A National Day of Prayer as Antisemitism Rears its Ugly Head
What the world thought would never happen again looks increasingly like it could
Monday, May 06, 2019
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America is a unique nation and last week in the shadow of terrible attacks on Jewish Synagogues and the burning of historic black churches they held their annual National Day of Prayer Service in the White House Rose Garden.
The following were some of Vice President Mike Pence’s remarks:
“Good morning. Please be seated. To members of our Cabinet, leaders in faith and public life, and to all our distinguished guests, it is an honor for Karen and me to be with President Trump, our First Lady, and all of you here in the Rose Garden as we mark this National Day of Prayer for the third year in a row here at the White House. (Applause.)
The Bible tells us to be faithful in prayer and that the “effective and fervent prayers of a righteous [people] availeth much.” And since the founding of this nation, the American people have believed in prayer.
It is the thread that runs through every era of American history. In 1775, the Second Continental Congress established a day of fasting and prayer. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln, from these very grounds, urged Americans to pray so that, in his words, “the united cry of the nation [would] be heard on high and answered with blessing.”
In 1952, President Harry Truman and the Congress formally established this National Day of Prayer and set aside each year for the American people to turn to God in prayer and meditation. Ever since then, every President has issued a proclamation in honor of this great tradition. And President Donald Trump continues that tradition today.
As President Trump said just two years ago in this Rose Garden, in his words, “We are a nation of faith.” And I can assure you, at a time when religious belief is often marginalized and even ridiculed, in this White House, under this President, we believe in prayer.
In fact, the President has made a practice of opening every Cabinet meeting in prayer. In fact, he is, at this moment in time, one of only four Presidents in American history who have issued multiple proclamations calling the American people to prayer in a single year.
We believe we always do well to go to the Lord in prayer. But it seems especially important these days.”
Well, these days as we know from Bible prophecy are the last days. The Jews have been regathered back to their land after millennia of dispersion. The European nations have given up, and are continuing to give up their power to the authority of the European Union who is forging ahead with further unity. Although finding that it will be a fight Britain has begun the process of severing herself from this European project. Russia is growing in strength and brazenness and has already begun her march westward with the taking of eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. Further to that Russia has now militarily established a foothold in Syria, the territory of the Seleucids, the original ‘king of the North.’ Not only that but Germany is continuing to grow further dependent to Russia and joining herself via ever-expanding pipelines. And at the Vatican, they are working to resolve their differences with the Russian Orthodox Church. And as if that hardly exhaustive list is not enough, we will add to it the rapidly growing Antisemitism that is rearing its ugly head again in force.
The resurgence of Antisemitism was certainly on the minds of those that gathered for national prayer at the Whitehouse yesterday as the Rabbi who had lost his fingers to the gun attack on the Chabad of Poway Synagogue in Poway California, was there in attendance. This is of course only six months after the terrible attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh where 11 people were murdered and 7 injured in the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in US history. And these attacks are now happening in America, this is not some village in Russia or Eastern Europe with a history of pogroms.
And although these attacks are committed by some bent or disturbed extreme individual the most insidious attacks against the Jewish people are committed in the mainstream by those in academia or the media. The campaign again Israel by who claim to be not anti-Semitic but rather Anti-Zionist (as if there was a difference) is huge and has infected most of the schools and universities in the US. For example, the cartoons that the New York Times published recently. The one depicting Netanyahu as a Jewish dog with a large hook nose leading a blind President Trump. But how does a cartoon like that showcasing the oldest of Anti-Semitic tropes that the Jews are somehow running the world get into such supposed prestigious paper as the New York Times? There will be excuses and someone probably hung out to dry, but the reality is that the New York Times along with most of the mainstream media is ragingly anti-Israel, and the results are clear when you look at public opinion in the United States, Europe, and other places.
In the United States for example the Anti-Defamation League reported that violent attacks against the Jewish community in the United States doubled last year. The NYPD just released the statistics for the first three months of this year and anti-Semitic hate crimes have spiked 82%. There are now pieces of legislation being put before Congress from the Democrat party that are openly anti-Israel. In fact, many of the Democrats running to be the leader of the party for 2020 are openly anti-Israel and it is very possible at some time in the future that the US could have a president that is openly opposing Israel. It is the same story by maybe even worse in the United Kingdom. The leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, is extremely against Israel and has a history of anti-Semitic actions, apologies and then more actions. And now a new 15,000 page report has been produced documenting antisemitism in the British Labour party that Jeremy Corbyn leads.
