From the Sea to the River, Israel is Forever!

Since October 7, the motto "From the River to the Sea Palestine Shall be Free" has been heard on US university campuses, the streets of America and beyond, and all over the internet. Most people think that this is a call for justice in "Palestine." Our younger generation thinks that chanting that motto is a great move for social justice. To be fair, there are quite a few of our young people chanting, who could not identify which river or which sea, not to mention trying to locate Israel on a world map. But let's focus on those who know exactly what they are saying.

The statement describes the land mass between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, which can only describe Israel. So, for Palestine to be free, Israel has to be gone...No more Jews. There is no other way to understand that statement. This is not an invitation to a two-state solution or anything else. It is a cry for the annihilation of Israel, period. In other words, this is a euphemism for genocide!

Most people today have the wrong understanding of the terms Israel and Palestine, and this leads to much confusion and allegiance to the wrong group of people based on a false narrative. The first thing to understand is that biblically speaking, Israel can mean the Jewish people or the Land of Israel. When referring to the geographical boundaries of a piece of land given by God to Abraham and his descendants, it is called by many names, including “Israel,” “Land of Promise,” "The Land," “Canaan,” “the United Kingdom,” and “the Divided Kingdom.”

The same Abrahamic Covenant from which we draw the definition of a Jew also tells us that God has promised land to the Jewish people with some very detailed boundaries. In Genesis 12:7, God is brief and to the point: "The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants, I will give this land.” He repeats that promise in Genesis 13:15 and gives the details in Genesis 15:18-21: "On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite.”

Since the Abrahamic Covenant is unconditional AND eternal, that promise remains intact. Following the biblical boundaries of Genesis 15, it is clear that Israel’s biblical makeup has yet to be fulfilled. The current borders based on 1948, 1967, or any other “agreements” come nowhere near God’s promised real estate boundaries found in the Bible. Based on these biblical facts, I disagree with the term “Occupied Territories” and prefer to call them the “Disputed Territories.” Israel today is about the size of New Jersey, and when its full borders are fulfilled in the Messianic kingdom, it will be as large as twice the state of Texas, and you are not an "occupier" or "colonizer" if the land was given to you in the first place.

Biblically speaking, Israel is also the name given to Jacob after he wrestled with the Angel of the Lord at Bethel; and, incidentally, this passage in Genesis 35:9-12, is another place where God re-confirms His promise of a Jewish people and their own land: "Then God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him. God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; You shall no longer be called Jacob, But Israel shall be your name.” Thus He called him Israel. God also said to him, “I am God Almighty; Be fruitful and multiply; A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, And kings shall come forth from you. “The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give it to you, And I will give the land to your descendants after you." (The same promise is also reflected in Genesis 32:28, 1 Kings 18:31 and 2 Kings 17:34.)

Since its modern rebirth as a State, Israel as a piece of land has become a bone of contention for the whole world. The modern Palestinian people, in particular, claim historical ownership of that land, reaching back before the Jewish people. It is currently claimed that the Palestinian people ARE an ethnic group, something that is no longer disputed by the vast majority of the world, but is it true? Is it based on facts or fiction? Further investigation is needed to establish the meaning of the word “Palestine” and to assess the validity of such a claim.

To better understand the true meaning of Palestine, we must go back in history quite a bit earlier than the mid-1960s. While the exact origin of the name Palestine is still debated, there are aspects of the word’s meaning that we can surely know. It possibly once described a people group known as the Philistines, but that people group was in no way connected to the current era Palestinians – not ethnically, not linguistically, not historically, and not culturally. In A.D. 132, a Jewish revolt took place against the Romans. It was known as the Bar Kochba revolt (Bar Kochba was a false messiah in Israel at the time ). Things didn't end well for the Jewish people, and in addition to a bloodbath of gigantic proportions, Israel was renamed Palaestina by the Romans. The rebranding of the Land with the name of their enemies, the Philistines, was an effort to undermine Jewish history and humiliate the Jewish people further. Additionally, at the time, Jerusalem was also renamed Aelia Capitolina by Emperor Hadrian. The name Palestine stuck and continued to be used after that time. It is nowhere in the Bible except for the maps section at the end of each Bible, but, of course, these are not inspired.

