Jewish connection. While they never got to meet any Khazars, they received letters from someone known as King Joseph of the Khazars. Though very detailed about the conversion, the letters are widely believed to be forgeries. There is no doubt that there was, to some degree, a Khazar conversion to Judaism at some point in history, but details of that event remain unknown or unverifiable. They are not mentioned in any documents from the large community of Jews of Mesopotamia. Unfortunately, that has not stopped conspiracy theorists from claiming that modern Jews are descendants of the Khazars. Some would claim that they were converted by Karaites, but there are no Karaite records of such an event either. 

In the mid-seventies, in his book "The Thirteenth Tribe," Arthur Koestler posited that modern Jews are all descendants of the Khazars and no longer have any connection to biblical Jews. His theory quickly became a convenient approach to delegitimizing Israel and the Jewish people’s right to the Land since, according to Koestler, the Jews of today are not descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 

Koestler writes, “The large majority of surviving Jews in the world is of eastern European – and perhaps mainly of Khazar – origin. If so, this would mean that their ancestors came not from the Jordan but from the Volga, not from Canaan, but from the Caucasus, once believed to be the cradle of the Aryan race, and that genetically, they are more closely related to the Hun, Uigur and Magyar tribes, then to the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Should this turn out to be the case, then the term antisemitism would become void of meaning, based on a misapprehension shared by both the killers and their victims. The story of the Khazar Empire, as it slowly emerges from the past, begins to look like the most cruel hoax that history has ever perpetrated. "

Koestler’s claim assumes that Eretz Yisrael's existence owes nothing to the Bible record. His understanding is that Israel exists because of a United Nations partitioning that took place in November 1947. He further states, “I am aware of the danger that it may be maliciously misinterpreted as a denial of the state of Israel’s right to exist. But that right is not based on the apathetic origins of the Jewish people, nor on the mythological covenant of Abraham with God; it is based on international law – i.e., on the United Nations decision in 1947 the Israeli citizens, racial origins, and whatever illusions, they entertain about them, their state exist de jure and de facto, and cannot be undone, except by genocide."

Koestler saw no biblical roots in Israel, and thus, no harm was done by proposing that modern Jews all descended from the ancient Khazars. He gets further validation from Shlomo Sand in "The Invention of the Jewish People." In his book, Sand defends Koestler while finding him a bit naïve. Sands writes,“ In the 1970s, Israel was caught up in the momentum of territorial expansion, and without the Old Testament in its hand and the ‘exile of the Jewish people’ in its memory, it would have had no justification for annexing Arab Jerusalem and establishing settlements in the West Bank, the Gaza strip, the Golan Heights, and even the Sinai Peninsula.” 

The Khazar/Jewish theory has become–at least in the mind of antisemites–a viable way to delegitimize Israel’s right to the biblical land given to her by God, as delineated in Genesis 15:18-21. Despite some pseudo-scholarly explanations, that theory stands on very shaky grounds. The Khazar theory can be debunked when disconnected from any antisemitic agenda.

Undoubtedly, the country known as Khazaria existed between the seventh and tenth centuries. It has also been established that the country's history includes a conversion to Judaism, at the very least by the royal family and possibly beyond that realm. Various studies have taken place, trying to link modern Jews to the Khazars, with little admissible historical, anthropological, or genetic evidence. The results of one such study, published in 2013 in The Journal of Genome Biology and Evolution, explained that the Rhineland hypothesis (Middle Eastern Jewish ancestry) and the Khazarian hypothesis (Khazarian/Jewish ancestry) both presented valid arguments, at least partially, but no conclusion could be drawn in favor of one hypothesis over the other. 

Furthermore, Kevin Alan Brook–a leading researcher on the Khazars– concluded that Y-DNA patterns found in Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Kurdish, and Indian Jews cannot be explained by Khazars.  Brook’s conclusion about the connection between Jews and Khazars was that modern Jews are indeed the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and not the Khazars, as he stated, “By this analysis, we can show that the dominant ethnic element among Eastern European Jews is Judean -- the ancient Jewish people of Judea in the Middle East.” 

 The Khazar hypothesis has been refuted by history and DNA research beyond the shadow of a doubt. The Khazar conversion to Judaism is a true story, albeit very fuzzy in details. It has even been attractive, historically speaking, but the minute that antisemites figured out they could hijack it to fuel their agenda of delegitimization of Israel, it lost most of its luster. 

When interacting with proponents of that antisemitic view, a few questions might help debunk the theory. An honest handling of these questions will show that they yield no answer:
• Why is there complete silence from the Jews of Mesopotamia regarding the Khazar's conversion? 
• Who converted the Khazars?
• Was it a Rabbinic conversion or a Karaite conversion? 
• How many Khazars converted?
• What happened to them? 

The Khazar Theory is just that...A theory lacking too much evidence to be proven true. In our age when the truth is no longer the essential component for any discourse or dialogue, if a theory seems to fit a specific narrative, it BECOMES TRUTH. If modern Jews were descendants of the Khazars, then Israel would instantly become stolen land, colonized and occupied by a bunch of impostors. Unfortunately, in the age of the normalization of antisemitism, that concept sells very well!

