All times are Israel Time.
UPDATE (6:00 pm Monday): Incoming rocket sirens for Eshkol region at 5:22 pm. Several “rock” throwing and Molotov cocktail throwing incidents in Judea and Samaria overnight.
Your humble servant has spent this weekend standing up for Israel in the face of increasing anti-Semitism.
To tell you the truth, I really didn’t do that much.
On Friday evening, I joined a small but hearty group of Israel supporters waving Israeli flags and carrying placards outside the First United Church in Sacramento, California where a SABEEL conference was taking place. Yesterday afternoon, my committee in our local synagogue hosted the Northern California, Oregon, and Washington campus director of StandWithUs for a presentation on Israel-bashing on university and college campuses.
If you have never heard of SABEEL, you probably will in the near future. Self-advertised as a “Palestinian ecumenical Christian group”, SABEEL is a virulently anti-Semitic organization that does nothing except attack Jews and Israel.
For example, the Friday SABEEL conference hosted speakers who accuse Israeli (read “Jewish”) doctors of harvesting the organs of disaster victims when they are on rescue missions abroad, and speakers who accuse Israel (read “Jews”) of ethnically cleansing Christians from Israel. All in all, the speaker’s list at SABEEL was a who’s who of fanatic anti-Semites, many of whom are members of the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement against Israel.
One of the truly abhorrent facets of this conference was that the First Methodists provided their church for these anti-Semites to spew their venom. And as I stood outside that Church watching people who self-identified themselves as Presbyterian, Quaker, and Jewish “peacemakers” filing into the sessions under a neon sign that said “Pray For Peace”, I reflected on how the world has been violently turned upside down.
In a reality in which Israeli Jews are often the first on the scene to help disaster victims around the world, here we had Christians and leftist Jews condemning the caregivers. In a reality in which Christians are being expelled from every Arab country in the Middle East and can only find refuge in Israel, here we had Christians banding together to condemn the very people who are trying to save their fellow Christians.
And the situation is no less harsh on California campuses.
In a talk which traversed the state from south to north, the SWU representative detailed example after example of anti-Semitic acts that have been carried out against Jewish students at campuses ranging from the University of California-Irvine to the University of California-Riverside to the University of California-Santa Cruz to the University of California-Berkeley. Israeli flag burnings, physical assaults against Jewish students, and intimidation of Jewish students were just some of the many incidents that he chronicled.
It was a frightening microcosm of the anti-Semitism that is now being tolerated in American academia. The speaker’s comments culminated with the events of three weeks ago at the University of California Davis where two Israeli speakers were jeered repeatedly with taunts of “child molester” and “rapist”–as campus police stood by and did nothing.
And that is the message of today.
One cannot stand by and do nothing in the face of anti-Semitism.
As you may have read or heard about today, four Jews were murdered outside the Ozar Hatorah School in Toulouse, France this morning. The murderer pulled up his motorcycle in front of the school at 8:10 am, took out two weapons, and chased adults and children into the school firing at everyone in front of him.
3 year old Gabriel Sandler, his 6 year old brother Arieh, their father Jonathan, and 8 year old Miriam Monsonego–the daughter of the schoolmaster–were all slaughtered.
Israeli PM Netanyahu described the event this way: “It is too early to determine what the background of the murderous act was, but it is impossible to reject the possibility that this act was driven by violent and murderous anti-Semitism. I have yet to hear any condemnation of the heinous murder from the U.N.” Ironically, the United Nations Human Rights Council is hosting a representative of Hamas today–the same Hamas that is dedicated to killing all Jews everywhere.
But perhaps most telling were the comments of a representative of the French Jewish community–a community that has been emigrating in ever greater numbers from France to Israel:
“For someone to locate this school in a place like Toulouse means he knew what he was doing. He went there to kill Jews. There are occasional anti-Semitic attacks but they are small, nothing like this.”
There is no such thing as a “small” anti-Semitic attack–whether it is committed in a Methodist church in Sacramento, on the University of California, Davis campus, or in a community in France. Anti-Semitism must always be confronted, and each of us, including you dear reader and me, have a solemn responsibility to do so.