When the British were in control from 1922 to 1948, the area was governed under what was known as the British Mandate Palestine. In the original text of the Mandate itself, dated 1922, we can read: "Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country."

Let's look at article 4 of that Mandate. We also find two words in the same passage that any modern-day Palestinian would be hard-pressed to associate in a positive light: Palestinian and Zionist. Yet, in the context of the original Mandate, it was to the current leaders of the Zionist movement that the administration and government of Palestine were entrusted, as we can read: "An appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognized as a public body for the purpose of advising and co­operating with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish national home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine, and, subject always to the control of the Administration to assist and take part in the development of the country. The Zionist organization, so long as its organization and constitution are in the opinion of the Mandatory appropriate, shall be recognized as such agency. It shall take steps in consultation with His Britannic Majesty’s Government to secure the co­operation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national home."

So, until the early 1960s, Palestine was always synonymous with Israel, the Jewish State. Arabs in neighboring countries never called themselves Palestinians but rather Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians, Egyptians, etc. Most Arabs in the early 1900s would have argued that Palestinian Arabs were simply Syrians, as Mitchell Bard documents in his well-researched book Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict. He writes: "Prior to partition, Palestinian Arabs did not view themselves as having a separate identity. When the First Congress of Muslim-Christian Associations met in Jerusalem in February 1919 to choose Palestinian representatives for the Paris Peace Conference, the following resolution was adopted: We consider Palestine as part of Arab Syria, as it has never been separated from it at any time. We are connected with it by national, religious, linguistic, natural, economic and geographical bonds."

While God uses different names for the Land of Israel, it is never called Palestine even once. In fact, even the Qur’an (Sura Maida 5:21-22) mentions the “Holy Land” in the context of Moses and the spies preparing to enter the Land of Canaan; but never does it call it Palestine. Jerusalem isn’t even mentioned by name in the Qur’an.

Today, nobody questions the etymology of the word "Palestine," and that is a shame. What is really sad is that the Arab refugees who were forced by their own countries to remain in Israel post-1948 ended up having children who then had children. These innocent subsequent generations have been labeled Palestinians for political gain. They are real people who deserve a real home and a decent life. Backtracking to pre-1948 "Palestine" would connect them all with one or another of the neighboring Arab countries, but that doesn't serve the world's current agenda of Israeli occupation, colonization and ethnic cleansing, does it?

From God's perspective, Israel is eternal and given to the Jewish people by divine decree. This never implies that "Palestinians" are lesser people, but simply that they are not the natives of that land. So, to be fair, instead of chanting, "From the River to the Sea, Palestine shall be free," we ought to affirm, "From the Sea to the River, Israel is FOREVER!"

How did Zionism become a cuss word?

Growing up in France in the 60s, I often heard conversations about Zionism and Israel at family gatherings. I didn't really understand what they were all about except that there were always a few family members who spoke passionately about Eretz Yisrael. Some even occasionally spoke of the possibility of returning to the Land. Zionism was some sort of magical, mystical word that made people both dream and argue in the same breath. It never got bad press, except maybe from the few Jewish family members who were comfortably assimilated in France and wouldn't fathom making Aliyah. Fast forward to 2016 and Zionism has now become a cuss word in many circles around the world.

The term “Zionism” and “Zionist” were coined in 1890 by Jewish activist Nathan Birnbaum (1864-1937) who also played an important part in the first Zionist Congress in 1897. The word “Zion” comes from the Hebrew tzion, a reference to Jerusalem and often, by extension, to the land of Israel itself (first mentioned in II Samuel 5:7.)

