Haman, Hitler and BDS: We should know better!

What do the book of Esther, the Nuremberg Laws of 1933 and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement have in common? A lot more than meets the eye! There is a theme found in Esther about Haman's disdain for the Jewish people that is quite unique in the biblical record. We find the first step in Chapter 3 where Haman puts his curse against the Jews in motion, and because of one Jew, namely Mordecai, Haman seeks to destroy all of them. We start seeing the irrational behaviors promoted by an anti-Semitic heart. Haman seeks to destroy all the Jews of the Persian Empire (at that time the vast majority of the Jews lived in the Persian empire, thus Haman sought to kill ALL THE JEWS). In a sense, Haman tries to make anti-Semitism a government-sanctioned policy

After these events, King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and established his authority over all the princes who were with him. And all the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman; for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage. When Haman saw that Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage to him, Haman was filled with rage. But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him who the people of Mordecai were; therefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus. (Esther 3:1-2, 6-5)

Furthermore, he proceeds to give the reason why the Jews are not wanted in Ahasuerus’ kingdom, and that is simply because they are different from everybody else and Haman feels that they just don't fit.

Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from those of all other people, and they do not observe the king’s laws, so it is not in the king’s interest to let them remain. (Esther 3:8)

Haman realizes that his endeavor will require some logistical finesse, so he asks the king to issue a decree for the destruction of the Jewish people. He even offers to finance the carnage.

If it is pleasing to the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who carry on the king’s business,…And letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to seize their possessions as plunder.
(Esther 3:9-13)

Fast forward to 1935, the Nuremberg Laws were introduced and Jewish people lost their citizenship. Marriage and/or sexual relations between Jews and Aryans were prohibited and severely punished. Additionally, guidelines were created to determine who in Germany would qualify as a “mischling” (half breed) and who wouldn’t. The Nuremberg Laws would set the stage for the final delegitimization of the Jewish people before the Final Solution could be implemented. By 1935, Hitler was solidly established in power. Few, if any, would dare to contradict him. His obsession with the “Jewish problem” would soon lead him to the next step in his attempt at the destruction of European Jewry. While the outcome was unfortunately different in each case, the process by which Haman sought to annihilate the Jews as seen in various verses of Esther 3 and the one used by Hitler have many similarities:

We can clearly see the correlation between Haman's attempt to annihilate the Jews and Hitler's evil agenda of death, but what about the current BDS movement? BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti doesn't even hide the fact that the ultimate goal of BDS is the eradicaton of Israel.  BDS is another way to delegitimize Israel in the eyes of the global community in the name of human rights and social justice. Yet, under this self-righteous veneer of human rights activism, is a new brand of antisemitism. Whole countries are now starting to follow suit. Ireland just passed a law to Boycott Israeli products from Israeli settlements.

Just like Haman and Hitler, BDS proponents are:

• Trying to make anti-Semitism a government-sanctioned policy

• Painting the Jewish people as misfits of society as Israel "occupies Palestine."

• Recruiting the help of willing promoters and seeking financial back-up anywhere they can find it.

Satan, the ultimate enemy of the Jews is constantly re-inventing himself to further demonize and ostracize Israel. Ideologically, BDS is an extension of Hitler's agenda which was parallel to Haman's agenda. BDS is a lot more than an economic, academic or entertainment boycott. People need to dig a bit deeper to see the real motives of that sick movement.
Incidentally, when we are told by BDS to stop buying Israeli products, we should do the exact opposite and support Israel's economy. How? It is quite simple. Go to a BDS website and buy the exact products they tell you to stay away from. They've done all the work for you!


Who is Omar Barghouti and why it should matter to evangelicals?

While some might accuse me of it, I take no pleasure in exposing people simply for character assassination. Naming names will accomplish nothing unless we can ethically quote the people we are exposing, using their own words to prove their hypocrisy and the danger they represent to a specific community or people group. From time to time, it is vital to expose people to the policies, philosophy or practices of certain individuals. As the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement (BDS) continues to pick up momentum globally and especially within evangelicals, it is time to get acquainted with Omar Barghouti, the man behind the movement as its co-founder. Even though they are related and part of the Barghouti clan, he is not to be confused with Marwan Barghouti, who is a Palestinian terrorist in jail for having killed Israelis.

