Thoughts on Antisemitic Terrorism

By January 28, 2023No Comments

Yesterday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a memorial established by the United Nations to remember what happens when antisemitism is unchecked and unresisted. In the midst of remembering the murder of six million Jewish people whose sole alleged “crime” was that they were Jewish, word came of a shooter in Jerusalem, killing seven Jewish people welcoming the Sabbath in a local synagogue. Afterwards, West Bank Palestinians celebrated and distributed candy to each other. It’s strange to me that people would ask me how this terrorist attack made me feel. How should it make me feel other than brokenhearted? Still, I’ve reflected on this question and here are my thoughts about this dreadful news.

To begin, let’s stop blaming the Patriarch Abraham for his bad choice in taking Hagar as a second wife, leading to the birth of Ishmael. I noticed that a committed Bible believer friend, visiting Jerusalem, pointed the blame at Abraham in a social media post. How many times have I heard it said that the Israeli Palestinian Conflict goes all the way back to Abraham. Not so. The Bible nowhere says that Abraham’s son Ishmael is the father of the Arab peoples. This erroneous idea was originated in the Koran, 2,700 years after Abraham, as a Muslim replacement of the Jewish people as God’s chosen. It’s stupefying that so many of us who love the Bible accept this fanciful Koranic idea without checking Scripture. If we’re to blame anyone, it’s more likely to point at the British for making conflicting promises to Jewish and Arab peoples more than 100 years ago.

Another thought I had was to reject the media narrative that Israel’s actions caused this terrorist attack. The news reports all mention that the Israel Defense Forces took out a terrorist cell in the city of Jenin, just the day before. The IDF had become aware that these terrorists were going to carry out a murderous attack and went to arrest them. The terrorists incited a fire fight and nine were killed, eight of whom were armed terrorists. The media narrative is that Israel randomly entered Jenin and murdered nine innocents and therefore, the attack in Jerusalem was merely retaliation. This is absolutely false. Palestinian terror is not a result of Israel’s actions. Rather, it’s caused by Israel’s existence. If the Palestinians wished peace and compromise, they could have had their own state multiple times. They don’t have peace because they refuse to accept the existence of a Jewish state. That’s why it’s a truism that if the Palestinians laid down their weapons there would be no more war or terrorism. But if Israel laid down its weapons, there would be no more Israel.

Yet another thought floating in my heart and mind is how weary I am of Jew Hatred. My parents raised me with the knowledge of hatred of the Jewish people. They warned me from the earliest age, that there were people who wanted to kill me and my family solely because we’re Jewish. Their evidence was in our family experience. My Dad’s parents, grandparents, and siblings were murdered at the Treblinka death camp. His first wife, five children (my half siblings) were murdered at Auschwitz. My mom’s parents, grandparents and brothers were also murdered by the Nazis. The idea of hatred of the Jewish people leading to murder was not theory in my family, it was real life experience. Still, as I grew older, I began to hope that the world had learned its lesson and that murdering Jewish people merely for being Jewish was an occasional aberration, not a regular event. Sadly, it’s not so. In this evil world, people continue to hate and attack God’s precious chosen people. Psalm 83 explains it best, reminding me that hatred of the people of Israel, in fact, derives from hatred of the God of Israel. I grow tired of it. Like all creation, I look forward to the day when this world is “set free from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of God’s children” (Rom 8:21). I am truly tired of hatred of Jewish people and look forward to the Lord Yeshua Himself, the King of Israel, putting an end to it once and for all. Still, I’m not allowed to grow weary in doing well. So, I must redouble my efforts to oppose Antisemitism and also to motivate other Yeshua followers to do the same.

Last of all, this terrorist attack reminded me that I’ve been neglecting the biblical command to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6). My wife reminded me that this verse, since it speaks of Jerusalem as the capitol of the Jewish people, is in a sense a call to pray for the peace of all Jewish people. Moreover, it’s an exhortation to pray for the peace of all people living in Jerusalem and all Israel. As such, it’s a prayer for the return of the Prince of Peace, the Lord Yeshua, who one day will rule from Jerusalem and, Isaiah 11:9 puts it, “none will harm or destroy another on My entire holy mountain for the land will be as full of the knowledge of the Lord as the sea is filled with water.” I am committing to pray for the peace of Jerusalem on a daily basis. I hope you will too.

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