By Mike Fryer and posted on www.christiansforzion.com
The tragic attack at the museum in Brussels on Saturday did not happen in isolation. Have you considered that it may be a culmination of anti-Israel anti-Jewish rhetoric in Europe as a whole. Three innocent people, two Israeli’s and one a museum employee are the innocent victims of injustices against Israel and the Jewish people. These injustices are committed by those who in their hearts hate the idea of Jews, not only having their own state, but living anywhere.
35% of Jews surveyed in Belgium last year said that they felt that anti-Semitism was a “ very big problem” in Belgium and 42% felt it was a “fairly big problem”. I met a couple from Antwerp earlier this year who said that in the Jewish areas of Antwerp security cameras have been installed to help deter antisemitic attacks.
The problem does not only exist in Belgium it is right across Europe where persecution of Jewish people has been so prevalent since the Diaspora of 70 AD. So how has antisemtism been able to raise its filthy head again in Europe in recent years and result in murders, assaults, verbal abuse, desecration of graves and an increasing internet problem? To answer the question we have to look at what is being done within the establishment in Europe, because what is done and what is voiced in this arena effects the way in which people think about Israel.
To begin to formulate an answer we simply need to look at recent history. The European Union along with many individual governments and in particular the United Nations has continued to support the idea of Palestinian State which would be built on terrorist foundations, but not just in principle but in action through finances. Ludicrous amounts of money are squandered on the Palestinian Authority without any proper recording or consideration of moral standards. In the last four years 1.93 Billion Euros have, according to the European Auditors, been lost or wasted by the PA. Terrorist prisoners in Israeli jails are given twice as much money per month than a full time worker in Wales on minimum wage. Massive amounts of money are donated to Palestinian Arab projects which never result in the intended project being started. We are closing leisure facilities for our young people here in the UK but opening them up in Gaza.
Last year the UN General Assembly adopted 21 resolutions against Israel, and only four on the rest of the world, despite the atrocities and human rights abuses in such countries as China, Russia, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia, not to mention what is happening to the Christian communities in Egypt, Pakistan and India. Syria has received only one resolution despite the four million refugees and thousands of murders taking place daily. The UN has ridiculously elected China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia to its 47-nation Human Rights Council. The UN declared 2014 a “Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian people.” This is despite the fact that Human rights for Palestinian men and women particularly in Gaza are not only being disregarded but being abolished. Male hairdressers cannot cut women’s hair, women cannot smoke in public places. If you are caught collaborating with an Israeli in any way you are executed. Children are taught to hate and kill Jews. What message is that giving radical Islamists and anti-Semites in Europe. The UN is in reality and unjustly fuelling hatred towards Israel.
At a lower Political level Trade Unions and representative bodies are ignoring the Human rights of fellow workers in the non-democratic Palestinian Authority areas and boycotting workers in the democratic state of Israel. In the UK in May 2013 Unison the second largest Union in the UK with 1.3 million members was accused of racial discrimination after Professor Moty Cristal’s workshop on conflict resolution was cancelled. The Israeli expert had been due to lead a session for managers and union officials at the Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust when he received an email stating that Unison had objected to his presence and its members would boycott the event. Professor Cristal was told the invitation to a prominent academic from Israel was in conflict with Unison policy.
However Governments and Political organisations cannot Act without the agreement of the people.
During the Second World War there had to be collaboration between civil authorities and Church and State enabled the atrocities to take place. Police officers sworn in to protect life and property turned from guardians of the people to murders. They rounded up Jewish members of their communities and put them on trains heading for the murder camps. Or in the case of Battalion 101 Police Personnel numbering only 500 became Jew hunters and directly murdered over 83,000 Jews and transported thousands of others to their death during the course of the War.
