An Unsought Exodus
The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?
—Mark Twain, September, 1899
Mark Twain asked the inevitable question. And he was not alone. Thousands of rational people—from the academic elitists to the less sophisticated commoners—have uttered the same query: “What is the secret of the Jewish people’s immortality?” By every human reckoning, they should be extinct.
They were repeatedly crushed by great empires; scattered among hostile Gentiles; reviled by perpetually radical, anti-Semitic pogromists; and incinerated by Nazi hordes in the fires of the Holocaust. Yet they remain a presence unique to the whole of human reality. And like it or not, they cannot be ignored.
I raise Mark Twain’s question because, despite all that has gone before us and all that we should have learned from the past, anti-Semitism is rising again. Evidence appears everywhere—even within mainstream Protestantism. There, in particular, where the Jewish people and Israel should be understood and respected, the anti-Semitic tenets of Replacement Theology have spread like a plague. Proponents have marshaled forces dedicated to replacing the Jews as the Chosen People and displacing Israel using the spiritually felonious claim that the church is the “new Israel of God.”
In the UN, Israel is constantly pummeled. It is called a dangerous, apartheid pariah; and delegates constantly question whether statehood should be rescinded in favor of creating a Palestinian haven for terrorists and their anti-Western supporters who demand everything and return nothing. All this despite the fact that little Israel has contributed more to the welfare of humanity—medically, technologically, militarily, and economically—than most of the Western nations combined.
Europe, with its overload of militant Muslims, has in large part acquiesced to jihadist rage. Not only are European nations themselves imperiled, but they also must suspend virtually all cooperation with Israel to avoid the wrath of radical Muslims. So far along is the process of alienation that Israeli military personnel avoid travel to Great Britain because they may be arrested as war criminals.
Most obvious is the new crusade by the Muslim Middle East to drive Jews from the region (ethnic cleansing) and co-opt everything Jewish—historically, materially, and personally. Encouraging the new march toward a Jewless Middle East is the Islamist perception that U.S. weakness, indecision, and tilt toward the Palestinian cause will facilitate pushing Arab militancy as far as it can go.
In short, in the works is an attempt to phase in a new Jewish dispersion and a State of Israel in terminal isolation.
The mood of the moment is for unprincipled, unlawful, and hate-inspired anti-Jewish outbursts that are perhaps best summarized by now-discredited veteran American journalist, Helen Thomas. When asked how she felt about Israel in May 2010, Ms. Thomas replied, “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine. Remember, these people [Palestinians] are occupied. And it’s their land.” Asked where the Jews should go, she said they should “go home” to “Germany and Poland.”
Her tirade cannot be brushed aside as merely the comments of a 90-year-old journalist beyond her prime. Judging by the accolades she received, she evidently expressed the vitriol intrinsic to the growing animosity toward Israel and the Jewish people.
The Not-So-Secret Immortality of Jewry
Credit Mark Twain for the perception that generated his question. However, if he sought an answer in human resources, he was destined to come up short. To learn the secret of the Jewish people’s preservation, their past and present purpose on this planet, and their irrevocable centrality to climactic future events, there is only one place to look: the pages of the Word of God.
Unfortunately, the bulk of humanity is loath even to broach the possibility that the Bible has a shred of credibility. Yet this Book of all Books holds the key to understanding the Jews and gives life to Jehovah’s affirming promises that, through this numerically insignificant people, He will eventually introduce true peace and establish His people as a universal blessing to the nations.
Ezekiel 11 prophetically draws together the virtues of the great mass of God’s good intentions—what He promises to perform among His people and how He will use them as His instrument of blessing and health to the nations. In the midst of raging Gentile hostility that drove the Jews from their own land, He assures their protection, reassembling, restoration, reconciliation, and reunion:
Therefore say, “Thus says the Lord Gᴏᴅ: ‘Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone [protection].’” Therefore say, “Thus says the Lord Gᴏᴅ: ‘I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered [reassembling], and I will give you the land of Israel [restoration].’” And they will go there, and they will take away all its detestable things and all its abominations from there. Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh [reconciliation], that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God [reunion] (vv. 16–20).
This is the big picture, a portrait of fruition. And it can only be found in its fullness in the pages of the Bible.