Only Biblical Zionism Matters, But What Is It Exactly?

There are many different ways to look at Zionism. It can be cultural, political, historical, and even Christian. Yet, the safest way to define Zionism is biblical if, of course, it can be done. If Zionism could be defined biblically, it would supersede all other definitions as long as those looking at that definition would believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God. So, can we truly define Zionism in the Tanach?

Let's first look at the words themselves. The terms “Zionism” and “Zionist” were coined in 1890 by Jewish activist Nathan Birnbaum (1864-1937), who also played an important part in the first Zionist Congress held in 1897 (renamed the World Zionist Organization in 1960) alongside its first president, Theodore Herzl. The word Zion comes from the Hebrew tzion, a reference to Jerusalem and often, by extension, to the Land of Israel itself (first mentioned in II Samuel 5:7.)"Nevertheless, David captured the stronghold of Zion, that is the city of David."According to scholar Mitchell Bard, Zionism is: "The national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel."

Many followers of Yeshua look at the Bible and clearly see that God is NOT done with Israel. They see a glorious future for the people and the Land. They understand that the promises of Genesis 12:3 still stand, and they want to be in the center of God’s will by blessing the people that He calls “the apple of [His] eye” (Zechariah 2:8). Believers in Yeshua who recognize Israel’s biblical and historical right to the Land and the Jewish people’s right to return to the Land are often called Christian Zionists. God Himself declared this plan in His Word; thus, Christian Zionism is a noble cause and is part of what every Bible-believing Christian should promote.

Unfortunately for those of us who are Bible-believing, modern-day disciples of Yeshua of Nazareth, the term Christian doesn't help our cause. It has been overused and abused by friends and foes, and its etymology is now quite different from the simple definition it once carried. Not all people called Christians have truly placed their trust in the finished work of Yeshua of Nazareth on their behalf. Additionally, among those who are Christian, not all of them espouse a positive, biblical view of Israel, its land and its people. So, let us forget the term Christian for a moment and move toward a definition of Biblical Zionism.

There is a lot of scriptural evidence validating the claims of Zionism, beginning with the fact that God Himself said that only HE owned the Land in Leviticus 25:23: "The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are but aliens and sojourners with Me." So, even though it would appear that God gave the title deed for Eretz Yisrael to the Jewish people, He still is the original owner. The following points are all taken from the Jewish Scriptures and they will help us to define biblical Zionism as we start to understand how God sees the whole thing. Since one of the main themes of God's word is Israel, it sheds some light for us, as we can see first from the Torah:

 The land belongs to God first and foremost: Leviticus 25:23 
 God made a covenant with Abraham promising a land, a seed and a blessing: Genesis 12:1-3
 The land has specific boundaries yet to be fulfilled: Genesis 15:18-21
• God's covenant was reconfirmed through Isaac, Jacob and his 12 sons: Genesis 26:2-4, 28:13, 50:24
 God cares about the land and will bless/discipline Israel for obedience/disobedience: Deuteronomy 11:8-17
 The land is promised based on God's character and not Israel's performance: Deuteronomy 7:7-9
 God told Israel to conquer the land: Deuteronomy 9:3
 Israel's exact boundaries are controlled by God: Deuteronomy 2:3-5, 16:19
 The Babylonian captivity didn't annul the oath made by God: Leviticus 26:41

Additionally, the Prophets also tell us of the glorious future of Israel:

• Israel will never be destroyed because of God's promise of eternal protection: Jeremiah 31:35-37
 God promised Israel a New Covenant when He will remember their sins no more: Jeremiah 31:31-34
 Israel's glorious future includes a final restoration to the land: Ezekiel 39:25-29
 Israel's glorious future is secure because of God's character: Ezekiel 36:22-28

I think that the best way to understand Zionism is through a biblical lens. It will be helpful to remember that anytime we study the word of God, we must have a consistent method of interpretation. My preferred hermeneutical method is the literal grammatical/historical approach to the biblical record, making sure we always read a text within its original context. We should never read a biblical text through the eyes of our current culture, but rather, try to navigate through our current culture using a biblical lens.

From the biblical record, starting in Genesis, it can easily be argued that God Himself was the first Zionist. It hasn't changed and never will. Those who fight or reject Zionism are fighting and/or rejecting God. Incidentally, He doesn't want anybody to perish, and He certainly has the same love and compassion for both Jews and Arabs and so should we. Being a Zionist doesn't mean that one is a racist or a colonizer. Not historically, and certainly not biblically. Being a Zionist doesn't mean that one is anti-Palestinian, but sadly, the opposite is seldom true!

A Global Kristallnacht On The Horizon?