According to scholar Mitchell Bard, Zionism is: “ The national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel.  Additionally, Israeli diplomat, politician and historian Abba Eban defines it as follows: “Zionism is nothing more — but also nothing less — than the Jewish people's sense of origin and destination in the land linked eternally with its name.

Over the years, we have heard about historical, political, practical, cultural and even Christian Zionism. Today we hear more about anti-Zionism because the word has been given a new meaning that is so politically charged and so negative. How did we go from "The national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel" to a movement labelled as "occupation", "colonization" or even "racism?"

After the early Zionist pioneers of the late 1800s, the Jewish people started to move back to the land of Israel in the late 40s from all over the Diaspora. They were drawn to Israel for reasons as various as political, familial, economic or even religious. Nothing was frowned upon by anyone. Then came Yassir Arafat, the PLO and the Palestinian quest for self-determination. Unfortunately, the Palestinian cause was one without a land...something had to happen!

"Wait a minute! What if the Palestinians were a people displaced by Jewish colonialists who stole their land, kicked them out and even killed them? This is a long shot but if we keep at it, the masses will eventually buy it!" This might be what went through the minds of Yassir Arafat and his cronies. Zionism slowly started to acquire a bad reputation. It would take several decades to get as bad as it is now, but eventually, it started to spread beyond the Middle East to the rest of the western world

For a while, the damage inflicted on Zionism was counteracted by a strong support from Evangelical Christians who became known as "Christian Zionists." They based their support of Israel on a belief that the Bible spoke of that land given to Jewish people by God Himself. They also made a strong connection to End-Times prophecies including and involving Israel in a very strong way all the way to the end.

In Genesis 12:1-3, which I like to call “God’s foreign policy as it pertains to Israel” we see that God made a covenant with Abraham, further confirmed through Isaac (not Ishmael) and Jacob. In that Covenant, He gives the Jewish people the deed to the Land of Canaan (Exodus 13:11). This is further developed in Genesis 12:1-3, 7; 13:15;17:7-8, 19; 25:5-6; 26:3; 28:3-4; 35:9-15. Anti-Zionism is simply a human attempt at rewriting a Divine Covenant between God and the Jewish people and because of that, it can be deemed as anti-biblical and is bound to failure. If God changed His mind, this would also make Him a Covenant breaker and a liar.

Israel and Zionism suffer from many foes, not just the Palestinians. The United Nations General Assembly passed resolution 3379  in 1975, in which it stated that "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination." It took sixteen years for the UN to revoke that statement in 1991. But the damage was done and would continue to be inflicted on Israel and the Jewish people to this day. Today, many countries in the Middle East continue to see Israel as the enemy. They describe Zionism in no uncertain terms:

• Ahmadinejad used to call for the complete destruction of the Zionist Regime.
• Khameini believes that the Zionist Network dictates US policies which a lie taken straight from the early twentieth century hoax known as The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.
Hamas claims that, "The lie of the Zionist Holocaust crumbles with countless holocausts committed by the Zionists."

Should a Zionist agree with every single decision made by the Israeli government? Of course not!  Should a Zionist systematically reject any prospect of shared land space between Jews and Palestinians if peace is truly the goal? Probably not! Yet, these and many more libelous statements by Israel's enemy have poured over into the Evangelical Church. The Palestinian narrative has become stronger than the biblical narrative. The Christian Zionists of yesterday has morphed into a politically correct Christian "Palestinianist." As a result, very few within the Evangelical ranks continue to support Israel. Zionism has truly become a cuss word and yet, the Bible never changed. Anti-Zionism is almost always antisemitism in a cloak of social justice.

Many followers of Yeshua (Jesus) look at the Bible and clearly see that God is NOT done with Israel. They see a glorious future for the people and the Land. While their numbers are dwindling down, these people are still called Christian Zionists as they recognize Israel’s biblical right to the Land and the Jewish people right to return to that Land. Christian Zionism is a noble cause and is part of what every Bible believing Christian should promote because God Himself declared it to be true in His Word.

