Historically, the Jewish people have experienced the highest highs and lowest lows over the millennia. We don’t have to go back to the times of Moses, David, or Jesus to see these extreme peaks and valleys in their situation as a people. We can go back seven decades to see an extreme low with the Holocaust followed by an extreme high with the formation of the nation of Israel, a turnaround that didn’t take centuries or decades but just a few years.
Today, Jews worldwide are faced with attacks on all fronts. They are always the minority; only Israel itself has a majority Jewish population. But calling them a minority doesn’t properly quantify their status. In the United States, they are 1.7% of the population while in Canada they are just over 1.0%. No other country on the planet has a Jewish population above 1%. There are more Muslims in the African nation of Senegal than there are Jews in the whole world.
In fact, there are around 124 times more Muslims in the world than Jews. Muslims face their own persecutions, but the vast majority of it comes from other Muslims.
84% of the Jewish population lives in either Israel or the United States. It’s no wonder attacks against Jews have been concentrated on these two countries. At a macro level, the United Nations and most countries around the world have opposed actions by our two nations more than they’ve opposed actions by all other nations combined. The United States has had the luxury of not only having a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council but also being the nation called on the most when severe problems arise. Israel has neither luxury which is why they get the harshest treatment by the United Nations.
None of this is new. Jews aren’t suddenly a minority. Israel isn’t suddenly being bullied by the United Nations. What makes it different now?
I can answer this question from an eschatological perspective in the future, but for now I want to focus on the observable challenges facing the Jewish people. These tangible threats are on a sharp rise at a moment in history when Jews have the ability to counter them. Whether it’s the nation of Israel itself, Jewish communities in America, or individual Jews around the world, they all have the power in this unique time in history to not only survive but prosper in the face of the ugliness against them.
They must. To do this, they have to circle the wagons.
The oldest form of bigotry other than misogyny is anti-Semitism. The Jewish people have been hated since the day they became a people group. The death of Joseph and the subsequent rise of the ancestors of Jacob found them systematically transitioned from a group of outcasts in a foreign land to oppressed slaves for their hosts. Over the course of four millennia, Jews have yet to find a time or a place in which they were not the targets of scorn.
It’s as if they were meant to be hated.
“Anti-Semitism is the oldest bigotry known to mankind,” said The Daily Wire’s Editor-at-Large Josh Hammer. “But the Jewish people have never succeeded by kowtowing to their many, many enemies. Instead, Jews have only thrived when they have proudly asserted themselves as Jews, refused to yield to their genocidal foes, and prepared to fight back, if necessary.”
They need to. There have been plenty of eras in which the Jews had no other choice but to submit before their oppressors, but things are different now. They are no longer forced to accept their place in a society that hates them. Instead, they have the ability to defend themselves, and they must.
Following last week’s attack against Jews in Poway, California, a “good guy with a gun” was present to help run off the terrorist. Reports that the gunman’s firearm jammed and a veteran chasing him out of the building while a border patrol agent fired at him all point to a reality: Jews should arm themselves. Anti-Semitism isn’t just on the rise. It’s being normalized in a way that should have never been allowed. And yet, it’s spiking according to the Associated Press.
Israeli researchers reported Wednesday that violent attacks against Jews spiked significantly last year, with the largest reported number of Jews killed in anti-Semitic acts in decades, leading to an “increasing sense of emergency” among Jewish communities worldwide.
Capped by the deadly shooting that killed 11 worshippers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue on Oct. 27, assaults targeting Jews rose 13% in 2018, according to Tel Aviv University researchers. They recorded nearly 400 cases worldwide, with more than a quarter of the major violent cases taking place in the United States.
But the spike was most dramatic in western Europe, where Jews have faced even greater danger and threats. In Germany, for instance, there was a 70% increase in anti-Semitic violence.
These trends will not be changed through protests or petitions. The violent people who hate the Jews must be dealt with using a firm hand. And preferably a firearm in that hand.