Historians agree that Kristallnacht (November 9-10, 1938) was the onset of the Holocaust, shifting Nazi antisemitism from mere rhetoric to pure violence and murder, and setting in motion the death factories aimed at accomplishing “the final solution to the Jewish question.” Kristallnacht, or “The Night of Broken Glass,” was a boycott/pogrom of Jewish synagogues, schools, businesses, and homes, resulting in the death of almost 100 Jewish people and the destruction of 7,500 properties. It was extremely well-planned and anything but a reaction to the death of a German official in France. Historically, Kristallnacht was one somber night that, along with other bloody murders of Jews, led my people to come up with the post-Holocaust motto of "NEVER AGAIN." Unfortunately, antisemitism didn't cease to exist, but it slowly went from taboo to transformed to tolerated to trendy.

October 7, 2023, changed everything not only for Israeli-Arab relations but apparently for Jewish people around the globe. It has come to my attention that Jewish people are currently being identified across the world by different means. Why do we need to be identified? Let us not forget that identification was the first step that led to the Holocaust 80 years ago. Identification (Nuremberg Laws) was followed by separation (ghettos), which was followed by mass transit (cattle cars to the camps), eventually leading to annihilation (gas chambers.) So, when today we hear about Jewish people being identified and/or singled out, we should pay attention. Following are some of the recent events that should really raise a red flag.

Hackers stole Jewish names from the 23andMe website: The popular website that determines ancestry based on a DNA sample was hacked in late 2023. Almost 7 million names were exposed. The company claimed that this was due to poor password management from users. It doesn't really matter what the cause was, but what was concerning was the fact that the hackers offered to sell the names of people with Jewish ancestry for anywhere from $1 to $10 per name.

Blue stars of David were painted on the front of buildings where Jewish people live in France: Not too long after the start of the Gaza War in October 2023, Paris saw several of its buildings identified with blue stenciled stars of David (a clear Jewish symbol.) The buildings turned out to be the residences of Jewish people. This was eerily reminiscent of the painting of the word "Jew" and the large white stars of David painted on Jewish storefronts in Berlin in November of 1938. The purpose, in 1938, was solely to identify Jewish businesses and destroy them through pogroms and boycotts. Should we dare draw a parallel in 2024?

The Doxxing of Jewish Identities in Australia: After some pro-Palestinian individuals maliciously released personal or identifying information about Jewish people without the subject’s permission (known as doxxing), Australia decided to ban the illegal practice. Doxxing is not only used to identify Jewish people, but we can see how it could lead to harm committed against that very community, already targeted by so many people.

Forbidding Jewish people to rent equipment in Switzerland: The town of Davos might be better known for the global meetings of the World Economic Forum, but it is also a popular ski resort in Switzerland. Recently, a poster was affixed on a ski equipment rental shop reading: "The shop would no longer rent gear such as sleds, skis and snowshoes to “our Jewish brothers” after a series of “very annoying incidents” — including the theft of a sled." The poster (written in Hebrew) was removed within 24 hours, with the store owners apologizing for a poor choice of words, but only after they received massive complaints from the Jewish community that the move was purely antisemitic. Truly, the store owners could have easily written a statement stating that anybody not following the rules in their rental agreement would be charged a fee. To single out Jewish "brothers" is both antisemitic and patronizing.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement capitalizes on the Gaza War: The BDS agenda continues to be heavily promoted by pro-Palestinian factions, accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza but completely ignoring the real genocide of 1200 people in Israel by Hamas on October 7, 2023. In their own words, they invite antisemites around the world to "Act Now Against These Companies Profiting from the Genocide of the Palestinian People.This is a complete role reversal...Is anybody paying attention?

I could continue to list all the incidents that have taken place since October 7, 2023, but you get the idea: we are being identified, singled out, delegitimized, and demonized. This is no different than how the stage was set in the 1930s. This is not going to get better for the Jewish people. It can only get worse, but it doesn't have to be hopeless. In a world of bystanders, we can be upstanders. When we stand up against the oldest hatred, we show the Jewish people that there are still people who care and who would do just about anything to be there for their Jewish friends.

Upstanders are going to become a small minority in a sea of bystanders. True, there is power in numbers, but even if we feel isolated or alone in this fight, we must keep fighting on behalf of our Jewish friends. We are fighting a spiritual battle against Satan and his demons who want to destroy the Jews so that they will not be the voice crying to God and saying: "Baruch Haba Bashem Adonai" at the end of the time of Jacob's trouble (Zechariah 12:10, 13:8-9, Matthew 23:37-39.)

Satan is on his final rampage to destroy the Jews and prevent the return of Yeshua. He didn't succeed in preventing the First Coming of the Messiah when He offered Himself as the sacrificial lamb for Israel and the rest of the world. He will not succeed in preventing His return to inaugurate the Millennial Kingdom and reign on the throne of King David from Jerusalem.

Satan always causes casualties, and right now, he is trying to turn the world against the Jews by leading various people to identify and single out Jewish people in various communities around the world. The battle is a spiritual one, but when we are on the side of Israel and love the Jewish people, we are on God's side. Where else would you rather be?

Is the State of Palestine a Possibility in our Lifetime?