The foundation for Zionism was established by God in the book of Genesis. It continues to run through like an uninterrupted thread through the tapestry of Jewish history. If Zionism has existed for a long time, we also cannot deny that God used people like Theodore Herzl, Achad Ha’am, Eliezer Ben Yehuda, Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gourion, Golda Meir and many others to further promote the Jewish people right to the Land of Israel. What God established, no man can destroy (Jeremiah 31:35-37).

Antisemitism in 2015: A Year in Review!

Within a week of the start of 2015, terrorism hit France in what became the worst terror attack in decades, claiming 17 lives. Eleven month later, in some sort of an erie xenophobic bookend, France was hit again, this time losing 130 innocent people. As I see the fabric of our global village changing daily, especially with the recent migrant crisis in Europe, I am greatly concerned with the fate of my people and of Israel. 2015 was packed with events, incidents and tragedies affecting Jewish people globally, yet, for the most part, the world kept going, trying to convince us that global warming is our biggest enemy. Of course, if by global warming you mean a nuclear meltdown instigated by Iran, then I guess IT IS our biggest problem! But there is much more. Let us take a quick look at antisemitism in 2015.

JANUARY: Will the Paris March Against Terror only be a Historic Day?
After three horrific days of unprecedented terror in Paris resulting in the death of 17 innocent victims, the City of Lights was the center of a historic event on Sunday, January 11, 2015. A solidarity march was organized by the French government, hoping to rally its citizens under the banner of unity and freedom of expression. What took place on that Sunday made history with 4,000,000 all over France and 2,000,000 in Paris alone. About 50 heads of state were present at the march. America also made history on that Sunday as President Obama’s absence was an embarrassment and a message in and of itself. French Prime minister Manuel Valls said: “France without its Jews isn’t France anymore”. I agree with him, even though I am not sure that he fully grasps the meaning of his statement. No matter what follows, Sunday January 11, 2015 will always be remembered as the Paris march against terror. On that Sunday, France led the free world in showing us how to stand up against the cancer of extremism, but we all know that diagnosing cancer is pointless if you don’t aggressively attack the disease. Tomorrow will tell!

FEBRUARY: Eschatological Anti-Semitism is Here and the Clock is Ticking!
While Jews around the world have been able to preserve their identity through the ages, they have not been so successful in escaping the re-birth of antisemitism. As a matter of fact, I believe that we live in an age where the recent New antisemitism is merging with classic antisemitism giving birth to a new hybrid hatred of the Jews that I call “Eschatological antisemitism." By this I mean that the already loathsome and pervasive hatred of the Jews that we have witnessed through the centuries has now joined forces with post-modern antisemitism and anti-Zionism. The goal being the final blow on God’s chosen people. This is the final chapter in Satan’s book of hatred against the Jews. It was evident in France, where last February, Paris witnessed a street protest of about 20,000 people that would make both Hitler and Ahmadinejad very proud. In an interesting turn of events, the march that was originally labeled as “Day of anger against Hollande” turned into a march against French Jews where people did the Nazi salute and chanted slogans such as: “Jews, get out, France is not for you!” Eschatological antisemitism shouldn’t surprise any serious student of the Bible, but it should compel us to reach out to our Jewish friends with Yeshua as the final chapter of human history is being written.

MARCH: Fear not American Jews, our government is “disappointed” at antisemitism!
In March, President Obama was on his way to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where he met with the Saudi King. Prior to his Riyadh visit, Mr. Obama received requests from numerous non-governmental agencies as well as a bi-partisan group from Congress to confront Saudi Arabia about their ongoing human rights violations. But, the boldness required to confront the Saudis about their treatment of women, activists, religious minorities and Jews is something that simply doesn’t seem to exist within the current administration. Incidentally, Jerusalem Post Washington Bureau Chief, Michael Wilner originally planned to join Mr. Obama and staff. But Michael Wilner was denied a visa to the gulf country. He is the only journalist who was denied entry to Saudi Arabia on this upcoming trip. Mr Wilner is Jewish, not Israeli Jewish, simply a Jew who lives in America and reports for the Jerusalem Post. What greatly concerned me was the US administration’s reaction to the banning of Mr. Wilner’s entry into Saudi territory. They are not disgusted, outraged, or even highly offended. They simply are “deeply disappointed” as was stated: “We are deeply disappointed that this credible journalist was denied a visa, we will continue to register our serious concerns about this unfortunate decision.” The US administration’s decision to make such a weak statement certainly sent a clear message.

