A grisly discovery was made in Norwich, England, recently. Seventeen Jewish skeletons, apparently from the same family, were found at the bottom of a medieval well. Archaeologists theorize the Jews were forced down the well by pogromists for refusing to convert to Christianity.
Ten centuries later, five members of the Udi Fogel family of Itamar, Israel, were savagely stabbed to death in their beds, demonstrating that time does not alter the hatred against the Jewish people and Israel. The “plague” is still with us—the attempt to find a “final solution to the Jewish problem”; but now it focuses on the destruction of Israel.
As Christians who fully support the Jewish people’s legitimate right to their homeland of Eretz Yisrael, we were appalled to read that well-known Italian priest Mario Cornioli flippantly declared, “What is Itamar? An illegal Israeli colony built on stolen land.”
Why would anyone under any circumstances brush off the unspeakably horrific slaughter of an innocent family because he disagrees with where they lived?
Unfortunately, the priest’s attitude is not limited to a few bigots operating on the fringe. A whole range of vaunted Christian organizations have taken to the idea that Israel must be squeezed until it either disappears or is so emas -culated that it survives only as a disheveled, discredited clan of Jews forced back into ghettos by emissaries of pseudo-Christian love and/or Muslim “humanitarianism.”
Here is a sampling of those who have come to the forefront as next of kin to the Presbyterian Church USA and other mainline denominations that tout divestiture as a means of posturing Israel as an apartheid, pariah state worthy of being hauled into the economic woodshed and whipped into shape.
Lutherans from the United States, Catholics and Protestants from Bethlehem and Nazareth, Orthodox Christians from Greece and Russia, lecturers from Lebanon, and Copts from Egypt gathered at a conference recently to declare the Jewish state “a sin” and occupying power that dehumanizes Palestinians; they called for resistance (jihad) as “a Christian duty.”
An influential, international Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, promotes boycotting Israeli goods “in the name of love.” Even Christian groups funded by the European Union, the Dutch Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation, and the Irish-Catholic group Trócaire are reportedly campaigning for divestiture. They are going so far as to include the popular Ahava cosmetics company as a collaborating offender. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu added his influence by convincing the University of Johannesburg to sever all ties with Israeli fellows.
This discriminatory hostility is morphing into increasingly militant rhetoric and incitement. A popular Vatican magazine recently declared that “ethnic cleansing” by Israel created the Palestinian refugees and that “the Zionists were cleverly able to exploit the Western sense of guilt for the Shoah [Holocaust] to lay the foundations for their own state.”
Archbishop Cyrille Salim Bustros added his bit by saying, “We Christians cannot speak about the Promised Land for the Jewish people. There is no longer a chosen people.” Furthermore, an important papal envoy called Israel an illegitimate “foreign implant,” unscrupulously Judaizing Jerusalem and illegally occupying Arab land.
This radical denunciation of Israel’s legitimacy paves the way for the next step: physical intervention to remove the “foreign” object. Joining the ranks of Muslim jihadists who have long sought the opportunity to attack and destroy Israel are hordes of idealistic, but uninformed, Europeans and Western zealots who are volunteering for flotillas and fly-tillas and are serving as foot soldiers seeking to invade Israel as champions of the downtrodden. With mobs screaming for change in the region and the West supporting that scream, one can almost predict an upturn in violence in the near future.
We must ask ourselves, Why are professing Christians who are in the vanguard of such a phenomenon so clearly unchristian in every respect? The answer is Replacement Theology. It was the excuse for viciously throwing a Jewish family down a well in medieval times, and it is at the heart of the excuses used today to demonize and delegitimize Israel. Archbishop Bustros spoke for all who see themselves as the “new Israel” when he said, “We Christians cannot speak about the Promised Land for the Jewish people. There is no longer a chosen people.”
His statement is a pristine definition of the theology that confiscates what God created (the Jewish people) and despises those whom God loves. It also explains the lamentable religious arrogance that would work to dismantle a nation and persecute its people.