Tag Archives: antisemitism

Certainties for 2023, Part 1

Futurists and prognosticators, social influencers and trend-setters are all making their predictions about the new year. From color palettes and wardrobes, to political battles and economic fortunes, there is no lack of “data” available as we surf the internet.

In these essays, I want to share some certainties about the year ahead that can inform our personal decisions and influence our communities. I am not claiming divine revelation, but I hope they reflect divine wisdom. I have considered biblical principles and historical insights, the inputs of women and men I trust, and observations of the human condition informed by reflection.

These certainties can change, if key players in particular dramas make foolish or wise decisions. While I trust the overarching providence of God, I also believe that humankind’s freewill introduces contingencies that alter the trajectory of both persons and nations. For example, a child with few prospects and raised in abuse and poverty is mentored by a caring woman or man and learns wise decision making. What was “inevitable” is now forever changed for the better.

Here are seven certainties as we enter 2023, and ideas for thoughtful responses:

First, many will keep defending their ideology-driven narratives, despite facts and information challenging their assertions. The public square will continue being a contentious place and many will engage in projection as they accuse opponents of “disinformation.” Thoughtful women and men must humbly investigate, reflect, and offer principled responses, regardless of the noise around them.

Second, economic uncertainty and opportunity will continue. We are in the midst of epoch- changing global and local upheavals, with the rise of the gig economy, a generation of frustrated college graduates, and changes in the types of jobs that pay sustainably. The “great resignation” is real – and many will have to re-enter the workforce with lower expectations. These harsh realities are offset with opportunities as our global and local economies continue supporting creativity and innovation. If we are people of character who know our charisms and are willing to gain new competencies, the future is challenging and encouraging.

A third certainly in our world will be the rise of histrionic and irrational antisemitism as protest groups go beyond critiques of Israeli policies (which are part of Israel’s own contentious public square) and morph into historical eliminationism and anti-Jewish screeds. “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free” does not mean a peace settlement with states living in harmony. It means the destruction of Israel and extermination of Jews. Fortunately, Israel is a robust democracy, a “start-up nation” and a dynamic partner in energy and technology. She will weather these storms.

Next week, we will share four more certainties. For now, it is vital that we decide ahead of time to turn our hearts toward our Lord, keep our heads, and be slow to speak. Thoughtful persons take time to process reactions and consider responses.

“Solving” the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

At first glance, this title is both arrogant and unneeded. After all, haven’t there been multiple peace accords, from Camp David (1978) to Madrid (1991) to Oslo (1992) to Camp David (2000) again? Nobel Peace Prizes, smiles and handshakes and promises of “final negotiations” all win world approval…only to break down, with both sides blaming the other.

With the recent relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem (in accordance with U.S. legislation since the 1990s), all the tensions come to the surface again. Gaza rioting at the border wall, Syrian rockets, Iran and Turkey calling for the destruction of Israel – same song, new singers.

What can be done? The EU and many others keep calling for Israeli “restraint” as rockets from Gaza and the Golan rain on Israel and hundreds of terrorists attempt to infiltrate through tunnels. At the same time, Palestinian Authority leader Abbas continues to perpetrate the nastiest antisemitism, refusing to acknowledge 3000 years of Jewish history in the land, rejecting the truth of 6 million dead in the Holocaust and refusing to accept Israel as the national home of the Jewish people. Anti-Jewish sentiments continue to grow throughout the world.

What can be done?

There is a pathway forward. It is truly “the road less traveled” and will require heroism for success. If pursued, however, an era of genuine peace and prosperity is possible. Here are the necessary conditions for a “final” accord:

  • Israel’s existence as a sovereign nation with a right to peace and security is essential. Extermination chants of, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free” will only continue the conflict. Until Palestinians and other Muslim leaders say yes to Israel as a nation, no peace is possible. Egypt, Jordan and others are reaping the benefits of not being at war.
  • Demanding the return of all descendants of people displaced in 1948 is a non-starter. Clear borders, generous aid and economic opportunity can help a new Palestinian State prosper…if they will end their perpetual war.
  • The Palestinian Authority, with help from others, must end ties to Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda and others that only want the elimination of Israel. The PA must renounce a tradition of Islamic deception (taqiyya) that allows for truces, but no true peace.
  • Israel will relocate many settlers once the new boundaries are established. It is unrealistic to expect pre-1967 boundaries, but the aforementioned accords open the door to two sustainable states.
  • Economic development and a potential free trade zone could transform a new Palestinian State from one of dependent refugee camps to a sustainable and flourishing participant in the local and global economy.

Underneath the details are the moral and spiritual evils associated with antisemitism and the delegitimizing of the Jewish people’s right to a secure home. All of the above points are only possible when Jews are seen as equal human beings and not dehumanized as dogs and pigs, bloodthirsty bankers and enemies of Islam. Israel leaders are not leading an “apartheid” state, they are not “Nazis” and the border wall has actually saved hundreds of lives. Israel is not perfect, but there is NO moral equivalence between the only democracy in the region and the hatred taught from birth in the territories surrounding Israel.

All forms of neo-Nazi thinking must be rejected. All Leftist canards about Israeli oppression need severe modification in light of empirical evidence.

Peace is possible, but the burden is 90%+ on Palestinian, Arab and world leaders to accept Israel as a gift of freedom, ingenuity and morality for the world.