If all you read was the New York Times, you’d be right to view the world as functionally Godless, hurtling through the vacuum of space toward a cold, dead, end, with humanity’s only purpose to get off this doomed rock before all life is extinguished by the next meeting with a meteor (we’re overdue, you know). But while we’re here, the doyens of “all the news that’s fit to print” love to tell believers in God how to live, from their lofty positions of ignorance.
Such as it is dealing with the rather simple issue of Jew-hatred and Israel-bashing.
You would think that this is simply a case of one people’s claim of some real estate over another’s. Of course, this isn’t simple in the paradigm of a Trump “deal” where one side negotiates from their list of wants, needs against a “best alternative to a negotiated agreement” commonly known as a BATNA. Because the Palestinians have no BATNA since none of their patron states will absorb even one stateless “refugee” even though the vast majority of them have an ethnic or generational claim in those countries.
It’s also problematic that the Palestinians main want is for there to be no Israel, leaving Israel with a really compelling BATNA of remaining in existence. Therefore, there’s no common ground on which to even reach a meeting of the minds except on very small, incremental, and completely reversible items. On these, almost without exception, Israel has extended every grace over the last 25 years.
But all of this can be read in the New York Times. To be fair, you can also read it in the Washington Post, Time Magazine, or take your pick of the various news organizations that have covered the Middle East “problem” for decades. But it doesn’t answer the question of why the United Nations singles out Israel again and again for punishment and censure, versus, say, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or Myanmar. To be sure, those places get Security Council attention, but nowhere near the level of tiny Israel.
It doesn’t answer the question of why blood libels circulate for centuries, promulgating the worst, most heinous lies about Jews, and people to this day still believe them without question. It doesn’t answer the question why some Americans who claim to be Christian and support President-elect Donald Trump would engage in the most vile, hateful online attacks on Jews, some using overt Nazi symbols, quotes about ovens and the Holocaust. It doesn’t answer the question of why Iran’s ayatollahs want to develop nuclear weapons, really for the one purpose of annihilating Israel.
All of these questions were answered by the time the Bible–Old and New Testaments–was recognized as canon by Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, in 367. The Apostle Paul, writing in Romans 11, drew from the Old Testament and the Holy Spirit’s inspiration to proclaim that the Jews have been broken off, that the Gentiles might be grafted in, with a warning to Gentiles:
Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? (Romans 11:19b-24)
Israel is the wild olive tree, and God had ordained that Israel would be cast out of the land when Moses wrote Deuteronomy 30:1-6. They would be cast out and then returned.
If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. (Deut 30:4-5)
All of these things have come to pass. Israel was a blemish on eastern Mediterranean in the Levant until the modern Zionist movement transformed it. In 1867, Mark Twain, in his book Innocents Abroad, described it thusly.
“….. A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds… a silent mournful expanse…. a desolation…. we never saw a human being on the whole route…. hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.”
Other than the mullahs and garrisons in Jerusalem, it was Bedouin country, where nobody laid claim to the land other than wadis to water camels on the desert roads connecting Damascus, Lebanon, Egypt and Mecca. Jews continuously lived in Old Jerusalem, unhindered, for millennia. Isaiah prophesied the rebirth of Zion in chapter 35 (read the whole chapter).
The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them,
And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose;
It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice,
Even with joy and singing. (Isaiah 35:1-2)
What the newspapers don’t report, is that God is in all of this. The God they like to question, asking if believing in the virgin birth or the resurrection of Jesus Christ is necessary for being in the Christian faith. (A hint: it is, all of it.) If they can’t accept the historicity of the unique and holy events upon which the entire Christian faith is founded, then the “chosenness” of the Jews is going to be, to say the least, troublesome.
Let’s look at it objectively, through a hypothetical thought experiment. If we imagine aliens without any knowledge of Earthlings, other than explanations in American newspapers, and the Bible, which is more believable? Should aliens ignore that the Jews, who make up 0.2 percent of the world, have won 20 percent of all Nobel prizes, and a curve-busting 41 percent in economics and 26 percent in physics? Or that Jews had made more positive advances, per capita, in human positive progress, from the end of human sacrifice to world-bettering vaccines, to the discovery of “exotic matter,” than any other population group on the planet?
Should they ignore the improbable victories of the Israeli armed forces for the last 70 years against overwhelming numerically superior enemies? Should they ignore the military blunders the Egyptian and other Arab commanders committed when Israel could have–should have–been wiped from the field (and the map)?
I think the aliens would have to conclude that some deity-like being is fighting for these Jews, and some other being is motivating people against them. The only other explanation is that somehow Jews are just innately “hateable,” while morally and intellectually superior to other Earthlings. Of course, the latter explanation is racist on its face, which is why racists believe the opposite, that Jews are subhuman.
Consider this. For all of the Christian era, this same group, resistant to assimilation, kept getting booted from country after country, punctuated with attempts at complete annihilation with varying degrees of effectiveness. But they were never completely wiped away.
There’s one verse that stands out: Romans 11:29 “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” God does not change. And if God doesn’t change on social issues like marriage, biology and the roles of the sexes, and the Ten Commandments, then He also does not change regarding Israel and the Jews.
God promised Abraham a nation that could not be counted; He gave the land of Israel to Abraham and his descendants (we can argue over Isaac versus Ishmael, but I’m going with the Bible, not the Quran). He chose Jerusalem, Mount Moriah, as the place to test Abraham’s faith and to provide a sacrifice in Isaac’s stead. The same mountain is now known as the Temple Mount. And the Mount of Olives still lies to Jerusalem’s east.
And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,
Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,
From east to west,
Making a very large valley;
Half of the mountain shall move toward the north
And half of it toward the south. (Zechariah 14:4)
This is the same prophet who wrote in Zechariah 9 “Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.” If we know that Jesus fulfilled that former scripture at His first coming, He will surely fulfill the latter in His second.
It’s really very simple. God will not allow the Jews to be destroyed. The whole world will turn against Israel at some point, because the Bible prophesies it. But in the end, it is for their salvation. The reason that Israel’s Basic Law has written in it that Jerusalem is the eternal and undivided capital is because God has ordained that, and Israel is the Jewish homeland, Biblically and physically.
Jew-hatred is nothing less than Satanic, for if there is a devil (and his greatest lie is the denial of his existence, along with God’s), he surely knows that Jesus will return to Jerusalem, and that the Jews are necessary to fulfill prophecy. If they are destroyed, God’s will is thwarted.
This is why the whole world, apart from very few friends Israel has (mostly Christian Americans), would love to see Israel, and the Jews, suffer. It’s why Jew-hatred is so resilient across people groups, ethnicities, geographies, political boundaries, and centuries.
But you’ll never see that in the New York Times.