Olivier Melnick

 

Is Holocaust denial really about the Holocaust?

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arbeit-macht-freiIn 2005, The United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 60/7 to officially choose January 27 as the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. This is the day when the world is supposed to mark and remember the Holocaust and its victims.

2016 marks the 71st anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Today more than ever, the motto NEVER AGAIN needs to be repeated to older generations and taught to the newer ones. as very few of the Holocaust survivors remain alive today, we run the risk of forgetting one of the most–if not the most–tragic genocide of human history.

This date is different from the Jewish commemoration of Yom HaShoah that takes place each spring in Israel. The International Day is an event sponsored by the United Nations. Even though I have lost faith in the ability or even the willingness of the UN to deal with Israel fairly, I appreciate UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s statement about this event: “Denying historical facts, especially on such an important subject as the Holocaust, is just not acceptable. Nor is it acceptable to call for the elimination of any State or people. I would like to see this fundamental principle respected both in rhetoric and in practice by all the members of the international community”. Of course, with all the pressure applied at the UN by many countries who are vowed enemies of the Jewish State, the tug-o-war between historical accuracy and political correctness is ever present.

In 1978, staunch antisemite Willis Carto founded the Institute for Historical Review (IHR.) Mr. Carto passed away last year but the website is still up and even though their administrator claim that they are not Holocaust deniers, their site is replete with books, videos, CDs and DVDs promoting that very view. It is interesting to note that a site called “Institute for Historical Review” almost exclusively deals with Holocaust denial and Jewish cabal theories. IHR is one of many websites promoting historical revisionism, yet they have in common to focus on Israel, the Jews and the Holocaust more than anything else.

On one hand, it is only when it comes to the Holocaust that people come out of nowhere with a pseudo-scholarly approach to the Jewish tragedy. People like David Irving, Louis Faurisson, Roger Garaudy, Louis Farrakhan or Bobby Fisher are just a few names in the pantheon of antisemitism and Holocaust denial. It appears to be such an obsession for these men (and many more) to prove that the Jewish catastrophe was a hoax.
On the other hand, very few people, if any, are interested in writing books trying to play down or deny events such as the Sudanese mass killings, the war in Kosovo, the Armenian genocide or even the Stalin massacres.  All these tragedies (and so many more throughout history) were responsible for the death of millions of innocent people. When one evaluates the level of interest in denying the Holocaust as opposed to any other genocide, there is a flagrant imbalance. Why?

Additionally, nobody seems to hold any ethnic group or sub-group corporately responsible for the ills inflicted by a small section of their community onto another ethnic group. This being said, we would even have to prove that Israeli Jews are guilty of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians, and they are not. But, let us assume that it is the case for a moment. The question would then arise:” Why should all Jews be equally responsible for what Israelis do to Palestinians?” Logically, they shouldn’t, right? But you see, antisemitism is highly illogical.

Using the same logic, all Turks of all times should be held corporately responsible for the Armenian genocide of the 20th Century. There is certainly a small percentage of people who hate the Turks, but nobody sees all Turks of all times responsible by proxy. Yet this is exactly what looms over the global Jew wherever he is geographically or historically. Even Jewish people today–and as difficult as it might be–do not see all Germans as Nazis.

So maybe, Holocaust denial is more about the demonization and ostracism of the global Jew than it is about historical revisionism. This would lead the world to consider the Jews as lesser important or even “sub-human”. This concept was exactly what Hitler used to justify the Holocaust. So wait a minute, Holocaust denial could lead to another Holocaust?

It is exactly for that reason that we must continue to remember the Holocaust; because of Holocaust deniers. We must also continue to remember the Armenian genocide, but that one doesn’t seem to suffer at the hands of Armenian Genocide deniers (the same principle applies to all other genocides). Even though we continue to witness an increase in “Holocaust fatigue”, for as long as people try to tell us that the Holocaust never happened, it is OUR duty as decent human beings to continue to tell them and the rest of the world that IT DID happen, because very soon, all the first hand witnesses of the Catastrophe will be all gone.

In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old.  Isaiah 63:9


No hate speech on Facebook, unless it’s against the Jews of course

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facebook-aburrido-usuarios-estudio-adolescentes-933x445
In December 2015, the NGO Shurat Hadin – Israel Law Center, started an experiment on Facebook to see if the social network giant was indeed guilty of double standards when it comes to Israel and the Palestinians.

They decided to create two similar Facebook pages called “Stop Israel” and “Stop Palestinians” and started posting similar articles, visuals and statements on each site. For instance, the anti-Israel page had a post that read “The Zionist bites Palestine part after part and the world is silent. We’ll stop them any way we can”, while the anti-Palestinian site posted “Greater land Israel should return soon from the hands of the Muslim enemy back to Jewish sovereignty! We’ll do it in any way we can.”  

More posts purposely filled with hatred and incitement against both sides and from both pages continued to flow. The verbiage was almost similar on all posts except for the obvious targeting of one side by the other. They actually documented the process in a two-minutes film where they show how Facebook shut down the anti-Palestinian page while the anti-Israel page continued to run. The NGO Shurat Hadin filed a lawsuit against Facebook and both sides are awaiting a date for a court hearing.

This is not the first time that Facebook chooses to take sides. I have reported several pages over the last five years only to get the same answer from Facebook staff. That very answer was given to the Israel Law Center, justifying the taking down of the anti-Palestinian page because, “We reviewed the page you reported for containing credible threat of violence and found it violates our community standards.”  The very same day, the page inciting against Jews received a message from Facebook staff saying that “ it was not in violation of Facebook rules.” Wait a minute, I thought that violence and hatred against anybody was to be reprimanded. The Facebook “Community Standards” that were violated on one page were IDENTICAL to those violated on the other page except of course for the fact that one targeted group was the Jewish people and Israel.

The sad truth about this experiment is that the vast majority of people won’t react because they are used to seeing Jewish people harassed, abused and even physically hurt. There seems to be a sense of resignation, if not acceptance when Israel and/or the Jews get hurt, while there is an immediate display of outrage when Palestinians are targeted. Forget the fact that Palestinians and their leadership are almost always the instigators and Israelis the victims. Let us simply seek equality in the censorship of xenophobic websites and social network pages or accounts.

Consider Facebook pages such as  Images from Palestine, Image and Reality of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict or Jewish Ritual MurderThey are replete with antisemitic rhetoric in pictures, videos and words, yet they are not taken down because they are “not in violation of Facebook rules.” Seriously?

Recently, Mark Zuckerberg –a self-proclaimed atheist from Jewish parents–declared his unequivocal support for Muslims worldwide in response to Donald Trump’s statement about closing US borders to all Muslims. He was quoted coming to the defense of Muslims after the November 2015 Paris attacks “As a Jew, my parents taught me that we must stand up against attacks on all communities. Even if an attack isn’t against you today, in time attacks on freedom for anyone will hurt everyone.” So I wonder if Mr.Zuckerberg forgot or ignored his recent statement that all of us should “stand up against attacks on all communities?” Maybe he doesn’t even know about the double standards applied to Jews and Palestinians on Facebook, although by now he has got to be aware of it all.

Taken straight from Facebook’s “Community Standards” we can read their simple statement under: Encouraging Respectful Behavior: Hate Speech “Facebook removes hate speech, which includes content that directly attacks people based on Race, Ethnicity, National origin, Religious affiliation, Sexual orientation, Sex, gender, or gender identity, or Serious disabilities or diseases. Organizations and people dedicated to promoting hatred against these protected groups are not allowed a presence on Facebook.”

Then please explain why the anti-Israel page with virulent antisemitic statements was never removed? Regardless of where the double standard comes from, Facebook must be held accountable. The Israeli lawsuit might correct the recent wrong but it will not stop the next one and those thereafter.

I have used Facebook for years as a platform to share my thoughts, comments, and articles. I value that platform because of its global reach. It has become such a part of our daily routine and social communication that it would be hard to refrain from using it. On the other hand, if you feel that there is a double standard in the treatment of Jews and Palestinians on the Social Network giant, speak up.

You can file complaints on Facebook’s Help Center and you don’t have to be Jewish, Muslim or anything else for that matter. You just have to be a proponent of truth, justice, fairness, and accountability for all mankind. If we don’t say anything, we have no right to complain when Israelis are getting stabbed to death on the streets of Israel or French Jews machine gunned in a Kosher supermarket or any other xenophobic acts take place.


Jews don’t need to convert to Jesus…The Pope knows best

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This is not a witch hunt against Catholics, yet it must be said that most of the Jewish persecution by the early Church and through the Middle Ages was performed by Catholic leaders who were also the representative of Christianity and technically of Christ on earth. The Crusades, the Blood Libel, the Host desecrations, the Black Plague, the Inquisition, the Pogroms and the Holocaust are all intertwined in a web of deceit that eventually leads back to the Catholic Church one way or another. Much of this was initiated by the Church and progressively picked up throughout history to become lethal to the Jews as best explained by Holocaust historian Raul Hilberg in The Destruction of the European Jews.

He saw the fate of the Jewish people as a three-step process over time: “From the 4th century, the Christian missionaries told the Jews ‘you may not live among us as Jews’. The secular governments who followed them from the late middle-aged decided ‘you may not live among us’ and de Nazis finely decreed ‘you may not live’. Hillberg spoke of ostracism followed by expulsion and annihilation. In a nutshell, this is the history of my people.

From the early Church Fathers (200 CE) until 1965, the Catholic Church held all Jewish people corporately responsible for the Crucifixion of Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus.) It wasn’t until 1965, during Vatican II under Pope Paul VI, that the accusation was rescinded. In a declaration known as Nostra Aetate (In our times), Pope Paul VI promulgated that Jews were no longer to be held guilty of deicide (the killing of God.) The hope was that this “Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions” would exonerate the Jewish people. Of course it never occurred to the Catholic Church that nowhere in the Bible are the Jews declared guilty of killing Yeshua because in His own words, He gave His own life for all mankind as it is recorded in the Gospel of John 10:17-18, 17 For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18 No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”

Additionally, the Catholic Church has long felt that they had replaced ethnic Israel in the plan of God. All the blessings that God had promised to bestow upon Israel would apparently be transferred to the Catholic Church or even to all Christians to speak more broadly. All Covenants made between God and the Jewish people would now apply to the “New Israel” or spiritual Israel. This is commonly known as Replacement Theology, and this also cannot be substantiated by Scripture as long as you apply a consistent, literal and contextual system of interpretation.

While we continue to witness both anti-Semitism and philo-Semitism within the Catholic ranks, there has been an effort from several Popes to reconcile with the Jewish community even further. So much so that the current Pope has now announced that Jewish people do not need Jesus and that the Catholic Church should not try to convert Jewish people. There has been a certain amount of collective Catholic guilt regarding their treatment of the Jewish people. This rather recent reaction or possibly over-reaction, seeing the Jewish people as covenantal people in no need of Yeshua does a lot of good for the healing of Judeo/Christian relations. In a recent statement, Rabbi David Fox Sandmel, ADL Director of Interfaith Affairs reaffirms the importance of such a move by the current Pope: “This new Vatican document is a remarkable reaffirmation of the positive changes in the Church’s teaching about Jews and Judaism since the promulgation of Nostra Aetate 50 years ago. It is significant because it places a very clear emphasis on the rejection of the deicide charge, Christianity’s indebtedness to Judaism, the rejection of replacement theology, and the ongoing validity of the Jewish covenant with God.”

It is true that the Jewish people could easily do away with centuries of Christian anti-Semitism. Unfortunately, Jewish history has been recorded in blood for the most part. That history is part of the Christian baggage that cannot be unloaded. It would behoove Christians to stop believing what they have heard about the Jewish people and not add to this already overwhelmingly heavy baggage. To that end, the 1965 Declaration of Nostra Aetate might have helped somewhat, and the current papacy might even contribute further, unfortunately the roots of anti-Semitism–Christian or not–go very, very deep.

It is also true that the Jewish people have not been replaced by Catholics, Christians or any other people group who might consider themselves the “New Israel.” That rejection of Replacement Theology was made clear in the declaration of 1965. It might not have been adopted by Catholics the world over, but it remains an “Ex Cathedra” statement by the Pope, and as such should leave no option but obedience to it by Catholics worldwide. Human nature often gets in the way, I am afraid.

And of course, it is of the utmost importance to stop trying to “convert” Jews to Christianity. But is it possible that the reason for such a change is different that what the Pope would expect. Simply put, Jews don’t convert because they have no need to convert. If indeed, Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah (Isaiah 52:13-53-12) then there is nothing more natural for a Jewish person than to follow their Jewish Messiah. It is a personal choice that nobody can force us to make. So in a sense, the Pope is right, Jews do not ever need to convert to Yeshua, yet if it turns out that He [Yeshua] is the Jewish Messiah spoken of by the Jewish Prophets (Gen. 49:10, Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7, Mic. 5:2), then maybe it would benefit the Jewish people to follow Him.


France’s second chance to lead the War against Apocalyptic Islam

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On Friday, November 13, 2015, France was hit by yet another series of terrorist attacks in Paris, claiming the lives of 129 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. The victims were the 129, but it could have easily been us or it could have easily been you.

It was only nine months ago that the whole world joined France in the mourning of the 17 Charlie Hebdo/Hyper Cacher victims. Hashtags like #jesuischarlie and #jesuisjuif abounded. Flowers and candle memorials kept growing on Paris sidewalks and of course there was the 4 million people march on January 11. France had woken up to the sad reality that apocalyptic Islam had hit them hard. Freedom of Speech at Charlie Hebdo was hit hard, but also Freedom of Religion at Hyper Cacher. Days later, Prime minister Manuel Vals delivered a very poignant speech to the French National Assembly in defense of the Jewish community and vowing to go to war against terrorism. I was hopeful that things would change but I didn’t hold my breath. The world continued to placate the comforting hashtags on all social networks. It was the warm and fuzzy appropriate thing to do. It was a time when the planet was united with France and its Jewish community. Well, virtually united I should add, but you don’t fight a war with hashtags and candle vigils. Unfortunately,  the world’s attention span is only as long as the next Super Bowl, Hollywood hit or iPhone iteration. And so, we went our merry way, quickly forgetting France and its crisis with terrorism.

But what about France itself? What was really accomplished in the aftermath of the January attacks? Not much I fear. Sure, there were some foiled attacks here and there, some arrests and even search warrants. But soon after the emotional and seemingly determined speeches, politics returned and it was business as usual. The different political parties would rather be blinded by petty disagreements than catch a common vision on how to fight the real enemy. By real enemy, I am not speaking of global warming here but the global WARNING of apocalyptic Islam. Don’t misunderstand me for saying that France doesn’t care about the attacks. I think the French people care very much and to an extent even the government does too. But there is a strange behavior resulting from a hydrid of denial, fear and political correctness. And so it goes with France…another day, another euro.

It was obvious to all that another attack would take place. That it would be so soon and so intense wasn’t expected. The use of explosive belts brought terrorism on French soil to an all new level. And of course, for once it would appear as if the targets weren’t Jews. This is in no way any relief, but simply an observation. I just want to point out that flexing under Islamic threats, Palestinian social justice demands and/or BDS rulings will not stop the enemy. According to Winston Churchill, appeasement is akin to feeding a crocodile hoping it will eat you last. Well, France, on November 13 the crocodile just bit off your hand! Now what?

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. It probably goes back to the early 1800s and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights after the French Revolution of 1789.  Looking back nine months, France was mostly all bark and no bite after the January attacks. Today it has a second opportunity to stop evil. This isn’t going to be an overnight feat but rather a concerted international effort that could take 20 years. France could actually lead the way if they put their euros where their mouth is.

On the Monday following the carnage, French President François Hollande spoke in front of the Congress in a room in Versailles that hadn’t been used since 1955. It was indeed historic, but it remains to be seen if the outcome will be positive or negative. Mr. Hollande opened his speech by declaring:” France is at war!” He had the Congress’ attention and he had mine as well. Contrary to Mr. Obama who one day before the attack said that the Islamic State was contained. Soon after, Mr. Obama declared that what happened in Paris was a set-back. A set-back to what, the Middle Ages? Mr. Hollande on the other hand, affirmed that ISIS had to be destroyed. Not slowed down, not stopped, not talked to…but destroyed! I couldn’t agree more. He was speaking one day after having sent fighter jets to bomb strategic ISIS location in Syria. Good for you Mr. Hollande. Please keep on, don’t stop now. They must be eradicated.

In the meantime, may I suggest that you close your borders or at the very least strictly enforce border control. Forget about the accusation of profiling, we are way past that. May I also suggest that you seriously limit the intake of migrants into France (and all of Europe for that matter)? It is now proven that one of the Paris terrorists came to France through the Greek island of Lesbos invisible and untraceable in a wave of refugees. This open-door policy spearheaded by Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel is now showing us how easy it is for ISIS to infiltrate Europe. And finally, please close all the mosques that are instrumental in the radicalization of other Muslims. Incidentally, there are between 5,000 and 6,000 imams in France alone and only one –the Imam of Drancy– that came out to denounce the terrorist attacks of November 13. Muslims of the world, if you want us to make a distinction between moderate Islam and radical Islam, then please speak up against the terror attacks of November 13–not to mention many others worldwide– otherwise your silence will speak for you.

