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!

A new Bible without "Israel" makes perfect sense!

Recently, the Danish Bible Society published a new Bible known as "The Bible 2020." It should be called the RTV (Replacement Theology Version.) It is currently only available in Danish but has already been reviewed by a few people. I do not claim to read that language, so I have not been able to read it myself. I am always very reluctant to write a commentary on anything that I cannot source beyond the shadow of a doubt. The reason why I am making an exception is that a myriad of news outlets and ministries have already expressed their concern about the new Bible. It inaccurately replaces or even ignores the word "Israel" (73 times in the New Testament) referring to either the land or the people. This Bible is nothing but a biased treatment of the Word of God, and frankly, it is no Bible at all, and it is a very dangerous document. Here are a few reasons why:

• The original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts all contain the word "Israel": While we do not have the original manuscripts penned by the original authors such as Moses, Isaiah, Matthew, Paul, James, etc, we have access to a plethora of early copies including the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Church documents that all include the word "Israel" without exception. So, this Bible cannot qualify as a new Danish translation because it omits an important word like "Israel." It also cannot qualify as a new version, because it doesn't just take a word to paraphrase it, in some cases, it just erases it altogether. I call it "Playing God", and that is a very dangerous game!

• Its publishers are guilty of double-standards: One of the main reasons given for the new alteration is that biblical Israel is very different from Modern Israel and modern Jews are different from ancient Israelites. There is no doubt that several millennia separate the biblical days from today, and that many things have changed. This being said, modern Israel exists because of its undeniable foundation on biblical Israel. Evidently, the Jews of today are in many ways, not the Jews of yesteryear, but, by God's grace, they still exist! Is Greece today what it was in the days of Paul? Is Egypt today the same Egypt we read about in the Bible? Of course not! Why are the words "Egypt" or "Greek" remaining in this new Bible? An obvious double-standard is being applied. This makes me think that they had an ulterior motive.

• Such a "Bible" widens the divide between Christians and Jews: At a time when antisemitism is thriving around the globe, Jewish people need to be reassured that they have Christian friends. Publishing a Bible that erases Israel is sending a clear message to the Jewish people, "We the Christians do not think that Israel is important enough to remain in the Bible." It is a short road between a Bible without Israel and a world without Jews. This is not to say that all Christians are antisemitic, but such a document renders the relationship between genuine Christians and Jews ever so more complicated. There is apparently a Lutheran connection to this project, and that just adds oil to the fire that was started by Martin Luther at the end of His life when he wrote Of the Jews and their Lies. This doesn't mean either that all Lutherans are antisemitic.

• Such a "Bible" emboldens the enemies of Israel: This becomes one more arrow in the quiver of Jew-hatred used by people like those in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement who aim at ostracizing, demonizing and eventually eliminating the Jewish people. If the Bible excludes Israel or at the very least redefines it, it simplifies the job of those who want to rewrite history. This "Bible" could very well become a favorite for historical revisionists.

So, a Bible like this isn't really a big surprise since the whole world is increasingly squeezing the vise on Israel. It is just one more proof showing us how close we are from the final chapter in the "Real Bible." That's the one where Messiah Yeshua returns to establish his kingdom after fighting all those who went against Jerusalem (Zech 12:9.) Upon His return, He will establish His messianic kingdom with His people among which the Jews will be the head and not the tail. Additionally, according to Zechariah 8:23, we know this: "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew, saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."'"

That is the biblical truth that includes Israel and excludes the enemies of Israel, whoever they may be!

Who Cares About the Holocaust Anymore?

Holocaust Remembrance Day or Yom HaShoah (meaning "Day of the Catastrophe") has taken place every year on the 27th of Nisan since its inception in 1951. At 10:00 AM local time in Israel, everything comes to a stop as a siren is heard all over the country. Motorists literally stop in the middle of the road and observe two minutes of silence. It is both eerie and poignant!

This year more than ever we need to remember what took place in Nazi Germany almost 80 years ago:

• At a time when Israel is falsely accused of ethnic cleansing in their very own land, we must remember the days when Jews were almost eradicated from the face of the earth.

• At a time when it is becoming more and more dangerous to be Jewish anywhere in the world (except Israel), we must remember those who died simply because they were Jewish.

• At a time when worshipping in a synagogue could end in a lethal terror attack, we must remember the victims of Pittsburgh and San Diego and all other houses of worship around the globe.

• At a time when the world is pushing for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, we must remember that it already took place during the November 1938 Kristallnacht and that there is nothing new under the sun.

• At a time when the US Congress has been infiltrated with a new generation of anti-Semitic representatives, we must remember when Jewish people didn't have a voice in government.

• At a time when a mainstream US newspaper publishes yet another virulently anti-Semitic cartoon, we must remember 2,000 years of anti-Jewish caricatures leading to thousands of unnecessary deaths.

