In my travels, I am often asked: “Why is antisemitism so dramatically on the rise?”
Across the globe hatred of Israel and the Jews, in this new decade, soars to record heights on the wings of the global antisemitic BDS movement. South Africa played a historical role in the links of BDS and the rise of the ‘new antisemitism’ being seen worldwide.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) emerged at the 2001 UN-sponsored World Conference on Racism, and Racial Intolerance which was held in Durban, South Africa. What ultimately was birthed from that meeting was a document called the ‘Declaration of Principles,’ declaring Israel to be a racist apartheid state. Israel was falsely accused of committing crimes against humanity, demanding punishment and world censure, as well as imposing sanctions on the diplomatic, economic, academic, social and military fronts between all nations and the Jewish State. It created a wave of hatred that has virtually washed over every continent in the past 20 years.
You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit. Exodus 23:1-3
In South Africa this fall, I engaged Christian leaders with the questions: “How could this happen? Why did the church remain silent? How could they join hands with wicked leaders to pervert justice by their silence?”
I’d like to be able to travel back in time and challenge the generation of Christians in Germany to ask them the same questions: “Why was Germany’s Reichstag so diabolically successful in transmitting lies into acceptable social policies to seed Jew-hatred and pave the way for Hitler, unchallenged by Christians? Germany, a country that claimed Judeo-Christian values turned a blind eye to the false witness leveled at Germany’s Jewish communities. Why was the church as a body missing in action during those dark days too?”
This week of a new year and a new decade, a new inescapable question arises: “How can antisemitism happen here in America?” Another generation, another Judeo-Christian value system—ours —is being eroded daily by a new resurgence of the same age-old hatred. The answer on all counts to all the above questions is the same: Antisemitism grows in the dark and deafening void of silence. That silence is created when Christians, Jews and all people of moral conscience fail to speak out.
The words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer ring across the decades: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil; God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
What has silence in our time brought?
Antisemitism increasingly becoming “the norm.”
Americans have systematically and consistently over the past several years, allowed three elected officials to openly and consistently spew their hatred of the Jews without fear of censure—in the name of free speech and in doing so, have allowed antisemitism to be “normalized” in our culture to a whole new generation of Americans. Fanned by left-wing interests and media, just as in the days of the German Reichstag, lies have been transmitted to Americans from a platform of power and the false narrative has grown to be acceptable in the day-to-day discourse of life. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have become pop culture heroines on our watch. On our watch—and as our children watch—they have mainstreamed antisemitism and hatred of and violence against the Jews acceptable on the mainstream stage of daily life in our nation. The problem is growing exponentially as new voices join the chorus and the violence against Jews in America is being fanned to an epidemic. Where are our voices now?
PJTN is daily engaged in the counter wave attack against antisemitism—and we are committed in 2020 to raise the volume of opposition to epic proportions with and through every available resource. We have a biblical mandate.
What can YOU do?
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Be a voice in support of Israel and our Jewish brethren within your community—the opposition may have the money—we have the eyes and ears of grassroots Christians, Jews and people of moral conscience globally! We must use our voices to mobilize our communities to vote and to speak out against the normalization of antisemitism.
Wishing you a new year of health, peace and prosperity in the year to come.