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. My ultimate prayer is that they would truly have a change of heart and meet the true God of the universe, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through His Messiah Yeshua. It is a difficult prayer to pray but we must not stop praying. Prayer can change them, but if they do not change they must be stopped. This is France’s second chance to fight the war against Islamic terrorism and it might very well be Europe’s last chance.


Have we learned anything from Kristallnacht?

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Seventy-seven years ago during the nights 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 Kristallnacht. 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 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 backward 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.


Terror in Israel: Lone wolves are still wolves

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terror

In the last month, 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. Yet, as of now, 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. It is simply too early to tell. There is little doubt that it could pick up more momentum and become a third Intifada, but for right now it appears to be a random series of acts of terror by Palestinians acting as “lone wolves”.

Frankly, the recent attacks on Israeli citizens–as isolated and sporadic as they have been–are still posing a great danger to everyday life in the land. They represent individual jihad more than a third Intifada, but at the end of the day, the same people are targeted, the same people are victimized and the same agenda is promoted. Terror is terror. Many unnecessary fatalities have been reported.

• Unpredictable Terror:
One of the grave dangers posed by this ongoing terrorism in Israel is the fact that each act of terror is very unpredictable and very different from other murderous acts.

Here are just a few:
• October 20: The stoning of a car forced an Israeli citizen to exit his vehicle and led him to be killed by a moving truck.
• October 18: A Palestinian grabbed the rifle off an IDF soldier, killed him and wounded eleven more people.
• October 16: A Palestinian disguised as a journalist stabs an IDF soldier
• October 13: A stabbing and shooting on a bus in Southern Jerusalem led to the killing of 4 people and wounding 15 more.
• October 1: Shooting to death of a young couple under the eyes of their wounded young children.

These acts are all different which makes them nearly impossible to predict or thwart. This unpredictability is possibly the greatest threat to Israel right now. Israel has become a world leader and expert on how to detect explosive devices ahead of their detonations. But how do you detect a knife made out of a school ruler? How do you predict the stoning of a car on the road? How do you avoid a car running into a group of people waiting at a bus stop? It is simple…You don’t.

• Cheap Terror:
Martyrdom has long been part of the Palestinian culture. Young Palestinians are indoctrinated at a very early age against Jewish people. They are told and taught about “killing Jews.” Death is part of the fabric of many Muslim countries in the Middle East, especially when it is connected to Israel. The promise of a “heavenly harem” of 72 virgins along with financial incentives to the families of homicide bombers have been common practice in Palestinian circles.

Not every Palestinian is keen on losing their life to “the cause”, but just about anyone would be willing to randomly hurt Israelis as they have done recently. This demands a very small investment of willing “Palestinian Martyrs” and thus is a cheap method of terror that becomes very attractive to many. We can expect a lot more of these acts in the upcoming weeks.

• Financed Terror:
It was good to hear that the US decided to cut its financial aid to Abbas by $80 million (why they still sent the remaining $290 million defies logic). Financial help to a terrorist group is basically terrorism. Why would we look at any other terror states such as Iran funding Hamas, Hezbollah or Al-Qaeda and see them as terror partners but ignore the United States involvement in terrorism?

Not one dollar of the $290 million that the United States sent Abbas in 2015 was ever justified unless of course we bought Abbas’ lies about Palestinians being the victims of the Israeli occupation. The fact that the US retained $80 million in funding shows that something is wrong, but it is akin to trying to get somebody to stop smoking by pulling a few cigarettes out of their pack and letting them smoke the rest. It simply won’t work.

This current wave of spontaneous terror attacks on Israeli citizens and soldiers is not an intifada per se, at least not an “old school” intifada. 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 still rest in the fact that God continues to be a Zionist and continues to protect Israel from complete destruction as we can read in Psalm 121:1-4:

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LordWho made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep.


Refugees, Migrants and Terrorists: Europe is out of control

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At the very time when global borders should be tightly monitored because of the ISIS invasion, Europe is faced with a tsunami of migrants. I choose to call them migrants because they are far from all being “refugees.” 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 to Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Hungary building fences and walls to prevent anyone from entering illegally. The one thing that all these European countries have in common is a lack of preparedness for such a tidal wave of people.

Now there has always been a somewhat steady flow of immigrants into Europe. They have always been attracted by better lives and safer environments and even in some cases, financial independence.
France opened its doors to Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian migrants in the 1950s. They came as guest workers and received the jobs that native Frenchmen wouldn’t dare touch such as garbage collectors, street sweepers and construction workers. Today, their kids and grand-kids are French citizens constituting a hard to ignore voting power as seen during the last French presidential elections.

Too many, too fast:
It would almost appear that the refugee crisis happened overnight. It seems like the on-going Syrian civil war is forcing people out. Nobody can argue with one’s decision to leave their native land to escape persecution, oppression and even death. So the question isn’t about the validity of the Syrian refugee flight. One of the concerns is the sheer number of migrants. For 20 years now, the “New Europe” has allowed people to move freely between its borders, acting as if it had virtually erased them all. But the recent flow of migrants has many European countries reconsidering to re-close their borders. Germany still believes that they can welcome at least another 800,000 migrants. Chancellor Merkel is under the assumption that her refugee intake will help balance out the dangerously low native birthrate. I am not convinced that we are comparing apples to apples here. There isn’t one country in Europe that has the infrastructure to assimilate such a flow of people properly. 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 and are some of the richest countries in the world and they have taken none, WHY?

Not all Syrians are Syrians:
And that is all before we even entertain the concept of some of the migrants being impostors. When I speak of impostors, I actually mean two different kinds. First, we have those who claim to be Syrians but are not. We could call them the “desperate impostors”. Technically, only legal immigrants can remain in a host country. Others, without the proper application of identification papers will be sent back. Of course, this doesn’t apply to war or political refugees. Syrians qualify as refugees of war and as such have a much greater rate of acceptance (98 percent). Since the publication of the 1951 Refugee Convention by the UNHCR, a refugee is a person who from “fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.” Going by that definition, Syrians qualify as refugees, along with other countries being plagued by civil unrest. In reality, many people are flooding the European borders with little or no proof of Syrian citizenship.

A Potentially Dangerous mix:
Then we have those who choose to pose as Syrians to be granted asylum and benefits but know all along that they enter a country with a different agenda. These are dangerous individuals that we could call the “radical impostors.” They belong to Al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist organizations. Their immigration isn’t a result from persecution and/or oppression but rather based on their desire to infiltrate, recruit, train and deploy more terrorists. The last 18 months have shown us the damage inflicted by ISIS infiltration and recruitment. The current wave of migration will only exacerbate the whole problem. It is virtually impossible to detect a Syrian from a non-Syrian refugee, so how do various European governments expect to detect ISIS impostors? Good luck with that.

An Unlikely Assimilation:
Being migrants in search of a better life or refugees seeking asylum, the vast majority of these people have Islam in common. In and of itself, this shouldn’t be a concern since the very definition of who qualifies as a refugee includes freedom of religion. Yet it should now be very obvious to the West that Muslims do not integrate and assimilate very well if at all. This isn’t to say that all the incoming Muslims are a menace to Europe, but there is a danger to the cultural and religious divide that is being created by their insertion into the respective countries. And frankly, ISIS’ recruits have almost exclusively been from Islam sympathizers of all sorts. Yet there is also another possibility that most westerners are unaware of and that is part of Islam’s ideology. It is some sort of “stealth jihad” akin to the changing demographics due to European Muslim high birthrates of the last 50 years. It is known as the Islamic doctrine of migration or hijrah.

The Muslim Migration Known as Hijrah :
Islam’s expert Robert Spencer writes: “To emigrate in the cause of Allah – that is, to move to a new land in order to bring Islam there, is considered in Islam to be a highly meritorious act,” . He then quotes Islam’s holy book: “And whoever emigrates for the cause of Allah will find on the earth many locations and abundance, And whoever leaves his home as an emigrant to Allah and His Messenger and then death overtakes him, his reward has already become incumbent upon Allah. And Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful” (Quran 4:100).

While the original concept of hijrah is based on Mohammed’s flight from Mecca to Medina, it can also be applied to modern Muslim migrations. It is usually referring to leaving a country were Muslim are persecuted for one where they are welcome and can join other Muslims. But it can also refer to their moving to a non-Muslim country considered to be a “lesser evil.” This goes against every fiber of postmodernism, multiculturalism and tolerance, yet it is happening in front of our very eyes. Again, this doesn’t mean that every Muslim is to be treated as a potential terrorist, although I have no doubt that many will end up being manipulated into the radical Islamist agenda, either against their will or even unbeknownst to them.

Europe might not yet be on the edge of extinction but in light of the current refugee crisis, it is running the risk of reaching that point of no return sooner than expected. Many European countries already have a severe “native birthrate drought” and are seeing a demographic Muslim takeover. I am all in favor of helping refugees, but now is not the time to uncontrollably open borders to unknown Muslim migrants.  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.


Israel not taking refugees is not a humanitarian crime

israel

israel

There are those who claim that the world is getting better as we are increasingly becoming more tolerant and accepting a multicultural/holistic approach to sharing our planet. I am not one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in tolerance and multiculturalism (within reason and mostly within the home.) But let’s face it, the world is far from getting better. Wars and rumors of wars are on almost every continent. The Middle East sits on a powder keg with a very short fuse. Iran is very, very close to lighting the whole region ablaze. Afghanistan is still in turmoil. ISIS has infiltrated just about every country around Israel (reminiscent of an ancient biblical prophecy found in Psalm 83.) Russia is moving weapons to the region, and Syria is being destroyed by a civil war with no end in sight. This is far from what you would expect if the world was getting better. This world is in crisis mode on so many levels.

Another sign of global crisis is the recent influx of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Albania, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan and Iraq into several countries of the European Union. Sweden and Germany have been on the receiving end more than any other European country because of the myriad of benefits they offer to refugees, and the fact that Germany announced that they weren’t putting a cap on how many could come. The result has been a demographic tsunami hitting multiple borders at once. Even Greece–a bankrupt country desperately trying to rise out of its own ashes– has received several thousands of refugees.

Most of the refugees come from Syria for reasons that no decent human being would disagree with. Syria has common borders with five countries: Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel (add Cyprus by sea.) The Russian military build-up in Syria is frightening. This refugee exodus creates a humanitarian dilemma all around Syria and far beyond but it also creates a security problem for the receiving countries. Israel of course is not exempt. Mr. Netanyahu just published a statement where he affirmed that Israel wasn’t in a position to take in any refugees. I don’t think that he meant solely Syrian refugees, but this will affect them [the Syrians] the most.

Mr. Netanyahu was unequivocally clear about the refugee situation: “Israel is not indifferent to the human tragedy of the refugees from Syria and Africa. We have already devotedly cared for approximately 1,000 wounded people from the fighting in Syria and we have helped them to rehabilitate their lives. We are speaking with African heads of state, and with the Italian Prime Minister recently and with other European leaders, about multi-lateral aid packages for the countries of origin in Africa – in agriculture, economics and security – in order to deal with the problem at its source. But, Israel is a small country, a very small country, that lacks demographic and geographic depth; therefore, we must control our borders, against both illegal migrants and terrorism. This is what we have done on our border with Sinai; we blocked illegal migration from there.”

Of course, it was not long before Mr. Netanyahu was scolded by his own Israeli opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog who believes that Israel should take in refugees. Israel has often been accused of committing crimes against humanity–the latest accusations coming from multiple foes regarding the 2014 Gaza War. The humanitarian crimes have become the leitmotiv of the Palestinian Authority and other enemies. So why is it that Israel decision to not take refugees doesn’t constitute a crime against humanity?

Obviously, there are many other countries and states that cannot and will not absorb any refugees for demographic and /or geographic reasons. Israel is already struggling with it own infrastructure to receive the tens of thousands of olim (new immigrants) who just made aliyah (30,000 so far this year.) This would probably require more settlements to be developed and a further reduction of the “Palestinian boundaries” that currently exist. Would so-called “Palestinian refugees” living in Israel’s “disputed territories” be willing to share some of their real-estate? Doubtful.

If I were to make a list of reasons why Israel is right about not taking in any refugees, safety would have to be on top of that list. Once we understand that Israel is the size of New Jersey, with a constant and increasing influx of Jews returning to the land, we also have to consider what opening the borders to more people could do. A flow of unidentified people would undoubtedly include shady characters that could bring more trouble as they come in. There is no doubt in my mind that ISIS is taking advantage of the world’s postmodern tolerance. This simplifies their goal of infiltrating as many countries as they can. Israel cannot afford to have terrorists infiltrate their borders when they are already dealing with terror inland on a daily basis.

European countries like Germany, Sweden and even France are opening their doors to more crime and terrorism–something that has also worried me greatly regarding our own borders with Mexico. I want to be clear about the fact that a border between two countries doesn’t mean that refugees moving away from one into the next are all from that bordering country. Europe is starting to realize that as they see a massive number of refugees coming in from various places as well as many without any papers. These are hoping to become “instant Syrian refugees” and are banking on the asylum-offering countries tolerance for war refugees. But not all are war stricken and destitute. Many just want a better life for their families and who can really blame them?

It is also an undeniable fact that most of the refugees are Muslims. We know how difficult it has been for the West to identify radical and/or apocalyptic Islam from the rest of Islam. This refugee crisis will only exacerbate the issue.

I believe that Israel is doing the right thing by not accepting refugees but before anyone accuses me or the Jewish people of committing humanitarian crimes, we must consider all that Israel has done and continues to do around the world. As a matter of fact, Israel is helping several European countries with this very crisis by sending help as I write this. Israel has long been one of the first responders in global disasters and wars. This is the way that the only democracy in the Middle East rolls when it comes to partnering within the global village; they give, give, and give.

So, Israel not taking refugees IS NOT a humanitarian crime because there is so much more you can do to help, and they are already doing that. In many cases, they are doing much more than the very countries pointing the finger at them.


Now you can be a “Dirty Jew” even if you are not Jewish

jew2

jew2

It was about a year ago that a café in Belgium posted a sign on its window stating that dogs were allowed inside but Jews weren’t. The sign didn’t stay on the window for very long as the outrage of several Jewish organizations was quickly demonstrated and the police were dispatched to take the sign down. They might have pulled the message away from the public, but they certainly didn’t change the mindset of the café owner.

It was only a few days before that incident that another store in Belgium decided for a short time that they wouldn’t sell merchandise to Jews. Similarly, the police came to that store to question the owner about their strange decision. The owner swore that this wasn’t true and that in fact they had many Jewish customers. While it is again very hard to prove that they indeed chose not to sell to a Jewish woman, the behavior was symptomatic of serious problem.

A recent incident in Belgium further proves the point that anti-Semitism is viral, lethal and irrational. Yet at another café in Brussels, a European Union official insulted a woman, calling her a “dirty Jew”. The woman engaged the EU official in conversation, complaining about an item he had in his hand that was displaying former Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. In sharp disagreement with the woman, the man said: “Dirty Jewess … Hitler should have exterminated all Jews, just like Jews today are exterminating Palestinians.” Here again we see a display of anti-Semitism based on the false premise that Jews are killing Palestinians just like Nazis killed Jews. The altercation turned violent when the man by then identified as EU Maltese official Stefan Gersh started to hit the woman and add: “All you Jews should have been killed.”

An investigation is taking place and the man will most likely be disciplined and possibly even lose his position within the European Union. After all, many of us remember how former Dior designer John Galliano lost his job after a similar incident in a Paris café where he praised Hitler and insulted two women in very similar terms as what just took place in Belgium. Galliano was caught on video speaking to the two women and saying: “I love Hitler, and people like you would be dead today. Your mothers, your forefathers, would be … gassed and … dead.”

What is probably the most puzzling and disturbing aspect of Galliano’s and Gersh’s diatribes is that they were both directed at people who were not Jewish. This has to be the epitome of irrational hatred when you become verbally and/or physically abusive to someone you believe to be Jewish who in fact isn’t.

This also should make decent people realize that we could now all become targets of anti-Semitism simply because of someone’s preconceived idea that could potentially lead them to abuse and violence. This could be a game changer! Maybe this unfortunate twist in the way anti-Semitism is expressed and/or carried out is what is needed for people to speak-up. After all, there’s no better way to fight a monster than when it is in your own backyard threatening to devour your entire family.