• At a time when two-thirds of millennials do not know what Auschwitz is, we must remember the motto "NEVER AGAIN."

• At a time when anti-Semitism is becoming the new normal around the world, we must remember that according to Edmund Burke, "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil, is that good men do nothing."

And finally, at a time when much of the world would rather not talk about the Holocaust, undermine its tragic outcome or worse, pretend it never happened, we must remember it, lest it happens again. Nobody cares about something they forgot, don't know about or believe never took place. Historical revisionism is akin to time travel to the past hoping to erase a part of history that is uncomfortable or hard to deal with. But we cannot erase the past and we must learn from it, as painful as it is. There is an increasing numbness to the rise of the new anti-Semitism that should send chills down the spine of all people of good will. It is like some sort of "anti-Jewish fatigue."

This year, Holocaust Remembrance Day coincides with the National Day of prayer on May 2, 2019. Wherever we are located, either at 6:00 AM or 6:00 PM local time, it might be a good idea for us to pause in our busy day and pray for the remaining family members of the six-million and to the memory of those same victims. Keep in mind that if we were to have one minute of silence for all the victims of the Holocaust, it would require us to be silent for over eleven years straight!

We can all spend two minutes to remember the Holocaust, but we should all spend the rest of the year to fight those who try to undermine it, ridicule it or erase it from history! The future of many Jewish people could depend on our involvement!

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!

 

Southern Baptists support Israel "for such a time as this!"

The Southern Baptist Convention (the largest evangelical denomination in America), just passed a resolution that boldly proclaims support for Israel. This is not highly unusual for the SBC that has a solid reputation for supporting Israel and the Jewish people. Yet, it comes at a time when other evangelical denominations such as PC USA have chosen to pledge allegiance to the Palestinian cause and are heavily promoting its narrative with whatever baggage comes with it (Christian Palestinianism, BDS, Campus Intifada to name a few.)

The SBC has a long history of biblical support of Israel coming from a rather conservative and mostly dispensational view of the land and its people. That biblical foundation can be found in the new resolution, especially in articles 1-4, 8 and 11 reading as follows:
• The Old Testament declares God’s promise to Abram, “I will make you into a great nation…. I will bless those who bless you, I will curse those who treat you with contempt, and all the peoples of the earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:1–3)
• Israel represents the descendants of Jacob as an ethnic, cultural, and national entity (Genesis 32:28)
• The New Testament affirms that salvation is from the Jews and that God’s Word concerning Israel will be fulfilled (John 4:22; Romans 9–11)
• We are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for the salvation of Israel (Psalm 122:6–7; Romans 10:1)
• We thankfully remember that we are indebted to the Jewish people, who gave us much of our Bible and our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
• At this critical time when dangerous forces are mounting up against the nation of Israel, we recommit ourselves to pray for God’s peace to rule in Jerusalem and for the salvation of Israel, for the Gospel is “God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew” (Romans 1:16).

This 2016 resolution (#5) is different because it is extremely bold. It clearly speaks out against the vile agenda of the new antisemitism. The biblical approach taken by SBC regarding Abraham, the Jewish people and Jerusalem has become somewhat of an expected position by the SBC–not that every single one of its sixteen million members adhere to it in one accord. But this wan't just a theological resolution, it was also a political move by SBC, as delineated in articles 5, 6 and 9. This is what makes it very unique:
• The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement seeks to isolate the nation of Israel economically and socially.
• We are concerned by anti-Israel activities in this country within certain university campuses, academic and professional associations, and popular culture.
• We support the right of Israel to exist as a sovereign state and reject any activities that attack that right by promoting economic, cultural, and academic boycotts against Israel.

SBC made a bold statement against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement. To date, twenty three US states as well as some evangelical denominations have taken a stand against BDS. More and more people are seeing the destructive agenda of the Palestinian Authority through the BDS propaganda. They are also realizing that it is extremely biased at best and certainly seldom relying on factual truth if ever! I would have liked to see the SBC statement to read more like: "The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement seeks to unjustly isolate the nation of Israel economically and socially. But even without that clarification, their statement is already going further than many other denominations.

Continuing its political stand for Israel, the SBC resolution also denounced the [antisemitic] activities across many American university campuses. This is also known as Campus Intifada and is more present on the West coast in places like UC Davis, UC Berkeley and UC Irvine. It consists of pro-Palestinian groups gathering on US campuses where antisemitic speakers come to boldly accuse Israel. These are US university campuses you say...So what about Freedom of Speech? I would tend to agree, except that when pro-Israel groups or speakers attempt to speak or simply dialogue, they are harassed and abused with very little disciplinary action from university faculty or management.