Over four months after Hamas murdered 1200 innocent Israeli civilians and took over 200 hostages inside the Gaza Strip, the current US administration is contemplating the idea of recognizing Palestine. Again, they are pushing for the "Two-State Solution" that Elliott Abrams of Tablet Magazine rightfully recently called the "Two-State Delusion." These days, it seems that most of the world is asking for a Two-State solution, mostly with the hope that it would bring the Gaza War to an end. What are the requirements for Palestine to be recognized and for the region to be split into a Jewish state and a Palestinian state? Is that even possible?

• Palestinians must be a real people group: Prior to 1948, the Palestinian narrative was not much of a narrative at all. Those calling themselves Palestinians today were calling themselves Arabs back then, and for very good reasons–This is exactly who they were. The claim that Palestinians are descendants of the Canaanites is a false claim. The Canaanites, along with many other people groups, disappeared a long time ago. Today, Palestinians speak Arabic, not "Palestinian." Their customs and traditions are Arab traditions, not "Palestinian." Incidentally, the word Palestine (introduced by emperor Hadrian in the first century to humiliate the Jewish people) was never meant to describe anything but a land mass in the Middle East. It was hijacked by Yasir Arafat and repurposed over several decades to introduce a new politically charged narrative. Palestinian coins from decades prior to 1948 all have the two Hebrew letters aleph and yod (initials for Eretz Yisrael, meaning the land of Israel.) Palestine was nothing but a geographical description of the land of Israel. To be sure, Palestinians are real people with real needs, the first of those needs being a belief in Yeshua for their salvation. What they are not is an indigenous people from the land of Canaan, later known as Palestine and known today as the State of Israel. None of this is meant to devalue their worth as human beings in God's eyes but simply to assess factual truth.

• Palestinians must want peace with Israel: Another elephant in the room is the ongoing desire from most Palestinians to eradicate all Israelis from Israel. I am not saying that all Palestinians have genocidal tendencies, but considering that Hamas does want all Jews dead and that 70% of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip voted for Hamas, one has to wonder what the real agenda is when peace is discussed. Incidentally, about 90% of all Palestinians want more moderate, US-backed Mahmoud Abbas to resign from being the leader of Fatah. While many describe him as a moderate, I question his political integrity simply from the fact that he is in the 19th year of a four-year term as leader of Fatah. As to his academic integrity, I question it even more, considering that his doctoral dissertation covered such topics as anti-Zionism and holocaust denial. Additionally, "from the river to the sea, Palestine shall be free" doesn't inspire peace but genocide- something that all millennials and GenZs around the world should know as they chant the motto of annihilation, thinking that they are promoting social justice.

• Palestinians must properly use funds sent to them for humanitarian reasons: Many countries of the world for decades have sent money to the Palestinian Authority for humanitarian relief. Almost all of the money allocated to Gaza was repurposed to build tunnels–some of those tunnels leading directly to the area of the October 7, 2023, terrorist attack on Israel. The recent discovery and exposure of UNRWA's mishandling of funds and even participation in the attack could be a game changer. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency had already lost funding from sixteen countries in light of their involvement on October 7. It might only be 10% of the 12,000 UNRWA employees in Gaza who had ties to the terror attack, but that is still 1,200 people. Frankly, the numbers do not matter as much as the fact that this misuse of funds has probably taken place for a longer time than we realize. Not to mention how Hamas positions their weapons in mosques, hospitals and schools all over the Gaza Strip.

History has shown us that the desire for peaceful co-existence is more of a reality on the Israeli side than it is on the Palestinian side. The facts are here in spite of the media bias, the UN bias, the academic bias, and the Hollywood bias. There are a lot more Arabs in Israel today than there were prior to 1948, even though the "Palestinians" call May 14, 1948, the nakba, or "catastrophe" in Arabic. The other side of that coin is that there are still only 15,000.000 Jews around the world today when there were 18,000,000 before the Holocaust, also known as the "Shoah", also meaning "catastrophe" in Hebrew. Which was a real catastrophe? Let the numbers speak, not the media, and then you can decide when and where the crimes against humanity were committed.

It is impossible to come to a peaceful agreement of any sort when one side respects the sanctity of life of all human beings, and the other side worships death. For those who keep demanding a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, let me remind you that there has been a ceasefire since 2005, when Hamas took full control, until October 6, 2023. That ceasefire was broken by Hamas on October 7, 2023, when Hamas murdered 1,200 Israelis and took over 200 hostages. They created a monster that will be very hard to control because as much as the Israelis worked with Palestinians and tolerated a less-than-ideal status quo, the thin trust that existed between the two groups has now vanished. It is going to be a while before Israel trusts the "Palestinians" again, and this is mostly going to hurt the "Palestinians." Based on these three criteria that appear far from being within reach, a Palestinian state seems very unlikely/.

