24 May 2021

A Cauldron of Jew Haters

Simmering for decades, full-blown anti-Semitism has boiled over in the past two weeks since the controversy over a Jerusalem neighborhood (Sheikh Jarrah).

Palestinian activists, emboldened by the puppet Joe Biden’s odious presence in the White House, and internal Israeli politics, pounced on the evictions of Arab families from a handful of homes. The explosion of protests in the country then gave cover to Hamas, and as we all know by now, thousands of rockets threatened Israel.

In a conversation I had this week with dear friends who are long-time pro Israel activists, it was brought to our attention that there is a dearth of statements from Christian groups condemning the rocket attacks. At the same time, this uptick in anti-Semitism is quite alarming.

I must say I’m not surprised that Israel found itself scrambling to present its case to the world; there are and have always been plenty of Jew haters in global politics.

But it pains me to say that the weak responses from Christian (leadership) communities are not only alarming. They are infuriating.

The 10-day offensive by Hamas resulted in almost 4,000 rockets being fired. The Iron Dome knocked down 90 percent of them; around 500 fell inside the Gaza Strip. Eleven Israelis were killed by the time a ceasefire was announced. Included in the attacks were six Israeli air force bases.

As we have discussed before, such as during Trump’s term in office, geopolitics can turn on a dime. It seems it was not long ago we were celebrating the moving of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, from Tel Aviv. Sadly and tragically, the spiritual disease known as anti-Semitism (there can be no other plausible explanation) is always waiting to erupt. What lays the groundwork for that too often is the soft attitude toward the health and wellbeing of Jews.

It infuriates me that most of America’s top ministries are silent when it comes to anti-Semitism. They can speak about any other subject, but ignore the plight of the Jews and Israel. I suspect this isn’t an accident or oversight.

Let me give you a couple examples that explain in part this silence and weak-mindedness.

A recent Associated Press article was picked up and published by The Baptist Press:

“The current eruption of violence began a month ago in Jerusalem with protests and clashes with police. A focal point was of the clash between Palestinians and Israeli police was Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, built on a hilltop compound that is revered by Jews and Muslims.”

A hilltop compound?

This is almost unbelievable! The “hilltop compound” just happens to be the world-famous Temple Mount, home to the two ancient Israelite temples. I’d say it was revered by Jews. It’s only the spiritual center of the universe. Much of the world’s pivotal history took place there, and will.

This might seem like a small, subtle point but I think it speaks to a larger issue: the erasure of Jewish history. People are so ill-informed now that the Jew haters don’t need any help in removing Jews from history, especially their own biblical history. Why in the world would Southern Baptist editors, pastors, or high-profile ministry leaders not teach their people better on this point?

A May 14 piece that appeared on the website of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), “Explainer: Israeli-Palestinian hostilities could lead to ‘full-scale war’” also subtly undermines Israel’s position (I do not believe this is unintentional):

“The recent tensions appear to be due to a pending decision by Israel’s Supreme Court that could evict approximately 75 Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem. Violent clashes also resulted when Muslims were reportedly blocked from Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site.”

Notice it’s Israel’s fault that Hamas fired rockets, murdering Israelis. Then notice the poor Muslims were “reportedly” blocked from Al-Aksa.

I’ve been to the site many times. The mosque for years has been a literal storehouse of incitement against Israel, including hate speech and actual weapons storage.

It’s unconscionable that the venerable Southern Baptist Convention would help push PLO and Hamas propaganda.

Another (May 13) article published by Baptist Press was titled thus: “Israel begins firing shells into Gaza as fighting escalates”.

Again, notice the use of language: Israel just simply, for some reason, begins firing on Palestinians. Then this:

“The use of artillery fire in Israel’s four-day-old response to Hamas’ rocket attacks, which were aimed at Israel’s population centers, raised the likelihood of civilian casualties.”

The writers of this hit piece are very clearly accusing Israel of being responsible for Palestinian civilians being killed or wounded. This particular article was first published by International News. One of the authors of this article is Fares Akram, who has a BA in Journalism from the Islamic University in Gaza!

Unbelievable. When an American religious press service recycles lies and propaganda from Israel’s implacable enemy, you know we’ve got problems.

I’ve had enough of this.

I publicly call on SBC leaders like Ronnie Floyd, Al Mohler, the Executive Committee, and Baptist Press to ferret-out and repudiate this shoddy reporting that hurts Israel.

Will they? I doubt it.