12 Apr 2012
I wonder whether any of the participants in that conference even thought to spend a few days in the south of Israel, within rocket-range of Jihad Fortress Gaza? And did any of them spare a thought for the Fogel family, or for the boys who were gunned down inside the Mercaz Harav yeshiva, by a Muslim murderer?
There are two books that desperately need to be translated into English, and that every participant at that conference needed to read.
Jacques Ellul's 'Un Chretien Pour Israel' - which includes a magnificent exposition and surgical analysis of the monstrous anti-Israel propaganda campaign that has flooded the world since the 1960s at least (originally from Soviet sources as well as Islamic, but now conducted almost entirely by the Ummah), and which might succeed in showing some of these people just how thoroughly they have swallowed a farrago of complete falsehoods; and his last completed book, 'Ce Dieu Injuste? - Theologie Chretienne pour le Peuple D'Israel', which is more theologically focused, and includes a very careful exposition of a number of key passages of Christian scripture that deal with the House of Israel, showing that there is no necessity for them to be read in the hostile and deadly way that, all too often, they have been read.
And in that same book Ellul is very clear that he thinks a second Shoah is being prepared...by the Muslims. Every person who attencded that conference needs to be told, straight-up: if you support the Muslim agenda against Israel, and against the Jews, then you are helping to prepare a second Shoah and you will be just as guilty as the people who collaborated with the Nazis, in occupied Europe, to deliver up Jews to the death chambers.
There's another text by Ellul, too, that needs to go into English - Les Trois Piliers du Conformisme, 'the three pillars of conformity', which absolutely demolishes the three favourite tropes of the Muslim da'wa artists - the 'Abrahamic faith' canard, the 'people of the book' canard, and the 'monotheism' canard. Ellul demolishes all three, magnificently and in short order, and indeed - as Mark Durie also does in 'Revelation?' - shows at the same time that an uncrossable gulf divides Biblical faith - both the faith of the Jew and the faith of the Christian - from Islam.
Then, after Ellul, or at the same time, they could read Mark Durie's two books - Revelation? Do We Worship the Same God? Jesus, God, Holy Spirit in Christianity and Islam (which, incidentally, contains a good deal that shows that Christians and Jews have far more in common with each other - given their shared shaping by the TaNaKh - than either has with Islam) and The Third Choice: Islam, Dhimmitude and Freedom. The latter, together with Bat Yeor's T'he Dhimmi: Jews and Christians under Islam', and 'The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam', might help Western Christians understand the mental and spiritual damage that their dhimmified brethren have sustained in centuries of living as humiliated, degraded and terrified subjects of merciless Muslim overlords. A condition that was also endured by Jews under Islam - and that is the condition which Muslims dream of reimposing, crushingly, upon the Jews of Israel.
I wonder how many of the participants in that conference had ever thought to sit down and listen to, and patiently, lovingly get to know, as equals, Jewish people? And have any of them tried to read Maimonides, or - in the modern world - books such as Franz Rosenzweig, 'The Star of Redemption', or Abraham Heschel, 'God in Search of Man'?
A long time ago, a priest at a church I attended was giving advice to young, enthusiastic members of his 'university' church who were going home to spend holidays with their families. His advice applied equally to those newly re-energised in their faith who would be going home to 'St Bloggs in the Bush', as to new bright-eyed converts from entirely unchurched and indeed in some cases antireligious families. His advice? the closer you are to someone, the less you should say and the more your faith should be expressed in actions of love. Don't lecture, argue, get into fights with mum and dad; love them.
And who is our Elder Brother? Who - despite everything - is closer to a Christian than the members of any other world religion or ideology? A Jewish person. We sing the same psalms. We wrestle with the same God.
Many fewer words and much, much more love - genuine love, unforced, unmanipulative, patient and humble - would seem to have been in order. Jews should have been safe within Christendom, not continually imperilled. They should have encountered decency and fairness, not pogroms. When watching Fiddler on the Roof it simply broke my heart to see with what absolute terror the Jewish mother in that story entered a Christian church.
One wonders what the past 2000 years of history might have been like had Gentile Christians, in their dealings with Jews, steadfastly refrained from lecturing and trying to get into arguments and had instead concentrated on practising justice and charity.