While in Paris this week, I had a chance of viewing a new documentary on the Holocaust that caused me to ponder on the fate of my people during WWII. It was extremely uncomfortable to watch, as I discovered what even I had subconsciously buried deep into my own mental archives of the Shoah.
Archives for October 2012
About three weeks ago, I wrote a commentary following a new request made by some Christian leaders and lead by the Presbyterian denomination, asking the US congress to investigate how Israel is using funds and possibly “violating human rights”. In it, I exposed the double-standard used by Presbyterian USA in falsely pointing the finger at Israel. But far worse was done by completely ignoring some real human rights issues such as the $450 million given to Egypt’s leadership while they clearly are tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt’s president Mohammed Mursi has since then showed his true colors as he responded “amen” to an Egyptian cleric’s prayer to destroy Israel. That’s worth 450 million of our American dollars, right?
To be sure, the letter sent to congress wasn’t only signed by Presbyterian leaders. Some Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, Mennonites and members of the Church of Christ were quick to join the ranks of the Presbyterian USA denomination and became co-signers. It goes without saying that the statement they made garnered much criticism from the Jewish community.
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) who has been known for being in favor of inter-faith dialogue, finally decided to sever their ties with the “Christian leadership team”. They in turn, wrote a letter back, and cancelled an upcoming interfaith meeting that they would like to see replaced by a summit of all key Church leaders and Jewish community leaders to resolve the issue and build an interfaith future together. JCPA Chair Larry Gold said it best:
Having spent the first 27 years of my life in France, I take pride saying that French people make the best pastries in the world, if not the best food overall. Culturally speaking, over the centuries, France has provided the world with some of the most talented artists, composers, writers, musicians and other creative minds. Frankly, even though I have now been an American citizen for almost eight years, I still very much appreciate my French heritage. There is truth in the statement”You can take me out of France but you can’t take France out of me!”.
This being said, there is one aspect of my heritage that I despise wholeheartedly, and that is the chronic anti-Semitism that has plagued the French people for centuries. Being born out of a Jewish family in Paris and having lost part of that family in the Holocaust, anti-Semitism has been a permanent dark cloud over my family and my people, and as it appears, the cloud is thickening and darkening on an almost daily basis in France. To be sure, France is a symptom of the disease and the rest of the world is certainly not imune.
We have heard from historians that before he was stopped, Hitler was only months away from acquiring the atomic bomb. Had he gotten his hands on the bomb, the consequences would have been catastrophic for Europe in general and Jewish people in particular. Then again if you ask me, for someone “without the bomb” he did a pretty thorough job in his attempt to completely annihilate European Jewry!
The question I have come to ask myself is: What would have Hitler done if he had the “cyber bomb” at his disposal?
Hitler might be long gone, but his disciples live on. Today’s anti-Semites might not be in a position to drop a nuclear warhead on the Jews (except maybe Iran on Israel if we don’t stop them very soon). Nevertheless, the advent of the Internet has allowed Jew haters to spread propaganda against my people at warp speed and to more people than Hitler could have ever dreamed of. The recruiting of a global army against the Jews has never been easier than in our age of world wide web, Internet and social medias. The technology is constantly moving forward, and the creative minds of those who seek to demonize the Jews are flowing with ideas. These ideas are translated into slander, libel and hate crimes faster than one can push the “enter” key on their keyboard. As the old monster of Jew hatred is getting a global face lift, anti-Semites around the globe gather in a constant virtual community where they congregate and conspire against Israel and the Jewish people.
On October 10, Twitter® was bombarded with tweets originated from France and connected to #unbonjuif, meaning “a good Jew”. A plethora of tweets were received, sent and re-tweeted and are now causing the authorities to discuss if and where the line was crossed between freedom of speech and hate crime. One is to wonder how much damage can be done in the short string of words constituting a tweet, I will let you decide as you read some of them here:
• A good Jew is a dead Jew
• A good Jew should be done medium/rare
• A good Jew doesn’t exist
• A good Jew is hard to cook
Of course, if that doesn’t convince you, maybe tweets linking to a picture of a concentration camp or to a picture of a pile of ashes will help you see the sickness in all this. Critics of the tweets were quickly told that the people behind the messages were “spoofing kindly”. I’d hate to see what they would say if they were really anti-Semitic?
Tweets are the cyber-graffiti of the 21st century. They allow people to express their opinions, but with much more danger than the old school spray paint on the building wall.
• While painted graffiti expressed an opinion that mostly remained anonymous, tweets are attached to people and always have an identity.
• While graffiti became disconnected from their author the moment he/she left the area where the slogan had been placed, tweets become instantly interconnected to a global network of millions. All we have to do is look at how the “Arab Spring” was kept informed to understand the power of the social media.
• While it is still possible (yet often difficult) to catch and stop the author of a graffiti in the act and charge him/her accordingly (including making them clean the surface they had defaced), it is somewhat impossible to stop Twitter® from spreading a tweet once it has gone viral.
Twitter® and Facebook® currently provide a platform that unfortunately is legally uncharted. Much remains to be discovered, monitored and controlled. In the meantime, the old monster of anti-Semitism will continue to tighten its grip on my people. Propaganda, recruiting and calls to action will only increase in occurrence and intensity.