This being said, there will be peace in Israel one day. That is when Sar Shalom, "the Prince of Peace," returns to reign in Jerusalem from the throne of King David. His name is Yeshua (Jesus), and only He has the power to make the two (Arabs and Jews) into one new man (Ephesians 2.) Until then, we ought to do the best we can to introduce people to Yeshua and His message of salvation (Isaiah 52:13-53:12). He came 2,000 years ago to die for Jews, Arabs and the rest of humanity. He rose again and ascended to Heaven, and today, He awaits His return to take charge on Earth. All that one has to do is to believe in His atonement as a free gift and become part of God's family. I have seen Jews and Arabs getting along in Yeshua; it is a beautiful sight, and it should really be one of our main focal points until He returns.

How to avoid another Holocaust!

Every year since 2005, on January 27, the international community remembers the Holocaust in various ways, from synagogue services to vigils to educational events that include Holocaust survivors or scholars, even though survivors are dwindling to a few thousand globally, by virtue of their age (90 and older). Soon, they will all be in our memories, or will they? How tragic would it be if, after all the survivors of the Holocaust were gone, the second-hand witnesses were silenced or simply stop speaking up against the horrors of the Holocaust and the evil of antisemitism?
This year, there is a great sense of urgency since the tragic events that took place in Israel on October 7, 2023. As much as the new antisemitism has been a reality for decades now, the events of October 7 have propelled Jew-hatred to the forefront of current events, not only in Israel but all around the globe. There is no question that the weed of antisemitism has grown exponentially since October 7, to the point of choking the truth about Israel and the Jewish people. Can this weed be killed? Can the truth be restored? I believe that three steps are involved in that process.

Learn the Truth
This is a very important step in the age of fast information and fake information. The more sophisticated we are with technology, the more risk we are taking with the veracity of the information we are fed. With the advent of chat GPT and Artificial Intelligence, truth is being challenged from many vantage points. Add to that the fact that we live at a time when people are not as interested in historical facts as much as they were two or three decades ago, and you get a narrative that can easily become very destructive. It is becoming very important to rely on resources that were published prior to 2020 just to be safe regarding data that could have been altered by chat GPT and/or Artificial Intelligence. When it comes to comprehensive works on Israel's history and antisemitism, here are a few recommendations:
A Lethal Obsession: Anti-semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad by Robert Wistrich
The History of Anti-Semitism, Volumes 1-4 by Léon Poliakov
The Anguish of the Jews by Edward Flannery
A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time by Howard M. Sachar
The Case Against BDS: Why Singling Out Israel for Boycott Is Anti-Semitic and Anti-Peace by Alan Dershowitz

Teach the Truth
As critical as it is to learn the truth, people often acquire a lot of knowledge and do very little to share that knowledge. Advocacy isn't only demonstrated in the actions we take, but it is also shown in the words we speak. Every voice matters, especially the voices of those who care about the truth. The younger generation doesn't really know how to think anymore. They rely on soundbites and videos, most of them only a few seconds in length, to learn about anything. Gone are the days when people watched a documentary; now, they view a short on YouTube. Gone are the days when people read books; now, they read a one-sentence meme. These quick informational snippets are also shared by the millions almost instantaneously on multiple platforms. People are losing interest in gathering pertinent information on just about any topic, and as a result, they will also soon lose the ability to do so. We are going from the information age to the disinformation age rapidly and with little resistance. It is on us to take the time to share what we learn with our children, grandchildren, co-workers, schoolmates, neighbors and anybody else willing to listen and learn. Knowledge of the truth and how to share it will lead to wisdom. Charles Spurgeon once said, "Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom."

Defend the Truth
So, you've learned the truth, and you have committed to teaching it to others the best you can. That is a good start, but now we must put our knowledge into action and that will include decisions to support or boycott certain organizations, people or programs. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement (BDS), reborn in 2005, is promoting the boycott of anything Jewish to cripple the Israeli economy and hopefully force Israel to stop the occupation of "Palestine" and the killing of "innocent Palestinian victims." It is time to double our efforts and do exactly the opposite. Go to their site at bdsmovement.net and support as much as you can from their list of what to boycott academically, culturally, and economically. The lists are on their site, and they have done all the homework for us. Additionally, there are several apps on Apple and Google platforms that will give you the ability to scan a barcode and tell you if you should boycott or support a brand based on their support of Israel. Such an app from BDS proponents is Belzamesh (free on Apple, Google). If you use Belzamesh, remember that we who love Israel and want to support the economy need to do the opposite of what the app recommends.

Beyond learning, teaching and defending the truth, we must understand that October 7 has brought an existential crisis to the Jewish world. We have reached the point of no return as it pertains to the momentum antisemitism is gaining every day. ANTISEMITISM WILL NOT CEASE; it will only increase (at least until Messiah Yeshua returns and reigns in Jerusalem from the throw of David)! Yet, we must continue to advocate against it AND commit to rescue and protect those affected by it. It is time for Christians across denominations to unite and redeem the past. Our Jewish friends are once again at risk. The danger is global and exponential. Doing nothing will increase the risk of another Holocaust, and even though God promised never to forsake Israel or allow for its total destruction (Jeremiah 31:35-37), the 1930s and 40s saw the decimation of 6,000.000 Jews in Europe (my maternal grandfather included) and that risk is back.