Now if that is happening is the United States and Great Britain, imagine how bad Europe must be. And yes, it really is much worse with many Jews hiding their Jewishness when going out in public.
Antisemitism is rising sharply across Europe,
France reported a 74% increase in the number of offenses against Jews last year
Germany said the number of violent antisemitic attacks had surged by more than 60%.
In the largest ever survey of Jewish antisemitism opinion, addressing more than 16,000 Jewish people in 12 European countries, the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency said at the end of last year that antisemitic hate speech, harassment and an increasing fear of being recognized as Jewish were becoming the new normal.
“Decades after the Holocaust, shocking and mounting levels of antisemitism continue to plague the EU,” the FRA director, Michael O’Flaherty, said. “Jewish people have a right to live freely, without hate and without fear for their safety.”
The report found 90% of respondents felt antisemitism was growing in their country and 30% had been harassed. Over a third avoided going to Jewish events or sites because of safety fears, while the same proportion had considered emigrating. Nearly 80% no longer reported minor incidents because they thought “nothing would change”.
Today Jewish graves being graffitied with swastikas is hardly news and yellow vest protestors scream anti-semitic slogans, and which 50% apparently according to a recent poll believed in a “Zionist Plot.”
In Germany the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party has been widely accused of antisemitism – The party’s co-leader, Alexander Gauland, described the Holocaust as a “small bird dropping in over 1,000 years of successful German history”
All this after less than 70 years since the end of the Holocaust.
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman addressed the March of the Living ceremony at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp on Thursday, Holocaust Remembrance Day.
"There's an expression in Hebrew, "Ein Milim.' There are no words."
"There are no words. I have no words. I have no words to capture the pain, the anger, the sadness, the horror that I feel now at this solemn site.
"And even if I had the words, they would be drowned out by the shrieks, the cries, the shouts, the agony of the victims in this death camp that have never been silenced and that are amplified right now, right here, this afternoon.
"I stand here, I can't help but think of the very first murder in recorded history and G-d's reaction to that murder, the murder by Kayin of Hevel, by Cain against Abel. And G-d said to Cain: Kol Demei Achicha Tzoak Elie Min Haadamah, the voice of the blood of your brother is crying out to me from this land. And the same is true here. The blood of our brothers and our sisters is calling out to us from the ground of this hallowed place. I think I understand now, and only now, what G-d meant by that phrase.”
So how is this happening again? Why are so many turning on the Jews again? Well, this time it is clear that the hatred is spurred on by hatred of Israel. Today there are not many that want to be termed an anti-Semite, but anti-Israel and anti Zionism is what is running rampant, and all though found throughout academia and the media the strongest undercurrents are found in the Vatican.
As God is fulfilling his promises that he made to the forefathers it is causing a major reaction, just as there has always been an enmity to his word, so too there is toward his people. This is what we see in Ezekiel 38, the northern invader comes “against my people Israel.” And it is the same spirit that we see in Edom (This is latter-day Edom whose spirit is seen in the nations that hate Israel, but in particular in Rome) in Ezekiel 35:5,12,13. There is a perpetual hatred and enmity against God, his word, and his people.
So what we see today is to be expected.
But it is true that when one examines the events of the Holocaust it is hard to have words for such hate-filled murderous acts taken against the Jewish people, God people. And God does see it all.
And for his own reasons God has put President Trump and his administration into the White House. And as they stand up for Israel they too are finding an onslaught against them. But Ambassador David Friedman also noted the incredible events following the Holocaust:
"There's also no words to capture the triumph of the Jewish people who were never consumed by hate and who rebuilt their lives, and who rebuilt their ancient homeland, the miraculous State of Israel to which I am so fortunate to be posted as President Trump's representative.”
This triumph of the Jewish people is certainly miraculous but the best is yet to come as the Lord Jesus Christ will soon once go forth to save his people. And at that time “the nations shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.
So in ‘these days’ our prayer should be that Almighty God will send his son the redeemer of Israel to come and cleanse this earth with his judgments and bring peace to Jerusalem. How much we need it.
Thanks for joining us again this week on Bible in the News. This was John Billington with you. Come back next week!