The historic Jewish homeland has been variously called Canaan, Israel, Judea and Samaria, and Palestine. The Jews trace their history there to 2085 BC when Abraham followed “the Voice” into the promised land of Canaan. God promises that this would be the land of Abraham’s descendants “forever.” About 1406 BC, after a 430-year exile in Egypt, Moses led the Hebrew people back to the Promised Land. Punctuated by periods of exile, the land of Judah and Samaria has been the home of the Jews, en masse and in remnant, for about 3,500 years.
During the first half of the twentieth century, under the British Mandate agreement, Muslims, Jews, and Christian Arabs lived side by side in relative peace. In 1947, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine into two states, Israel and Palestine. This move changed everything in the modern era. It led to the first Israeli-Arab war which was lost by the combined army of five Arab states. Two of those states—Egypt and Jordan—have since made peace with Israel. Three have not. In addition to these national enemies, the Jewish people live under the threat of Islamists–militant Muslims–who are committed to the destruction of the state of Israel.
The modern home of the Jews is very small, 290 miles long, 35-85 miles wide. Its 8,019 square miles are roughly the size of the state of New Jersey. Israel is dwarfed by the Arab/Muslim world around it, 640 times its size.
Israel’s population of 8 million is composed of 6.1 million Jews, 1.3 million Muslim Arabs and about 300,000 Christians and people of other faiths. The Jewish state is religiously pluralistic, in contrast to the ethnic cleansing now underway in Muslim nations, countries which have also included Jews, Christians and people of other faiths. If Israel were inclined toward ethnic purity, 25 percent of her people would not be Muslim. Imagine Saudi Arabia allowing even one synagogue in their country, much less a quarter of her population Yahweh worshippers! The Jewish people of Israel live in an Arab-Muslim neighborhood of 260 million people.
Israel is the only nation in the world marked for extinction
Here’s the reality in a sentence: The world has 50 Muslim states and one Jewish state, and that one Jewish state is the only country in the world targeted for extinction.
The Jewish people were hated long before the founding of Israel. In fact, hatred of the Jews has played a major part in their history and identity. In the Middle Ages, Christians were anti-Semitic, holding the Jews responsible for killing Christ. Some people still function from this mentality today.
Muslims have considered the Jews enemies since 622 AD when the prophet Mohammad moved to Medina. While still in Mecca, Mohammad had sought to persuade Christians and Jews to follow him. Failing that, he moved to Medina and began to convert through the sword.
In Russia, anti-Semitism blossomed during the pogroms of 1881-1884 and again in 1903–1906. The greatest wave of anti-Semitism occurred in Europe under the guise of the fascism of Hitler and the German Third Reich. The German Holocaust led to the extermination of 6,000,000 Jews, roughly the same number of Jews in Israel today.
As mentioned in an earlier post, the Muslim Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin el-Husseini, allied with the Axis powers during World War II to participate in the final “solution”: the utter annihilation of Jews worldwide. The Germans failed; the Islamists (not all Muslims) want to finish the job.
Today we are seeing a growing animus against Jews in the US and Europe. It is as if the fever of anti-Semitism that grew in Europe prior to World War II is now growing in the West again.
The ancient hatred of the Jews is being rekindled by a number of forces. First is what might be called the European Intifada sparked by various Islamist groups in support of Hamas in Gaza and the advancing ISIS in Syria and Iraq; second, the fear by Europeans of their growing Muslim minorities; third, the same kind of deep-seated animosity of some Europeans against Jews that led to the first Holocaust.
In France, the verbal and physical violence against Jews is forcing Jews to flee to Israel in fear of their lives as anti-Semitism grows. Where is the outcry from European citizens? They should be raising their voices against the anti-Semitism and on behalf of the humanity of the Jews. Has the world learned nothing from the Holocaust?
But it is not just Europe: protests and even violent demonstrations are happening in the US as well. As George Santayana famously said, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
There’s no nice war. War is hell! Those in the West who have been so critical of Israel as they responded to 3,000+ rocket attacks … what would they have Israel do? Is Israel to simply wait for the next barrage of rockets and hope for the best? Are the Israelis expected to simply surrender – become dhimma, and pay the jizya tax? Are they to abandon their ancient homeland? When the adversary gives them the choice of surrendering to Allah, fleeing or dying, how are they supposed to respond?
Some of the rhetoric stoking the anti-Semitism violence is coming from the entertainment industry. Dozens of Spanish film stars and singers signed an open letter to the European Union calling Israel’s bombing in Gaza “genocide” and challenging the EU to “condemn the bombing by land, sea and air against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip.” Academy Award winner Jon Voight penned a letter to some of his Hollywood peers who, either knowingly or in ignorance, have fueled the fires of anti-Semitism. At the beginning of his letter, published in the Hollywood Reporter, Voight laments: “I am more than angry, I am heartsick that people like Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem could incite anti-Semitism all over the world and are oblivious to the damage they have caused.” The four-time Academy Award nominee goes on to challenges his colleagues.