I used to say that, “Anti-Semitism is hatred of the Jewish people characterized by destructive thoughts, words and/or actions against them.” I still believe that. Additionally, anti-Semitism goes further as it is the only kind of hatred that includes contempt for the people, the land and the law. All aspects of Jewish life, customs and culture, along with the Jewish homeland are not exempt from the vitriol of anti-Semitism. But today, it is no longer any act or behavior connected to Jewishness or Judaism that puts you at risk. You are at risk if you support Israel and the Jewish people or if you speak-up against pro-Palestinians or BDS proponents. Basically, you are also at risk if the person dispensing the vitriol of anti-Semitism decides that you are “Jewish enough” to deserve such a treatment. This makes absolutely no sense at all.

During the Middle Ages, the image of the Jew had been brought down to the lowest possible level as Jewish people were described as blood drinking devils with a stench. No wonder the masses saw it their obligation to rid medieval Europe of such a malevolent group of people. That trend has resurfaced globally and for the most part people are either drinking the proverbial Kool Aid or at the very least serving it to their community.

Most of the Church Fathers and Luther “theologized” anti-Semitism.
Adolf Hitler “industrialized” anti-Semitism.
Will our post-modern world “normalize” anti-Semitism?

In today’s world, you don’t even have to be Jewish to be a “dirty Jew”. And all this time I thought that we–the Jews– were special.


As a Jew, I can support Palestine

palestine

palestine

Depending on which side of the Middle East fence you are on, Palestine and the Palestinians can be defined in very different ways. Of course, your understanding and supporting of the Arab/Israeli conflict will vary greatly based on which definition you adhere to.

One of the major reasons why there is so much strife in the region is because of the lack of clarity in these definitions as well as the amount of historical inaccuracy supporting them. Modern day Palestinians and their supporters often speak of “historic Palestine” in an attempt at validating its existence prior to that of the Jewish people. But was there such a thing as a historic Palestine and if there was, how could it be defined?

Let us start with what we know from history and define a geographical Palestine. At this point, my use of the word Palestine will only be to describe geographical boundaries in the Middle East. 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 word “Palestine” has been etymologically altered over the last 50 years. Until then, it was simply the name of a region. Biblically, it was actually NEVER called Palestine but “The Land of Canaan”. It was God’s choice to give the Land of Canaan to Abraham and his descendants as we read in Genesis 17:8: “I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

Nevertheless, the first use of the word itself may go back to the 5th century BCE out of Greece.  It came from Herodotus who penned The Histories, considered a foundational work on history in Western literature. In Book III of The Histories, he calls it Palaestine. Many authors and historians such as Aristotle, Plutarch and Josephus followed Herodotus in the use of the name which always described a geographical area.

Fast forward to the last Jewish revolt against the Romans known as the Bar Kochba Revolt (132-135 CE) and you now have the official renaming of that area as Palaestina to further humiliate the remaining Jewish people after their defeat. Additionally, Jerusalem was renamed Aelia Capitolina by emperor HadrianThere is no archeological or historical evidence for the survival of the people known as the Canaanites–from whom many believe the Palestinians come from. On the other hand, we can trace the first Hebrews in the Land of Canaan back to 1,300 BCE.

The name Palestine continued to be used for that area of the world through the centuries, and Jewish presence was never put into question. In the early 1880s, Diaspora Jews who had been spread out all over the world since the destruction of the 2nd Temple in 70 CE, had started to return to Palestine in a series of Aliyot due to intense persecution. In 1916, the region was divided under the Sykes-Picot Agreement between France and Grand Britain. Lebanon and Syria were assigned to France and Palestine was assigned or “mandated” to Great Britain. The 1917 Balfour Declaration established that because of the “historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine“, The Jewish people were entitled to return to the area. The statement was very clear: “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.”

While there might have been some tension as to who really belonged in the land and its exact boundaries, Palestine remained a descriptive for a geographical area and not a political movement or people group. It is then accurate to say that historically we can support geographical Palestine.

The area known as Palestine under the British Mandate actually included what was then known as Trans-Jordan (East of Jewish Palestine). One is to wonder why Trans-Jordan or “Eastern Palestine” is never mentioned and never included in the modern quest for the Palestinian State? That area known today as Jordan, represented 85% of the Entire British Mandate, yet it apparently wasn’t enough! Incidentally, the Palestinian flag is almost identical to the Jordanian flag.

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. Yet many arabs from neighboring countries continued to call themselves Arabs and not Palestinians for a while longer.

Yassir Arafat (born in Egypt) came on the scene and the pressure was increased on the modern state of Israel. The terms Palestine and Palestinian continued to be deconstructed and re-defined. Today Egyptians and Jordanians of the past are calling themselves Palestinians and claiming right to the Land of Palestine in the name of “self-determination.” Arab victims of the War of Independence (1948), the Six-Day War (1967) and the Kippur War (1973) have been made into political refugees, forcing Israel to become the “occupier.”

Historical revisionism will work for two reasons. On one hand, the lies propagated by its supporters are constantly placated on the news, in books, interviews and the internet. On the other hand they are for the most part never challenged. A repeated lie that is never challenged eventually will become the new accepted truth.

This new truth of a displaced people [the Palestinians] and an occupier [the Israelis] is what currently punctuates the news. Unfortunately, it also dictates the world’s response to the Middle East crisis. But it is based on revisionism and not on historical facts. Any serious student of history, while not blindly exonerating Israel of all guilt over the last 67 years, will recognize Israel’s right to exist and be in the land. Israel’s right to the land can be proven biblically, historically, geographically and archeologically.

You can choose to call that land the Holy Land, Eretz Yisrael, Jewish Palestine or even Western Palestine as we could agree that all these term are inter-changeable, as long as the name refers to a geographical area. From that angle, I support Palestine. The moment that Palestine becomes a political entity with a fictitious displaced people is the moment that I draw the line.

Geographical Palestine exists while historic Palestine never did. More than the Israelis, the real victims are the Jordanians, Egyptians and other Arab neighbors of Israel who were made into something they are not. Of course, their children and grand-children, innocently born as “refugees” only exacerbates the problem. 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 the problem and its root cause.


Obama’s Legacy and Tisha B’Av

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shutterstock_218834623-640x400

We often say that the Jewish life cycle revolves around the Jewish calendar, its holy days and the foods we eat accordingly. There is even a a Jewish motto about it: “They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat!” But let us remember that on the Jewish calendar, outside of the biblically ordained Levitical feasts (Leviticus 23), there are several other dates marking some critical events in our history. One such date is Tisha B’Av or the ninth of the month of Av. This annual fast (lasting 25 hours in Jewish tradition) commemorates several tragedies that occurred in Jewish history. It is believed that on the ninth of Av:

• The 12 spies returned
• The First Temple was destroyed
• The Second Temple was destroyed
• The 135 CE Bar Kochba revolt was put to an end by the Romans
• The first Crusade started
• Jews were expelled from England in 1290
• Germany entered World War One
• “The final Solution to the Jewish Question” was officially put in motion in 1941
• Large scale deportation of Jews to Auschwitz and Treblinka started in 1942

Needless to say that this is a very somber date for Jewish people worldwide. This is a time when the Book of Lamentations is read in synagogues. Jewish people fast, do not bathe and do not have marital relations on this day.

This year, the ninth of Av fell on July 25 and I cannot help but think about the way that it might be remembered and added to the long list of catastrophes for the Jewish people.

We are in the midst of a global crisis with the Islamic Republic of Iran which is on the threshold of acquiring its own nuclear arsenal. The same Iran has recently and repeatedly vowed to destroy Israel and the United States.

Since 2008, President Obama’s foreign policy has been less than spectacular. Like every previous president since 1948 and to no avail, he tried to make a positive contribution to the Middle East peace process. But it is clear that Mr. Obama has an obsession with Iran, and like the National Review aptly said it: “The Obama administration values a future relationship with Iran more than it values the historic relationship it has with Israel.” President Obama’s obsession with Iran might only be surpassed by his obsession for his own “messianic legacy”. In any case, both are tightly linked and they unfortunately are at the expense of Israel.

Secretary of State John Kerry testifies at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Thursday, July 23, 2015, to review the Iran nuclear agreement. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Secretary of State John Kerry testifies at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Thursday, July 23, 2015, to review the Iran nuclear agreement. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

During Thursday’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, we heard Secretary of State John Kerry try to defend the current Iran nuclear agreement with the 5+1 super powers. Frankly, it is starting to feel more and more like another check will soon be added to the ominous list of Tisha B’Av tragedies. Especially in light of Mr. Kerry’s answer when asked by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) about US loyalty in the eventuality of a unilateral Israeli strike to sabotage Iranian facilities. First, there was a foggy answer from Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz. Mr. Rubio reiterated his question to which he got a firm “No” from Mr. Moniz, stating that the US was not under any obligation to protect Iran. Immediately following, Mr Kerry chimed in and tried to sound as if the current administration was Israel’s friend and that all would be good. He never gave a firm yes or no, but finished by saying: “ …I don’t see any way possible that we would be in conflict with Israel with respect to what we might want to do there. I think we might have to wait until we get to that point.

The problem with that statement from Mr. Kerry is that it can be interpreted several different ways depending on what the audience wants to hear. When I hear the phrase with respect to what we might want to do there, I am left wondering if “what they might want to do” is bomb Iran in accord with Israel or help Iran to defend itself from an Israeli attack (cyber or military). Pick one, they both work! There is some wording on page 142 of the document drafted for the deal stipulating that the 5+1 would help Iran defend themselves against sabotage once the deal is approved. This would make me think that the US would lean towards helping Iran, and frankly, this wouldn’t surprise me under the current administration.

Then there is the statement he closed with: “I think we might have to wait until we get to that point.” which is even more frightening. If we truly have to wait for the eleventh hour when Israeli planes are in Iranian airspace or even later if possible, it is akin to asking people to wait until Hiroshima was detonated before deciding if it was the best option.

Israel, the United States and the rest of the free world cannot afford to wait and see because the more time we give the Islamic Republic of Iran to acquire the bomb the less time we will have to successfully respond. In other words if we wait much longer there might not be much left to see.

I continue to keep my trust in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and His unconditional love for Israel. But I must remain pragmatic in understanding that the highest human casualties in the history of mankind are yet to come.

It sure feels like Tisha B’Av again but hang in there because Rosh Hashanah is just around the corner!


Western Civilization’s Assisted Suicide

PIC BY DAVID NEW-8/7/2011-JAMAAL UDDIN OF 'MUSLIMS AGAINST CRUSADES' DECLARES A PART OF LEYTON UNDER 'SHARIAH LAW'. BEHIND HIM IS THE DEFUNCT OLIVER TWIST PUB, MUSLIMS BEING AGAINST ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION.

Jamaal Uddin of ‘Muslims Against Crusades’ declares a part of Leyton under ‘Shariah Law’. 8/27/2011 (Photo: David New)

I have never been a supporter of assisted suicide. Many people consider it to be a murderous act, and I tend to agree; yet there is a moral chasm between murder and assisted suicide. The first is a premeditated act by the perpetrator(s), while the second is a premeditated act by the victim(s). They both lead to annihilation and sadly remind me of what is taking place in our contemporary society.

I have watched the erosion of Judeo/Christian values over the last two decades with much sadness at first. Today, 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 anti-Semitism 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.

There are several reasons why radical Islam has been so successful over the last few decades (I offer no apologies if you feel a “they against us” attitude since I have no doubt that it is exactly what’s happening):

They have been extremely patient as they slowly but thoroughly infiltrated all levels of society.
They are masters at using our own laws against us–the very same laws that they would NEVER uphold under shari’a.
They have scared the West into unchallenged submission or “dhimmitude“.
It is on this last point of “dhimmitude” that I wish to elaborate further because it exactly where I think the West is participating in assisted suicide.

The word “dhimmitude” was coined by scholar/activist Bat Y’eor in 1983 as she explained: Dhimmitude: the Islamic system of governing populations conquered by jihad wars, encompassing all of the demographic, ethnic, and religious aspects of the political system. The word “dhimmitude” comes from dhimmi, an Arabic word meaning “protected”. Dhimmi was the name applied by the Arab-Muslim conquerors to indigenous non-Muslim populations who surrendered by a treaty (dhimma) to Muslim domination…. ruled by the same type of laws, based on the shari’a.

“Dhimmitude” used to be inflicted on various ethnic subjects under Islamic control, and it continues to be forced upon people by those within Islam who believe that shar’ia is the only valid law of the land. Of course, what they mean by land is more on a global than local scale. Islamic rigidity and even violence is too often whitewashed by political correctness, tolerance and multiculturalism. This process has helped “dhimmitude” become the default reaction of the West in almost every case. While I certainly do not believe that every single Muslim falls into the shar’ia “trap”, the trojan horse of Islam has been advancing slowly but steadily, leading Americans to believe that an all-encompassing ideology is just another religion to be tolerated. Consider the following non-exhaustive list of unchallenged submissions to Islamist rigid ideology. While these examples are all from the United States, it is safe to say that they are a very accurate representation of Western civilization:

Government (Federal and local)
• US Congressman Keith Ellison was sworn into office in 2007 using the Qur’an.
• CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) which is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood has had many welcomed visits to the White House.
• DHS (Department of Homeland Security) advises against training their people “against” the Muslim Brotherhood.
• The FBI no longer includes Islamic Terrorism in its list of threat assessment.
• Shar’ia Law is adopted by the city of Dearborn, Michigan (30 percent Muslim)

Educational Institutions
• Public Schools are being pressured to serve halal food (prepared according to islamic dietary law) to their students and have it financed by tax-payer dollars.
• Muslim curriculum has been forced in some California school districts.

Financial Institutions
• Many US banks are now “shar’ia” compliant, meaning that they do not charge interest to Muslims and they must invest 2 percent of their profits into Muslim charities; with quite a few of these charities linked to terrorist organizations.

Media
• Liberal Media censors cartoons about Islam but has no problem humiliating Christians and Jews.

The Military
• Jihad is justified as “communal military defense” for Muslim in the military and head scarves are becoming a common part of the military uniform.
• Muslims in the military don’t seem to be held to the same standard as other US personnel.

Judicial System
• Former US Attorney General Eric Holder refused to talk about radical Islam in a testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on 5/13/2010

The Police
• Police forces in Dearborn ignore a Muslim mob descending on a Christian group and sting them.

The Church
• After recently having officially recognized the State of Palestine, Pope Francis now equates the Bible and the Qur’an.
• Evangelical Christians are increasingly buying into the lies of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against Israel and also changing from Christian Zionism to Christian Palestinianism.

The point is that the United States has been shamefully and cowardly flexing under the pressure of Islamic influence for quite a while now, as many apparently innocent and harmless Muslims continue to infiltrate all levels of society. Many nominal Muslims want absolutely nothing to do with the rigidity of shar’ia law but at the end of the day they will have to choose which side of the fence they will stand on. I am not convinced that their desire for tolerance and multiculturalism will win the other side over. By other side I mean the radicals of course.

There is a tolerance that is worth investigating; that is biblical tolerance of course. Those who have a relationship with God understand His love and can easily be more tolerant toward others. Tolerance doesn’t have to mean compromise or standing for nothing. Biblically speaking, we must defend our beliefs as we are committed to be on God’s side, but at the same time we are to extend God’s love onto others. This is available to all (Muslims, Jews and Christians) through the work of Yeshua the Messiah.

Proverbs 16:24 tells us that “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body”.

Additionally, in Romans 12:14-19, we learn much about love and tolerance: ” Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “ Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

Political correctness is one of the most viral enemies of America. It blinds people into one-sided tolerance. I really don’t care what you choose to call it because at the end of the day it yields the same result–the death of modernity, the death of freedom, and the death of freedom of religion. In other words, the death of Western civilization by assisted suicide.


Could the conspiracy of Psalm 83 against Israel involve ISIS?

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It was only 15 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 who was a contemporary of King David.

Psalm 83 spoke of many enemies of Israel and of the pleading of Asaph with God for His miraculous intervention on behalf of the Jewish people. Of the several points made by this short psalm, 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. I also thought that there was a strong possibility that Asaph’s usage of the sentence: “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” could very possibly be a literary device to express emphasis in despair. Maybe Asaph wanted to express that Israel had enemies–a true statement–and for emphasis, he described all her neighbors as the enemies, akin to someone with a few foes saying:”The whole world hates me!”

Of course, 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 83:6-8: The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them, and compare them to modern day countries or people groups. The results could even be too close for comfort.