Anti-Semitism has been viral in the hearts of many for centuries, and I am terrified to see the damage it could do once it really goes viral in cyberspace. I am afraid that it is well on its way already, and once again, it would behoove us to speak up against it. After all, if Twitter® and Facebook® can be used for evil, they certainly can be used for good. The choice is ours!
Israel’s foes have always been numerous. From the day God orchestrated the birth of the People and Nation of Israel, her enemies have been working overtime towards her complete annihilation. One creative way after another, the enemies of God’s people have attempted to eradicate Israel and the Jewish people from the face of the earth. Every angle imaginable, being historical, geographical, racial, political, has been used. I am always amazed at the energy consumed by the world to demonize Israel. The scapegoats of humanity continue to be the recipients of the world’s hatred (directed behind the scene by the ultimate enemy of God: Satan himself).
There has been much talk recently about the need for the world community to set a red line in front of Iran’s nuclear program. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s UN speech was infused with passion and the determination to clearly delineate how far Iran should be allowed to go with their uranium enrichment before they should be stopped. While there can be some disagreements on where the red line should be drawn, there is NO DOUBT that the need for such a line is a reality that cannot be ignored. Additionally, there is NO DOUBT in the mind of most western leaders that the goal of Iran’s nuclear program IS weaponry. We must also keep in mind that the setting of a particular date doesn’t preclude anyone (especially Israel) from a pre-emptive strike at any time prior to the deadline.
Israel is on high alert as the whole region of the middle-East continues to be in extreme turmoil. Do we, westerners really grasp the gravity of this situation? While people around the world are camping out in long lines to get their hands on the latest iPhone 5, Israelis are lining-up to receive free gas masks for their families in anticipation of a conflict with Iran. Surreal? Maybe to us, but certainly not to Israelis!
While it can be argued that Israel has one of the best armies in the world and while a unilateral strike against Iran is not impossible, now more than ever, Israel’s true friends need to identify and align themselves with the Jewish nation. From that regards, it is my conviction that America is at a critical fork in the road. To be sure, we must realize that other countries have also turned their back on Israel, but the precedent set by the Obama administration is forcing America to cross God’s red line!
• Never has an American President been so vocal against Israel and its prime minister than President Obama. We all remember the exchange between President Obama and President Nicolas Sarkozy in November 2012, when they were inadvertently recorded, and Mr. Sarkozy said: “I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar” to which President Obama responded: “You’re fed up, but I have to deal with him everyday”.
• President Obama has not made any effort to officially visit Israel since in office. While he certainly isn’t the only president who never visited the Holy Land during his term, he is the only one who has been very ambiguous at best regarding America’s support. President Obama’s extensive travel in the middle-east gives him no excuse to have never stopped in israel during his presidency. His absence will most certainly be received as a sign of apathy and/or lack of interest if not pure disdain.
• No American President was ever too busy to turn down a meeting with an Israeli prime minister especially at a critical time such as the current Iran crisis. Yet, President Obama chose a fundraising event with entertainers Jay-Z and Beyonce and an appearance on the David Letterman Show instead of an emergency meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu.
But in a more dangerous move than distancing himself from supporting Israel, President Obama is also increasingly aligning himself, his administration and by proxy, America with the enemies of Israel. As a result, America is soon going to be forced into crossing God’s red line. The ramifications could be devastating.
But what exactly is God’s red line?
For that, we must go back several millennia to the day when God first dialogued with Abraham (the father of the Jewish nation). Known as the Abrahamic Covenant, the foundational passage of Scripture first found in Genesis 12:1-3, sets the stage for what has become “God’s foreign policy as it pertains to Israel”. Blessings will abound for those who love and bless Israel and the Jewish people and curses will fall upon the enemies of Israel. THIS IS God’s red line NOT TO BE CROSSED, and it is that simple!
I have always believed that America’s prosperity and abundance was linked to her treatment of Israel and the Jewish people. America’s financial decline as the world’s number one super power is undoubtedly linked to her moral and spiritual declines (including disregard for Israel). The increasingly obvious disdain for Israel displayed by the current administration is pushing America into crossing God’s red line from blessing Israel to cursing Israel. No nation has ever gotten away with it since the days of Abraham, why should America be exempt? America doesn’t need to be mentioned in the Bible – and it is not –to be in the God’s crosshair for revenge against the enemies of the “apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8).
Sanctions and boycotts against Iran or any other enemies of Israel will never work because as crippling as they might be economically, they will just slow down the process but not eradicate the danger, since these enemies are ideologically but not economically driven. Being on Israel’s side is being on God’s side. What is so complicated about that?
So, as one who trusts the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with all my heart, I fear for America, if we indeed cross God’s red line. While not every American will personally make that move, our country as a whole might never recover if President Obama pushes us over.
Red lines have been and will continue to be set over the course of history.
Red lines have been ignored repeatedly over time for reasons like tolerance or political correctness among others.
God’s red line is the one we need to take seriously because political correctness never was part of God’s agenda.
May God have mercy on America!