The Proper Way to Support BLACK LIVES, and Why it MATTERS!

Growing up  as a Jew in France in the 60s and 70s wasn't without its challenges. My own mother who had lost her dad in the Holocaust at age 15, had developed a fear about telling people that we were Jewish. So much so that she even forced me to learn German in school as a second foreign language, just in case the Germans would invade France again, so that I could get by. It was not until she was in her early forties before she was comfortable telling others that we were Jewish. But all this never stopped me from making friends of different backgrounds at school. Two of my earliest buddies were Vietnamese and African. Every time I told my mother about a new friend, this fearful question always arose, "Do they know we are Jewish?" to which I always answered that they didn't care and neither did I. Racism never had a foothold in my life. It never made sense to me to hate somebody based on color, race or creed. It didn't when I was a teenager and it doesn't today as a middle age adult.

When I moved to the United States in 1985, it quickly became evident that there were racial tensions between blacks and whites on many levels. Economically, culturally, politically to name just a few. Blacks and whites were clashing. Inter racial relations have not improved, they have actually gotten worse, to the point of injustice and wrongful deaths that we have witnessed in 2020. There is a serious problem affecting America today that cannot be ignored, and that is a reason why the movement known as Black Lives Matter–founded in 2013– has gathered so much momentum and picked the interest of so many. Such a movement appears to be giving the African American community the voice and momentum that they need to push reform forward. Philosophically, this is a good thing, but practically, the BLM ideology sends a very different message–if you know where to look. To be sure, I am not saying that black lives do not matter. Of course they do, as all lives matter. I am simply saying that before we blindly join and support the BLM movement based on somewhat of a knee-jerk reaction, from a mix of compassion, rightful indignation and misplaced guilt, we should investigate who the BLM supports and promotes. It is not always the easiest thing to do as a lot of the connections are no longer evident from their website. But let's consider the following:

To put it simply; Black Lives Matter supports BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions). I have tried my best to expose the false narrative used by BDS proponents for several years. The BDS movement (officially co-founded in 2005 by Mahmoud Abbas and Omar Barghouti), has been pushing for a total boycott (academic, cultural and economic) of Israel and those who support Israel and Israeli products and companies. It has made great strides towards convincing people across the globe that Israel was the perpetrator of crimes against humanity, oppression, invasion and persecution. The BDS movement is not interested in social justice in general or they would also call for the boycott of many other countries that truly commit crimes against humanity such as Venezuela, China, Iran, Sudan and many others, but they don't. Their only agenda is Israel and the Jewish people worldwide. They are not even hiding it as California University Professor Asad Abu Khalil said, “The real aim of BDS is to bring down the state of Israel….That should be stated as an unambiguous goal. There should not be any equivocation on the subject. Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel.” Likewise, BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti stated"A Jewish state in Palestine, in any shape or form, cannot but contravene the basic rights of the land's indigenous Palestinian population...definitely, most definitely, we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine. No Palestinian – rational Palestinian, not a sellout Palestinian—will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine."

While it is challenging to find the connection between BLM and BDS, it is not impossible. BLM is part of a larger network known as M4BL (The Movement for Black Lives). Dots become a lot easier to connect once we realize that M4BL is an umbrella organization under which you can find other groups such as Black Lives Matter. Once this is established, it takes no time to find out that M4BL supports BDS. They claim that "3 billion dollars in US aid is allocated to Israel, a state that practices systematic discrimination and has maintained a military occupation of Palestine for decades." or "The US justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliance with Israel and is complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people." They even propose some actions to be taken against Israel as they encourage people to "Fight the expanding number of Anti­BDS bills being passed in states around the country. This type of legislation not only harms the movement to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine, but is a threat to the constitutional right to free speech and protest."

Additionally the Movement for Black Lives cites as resources: www.BDSmovement.net and www.blackpalestiniansolidarity.com. Both these websites are clear supporters of the BDS ideology and the flawed Palestinian narrative. So, the connection between BLM and M4BL is undeniably clear, and their antisemitic slant is also very obvious. I do not want you to miss the irony here: A movement that claims to fight racism of all sorts and promotes social justice, is also promoting the destruction of Israel and the hatred of Jewish people. So before we support BLM and donate to the cause, we must examine our hearts. Is it OK to fight for justice and equality for African Americans while supporting the oppression and destruction of Israel? Whichever way you look a it, it is hypocrisy. Not to mention the global support for BLM including anti-racism gatherings in Paris where some people were shouting dirty Jews to the crowd. Again, where is the connection? So, where do we go from here?