Edom – Southern Jordan
Ishmaelites – Ishmael was one of the fathers of all the Arabs.
Moab – Central Jordan
Hagarenes – Egypt
Gebal – Lebanon
Ammon – Northern Jordan
Amalek – The Sinai Peninsula
Philistia –  The Gaza Strip
Tyre – Lebanon
Assyria – Iraq and parts of Syria

By these standards, Israel finds herself surrounded by enemies who have conspired together to destroy the Jewish state. This would be a likely scenario in light of the fact that eventually the whole world will go against Israel, but we are faced with an inconsistency. There are two countries that have an ongoing peace treaty with Israel in the whole Middle East: Jordan (Edom, Moab and Ammon) and Egypt (Hagarenes). Yet these are listed as enemies of Israel, so how can this be possible? I wonder if the answer could not be found in the events of the last year and the progress of ISIS (Islamic State) in the region? ISIS is continuously making progress in a very volatile region, not to mention their global recruitment over the last year. A quick review of their progress could lead credence to an upcoming fulfillment of Psalm 83:

• ISIS started their bloody takeover campaigns in parts of Iraq and Syria.
• ISIS has also been trying to gain some ground in Northeast Lebanon and Northern Lebanon. The mere idea that Lebanese Christians would praise Hezbollah for fighting ISIS is frightening at best and most likely temporary.
• They even got into the Gaza Strip, giving Hamas a run for their money.
• Of course, they also recently launched an offensive in the Sinai Peninsula. How’s that peace treaty with Israel looking right now? Very shaky if ISIS spreads further into Egypt!
• This leaves us with Jordan and the Iraqi border, which have also been affected.

So there you have it in a nutshell. To an extent, ISIS has infiltrated all the areas listed in Pslam 83, INCLUDING JORDAN AND EGYPT, the only two countries with existing peace treaties with Israel. Asaph might have spoken prophetically and we might be getting really close to seeing the evil confederacy of Psalm 83 being formed. It was almost impossible to fathom that Psalm 83 would have a literal fulfillment 15 years ago. Today and with the advance of the Islamic State, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if it took place. And what if it did take place?

While the entire civilized world appears to be in agreement regarding the barbarism displayed by ISIS, it is now becoming obvious that the terrorist group is not being stopped, let alone even contained. It is very surreal and quite puzzling to see ISIS recruits coming from all corners of the world to train under “the black banner of death”. So yes indeed,  the grip around Israel is tightening at the hands of ISIS.

Israel has her plate very full with a Hamas ruled Gaza Strip in the south and a Hezbollah ruled Lebanon in the north. The Jewish state has been on high alert since May 14, 1948. They will not provoke but they will certainly respond. They will do it better and faster than the rest of the world because their existence depends on it. To an extent, the rest of the world’s existence also depends on how serious we are about ISIS. But when you hear people such as Richard Barrett, former head of counter-terrorism at MI6 who said that:” We cannot destroy ISIS, so we will have to learn to live with it“, you wonder how serious anybody really is about defeating ISIS? We are not even discussing how Islamic ISIS really is or is not, but we are still faced with a terrorist group that is organized, wealthy, well advertised and very arrogant. The minute that ISIS crosses the line where Israel feels threatened, they [Israel] will respond swiftly and efficiently. No question about it.

We must also keep in mind the rest of Psalm 83 like verse 5 describing the enemies of Israel as the enemies of God Himself:“For they have conspired together with one mind; Against You they make a covenant.” God may or may not intervene between ISIS and the world, but if they [ISIS] go against Israel, I am certain that He will get involved. Yet, there is still time for the enemies of Israel to repent because God might be just but He is also patient as Psalm 83:15-18 says:

So pursue them with Your tempest And terrify them with Your storm.
Fill their faces with dishonor, That they may seek Your name, O Lord.
Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever, And let them be humiliated and perish,
That they may know that You alone, whose name is the Lord, Are the Most High over all the earth

The prophetic hourglass was turned on May 14, 1948 and it is running out of sand in its top section.


669 reasons to remember Nicholas Winton

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As I am committed to expose, educate and equip people to fight anti-Semitism, it is not very often that I uncover stories that are actually worth telling and are truly uplifting. Those who have left a positive legacy in history are few and far in between and they almost always never make the news. For this very reason, the recent passing of Sir Nicholas Winton at age 106 deserves our attention.

Nicholas Wertheim was born of German Jewish parents in 1909. They had changed their names to Winton after moving from Germany to England. Faith and/or safety were usually the two main reasons why Jewish people changed their names to a more “Christian” sounding one, facilitating their assimilation into their newfound community.

Sir Nicholas Winton (knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002) was just a regular young man learning to become a bank broker when he decided to take a two-week vacation in the fall of 1938. Originally wanting to go to Switzerland, he ended-up going to Prague. His life would be changed forever and so was the life of 669 Jewish children destined for annihilation in the camps, as Winton decided to help a friend who was involved in Jewish refugee work. This all started on the eve of World War II and around the time of Kristallnacht. Nazi Germany had already put its grip on Western Europe and was organizing for the infamous “Final Solution to the Jewish Question”–euphemism for the Holocaust.

What followed was a series of events that led to the safe passage of 669 Jewish kids over a period of time. They became known as “Winton’s Children” and also as part of the “Czech Kindertransport.” It was his responsibility to find homes for all the children in England, and this is just what he did with the help of his mother. He later became known as the “British Schindler” in reference to Oskar Schindler who saved over 1,000 from their deaths in the camps during the Holocaust. Sir Winton also sent a letter to President Roosevelt for more children to be taken but received a response telling him that the United States couldn’t help.

Yet, Sir Nicholas Winton’s feat of heroism might have remained a secret to all if it wasn’t for his wife discovering documents in their attic. He had kept a list of most of the children who had received safe passage. That list had been relegated to the storage area of their home for almost 50 years; probably tucked away between old furniture, picture frames and other unused items. Winton was originally not interested in sharing his story and until his last day, insisted that he wasn’t a hero because he never really risked his life. He was surprised on a British TV show in 1988 when much of the audience sitting around him consisted of people he had saved. His story was also featured on 60 minutes.

Sir Nicholas Winton was very much a hero, even if he didn’t want to be called one, and he did indeed risk his life more than he knew. He was a hero because he cared about others who couldn’t help themselves and he went out of his way to facilitate their transport. But he was also a hero because he chose to remain quiet about his feat. His humility and courage are what makes his heroism. Was God directing his path?

I find it fascinating that Sir Winton’s parents had become followers of Yeshua the Messiah soon after their arrival to England. It is in this “Christian” setting that young Nicholas was raised, undoubtedly affected by the ethics and integrity of his parents newfound faith. This was a time when most “Christians” didn’t regard Jews with favor. Of course many will argue about Sir Winton, wondering if he was a Christian or a Jew, but at the end of the day do you think that the 669 people he saved cared even the slightest? I certainly don’t think so.

Sir Winton personified and exemplified the biblical model of unconditional and compassionate love taught by Yeshua Himself. Because of his decision to help a few, “Winton’s Children” and their descendants number about 15,000 today.

There were just a few like Corrie Ten Boom, Raoul Wallenberg, Pasteur Trocmé and Oskar Schindler. Sir Winton belongs to that group of men and women who saw no reason that could impede them from helping their fellow men in need. Who said that one person couldn’t make a difference? So long Nicholas Wertheim and may you rest in peace.

And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.

— Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:9, Yerushalmi Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 37a.


Why would “Christ at the Checkpoint” compare Israel to ISIS?

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While I was recently traveling throughout Israel, I drove about 600 miles. Looking at the landscape around me, I quickly realized that we were often driving nearby the Palestinian territories and at times even through some Arab neighborhoods.

It was as if someone had ripped pages from the Bible and made street signs and town signs with them, pointing to The Galilee, the Dead Sea, the river Jordan, Ashdod, Jerusalem, Jericho, Ramallah, Gaza, Jaffa, Modi’in etc.

I particularly fell in love with the Old City in Jerusalem. Its extensive color palette mixed with a myriad of scents was a perfect backdrop for Jews, Arabs and Christians to interact. We had dinner in an Armenian restaurant, a Jewish one AND an Arab one. If you asked me to tell you where the food tasted better, the answer would be…. YES!

While the Middle East crisis is indeed a crisis and Israel is far from perfect, it is obvious that Jews, Arabs and Christians share their cultures, heritages and foods on a daily basis. The mix is simply overwhelming…in a good way, of course!

Sadly, while I was in Israel I was also made aware of a video that was released to promote an upcoming conference in July 2015, by and for young adults. The conference promotional piece was advertised as coming from “Christ at the Checkpoint-Young Adults” or CaTC-YA.

While I must admit that I was unable to understand the closing commentaries in Arabic, the video collage that came first was enough to upset any supporter of the truth about the Middle East. The video is rather short and it even repeats some of its footage on a loop.

Yet, what it tries to do will turn your stomach upside-down. It sends the very clear message that Israel is equal to ISIS in violence and human rights violation. You see footage of ISIS thugs getting ready to decapitate rows of “infidels” dressed in the now world “infamous” orange overalls, juxtaposed with Israelis filtering Palestinians though checkpoints. Then, another frame shows the Islamic State brandishing their black flag followed by an Israeli tank brandishing a Jewish flag, making again a “not-so” subliminal connection.

The attempt at drawing a parallel between ISIS and Israel shouldn’t be missed AND shouldn’t be dismissed either. It is a new low in Christian Palestinianism. To be sure, the parallel was already attempted by CaTC superstar Stephen Sizer, when he compared Israel to ISIS and even said that Christian Zionists were Christian Jihadists.

Christ at the Checkpoint (CaTC) is a conference that started in 2010 and continues to take place every two years, sponsored by Bethlehem Bible College (BBC). The next official CaTC conference should take place in March 0f 2016 with the theme: “The Gospel in the face of religious extremism.” In the meantime, a group of young adults proponents of the same agenda, is promoting a 2015 date. Their video is posted on their Facebook page and on the CaTC YouTube channel.

This raises some serious concerns about the biblical integrity of Bethlehem Bible College. How could they possibly claim to be Christians and promote such virulent demonization of the Jewish people and Israel. There is always the possibility that the video in question was produced by a group of supporters not necessarily officially affiliated with either CaTC or BBC (although currently posted on the CaTC YouTube channel). Even if it is the case, we need to hear from either or both very soon. I fear a silence that will of course speak tons about their position.

I cannot help but ask CaTC and BBC which “Christ” do they mean in “Christ at the Checkpoint” and which “Bible” do they use to validate him? If CaTC and BBC do not distance themselves from such unbiblical libelous attacks, they will further validate their anti-Semitic stance. This will leave a vast number of uneducated and/or gullible Evangelicals with a choice to make as well. Each choice we make leads to consequences.

Would they continue to support and attend such a conference as it compares Israel to ISIS? I certainly hope not! You can only claim ignorance for so long before you loose your credibility and ruin your reputation, but then again in a world were tolerance and political correctness are measured by one’s level of hatred for Israel and the Jews, I might be asking for the impossible.

In the meantime, if you want to know what’s going on in Israel, start by reading your bible and then consider making a trip yourself and experiencing some of what I just experienced for a few days. Incidentally, I drove by the Israeli towns of Ramallah and Jericho (under Palestinian authority) where Jews ARE NOT WELCOME EVER, and I drove by plenty of Israeli areas where Arabs AND Jews live in relative peace. But of course that is a topic that will never be covered at such conferences!

The theme of next year’s Christ at the Checkpoint 4 is “The Gospel in the face of religious extremism.” As of right now, I have very little doubt that what is meant by religious extremism pertains to Islamism and/or the Islamic State. Based on the current trend and this new video, Zionism and Israel are in the cross hairs.

It doesn’t matter if you follow Yeshua (Jesus) or not, the fact is that He was born a Jew not a Palestinian. He was born in Eretz Yisrael not the Palestinian territories and taught His followers to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them (Matthew 5:44)– something that isn’t a characteristic of CatC proponents. So really, which Christ is at their checkpoint?


The Pope who loved the Jews…Really?

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It doesn’t matter if you are Catholic or not, the Pope is an international figure that cannot be ignored. As a Jew, I do not fall under his authority like a Roman Catholic would, but I understand that he can be a very influential person.

Over the centuries, many popes have come and gone and those who truly loved the Jews were definitely few and far in between. I do not want to give the impression of being anti-Catholic, yet if history is our witness, the Catholic Church has often failed in the area of Judeo-Christian relations. Where the Church as a religious institution has failed, many catholic individuals succeeded, as there are many stories of Catholics loving, helping, hiding and protecting Jews over the centuries and especially during the Holocaust era.

The current Pope was introduced to the world as a “friend of the Jews”. He comes only a short fifty years after Vatican II and the famous Nostra Aetate  document also known as the “Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions.” This short, very ecumenical document aimed at reconciling Jews, Muslims and Christians among other things. It is at that time, almost 1,700 years after the death of Yeshua (Jesus) that the Catholic Church decided to exonerate the Jews from the charge of deicide (the killing of God). That statement is worth reviewing: “Even though the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ (cf. John 19:6), neither all Jews indiscriminately at that time, nor Jews today, can be charged with the crimes committed during his passion. lt is true that the Church is the new people of God, yet the Jews should not be spoken of as rejected or accursed as if this followed from holy Scripture. Consequently, all must take care, lest in catechizing or in preaching the Word of God, they teach anything which is not in accord with the truth of the Gospel message or the spirit of Christ.
There is no doubt that a clear attempt was made at exonerating the Jewish people from the death of Yeshua. But outside of a few within the leadership of the time along with a few of their Jewish followers, the corporate guilt for the death of Yeshua was established on a false premise.  A simple review of chapter 10 of the Gospel of John would probably have sufficed to see that Yeshua claimed to have given His own life for all. One doesn’t need to adhere to the Christian faith to even see that: “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father”.

Interestingly enough, within the same breath, that statement declares that “lt is true that the Church is the new people of God.” Such a theological construct is also based on a faulty biblical approach seeing Christians has having “replaced” Israel. Replacement Theology has always been very prevalent within the Catholic Church.

Fifty years and a few popes later, the Catholic Church has a new pontiff in Pope Francis, a Jesuit from Argentina. He has the reputation of having nurtured some very positive relationship with the Jewish community of Buenos Aires over the years. He even co-wrote the book On Heaven and Earth with Argentine rabbi Abraham Skorka.

Pope Francis’ relationship with the Jewish community seems sincere and has garnered him a trust from rabbis and Jewish leaders that had not been seen in decades. So it’s all good, right? Well maybe not! Ecumenism by nature is open to a wide array of various belief systems. It seeks a common denominator on which it can build its multicultural, multi-religious and tolerant agenda.

But the Pope should be careful in his ecumenical endeavor to make our world better. While it is our corporate responsibility to do all we can to improve our world–a concept found in Judaism as well, and known as tikkun olam (repairing the world)–it shouldn’t be done at anybody’s expense but to everybody’s benefit. Lately I would posit that the Vatican’s approach to the betterment of the world could end-up being very detrimental to Israel and the Jews.

The world reacted when Pope Francis was quoted saying to Mahmoud Abbas that he was “an angel of peace”. The media outlets were quick to react, the ADL was outraged and the blogosphere buzzed with negative excitement. How could a friend of the Jews call a terrorist an angel of peace? Was the Pope an anti-Semite after all? Many would have easily taken that road, but soon after the statement was published, an explanation followed. The Pope had simply given Abbas a medal that he had also given to other world leaders, telling the head of the Palestinian authority that he hoped that he could become an angel of peace. So calm was restored and the Pope had retained his good reputation with the Jews.

But did he?

I have to admit that calling Abbas an angel of peace would have been a grave mistake. This being said, is it truly better now that we understand that Pope Francis was encouraging a terrorist who clearly wants the total destruction of Israel? I think not!

To remove all doubt, the Vatican also decided a few weeks ago to sign a new treaty to recognize the Palestinian State. The Vatican has been in favor of the recognition of Palestine since 2012, but this upcoming treaty would “formally recognize Palestine”. This will be a blow to Israel and the Jewish people, but it will also hurt the reputation that the Catholic Church has been working hard at changing at least for the last five decades. How can a friend of the Jews mingle with a terrorist and officially recognize a terrorist state bent on eradicating the Jewish people?

Many Jewish people worldwide do not trust the Catholic Church and/or catholic people. While many Catholics were friendly to Jews, like the family of peasants who hid my mother and her cousins during the Holocaust years, they weren’t the norm. Looking at history, words like forced baptisms, forced conversions, Crusades, Inquisition, Pogroms and Holocaust come to mind when a Jewish person is asked about the Catholic Church. While I recognize that even using these words to describe the Catholic Church represents painting with very broad strokes, the connection is real, it is painful and in many cases the wounds are still open.

Pope Francis recent dealings with Abbas and decision to officially recognize Palestine could very well destroy five decades of Judeo-catholic rapprochement and even ad some salt to these wounds. Catholics are part of what is known as Christendom and as such are considered Christians. Next time one of your Jewish friends tells you that ALL Christians are anti-Semitic, even though that isn’t a true statement, the opposite might be a bit more difficult to defend.


