Recently, several cars and garages of Jewish residents on Canvey Island were subjected to foul antisemitic comments and symbolism causing great distress. This isn’t an isolated incident since there have been a few smaller incidents leading up to this which have been reported in the local press. The strict-orthodox community has recently settled over the last few years predominately from those in Stamford Hill.
This incident has been documented in national news and media. In addition, a number of Jewish newspapers have expressed their grave concerns and the Jerusalem Post commented earlier this morning concerning this sad occasion and added that the Middle Street Synagogue in Brighton was vandalised on Friday; plus an antisemitic march by more than 10,000 neo-Nazis took place recently in Berlin. Of course for the sake of brevity, a lot more could be said, and many more incidents have happened already this year.
Antisemitism has a long and dark history. In the Bible, the Israelites made a miraculous exodus from Egypt following four hundred years of slavery, Haman tried to destroy all the Jewish people across the Persian Empire until Esther implored King Ahasuerus and the tables were turned. In the Inter-testament era, the Maccabees arose to defy Antiochus Epiphanes and in the New Testament, Herod tried a repeat of Pharaoh’s efforts to destroy all the young Hebrew boys.
Over the last two millennia, Jewish people have faced suffering, slaughter, banishment from many lands including our own, exclusion from occupations and prolonged and intense persecution . Some leaders of nations even in our time have vocalised their intent to wipe Israel of the face of the earth. This is nothing new when we consider the insidious plans of the nations in Psalm 83. In the last year I’ve spoken with Jewish people greatly concerned about all the above and who wear their Star of David underneath their shirt for fear of those who hate them. Others are considering making Aliyah (returning to Israel).
We have a choice. The choice is either to bless or curse Israel. It is clear from Genesis 12:3 that if we bless the Jewish people we will be blessed and if we curse them, we will be cursed. Deuteronomy 7:7-9 informs us that God chose Israel not because they were more numerous but because He loved them and that He keeps His covenant which He swore to their fathers. Furthermore, Jeremiah 31:35-37 emphatically reminds us that if the sun, moon, stars and the waves cease from their ordinances then they would cease being a nation before Him. The obvious conclusion is that God is faithful and unchanging and keeps His covenants because He is the faithful God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the sun, moon, stars and the waves haven’t packed up, so we know that God hasn’t changed His mind.
Moreover the Abrahamic covenant is everlasting (Genesis 17:7-9) and God hasn’t cast off His people (Romans 11:1-2). Conclusion number two is that if we conspire against the Jewish people then we will be fighting against God. Historians worth their salt, if they trace Jewish history throughout the ages, will note that it doesn’t bode well for those who have tried to attack God’s chosen people.
Something to consider… We would do ourselves and the Jewish people a great deal of good by blessing them. Jewish philanthropists do a lot more good then we often realise. Many critical breakthroughs in medicine, technology and almost every sphere of progress have been influenced massively by the Jewish community. In short, hatred of the Jewish community is effectively shooting oneself in the foot. We would do well to ponder and appreciate the morality framework embedded in our legal system derived from the Judeo-Christian heritage of our land.
It is time to stop sitting on the fence and actively stand with the Jewish people and it would be a good thing to encourage our Jewish neighbours and befriend them and send them Hanukkah cards and express support and empathy regarding antisemitism. We can also thank them for the Bible and for Messiah and we should remember first and foremost that the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, is our only hope and is the Saviour of the world.