Borders, antisemitism and the Holocaust

editor - 27 January 2022

Today, 27th January, is Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is the day on which the world officially commemorates the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945, marking the end of the massacre of six million Jews in Europe during World War II. Speeches are held around the world about the evils of antisemitism and how we must “never forget”.
But it is action, not words, that matter most. And old patterns of action are repeating themselves. These relate to the way states respond to antisemitism and protection of territorial borders. Allowing totalitarian states to breach other states’ borders somehow is often connected to persecution of Jews. The Jewish population in the attacked state are often the first to be targetted. Or the attacking State has the intention of threatening the State of Israel.

The Jews were caught in Europe because the Western world failed to defend the borders of Germany’s neighbours. The West responded too late to Hitler’s declared hatred of the Jews and lust for lebensraum. The two were of course connected. Giving in to Hitler’s invasion of Sudentenland opened the way for Nazi arrests and mass executions and deportation of Jews to Auschwitz and other camps.

The Jews were also caught in Europe because of another border problem. During the 1930s, Britain – to whom the international community had given the task of enabling the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine – closed the borders of Palestine, refusing entry to Europe’s Jews seeking to flee the impending doom.

Today, a number of borders are being threatened by totalitarian states that are hostile to the Jewish State of Israel, and Israel’s allies are hesitating. One example is Iran, which continually breaches the territory of other states.

Another is Russia. Vladimir Putin who is assembling Russian troops on the Ukrainian border, threatening to breach Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Ukraine has always been the buffer between Western Europe and Russia. Hitler and Stalin equally rampaged and raped the country to achieve their aggressively expansionist national agendas. Ukraine’s Jews bore the brunt of that aggression. Today is no different. Alarmingly, President Biden has responded by indicating the West’s inability to present a united front. He even said that a “minor incursion” of Ukraine’s territory may not be such a big problem.

At the same time, in Syria – on Israel’s doorstep – Russia is flexing its muscles, allied with Syria’s President Assad, a war criminal. The world turns a blind eye. Remember, Syria constantly threatens to invade Israel.

Ignoring Israel’s security concerns, over recent months, the United Nations has created and funded a permanent Commission of Inquiry, headed by a notorious Israel-hater, to investigate and enable prosecution of Israel for violations of human rights, international humanitarian law, and international criminal law. It is the closest thing we have seen to a star chamber, this time it is a nation state being interrogated. The Commission will act in secret, collecting so-called evidence to enable prosecution of Israeli leaders in courts of law.

This outrageous Commission was created by 24 UN member states, most of them strongly opposed to Western values and determined to undermine Israel, and the rest of the world is too weak to oppose them.  As usual, many dared not to vote against it, out of fear of offending Israel’s enemies.

What is Israel’s crime? Defending its borders! Israel may be militarily strong, but it is territorially extremely vulnerable. Israel is accused of violating Arab territory. But the truth is that Israel has been forced to defend its territory against repeated wars of aggression waged by the Arab world in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973. It is (amongst other things) because the so-called 1949 Armistice Line is totally indefensible against a hostile enemy – former Israeli Ambassador to the UN Abba Eban called it the “Auschwitz lines” – that it refuses to simply cave into the Palestinian/Arab demands and hand over Jerusalem and the West Bank to Fatah and Hamas, both of which have sworn to destroy the Jewish nation.

Hatred of the Jewish State is on the rise. In order that the Holocaust will never happen again, we need not only to confront antisemitism. We need to ensure that our national leaders are vigilant to confront anti-Zionism. And not only with words, but also with deeds.

The Editorial Team – Israel & Christians Today


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Antisemitism | The Signs of the Times with Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer #34
Worldwide antisemitism is on the rise again. Sometimes cloaked in garments like anti-Zionism or anti-Israel attitudes. There should be no doubt that anti-Zionism is a modern form of antisemitism.

They Have Heard | Romans 9-11 with Johannes Gerloff #30

If “faith comes by hearing the word of God”, as Paul reminds us, do the Jewish people need to hear a preacher tell them the truth? We must be careful that as Christians we don’t come to the Jewish people as know-it-alls. Paul says: the Jews already know, they don’t need Christians to tell them the truth.


Scripture for the week: 

Psalm 83

O God, do not remain silent;
do not turn a deaf ear,
do not stand aloof, O God.
2 See how your enemies growl,
how your foes rear their heads.
3 With cunning they conspire against your people;
they plot against those you cherish.
4 “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation,
so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.”
5 With one mind they plot together;
they form an alliance against you—
6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
of Moab and the Hagrites,
7 Byblos, Ammon and Amalek,
Philistia, with the people of Tyre.
8 Even Assyria has joined them
to reinforce Lot’s descendants.[b]
9 Do to them as you did to Midian,
as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,
10 who perished at Endor
and became like dung on the ground.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 who said, “Let us take possession
of the pasturelands of God.”
13 Make them like tumbleweed, my God,
like chaff before the wind.
14 As fire consumes the forest
or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,
15 so pursue them with your tempest
and terrify them with your storm.
16 Cover their faces with shame, Lord,
so that they will seek your name.
17 May they ever be ashamed and dismayed;
may they perish in disgrace.
18 Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord—
that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.