Fighting the darkness of anti-Semitism one candle at a time

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The 5th Global Forum for Combatting Anti-Semitism took place in Jerusalem on May 12-14, 2015. The theme was: “The Oldest Hatred in the Newest Vessels: Confronting Antisemitism and Hate Speech on the Internet and in Social Media” and “The Rise in Antisemitism in Europe’s Cities Today: Means of Response”. This is a conference that is organized by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs to study, expose and fight global anti-Semitism.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered the opening speech in Jerusalem at the same time that European Jewish leaders convened in Toulouse, France for the biennial Conference of European Rabbis. There is no doubt that anti-Semitism’s recent global spike is causing great concern amid various Jewish communities as well as within the ranks of those who understand racism and human rights.

Mr. Netanyahu delivered a sobering message pointing to the urgency of the matter as well as the irrationality of the “Oldest Hatred.” I concur, as I have said for a while now that anti-Semitism, and especially the new hybrid that I have called “Eschatological Anti-Semitism” or “End-Times Anti-Semitism” is an irrational hatred of Israel and the Jewish people. It comes from all fronts with accusations that are so ludicrous that they would be comical if their goal wasn’t to destroy a people group and a sovereign state. Consider a few of the most recent headlines:

• ICC Threatens Israel to Provide Information for Probe: ICC prosecutor says if Israel does not hand over information on Gaza op, she will be forced to open full-scale ‘war crimes’ investigation.
The International Criminal Court in The Hague is far more focused on demonizing Israel than probing Hamas, Iran, Syria or Yemen. Logical or irrational?

• Top Khamenei Advisor: We Have Divine Permission to Destroy Israel
This is coming from the country that is currently building a nuclear arsenal arrogantly and as the world watches. There is no viable deal short of preventing them from building a bomb. Their genocidal drive against Israel doesn’t seem to worry anybody. Logical or irrational?

• Israel Used Aid Mission to Nepal As Cover for Baby Trafficking
The recent tragedy in Nepal has drawn the attention and sympathy of many including Israel, and so it should have. As a matter of fact, 30% of the rescue/medical help came from Israel while Israelis only make up less than 1% of the world population. Where was Iran? Where was the Palestinian Authority? So let’s accuse Israel of having a cover-up agenda hidden behind their humanitarian help! Logical or irrational?

I could keep going with many more headlines but you get my point. Mr. Netanyahu clearly brought it up when he called it a travesty: ” Now, thousands are being killed in the brutal conflict in Yemen. You see any demonstrations in London or Paris? A quarter of a million people have been savagely butchered in Syria. You hear any word of academic boycotts on the Assad regime? And in Iran now under the Rouhani government, executions have gone up, innocent people are taken to death. You hear any UN resolutions condemning these violations of basic human rights? And the answer regrettably is no. The demonstrations, the boycotts, the resolutions are all reserved for the Middle East’s one true democracy, in fact it’s the most beleaguered democracy on earth – Israel. This is a travesty.”

Then he went on to say that it all starts with education and here again I couldn’t agree more. In my fifteen years of work on the subject, I have been shocked, over and over by some of the comments I heard from people about Israel and the Jewish people. Some of these comments coming from very bright people and/or Bible believing and Bible reading evangelicals. So I continue to take it upon myself to clarify the misconceptions and debunk the stereotypes as much as I possibly can, and so should you!

What Mr. Netanyahu added to the need for education, was the fact that even when we educate people we cannot fully eradicate the problem of anti-Semitism. It is deeply rooted in the willingness to slander, he said. I would add that in many cases it goes beyond willingness to slanders, and crosses the line over to desire and even obsession: “So education and knowledge may be a partial protector against this slander, but there’s something deeper here because these are such patent falsehoods. It is the willingness to submit to slander, the willingness to believe this. This is what creates the ground, and it starts not from the bottom. It starts with the elites. And that’s where it has to be challenged. And today the treatment of Israel is no different from the treatment of our forbearers. The Jewish state is being treated among the nations the way the Jewish people were treated for generations”.

It is so important to continue to speak up against anti-Semitism and all kinds of xenophobia. It is important but unfortunately increasingly unpopular. It seems that one’s level of tolerance, multiculturalism and liberalism is now measured by how deep their disdain for Israel and the Jewish people is. We might never be able to completely eradicate anti-Semitism–at least before we see the Messiah. This doesn’t exonerate us from fighting it.

Mr. Netanyahu ended his poignant speech by retelling the story of the day he met the Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Schneerson and was taught a lesson in courage and endurance: “When I came to the United Nations many years ago to serve as Israel’s ambassador, I met a famous Jewish religious leader, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and he said to me: You know, you’ll be going into a house where many, many lies will be leveled at Israel and at our people, and he said, ‘Remember that in the darkest halls, if you light one candle, then people will see the light of truth for a very long distance. They’ll see it from afar, and your job’, he said to me, ‘is to light a candle of truth in a dark hall.’ Well, I’ll tell you, we need a lot of candles, a lot of lighters of candles, and that’s how I see you”.

When it comes to fighting anti-Semitism, each one of us can play our part. We do not need to be at a global forum in Jerusalem or a conference in France. The darkness of anti-Semitism is all around us and is advancing like an inkspot on porous paper. Each one of us is a lit candle in the hall of Jew hatred. Please do not let political correctness blow you off.

The prophet Isaiah tells us that Zion will shine one day because of God ‘s glory. He also tells us (Isaiah 52:13-53-12) that the hope of Israel can only be in Messiah Who would suffer for His people as Mashiach ben Yoseph, yet also reign in Yerushalaim as Mashiach ben David.
As we wait for that day when light will prevail, let us keep our individual candles lit.

“ Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
“For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples;
But the Lord will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you.
“ Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.
Isaiah 60:1-3


How should we approach the Mohammed cartoons controversy?

Winning Mohammed drawing by artist Bosch Fawstin

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The western world has become accustomed to various reactions at the mentioning or drawing of the prophet Mohammed. The reactions have been from verbal to violent to bloody, and even lethal as we have seen in the case of the murder of Dutch movie director Theo Van Gogh in 2004 or the Charlie Hebdo massacre of 2015 in Paris.

Recently, one of the few remaining cartoonist from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo announced that he was no longer going to draw cartoons of Mohammed. Ronald Luzier known as Luz explained that he had grown tired of drawing cartoons of Mohammed. He claimed that just like he had lost interest in other personalities, he had also lost interest in drawing Mohammed.

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Pamela Geller

Almost at the same time and unrelated, there was a Mohammed cartoons exhibit in Garland, Texas, organized by Pamela Geller of the American Freedom Defense Initiative. Towards the end of the exhibit, two gunmen approached the facility and started shooting at one of the security guards. The two shooters were killed on the spot. Miss Geller was quick to link the shooting to the theme of the exhibit, and she was probably right.

As I see it, freedom of expression is on trial once again. Actually, when it comes to freedom of expression, it has always been found guilty without a trial by radical Muslims. Nevertheless, I believe that neither Luz nor Geller were correct in their handling of the Mohammed cartoons controversy.

Luz chose to stop drawing and make a public announcement about it. Considering how far Charlie Hebdo pushes the envelope each week, it is highly doubtful that the cartoonist is stopping his cartoons because of remorse or respect for religious figures. It is pretty much guaranteed that Moses and Jesus will continue to receive their (un)fair share of abuse and ridicule, not to mention the plethora of politicians and celebrities regularly being targeted by Luz and others.

Ultimately, it is his decision to stop drawing Mohammed, but by making that decision public, I believe that at least within the radical Muslim mindset, he has abdicated his freedom of speech. This will only be seen as a victory emboldening further crippling of the West by Shariah pushing Imams and radicals.

In his case, it would have been a lot better to stop drawing Mohammed but remain silent about his motives. That would have permitted him to maintain his dignity and his freedom of speech. No matter what the motives are, Luz will appear weak to Radical Muslims and they will use it to their advantage, as they have repeatedly done in the past.

Winning Mohammed drawing by artist Bosch Fawstin

Winning Mohammed drawing by artist Bosch Fawstin

But unfortunately, Miss Geller’s Mohammed Cartoons Exhibit is not helping either. As a matter of fact, such a display of anti-Islam by Americans will only exacerbate the situation. Freedom of speech being what it is, still does not grant us the right to say anything we want, anytime we want to anybody we want. Freedom of speech guarantees that we won’t be harassed, arrested, imprisoned or killed for speaking our mind but it doesn’t and shouldn’t give us carte blanche to say anything we want.

Freedom of speech still needs to be controlled by common sense and even moderated by respect for the sanctity of life. What Miss Geller accomplished in Texas, if anything, is a further aggravation of the radical Muslims, and in doing so, she has only fueled their fire! We already have seen what these people [radical Islamists] are capable of when they feel that their prophet has been ridiculed. I am all in favor of exposing radical Islam for what it is–a barbaric medieval ideology. This being said, organizing an exhibit of Mohammed cartoons was just poor taste.

Much education is needed if we really want people to grasp what radical Islam is capable of. Female genital mutilation, honor killings and beheadings are issues that deal with the sanctity of life on a daily basis and they are worth fighting against and exposing. As to the Mohammed cartoons, our coming to a halt or our spreading them around will lead nowhere but to a greater chasm between the West and Islam.

Those of us with Judeo/Christian ethics should know better.


Yom Ha Shoah: Retell the Story or Repeat History

SmallMaurice

It was in 1953, only eight years after the close of World War Two, that Yom Ha Shoah became an official national memorial day in Israel. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion established that day as a yearly memorial of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Since then, every year and all over the world, Jewish people remember the Shoah, or “Catastrophe”, as they perpetuate the memory of their lost loved ones. In Israel, on that day, a minute of silent reflection is observed at 10:00 AM as a siren is heard all over the country. It isn’t unusual to even see motorists stop in the middle of the road and get out of their cars to observe that solemn moment.

Historically speaking, the Shoah is a unique genocide for at least one reason. It is the only attempt at annihilating a people group–The Jews–by even going outside of the area where they resided to gather them and bring them back to a certain death. It was an orchestrated, organized attempt at the total destruction of European Jewry. With all other genocides, as brutal as they might have been, there was always a way for potential victims to escape and/or immigrate. This was rarely the case for the Jews during the Holocaust years.

The importance of perpetuating the memory of the Holocaust cannot be underestimated. It is not about dwelling on the past for the sake of dwelling on the darkest days of Jewish history, but rather for the sake of preventing another “Catastrophe” in the future.

General Dwight Eisenhower caught the importance of documenting and remembering the Holocaust the minute that he walked inside the camps. As he visited one of the sub-camps of Buchenwald with Generals Bradley and Patton, he started to realize the magnitude of what he was witnessing and immediately wrote a letter to the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General George Marshall, in which he said:

The things I saw beggar description. While I was touring the camp I encountered three men who had been inmates and by one ruse or another had made their escape. I interviewed them through an interpreter. The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick….I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to “propaganda.”

And yet, despite the commendable efforts made by Eisenhower and others, the Holocaust currently runs the risk of being relegated into some obscure corner of history. Even worse, some will soon believe that it simply never happened.

How could we possibly go from NEVER AGAIN to NEVER HAPPENED in 70 years? Holocaust denial is gaining a lot of momentum globally. Consider this:

• The Nazi party was at the source of Holocaust denial when they labeled their genocidal efforts “the Final Solution to the Jewish Question”, a euphemism protecting the Nazi genocide from early criticism.

• Holocaust denial officially got organized by Willis Carto (Liberty Lobby) in 1978 with the founding of the Institute for Historical Review(IHR).They regularly promote Holocaust denial while claiming the opposite, as we can see by their support of pseudo-scholars such as David Irving (UK) or Robert Faurisson (France). One of the most visible Holocaust revisionist and denier in the USA is probably Bradley Smith who since 1991 has advertised in college publications to promote Holocaust revisionism.

• French extreme-right long time leader of the Front National party, Jean Marie Le Pen, (now semi-retired) first said that the Holocaust was “a detail of history” in 1987, and just re-iterated his position in 2015.

• Iran just organized its second Holocaust Cartoons Contest, seeking to minimize, revise and/or deny the truth about the Holocaust–all the while preparing for a second one!

• Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas wrote his dissertation in which he doubted the existence of the gas chambers and the high number of Jewish victims. In 2014, he backpedalled to admit that the Holocaust was a heinous crime yet the statements he made in English and in Arabic vary greatly.

Unfortunately, I could keep adding to this list. The point is that in 2015, 70 years after the events of the Shoah, we run the great risk of forgetting it. The last remaining survivors are in their 80s and 90s, with some even over 100 years old. It will not be long before we will no longer be able to talk to anyone who lived through that era. That is one reason why it is crucial to repeat and repeat the story of the Holocaust. The dwindling number of survivors coupled with the sick desire of some to negate the whole tragedy is a very dangerous combination.

Of course, much of history remains recorded for us in numerous books, journals and pictures. But as it pertains to Israel and the Jewish people, once again the standards are different. I am convinced that with an evergrowing animosity for the Jewish state and the global Jewish community, many would feel no guilt if the Holocaust ceased to be remembered, commemorated or even acknowledged.

Iran is working around the clock to acquire a nuclear bomb, Hamas has the destruction of Israel as part of its charter, many liberals and academics are preaching anti-Semitic messages on university campuses and even extreme right-wingers are now resurfacing.

Some claim that the Holocaust never happened, some claim that it was greatly exaggerated, some claim that it was used as Jewish propaganda, and some think that we talk too much about it. The frightening truth is that according to a recent survey by the ADL, 1/3 of the world population believes that the Holocaust was a myth… One third!

If you and I do not retell the story of the Holocaust to our peers and our children, history will repeat itself! Yom Ha Shoah might be one day a year, remembering the Shoah must remain an on-going daily effort.

SmallMauriceIn memory of my Grandfather Maurice Weinzveig.
Born 4 December 1898, Olikka, Russia
Who perished in Auschwitz. One in six million.
NEVER AGAIN


Bibi Netanyahu is facing the toughest two years of his political career

bibi

bibi

In the midst of a global crisis involving Iran’s race for nuclear power, Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected for another two-year term. The landslide victory showed us that Israel isn’t so fed-up with Bibi’s policies. It actually proved that Israelis are very concerned about the Iranian threat and feel that Bibi is the best man to handle the crisis.

The Lausanne “Agreement”–if we can call it that–has left much to be desired. It transforms the West from an inspector into a powerless spectator. Iran’s carefully crafted nuclear “smoke and mirror” show is supposed to appease the international community, so we hear from the media and President Obama.

In a recent interview for NPR, Mr. Obama delivered a 22 minute promotional piece on the exciting deal that is being made with Iran. I would say that it was more propaganda than promotion. While he seems to denounce anti-Semitism, Mr. Obama doesn’t see the need for Iran to recognize the existence of Israel as part of a viable deal as he said: “So there’s still going to be a whole host of differences between us and Iran, and one of the most profound one is the vile, anti-Semitic statements that have often come out of the highest levels of the Iranian regime. But the notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons, in a verifiable deal, on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won’t sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms. And that is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment.”

Mr. Obama’s dismissal of Israel’s safety goes along with the recent disclosure of a Department of Defense top-secret document exposing Israel’s nuclear information. There were several other countries’ sensitive nuclear information on that 360-pages document. Somehow, they were all redacted out of the document before its release, to leave only Israel’s information readable. To be sure, Israel’s nuclear capability is no news to the world, but this was the first official announcement about it by a foreign state. How could Mr. Obama possibly say that his administration has done more for Israel than any other previous president? Unless of course he means that he has done more than any other president to put Israel in arms way…Don’t get me started on that one!

Yet Mr. Obama clearly wants us to believe that he is helping Israel when he says: “And as I’ve indicated before, if you look at my track record since I’ve been in office, we have had as much or greater military cooperation and intelligence cooperation with Israel than any previous administration. We have been steadfast in the defense of Israel when it comes to them defending themselves, even when there have been periods of great international controversy.”

It looks to me as if Israel is left with the decision to strike Iran if they feel that the threat is getting to close for comfort. Frankly, this is a decision that is currently better left on Netanyahu’s shoulders than any other Israeli prime minister. Additionally, I fear that the decision to strike Iran is no longer a matter of if but simply when! Iran knows how to play the clock. Deal or no deal, they continue to see the time span as a great opportunity to continue with their nuclear program with very little outside control. This will allow Iran to acquire the capability to build a bomb a lot sooner. For all we really know, Iran might be a lot closer than we think to become a nuclear lethal force.

The real danger that isn’t discussed much is the fact that we are now in a stage of what has been called “Apocalyptic Islamism”. There is very little if anything that the West can do to stop the raging hatred and determination of the mullahs in bringing in the “Twelfth Imam”. Both ISIS and Iran–while not necessarily working hand in hand–have a common goal of Islamic global hegemony painted on a backdrop of End-Times with the blood of the “infidels”. Iran of course also helps fulfilling Hezbollah’s agenda by proxy.

This really leaves only one option, and that is the physical destruction of Iranian nuclear facilities–a feat that only Israel seems to be willing to undertake. Of course, once the big boy on the Middle East playground has pushed the bully over, the rest of the cowards will magically appear on the scene. Then we might see an overnight alliance of powers who up to then didn’t have the chutzpah to go after the Khameini regime. Even Mr. Obama might join the ranks of those who oppose Iran at that time.