History Proves What God Proclaims
Among the clarifications that Scripture provides about events preceding the final chapter in God’s program for Israel is the growth of militant anti-Semitism. The current clamor in the UN for the elimination of the Jewish state is a harbinger of the future. Eventually, the finishing touches will be put on the obsessive fantasy of a Jew-free world and will lead to the catastrophic gathering of “all the nations to battle against Jerusalem” (Zech. 14:2). The current rush to line up with Israel’s would-be dismantlers appears to be a precursor of more to come.
Award-winning journalist Caroline Glick reported recently,
The PA [Palestinian Authority] announced it will ask the UN Security Council to pass an anti-Semitic resolution defining Jewish building in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem as illegal. This move dovetails nicely with Abbas’s statement over the weekend that “Palestine” will be Jew-free. As he put it, “If there is an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, we won’t agree to the presence of one Israeli in it. When a Palestinian state is established, it would have no Israeli presence.”1
Meanwhile, the Hamas terrorists in control of the Gaza Strip continually bombard Israeli communities with rockets while quoting from their jihadist, annihilation-of-Israel playbook. Ahmed Jabari, leading commander of Hamas’s military, said recently Israel’s Jews have two choices: “death or departing Palestinian land.”
Clearly, the PA, often mislabeled as America’s and Israel’s “peace partner,” shares the Hamas dream, yet with slightly different shading. “Its goal,” wrote Ms. Glick, “is clearly to proceed with its plan to declare [Palestinian] statehood [along 1949 armistice lines] with maximum international support within the next nine to 12 months.”2
The lengths to which Israel’s adversaries will go to disenfranchise the Jewish people from any attachment to the Holy Land are extraordinary. These people even make the ludicrous claim that there was never a Jewish presence or Temple on Mount Moriah. Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, the former PA-appointed mufti of Jerusalem, has long denied the Jewish connection to the Western Wall. “No stone of the Western Wall has any connection to Hebrew history,” he said. All these events are in preparation for an eventual Jewless Palestinian state extending, in Arab words, from the Jordan River to the Sea.
However, this situation is only a reflection of what increasingly godless nations have aspired to from time immemorial. We hear it every day in one way or another. A widely distributed anti-Semitic handbill depicts a photo of Adolf Hitler over the caption “What if I had won?” Underneath, in large capital letters, it reads, “THERE WOULD BE NO ISRAEL AND NO PALESTINIAN’S BLOOD SHED.”
The idea: If there were no Jews and no Israel, there would be peace. Think about that the next time a Western politician or diplomat joins jihadists in insisting the key to a lasting peace in the Middle East is the expulsion of every Jewish person from his own land. They are really saying that the Jewish people’s very existence is the hindrance and that finding a “final solution to the Jewish problem” will open the gates to Utopia.
Exodus on Two Fronts
Last Christmas many news commentators offered their wisdom as to why so many Christians in the Middle East held muted or secretive celebrations of Christ’s birth. Their reasons included economic deprivation and the harshness of the Israeli “occupation.” The fact is, however, Muslims are waging a relentless campaign to purge the Middle East of Christians. And their success rate has been high.
The Jewish Virtual Library asks this question:
What happened? Why has there been a great—and little reported—Christian exodus from the Middle East, with some 2 million fleeing in the past 20 years alone? Why have perhaps fully half of all Iraqi Christians clandestinely emigrated in the last 10 years? Why have hundreds of thousands of Egyptian Copts left their homeland, with the famous Antioch community collapsing from 15,000 Christians a couple of decades ago to a mere handful today? The single greatest cause of this emigration is pressure from radical Islam.3
In the wake of the New Year’s bombing outside a church in Alexandria, Egypt, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Christian minorities in the Middle East are victims of “religious cleansing.” He is correct.
Muslim extremists are determined to create a Muslim-only Middle East by any means available. Thus an unsought exodus is taking place. The world wants Christians and Jews out—but God has other plans.
Mark Twain posed the question. God’s Word gives the answer. And history is proving the point.
Conclusion: Never give up on truth.
- Caroline Glick, “The Wars of 2011,” December 28, 2010 <carolineglick.com/e/2010/12/the-wars-of-2011.php>.
- Jonathan Adelman and Agota Kuperman, “The Christian Exodus from the Middle East,” Jewish Virtual Library <jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/arabs/christianme.html>.