Israel & Christians Today: Weekly Update (December 14)

editor - 14 December 2018

Welcome to this weekly Israel & Christians Today update. So much is happening concerning the Jewish people and in and around Israel at the moment. We’d like to draw two particular developments to your attention, which are deeply concerning and require our serious consideration and prayer.

Growing anti-Semitism in Europe
The first is the alarming rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, and the growing concern amongst the Jewish community in Europe for the safety of Jews and the future well-being of their families and communities.

The European Union has, at long last, adopted some important measures to combat anti-Semitism. In a declaration issued last week, the European Council of Minister’s called on EU member states to take steps to ensure security for Jewish communities, institutions and citizens. It urged them to emphasise the importance of Holocaust commemoration and education; called on all EU member states which have not already done so to endorse the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of anti-Semitism in the fields of law enforcement, education and training; and called on the European Commission and Europol to pay particular attention to online anti-Semitism and to content advocating anti-Semitic terrorist offenses.

For more information click here.

This is very welcome, but to some extent it is a matter of closing the door after the horse has bolted.  According to a new survey conducted by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), there has been an increasing level of anti-Semitism in Europe over the past five years. In the survey, 28% of those interviewed said that they had experienced harassment because of their Jewish identity, but 79% of them did not report it to the authorities because they did not believe it would be of any help. 38% of the Jews who took part in the survey said that they were considering leaving Europe as they no longer felt safe in their home countries.
Tomas Sandell, Founding Director of the European Coalition for Israel, remarked in response:

“The fundamental problem in the West today is that we have lost our own sense of history and identity. When we fail to acknowledge our Judeo-Christian roots, we also lose a true understanding of who the Jewish people are. Instead of seeing them as an integral part of our history and culture, we see them as aliens, who have no place in our society. In Nazi Germany the Holocaust was preceded by a ‘de-Judification’ of society, from religious beliefs to arts and culture. A similar move to purge society of Jewish history and influence can today be witnessed in many mainline churches, as well as in international governmental organisations who accept historical revisionism in order to deny the Jewish people their own history and identity.
The antidote to anti-Semitism is not simply the promotion of tolerance and protection for the Jewish people within our cities and societies but an open and sincere acceptance, recognition and celebration of Jewish culture in all its richness.”

For more information click here.

Tensions rise in Judea and Samaria
The tragic and brutal attacks on Jews near Ofra in recent days in which several Israeli Jews, including a small baby that was in its mother’s womb at the time of the attack, highlight the depth of the hatred toward Jews in the Palestinian-controlled territories. The Oslo process initiated in the early 1990’s, which was supposed to assuage Palestinian Arab demands for autonomy, has only produced more hatred and deeper division. Israeli-Palestinian relations are – at the political level – at an all-time low.

It seems only a matter of time before the corruption-ridden regime of PA President Mahmoud Abbas will fall. There is a dire lack of leadership within the Palestinian society, not to mention the deadly hatred between Hamas and Fatah and other groups, and the growing threat of Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah in Lebanon and pro-Assad forces in Syria. The situation in the “West Bank” and on Israel’s borders is explosive and no-one knows what will happen next.

For an excellent analysis of the situation, click here.

Let us continue to pray fervently for the political and military leaders of the State of Israel, that they all will have much wisdom and discernment in responding to these threats and planning a path forward. Pray also that the Lord will raise courageous leaders within Palestinian society.More



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Andrew Tucker is International Editor of our bi-monthly newspaper Israel & Christians Today. The goal of Israel & Christians Today is to help Christians to take God’s Word seriously, and study current events in the world in the context of the Bible. Click here to subscribe.

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