It was very brave for the Southern Baptist Convention to put out such a resolution. The current evangelical trend is to not show support to Israel. Christian Zionists are turning into Christian Palestinianists as the biblical narrative is increasingly suffering from historical revisionism. This is why conferences like Christ at the Checkpoint are becoming more and more attractive to mainstream evangelicals including "once reputable" names such as Hank Hanegraaff.

This pendulum swing creates a grave danger for Israel and diaspora Jews at a time when they already suffer from a resurgence of violent antisemitism. Jewish people suffer at the hands of the liberal left, the extreme-right AND radical Islam. Biblical Christianity understood and applied properly should offer a "No-Strings-Attached" sanctuary to Jews worldwide. In light of current events and the rise of End-Times antisemitism, the SBC made a very unpopular move. In other words, they made a biblically correct move, knowing very well that it was politically incorrect. Jews and Southern Baptists might still disagree on who the Messiah is but this obviously doesn't negate the Southern Baptists' unconditional love for Israel, simply because the SBC answers to a higher authority and takes the Bible very seriously. They made the right move for such a time as this!

BDS and the Great Evangelical Divide!

There are several ways to look at Israel's right to exist. Historically, Israel was reborn as a modern nation on May 14, 1948 when Ben Gurion declared statehood at Tel Aviv Independence Hall. This was the result of a November 1947 vote by the United Nations. But there is also the biblical context that cannot be ignored. Israel and the Jewish people are mentioned on almost every page of the Bible. Israel's boundaries are drawn out by G-d Himself and given to Abraham and his descendants as an eternal and unconditional covenantal promise (Genesis 12:1-3, 7, 17:7-8; 25:5-6, 26:3; 28:3-4; 35:9-15.) Yet, the very existence of Israel–while it depends exclusively on G-d's promise–is at times put in question by various Evangelical groups. When the BDS movement was started by Mahmoud Abbas about a decade ago, it created a platform for various groups to express their opposition to Israel's current "occupation" of "Palestinian Land." The trend continues as BDS still finds supporters across the very wide Evangelical spectrum.

On one hand, there are plenty of Evangelical denominations supporting and loving Israel such as the Southern Baptist Convention, the Calvary Chapel movement, the Assemblies of God and many more. On the other hand, Israel has been treated as a pariah by several mainline Evangelical groups for years. The Presbyterian Church USA (PC(USA)) voted to divest from Motorola, HP and Caterpillar at their last General Assembly in 2014 and they are about to vote further into BDS at their 222nd General Assembly in Portland, OR this June. A resolution has been written that is so biased in favor of the Palestinian narrative that is is hard not to see traces of antisemitism through it all. Statements such as "Hamas has arguably offered long-term truces to Israel in the past, but it also promotes an antagonistic ideology, which mirrors the extremist Israeli settler parties" comparing Hamas' terrorist violence to Israeli settlers are simply outrageous. Further down in the document, it said that "In solidarity with those who suffer, the General Assembly encourages Presbyterians to read and reflect on documents like Kairos-Palestine that come from our Palestinian brothers and sisters and to support programs like Christ at the Checkpoint (CaTC). Again, the bias for the Palestinian narrative and demonization of Israel in both the Kairos Palestine document and the biennial CaTC conferences is evident. Here we have antisemitism parading as Christian justice in the Middle East. Amongst many contributors from various fields, people like Omar Barghouti and Munther Isaac also contributed to the drafting of this new resolution, adding their bias to the pool.

But even within the PC(USA) denomination, the disdain for Israel isn't unanimous. Presbyterians for Middle East Peace recently put out a document in defense of Israel. The document titled "Two States for Two People" offers a more balanced hope for peace in the Middle East, even though it is lacking historical accuracy at times. And in all fairness to PC(USA) we must note that the BDS resolution of 2014 was passed by a very narrow margin. It remains to be seen if the 2016 General Assembly will pick up more momentum.

Another denomination that isn't necessarily known for its support of Israel is the United Methodist Church. Quite possibly the largest mainline Protestant denomination, the United Methodists have been struggling with their support for Israel in an age of social justice and political correctness. They already turned down two divestment proposals in 2012. Like the PC(USA) members, United Methodists are far from unanimous on their support for Israel. Many would rather see BDS being enforced. Yet, they recently suffered a major setback when all four proposed BDS resolutions were turned down at their May 2016 General Conference. It is interesting to note that the vote came just a few days after Hilary Clinton, who belongs to the Methodist denomination, wrote a letter strongly denouncing BDS. But before I get too excited I need to remind myself that we are in an election year!