You have been able to become famous and have all your monetary gains because you are in a democratic country: America. Do you think you would have been able to accomplish this in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, et cetera? You had a great responsibility to use your celebrity for good. Instead, you have defamed the only democratic country of goodwill in the Middle East: Israel.
Voight concludes his letter with a sobering question:
I am asking all my peers who signed that poison letter against Israel to examine their motives. Can you take back the fire of anti-Semitism that is raging all over the world now?
While clearly the growing worldwide fire of anti-Semitism has multiple causes, Hollywood celebrities can use their influence either to fan the flames or cool the rhetoric of anti-Semitism. That is the heart of Voight’s concern.
Why is there so much animus against Israel?
Another pubic figure who recently weighed in on this matter is Thomas Sowell, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. In his witty, sarcastic yet brilliant style, Sowell reflects on the war between Hamas and Israel by raising the question, “Is Thinking Obsolete?”
Some have said that we are living in a post-industrial era, while others have said that we are living in a post-racial era. But growing evidence suggests that we are living in a post-thinking era.
Many people in Europe and the Western Hemisphere are staging angry protests against Israel’s military action in Gaza. One of the talking points against Israel is that far more Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli military attacks than the number of Israeli civilians killed by the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel that started this latest military conflict.
Are these protesters aware that vastly more German civilians were killed by American bombers attacking Nazi Germany during World War II than American civilians killed in the United States by Hitler’s forces?
Has any other country, in any other war, been expected to keep the enemy’s civilian casualties no higher than its own civilian casualties? The idea that Israel should do so did not originate among the masses but among the educated intelligentsia.
In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.
Why is there so much animus against Israel? As we have already said, the history of the Jewish people is one of exile, dispersion, and persecution. Suffering is the underlying theme of the story of the Jews. Many factors explain the hostility against them.
Adolph Hitler identified the ultimate target of his hatred: Yahweh himself.
The God of the deserts, that crazed, stupid, vengeful, Asiatic despot, with the power to make laws! … that poison with which both Jews and Christians have spoiled and soiled the free, wonderful instincts of man… .
Hitler’s is the hatred of many secularists. If God exists there is a moral universe. Men who want to “be as god” are challenged by the God of the Jews.
Through much of history the hatred has come from misguided Christians who regarded the Jewish people as Christ killers. A 2013 study by the Anti-Defamation League found that 26% of Americans believe that “the Jews killed Jesus.”
Another reason, no doubt, is envy of Jewish prosperity. God promised Abraham that his children would be a blessing to the nations (Genesis 12:2-3). Subsequently, Jewish people have been successful in many fields: business, banking, motion pictures, education, medicine, and science. While Jews represent just 0.3- 0.5 percent of the world’s population, they have received 18 percent of all Nobel prizes (130 out of 720 since 1901). Israel has more engineers and scientists per capita than any other country in the world. The nation grants 2,500 patents a year. In 2013, Israelis registered 1,917 patents in the USA. This is comparable to the number produced by Italy, with 10 times the population, and far in excess of the number from neighboring countries: Saudi Arabia (58 patents) Turkey (45) Egypt (20) Kuwait (14) UAE (9) Iran (8) Lebanon (5) Jordan (1) and Syria (0).
Behind this contribution is the Judeo-Christian worldview which comports with reality as God has made it. Could it be that a society’s worldview really does matter? Could the success of the Jewish people spring from the biblical worldview in which their history and very existence is steeped, and the virtues derived from it?
And perhaps those cultures where such a worldview is absent reflects, as Thomas Sowell suggests, human ignorance – “artificial stupidity.”
Whatever the reasons, the Jews have been a despised people who have been scattered and threatened with extinction.
- Darrow Miller
 Muslim as opposed to Arab
NOTE: We rarely solicit funds at Darrow Miller and Friends. However, if you have been moved by the plight of ethnic cleansing among Christians and Yezidis in Northern Iraq, and want a way to help, here are a couple of worthy avenues. My friends, Dr. George Grant and Dave Dillard, have been working in northern Iraq for some 15 years and have contacts with the church in Kurdistan. If you would like to help, see the links below. These will provide you, or your church, a way to get resources to those who are suffering. Please pass this information on to your friends. And please pray.
George Grant’s Fund for Kurdistan
Dave Dillard’s (founder of Servant Group International) Fund