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The Beast that is Anti-Semitism
In Defense of the Faith
Friday, August 18, 2017
Alf Cengia

Racism can be like an incurable spreading cancer. It will eventually kill the body it invades. It's a Beast which has consumed White Supremacists, Neo Nazis and other groups. But racism doesn't always wear white hoods and cloaks. Its tentacles reach a much broader base.

Before I go on, I should acknowledge that some people do not like the term "race." Sometimes it has been used to classify people of certain ethnicities as a sub-species. We are all made in God's image (Gen 1:26). That said, for the sake of simplicity I'm using the term race as meaning ethnicity.

Not all white people are racist, even though some think it is wired in. Moreover racism isn't confined to white people. As a new "white" Australian, many years ago, I experienced a mild form of it. But it wasn't representative of the larger community.

There were times at the Catholic School I attended when I felt humiliated by comments made by one or two nuns. We Italians were somehow connected to the "Romans who nailed Christ to the cross." Pity the poor Jews who were labeled "Christ killers" by the church down through history!

To be fair, I saw examples of intra-migrant racism as well. There were Italians against Greeks and vice-versa. Also there was racism by migrants against Australians. I've witnessed examples of racism by Oriental-Asian migrants against other ethnic groups.

In fact a thorough and honest examination of my own careless remarks over the years would expose the odd racist thoughts and prejudices. Perhaps there's a little racism in most of us? In its most vile expression, racism has led to oppression, murder and genocide.

One of the most insidious forms of racism is the Beast that is Anti-Semitism. This Beast is insatiable and as ancient as the Old Testament Jew. Furthermore it is capable of uniting other races against Jews. What other single ethnic group has suffered like the Jew through history? From the Holocaust Encyclopedia:

Sometimes called "the longest hatred," antisemitism has persisted in many forms for over two thousand years. The racial antisemitism of the National Socialists (Nazis) took hatred of Jews to a genocidal extreme, yet the Holocaust began with words and ideas: stereotypes, sinister cartoons, and the gradual spread of hate. (Emphasis mine)

Anti-Semites don't always wear Nazi paraphernalia in public. They're not always extremists marching downing the street, waving flags, shouting hatred. Sometimes they wear clerical collars, or profess Christianity. And sometimes anti-Semitism is cloaked under the guise of concern for Social Justice.

I've said this before and it bears repeating often - Israel isn't perfect. But if you habitually (and unfairly) criticize Israel to the exclusion of all other examples of injustices, then an examination of motive is in order.

Joseph Pruder rightly asks the following questions about activist Roger Waters. Others should also take note:

If Waters cared for universal human rights as he claims, why has he not demanded Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) on the Iranian regime that hangs teenagers, suppresses religious freedom, persecutes minorities, and kills opponents of the regime? How about Turkey’s Erdogan, and his killing of Kurds, his imprisoning 50,000 fellow Turks on trumped up charges, and his general autocratic rule. One can go on and on, wondering why of all the global oppressive regimes, such as China, Cuba, Sudan, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and the Arab states, Waters would single out the only democracy in the Middle East.

Might it be because Israel is predominantly Jewish? I can hear the shrill protest that criticism of Israel doesn't equate to anti-Semitism. Frankly, I'm tired of that worn-out excuse. Over the years I've seen too many examples of anti-Semitism cloaked in criticism of Israel and theological arguments.

I once blogged on the subject of Craig Blomberg's Historic Premillennialism and how he believed it trumped the dispensational view of Israel. Blomberg made unsubstantiated remarks about Israel's treatment of Palestinians. He even cited anti-Israel activist Gary Burge.

My response to Blomberg's theological and national criticism of Israel drew a lot of comments. As these were addressed, the discussion quickly drifted into the dark realm of Jewish conspiracy theories. The take-home message was that the Jews had only themselves to blame for their woes.

Then there was the Amazon example. Two professing Christians attached themselves to my review of an anti-dispensational book. After 18 months of 100+ trolling comments I decided it was best to delete it.

The discussion had begun with the biblical promises to Israel, and whether it was an apartheid state. Once again the focus shifted to Jewish conspiracies. One of these gents finally came out as an apologist for Hitler and subsequently removed from Amazon. The other still patrols Amazon reviews of books about Israel, along with a host of like-minded anti-Israel activists.

What do we make of this? Let's leave aside the phenomenon of Jewish criticism of Israel. This is a different matter, addressed by Pruder and the Jewish Virtual Library.

What motivates Christians who habitually share platforms with Holocaust deniers; who regularly rub shoulders with terrorist organizations, and who travel far and wide to preach anti-Zionism to Israel's enemies, instead of the gospel? Why regularly convene conferences which demonize Israel and ignore any culpability on the part of its enemies?

This behavior feeds the Anti-Semitic Beast. As stated earlier, the Holocaust began with words, ideas and stereotypes. The same foundations are being laid again.

Racism in general is a product of our fallen nature. Anti-Semitism can be similarly explained. However, there's something far more sinister operating in this case. Charles Lee Feinberg had this to say:

What, then, is the true and only cause? In a word, it is Satan. The solution is to be found in Revelation 12. Satan hates the nation through whom has come so much blessing to the world, especially the Savior. First, the dragon is incensed against the child of the woman (Jesus Christ), then he goes to make war with the remnant of her seed, Israel. Moreover, when Satan is angry against Israel, it always culminates in defiance against the Lord Jesus Christ. The two are inseparable. ~ The Cause of Anti-Semitism

What motivates your attacks on Israel or the Jews? Perhaps it's time for some prayerful introspection.

"Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew, saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."'" Zec 8:23

Maranatha!

About Alf Cengia

Last week: Kept from the Hour of Trial



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