It is clear that the BDS movement, while still a force to be reckoned with within Evangelicalism, isn't equally embraced across the whole spectrum of all Christian denominations. A full list of BDS advocates and/or opponents would take too much space here. Suffice it to say that the recent move by the United Methodist Church proves that BDS isn't a clearly defined victory. It might even be experiencing an early demise as people within Evangelical denominations and even outside of Christian circles are starting to see its one-sidedness towards the Palestinian narrative. This recent vote against BDS by United Methodists and the attempt at a more balanced approach to the Middle East crisis by some within PC(USA) is a breath of fresh air. But for all this to continue from the momentum created by some, more people need to voice their outrage at BDS. As a matter of fact, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's decision to "Boycott BDS" might become a game changer. For those who fight BDS like Cuomo and myself, we realize that the movement is not only bad for Israel and the Jewish people but in most cases it also hurts the very people it claims to be helping like in the recent case of the closing of SodaStream.

People need to grab hold of the biblical truth about Israel's place in G-d's plan (without turning a blind eye on any possible injustice committed by Israel towards her neighbors.). But we must also seek factual truth about the Middle East crisis, something that conferences like Christ at the Checkpoint and documents such as Kairos Palestine are not interested in. Unfortunately, since most contemporary Christians do not spend enough time in their Bible, they do not always have the proper arguments to debunk BDS lies. I am convinced that in due time all BDS proponents will suffer the curse of Genesis 12:3. BDS often shows signs of disdain or even hatred for Israel and the Jewish people. It could even be argued that BDS is simply another branch on the tree of antisemitism. I wonder how those who promote BDS and call themselves believers reconcile their actions with Psalm 83?
Psalm 83:3-5 They make shrewd plans against Your people, And conspire together against Your treasured ones. They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more.” For they have conspired together with one mind; Against You they make a covenant.

"Israeli Apartheid Week" is not about Social Justice!

For the twelfth year in a row, campuses around the United States and now even around the world are promoting an event known as Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW). The decade old movement has picked up quite a bit of momentum in the last few years as we can see on their interactive map of events around the world. The vast majority of anti-Israel events will take place in the United States and Western Europe, with more in South Africa and South America. The claim is made that Israel is guilty of apartheid just like South Africa was. In a short video, a spokesperson for the AJ+ news website explains apartheid and leads the viewers to connect South African protest against it to Palestinian protest against Israeli apartheid. While her description of South African apartheid is somewhat accurate, her linking it to Israel is a giant stretch based on many false presuppositions. Yet, that well produced video and many more of the sort are fueling organizations such as Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW).

In their mission statement, which they call their "Basis of Unity", IAW claims that:" The aim of IAW is to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns as part of a growing global BDS movement." furthermore, they also state that they are "against the racist ideology of Zionism, which is the impetus for Israeli colonialism, because it inherently discriminates against those who are not Jewish. We are against all forms of discrimination, and believe that there can never be justice without the restoration of full rights for everyone, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or nationality."

Their promotional video has a message of unity and social justice accompanied by a catchy reggae-style tune. It starts with a bold statement saying:" One has to keep telling the story in as many ways as possible, as it insistently as possible, and in as compelling a way as possible, to keep attention to it, because there is always a fear it might just disappear." In and of itself the message is true, but what they apply it to isn't. Over the years, the IAW organizers have invited Israel haters, antisemites, historical revisionists and Holocaust deniers alike. People such as Noam Chomsky, Illan Pappé, who while not blatantly denying the Holocaust, accuses the original victims [the Jews] of perpetrating a new Holocaust on the new victims [the Palestinians] and Rabbi Yisrael David Weiss from anti-Jewish (you read it right!) group Neturei Karta, to name just a few. Or even Omar Barghouti from Qatar who along with his anti-Israel BDS stance has also pursued a PhD at Tel Aviv University. So much for apartheid Mr. Barghouti!

So, if I understand IAW promoters, it is appropriate to further tell the story–as unfounded as it might be–of Israeli occupation and crimes against Palestinians, and it is equally appropriate, if not expected, to perpetuate the notion that the Holocaust never happened or was grossly exaggerated.

Over the years, what started as a series of meeting over a few campuses in America and even fewer across the globe, has grown to over 150 locations globally. IAW sympathizers go out of their way to encourage others to boycott Israel and  divest any funding they could from the only democracy in the Middle East, all in the name of social justice. Recently they have used what is known as intersectionality. This approach to social justice connects all types of oppressions and abuses under the same banner. Writer and lecturer Ziva Dahl explains "Proponents of intersectionality see a world of all-encompassing oppression, where racism, classism, sexism, homophobia and ableism constitute an intersecting system. All injustices are interconnected, even if occurring in unconnected geographic, cultural and political environments. This is the rationalization for building alliances among unrelated causes like LGBTQ rights, fossil fuel divestment, prison reform, racial discrimination and immigration."

Anti-Israel organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace, are quick to add the Palestinian struggle to all other minorities' fights against injustice. So, now we can save the whales, promote transgender people and divest from Israel all in one fell swoop! After all, it is all about minorities being abused! This also leads to having groups who share no common ground ideologically, hold hands against Israel and the Jewish people. This builds a stronger case for what I call End-Times antisemitism as it illustrates incredible irrationality.