It appears to be “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” for Netanyahu, but since Israel’s survival is a non-negotiable, It might just be a matter of time before Bibi makes a move. He certainly is facing some of the toughest decisions of his entire political career and could certainly use the prayer of those who love Israel.

Preventing Iran from going nuclear ISN’T ONLY A MIDDLE EAST PROBLEM, it is a global one. Ignoring a problem never made it go away, but we are being told than Iran is on the road to full compliance. Is it on that very road that they also shout “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”. Global leadership isn’t necessarily measured in GNP or a country’s worth anymore. It might be measured more by the ability, willingness and determination to avoid a nuclear cataclysm at any cost. In the case of Iran, I think that only Israel has got it and only Bibi can lead them into making such a decision. I still pray for all of it to be averted because any loss of life is a tragedy. Jews and Muslims alike need to be touched by God and meet their Messiah and redeemer (Isaiah 52:13-53-12). The Bible does shed some light on all of this.

There is a promise from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that He will not only protect Israel but also destroy her enemies. This eschatological promise is based on God’s unconditional and eternal Abrahamic Covenant with Israel and the Jewish people (Genesis 12:1-3) and it should be an encouragement and a call to prayer for those of us who support Israel.

In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord before them. And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:8-9)


The six dangers of Christian Palestinianism

olivier2

olivier2There has been a shift in Christian theology as it pertains to the Church’s relationship with Israel and/or Palestinian Christians. Loyalties once rooted in biblical principles are quickly changing. For followers of Yeshua (Jesus), it should not be much of a struggle to recognize Israel’s right to exist as well as the desperate need of the Jewish people for their Messiah.

Nevertheless, there is a real crisis facing Evangelicals today. A growing number of Bible believers appear to have made it their personal duty to act as theological referees between Jews and Palestinians. One of the key words heard over and over is “reconciliation,” and it often punctuates the various programs and projects aimed at bringing both Jews and Palestinians to Yeshua. It seems to be the ultimate goal of Evangelicals involved in such programs. But is it really? For any reconciliation to work, it must be a two-way street. Reconciliation needs to include forgiveness, mutual acceptance and a desire to press on together towards a common goal. The new trend in question is known as Christian Palestinianism.

Christian Palestinianism is a new way to look at the Middle East. It is almost like a new worldview. It has ramifications politically, historically geographically, archeologically, culturally and even spiritually. In his book For Zion’s Sake, Dr. Paul Wilkinson defines Christian Palestinianism by opposing it to Christian Zionism. He writes: “Christian Palestinianism is an inverted mirror image of Christian Zionism. All the basic elements of a Christian Zionist eschatology are reversed, so that the Bible is seen to be Christian, not Jewish, the land of the Bible is Palestine not Israel, the son of God is a Palestinian not a Jew, the Holocaust is resented not remembered, 1948 is a catastrophe not a miracle, the Jewish people are illegal occupiers not rightful owners, and biblical prophecy is a moral manifesto and not a signpost to the Second Coming.”[1]

I believe that Christian Palestinianism is a distorted view of God’s Word hiding a political agenda behind a reformed theology, resulting in a presentation of Christian Zionism as heretical. The Bible is slowly getting “de-judaized,” paving the way for Islam’s influence to overtake Judeo/ Christian history. This shift from Israel to Palestine in the Christian psyche really is a slap in God’s face and a grave altering of His Word. Postmodernism’s thirst for social justice and tolerance has positioned many Evangelicals on the other side of the spectrum from Christian Zionism to Christian Palestinianism. It could be argued that Christian Palestinianism is Replacement Theology amplified. It presents six dangers as follows:

• A Distortion of God’s Word
The promise of Genesis 12:1-3, made by God to Abraham and the Jewish people, still stands. The land boundaries of Genesis 15:18-20 have never changed and have yet to be fully fulfilled:“To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite.”

Why is it that almost nobody questions the historical and biblical revisionism of people like Stephen Sizer, Naim Ateek, Elias Chacour and the likes? We are seeing 21st century Christians blinded by reports of occupation and ethnic cleansing against Palestinians completely turn their back on Israel. But even more than changing one’s interpretation of the Bible, we also witness rejection of the inspired Word of God.

• A Rejection of God’s Word
Christian Palestinianist Naim Ateek recently wrote in Sabeel’s newsletter Cornerstone: “The lesson is clear for me: whatever does not agree with the hermeneutic of God’s love for all people has no authority for us and must not be read even if it is written in the Bible…Jesus had a hermeneutic of God’s love for all people and Isaiah’s words did not comply with that criterion.” [2]

This desire to ignore and even reject Scripture from the Tenach simply because it appears to be in conflict with later teachings of Yeshua is strangely reminiscent of Islam’s “Law of Abrogation,” when Qur’anic verses can be annulled, when historically superseded by contradicting ones. Such an approach to God’s Word is inherently wrong, yet many Evangelicals take their lead from people like Naim Ateek on what they perceive to be a valid biblical approach to the Middle East crisis.

Biblical illiteracy is running rampant within the Evangelical Church, and it creates a very shaky foundation upon which historical revisionism can be built with very little challenge, if any. Christian Palestinianists excel at biblical revisionism. They will go as far as painting Yeshua as the first Palestinian. This far-fetched revisionist approach to Yeshua’s origins has been heavily promoted by the Palestinian Authority. [3]

In both cases of distortion and rejection of God’s Word, the authority of the Bible is put in question. The God of the Bible, who is the God of Israel, as well as the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob, is made into a different god. This allows for the insertion of a revised agenda favoring the Palestinian people at the expense of Israel and the Jewish people.

The concept of Eretz Yisrael being the Palestinian homeland and that of the existence of a native Palestinian people were already looming over the horizon a couple of decades ago, but today it is no longer discussed. The land ownership is accepted without questions. The false premise of a biblical Palestine was propaganda long enough to become truth, with no longer needing to be checked for biblical accuracy.

• A One-Sided Reconciliation
Accusations of “apartheid,” “colonization,” “ethnic cleansing,” or “nazification” of Palestine are constantly brought-up without ever speaking of terrorism, rocket attacks and human rights violations ordered by Palestinian leadership of both Fatah and Hamas. Islamic terrorism is simply dismissed and, in some cases, even justified. Christian Palestinianism offers a one-sided reconciliation, and that, of course, is no reconciliation at all.

• God the Covenant Breaker
Christian Palestinianism changes God from a covenant maker and keeper to a covenant breaker. While it might not be clear to many Evangelicals yet, for Christian Palestinianism to exist, Israel has to cease to exist.
What better way to postulate that Israel has become irrelevant than to say that God’s covenants with the Jewish people have been changed? If God had reneged on His covenant or changed the original recipients of His covenantal blessings, it would become obvious that He is done with Israel and the Jews.
But God never changed His mind when He said to Abraham: “I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

If God were a covenant breaker, He would also have to be a liar. 1 Samuel 15:29 tells us otherwise: “Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.”

• A Demonization of Israel
Once one is convinced that God is finished with Israel and the Jews, it becomes easier to extrapolate the generalization that Israel is the cause of evil against the Palestinians. The accusations against Israel come from Palestinians, Liberals and some Evangelicals. They come so strongly that at times, it becomes difficult to define one source from another. Additionally, the liberal media has absolutely no other agenda than demonizing the victims and victimizing the perpetrators. Facts no longer matter in our postmodern global village. As a matter of fact, radical anti-Zionism is now part of the fabric of society and is in the process of becoming the standard by which one measures his/her degree of tolerance and multiculturalism. French author Pierre-André Taguieff develops it further in his recent book Israel et la Question Juive when he writes: “ Intellectual and political conformism moves alongside radical anti-Zionism, having nothing to do with a critique of Israel’s politics but rather aiming at the final destruction of the Jewish State.” [4]

• A Promotion of Islam
In her book Eurabia: the Euro-Arab Axis, Jewish author and activist, Bat Ye’or, describes Christian Palestinianism as “Palestinian Marcionism:” “The Christian policy that would eliminate the Jewish source of Christianity by suppressing the link between the Hebrew Bible and the Gospels represents an old and lingering trend, always opposed by the Church. Today, Palestinian Marcionism (Palestinianism) paves the way for the Islamization of the Church as it prepares mentalities for an Islamic replacement theology…and encompasses the whole paraphernalia of traditional anti-Semitism.” [5]

Bat Ye’or’s assessment has tragically proven true in the last eight years. Christian Palestinianism is well on its way to de-judaize Yeshua–a job that the gentile branch of Christianity generously contributed to, out of ignorance and sometimes, pure hatred of the Jews over the centuries. Christian Palestinianism will also continue to invalidate much of the Jewish Scriptures as history gets re-written and Jewish references get replaced to accommodate the “Islamization” of the Bible.

While it would be tempting and almost accurate to describe Christian Palestinianism as anti-Semitism, we must be careful in labeling this new trend. Some Christian Palestinianists are clearly anti-Semitic, but this doesn’t allow us to paint with broad strokes and simply say that Christian Palestinianism IS anti-Semitism.

I believe that it is a fair assessment to claim that Christian Zionism and Christian Palestinianism can be found on two opposite sides of the spectrum in terms of the Church’s relationship with Israel and the Jewish people. In fact, Christian Palestinianism is Christian anti- Zionism. But rather than labeling Christian Palestinianism as anti-Semitism, I would rather place it as one of the key components of the latest trend in anti-Semitism: Eschatological anti-Semitism.

Being well aware of the fact that anti-Semitism is the “irrational hatred” of the Jewish people, I see the obvious converging of many unlikely allies against Israel. Islam, Liberals and Evangelicals have many reasons to disagree ideologically and spiritually, yet they find it acceptable to go against Israel in one accord. Campus Intifada, BDS, media bias, historical revisionism, and Holocaust denial are different arrows in Satan’s quiver of hate.

An evangelical might not be as determined to destroy Israel as a radical Muslim is, but they have become co-conspirators and co- perpetrators. As such, they become guilty of the same crime in the eyes of the God of Israel.

God was the first Zionist but He also sent Yeshua for both Jews and Arabs. I am obviously pro-God and thus I am pro-Israel, but being pro- Israel doesn’t mean that one is anti-Palestinian, sadly, and I must say irrationally, the opposite is seldom true!

[1] Wilkinson, Paul R.: For Zion’s Sake (Paternoster, Nottingham, England, 2007) p. 65
[2] Ateek, Naim: Sabeel Newsletter: Cornerstone (Winter/Spring 2014), p.3-4.
[3] http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=13536
[4] Taguieff, Pierre-André: Israel et la Question Juive (Les Provinciales, Paris, France, 2011), p. 191-192.
[5] Bat Ye’or, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis (Teaneck, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Press, 2006), p. 213.


Is this an Aliyah or an Exodus for French Jews?

olivier

olivier

It has only been two months since the terrorist attacks in France, which led to the death of 17 people including four Jews in a kosher supermarket on the east side of Paris. Prime minister Manuel Valls delivered an emotional speech punctuated with rightful indignation in front of the French Assemblée Nationale, calling anti-Semitism, “The symptom of a democracy in crisis”.

French President François Hollande vowed to defend France’s Jews when he was recently quoted saying: “Jews are at home in France, it’s the anti-Semites who have no place in the republic, in protecting its Jews, the republic is protecting itself.”
 In reality, French Jews continue to feel very uneasy in France. The assurance of safety seems to only be a façade. Even with 10,000 troops and police officers deployed all over France in front of key Jewish locations like schools and synagogues, French Jews do not feel properly protected. After all, it wasn’t long after the January attacks that some French soldiers were attacked by a man as they were guarding a Jewish site. Additionally, a Jewish cemetery was vandalized in northern Alsace and over 200 tombstones were destroyed.

French Jews are scared and they are not alone. Other European Jewish communities have joined the French in their feeling of uncertainty. But there is no doubt that France leads the pack when it comes to immigration to Israel.

This unprecedented increase in immigration didn’t just happen because of the Paris attacks of January 2015. To be sure, the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe in general and France in particular has led to an exponential increase in the number of European Jews making Aliyah. But again, France is way ahead of all the other European countries. In 2012, about 2,000 Jewish people left France for Israel followed by 3,120 in 2013 (a 60 percent increase over 2012). Then in 2014, over 7,000 French Jews made Aliyah to Eretz Yisrael, making it the largest Aliyah out of France since the 1970s and the top country for Jewish emigration in 2014( the highest global number in 12 years). We must keep in perspective that this number of over 12,000 Jews out of France over the last three years all happened even before the events of January 2015.

Over 1,000 Jews have already left France for Israel in the first two months of 2015. Numbers could exceed 10,000 by the end of the year. This is of course if no other tragic act of anti-Semitism takes place in France, something I am unfortunately not willing to bet on. Here are some other frightening statistics from the Jewish People Policy Institute:

  • At least 15,000 French Jews are expected to make Aliyah by 2016. (possibly as many as 10,000 in 2015)
  • The Jewish Agency is planning for up to 120,000 French Jews to move to Israel in the next 4 years.
  • By 2030, over half of French Jewry could have made Aliyah.

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky expressed his fears in the summer of 2014 in Paris while the Gaza War was taking place in the Middle East, and French Jews were already leaving in droves. He was quoted saying“Something historic is happening, it may be the beginning of the end of European Jewry. I think it’s a tragedy for Europe, what is happening in France, the strongest of Europe’s Jewish communities, reflects processes taking place elsewhere in Europe. I keep asking people if Jews have a future in Europe.”


I am afraid that Mr. Sharansky might have been right. We might be witnessing the start of the decline of European Jewry with the departure of the French Jews as some sort of “handwriting on the wall” of western European civilization. The question that I ask myself has to do with the numbers of Jews leaving or planning to leave in the next few years. While a few thousand already create a noticeable demographic shift, if we indeed see up to 100,000 Jews leave France in the next five years or so, we are not talking Aliyah anymore, we are talking exodus.

Not all French Jews will immigrate to Israel. Some will move to America, Canada and even the U.K, but those who choose to make Israel their new home will constitute a formidable demographic and economic challenge to region. Set aside the challenge, Israel will gain a pool of people that will undoubtedly contribute to its further developing. It will be a win/win situation for the French Jews and Israel.

The loser in all this will be Europe. Already demographically circling the drain, Europe cannot afford to lose its Jews. With the Jews still in Europe, we are already seeing the emergence of Eurabia as a result of the Muslim “demographic Jihad” of the last 50 years. If France cannot protect its Jews, it is only a matter of time before other people groups or minorities become a target.

If indeed we are in the infancy stage of a mass European Jewish exodus, there is much more at stake than the loss of a once thriving community. God was not speaking figuratively when He promised Abraham to bless those who bless him and the Jewish people and curse him who curses them (Genesis 12:1-3). God meant every word of it then and He means every word of it today. With its Jews leaving, France becomes even more vulnerable to her enemies. Isn’t it ironic that the very people that many have described as a curse actually are a blessing from God?


Bibi’s miraculous landslide victory will help identify his enemies

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bibi2

In listening to the media and a majority of political analysts, Benjamin Netanyahu had a tough road ahead in the 2015 Israeli elections. So when his Likud party won 30 seats (six seats ahead of Herzog’s Zionist Union party), it was a bit of a surprise for most and even a shock for some. Netanyahu’s victory could be considered a landslide victory, but certainly must be considered a miraculous victory. For the next few years, Israel will continue to thrive under the leadership of one of the strongest Prime Minister in her history.

Bibi’s victory doesn’t make everybody happy, especially after some of the announcements he made hours prior to the elections. His enemies will be quick to denounce and criticize him and his agenda.

At the top of the list we can obviously find the Palestinian Authority and Hamas doing everything in their power to delegitimize Israel. The PA continues to apply pressure at the International Criminal Court in The Hague to force them to investigate possible war crimes during the 2014 Gaza War. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat declared:“It is clear that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will form the next government, and for that, we say clearly that we will go to The Hague tribunal, we will accelerate, continue and intensify.” This is a despicable move akin to accusing Jews of crimes against humanity during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising against the Nazis. Hamas has also called for renewed confrontations with Israel…No surprise there!

Another disappointed enemy is the leader of Zionist Union Isaac Herzog who many had seen as a serious contender in the race for the Knesset. Herzog finally conceded and congratulated Bibi on his victory.

The Israeli government is a complicated political machine. The Knesset demands that the ruling party would form a coalition with other parties since 61 seats are required for a majority over its 120 seats. No party has ever won with a majority in Israel’s 67 years of history. Very often the votes are so close that coalition governments are formed with members of the two parties who were competing for the win only the night before. But this time, with 30 seats, Netanyahu finds himself in a majority position from the start, allowing him to form a government much more center-right than ever before. This is a bigger defeat for the Left in Israel. Netanyahu will certainly gain more power from the get go.