In my regular speaking engagements in churches and conferences in the US and Europe, I still run into a lot of people who have never heard of the BDS movement, let alone of Omar Barghouti, its founder. It is incumbent on people of good faith in general and evangelicals, in particular, to understand and fight the BDS. That movement is responsible for a lot of damage done against Israel and the Jewish people, and yet it rests on a false premise. It is antisemitic at its core.

Omar Barghouti, seen by the world as a human rights activist, was born in Qatar, raised in Egypt, educated in the US, only to later move to Israel where he now resides. In 2004/2005, he started what was then mostly an attempt at an academic boycott of Israel and later became known as the BDS movement. Ironically, Barghouti holds a degree in Philosophy from Tel Aviv University and has even gone into their Doctoral program for a while. Are his degrees valid or should he boycott them since they were earned in Tel Aviv, Israel? This is such an obvious case of double-standards!

The original goal of BDS was clearly delineated by its creators as Alex Joffe reported in Times of Israel "The call also put forward three demands; '1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall 2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and 3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.' In short, the call demanded the dismantling of Israel through the ‘right of return.’ This has not changed: the end of Israel is the core BDS goal."

Since then, the BDS movement has picked up momentum and a lot of supporters globally in academia, entertainment, government, NGOs and churches. Their goal is the same, but it is carefully worded to attract the uneducated masses by banking on their compassion and desire for social justice. On their own site, they claim:"Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice, and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity. Israel is occupying and colonizing Palestinian land, discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel and denying Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes. Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, the BDS call urges action to pressure Israel to comply with international law. BDS is now a vibrant global movement made up of unions, academic associations, churches and grassroots movements across the world. Eleven years since its launch, BDS is having a major impact and is effectively challenging international support for Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism."

Many of the lies of Mr. Barghouti are being exposed. According to the website Canary Mission, Mr. Barghouti (who received a degree in philosophy AND ethics,) is promoting antisemitism and terrorism. They documented many of his connections and quotes supporting terrorist organizations or re-labeling terrorist murderers as "Palestinian Resistance." Mr. Barghouti says that people under occupation have the right to resist with or without weapons. In and of itself, that is a true statement, but are Palestinians resisting or instigating? When they say that they want to "burn the Jews" like in the Holocaust, are they resisting or instigating? Hamas will use any situation and give it the necessary spin to fault Israel and get the West's compassion on the "poor Palestinian victims" throwing rocks and flying kites against tanks and fighter jets. They sure tried with the death of the Gaza nurse during the recent clashes and Mr. Barghouti has no problem with that! Let's allow the man to speak for himself:

• 2006 American Association of College Professors, Bellagio, Italy. Barghouti said: "it is not the occupation of the West Bank that is the problem, but the existence of Israel itself."

• 2009 interview on Electronic Intifada: "For more than a hundred years Palestinians have resisted with cultural and artistic resistance, strikes, demonstrations, women’s and trade union organizing, and so on. The majority of people were involved in nonviolent resistance before the inspiration of Gandhi and that of South Africa."

• 2010 Q & A session in San Diego speaking of Israel (00:13:00):"It is the most violent entity that exists in this entire region."

•2011 at Socialism 2011 in Chicago, he compared Israel to Nazi Germany: "Do you want me to tell you what Germany had invented before the Nazis?"

2013 South North Talk in Norway: “A Jewish state in Palestine, in any shape or form, cannot but contravene the basic rights of the land’s indigenous Palestinian population and perpetuate a system of racial discrimination that ought to be opposed categorically."

• 2014 in a UCLA talk, he claimed that Israeli snipers were" shooting children for sports."

Mr. Barghouti's soft-spoken delivery allows him to be described as the Palestinian Gandhi or Mandela. It greatly helps his agenda. Once one listens to Mr. Barghouti's own words, one can only conclude that this man is a promoter of hate who seeks no peace, no reconciliation and no co-existence with Jewish people in Israel. He is the man behind BDS, and BDS is an antisemitic movement only seeking the complete destruction of Israel and the Jewish people. It is very disturbing that so many people, including evangelicals, are buying Mr. Barghouti's message hook, line and sinker, but then again, we are approaching the day when the whole world will join against Israel, and Mr. Barghouti is helping. The question is "will we help as well?" I certainly hope not, but silence and apathy always contribute to the nefarious agenda of the enemy!