But where is the outrage for all the other countries of the world that commit or have committed crimes against humanity? According to the International Criminal Court in La Hague, Netherlands, a crime against humanity, as defined in their "Rome Statute" is any of the following:

• Murder
• Extermination
• Enslavement
• Deportation or forcible transfer of population
• Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law
• Torture
•  Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity
• Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious and/or gender
• Enforced disappearance of persons
• The crime of apartheid
• Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.

Where is the call to boycott China, Sudan, North Korea, Rwanda, Congo or Syria among others? Where is the public cry to denounce the multiple genocides and ethnic cleansing around the globe? It is a stretch, but even if these people were to continue pointing the finger at Israel for crimes that they haven't committed, why are they not also pointing the finger at Hamas for crimes that they are committing? Sure, it can be argued that not all Palestinians are terrorists, but regarding those who are, why are they still being given "carte blanche" to commit more crimes? Israel Apartheid Week is more than blindness or ignorance, it is a willful vilification of Israel and it has absolutely nothing to do with global social justice.

Antisemitism in 2015: A Year in Review!

Within a week of the start of 2015, terrorism hit France in what became the worst terror attack in decades, claiming 17 lives. Eleven month later, in some sort of an erie xenophobic bookend, France was hit again, this time losing 130 innocent people. As I see the fabric of our global village changing daily, especially with the recent migrant crisis in Europe, I am greatly concerned with the fate of my people and of Israel. 2015 was packed with events, incidents and tragedies affecting Jewish people globally, yet, for the most part, the world kept going, trying to convince us that global warming is our biggest enemy. Of course, if by global warming you mean a nuclear meltdown instigated by Iran, then I guess IT IS our biggest problem! But there is much more. Let us take a quick look at antisemitism in 2015.

JANUARY: Will the Paris March Against Terror only be a Historic Day?
After three horrific days of unprecedented terror in Paris resulting in the death of 17 innocent victims, the City of Lights was the center of a historic event on Sunday, January 11, 2015. A solidarity march was organized by the French government, hoping to rally its citizens under the banner of unity and freedom of expression. What took place on that Sunday made history with 4,000,000 all over France and 2,000,000 in Paris alone. About 50 heads of state were present at the march. America also made history on that Sunday as President Obama’s absence was an embarrassment and a message in and of itself. French Prime minister Manuel Valls said: “France without its Jews isn’t France anymore”. I agree with him, even though I am not sure that he fully grasps the meaning of his statement. No matter what follows, Sunday January 11, 2015 will always be remembered as the Paris march against terror. On that Sunday, France led the free world in showing us how to stand up against the cancer of extremism, but we all know that diagnosing cancer is pointless if you don’t aggressively attack the disease. Tomorrow will tell!

FEBRUARY: Eschatological Anti-Semitism is Here and the Clock is Ticking!
While Jews around the world have been able to preserve their identity through the ages, they have not been so successful in escaping the re-birth of antisemitism. As a matter of fact, I believe that we live in an age where the recent New antisemitism is merging with classic antisemitism giving birth to a new hybrid hatred of the Jews that I call “Eschatological antisemitism." By this I mean that the already loathsome and pervasive hatred of the Jews that we have witnessed through the centuries has now joined forces with post-modern antisemitism and anti-Zionism. The goal being the final blow on God’s chosen people. This is the final chapter in Satan’s book of hatred against the Jews. It was evident in France, where last February, Paris witnessed a street protest of about 20,000 people that would make both Hitler and Ahmadinejad very proud. In an interesting turn of events, the march that was originally labeled as “Day of anger against Hollande” turned into a march against French Jews where people did the Nazi salute and chanted slogans such as: “Jews, get out, France is not for you!” Eschatological antisemitism shouldn’t surprise any serious student of the Bible, but it should compel us to reach out to our Jewish friends with Yeshua as the final chapter of human history is being written.

MARCH: Fear not American Jews, our government is “disappointed” at antisemitism!
In March, President Obama was on his way to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where he met with the Saudi King. Prior to his Riyadh visit, Mr. Obama received requests from numerous non-governmental agencies as well as a bi-partisan group from Congress to confront Saudi Arabia about their ongoing human rights violations. But, the boldness required to confront the Saudis about their treatment of women, activists, religious minorities and Jews is something that simply doesn’t seem to exist within the current administration. Incidentally, Jerusalem Post Washington Bureau Chief, Michael Wilner originally planned to join Mr. Obama and staff. But Michael Wilner was denied a visa to the gulf country. He is the only journalist who was denied entry to Saudi Arabia on this upcoming trip. Mr Wilner is Jewish, not Israeli Jewish, simply a Jew who lives in America and reports for the Jerusalem Post. What greatly concerned me was the US administration’s reaction to the banning of Mr. Wilner’s entry into Saudi territory. They are not disgusted, outraged, or even highly offended. They simply are “deeply disappointed” as was stated: “We are deeply disappointed that this credible journalist was denied a visa, we will continue to register our serious concerns about this unfortunate decision.” The US administration’s decision to make such a weak statement certainly sent a clear message.

