Could it be "Open Season" on the Jewish People?

The treatment of Jewish people around the world is now making the news almost daily. It is obvious that antisemitism is running rampant. The question has changed over the last two decades. First, it was, "What will we do IF it happens again?", then it became, "What will we do WHEN it happens again?" Now we have to ask the question "What are we doing NOW that it is here?" Yet, the majority of the world is still in denial or willful ignorance about the crisis of antisemitism that is plaguing us all.

We can have a propensity to measure the danger of a conflict taking place in the world by its proximity to where we live. If a war raging across the planet is far enough, then we don't have to worry about it and chances are, it won't disturb our lives too much. This sounds very selfish, but deep down, most people don't really feel affected. To some degree, antisemitism can be viewed through a similar set of filters. People who live in areas where there a very few Jewish people or in some cases none, do not feel that concerned. "Sure, it looks bad in Brooklyn, Paris or Israel...But that's not my problem, I don't live there..." some will think.

Antisemitism IS a war, but a non-conventional one. If it was somewhat geographically contained during the Second World War, it no longer is today. In December 2019, a series of attacks against orthodox Jews took place in Brooklyn. We still remember the terrorist attacks at the synagogues in San Diego and Pittsburgh. This is real, this is global and this happening almost on a daily basis. But the recent tragedy that we should pay attention to took place in Paris, and it could create a terrifying precedent.

On April 4, 2017, in Paris, Sarah Halimi, a 66-year-old Jewish woman, was thrown from her third-floor window. Her body landed on the pavement. It remains uncertain if she was thrown alive or already dead from being tortured. What the police found out was that the perpetrator was Kobili Traoré, her Muslim neighbor, who screamed "Allahu Akbar" and "I have killed Satan" as he recited verses from the Qur'an that according to him ordered him to kill Jews. That is such a tragedy, and yet it is only part of the story. How can it possibly get worse?

Kobili Traoré was found under the influence of marijuana and was placed in a mental institution. The whole incident took place during a presidential election year in France–not a good time to make public the murder of a Jew by a Muslim. It took months for the family of Mrs. Halimi to get the French authorities to admit that it was indeed a murder AND that it was an antisemitic hate crime. That is another tragedy because if it had been a person from any other ethnic group thrown out of a window after being tortured, nobody would have questioned the nature of the crime.

The court eventually declared that Traoré had indeed murdered Sarah Halimi willingly, but because he was under the influence of marijuana, he was irresponsible and couldn't be prosecuted. The whole thing was thrown out of court and Mr. Traoré was ordered to go into rehab.

One of the lawyers for the Halimi family, Francis Szpiner, declared: "Sarah Halimi jurisprudence" has been created: "anyone who suffers from a delusional puff because of the use of illicit and dangerous substances will be exempt from criminal responsibility", and that is the real danger. I am terrified at the idea that someone can smoke a joint or get drunk, go on a killing rampage to get a few Jews, and then plead intoxication, walk free, go to rehab for 30 days, and plan their next murder. In essence, this is exactly what precedent this case is making.

No punishment for killing Jews is truly making it open season on the Jewish people wherever they are not wanted–which is just about anywhere but Israel. Journalist Céline Pina of French paper Le Figaro wrote: "When one kills in the name of Allah, the excuse of mental imbalance does not hold. If there is one thing in common in all of this blood that keeps flowing, it is the implantation of Islamists on our soil, their network of mosques, their propaganda through books, satellite dishes, their speeches which permeate many districts and territories, their shows of strength.... the situation is not under control."

She is right, and I believe that the situation is spinning further out of control. We are approaching–if we are not already there–the time when "Righteous Gentiles" will have to step up to the plate and help their Jewish friends. It is very serious. Christians are coming to an important crossroads. This is eerily reminiscent of what Yeshua said in Matthew 25:40: "The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’" While this is an event that is contextually taking place during the Great Tribulation and after the Rapture, the principle remains. The world is desperately in need of a new generation of "Righteous Among the Nations."

The Time to be a "Righteous Gentile" is Today!