APRIL: Appeasement is a Weakness Leading to Collaboration!
Western civilization is now on a new threshold as world leaders met in Switzerland regarding Iran’s nuclear deal. The apparent progress made in April warranted that the dialogue would continue. One of the big issues that Iran has is with sanctions imposed on them. Their economy has suffered greatly in the last few years, and they demand that sanctions be lifted in a way that would also prevent them from being reinstated automatically. It is obvious that they are politically and ideologically very unstable. That fact was clearly delineated in a speech to Congress on March 3rd when Netanyahu risked his whole career, two weeks prior to the Israeli elections. His plea wasn’t for the safety of Israel but for the survival of Western civilization. The White House felt that this was the last straw that justified what could one day be remembered as “The Great Diplomatic Divorce” of the 21st Century. Never before had an American president showed so much contempt for Israel and its current Prime minister. Mr. Obama is trying to convince the world that Iran not only can be included to the negotiating table, but that they can also be trusted. So much so that it could be argued that Mr. Obama is no longer simply appeasing Iran but he is now collaborating with Iran. Let’s pray that the current “Appeaser-In-Chief” doesn’t turn into a “Collaborator-In-Chief”

MAY: BDS really stands for Bullying, Delegitimizing and Slandering!
Many people have never heard of BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions). This movement has picked up a lot of momentum in the past few months and has become quite pervasive. It was borne out of a Palestinian desire to enroll otherwise unengaged and apathetic people in their fight against Israel. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas’ goal might be the total destruction of Israel, at the end of the day you can only bomb and kill so many people before the more reasonable people in the world turn on you. But what if you could get support from a different angle, this would greatly help your cause, wouldn’t it? BDS does just that and it does it well, in the government, the universities (here and here) and even some Christian denominations such as PC USA (the same PC USA  that unsuccessfully tried to blot out “Israel” from their prayer and hymn books in 2014). BDS is most rampant on US university campuses. As a matter of fact BDS is the main weapon used on US campuses to delegitimize Zionism and demonize Israel. Anti-Israel proponents are organized, eloquent and very resourceful. BDS relies on the Bullying, Delegitimizing and Slandering of Israel and does it on a foundation of lies that can be debunked.

JUNE: Western Civilization’s Assisted Suicide!
I have watched the erosion of Judeo/Christian values over the last two decades with much sadness at first. I have great concern and even fear for the increasingly decaying state of the West. There is no doubt in my mind that western civilization is slowly committing assisted suicide. End-Times antisemitism is in full force across the globe, swinging it’s lethal pendulum from liberal Left to neo-Nazi extreme right. Somewhere on the edges we can spot the agnostics, secularists, atheists and universalists, along with radical Islam smack in the middle. While the pendulum swings destructively and endlessly from one extreme to the next, I believe that the bulk of the damage is performed by the center part. They have scared the West into unchallenged submission or “dhimmitude“ defined as "the Islamic system of governing populations conquered by jihad wars, encompassing all of the demographic, ethnic, and religious aspects of the political system.…. ruled by the same type of laws, based on the shari’a. Political correctness is one of the most viral enemies of America. It blinds people into one-sided tolerance and will lead to the death of Western civilization by assisted suicide!