Inequality can only be remedied by true reconciliation and true reconciliation only comes from God. The problem that seems to arise out of the BLM movement is that reconciliation is spoken of, but submission is what is meant. There are some strong similarities between the "reconciliation" promoted by BLM and the one promoted by groups like "Christ at the Checkpoint (CaTC.) claiming to seek reconciliation between Israel and Palestinians in the name of Christ. When reconciliation is simply a word spoken to force the other side to submit unilaterally, then we have a problem. Reconciliation is a two-way street that includes compromise and humility. I have seen very little of that coming from BDS promoters as well as those who defend the BLM movement. What I am even starting to see, is more and more parallels drawn between the tragic murder of George Floyd and the deaths of Palestinians. Some people are even borrowing visual elements such as the Middle East head scarf worn by Arafat and the Palestinian flag, to incorporate them into images of George Floyd. There is absolutely no foundation for this connection, but that doesn't stop people from drawing it.

As a French/Jewish immigrant to America, I have come to realize that injustice and inequality is very real all around us, and that is a tragedy. I have been speaking and writing against antisemitism for over twenty years, and I know that it is very real, as Satan infuses that hatred daily in the heart of men. Racism will continue to exist everywhere, but it doesn't mean that we have to adhere to it. As God's word tells us that through the blood of Messiah, Jews and Gentiles have been reconciled into one new man, without any separation between them. Racial reconciliation is not something we have to work on, but something we need to grab hold of and believe in, in complete faith, because of what Yeshua did on our behalf; Jews and Gentiles, blacks and whites.

Ephesians 2:11-16 drives the point home better than I ever could," 11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separate from Messiah, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Messiah Yeshua you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Messiah. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity."

So, I support black lives today as much as I have supported them my whole life, but not through a manmade movement that has a shaky foundation at best. I support black lives because of my Messiah who supported all lives, enough to die for them. We all should support black lives and it definitely matters how we do it!

Holocaust Memory: What Would Elie Wiesel Do?

Eliezer Wiesel was born in 1928 in Romania. He was fifteen when he and his whole family were deported to Auschwitz. He spent most of his internment in the camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald, with his father Shlomo. Elie Wiesel survived the horrors of the Holocaust. He was greatly motivated by the desire to take care of his beloved father who unfortunately died in Buchenwald just a few weeks before the liberation of that camp. One of his three sisters and his mother also perished in the camps. Elie had become a Holocaust survivor and an orphan at age 17.

Elie Wiesel passed away on July 2nd , 2016 at the age of 87. In a sense, the passing of this giant is the silencing of one voice who for six decades, as he continued to live through the nightmares of his gruesome experience, chose to perpetuate Holocaust memory in any way he could. He leaves behind him 57 books, too numerous to list or recommend here except for Night, written in 1960, that should be a must read for everyone. Night is Elie Wiesel's Memoir of his time in the Death Camps with his father. Among the myriad of awards and recognitions that he accumulated over the years, Wiesel received the Nobel Peace prize in 1986. But to him, even in his last days, much remained to be accomplished to remember the past and alleviate a similar future.

To Wiesel, apathy or indifference was one the worst evil in the world.   That is exactly why he spent the bulk of his life educating a world in shock that later morphed into a numb world to eventually become the postmodern world in denial that it currently is. He once said "I decided to devote my life to telling the story because I felt that having survived I owe something to the dead. and anyone who does not remember betrays them again."  He had always felt guilty of not being able to do more for his dad during their imprisonment in the camps. He felt that he didn't deserve to live as he also wrote "that I survived the Holocaust and went on to love beautiful girls, to talk, to write, to have toast and tea and live my life - that is what is abnormal."

Beyond a powerful legacy, he leaves us with a tremendous challenge. We must continue his fight.  If we remain silent, his voice will fade away into oblivion or worse, get relegated to a couple of statements about an event that many are already starting to doubt. The world cannot afford to be silent, apathetic or indifferent.

The Holocaust took place more than 75 years ago which means that any survivor still alive today would be at least 75 years old–as unlikely as it might be–if they were born in the camps. The average age of all holocaust survivors today is closer to 80. Logically, the 500,000 worldwide Holocaust survivors, will all be gone within ten years...and then what? I fear that beyond the respectful eulogies and posthumous accolades Wiesel receives, people will quickly move back to their busy lives and allow the revisionists and antisemites to win the next battle.