Herzog campaigned on issues that he thought were attractive to Israelis like renewed talks with the Palestinians towards a Palestinian state, a strengthening of US/Israel relations, and a change in Israel’s economy bridging the gap between classes. He wanted to bring “Change” to Israel. I think that someone, somewhere already tried that same socialistic ideology and it failed. As it turned out, Israeli voters were much more interested in the security of their country than the economy of their country. After all, how good is a rebounding economy in a country that would be opening its doors to people determined to kill all the Jews. Security over economy doesn’t mean that Netanyahu will not work towards a better Israel economically, but as he has said numerous times and repeated at his address to the US congress, the security of Israel’s people is first and foremost.

It is also interesting to notice that the “Joint Arab List” became the third party in the Knesset. This will undoubtedly create a new dynamic within the Israeli government. What we need to remember is that the “Joint Arab List” comprises three different lists that strongly disagree within themselves. They had to form a mini Arab coalition to even become a reality within the Knesset. Will they find enough of a common ground in their loathing of Israel to work together? Time will tell, but I am certain that we will hear more from the “Joint Arab List.”

Many international leaders are worried about Bibi’s last minute shift to the right to garner the necessary votes from ultra-nationalist factions. They feel that it will only exacerbate the Palestinians and further bury the prospect of any peace in the Middle East. What they really fail to understand is that a more socialistic party like that of Isaac Herzog would facilitate the emergence of a group of people who have absolutely no interest in a two-state solution. They might hypocritically pretend to be open to the idea, but that is only until they have gained enough power to completely annihilate the Jews. Mr. Herzog’s idealistic vision is obviously blinded by his liberal leanings.

And then of course, there is the leader of the “United Welfare States of America”, Barack Obama. While many heads of states will personally call Netanyahu to congratulate him on the Likud’s victory, Mr. Obama gave the task to a White House aid who congratulated Israel without any mention of Netanyahu or the Likud. Some will accuse me of pettiness, but the least that our president could have done was to call Netanyahu in person. Then again, coming from the same man who chose to snub Bibi’s recent congress speech, it shouldn’t surprise us. What a shame.

It is unclear if Bibi’s speech on March 3, 2015 in front of the US congress was a political move or just a heartfelt desire to cry out to the international community. It was probably a bit of both. What is certain is that it facilitated Bibi’s victory. His stance on the “Iranian Deal” was powerful and obviously a slap in the face of our president and “King of Appeasement.”

Relations between America and Israel are tense and fragile at best. There are still many Americans who support the Jewish state. We might expect that the already strained relations between Netanyahu and the White House could lead to a political divorce. The one positive aspect of this win is that Netanyahu will outlive Obama in office and could very well regain a respected position with the next US administration.

So it would appear that Mr. Netanyahu has many enemies to contend with, within and without Israel. Physical rockets will continue to fall over Israel as will the verbal rockets from the liberals, the current US administration and the media. In the meantime, I believe that Bibi’s victory will ensure the best approach to Israel’s security. The road ahead is a rocky one and would greatly benefit from the prayer of the friends of Israel.

Congratulation Mr. Prime Minister, my prayers are with you and Israel!

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, May they prosper who love you. Psalm 122:6


Benjamin Netanyahu – The day the canary became an eagle

bibi

bibi

There is an old story that goes back to the days of coal mining when gas leak explosions loomed at every corner of a mine. Miners would keep a canary in a cage with a person assigned to watching the small bird. At the first sign of the bird collapsing and dying, the miners would know that a gas leak was present and would immediately evacuate the mine before an explosion could potentially bury them alive.

For a while now, Israel has been described as the “canary in the coal mine of civilization”. It was 13 years ago that columnist Jeff Jacoby said: ” Jews, it is often said, are the canary in the coal mine of civilization. When they become the objects of savagery and hate, it means the air has been poisoned and an explosion is soon to come. If Europeans don’t rise up and turn against the Jew-haters, it is only a matter of time until the Jew-haters rise up and turn against them.”

We have been told over and over by some of the wisest political analysts, and many Bible scholars, that we should watch Israel closely. Jacoby claimed in 2002 that Europe was going to fall if they didn’t stand against Israel haters and anti-Semites. Today, Europe is watching as its own Jewish community is leaving in droves to move to Israel. The Jew-haters are winning Europe (not necessarily without the help of some natives, sad to say).

This fate is unfortunately not reserved only for Europe. It is a global shadow covering an increasingly larger geographical area. As much as many Americans would like to believe it, America is not immune. The canary [Israel] applies to America as well. On March 3, 2015, the canary desperately tried to get the attention of the miners. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke for over 40 minutes before a joint meeting of the US congress, showing true leadership through a passionate, focused and gravely concerned speech.

No representative from the White House was present. President Obama apparently was on a video conference call with European leaders. Vice President Biden was in South America and John Kerry was in Geneva discussing the very Iranian deal that was the topic of Bibi’s visit and speech. Over 50 democrats chose to boycott Bibi’s speech. The absence of the leader of the Free World and his entire cabinet spoke tons. It makes one wonder what Mr. Obama really means when he says that he would always have Israel’s back? Are we talking about watching out for the Jewish state’s safety or are we talking about stabbing in the back? Obama’s no show would make me think the latter.

None of this prevented Mr. Netanyahu from expressing deep gratitude to the United States for a long-standing relationship with Israel. As Netanyahu said during his AIPAC speech (start at 1:25:50) in front of 16,000 people: “I mean no disrespect to President Obama.”Netanyahu’s speech started with many specific examples of why Israel will always be indebted to the United States, citing several specific cases when Mr. Obama supported the Jewish State. His gratitude was heartfelt and very obvious. It was clear that his visit wasn’t meant to be a scolding of the current US administration but more of an alarm sounding.

The rest of his speech focused on Iran and the danger it already poses today without nuclear capability, followed by how much more dangerous it would be with it. To most people, including some in the Middle East who are not necessarily Israel’s best friends, Iran is the biggest threat to the region. But Iran is much more than a regional bully, it is a global one. If the nuclear deal goes through, Iran will be soon equipped with nuclear head mounted missiles capable of reaching Israel of course, but also all the way to America’s east coast.

Netanyahu delivered a passionate appeal to the United States, but truly, he was speaking to the world. He was interrupted by over 40 rounds of applause, many of them being bipartisan standing ovations. What the current US administration fails to understand is that Netanyahu’s speech was much more than the Jewish State pleading for sanction against Iran to protect itself. His speech was the canary in the goldmine of civilization gasping for whatever little air is left before the global explosion.

Mr. Netanyahu was bold enough to let the world know that if necessary, Israel will stand alone, hoping that congress would get his “not so subliminal” message and back Israel up if and when necessary. His statement was very clear when towards the end he said: “We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home. And the soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage. For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves. This is why — this is why, as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand. While I agree with Israel’s right to exist and defend herself I also recognize that God has been behind the miraculous rebirth and growth of the Jewish State. Nothing else can explain Israel’s existence today but the grace of the God of Israel who through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’s descendants, promised a great nation and land (Genesis 12:1-3).

Mr. Netanyahu showed courage, integrity and leadership at a time of great global turmoil. Many will complain that the leader of the Free World was absent.  The frustration is justified, yet it gave Benjamin Netanyahu an opportunity to state the truth with authority. Even though a great existential threat remains, and the road ahead is tumultuous at best, March 3, 2015 was the day when the canary became an eagle.


Saudi Arabia seeks hypocritical negotiation

Waving-Flag-of-Saudi-Arabia

Waving-Flag-of-Saudi-ArabiaRecently, the Saudis have made two very peculiar moves to protect their country from an ISIS invasion and/or Iran. It is interesting to note that we now have an apparently sharia compliant country trying to defend itself from a sharia enforcing state. Is there more than one way to abide by sharia law?

It is also worth noting that the brand of Islam known as Wahhabism or Salafism, that is the driving force behind the Islamic State was born within the borders of Saudi Arabia. Even though it is clear that Saudi Arabia has progressively distanced itself from the extremist brand of Wahhabism adopted by ISIS, the connection cannot be ignored. It would appear as if the pupil has surpassed the master.

First, it was recently officially announced by the Saudis that they had decided to build a 600 mile wall/fence on their northern border with Iraq to protect themselves from a possible ISIS invasion. Seeing how Iraqi forces have poorly responded to ISIS, the Saudis are getting concerned. But this isn’t a reaction based on the growing threat from the Islamic State since apparently the idea first came up almost a decade ago.

Then there is the most recent offer they made to Israel in regards to opening their air space for the IDF to use if they choose to strike Iran. Of course it wasn’t announced in those words and was only discussed behind closed doors with some European leaders. According to The Wall Street Journal : US and Arab diplomats say that, although Arab nations have avoided matching statements made by Israel, they share many of the same fears regarding a nuclear deal with Iran. While I can appreciate Saudi Arabia’s desire to protect their borders, I find both those moves to be quite hypocritical.

The 600 miles wall/fence isn’t necessarily a bad idea. I believe that any sovereign state is absolutely entitled to its own safety. This is a sad reflection on the times we live in, when countries have to isolate themselves for their own safety, but like someone once said: “It is what it is!” As Saudi Arabia is building their fence, why isn’t there any outrage about their isolationist attitude? Should we accuse them of Islamophobia, or better yet “ISISophobia”? Are they becoming an apartheid state? Of course, you see where I am going with this as nobody is finding the Saudi fence to be out of line, yet the Israeli fence is Islamophobic and driven by colonialism and an apartheid mentality. Give me a break, the Saudi fence AND the Israeli fence have the exact same purpose and that is sovereign protection of their citizens. Why the double standard?

Now let us consider the opening of the airspace over Saudi Arabia for the IDF to fly over he they decide to strike Iran. As the United States continue to flex under the Iranian arrogance, the whole world is wondering how soon Iran will be ready to go nuclear. It certainly appears to be a matter of when and not if. Iran just performed a military exercise days ago and destroyed a life-size replica of a US ship to show the world how capable and certainly willing they are to destroy the West. They now have missiles capable of reaching Europe and the United States. What are we waiting for?

Saudi Arabia doesn’t share a border with Iran but finds itself on the other side of the Persian Gulf and definitely vulnerable. They understand that the one country that can and might do something is Israel, so they are willing to open up their air space in case of a strike. They obviously have much to gain with that move. But wait, there is a catch! The Saudis expect Israel to promise progress in the Israeli/Palestinian “Peace talks” if they want air space access. Nothing has been specified regarding what kind of progress, but good will towards reconciliation must be shown.

Excuse me! Saudi Arabia wants Israel to get along with Hamas who pretty much lines up with much of ISIS’ ideology and wants nothing but the death of all Jews (first) and the West (next). Last September, at the United Nations, Netanyahu rightfully said: “ISIS and Hamas are branches from the same poisonous tree.” Reconciliation requires both sides to be willing to reconcile. One-sided reconciliation is abdication, and in Israel’s case, abdication to Hamas would mean instant suicide.

How hypocritical is it from the Saudis to ask Israel to negotiate with some of the same bloody murderers that they [the Saudis] are trying to protect themselves from? How can they keep a straight face and ask Israel to “Help us protect ourselves from the people who want to kill you!”

It might still come to the time when Israel flies over Saudi skies to strike Iran, and it could be a positive move for the whole region. This being said, it is time for the world to recognize that Israel isn’t the enemy but the only hope in the Middle East. Deep down, Saudi Arabia probably knows it, otherwise they wouldn’t open their air space to them, but they are not willing to make such a statement in the open.

I look at the Saudis and it reminds me of Doc Holliday in the movie Tombstone, when he said:“My hypocrisy only goes so far!”


Can ISIS ever be defeated?

isis

isis

It is with bewilderment, disgust and fear that our global community has become an audience to the bloody carnage inflicted by ISIS within the boundaries of their ever-growing “Caliphate.” On February 17, they set 45 people on fire in Iraq, adding to the gruesome death toll of the last few months. It wasn’t long ago when they set a Jordanian pilot on fire inside a cage and filmed it as if the act was scripted and planned. They also beheaded Japanese and European people among others, not to mention all the Christian beheadings like the recent 21 Copts in Libya. How far will they go and can they ever be defeated?

Before attempting to answer such a question, we need to understand the ideology behind the bloodiest jihadist group in modern history. Unfortunately, almost every attempt made recently could be compared to studying a bird as if it were a fish. It just cannot yield useable results. ISIS truly is in a league of its own and should be handled as such. In a previous post, I explained that they are organized, wealthy and weaponized. In and of itself, this already places them outside of your run-of-the-mill terrorist groups like Taliban, Al-Qaeda or Boko Haram. Yet they are unique in several other ways.

A Caliphate
ISIS’ name in Arabic is al-Dawlah al-Islāmīyah fī al-ʻIrāq wa-al-Shām meaning the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (The Levant being another name for greater Syria). They have only been around for about 15 years and mostly as a branch of Al-Qaeda, but they even became too extreme for Al-Qaeda. This would go along the lines of Hitler rejecting a group of soldiers because he deemed them too brutal to join the Nazi Party!

So ISIS flew the coop, and after Al-Qaeda officially severed all ties, their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (in charge since 2010) declared that he was the new caliph and that as such, he was now ruling all Muslims within a newly formed global Caliphate. To date, the introduction of a new Caliphate has been far from welcome by various Muslim countries. Nevertheless, it creates a new dynamic not only for the West but within Islam as well.

All terror groups until ISIS were underground and decentralized. ISIS is territorial, and under an Islamic Caliphate, it can only function as such. Thus, it is in their interest to gain ground. As little as they might get and as slow as they might move, they must press on. ISIS will continue to move in the Middle East and spread from its epicenter like a bleeding wound on a piece of cloth as the world weakens.

Another aspect of a caliphate is the fact that the one who implemented it is seen by his followers as the unique ruler or “caliph.” He controls all Muslims globally. Of course, they’re millions of Muslims who want nothing to do with the Islamic State, but according to ISIS’ exegeses of the Qur’an, if they indeed call themselves Muslims, they must submit to the caliph and his ruling or die as infidels. This puts all Muslims who are not adhering to all of ISIS’ ideology at risk since denying the holiness and inspiration of the Qur’an as they [ISIS] view it is pure apostasy.

Therefore, as anti-Semitic as they are, ISIS will not hesitate to decimate Hezbollah or Hamas who they do not consider in compliance with their views, before they even go after Israel. So apparently, even though it always is borne out of a specific interpretation and application of the Qur’an, Jihadism is far from being monolithic. But the point is that even though Israel and the West are constantly in the crosshair, there are obvious disconnects between, let’s say; the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

An Islamic Apocalyptic Theology
In a recent very thorough piece on ISIS for The AtlanticGraeme Wood wroteThe reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.

ISIS follows a very extreme form of Islam known as Salafism (in Arabic al salaf al salihmeans the “pious forefathers).” It promotes violence and bloodshed to establish and maintain hegemony through a very strict adherence to the qur’an and shari’a law.

ISIS also adheres to an apocalyptic theology and believes that the Mhadi or “guided one” will soon arrive and redeem Islam. According to them, Islam has been dead for over 1,000 years and was just reborn in 2014 when the global Caliphate was declared.

ISIS has boldly declared that Islam is not the religion of peace but the religion of the sword. They went to great length to explain what they meant in an article published in their magazine Dabiq. It really doesn’t matter what the rest of the world’s Muslim population believes, ISIS will continue to go for blood as long as they breathe because that is part of their apocalyptic “raison d’être”.

It is interesting that they include Jesus in their “end of the world” scenario as they see Him ultimately killing the Dajjal or Antichrist to bring in Islam as it always was intended. But until then, watch for the sword as it continues to swing through the infidels’ throats.

One the advantages of ISIS’s apocalyptic theology is that as bloody as it is, it is predictable. In the past, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda or even Hamas have been everything but predictable. If it was taken seriously, this could be to our advantage.

When does it end?
In America, a recent poll showed that 73% of Americans believe that the Obama administration doesn’t have a clear strategy to defeat ISIS (up 9% from 2014). President Obama called ISIS the Al-Qaeda “Junior Varsity”, clearly showing that he is clueless about the terrorist group. ISIS is an Islamic terrorist organization and it doesn’t matter if you believe that Islam is indeed the religion of peace because THEY DON’T!

On Monday, Mary Harf, A State Department spokeswoman proposed that we offer jobs to ISIS terrorists to pull them out of their misery and give them a sense of purpose. No wonder ISIS keeps humiliating the West and killing people. There is no solid leadership to take them out.

While our current president is struggling over semantics and a tactful approach, ISIS’ killing spree is growing exponentially. The days for a tactful approach are long gone (if they ever was such a time). It is time for a tactical approach and I am far from convinced that the United States will lead the free world in that endeavor. Don’t get too close to Israel though because the IDF doesn’t just bark, they bite too!


