President Rivlin invited the Christian leaders to his residence. Everyone knows that he’s a friend of the Arab People. So, everyone came. But when he and minister Aryeh Deri (who also speaks Arabic and helps the poor) asked them to condemn anti-Semitism, they did not. One of their leaders talked about what the Christians appreciate and need but that was it.
Of course, they are afraid to be attacked by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. And by the Arab Palestinian masses. But that’s not all.
If they were honest dignified leaders, they should either have spoken out against Jew-hatred or not have come.
And they would have condemned the violence of Muslims against them since the Second Intifada, that made almost all Christians flee all Muslim population centers. These leaders are now just figureheads of empty communities keeping up the show for the Christian tourists.
Instead, they stood there as if they own the place. And that’s the core of modern antisemitism: a lack of respect for Jews and a failure of Monotheistic leaders to embrace learned Jews as their teachers.
I asked myself: Why blog about this? This is not new. Right. So I blog about it to say: this still hasn’t changed, 75 years after Auschwitz.
25 Years ago, Jerusalem Mayor Kollek called for the Christian leaders and told them: I read in the papers that you are displeased. He then told them everything that had been done for them. Then he concluded: If there is a problem, come talk to me; but don’t spread stories that things are not OK.
They never slandered his work again. That how you talk as an Israeli Jew when you’re not respected, or they’ll just walk all over you. Polite requests and being reasonable don’t work with people who feel far superior to you.
Of course, passively not slandering the Jews is different from actively calling for an end to slandering Jews. The latter is still a bridge too far?
The backbone of antisemitism is looking the other way. Christian congregations and churches that are friends with Jews still don’t go after their counterparts that hate Israel and the Jews. That first must change.
But we Jews must surely not give the impression that systematic hatred of us is our problem. Just as sexism is the moral downfall of males, animosity towards Jews is the moral bankruptcy of Gentiles. Believers beware.