APRIL: Appeasement is a Weakness Leading to Collaboration!
Western civilization is now on a new threshold as world leaders met in Switzerland regarding Iran’s nuclear deal. The apparent progress made in April warranted that the dialogue would continue. One of the big issues that Iran has is with sanctions imposed on them. Their economy has suffered greatly in the last few years, and they demand that sanctions be lifted in a way that would also prevent them from being reinstated automatically. It is obvious that they are politically and ideologically very unstable. That fact was clearly delineated in a speech to Congress on March 3rd when Netanyahu risked his whole career, two weeks prior to the Israeli elections. His plea wasn’t for the safety of Israel but for the survival of Western civilization. The White House felt that this was the last straw that justified what could one day be remembered as “The Great Diplomatic Divorce” of the 21st Century. Never before had an American president showed so much contempt for Israel and its current Prime minister. Mr. Obama is trying to convince the world that Iran not only can be included to the negotiating table, but that they can also be trusted. So much so that it could be argued that Mr. Obama is no longer simply appeasing Iran but he is now collaborating with Iran. Let’s pray that the current “Appeaser-In-Chief” doesn’t turn into a “Collaborator-In-Chief”

MAY: BDS really stands for Bullying, Delegitimizing and Slandering!
Many people have never heard of BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions). This movement has picked up a lot of momentum in the past few months and has become quite pervasive. It was borne out of a Palestinian desire to enroll otherwise unengaged and apathetic people in their fight against Israel. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas’ goal might be the total destruction of Israel, at the end of the day you can only bomb and kill so many people before the more reasonable people in the world turn on you. But what if you could get support from a different angle, this would greatly help your cause, wouldn’t it? BDS does just that and it does it well, in the government, the universities (here and here) and even some Christian denominations such as PC USA (the same PC USA  that unsuccessfully tried to blot out “Israel” from their prayer and hymn books in 2014). BDS is most rampant on US university campuses. As a matter of fact BDS is the main weapon used on US campuses to delegitimize Zionism and demonize Israel. Anti-Israel proponents are organized, eloquent and very resourceful. BDS relies on the Bullying, Delegitimizing and Slandering of Israel and does it on a foundation of lies that can be debunked.

JUNE: Western Civilization’s Assisted Suicide!
I have watched the erosion of Judeo/Christian values over the last two decades with much sadness at first. I have great concern and even fear for the increasingly decaying state of the West. There is no doubt in my mind that western civilization is slowly committing assisted suicide. End-Times antisemitism is in full force across the globe, swinging it’s lethal pendulum from liberal Left to neo-Nazi extreme right. Somewhere on the edges we can spot the agnostics, secularists, atheists and universalists, along with radical Islam smack in the middle. While the pendulum swings destructively and endlessly from one extreme to the next, I believe that the bulk of the damage is performed by the center part. They have scared the West into unchallenged submission or “dhimmitude“ defined as "the Islamic system of governing populations conquered by jihad wars, encompassing all of the demographic, ethnic, and religious aspects of the political system.…. ruled by the same type of laws, based on the shari’a. Political correctness is one of the most viral enemies of America. It blinds people into one-sided tolerance and will lead to the death of Western civilization by assisted suicide!

JULY: Could the conspiracy of Psalm 83 against Israel involve ISIS?
It was only fifteen years ago that I was conducting research for my first book on anti-Semitism They Have Conspired Against You. This led me to an in-depth study of the 83rd Psalm written by Asaph and I was intrigued by the ten people groups who were described as conspiring against Israel. In digging a little deeper, I realized that this covenant of nations had never taken place in the history of Israel. Asaph could very possibly be using a literary device to express emphasis in despair akin to someone with a few foes saying:”The whole world hates me!” An equally valid interpretation could be that it is a future attack on Israel by a confederation of countries and/or states. I find it fascinating to look at the people described in Psalm 83:6- and compare them to their respective modern equivalent countries. The results are too close for comfort. We can then list Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq, Syria, the Sinai Peninsula among them. ISIS has infiltrated all the areas listed in Pslam 83, INCLUDING JORDAN AND EGYPT, the only two countries with existing peace treaties with Israel. The minute that ISIS crosses the line where Israel feels threatened, they [Israel] will respond swiftly and efficiently. No question about it. The prophetic hourglass was turned on May 14, 1948 and it is running out of sand in its top section!