Vagueness Is Real Danger

jews targeted

jews targeted

France is still trying to recover from the terrorist attacks of early January 2015. France that wasn’t the only area affected, as many around the world are starting to realize the dangers of radical Islam. The problem isn’t specific to the Middle East and/or exclusive to the Islamic State. Our global community was hit. There is still a very long road ahead of us if we really care to defeat people with an ideology in line with that of ISIS.  It is now impossible to ignore the danger.

It is one thing to acknowledge a real danger.  It is another to strategically move forward to fight it. The world is being forced to recognize the brutality and barbarism of the Islamic State. Few if any have made any progress in the war against that enemy. Its is quite mind boggling that some governments have yet to clearly label the Islamic State as a radical Islamic group. Leading the pack is the Obama administration. Their vagueness regarding the Islamic State is a real danger.

We can all agree that the beheading, crucifixions, stoning and burnings have placed the Islamic State to the forefront of our contemporary enemies. Any government hesitant in calling these extremist a radical Islamic terrorist group, is making a grave mistake. Last September, in one of his addresses, President Obama declared that the Islamic State was neither Islamic nor a State.  The Islamic State might have declared a caliphate a few months back, but it doesn’t qualify them as being a state. They are more of an illicit economy as the Wall Street Journal labeled them.

On the other hand, they are every bit “Islamic” if we understand the meaning of the word Islamic. It is a misconception to believe that Islam is simply a religion of peace, because it is much more complex than that. Many Muslims want nothing to do with the Islamic State’s barbaric methods, yet any serious student of the Qur’an cannot ignore that it contains plenty of verses about violence, deception and killings of the infidels.

What we could call “orthodox Islam” is a lot closer to radical Islam than one might think. There simply are many Muslims who do not adhere to that kind of literal approach to the Qur’an. They have distanced themselves from the extremism taught in those verses. They are “moderate Muslims”, yet they are not even recognized by radical Muslims as true Muslims. I think that a better description would be to call them “cultural Muslims.”

To avoid calling the Islamic State “Islamic” is a vagueness that is far from accidental. It is deliberate! It remains uncertain if the choice is made out of fear of reprisals or political and/or ideological alignment. Nevertheless, the Islamic State IS Islamic from a Qur’anic standpoint.

Continuing with the vagueness that has stricken our President in the past few months, we also need to question his motives when he claims that the Paris Kosher Market attacks were random attacks. In an interview with VOX in the last few days, Mr. Obama didn’t identify the victims as Jews, but simply as”a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.” The fact that Amédy Coulibaly (the killer) entered a “kosher” store, said that he was linked to Islamic State, and killed the people inside, because they were Jewish was purely anecdotal, and I guess irrelevant! What an insult to the Jewish community!

Mr. Obama was further defended by the White House press secretary Josh Earnest who very awkwardly backed him up. This didn’t satisfy the press and drew the ire of the social networks. Then, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki added a couple of days later that we should let the French government decide if the events were of an antisemitic nature. Give me a break! If a radical Muslim barges into a kosher store and kills Jewish people, it is NOT RANDOM! The French government has authority since this took place on French soil, but that doesn’t invalidate the original intent of the act itself.

The White House decided to back pedal and do damage control on Thursday. They made a statement declaring the events of the Paris kosher store as anti-Semitic. The vagueness applied to the description of the terror attack at the supermarket is very dangerous, because it reduces the tragedy to a random act of violence, removing it from the hate crime that it was.

Is this part of the conditioning of the masses to lead them to ignore both a real danger and a real victim? This vagueness is terrifying to me, because it was only 70 years ago that some of my family members went from being human beings, to being prisoners, to just being a simple number. Eventually, the whole process led to a need to exterminate my people who had been reduced to the status of animal.

Calling the Paris terrorist attack “random” is in and of itself “targeted”. We say a lot more by saying less. Once again Mr. President your vagueness doesn’t appear to be accidental!


Holocaust Memorial Day: Why do we still remember?

holocaust

holocaust

January 27 is International Holocaust Memorial Day and this year also happens to be the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Soon after the 1945 opening of the death camps and rescuing of those who had miraculously survived, a motto was born: NEVER AGAIN. Emaciated walking corpses believed in that statement and many of them tried to look towards a brighter future or any future if even possible. Seventy years later, most of these survivors have passed. Could it be that they have taken their motto with them?

As it appears in some places, there is a tragic “Holocaust fatigue” plaguing the world these days. The BBC just tweeted the following statement: ” Is the time coming to lay the Holocaust to rest?”demonstrating quite clearly that they either have a very short memory of the events of two weeks ago in Paris or that they simply are clueless about what is appropriate.

But they are not alone in this postmodern quest to minimize the Shoah. They might not be deniers or revisionists but in their process of watering down the “Catastrophe” or even asking such a question, are they helping those who flat out reject the Holocaust? So they ask the question: ‘Why do we remember ?” I could answer that question but instead, I will let Evelyn do that.

In the 1970’s, Evelyn was in her forties, sitting in a park on the east side of Paris, watching her young boy playing with schoolmates after school had let out. This was a daily routine for Evelyn, as she was sitting on a park bench watching people. Suddenly she overheard two ladies that she knew from her small town having a discussion. It wasn’t long before the two ladies started to denigrate the Jews in their own words. Evelyn knew them and they knew her. She had not told them or anybody in town that she was Jewish, but that day was too much, so she interrupted the ladies and with all the boldness she could muster, she looked them in the eyes and said: “You know that I am Jewish, right?” The two ladies were taken aback and very embarrassed, while Evelyn was liberated from the prison of her Jewish identity.

That afternoon, as Evelyn walked back to her house with her son, I wonder how much better she really felt? I wonder if when she approached her home, she remembered the day some 25 years ago when she saw the Gestapo coming to that very house and taking her father Maurice to his death in Auschwitz -Birkenau? As she walked through the small corridor leading to her front door, she could probably visualize her father hiding in the cellar in 1942, right under her feet.

It had taken 25 years for Evelyn to dare start speaking out and telling others she was Jewish. She remembered the time she spent in the South West of France, hiding on a farm in a small village near the town of Pau. She didn’t know it then, but her life was being preserved by a family of simple peasants who would later be recognized as “Righteous Gentiles” by Yad Vashem.

Evelyn is now 87 and she still lives in the same house. She has had a full life. She has two children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. In a sense, that is the best revenge that the Jewish people could have had after the Shoah. Survivors got up, got better and started families to prove once more that God will never completely forsake Israel (Jeremiah 31:35-37).

Evelyn remembers all these events very well. But she is scared again. When the Paris terrorist attacks of early 2015 took place, she was very nervous. The Kosher Supermarket was only a few hundred yards from the house she lives in and only 30 yards from one of her granddaughters’ apartment. When her son called to check on her and asked her to stay inside, she started crying and said: “They’re coming back aren’t they”? Her son didn’t quite know what to say.

Why do we still remember the Shoah? Because current antisemitism could lead to another catastrophe if we allow our minds to even entertain the idea that the Shoah needs to be archived into history.

Why do we still remember the Shoah? Because people like Evelyn are real and they went through a real nightmare.

Why do we still remember the Shoah isn’t even the question to ask.

Evelyn is my mother, and the real question is: “How dare we forget?”


France is at war, now what?

MuslimsBurnFrenchFlagInFrance

The Paris terrorist attacks of January 7th-9th, 2015 are still very fresh in the memory of the global community. The response to the attacks on freedom of expression and on the Jewish community was, and continues to be, overwhelming. Officials from various countries are still visiting the sites and paying their respects.

Both the home where I grew up, and my niece’s apartment turned out to be within a few hundred yards of the Kosher Supermarket massacre. I was taken aback by the proximity of the attacks, as well as the choice of neighborhoods. I would have never guessed that “my quiet neighborhood” could become the scene of a bloody terrorist attack. But I suppose that in 2015, no area is sacred or even safe from global terrorism.

This series of attacks seemed to be a wake-up call for France. But the country had been snoozing for quite a while, since the torturing and death of Ilan Halimi in 2006, and the brutal murder of 4 Jewish people in a Jewish Day school in Toulouse in 2012. As a matter of fact, similar statements of potential action against terrorism were made at those times. But hey were just that: potential. Has it since become water under the bridge of political correctness?

Since last week’s events, Belgium thwarted a terrorist attack and killed two suspected jihadis in the process. The country is currently struggling with some of its citizens going to Syria to train with the Islamic State, a dilemma that France and many other European countries are now faced with. In fact, the whole world is at risk as people from all over see fit to join the Islamic State. How anybody would be attracted to joining a barbaric organization thriving on crucifixions, beheadings and rapes is beyond comprehension, yet it is a reality.

As it turns out, France is at war. But France isn’t alone as the rest of Europe finds itself caught in this complicated conflict against terror, a conflict that knows no geographical OR moral boundaries. While the current war has nothing of a conventional conflict between two or more countries, it could still be driven by some of the very basic principles that punctuated conflicts in the past.

Know your enemy:

One foundational principle of war is to know your enemy. In the case of France, I am convinced that this is not the case, at the very least not fully. As much as I appreciated President Hollande’s attempt at gathering the free world on the streets of Paris on January 11, and as much of a historic event as it turned out to be, I remain puzzled by the presence of certain officials. Why in the world did France invite Mahmoud Abbas (and originally not invite Benjamin Netanyahu) to the march. I compare inviting Abbas to a march against terror and promotion of freedom of expression to inviting Hitler to a Passover Seder. Seriously! Abbas is in bed with Hamas and we know too well what they are capable of. Not to mention some of the African heads of state that were also present at the march, who definitely have their own definitions of freedom of expression and freedom of religion.

Additionally, France and most of the planet for that matter, continue to keep their head in the sand as it pertains to Islam’s infiltration into Western civilization; with or without violence. Radical Islam has become the weed that will choke the West. To simply state that the attacks of January 7-9 in France have nothing to do with Islam is an oversimplification that proves ignorance on the part of France, and Greater Europe. Of course, not all Muslims are terrorists but can anyone remember the last time a terror attack ANYWHERE in the world had no connection to Islam? In light of the recent blood bath, French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, was quoted saying:

I do not like … I do not want to be a censor, but I think the term Islamist – and I have also said this about the expression Islamic state – is probably not the right one to use. I call them terrorists. Because when you use the word Islam, you promote a kind of continuity between the Muslim (who practices his religion, which is a religion of peace) and a certain [extremist] interpretation of the Muslim religion.

 I really don’t think that the whitewashing taking place will help to defer any future attacks. On the other hand, it might condition the masses into believing that an imminent danger is simply a misnomer and should be ignored–something that radical Islam is counting on!

Have a Strategy:

So how do you fight an enemy that has no moral equivalence with the Judeo/Christian ethics of the western world? Very carefully! Keep in mind that it is nearly impossible to have a strategy if you haven’t really identified who it is that you are fighting.

There has been a controversy in the last few days over a story of France’s 750+ No-Go zones. They are sensitive urban zones all over France with a large concentration of Muslims, and in many cases, presenting a real danger for the locals and even the authorities. An American journalist from FOX News was forced to apologize for some very bold statements he made about theses areas, and he did. This doesn’t take away the many areas were known Muslim communities exist today. Some say that it is a myth. Some say that they do exist. The reality is that from both sides of the spectrum, all agree that their is a malaise within French society that has been created by Islam’s obvious refusal to integrate French society over the last 50 years. Given that about a third of France’s Muslim population of 5.5 million is under the age of 30 and highly unemployed, this creates an ideal breeding ground for radicalization. The French city of Marseille is a perfect example of that with a Muslim population of between 30% and 40%.  It is well on its way to becoming the first major metropolis of France that has a Muslim majority. It is only a matter of time before we discover if the No-Go zones are a myth! French analyst and author Guy Millière stated recently that:

Anyone who knows Islam and knows of the existence of the internet also knows that “French Islam” does not exist, and that Islam in France cannot be separated from Islam as it is everywhere else.

As difficult as it is for me to admit, the only person who seems to have an opinion and somewhat of a strategy on how to deal with the French problem of Islamist radicalization and infiltration is Marine Le Pen. The current leader of French extreme right party Front National is becoming increasingly popular, even within a Jewish community well aware that her and her dad Jean Marie Le Pen are rather anti-Semitic. After all, it was Jean Marie Le Pen who once said that the Holocaust was simply “a hiccup of history“. Marine Le Pen promotes a strict immigration policy that would be a good start for a safer France. Unfortunately, she doesn’t stop at radical Islam’s threat to the country. If she had her way, she would clean France of Arabs, Blacks and Jews. At the rate this is going, she might have her way, God forbid!

I fear that France’s strategy is simply based on a war of semantics and a reactive move against terror instead of a pro-active one. If indeed we hear mostly words but see no action, Islamists will continue to infringe on our liberties, kill many more people, and prove that if France didn’t know their enemy and didn’t have a strategy, THEY [radical Muslims] certainly did! The French Jews can always move to Israel, but where will the rest of the natives go?


Will the Paris March against terror only be a historic day?  

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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. Within about 48 hours, 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 Sunday was much bigger in so many ways. It was history in the making.

The French government admitted that it was extremely difficult to gauge how many people really participated, but at the end of the day they had agreed that the number was about 4,000,000 all over France with probably about 1,700,000 in Paris alone. The Paris Freedom March was the largest gathering of people on French territory for a single cause, ever. It was even larger than the Liberation of Paris in 1945.

Security was of course a huge concern, considering that about 50 heads of state were present at the march. How much can really be organized in 48 hours in the midst of an ongoing crisis? There was obviously a huge risk factor and the various heads of state present were all aware of it. They came anyway. At least most of them, although President Obama’s absence was an embarrassment and a message in and of itself. Even Attorney General Eric Holder who was already in France couldn’t be spotted in the crowd. In a very negative way, America also made history on Sunday.

Fortunately, in addition to the French marches, many other countries showed their support by having gatherings of their own. French President François Hollande rightfully said: “Paris is today the capital of the world”. Logistically speaking, the Paris March made history.

     But beyond the variety in the march’s composition, it must also be noted that politically speaking the march was an incredible amalgam of ideologies. Nationally, all those who could be there were there, from the left to the right, including previous french presidents such as Nicolas Sarkozy. They were participating in a very apolitical protest against terrorism, anti-Semitism and in support of freedom of expression.

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Internationally, it was probably the largest concentration of heads of state outside of a funeral for another head of state or monarch. Leaders in attendance came from Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, Ukraine to name just a few European countries, as well as many African countries. Of course, it was also impossible to ignore the presence of both Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas in the front line of the march. On any given day, most of the countries and political parties represented in Paris would disagree on a lot of issues, but Sunday was the day to agree against Islamo-Nazism and its barbaric ideology. Politically speaking, the Paris March made history.

    The streets of the capital were filled with people from all religious walks. We could see Muslims and Jews marching together, accompanied by Catholics, many other faiths and even atheists. The march was serving several purposes under the banner of fighting terror. The Friday Kosher Market hostage crisis claiming the lives of four Jewish victims made France realize that anti-Semitism is alive and well within its borders. It was time for France to admit that whatever they had tried in the area of tolerance, integration and appeasement was a huge failure. Former President Sarkozy already knew that after the carnage of the Toulouse Massacre in 2012.

But in the midst of a very anti-Semitic community, France still produced some heroes like the young Muslim from Mali, Lassana Bathily, who decided to hide all the customers he could find in the downstairs–refrigerated room at the Kosher Market. Several Jewish hostages were saved because of this young Muslim.

The day ended with a service at the Grande Synagogue de Paris packed with Jewish worshippers as well as people from other faiths, in support of all the victims and of the Jewish community. President Hollande, Mr. Netanyahu and the Paris Imam among others were all present at this moving service where the French national anthem La Marseillaise was sung as if to signify that the gathering was going well beyond the memory of the four Jewish victims, and it was. Religiously speaking, the Paris March made history.

     But the question remains in the hearts of French people and especially within the French Jewish Community: “Will the march be remembered as a Day of unity against terror or will it it be the catalyst of something much bigger”? “Will the French government, in cooperation with the other countries of the European Union, enforce existing anti-terrorism laws as well as adjust others and create the ones that are still needed”? The Jewish community doesn’t have much hope that this wake-up call will actually empower the country to continue fighting against extremism.

French Jews are scared to go shopping, or go outside wearing Jewish garb or even sending their children to Jewish schools. As a result, we have seen a mass exodus from France to Israel in the last few years with 7,000 in 2014 alone.

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. So, today, much remains on the table for French politicians who showed that even for a day they could agree to fight for freedom of expression and speak against anti-Semitism and terrorism. Not just France, but the whole world needs to press on and stand up against radical Islam.

No matter what follows, Sunday January 11, 2015 will always be remembered as the Paris March against Terror. But for the future of mankind in general and that of Jewish people in particular, France and the other countries present at the event should not lose their momentum of unity and dedication.

On 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.