From time to time I refer to the words of my mother, a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor from Holland who compares what is happening today to 1938 Europe. I always respond the same way, focusing on the fact that the very existence of the State of Israel makes this dangerous and frightening time unlike any other time in the past 2,000 years of Jewish history. There are other factors I refer to as differentiating today from 1938 such as the tremendous leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu and the countless amount of Jews with the thought of “Never Again” ingrained into their very soul. There is one other difference from 1938 and it is not only not to be overlooked, it may turn out to be the most important difference in the long-term struggle for survivor. That difference is the unwavering support of the Christian community.
I am Jewish. Although my personal conviction doesn’t always translate into behaviors consistent with my beliefs, I believe in the Jewish religion. It was how I was raised and although I often question the dogma, it is still the religion my life at least to some extent revolves around. However, I am very grateful for being raised with a respect for those who believe in different things than I do, even if and when I do not agree with them. I have had very close friends with whom I have had some very enjoyable religious debates. What I always came away with from those debates, and is more evident to me today than during any other time in my life, is that if you truly believe in God, a God that created man in his image and is a God of love and mercy, there is no room for hate, destruction and violence. I know that as I write this there are some of the more extreme within the Jewish community that are asking if I am unaware of the past. The answer is that I am very aware of the past, however I am even more aware of the fact that today’s Christian generally lives by a special and moral standard, and that part of that standard is a love for Israel and the Jewish people.
I had been considering writing this letter for quite some time, but it was not till tonight when I saw an interview done by Bill Maher of Benjamin Netanyahu that I felt inspired to get it done(CLICK HERE TO WATCH). When Bill Maher, someone I like but differ from in philosophy when it comes to the discussion of God, tried to compare Muslim extremists desire for a post apocolyptic world to how Christians speak of the end of time, Netanyahu set him straight. He clarified that the difference is based on 2 important points. First of all, even when Christians believe there will be an end of time they are not trying to make it happen by blowing people up. And secondly he stated that the biggest difference is that regardless of how extreme their beliefs may be, Christians are sane people.
I am fully aware of the fact that Christians believe that Israel is a critical element in their belief of how the future of the world plays out. When I say that it is of no importance to me, I say that with the utmost of respect. It does not mean that I have anything other than respect for how you feel and what you believe, what it means is that all I care about as a Jew and a Zionist who believes in something different, is that your belief now translates into strong and loving support for Israel and the Jewish people.
I believe that the fight, and I believe subsequent war, is one that can only be won if Christians and Jews work together. I have come across and continue to come across scores of Christians who appear to feel the same way. My personal gratitude for what I’ve witnessed from my Christian friends specifically over the past few months has been a wonderful enlightenment and has given me hope for the future of the Jewish people and the planet. As far as what happens next, once we get through this conflict against evil, and with God’s help victoriously, well we will deal with the differences then. The good news is I am sure we will do so as friends.
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