After the Second World War, as Europe was coming to grips with the horrors of the Holocaust, it became evident that while most of the world turned its back on the Jewish people, some people found it in their hearts to help. While it was expected that Jewish people would help their own–and they did–help also came from Gentiles. By 1953, only six years after the war, Israel, then a modern nation since 1948, decided to start gathering information about those Gentiles who helped Jews during the Holocaust years. Gentiles became recognized as "Righteous Among the Nations" based on three criteria as they helped Jews during the war years. First, they were not Jewish. Secondly, they acted risking their own lives and finally, they received no money in exchange for their deeds. In 2019, there are less than 27,000 Righteous Gentiles whose names Yad Vashem recognizes worldwide. In the scope of the six million innocent Jewish victims of the Nazi Death Camps, this is a drop in the ocean. But what about modern-day Righteous Gentiles? Do they exist? Who are they, and where are they?

In light of antisemitism's global rebirth, we need modern-day Righteous Gentiles more than ever before. I am convinced that at the rate Jewish hatred is growing, it won't be long before the global Jewish community will need help from outside once again. In some ways, we are already there when we consider the attacks in  Pittsburg, San Diego, New York and the numerous–almost daily– incidents in Europe. How can we identify The Righteous Gentiles of today?

They read their Bible and they believe God's plan for Israel
Anytime one reads their Bible, not trying to allegorize the stories that God gave us, they cannot help but discover a theme throughout its pages: Israel and the Jewish people–from early in Genesis all the way to Revelation, and almost on every page of the Bible. This is not to say that one must read their Bible to love the Jewish people. There were and still are many people who might not be religious or have any spiritual connection, and yet, have nothing against the Jewish people. People of good will have always existed. Yet, I do believe that modern Righteous Gentiles will have a greater propensity to help Jewish people if they read their Bible. Taken literally, the story of Israel and the Jewish people is based on promises and covenants made between the God of Israel and various leaders of Israel. Except for the Mosaic Covenant (parallel to all the others AND conditional), these covenants are all connected, unconditional and based on God's unchanging character.

They love the Jewish people
Today's Righteous Gentiles, biblically motivated or not, simply love the Jewish people. They recognize Israel's existence against all odds and often contrary to human logic. There are a lot of Bible believers that could be called Christian Zionists. They believe in God's plan for Israel and in the restoration of the Jewish people in the land of Israel in the End-Times (Ezekiel 36-37). To an extent, that return to Eretz Yisrael has already begun and Bible believers live with a great expectation of God's fulfillment of His promises. When one believes in the God of the Bible, it is hard not to love the Jewish people.

They live their Bible
One important aspect of the Righteous Gentiles is that they not only believe the Bible, but they also live it daily. While no Bible believer is made instantaneously perfect by following the teachings of Yeshua of Nazareth, they are encouraged to live for Him and through Him. As a result, Righteous Gentiles strive to apply biblical principles to their own lives, just like the people of the French village of Le Chambon did during World War Two. Somebody once said, "Preach the Good News every day, if necessary, use words!" Our actions ought to be enough to demonstrate what we believe and why we believe it. Words are good but actions are better!

They will take risks to protect the Jewish people
To that extent, Righteous Gentiles will not hesitate to, again, help the Jewish people when the time comes, and the time is coming! There is no doubt in my mind that even though the Bible is replete with God's promises for Israel and the Jewish people, things are going to get worse before they get better. Righteous Gentiles took great risks eighty years ago to hide, protect and save Jews. Today's Righteous Gentiles are ready to do the same, but most Jewish people are not aware of it. Jewish people today need to be made aware that there are Gentiles who are their friends. Not every Gentile is an antisemite! Yet it is becoming increasingly difficult for Jewish people today to know where to turn for help and who to trust.

If you are a Gentile today, ask yourself these few questions, and if your answer is YES, then you might be a Righteous Gentile awaiting his/her call to reach out to God's chosen people.
• Do you believe the Bible's promises for Israel and the Jewish people will be fulfilled literally?
• Do you believe the Jewish people are at risk again?
• Are you willing to take risks to help your Jewish friends?

