It is just amazing how much of the entire world hates the Jews.
From the United Nations, to virtually the entire Arab-Muslim world and much of the Slavic countries including Russia, anti-Semitism exists virtually everywhere. This, the oldest of the hatreds is irrational, without justification and constantly life-threatening to some 15 million Jews who live on this planet. Nations surrounding Israel including Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria to the East would love nothing more than the destruction of Israel and the annihilation of the Jews.
But, at the same time, Israel is beginning to make ARAB FRIENDS. In some ways, the Middle East is changing. Although Israel and the Arab Gulf states long have had clandestine diplomatic ties, recent public gestures of normalization have taken the relationship to a new level. There is now, for example, open dialogue between Israel and Oman. The foreign minister of Oman told the security forum in Bahrain:
“Israel is a state present in the region and we all understand this.
The world is also aware of this and maybe it is time for Israel to be treated the same as other states and to also bear the same obligations.”
Oman’s foreign minister then went onto say the following, quite shocking to radical Islam:
“Our priority is to put an end to the conflict and move to a new world!”
The crowned prince of Saudi Arabia stated the following:
“I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land.”
And Israel and Egypt have had diplomatic relations since 1979. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now visits Abu Dhabi. The very same Netanyahu in his address to the general assembly of the United Nations stated that “the Arab world and Israel are closer together than ever before, in an intimacy and friendship that I have not seen in my lifetime and would have been unimaginable a few years ago.”
This new and growing alliance between Israel and the Sunni Arab world is driven in part by economics. The entrepreneurship of Israel benefits all nations in the region. But for both Israel and the Sunni Arab world, and even greater concern is the common threat from Iran. Iran, backed by Russia, is a serious threat not only to the Middle East, but to the world at large.
Recently Hamas shot nearly 500 projectiles into Israel in under 24 hours. One blew up a bus and 60 Israelis were wounded, severally critically and one civilian was killed along with the destruction of numerous homes. Israel has never experienced any rocket onslaught from Gaza remotely as intense as what Hamas and Islamic jihad shot off in that 24-hour period. In earlier times, Israel would have retaliated and immediately, and with greater force than the Hamas attacks. But Israel opted for a ceasefire and without aggressive retaliation. Critics of that decision indicated that such non-action clearly showed to Hamas and Islamic jihad that there may be a weakness in Israel military decisions and perhaps even in the IDF, the Israeli Defense Forces itself. If, the critics argue, the IDF response to Hamas and Gaza is how tepid, how will Israel respond to attacks from Hezbollah in Lebanon when they occur, far more powerful and dangerous than Hamas. The Jerusalem Connection, staffed by evangelicals, says that Israel’s acceptance of a ceasefire after Hamas’ unprecedented missile attack is yet another example of:
“Israel postponing the inevitable.”
The organization says that sooner or later Israel is going to have to defeat their enemies and:
“Stop this ceasefire nonsense.”
But anti-Semitism continues to grow. Jew hatred, and Israel also, is alive and well. That is surely true in America. Many college campuses encourage anti-Semitism, cloaking Jew-hatred in appeals for the rights and return of the Palestinians to their land. There are now two Muslim congresswomen each of whom is openly anti-Israel. And of course there is George Soros, perhaps the most evil man on the face of the earth, himself Jewish who is openly anti-Israel and has even had open talks with the nation of Iran itself regarding military action against Israel.
And of course in our country, there is Linda Sarsour who is riddled with anti-Semitism and openly anti-Jew and Israel seemingly with open invitations to speak and participate everywhere regarding her biased and hateful views. And there is always the ever-present Al Sharpton, the supposed Reverend Al Sharpton who refers to the Jews as “interlopers” and, in a disparaging way as “diamond merchants” who most hypocritically speaks openly about how to deal with anti-Semitism. So, on the one hand, there is some Middle East movement toward the normalization of relations between Arab countries and Israel, even with the possibility of the end of the so-called conflict, but the continuation of anti-Semitism, and the encouragement of this old conflict driven by the oldest hatred in so many other places.
What is really shocking to so many is the equivocal positions taken by the Anti-Defamation League (the ADL) and its President Jonathan Greenblatt. Greenblatt failed to condemn the rocket attacks by Hamas on Israel and only responded in a most tepid way. Greenblatt, his accusers say, views anti-Semitism which comes from the progressive left merely as “isolated anomalies.” The ADL, once aggressive its defense of Israel and the Jews now seems more middle-of-the-road, bent on all things politically correct, seemingly a fundamental change in philosophy and policy. There seems to be little condemnation of the BDS movement, boycott, sanction and divestiture of all things Jewish and Israeli. That movement goes on and even gains momentum. Fortunately for Israel, President Donald Trump seems very much pro-Israeli in his policies and decision making, endorsing a two states solution, one for Israelis and one for Palestinians, but only with the full protection, safety and guarantees for Israel from the Arab world.
But again, college campuses seem hopelessly anti-Semitic, their being no shortage of progressive advocates for the Palestinians. One professor Marc Lamont Hill from Temple University, himself anti-Israel and the Jews advocated for the Palestinians as follows:
“If we are to operate in true solidarity with the Palestinian people, we must allow the Palestinian people the same range of opportunity and recognize the right of an occupied people to defend itself.”
But even more telling, Hill went onto say:
“Give us (the Palestinians) what justice requires, and that is a free Palestine from the river to the sea.”
In short, Hill endorses the complete eradication from Israel from the river (the Jordan River) to the Mediterranean Sea. In short, no more Israel of any kind.
So the age old conflict goes on. Some progress, some normalization, some reluctant respect for the rights of Israelis here and there. But even more hatred, and verbal attacks against Israel and the Jews seemingly ever-growing the world over. Perhaps the greatest threat to Israel may come from Russia and Iran. Sooner or later, in these end days, the Middle East will explode in warfare, perhaps all-out, perhaps in Armageddon fashion as the Scriptures predict in the End Times. But I wonder, my fellow Americans, and especially my fellow Christians what you think, believe and practice with respect to your feelings for Israel and the Jews. I wonder if you take seriously, as I do, the admonition of the great God Jehovah to bless the Jews in order to avoid HIS curse. I wonder if you stand in support of the Jews and against anti-Semitism. The Jews are, we are clearly told, the CHOSEN PEOPLE. They are special to the God of the universe and from them comes the Carpenter of Nazareth, Jesus of Nazareth, whom we to believe to be the Savior of the world. Should we not therefore be truly loving and respectful to the Jews? And especially at this Christmas season when this Babe of Bethlehem, this Jewish child was born?
Anti-Semitism existed throughout all of recorded history, and in the form of the Roman Empire, was virulent when the Christ of Glory was born. That same old hatred exists today. But ironically, it is the love and saving grace of a man himself Jewish who is perhaps the only one who can end anti-Semitism once and for all.
As we Christians celebrate the birth of this Jewish baby, in love and adoration, we should make certain that we extend that very same love to all mankind, but especially to the Jews. The Babe of Bethlehem, the Carpenter from Nazareth and the Son of the Living God would have it no other way.