The reality of Anti-Semitism

May 26, 2014

In the same week in which I wrote about the worldwide rise in anti-Semitism, four people were killed at the Jewish museum in Brussels, Belgium on Saturday 24 May 2014. It is even more tragic that it took place on the Jewish holy day of Shabbat.

Emanuel and Miriam Riva, a couple in their 50’s from Tel Aviv were among the victims who visited Belgium as tourists. A third fatality was a volunteer at the Jewish Museum of Belgium and the fourth victim was a 23 year old employee at the museum. Just hours after this deadly shooting two Jews were attacked outside a synagogue in France.

The fatal killings in Belgium remind us of the killing of a Rabbi and his family in France two years ago. These atrocities are undoubtedly the result of continual incitement against Jews, which is, unfortunately on the rise in Europe.  It became popular to blame Jews for everything under the sun.  The Turkish media even blamed Israel for the recent mine disaster in Turkey.

The shocking reality is it seems that the world and specifically Europe where the Holocaust took place learned nothing from history. It can be argued that Muslim fundamentalists are to be blamed in some European countries and certainly that were the case with the killings in France, but in other European countries it is home-grown hatred of Jews. The phenomenal growth of the far right wing political parties is therefore of great concern.

True Christians in Europe need to oppose the false narrative about Jews and propagate the truth about Israel. Thank God for those who stand up for the truth. But we need to become more vocal.

With growing anti-Semitism in the world and specifically in Europe, political leaders need to strongly condemn this phenomenon in the strongest terms possible.


Israel Independence Day 2014

May 5, 2014

Tuesday, May 6 is Israel Independence Day or known by Jewish people as Yom HaAtzmaut. It is a happy celebration day for families and friends in which the independence of Israel is celebrated. On 6 May 1948, the Jewish people got their own independent country and became a nation recognized by the world after the tragic events of the Holocaust.

However, Palestinians regard this day as a disaster and call it Nakbah day. A false narrative is distributed ever since that the Jews stole Palestinian land and Israel Independence day could thus not be recognized. This is also the reason why the two Palestinian organisations, Fatah and Hamas refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, even until today.

Today, Sunday, May 4 is also known as Yom HaZikaron or Remembrance Day for Israel’s fallen soldiers during its many wars since independence. It is also a time when the people of Israel think of the many innocent citizens who lost their lives in terrorist attacks.

Thirty years ago in 1985, a song was written in Yiddish, which translated, goes like this:

In a corner stands a Jew

And he’s crying for his child going to war

And his tears are flowing like water

As he stands and he prays

To his father in heaven:

Father, haven’t we had enough?  

That question is just as true now, in 2014, as it was then in 1985.

Danny Ayalon, Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel said the following at a commemoration service: Isaiah wrote “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” The sages teach that there were hundreds of prophets, but only those that carried a message for prosperity were recorded in the Bible. We must heed Isaiah’s prophecy, yearning for the day when peace will come with our neighbors, and we will not train for war anymore. But until that day, we mark and commemorate those who have given their last full measure of devotion, adhering to what King David wrote in Psalms: “Behold the Guardian of Israel will neither slumber nor sleep”.

It is a lesson for many world leaders that the leaders of Israel recognise God in their country’s destiny.

Watch this incredible video: Israel Remembrance Day