This January 27, on  International Holocaust Memorial Day, why don't you take the time to call your Jewish friends, neighbors, coworkers, or even family members and tell them that you have their backs? Tell them that as you remember the Holocaust, you will do everything in your power to make sure another one doesn't happen on your watch. I understand that the Bible speaks of great turmoil coming to the Jewish people in the future, during the Great Tribulation, but let's seize the day and redeem the past NOW, lest we become the new bystanders of today! I am convinced that we can make a difference before the Tribulation starts, which means that we can reach out to our Jewish friends before the Rapture that will occur before the Tribulation. We do it because of the Gospel and with the Gospel...One Jewish soul at a time, praying that we can lead them to their Messiah!

Antisemitic Harvard President Resigned...Not For What You Think!

When it comes to antisemitism, having reported and taught about it for over two decades, I have found that it has been too often under-reported, minimized, or even ignored. It usually takes great effort to speak up and expose the lies and the venom of Jew-hatred, but it must be done. So, when it looks like justice was served, I am always ready to recognize it for what it is worth. Let me back it up to the end of 2023, a few weeks after the Hamas terrorist attack in southern Israel that started the current war.

It didn't take long for the world to stop talking about the 1,200 Israelis brutally maimed, burned, raped and murdered, not to mention the over 200 hostages. Within a week, much of the planet was focusing on what they have since called a "humanitarian crisis in Gaza." Don't get me wrong; the Palestinians stuck in Gaza are in dire need of essentials such as food, water, medical help, and shelter (not to mention Yeshua's salvation). This being said they are not stuck because Israel is keeping them there but because Hamas is. These facts do not matter to our younger generation chanting from US campus to US campus, "From the River to the Sea, Palestine shall be free," fulfilling their need for social justice and their desire for multiculturalism, at least in their own heads. This chanting is being done mostly by people unaware of the real genocidal meaning of the statement, but also by some who are clearly aware of this being a call for the total eradication of all Jews of Israel. This has nothing to do with social justice.

University campuses have long become a breeding ground for radicalism, which always includes antisemitism at the top of the list. From New York to California and from MIT to Harvard, students have been very vocal and, at times, physical with their disdain for Israel and the Jewish people. This is nothing new, but October 7, 2023, revitalized the oldest hatred and emboldened its most timid proponents. So, when Harvard, Penn and MIT made the news, I was not surprised. What surprised me was the concerted answer given by the presidents of the schools when asked to testify before the House Education and Workforce Committee on Dec. 5 in Washington, D.C. Their answers,  at the very least, lacked moral clarity. When asked by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik whether “calling for the genocide of Jews was violating the code of conduct and rules" of their respective schools, the three presidents offered each their own version of a lukewarm response, vaguely denouncing racism and, again, lacking moral clarity at a time when firm responses were needed.
Harvard President Claudine Gay responded, “It depends on the context.” Forget for a moment that we are speaking of the genocide of Jewish people, and let us ponder: in what context is genocide ever acceptable? What race or ethnic group would ever deserve genocide at any point in history? The obvious answer is none! Yet, according to Miss Gay, when it comes to the genocide of the Jewish people, context is key. Once she had given that answer, unless she made an immediate 180, she had reached the point of no return. She should have been fired immediately, but the Harvard Board backed her up.

Then, another accusation against Claudine Gay surfaced. She was accused of having committed plagiarism multiple times while working on her Ph.D. The accusations turned out to be true and, under heavy criticism, she was forced to resign. This was absolutely the right thing to do, but I still wonder if it was the right context. Let me explain.

The minute she let out that a genocide of the Jewish people depended on the context was the minute she should have resigned or been fired, period. That she didn't see the gravity of her statement was bad enough as a human being, but much worse as the president of an Ivy League school such as Harvard. Then, the board backed her up and kept her in her position. Both Miss Gay and the Harvard board dug their heels. They wouldn't address the elephant in the room: antisemitism. What happened next could be called the "Al Capone Method". In Capone's case, not able to get him for multiple murders, the authorities arrested him, found him guilty, and incarcerated him, but for tax evasion. To be sure, I am not comparing Miss Gay to Al Capone but simply making a parallel in the methodology used. Different means to the same end. When she should have been fired for antisemitism, Miss Gay wasn't, but soon after, she was accused of multiple cases of plagiarism connected to her Ph.D., and for that, she eventually had to resign from her position as President of Harvard. She did issue an apology for her faux pas...too little too late, and the firing was deserved but based on the wrong motive. Incidentally, Miss Gay has retained her teaching position at Harvard.

When it comes to Jew-hatred, it is always easier to condemn historical antisemitism, such as the crimes of the Nazis or even other crimes against the Jews throughout history. What is done is done and it is far enough removed in the past for anyone to argue its veracity unless they are historical revisionists. The challenge with modern antisemitism is that it is happening in front of our very eyes, and so we have a duty to expose it and denounce it. We must take sides in real-time, and this might affect us in many ways. The price might be high, but it is the price to pay for doing the right thing.

