The significance in Gerald's case was not that he'd been an absent friend. Quite the reverse, really, as we'd been meeting at the same coffee bar in Leicester Square every Thursday fortnight for years now. Over the years Gerald had stubbornly refused all invitations at this time of year. It wasn't that he was purposely being rude, it was that, although, physically, he was as Jewish as chopped liver, Gerald was a confirmed atheist.
In the last few decades, some Christian theologians and preachers have insisted that the people and land of Israel are not significant for either the New Testament or the Church.
Antisemitism is an insidious evil. The habits of antisemitism have been burrowing into European and British culture for as long as we can remember. In England, during the late mediaeval period, the Jewish community faced constant persecution: Shylock, the great villain of the Merchant of Venice, was a cliché of his time. By the time Cromwell reopened England to Jewish settlement under the Commonwealth in the 1650s, antisemitism had mutated within common parlance and culture.
It is a shameful truth that, through its theological teachings, the church, which should have offered an antidote, compounded the spread of this virus. The fact that antisemitism has infected the body of the Church is something of which we as Christians must be deeply repentant. We live with the consequences of our history of denial and complicity.
RABBI CRAWFORD answers ...
Run in the other direction- as fast as a gazelle! Anyone who calls himself/herself a prophet is a self proclaimed liar. In the TaNaK, the prophets were killed, sawed in half etc. If they were spewing stuff about their prophetic gifts and were about to be sawed in two- they would recant- most of these people do not have any such gifts. I have heard of a few who dream dreams which in the near future, were on target- but those people never ran around claiming to be prophets that I know of.
RABBI GUTMANN answers ...
By now, most of us are familiar with the concept of “social justice warriors” – left-wing liberals who support trendy politics such as transgender LGBTI issues, /wealth distribution, Marxist economics, identity politics, multiculturalism, “progressive” values, anti-Israelism, anti-Westernism, and support for “anti-imperialist” regimes in places like Syria and Iran. Now social justice warriors have found their prayerful equivalents in the “Red Letter Christians” movement – ostensibly spearheaded by the triumvirate of Shane Claiborne, Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo, who also familiar politicised voices in the Emerging Church movement.
As Britain mourns those murdered in the terrorist atrocity in Manchester and treats the injured, antisemites have poured onto social media to blame the attack on a murderous Jewish conspiracy.
All of us at Campaign Against Antisemitism deplore the sickening attack on children and their families in Manchester last night. As the details of the attacker’s cowardice and barbarity became clear, and we heard the stories of families never to be reunited and casualties whose lives will be forever changed, we also began to see the all-too-familiar phenomenon of people rushing to social media to blame Jews.
Whilst politicians urged unity and “#WeStandTogether” trended on social media, people from around the world took to Twitter, Facebook and other platforms to claim that the suicide bombing was a plot by Jewish conspirators to fuel wars against oil-rich Muslim states, or some other variant of the depraved conspiracy myths that place Jews at the centre of the world’s every ill.
On Twitter, “Carlos” wrote: “Zionists just bombed Manchester”. “Geeky Artist Arab Woman” opined that Zionists are “the sources of all terrorism #Manchester”. “Isaac Mintman” posted his theory that “Zionists and fascists want more Islamic terror attacks in hopes of sparking civil war”. “Mama Snarf” replied to a tweet from an Israeli minister: “Most terror attacks ordered by Israel anyway. Manchester don’t need anymore Zionists”. “Dowlut Nawshad” tweeted: “The World should drive out the ‘Zionists debts theft genocide false flags monetary system$’ they ordered and responsible for Manchester.”
By Melanie Phillips
The end-game has begun. America’s nightmare presidential election has entered its final agonizing throes. The latest opinion polls suggest that Donald Trump, badly damaged by the release of the 11-year-old tape of his lewd and offensive remarks about women, is unlikely to win. His second debate with Hillary Clinton last weekend, where he put in a much stronger performance than the first, doesn’t seem to have helped him. Women are now queuing up to claim he groped them and worse, accusations he says are lies. With any other candidate, it would be game over. Yet Trump has been written off many times before.
No one can predict this election result even now. People still don’t seem to understand the enormous insurrectionist dynamic behind Trump’s rise. Those who are firmly for Trump are in wholesale revolt against precisely the kind of people who tell them they can’t insult or demean women or others who are never held responsible for their own actions.
Indeed, the near-universal hysteria over the tape was hard to credit. Surely no one can be surprised that Trump turns out to be a crude sexual barbarian? What’s more, the frenzy is being fueled by people who brushed aside Bill Clinton’s sexual excesses as a “private matter” and ignored the way Hillary used threats to silence the women he had used.
Tuvia Tenenbom has a problem. His books sell so well he can’t find a publisher in the English-speaking world. His last book, Catch the Jew!, was a spectacular international success. Published in Germany and, in English, in Israel, it shot to the top of numerous best-seller lists. His previous book, I Sleep in Hitler’s Room, was also a German best-seller. Tenenbom writes for Die Zeit. Although he was born in Bnei Brak, his fair hair nevertheless leads people to assume he is a German gentile and as such, that he harbors anti-Jewish views. Declining to disabuse people of this mistake, he goes round asking pointed questions on issues people try to avoid. The result is as devastating as it is funny.
Why are western politicians so keen to get involved with the affairs of the Jewish State? Chuck and Karen Cohen follow the latest developments.
Whatever 2017 holds for us, let’s remain focused on the ultimate goal for God’s kingdom – that He would be glorified through the exaltation of His Son. “… every tongue should confess that Messiah Yeshua is Lord – to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:11; see also John 12:27-28)
Old Testament saints knew this, and often based their prayers on it. “Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name. Deliver us, and purge away our sins, for Your name’s sake.” (Ps. 79:9); “Not unto us, YHWH…but unto Your name give glory, for Your mercy, and truth’s sake.” (Ps. 115:1)
(A personal blog by Ian Luke Penwald)
The last of my 3 blogs from Poland and despite the angst expressed in my first two, I did in the end make the journey to Auschwitz-Birkenau. It was still pretty much a last-minute decision but as I wandered through Krakow’s impressive and beautiful Old City I found myself praying about whether or not to visit the infamous death camps. Then I turned a corner and find a small random travel agency selling tickets to the very places and so the next day…I was off.