For many centuries, Christianity put into practice the ‘’Teaching of Contempt” against Jews. Because of it, Jews have suffered enormously, particularly during the Crusades and the Inquisition, and during endless pogroms, which culminated with the Holocaust. On Sunday, January 27, 2019, the United Nations (UN) designated International Holocaust Remembrance Day was observed. A day in which supposedly the world “remembered” the six million Jews murdered by the German Nazis and their many helpers throughout Europe, during World War Two. The antecedents leading to the Holocaust can be found in the “Teaching of Contempt.”
It was the false interpretation and reading of the New Testament, including the gospel according to John, and the synoptic gospels of Mark, Matthew 27:25 (Jews are allegedly saying according to the author “May the guilt for his (Jesus’) blood be upon us and upon our children”) , and Luke (who is also the author of the Acts), as well as the misinterpretation of the Pauline letters (especially 1 Thessalonians 2:13-16), which turned anti-Judaism into a violent pursuit that ultimately led to the Holocaust. While we commemorated the 74th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp by Soviet troops, we must sadly note that church-led anti-Judaism has turned into racial anti-Semitism in the 19th and 20th centuries. In the 21st century, the “Teaching of Contempt” against Jews, which the Catholic Church, under Pope John Paul II, graciously denounced (“In the Christian world, I am not saying on the part of the church as such, enormous and unjust interpretations of the New Testament relative to the Jewish People and their presumed guilt circulated for too long, engendering sentiments of hostility toward this people (Jews),” has turned now into “Teaching of Contempt” against the Jewish state, particularly at the UN and in Europe.
The Teaching of Contempt toward the Jewish state is no longer church-inspired, albeit, some radical churches find a way to teach contempt toward Israel in the guise of preaching human rights and “protection for the Palestinians.” Mainly, however, the teaching of hate against Jews is now the work of the radical left and the extreme right. Anti-Semitism is no longer directed openly against Jews. Instead, it is leveled against the Jewish state, and its Jewish supporters. Ironically, it was the tragedy of the Holocaust that contributed to the establishment of the UN in 1945 and it also impacted on the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In 2014, the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) congregational study published a libelous work of classic anti-Semitism titled “Zionism Unsettled.” The guide was not merely an attack on Israeli policies, but rather on the very legitimacy of the Zionist enterprise. The PCUSA, in essence, resurrected the infamous 1975 UN resolution (rescinded in 1991) which declared that “Zionism is Racism.” It suggested that the Jewish national liberation movement is “racist.” Thus, the PCUSA proposed that lovers of Zion, Jews and Christians alike, are bigots. John Wimberly, co-moderator of Presbyterians for Middle East Peace said about Zionism Unsettled, “We are talking about a direct attack on the Jewish states right to exist.” This radical guide was not only an attack on Israel’s legitimacy, and Jews, but also on America.
The White House issued a statement on January 27, 2019: “On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we hold in our hearts the memory of every man, woman, and child who was abused, tortured, or murdered during the Holocaust. To remember these men and women – those who perished and those who survived – to strive to prevent such suffering from happening again. And denial or indifference to the horror of this chapter in the history of humankind diminishes all men and women everywhere and invites repetition of this great evil. We remain committed to the post-Holocaust imperative, “Never Again.” “Never Again,” means not only remembering – in a profound and lasting way – the evils of the Holocaust, but it also means remembering the individual men and women in the nation, and throughout the world, who devoted their lives to the preservation and security of the Jewish people and to the betterment of all mankind.”
Unfortunately, the UN has done little to stop the display of anti-Semitic contempt of Israel, regularly expressed by the various agencies within the UN, rhetoric that ultimately led to the Holocaust. Nor has the UN acted to prevent recent genocides in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. Moreover, the UN has given a platform to the likes of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said, according Reuters (9/24/2012) “Israel has no roots in the Middle East and should be eliminated,” ignoring a UN warning to avoid incendiary rhetoric ahead of the annual General Assembly session. Celebrating his 79th birthday last July, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed that, “By God’s grace the Palestinian nation will certainly gain victory over the enemies, and will witness the day when the fabricated Zionist regime will be eradicated.”
The UN pays lip service to commemorating the Holocaust, while at the same time allowing its body (General Assembly) to become a politicized weapon against the Jewish state. The UN has done nothing to combat the global rise of anti-Semitism, or end the vilification, demonization, delegitimization, and double standards applied to Israel alone.
Europeans use of Nazi terminology has been one way in which they have expressed contempt for the Jewish state. According to Dr. Manfred Gersenfelds book on anti-Semitism, “The War of a Million Cuts,” he referenced French scholar of rhetoric Georges-Elia-Sarfati’s emphasis on one of the words the Nazis invented, Vernichtungskrieg; meaning a war of total destruction, and extermination. Israel is now being accused of conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians. Amazingly, in mainstream European society, there is a wide agreement with such a hate statement. There are 400 million citizens, 16-years and older in the European Union (EU). Of those, more than 150 million (40% +), think that Israel conducts a war of extermination against the Palestinians. They agree with such a statement when asked in polls. According to Gersenfeld, in a 2004 poll, a great majority of Germans, who should really know better considering their past, saw Israel as a Nazi state. The imagery, namely comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, which is pervasive throughout the EU, is an insult to Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, and to the six million Jews who perished in it.
Lorrie Goldstein’s Toronto Sun (12/24/2017) piece, summarized the “Teaching of Contempt.” “When religion was the driving force of civilization thousands of years ago, Judaism was portrayed by its enemies as the world’s most evil religion, with Jews falsely accused of murdering the children of non-believers to us, their blood, to use their blood to make matzah for Passover, known as the ‘blood libel.’ In the twentieth century, when ‘science’ became the defining symbol of human progress, the Nazis sought to prove through ‘science’ that Jews were uniquely evil. