Modern antisemitism

Truthfully, there is only one 800-pound gorilla in the room: Jew-hatred!

May 1, 2019 19:11
4 minute read.

ARE WE doing enough to confront antisemitism?. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The recent New York Times cartoon featured Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a guide dog leading a blind President Donald Trump who was wearing a yarmulke says it all! It’s the kind of rubbish Jew-hating that regimes post before they attack and kill Jews. During the pogroms, the Spanish Inquisition, and the Holocaust such antisemitic cartoons could be found in abundance.

President Trump will shortly reveal his “deal of the century” peace plan. Its contents have been the tightest-kept secret of perhaps any ever proposed in Washington. Everyone is intent on receiving early information about the plan, but to no avail. Will it be an economic plan? One to address Israel’s security concerns? Or a plan that bestows a feeling of dignity upon the Palestinians by giving them their own state?
Truthfully, there is only one 800-pound gorilla in the room: Jew-hatred! Everyone in Israel knows someone who has lost a loved one because of Jew-hatred. Jewish people in their homeland have not been killed because of land, but because they are Jews. For centuries, long before the prophetic rebirth of Israel, Jews were discriminated against and slain for only that one reason.

The late Menachem Begin told me that as prime minister, when he was attempting to deal with Jimmy Carter, the president brought up the issue of Bethlehem. Begin asked Carter, “If the governor of Pennsylvania announced that anyone could live in his state except Jews, what would you say? Would you consider that to be a racist decision?”

Carter replied in the affirmative. Begin said, “We have the original Bethlehem, and you are telling me that you want it to be given to the Palestinians, and that no Jews could live there?

The sad and inexplicable truth is this: Antisemitism is alive and well on planet Earth, and the United States is not immune. On October 27, 2018, those who love the Jewish people mourned a massive assault by an antisemite. No, it was not on the streets of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or another Israeli city. It was in a quiet neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on a cool Shabbat morning. Over the centuries, nothing has assuaged that which erupted the moment God declared a covenant with Abraham and his offspring.

The modern-day perpetrator was Robert Bowers. According to police reports, he armed himself with an AR-15 rifle and three handguns, walked into Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue and opened fire on its unsuspecting congregants. Included among the 11 dead were a 97-year old woman, a husband and wife, and two brothers. Among the wounded were four police officers who had responded to the call of “shots fired” in the neighborhood that housed the synagogue. Bowers has reportedly told police interviewers that he just wanted “to kill Jews.”

DID THAT incident shock the American public into shunning antisemitism and its horrendous effects? Unfortunately, the answer is no. Just days ago, on Saturday, April 27, 19-year-old John Earnest opened fire inside a Poway, California, synagogue. He killed one person and wounded three others before his weapon jammed and he fled the scene.

Shortly before opening fire inside the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Earnest had posted an online declaration spewing animosity for Jews. He also praised Robert Bowers for his attack on the Pittsburgh synagogue.

For me, this is very personal. My mother named me after her grandfather, Rabbi Mikel Katznelson. In the early 1900s, a rabid and bigoted mob burned him to death inside his synagogue in Belarus along with 2,000 Jewish men, women, and children.

One of my first published books was titled Israel: America’s Key to Survival. Along with the book, I produced a television special, the premise of which was that if Israel were weakened, radical Islamists would have no deterrent to prevent them from attacking the West. I went even further and said that the first attack would be in New York City and on its tallest building. (At the time, that was the Empire State Building.)

A professing Christian, Richard Snell, who was to have been involved in the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, decided he had been given a mission from God: to kill me on my birthday, June 30, 1983. He murdered two people on his way to Dallas, Texas; one he incorrectly thought was a Jewish pawn shop owner, and the other Arkansas State Trooper Louis Bryant.

I have been asked by a multitude of people why I built Friends of Zion Heritage Center and Museum in Jerusalem. The answer is quite simple: to combat Jew-hatred. My work began when I was 11-years old. My father, an antisemite, beat my Jewish mother declaring her to be a whore, and my father a Jewish man; he insisted I was not his son.

My greatest shame was that I could not protect my mother, and when I tried, my father picked me up by the neck and nearly strangled me. At that early age, I knew that my life’s work would be to defend the Jewish people. With the founding of FOZ and the Jerusalem Prayer Team, we will soon reach 60 million members on Facebook alone, each one focused on defending the Jewish people.

The writer is a #1 New York Times bestselling author with 89 published books. He is the founder of Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem of which the late Shimon Peres, Israel’s ninth president, was chairman. He also serves on the Trump Evangelical Faith Initiative.

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