We must continue to educate people about the Holocaust. There are numerous Holocaust memorials and museum throughout the world, many of them in the United-States. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Wasshington, D.C (whose founding chairman was Elie Wiesel) is one of them. Visit the one nearest you and make sure you accompany yourselves with some people from the next generation. This goes along with Wiesel's statement that "Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future."

We must also continue to speak up against any form of xenophobia, being antisemitism or any other kind. Wiesel came out of the camps barely alive, but he still had enough breath to keep fighting. He wasn't only the ambassador of Holocaust remembrance, but also spoke against any and all ills rooted in racism. The current threat of a global annihilation of Israel and the Jews is very real. Europe is on high alert, Israel has been on edge since 1948 and the rest of the world can often be found on the forefront of the new antisemitism, blindly demonizing the Jews. Be aware and sensitive to what is happening in your own community and be responsive to defend and even lend a hand when needed. It is always appropriate to reach out and help those in need, even if they turn you down, your intentions will not go unnoticed.

In Night, Wiesel capsulized the agonizing feeling of not being able to forget the atrocities of the Holocaust " Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never."

To honor the memory of Elie Wiesel is more than appropriate, but to remember the Holocaust is vital to the survival of Western civilization. As a matter of fact, to remember the Holocaust and teach it to the next generation IS to honor the memory of Elie Wiesel.

The UN Obsession with Israel!

When the League of Nations (founded in 1920 after WWI) was replaced by the United Nations in 1945, the world was hopeful that the new organization would succeed in averting another world war–a feat that the League of Nations clearly failed at. The UN prides itself in promoting international cooperation and world peace. It even won the Nobel peace prize in 2001 (but so did Yasir Arafat in 1994.) The UN current Secretary is Ban Ki-moon (since 2007.) In the first article of the UN charter, we can read their purpose for existing:
1. To maintain international peace and security, to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
3. To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and
4. To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

There is no doubt in my mind that the original crafting of the UN charter took a lot of careful efforts from its founding members to assure that the world organization would be equipped to function properly. As a result, we have seen many decisions made by the UN that definitely helped make the world a better place. One of these decisions was the 1947 vote for the partitioning of British Mandate Palestine, that led to May 14, 1948 and the re-birth of Israel as a modern nation (33 for, 10 against, 10 abstentions.)

But 1948 is nearly 70 years ago and since then, the United Nations have been less than friendly to Israel. As a matter of fact, for many years, there have been more resolutions passed against the Jewish state than the rest of the world combined (and here). For instance, in 2015, the UN adopted 23 resolutions, three against Iran, Syria and Korea and twenty against Israel. There are no indication that it will slow down in 2016. It is also very hard to forget the 16 years that it took the United Nations to revoke their 1975 resolution claiming that "Zionism is Racism." And even if they did revoke it, the organizing of the Durban I (2001), II (2009) and III (2011) conferences against racism have shown that the target was once again almost exclusively Israel.

The United Nations' obsession with demonizing Israel is obvious to any unbiased observer. Just days ago, the unbelievable claim was made by the UN that Israel was the number one country violating women's human rights. The UN ignored Hamas, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, ISIS, Syria to name just a few of the countries were animals are treated better than women. Yet it found Israel guilty of human rights violation against Palestinian women. Is it me or whatever comes out of the UN is officially believed as fact by a world population that certainly doesn't care to check for accuracy as much as it cares for stigmatizing and ostracizing Israel?

To add insult to injury, the UN decides to praise and promote violence, lies and murders. How do you explain the UN funded tree planting by Palestinians to honor the memory of terrorists? How sick is it to promote death and make murderers into martyrs while accusing the victims of human rights violation?

This makes it very difficult for anyone who is seeking truth and fairness to not accuse the UN of antisemitism. It is a fact that a large number of UN members are Arab/Muslim nations who are against Israel and are weighing in at every chance they have to vote against the only Middle East democracy. In the meantime, Israel treats Palestinians in their hospitals, gives jobs to Palestinians and even has two Arab parties as a part of the Knesset. This is looking more and more like there is nothing Israel can do to be in good standing with the world in general and the United Nations in particular.

Even if all Jews would die today and Israel as a whole would become Palestine, antisemitism would continue to exist in the hearts of men. You read me right, no Israel and no Jews do not guarantee no antisemitism, it only guarantees no Israel and no Jews, something that God will never allow (Jeremiah 31:35-37). But if the UN could continue trying to play god...well, that's a different story! Those nations are united indeed, but they are united against Israel and as a result, against God (Psalm 83:5.)