While I do not believe that Bible believers will go through the horrors of the Great Tribulation, in Matthew 25:40, we see how serious Yeshua is about the way Gentiles should treat Jews. At the end of that seven-year period of perilous times, Gentiles who would have survived the Tribulation and helped Jews in the process, will be recognized by King Yeshua, "The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'" These Righteous Gentiles will not earn their entrance into God's Kingdom because they protected Jews during the Tribulation, but their actions will simply demonstrate that they had become believers during that time, leading them to make the right choices.

The time to be a Righteous Gentile is today. Unbeknownst to them, the Jewish people are counting on you!

Should Poland's Recent Holocaust Law be Considered Historical Revisionism?

Poland is not exactly remembered for being friendly to the Jewish people during World War II. A country that was once the home of over three million Jews, now only has about 10,000, and even they, don't feel very safe in Poland. The once vibrant Jewish community of pre-World War II has been drastically reduced by the Nazi war machine and the Death Camps–many of them erected in Poland. The most destructive being Auschwitz-Birkenau. There is no possible way to deny that millions of innocent Jewish victims were murdered in those places, not to mention other minorities.

It is also very difficult to completely separate the Death Camps destructive agenda from Polish involvement, and yet this is exactly what a new law passed in February 2018 is attempting to do. President Andrzej Duda of Poland signed a bill that became law, making it a crime (up to three years in prison, plus a fine) to call the German death Camps built on Polish soil, "Polish Death Camps." He has made several public speeches stating that signing the bill into law was not meant to erase or diminish the fate of the victims of the Holocaust, but that is exactly what it could achieve!

Poland comprised all players found on the "Holocaust spectrum." Many Poles were victims (most of them Jewish, but some of them not.) Some were even perpetrators and co-perpetrators with the Nazis. Another large group was made of the bystanders who looked the other way even when human ashes flew across Polish skies and landed in their front yards, sometimes up to a 10 miles radius. This makes it impossible to claim ignorance of the facts. Willful bystanders always facilitate driven perpetrators.

The new law states that anyone who “publicly and untruthfully assigns responsibility or co-responsibility to the Polish Nation or the Polish State for Nazi crimes” could be imprisoned. So now, it is illegal to assign any guilt to Poland for the "German Camps." I understand that Poland was invaded by Germany and didn't always have a choice, but by completely erasing Polish responsibility, or to a certain extent, blame shifting, we insult the last few Holocaust survivors, not to mention the memory of the six million.

Sure, the Polish government is "tired" of being remembered as the country were the Holocaust took place, and they are hoping to change that stigma. Do we change a stigma by re-writing history? It would be better to recognize and accept the truth that Poland was one of many pieces on the chess board of the Holocaust. It would also be helpful to recognize that Holocaust guilt, while partially shared with non-Jewish Poles, was not uniform across the board. Many Poles helped the Nazis but many also helped the Jews and were recognized as Righteous Gentiles by Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Poles constitute the highest number of Righteous Gentiles over any other nations in the world, and that is something they could refocus their energy on, instead of trying to erase the negative aspect of their unavoidable history.

Some people have the gall to claim that the Holocaust never happened. This law doesn't claim that, but it whitewashes Polish involvement and it is historical revisionism all the same. It is a shame that history has now become a slave of the legal system. Passing laws to force people into believing or at least accepting a flawed political decision regarding a period of history is simply wrong.

The Holocaust was and remained the epitome of human depravity and evil. Nobody wants to take ownership of that huge blood stain in human history, but it happened! Nazi Germany might have been the key player, but France had its hands in it through the Vichy Government, Italy was involved with Mussolini and his fascist cohorts, Pope Pius XII did very little in denouncing Hitler's destructive and violent program, and even the United States had a role in the outcome as President Roosevelt missed several opportunities to save Jews out of Europe.

So come on Poland, Fess up! You are not alone in sharing some of the guilt for the Holocaust. Stop shifting the blame!