JULY: Could the conspiracy of Psalm 83 against Israel involve ISIS?
It was only fifteen years ago that I was conducting research for my first book on anti-Semitism They Have Conspired Against You. This led me to an in-depth study of the 83rd Psalm written by Asaph and I was intrigued by the ten people groups who were described as conspiring against Israel. In digging a little deeper, I realized that this covenant of nations had never taken place in the history of Israel. Asaph could very possibly be using a literary device to express emphasis in despair akin to someone with a few foes saying:”The whole world hates me!” An equally valid interpretation could be that it is a future attack on Israel by a confederation of countries and/or states. I find it fascinating to look at the people described in Psalm 83:6- and compare them to their respective modern equivalent countries. The results are too close for comfort. We can then list Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq, Syria, the Sinai Peninsula among them. ISIS has infiltrated all the areas listed in Pslam 83, INCLUDING JORDAN AND EGYPT, the only two countries with existing peace treaties with Israel. The minute that ISIS crosses the line where Israel feels threatened, they [Israel] will respond swiftly and efficiently. No question about it. The prophetic hourglass was turned on May 14, 1948 and it is running out of sand in its top section!

AUGUST: As a Jew, I can support Palestine!
Depending on which side of the Middle East fence you are on, Palestine and the Arab/Israeli conflict will vary greatly based on which definition you adhere to. Let us start with what we know from history and define a geographical Palestine. It is therefore critical to differentiate between the “Land of Palestine” as a geographical area and the “State of Palestine” as a political entity. Palestine is a piece of land in Eastern Asia between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, squeezed in a very strategic region between Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Iraq. The tide began to turn in 1929 during the Hebron Massacres and the Arab revolt of 1936-39. Around that time, it was still appropriate to speak of ” Palestinian Jews” and “Palestinian Arabs”. In 1948, Palestinian Jews became known as Israelis and Palestinian Arabs started to be called Palestinians as the narrative switched from geographical Palestine to “historic” Palestine. You can choose to call that land the Holy Land, Eretz Yisrael, Jewish Palestine or even Western Palestine as long as the name refers to a geographical area. From that angle, I support Palestine. The moment that it becomes a political entity with a fictitious displaced people, I draw the line! Geographical Palestine exists while historic Palestine never did. We might not be able to come-up with a viable solution any time soon, but this shouldn’t give us the liberty to ignore historical facts.

SEPTEMBER: Refugees, Migrants and Terrorists: Europe is out of Control!
At the very time when global borders should be tightly monitored because of the ISIS invasion, Europe is faced with a tsunami of migrants. The guidelines of acceptance vary from one European country to the next. It goes from Germany having pledged to receive in excess of 800,000 refugees in 2015 alone to other countries building fences and walls to prevent anyone from entering illegally. The one thing that all these countries have in common is a lack of preparedness for such a tidal wave of people. We have already seen issues in the area of space needed, health and safety. Curiously enough, most Gulf States like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait that speak a similar language, have similarity in culture and religion have taken none. NONE! They do have the space, a similar ideology and are some of the richest countries in the world and they have taken none, WHY? Then we have those who choose to pose as Syrians to be granted asylum but enter a country with a different agenda. The last 18 months have shown us the damage inflicted by ISIS infiltration and recruitment. It is virtually impossible to detect a Syrian from a non-Syrian refugee, so how do various European governments expect to detect ISIS impostors? Many European countries already have a severe “native birthrate drought” and are seeing a demographic Muslim takeover. This blurred combination of stealth jihad, demographic jihad and radical apocalyptic jihad is a lethal cocktail that Europe doesn’t seem to be able to control!

