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Wake-up call for America

Anti-Semitism on display in the streets

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31 Aug 2017
Wake-up call for America

On Saturday, August 12, I was honored to speak at Yad Vashem’s Graduate Event for those who have completed their Christian Leadership Seminars in Israel. It was encouraging to see the commitment to fight anti-Semitism from Christians of different denominations and continents around the globe.

Yet, it was surreal and frankly disturbing to see later that same day the breaking news on TV screens as I walked through Washington-Reagan airport. Violent scenes were broadcast live from Charlottesville, Virginia, where neo-Nazis were brazenly out on the streets of America displaying all their race-based, anti-Semitic hate for the world to see.

Only days later, ISIS carried out a terrorist attack in Catalonia, Spain, using a van to kill more than a dozen innocent men, women, and children, and injure over 100 more. The Chief Rabbi of Barcelona responded by declaring that the Jewish community in that region is doomed. He cited the authorities’ reluctance to clamp down on radical Islam as the driving force behind growing anti-Semitism in Europe, leaving Jewish communities vulnerable across the continent.

Until now, Americans could draw some comfort from the fact that the growth of anti-Semitism in the United States has been significantly slower than in their European counterparts over the last two decades. Many are not surprised to see how increased immigration to Europe from Muslim nations has resulted in a troubling rise in anti-Semitism and now also jihadist attacks.

But, Americans should be surprised by what they see developing in the United States at present. On display in Charlottesville was more than just two sides battling over the future of Confederate statues. There is something more sinister at work here and, as in Europe, it is unfortunately the Jewish community that stands to suffer.

Two Opposing Ideologies

The neo-Nazis marching with their swastikas and Hitler salutes exhibit classic anti-Semitism. Based on race and white supremacy, this ideology is easy to recognize and has been fully rejected by the nations of the West. It incongruously casts Jews as sub-human while accusing them of some grand, evil scheme to control the world, especially through Communist ideology.

On the other side from the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville was the opposition group mostly made up of Antifa (which stands for anti-fascist action). Born out of the 1930s when the Nazis and Communists were struggling for power in Germany, the modern Antifa movement has its roots in opposing the brown shirts while also associating with more Marxist/anarchist ideologies. Closely linked to the Black Lives Matter movement today, these groups are also anti-Zionist. This means they reject the desire of Jewish people to return to their homeland, viewing Zionism as race-based colonialism that profits at the expense of the local, indigenous people, in this case the Palestinians.

Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitic

Detaching the Jewish people from the land God bequeathed to Abraham and his descendants some 4,000 years ago achieves two insidious goals. First, it removes the Jewish people’s historical connection to the land, turning them into invading foreigners that must be repelled, thus legitimizing all means to cleanse “Palestine” of their presence. Second, it denies the Jewish people their identity as a nation with a place to live in this world, relegating them to the status of permanent wanderers at the mercy of all the other nations who choose to host them.

This is at its core anti-Semitism. It is just cloaked in a veneer of modern political correctness. But there should be no tolerance for such discrimination. The last century should have taught us that dangerous ideologies such as Nazism or Communism can have disastrous outcomes, with Jews usually paying the higher price.

Their Alliance with Muslim Anti-Semitism

Just as disturbing should be any ideology that embraces both classic and new anti-Semitism, rejecting the legitimacy of both the Jewish people and the Jewish state. Despite the refusal of the Western media to acknowledge it, the recent spate of vehicle attacks in Europe originated as a tactic of Palestinian terrorists seeking to kill innocent Jewish civilians in Israel. Their goal is to destroy the Jewish state as it exists today. Their strategy follows the Algerian playbook, where a small Islamist insurgency was able to overthrow a much larger colonial power, France. And for the last 100 years, they have aligned with any ideology that will serve this end.

When the Nazis rose to power, the Jewish people were already taking steps to reconstitute their state in the land of Canaan. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini, opposed the Jews and so made his way to Hitler where he joined his cause with that of solving “the Jewish problem.” He swiftly became a popular voice in support of the Nazi Holocaust against European Jewry, even recruiting an SS company in Bosnia which slaughtered 90 percent of Bosnia’s Jews.

Given safe haven by Egypt after the war, Haj Amin el-Husseini became the mentor of Rahman Abdul Rauf el-Qudwa el-Husseini, the Egyptian-born leader of the PLO better known to the world as Yasser Arafat. Committed to the destruction of Israel, Arafat not only favored the use of attacks against “soft targets,” he literally innovated the tactic of using civilian airline hijacking as a terror weapon.

Nazi ideology has permeated Islamic thought since World War II with Hitler’s Mein Kampf remaining a staunch favorite in Middle-Eastern countries, while Holocaust denial has been given state-sanctioned prominence. The current leader of the Palestinian Authority, President Mahmoud Abbas, claimed in his 1982 dissertation that the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust was hugely exaggerated and Zionist collaboration with the Nazis was the real cause for the genocide. He received his PhD from Lumumba University in Moscow.

It’s no secret that Communist Russia worked closely with the Palestinian Liberation Organization in support of its conflict with the Jewish state, especially after Israel severely humiliated the Soviet Union’s Arab allies in the 1967 Six- Day War. A recent release of Cold War documents even seems to suggest that Abbas was himself a KGB spy.

In their over-arching quest to defeat Israel and the Jewish people, the Islamic world has proven itself willing to work with two opposing evils, Nazis and Communists, because the ideologies of both are committed to at least one common goal: the destruction of God’s chosen people.

Wake Up, American Church

As the Apostle Paul warns us in Ephesians 6:12, this battle is ultimately not against flesh and blood but against spiritual principalities and powers. We should not be surprised then to see the same spirits of deception and destruction manifesting themselves in Virginia as they do in the Middle East. Our challenge is to discern the spiritual meaning of these events and to take heed.

In a continent that has virtually outlawed any Nazi identification, the Jews of Europe still face an uncertain future. The leaders there are unable or unwilling to correctly identify and confront another anti-Semitic threat now hidden in the anti-Zionist rhetoric of Islamic extremists and their leftist collaborators.

The church in Europe failed the Jewish people during World War II, and it is failing them again today. This should be a lesson to the church in America. We still have time to discern what is happening and then take action to ensure we do not fall into the deceptive trap that is being laid.

What happened on the streets of Charlottesville is a wake-up call.

Anti-Semitism and its twin, anti-Zionism, must not be allowed to take root in America. Sadly, support for neo-Nazis and for Antifa is growing as people line up in defense of either side. The church, however, must stand up in defense of the Jewish people and the State of Israel at this time. May the Lord give us all the courage we need for the battle ahead.

- by Daryl Hedding, US Deputy Director


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