BDS, Antisemitism, and the Christian Faith
Dear Christian Leaders, Greetings from CAMERA’s Christian Leadership Network, an outreach of CAMERA’s Partnership of Christians and Jews! And welcome to those of you who are getting this newsletter for the first time. This newsletter is part of a regular series, sent for the purposes of:
Informing you about current issues in relation to Israel and the Jewish people
Equipping you as Christian leaders with information that will enable you to counter efforts to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish State
Arming you with material that will help you protect those in your circle of influence from the veritable storm of anti-Israel propaganda, which inevitably turns adherents of that propaganda into antisemites
Notifying you of upcoming events, such as monthly seminars to be held in the Boston area beginning Fall 2019
To all those in the Boston area, watch for more details concerning monthly seminars to begin this Fall! We hope you find the following articles informative and helpful. We also hope you will share this newsletter with others! For the sake of Israel, Tricia Miller and Dexter Van Zile
BDS, Antisemitism, and the Christian Faith Tricia Miller
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is, at its core, and in its purpose, an antisemitic attack on the existence of the Jewish state. It is antisemitic – more specifically, it is anti-Jewish – because it denies Jewish people the right to self-determination in their historic homeland and declares the Jewish State to be illegitimate.
Indeed, anti-Zionism – the denial of equal rights for the Jewish people to have a sovereign state within the community of nations – becomes antisemitism when the legitimacy of the Jewish State is questioned, but the legitimacy of other ethnic nations is not; when the Arab-Israeli conflict is blamed on Jews and Jews alone; and when that conflict becomes the epitome of a cosmic struggle between good and evil, in which, by definition, Arabs are good and Jews are evil.
Using the “social justice” movement and a professed concern over violations of international and human rights law as a shield, BDS advocates maintain that the boycott of Israeli products, divestment from companies who do business in Israel, and sanctions against the Jewish State will help improve living conditions for Palestinians who live under Palestinian rule. Example after example disproves this claim, but the false illusion still proves to be alluring to a Western audience, uninformed as to the true purpose of the movement.
The hypocrisy behind its purported raison d’etre is glaring in light of the fact that the movement focuses none of its attention on recognized human rights violators such as Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, China – just to name a few. Instead, the sole focus of a movement that is supposedly concerned about the violation of human rights is a democratic state that actually protects the rights of women and minorities – unlike dozens of other nations that do not.
In addition to the fact that the BDS movement pays no attention to countries actually guilty of human rights violations, growing evidence indicates that the movement has significant ties to Palestinian terrorist organizations that exist for the purpose of destroying Israel. Indeed, BDS boycotts often strengthen the position of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), which controls the Palestinian Authority and pays terrorists and their families for their efforts to kill Jews. In other words, under the guise of helping to provide assistance to Palestinians, this movement aids and abets the actions of terror groups sworn to the annihilation of the Jewish State.
The BDS movement is also a direct assault on the Christian faith. Any attack on the legitimacy of the re-established Jewish State must include a denial of the biblical and historical record of Jewish life in that land. Since Christianity is absolutely dependent on its Jewish roots in the context of the ancient Jewish homeland, the delegitimization of Israel, by definition, is anti-Christian as well.
Evangelicals – An Essential Line of Defense Dexter Van Zile
Evangelical Protestants represent an increasingly important part of the defense against Jew-hatred in the United States. Catholic leaders did a good job of standing with American Jews after the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) condemned antisemitism in 1965, but these days the Bishops are too preoccupied with the terrible priest abuse scandal to fight against anti-Jewish antipathy like they used to. In the 1980s, liberal American Protestants promised to stand with the Jewish people, but they fell prey to the anti-Israel propaganda put forth by Palestinian Christians who told them everything wrong in the Holy Land was the fault of Israel and its Christian supporters in the U.S. These churches attacked Israel and American Jews with a BDS campaign in the hopes that isolating Israel and American Jews would bring “peace” to the Middle East. It didn’t work. Instead, it made things worse for everyone in the Holy Land and set the stage for increased hostility against Jews in the U.S. Now, there is another group attacking the Jewish people — white nationalists who blame their personal setbacks and unhappiness on Jews. One of them recently called for a new reformation of Christianity that would restore Jew hatred as a centerpiece of the faith. Adherents of this “reformed” Christianity would abandon Israel to its enemies and practice a faith that “promoted the idea that God favored the followers of Christ, and not the people who crucified him.” The fact is, we live in circumstances similar to those experienced by Christians in Germany in the early 1900s. Jew-hatred has become a legitimate response to the suffering and anger people feel in their daily lives. Anti-Israel propaganda and theological antisemitism are being deployed to direct the rage of the mob at Israel and American Jews. Faithful Christian leaders are uniquely suited to counter this rage and provide an alternative response to the suffering of their flocks. They can do this by preaching the Gospel of forgiveness, and teaching people to unite their suffering with that of Jesus, rather than unite their rage to that of the mob. They can also do this by speaking the truth about what is actually happening in the Middle East, where Israel is the target of jihadist hatred, where in Muslim countries Christians are persecuted and women are brutalized, and where Muslims are taught to direct their rage and unhappiness at Jews and the Jewish homeland. We need your help in getting this message out! Please consider hosting an event in which CAMERA’s Christian analysts can equip church leaders and congregants with the information they need to fulfill the demands of Christian leadership and activism in a time such as this.
Put Your Faith into Action!
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BE INFORMED and EQUIPPED!
CAMERA’s Christian analysts are able and available to equip you and your congregations with the facts necessary to tell the truth about Israel, combat anti-Zionism in the church, and oppose antisemitism in whatever form it appears. Please contact us to schedule a single speaker or to plan a multi-speaker conference! Contact Tricia at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. For those of you in the Boston area, beginning this Fall, we will be offering monthly seminars that will enable you to understand the times in which we live, and equip you to counter injustice and hatred towards the Jewish people and the Jewish State.
Stay tuned for details concerning dates, times and location. Please email Tricia at email@example.com to let us know of your interest. Please feel share to this newsletter with others!