OCTOBER: Terror in Israel: Lone Wolves are still Wolves!
In October, Israel has reported almost 800 acts of terror. Much speculation arose in the media around the globe as to the possibility of a third Intifada slowly taking place. But if we compare the current events to those of the First Intifada of 1987-1991 and of the Second Intifada of 2000-2005, we are not seeing an out-of-control uprising of a large number of Palestinians. Yet it might end-up being more damaging than the previous two intifadas. If creativity prevails, we will see more attacks in ways that nobody could predict. This has become a logistical nightmare for Israel. No wonder the mayor of Jerusalem recently announced to its Jewish residents that if they had a valid carry license, they should never leave home without a firearm. The wolves attacking Israel might not come in packs and might be far from being well organized and structured, but they remain wolves with a ferocious appetite for Jewish lives. It is not about Jerusalem, it is not about the Temple Mount and it is not about the disputed territories. It is simply about the complete eradication of Israel and all Jews. I guess we could call it a "spontaneous Intifada."

NOVEMBER: France’s Second Chance to lead the War against Apocalyptic Islam!
On Friday November 13, 2015, France was hit by yet another series of terrorist attacks in Paris, claiming the lives of 130 innocent people in several locations practically simultaneously. I had just returned from my biannual ministry trip to France four days prior, on the 9th of November. On the 7th, my wife and I attended a concert in Paris in a place as frequented and as famous as the Bataclan. Almost everyday of our stay we ate meals at restaurants and bistros near the attacked venues. There was 130 victims, but it could have easily been us or it could have easily been you! France was devastated last January and had a chance to take action with the kind of authority and leadership that would have led the free world into an all out war against apocalyptic Islam. That ship has sailed! But now it returns as an armada and with a vengeance, because the Islamic State hates France and all that it represents. France is at a critical crossroads for the second time in one year. How many more terrorist attacks by ISIS will it take, in France or anywhere else, for us to take them seriously? Protect synagogues and Jewish schools and they attack a stadium, restaurants and a concert hall. Protect these venues and they will attack a movie theater, a mall or amusement park…and the list goes on! Too many innocent lives are destroyed by people who glorify death. This is France’s second chance to fight the war against Islamic terrorism and it might very well be Europe’s last chance!

So it has been another fruitful year for the demon of antisemitism as the world continues to be more self-absorbed and further blinded by the mirage of multiculturalism. Israel receives less and less support from government, academia, and even some of her long time friends in the evangelical churches. It seems as if the world has completely assimilated the Middle East Palestinian narrative as truth. With the Islamic State looming at any corner of the planet and Iran being months from having the bomb, we can only expect a 2016 even more volatile than 2015. Yet, in spite of all this, God remains in control because: "He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep" (Psalm 121:4.)

BDS really stands for Bullying, Delegitimizing and Slandering!

In my travels, I meet a lot of people from the Evangelical Christian community. Many of them have never heard of BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) and frankly, this frightens me. This movement has picked up a lot of momentum in the past few months and has become quite pervasive.

I find it ironic that most of the people taking such a political stand have very little knowledge of how it got started and by whom. This decade old movement was started in 2005 by the Palestinian civil society. They claim that Israel must meet three obligations for BDS to stop:
1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall;
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

Too often, there is an unspoken expectation from the Palestinian side. There is a great effort made to misinform or simply not inform the people they are trying to influence. I think there is a word for it; it is "propaganda!" The hope is that most people would accept the lies and historical revisionism simply as facts, and too often they do! UN Resolution 194 contains one short paragraph out of 15 on compensation to refugees, not even Palestinian refugees in particular, but refugees in general. I wish people would take the time to verify statements before they buy them and then sell them back as facts. It was Abraham Lincoln who once wisely said:" Do not believe everything you read on the Internet." Get my point?

BDS was borne out of a Palestinian desire to enroll otherwise unengaged and apathetic people in their fight against Israel. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas' goal might be the total destruction of Israel, at the end of the day you can only bomb and kill so many people before the more reasonable people in the world turn on you–although it seems that lately the "killing limit" might have been increased.

But what if you could get support from different groups of people, this would greatly help your cause, wouldn't it? BDS does just that and it does it well, in the government, the universities (here and here) and even some Christian denominations such as PC USA (the same PC USA  that unsuccessfully tried to blot out "Israel" from their prayer and hymn books in 2014).