“‘I am not a Jew with trembling knees,’ Menachem Begin famously said. Would that every Jew today followed in those footsteps.” – Josh Hammer
We’ve seen anti-Semitism being normalized in politics with an impotent Congress failing to even mention Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) in a resolution prompted by her horrid remarks and Tweets. We see it in the rise and fall (and rise again) of the detestable “alt-right” that somehow gets associated with conservatism despite holding views antithetical to conservative principles. More and more, we’re seeing it go beyond vile rhetoric. We’re seeing it translate into violence against Jews worldwide.
“Anti-Semitism isn’t just on the rise, it is here, on our very doorstep,” said Jewish Journal reporter Aaron Bandler. “It is time to put our partisan differences aside and expose and condemn anti-Semitism in all forms, no matter where it comes from.”
There may be little they can do in countries that do not allow them to protect themselves properly, but in the United States and Israel, they have the ability and responsibility to defend themselves.
An indefensible proposition
Geopolitically, the pressure to succumb to a two-state solution that would give “Palestine” all or part of the West Bank and East Jerusalem has been steady for years. Now, it’s ramping back up again and may end up being led by the United States if that is, indeed, what White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have cooked up in their peace plan. We’ll see it soon enough, but reports have been conflicting. One potentially positive preview came three weeks ago when Pompeo remained ambiguous about a two-state solution.
It’s an unpopular view even among some conservative Jews, but a two-state solution is indefensible. It does not make sense to split up a nation the size of New Jersey when there are 50 Muslim countries already spread across the globe. More importantly, it is not an avenue to peace but rather an invitation to war as narrowing the nation would only make attacks from Iran or their proxies much more likely.
Once again, it all comes down to anti-Semitism, only at a state level.
“Now more than ever we must love and protect Israel from attempts to demonize and delegitimize it and defend its right to protect itself. Israel should not accept any peace proposal that endangers its security by creating another Palestinian terror state.” – Aaron Bandler
I interviewed a Jewish Republican politician running for Congress last year. I won’t name him because he’s a very nice guy, but his arguments for a two-state solution made no sense. He acknowledged it wouldn’t bring a lasting peace. He also acknowledged it would make Israel less secure. But he felt if Israel gives in one last time and then gets attacked, it will finally let the world see they were right all along.
No. This is foolish. The senseless shedding of blood to make a point is untenable. But that mentality seems to be present in more minds than I thought possible.
The source of hatred
I am not a fan of replacement theology. Whether it’s “Christians” who fail to recognize the front of their Bible, Muslims who distort the Bible’s stories into the Quran, or atheists who fail to acknowledge the Bible at all, there have been and always will be attacks against the Jewish faith. I am not a Jew. I believe that Jews must come to recognize Yeshua HaMashiach. But I also respect them as God’s people who have clearly been blessed. The existence of a nation of Israel in itself is a miracle that can only be attributed to God Himself.
This is what drives the hatred that we’re seeing against Jews today. It’s not some hidden Jewish conspiracy that indoctrinates domestic terrorists. It isn’t a tiny piece of land in the Middle East that is just so amazing the world demands they split it up or leave it altogether. It isn’t even the money, or as Omar called it, the “Benjamins,” that compel people to believe Jews somehow control the U.S. government and thereby the world. It’s a spirit of delusion that has been building for millennia and is manifesting today in attacks against Jews at every level.
Jews in America may someday learn what Jews in Europe and other nations have already learned, that the government and their laws won’t always be able to protect them. And even though the United States under President Trump is currently a shield for Israel, we cannot forget what President Obama wanted and what a future President might actually get – an Israel that stands alone.
“It’s transcendent, a law of nature if you will, that the Jews will always be hated,” said The Daily Wire’s Jeremy Frankel. “It’s up to us whether we deserve God’s protection or not. And that’s why we can never give in to anyone, we can’t depend on anyone else (I mean this in the macro) because that sort of throws away the faith in God and our resolve to be a nation.”
As a Christian, I will stand with Israel to the end. But I’m in a group that seems to be shrinking every day. We must all remain diligent and defend the Judeo-Christian faiths through times of trouble, times even worse than today.