I will not pretend to know where Miss Gay or the Harvard Board members stand in their personal relationship with God, but for me, as I have been a follower of Yeshua of Nazareth for 40 years, and I understand the place of Israel and the Jewish people in God's master plan for humanity. I have no other alternative but to be grateful to the God who saved me and to love Israel and the Jewish people as much as I can, which will never come close to how much God loves them (Zechariah 2:8.)

We will continue to see an increase in Jew-hatred for the foreseeable future; the question remains: does the Jewish community or the Jewish people in your sphere of influence know that you have their backs? There couldn't be a better time to be vocal about our support of Israel and the Jewish people.

The Price to Pay for Ignoring the Truth Is Very High!

This is usually the time of the year when I post a "Year In Review", looking retrospectively at the last twelve months with respect to antisemitism, Bible prophecy and Israel. Unfortunately for us all, over the last two decades, I have not lacked stories to tell, lies to expose and truth to teach. Is 2023 any different from the previous years and is it significant for our civilization? The answer can be found in the events of October 7, 2023, when Hamas committed the brutal murder of 1,200 Israelis in one day (the highest Jewish death toll since the Holocaust.) and took over 200 hostages into Gaza. October 7 was not just a terrible terrorist attack in Israel, but it was an existential attack on Western civilization.

Some sixty years ago, Yasir Arafat, the Egyptian-born leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, started planting the seeds of historical revisionism in the Middle East. His then farfetched approach to the Palestinian people being refugees in their Israel-occupied land didn't take root immediately, but the seed was planted. It has been watered by liberalism and an increasingly Marxist-leaning left faction. Additionally, it is being fertilized by post-modern social justice militants around the globe. Fast forward to 2023 in the Middle East and the rest of the world by proxy and the roles of victims and perpetrators have been switched. This reverse narrative founded on lies and historical revisionism has now fully blossomed and the world is buying it...No questions asked. The result is an exponential hatred of Israel and by proxy, the rest of the Jewish people in the entire Diaspora. Historically, this is yet another conflict in the Middle East, but biblically, it is one of the last few bricks in the foundational wall of the end times!

The world is currently being conditioned for the final chapter of HIStory before the return of the Messiah to establish His Millennial Kingdom, and just as the Bible predicted, it will all hinge around Israel and Jerusalem (Zechariah 12; Ezekiel 36-38.) But really, is Zechariah 12:3, "It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely [c]injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it", to be taken literally? Of course, it is! We should be concerned and heavily burdened for the Jewish people but not surprised. Keep in mind that if Zechariah 12:3 is to be taken literally, 12:9 also is, "And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem." Is the world truly guilty of willful ignorance?

Are all the nations going after the Jewish people, or am I a conspiracy theorist seeking cheap validation from the world? After all, maybe the way that people are looking at the Hamas/Israel war is accurate, and I am biased toward my own people. Or is it possible that the world is again joining the bystanders of yesteryear and looking the other way while Jewish people have been slaughtered in Israel and are being demonized everywhere else? Being a bystander in that situation would be bad enough, but I fear that many people are also turning into perpetrators and that 2023 will be remembered as the year that changed everything for Israel AND for our civilization.

• Amsterdam (December 2023): Pro-Palestine leaflets dropped in a shopping Mall accompanied by an announcement about the Genocide of children by Israel in Gaza. No mention of the 1,200 Israelis butchered by Hamas first.
• Paris and suburbs (November 2023): Stars of David were painted on Paris buildings to identify where Jewish people lived, very reminiscent of 1938 Kristallnacht. No mention of the 1,200 Israelis butchered by Hamas first.
• China (October 2023): Internet antisemitism is at an all-time high.
• Sidney (October 2023): A pro-Palestinian rally took place at the Sidney, Australia Opera House, where chants of "Gas the Jews" were heard. No mention of the 1,200 Israelis butchered by Hamas first.
• London (October 2023): A man was arrested for tearing down posters of the Israeli hostages in Gaza, claiming they were spreading false information. No mention of the 1,200 Israelis butchered by Hamas first.
• United States (December 2023):  Harvard President Claudine Gay wouldn't condemn Hamas and claimed that context had to be considered when "calling for the genocide of Jews." No mention of the 1,200 Israelis butchered by Hamas first.

Did the world turn against the Allies when they joined forces to obliterate the Nazi regime? Were the "poor Nazis" the recipients of global humanitarian aid and did they become the poster boys for social justice, activism and resistance? Of course not, so why is the world still rooting for the terrorist organization that is Hamas and demonizing Israel? Simply put, this has everything to do with the Bible and God's final plan for the ages. If you are still on the fence over the infallibility of the Bible and the existence of God, now would be a very good time to trust both as we are seeing all the predicted events falling into place like never before.