Anybody can feel good refraining from buying Israeli products. This seems like a peaceful and worthy protest that could make a difference and force Israel away from occupation and apartheid. Of course, the current BDS supporters are plagued with decisions to Boycott that forces them to be very inconsistent at best. Divestment is usually a matter of reinvesting your funds elsewhere, and there are plenty of opportunities for such a move. When it comes to boycott, it is a bit trickier. They will gladly stop buying Jaffa® oranges or Osem® cookies from Israel but don't ask them to stop using the Intel® chip in their personal computers or their mobile phones all together (both originated from Israeli ingenuity).

It is often the same people who choose to boycott Israel who also completely ignore the blatant abuses of human rights by countries like Russia, China, Yemen, Syria, Qatar and many more. The same people also irrationally ignore Hamas' abuse and murder of their very own people like in the case of the 2014 Gaza War.

BDS is most rampant on US university campuses. As a matter of fact BDS is the main weapon used on US campuses to delegitimize Zionism and demonize Israel. Anti-Israel proponents are organized, eloquent and very resourceful. After visiting several US campuses, Haaretz reporter Ari Shavit recently concluded: " Zionism has failed to provide “a reliable, relevant and inspirational narrative” to counter the “near-overt anti-Semitism” of the BDS offensive. “And when they arrive on campus and are exposed to anti-Israel venom, the Jewish and pro-Israel identity of many of them collapses.”

They often nip the pro-Israel narrative in the bud, even though their own narrative is flawed and biased.

• BDS uses a false premise of Israeli occupation and apartheid policies. It is our responsibility to expose their lies and educate those who don't know BDS or who believe that it is a cause worth fighting for.
• BDS proponents are inconsistent in their boycott and need to be made aware of their hypocrisy and/or ignorance about Israel's contribution to the modern world (and the list keeps growing everyday), not to mention everyday products used by millions.
• BDS sends the wrong message to a lot of people thinking that they are helping to make the world a better place when in fact they are supporting terrorists.
• BDS counts on people's ignorance but desire for justice to sell their falsified agenda of Palestinian victimhood.

Yet in spite of all the efforts made by BDS and its proponents across the globe, their true colors are starting to show. AIPAC very recently backed an amendment to a trade bill that would make BDS' destructive progress more difficult within Congress. Additionally, the Illinois State House of Representative unanimously (49-0) passed an anti-BDS bill recently. The bill would stop pension funds from investing in companies that participate in the BDS movement. Bravo to both!

Laurie Cardozo-Moore of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN) is also very vocal and active in exposing and fighting BDS. Cardozo-Moore calls BDS anti-Semitism and I fully concur. Looking at the unbelievable one-sidedness and hypocrisy of BDS, we can only deduce that it is more than a political attempt at bringing justice and equality. BDS is proving to be the politically correct way to hate Israel!

A great resource to fight BDS can be found at stopbds.com. Even though it is meant to equip students, most of it is very helpful to equip people eager to learn the truth and apply real fairness and justice.

Another thing we can do is to make sure that buy Israeli products in the USA to beat the BDS proponents at their own game. Here is a partial list of what BDS wants you to boycott. While my mentioning of this list doesn't mean that I endorse all of it, you will undoubtedly find plenty of brands that you already support, just review them, keep at it and tell others. This is the least we can do.

What BDS proponents and victims too often have in common is a lack of a biblical approach to Israel and the Jewish people. Biblical truth provides a solid foundation for Israel. It describes a people created by God through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the twelve tribes of Israel as well as precise land boundaries starting early in Genesis 12:1-3 and continuing through chapters 15, 17 and following. Zionism isn't this evil colonialism feeding on Arab blood, but without a biblical backbone, Zionism lacks the strength to fight the hypocrisy, hatred, and double-standard of the BDS campaigns around the world.

BDS relies on the Bullying, Delegitimizing and Slandering of Israel and does it on a foundation of lies that can be debunked.  If truth matters to you as much as it does to me, join me and speak up!