The Church in Germany represented 95% of the population. Church leaders collaborated with the Nazi party and reports by Waffen SS officers prove that some Clergy actually helped in the murders of innocent men women and children. In September of 1943 over a thousand Jews who lived in sight of the Vatican were rounded up and taken to Auschwitz and on 16th October 1943 the remaining seven thousand Jews who lived within half a mile of the Vatican were also rounded up and taken to be murdered. That morning the Pope ordered his cardinal to inform the German Ambassador that he the Holy See found the situation “painful” but the Pope never made a Public statement denouncing this horrific crime and calling upon the Catholics of Rome to stop the herding of their neighbours into cattle wagons. The head of the World Council of Churches representing Catholics and Protestants had been informed of the shooting of Jews two years earlier. Neither Protestant or Catholic leaders spoke to their followers and called upon them to condemn the murders. There are thousands of documents proving that Church leaders collaborated with Nazi Germany or ignored the mass murders. Christendom did little to prevent the Holocaust and evidence shows that it actually fuelled it.
Today many in Christendom are collaborating with the views of the state or in this case the UN and EU and ignoring the Human rights of Palestinian Arabs. In building replica security walls or speaking against Israel in summer camps or as in one case speaking against Israel in Iran they are sowing the seeds of hatred against the Jewish people and Israel and portraying the Church as being wholly against Israel. The Methodist Church calls for Boycotts, the Quakers have in recent years been watering the seeds of hatred. In Liverpool recently the Quaker meeting house hosted a Palestinian representative and during the meeting a Jewish lady who asked a valid question was told to “get back to the camp”. I am still after a month waiting for a reply to my request to speak to the Quaker leadership about this. Hope University Liverpool, the only ecumenical Christian University in Europe, has at least two lecturers and a Chaplain who water the seeds of hatred against Israel. Anglican Clergy and organisations in the United Kingdom demonise Israel. All this is done in the name of Justice for the Palestinians. Those who listen pass this hatred on and it manifests often in antisemitic acts as it did in the 1930’s.
Never do these clergymen and women tell the sad stories of the 856,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands, never is the fact that Israel was created by International agreement and it is only less than 1% the size of the Middle East, never is it sated that Israel is a democratic state who helps Palestinian Arabs needing Medical care. Never do these Church leaders mention the fact that Scripture repeatedly refers to the return of the Jews to Israel and that scripture never mentions the name Palestine.
Many Christians remain silent when they hear lies about Israel or misinformation. I recently heard a Palestinian Arab Christian being asked on Christian Television what she felt about the Netanya Passover Bombing in 2002 when 30 Jews were murdered and 140 injured by a Palestinian Terrorist. She replied without any reference to the victims by saying that the consequences were bad for the Palestinians as Israel responded by killing 500 and destroyed Palestinian homes, this was untrue. When asked about the bus bombings she replied the consequences were bad for the Palestinians who were also killed on the buses. My understanding is that the vast majority of those killed were Jews who were the sole target and the only Palestinians were the bombers themselves. I am told that I was the only person to have complained about this distortion of the truth which clearly has the potential to create further hatred.
We cannot sit back and believe that the murders in Brussels have nothing to do with us. We are all complicit in something if we collaborate or remain silent when lies or hatred are promulgated in our Churches. To be a bystander when Jews are abused or Israel is singled out for criticism particularly when it untrue. My son as just been watching a You Tube Video on combatting racism and has reported that someone has posted a racist comment on the video which says “What’s the worst thing about being a black jew? Sitting at the back of the oven”, this was posted by someone using the name snipes 081 and is an example of extreme disgusting internet racism . Of course there were a lot of comments opposing this terrible statement including my sons but this comment shows us that Racism is not dead. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4nPz7LUDNM
The wonderful work of Sussex friends of Israel in challenging boycotters and the efforts of many pro-Israel organisations are an inspiration to all of us but there are still not enough Christians with the understanding or awareness to stand up against antisemtism or against those within Christendom who sow seeds of hatred.
If you have become aware of the need to oppose those who either sow the seeds of hatred or fuel hatred within the Church today please mail me at Christians for Zion and register your support and your willingness to join us at events where those who oppose the rights of ordinary Jews living in our towns and cities to have peace and for Israel to receive the justice she deserves.