If we trust the Bible–and we should–then God will never completely forsake Israel (Jeremiah 31:35-37) and He will catch up with all her enemies (Zechariah 12:9). Unfortunately, there will be great casualties, as 2/3 of the Jewish people will perish during the Tribulation (Zechariah 13:9.) Before that terrible event takes place, Christians have a great opportunity to expose their Jewish friends to the only true Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth (Isaiah 52:13-53:12). The number of casualties can be reduced since God only gave us a percentage, not an exact number. Sadly, the world is ignoring the truth about the Hamas/Israel war and about who God is and His promises to us and Israel.

The Bible also tells us that to become part of God's family for all eternity and be spared the upcoming Great Tribulation, we must put our trust in the finished work of Yeshua, who gave His own life as a ransom for ours, was buried, rose again, ascended to heaven and will physically return one day to reign on earth from Jerusalem on the throne of David.
If you are looking for New Year's resolutions, why not trust in Yeshua today if you never have before? And if you already are part of God's family, why not support Israel in 2024? There has never been a better time to embrace the truth about God and the truth about Israel.

Is It Ever Contextually Justified to Mass Murder Jews?

In the wake of October 7, 2023, beyond the realization that 1200 Israelis had been murdered, the whole world was put on notice. Israel woke up to a nightmare situation, witnessing horrors comparable to the Holocaust era. Until now, after over two decades of studying, fighting and verbally denouncing all forms of antisemitism, I had always stayed away from comparing any of it to the Holocaust because I felt that the Jewish catastrophe was such a unique genocide in all of human history, that it required to be left alone. That ship sailed on Oct 7, and I feel that some parallels can be drawn.

The one event that I see as a potential repeat of history is the painting of blue stars of David on Jewish homes in Paris and neighboring suburbs to identify where Jewish people live. This is eerily reminiscent of 1938 Kristallnacht in Berlin when Jewish homes and businesses were marked with painted Jewish stars and the word: "Jude" (meaning Jew) in large white painted letters was applied to the storefronts. Incidentally, Kristallnacht was later recognized as the official starting date for the Holocaust. So, to the question: "Can another Holocaust happen today?" the answer is YES!

One would have to live in a cave, ignoring current events, not to be aware of the massive surge in global antisemitism. People are not even hiding behind any sort of narrative to cloak their Jew hatred anymore. It's out on the streets, out in academia, out in Hollywood and definitely out on university campuses. The most arrogant display of antisemitism on campus is, without a doubt, what just took place at Harvard recently. It was not an isolated incident since it also occurred at the University of Pennsylvania, where its president was forced to resign and at MIT. The president for all three schools appeared before the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce to answer some questions about the alarming rise in campus antisemitism. All three presidents couldn't find it in themselves to condemn Hamas for its murders of Jews.

Unfortunately,  in the case of Harvard, the outcome was very scary, at least for the time being, and it is concerning for Jewish people on three levels. On that topic, Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz wrote, "The recent spate of rabid anti-Semitism on so many campuses has posed enormous challenges to this new breed of university presidents. For the most part, they have failed miserably to meet these challenges, as reflected by the big three who testified so ineptly." We live in the postmodern era punctuated by DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion). It seemingly promotes fair treatment of all people, especially those who have a history of being misrepresented, under-represented or even abused. DEI happens to be discrimination in the cloak of equality, and somehow, the Jewish people usually get the short end of the stick.

So, when it comes to University faculty and leadership, is it possible for DEI to have superseded academic excellence and competence and, in many cases, replaced it altogether? It would appear that way in the case of Claudine Gay, the current president of Harvard University. Following in the trail of some of her own students who couldn't find any valid reason to condemn Hamas for raping, naming, burning and beheading innocent Israeli civilians, Ms Gay couldn't condemn Hamas when confronted with the question by House Republican Elise Stefanik. She[Stefanik] calls Claudine Gay's response a case of "pathetic moral depravity." She [Gay] was asked if calling for the genocide of Jewish people violated Harvard school code of conduct, to which she answered: "it can be depending on the context." Seriously, what kind of context could possibly warrant the of genocide of ANY people group?

The answer provided brought chills to my spine. If this is not proof that the beast we call antisemitism is completely out in the open, I don't know what else needs to happen to convince people. The president of Harvard, under tremendous pressure, decided to release this statement, "calls for violence or genocide against the Jewish community, or any religious or ethnic group are vile, they have no place at Harvard, and those who threaten our Jewish students will be held to account." Too little, too late if you ask me!

To add insult to injury, the board of directors at Harvard, voted to keep Gay as their president. This shows that they don't have any ethical concerns regarding her position, and this should really terrify any Jewish student currently enrolled. Set aside all the Jewish students, is this the kind of educational setting that anyone would want their children to go through? What kind of future are we preparing for if we are willingly training a new generation of leaders who will find it acceptable to commit genocide against the Jews or any other people group for that matter?

If people can be convinced that genocide could be justified depending on a particular context, this world will not be safe for Jewish people, but then again, I am not telling you something you didn't already know. It is time for Christians to mobilize and come to the rescue of their Jewish friends. May the "New Righteous Among the Nations" be proactive as they are given an opportunity to redeem the past!