You do not have to look hard to confirm the sad truth that over the last decade anti-Jewish sentiment is on the rise around the world.
Fueled on college campuses and by the BDS Movement — a faction calling for the boycott of, divestment in, and sanctions against Israel — the Anti-Defamation League reports anti-Semitic incidents on campuses nearly doubled last year alone.
Couple this with innuendo-laden (or simply ignorant) media reports about Israeli-Palestinian relations, the rise of radical political parties in Europe, and the noticeably chilled U.S.-Israel alliance of recent years – punctuated by the United States' abstention on the U.N. vote condemning Israeli settlements. It is no wonder that 40 percent of Jewish leaders in Western Europe cite anti-Semitism as the most serious threat facing their community, up from a mere 10 percent in 2008.
This gathering storm against the Jewish people, the State of Israel and its right to inhabit her eternal homeland is extremely alarming. After all, history has borne witness to the horrifying results of these ideologies, if left to morph and metastasize into full-fledged political movements.
All peace-loving people around the world have a shared responsibility to remember the past in order to prevent the future from ever traveling down the same unthinkable path.
But what can be done to stop anti-Semitism and BDS?
I would submit to you, ground zero of this battle begins with Christians. United in protection of Israel, Christians — especially American Christians — represent a great firewall that can defend Israel and stand with the Jewish people.
The recent U.S. presidential election was a striking example of the power the Christian community has to, quiet literally, move mountains when it works in unison. Over 81 percent of evangelicals, who represent nearly a quarter of the electorate, voted for Donald Trump, effectively pushing him over the finish line in many battleground states. But what is perhaps most striking is, had that number been 79 percent, as it was for Romney in 2012, Hillary Clinton would now be our president.
The lesson here is one of unity. Just how important is 2 percent of evangelicals? Important enough to put a president in the White House. Those evangelicals who voted for Donald Trump are pro-Israel evangelicals.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once said, "I don't believe the Jewish State and modern Zionism would be possible without Christian Zionism."
I completely agree.
Put simply: The power of Christian unity in defense of Israel is the power to protect the world from the scourge of anti-Semitism.
This is why I started the Friends of Zion Heritage Center, which is anchored by a state-of-the-art museum in Jerusalem, visited by over 100,000 people last year alone. The institution, initially chaired by the late Israeli President Shimon Peres, is devoted to educating the world about the heroic acts of non-Jews, mainly Christians, whose bravery and sacrifice helped make the modern Jewish state a reality. Names like Churchill and Truman fill the museum as their contributions to Israel are told through immersive, multimedia exhibits.
I founded the museum because I felt these stories needed to be told in order to strengthen the relationships between Christians and Jews in the fight against anti-Semitism.
Further, late last year, we launched a $50 million initiative to educate, equip, and deploy Christian Zionists in all sectors of society to serve as a global firewall against anti-Semitism. The event in Jerusalem was attended by more than 80 diplomats and dignitaries from over 30 countries.
The very same day, arsonists started hundreds of fires around Israel. Authorities called these criminal acts a new form of terrorism. This ring of fire that intended to intimidate, damage, and kill, only made our resolve to defend Israel stronger and more urgent.
I told the dignitaries present that day Israel's friends are a thousand times greater than those who wish to do her harm. It is time to focus the efforts of those friends, and educate and activate amazing Christian Zionists to stand in the gap.
The Jewish community only recently reached its pre-Holocaust population of 16 million, but there are over two billion Christians on planet earth. It is time for Christians to become a great firewall, two billion strong, against the rising tide of anti-Semitism.
Dr. Michael D. Evans is a No. 1 The New York Times bestselling author, and the founder of the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem, Israel. www.fozmuseum.com
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