This is a transcript of a speech by Susan Michael, US Director, to the 9th Annual Solidarity Event at the Embassy of Israel, Washington DC, May 7th, 2010. Learn more about ICEJ efforts to combat the campaign of discrimination through the Israel Defense Network.
Combat the delegitimization of Israel.
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A worldwide campaign to delegitimize the Jewish State is sounding in the halls of governments, global institutions, universities and in streets around the world. This mounting campaign against Israel is unprecedented and it is undermining her ability to deal with the other serious threats she faces. The goal of this campaign is not only to tie Israel’s hands, but actually to bring about the end of the Jewish state.
A Campaign of Delegitimization
We just endured the Sixth Annual Israeli Apartheid Week that took place on college campuses in over 40 cities around the world. They are calling Israel an ‘apartheid state’: a country in which the Arab minority is allowed to vote, attend universities next to Jewish students, serve in the IDF, serve as ambassadors, as Supreme Court judges and even represent the nation as Miss Israel. Former US President, Jimmy Carter even turned this accusation into a bestselling book. To us this is ludicrous. But do not be fooled. This is a very dangerous global campaign because it implies that if Israel is a nation like apartheid South Africa then she can be sanctioned and dismantled in the same way as the apartheid regime of South Africa.
Hitler understood the role propaganda played in preparing the way for the extermination of the Jewish people. The steps were first discrimination, second delegitimization and lastly, extermination. We need to understand the role of the global disinformation and propaganda campaign taking place against Israel today and take it seriously.
This current campaign of delegitimization focuses on Israel as though she is the source of all evil in the world. She is not only the obstacle to Palestinian statehood but to world peace. But I want to know this: while orchestrated demonstrations were held around the world against Israel when she moved into Gaza to end the rocket attacks, and while global institutions such as the UN are accusing her of war crimes, and while our academics and mainline churches are calling for divestment - where are the demonstrations against the Iranian government for the incitement to genocide, or for threatening another member-state in the United Nations, or for beating and imprisoning innocent citizens for protesting against a rigged election?
Where are the demonstrations against Hamas who fired 8,000 rockets at innocent Israeli civilians, or for persecuting and murdering Christians in Gaza, or for kidnapping and holding Gilad Shalit for four years! Where are the demonstrations against the Palestinian Authority for glorifying suicide bombers and brainwashing little children to want to become one?
The list goes on and on and if I get started on Sudan, and Egypt and Saudi Arabia we will be here past dinner.
It is really maddening. And to think that while an almost-nuclear Iran is threatening to wipe Israel off the map, the world asks Israel to commit to a nuclear free Middle East! Or get this one: Iran was just elected to a four-year seat on the UN Women’s Rights Commission. Iran does not recognize the basic human rights of women! These are the same institutions condemning Israel for a war of self defense. Israel suffered over 8,000 rocket attacks from a group that ignores the laws of war and not only targets Israeli civilians but uses their own civilians for cover, and then Israel is the one accused of war crimes!
I am telling you that the global campaign against Israel is unprecedented. Its influence is being felt everywhere. While we have been immune to a lot of this in the US I can detect its growing influence here not only in our government, but even in Christian universities, and in the wider Evangelical world.
A Battle over Values
So what is behind all of this? First, the enemies of Israel have found a politically correct manner in which to defeat Israel and see the state dismantled. Parts of this campaign are absolutely planned and deliberate with this goal in mind.
Secondly, they have found lots of bedfellows because it is nothing but a new form of antisemitism. While classic antisemitism blames the Jews for the world’s ills, the new antisemitism, anti-Zionism, blames the Jewish nation for the worlds ills. Antisemites have simply found a politically correct way to be antisemitic.
Thirdly, it goes beyond that because Israel is in direct confrontation with the value systems of the world today. We are living in a world that now believes in moral relativism – the belief that there is no right or wrong, good or evil, truth or falsehood – it is all a question of competing narratives. The Jewish nation, which gave the world the Ten Commandments, flies in the face of moral relativism. Israel is also a Jewish state in an age when both religion and nationalism are under assault, therefore her ‘Jewishness’ is being called racism. The world is also becoming increasingly pacifist. Israel, a nation that relies on military force for her very survival, flies in the face of pacifism, hence they call her “Nazi.”
I can’t help but think of two scriptures at this point. Isaiah 5:20 says “woe to those who call evil good and good evil.” And II Thess. 2:11 “Therefore God will send them a great delusion because they did not love the truth.” This is why I am very concerned for our world and the direction in which it is heading.
A Challenge to Speak the Truth
So what can we do in the face of such gigantic challenges. There is a saying that comes to my mind that sums it up well: pray as though it is all up to God, and work as though it is all up to you.
Isaiah 62:6-7 says this:
I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
They shall never hold their peace day or night.
You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent,
And give Him no rest till He establishes
And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
Jerusalem will no longer be ridiculed, instead she will be praised by all the earth, and it is “He” who will do this. We know that the battle is the Lord’s. And we will pray as though it is all up to Him.
But we also need to roll up our sleeves, see this for the battle that it is and go on the “information offensive.” How do we fight disinformation, but with information. You and I need to tell Israel’s story, over and over, and louder and louder.
We need to tell the world how they are indebted to the Jewish people. The Jewish contribution to religion, science, literature, music, medicine, finance, philosophy, technology etc., is staggering. They are making our world a better place.
We need to tell the Christian world how indebted we are to the Jewish people for everything we hold dear as Christians comes from the Jewish people.
We need to tell our country how indebted we are to Israel. Her intelligence and military technology are helping us and are saving lives of our servicemen and women. Her high tech industry and innovation is fueling Silicon Valley and our economy. She is the only democratic ally we have in the volatile Middle East. A strong US-Israel relationship is not only good for Israel, it is good for America!
The Bible is clear that those who curse Israel and seek to destroy her will suffer the consequences of the very hatred and destruction they foment. As Yehuda Avner, an Israeli author, said just last week in The Jerusalem Post, “our history is that our enemies try to destroy us in every generation, and every time it is they who are destroyed.”
We need to tell Israel’s story not just because it will help Israel, but because it will help our own nation and everyone in the world who will side with truth.
International Christian Embassy Jerusalem