AUGUST: As a Jew, I can support Palestine!
Depending on which side of the Middle East fence you are on, Palestine and the Arab/Israeli conflict will vary greatly based on which definition you adhere to. Let us start with what we know from history and define a geographical Palestine. It is therefore critical to differentiate between the “Land of Palestine” as a geographical area and the “State of Palestine” as a political entity. Palestine is a piece of land in Eastern Asia between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, squeezed in a very strategic region between Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Iraq. The tide began to turn in 1929 during the Hebron Massacres and the Arab revolt of 1936-39. Around that time, it was still appropriate to speak of ” Palestinian Jews” and “Palestinian Arabs”. In 1948, Palestinian Jews became known as Israelis and Palestinian Arabs started to be called Palestinians as the narrative switched from geographical Palestine to “historic” Palestine. You can choose to call that land the Holy Land, Eretz Yisrael, Jewish Palestine or even Western Palestine as long as the name refers to a geographical area. From that angle, I support Palestine. The moment that it becomes a political entity with a fictitious displaced people, I draw the line! Geographical Palestine exists while historic Palestine never did. We might not be able to come-up with a viable solution any time soon, but this shouldn’t give us the liberty to ignore historical facts.

SEPTEMBER: Refugees, Migrants and Terrorists: Europe is out of Control!
At the very time when global borders should be tightly monitored because of the ISIS invasion, Europe is faced with a tsunami of migrants. The guidelines of acceptance vary from one European country to the next. It goes from Germany having pledged to receive in excess of 800,000 refugees in 2015 alone to other countries building fences and walls to prevent anyone from entering illegally. The one thing that all these countries have in common is a lack of preparedness for such a tidal wave of people. We have already seen issues in the area of space needed, health and safety. Curiously enough, most Gulf States like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait that speak a similar language, have similarity in culture and religion have taken none. NONE! They do have the space, a similar ideology and are some of the richest countries in the world and they have taken none, WHY? Then we have those who choose to pose as Syrians to be granted asylum but enter a country with a different agenda. The last 18 months have shown us the damage inflicted by ISIS infiltration and recruitment. It is virtually impossible to detect a Syrian from a non-Syrian refugee, so how do various European governments expect to detect ISIS impostors? Many European countries already have a severe “native birthrate drought” and are seeing a demographic Muslim takeover. This blurred combination of stealth jihad, demographic jihad and radical apocalyptic jihad is a lethal cocktail that Europe doesn’t seem to be able to control!

OCTOBER: Terror in Israel: Lone Wolves are still Wolves!
In October, Israel has reported almost 800 acts of terror. Much speculation arose in the media around the globe as to the possibility of a third Intifada slowly taking place. But if we compare the current events to those of the First Intifada of 1987-1991 and of the Second Intifada of 2000-2005, we are not seeing an out-of-control uprising of a large number of Palestinians. Yet it might end-up being more damaging than the previous two intifadas. If creativity prevails, we will see more attacks in ways that nobody could predict. This has become a logistical nightmare for Israel. No wonder the mayor of Jerusalem recently announced to its Jewish residents that if they had a valid carry license, they should never leave home without a firearm. The wolves attacking Israel might not come in packs and might be far from being well organized and structured, but they remain wolves with a ferocious appetite for Jewish lives. It is not about Jerusalem, it is not about the Temple Mount and it is not about the disputed territories. It is simply about the complete eradication of Israel and all Jews. I guess we could call it a "spontaneous Intifada."

NOVEMBER: France’s Second Chance to lead the War against Apocalyptic Islam!
On Friday November 13, 2015, France was hit by yet another series of terrorist attacks in Paris, claiming the lives of 130 innocent people in several locations practically simultaneously. I had just returned from my biannual ministry trip to France four days prior, on the 9th of November. On the 7th, my wife and I attended a concert in Paris in a place as frequented and as famous as the Bataclan. Almost everyday of our stay we ate meals at restaurants and bistros near the attacked venues. There was 130 victims, but it could have easily been us or it could have easily been you! France was devastated last January and had a chance to take action with the kind of authority and leadership that would have led the free world into an all out war against apocalyptic Islam. That ship has sailed! But now it returns as an armada and with a vengeance, because the Islamic State hates France and all that it represents. France is at a critical crossroads for the second time in one year. How many more terrorist attacks by ISIS will it take, in France or anywhere else, for us to take them seriously? Protect synagogues and Jewish schools and they attack a stadium, restaurants and a concert hall. Protect these venues and they will attack a movie theater, a mall or amusement park…and the list goes on! Too many innocent lives are destroyed by people who glorify death. This is France’s second chance to fight the war against Islamic terrorism and it might very well be Europe’s last chance!

So it has been another fruitful year for the demon of antisemitism as the world continues to be more self-absorbed and further blinded by the mirage of multiculturalism. Israel receives less and less support from government, academia, and even some of her long time friends in the evangelical churches. It seems as if the world has completely assimilated the Middle East Palestinian narrative as truth. With the Islamic State looming at any corner of the planet and Iran being months from having the bomb, we can only expect a 2016 even more volatile than 2015. Yet, in spite of all this, God remains in control because: "He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep" (Psalm 121:4.)

Have We Learned Anything From Kristallnacht?

77 years ago during the night of November 9-10, 1938, Jewish people, businesses and synagogues suffered greatly throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria and Czechoslovakia. This ominous night continues to be remembered as Kristallnacht or “the Night of Broken Glass”. It consisted of a series of pogroms (organized riots) against Jewish communities during which 267 synagogues and 7,000 Jewish businesses were destroyed. It also resulted in 91 Jewish people being killed. Additionally, 30,000 Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps.  Joseph Goebbels orchestrated the whole thing. Reputable historians see Kristallnacht as the inception of the “Final Solution to the Jewish Problem” that is the Holocaust.

The reason given for Kristallnacht was the assassination of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath by a young Polish Jew living in Paris at the time. The life of one German man precipitated the destruction of thousands of Jewish properties and the deportation and death of millions of Jews. In reality the death of Ernst Vom Rath was simply a pretext for pogroms and mass boycotts against the Jewish community.Remembering Kristallnacht is crucial for our global village. We live in a postmodern and post Christian world under the constant threat of historical revisionism. Holocaust deniers are indeed gaining ground as most of the few remaining Camp survivors are now dying off. So we must not only remember Kristallnacht, but we must also learn from this tragic night. Looking at how the world is handling this important memorial of Nazi boycott and the official launch of the Holocaust, I wonder if we have actually learned anything from Kristallnacht?

Germany should of course tread very, very lightly when it comes to Kristallnacht, but instead we see some odd behaviors like the march of the Pegida Far Right party on the day of the anniversary of Kristallnach. In Dresden, one of the many German cities where the Pegida marches regularly take place, a local cultural organization was very troubled: "it was 'incomprehensible' that Pegida was allowed to hold the march on Monday night. 'Kristallnacht is one of the darkest nights in the German history, the association was quoted by the regional Dresden newspaper 'Sächsische Zeitung' as saying. 'We cannot understand this decision and are sad and deeply ashamed. It shows that we are giving space to hatred.'"

I join the concerned Germans who voiced their outrage at the fact that a "neo-Nazi" party would be allowed to march on the anniversary of Kristallnacht. This is just another reason why I have identified and named this new wave Jew hatred, End-Times anti-Semitism, because of its irrational mix of all previous brands of anti-Semitism.

Additionally, Munich allowed for a BDS event (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) to take place on the same November 9 night. As most of the BDS events and propaganda, this event hid behind the the facade of boycott against the "Jewish State" when in reality it prescribes not buying from Jews. Germany is currently dealing with a tremendous wave of refugees that will possibly reach 1,500,000 but year's end. While I believe that Germany is going overboard with their refugees intake, I commend Mrs. Merkel for her desire to reach out and help needy immigrants. But I can't help but wonder if Chancellor Merkel's approach to immigration isn't a knee-jerk reaction still connected to the post-war German collective guilt? And if indeed that is the case, why are the Jewish people brushed aside by minimizing the anniversary of Kristallnacht?

Sweden is also contributing to this Kristallnacht "Twilight Zone." The city of Umea organized a Kristallnacht memorial but for some odd reason, the Jewish community wasn't invited. One of the reasons given by the organizers was that Jewish people wouldn't be appropriately protected in case of anti-Jewish activity.  Some officials worried about how the whole event would unravel"In previous years, we have had a lot of Palestinian flags at these rallies, and even one banner where the Israeli flag was equated with a swastika," organizer and local Workers' Party member Jan Hägglund told locals. "The Jewish community wasn't invited because we assumed they might be uncomfortable around that sort of thing."

Seriously,  if Palestinians equating Israel to the new Nazis of the Middle East seems to be a concern, why don't they ban Palestinians from a Kristallnacht commemoration? This backwards diplomacy is oxymoronic and so counter-productive, not to mention anti-Semitic.Another event took place in Amsterdam where Arab MK Hanin Zoabi denounced Israel as being a modern day Nazi state. She was participating in yet another Kristallnacht commemoration, but didn't see the irony–not to call it anti-Semitism–of describing Israel in similar terms as Nazi Germany "The Israeli rules, said Zoabi, are similar to the conditions under which Jews lived at the time of the 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom in Germany."

I fear that the world hasn't learned much from the events of November 9-10, 1938. Kristallnacht is about Jews being ostracized, demonized and massacred, period. If some countries cannot recognize that simple historical fact, they should refrain from organizing memorials of this infamous night in Jewish history. Their hypocrisy could be replaced by indifference, but at least, we would all know where they stand on Israel and the Jewish people. That of course requires global chutzpah, which is in short supply these days!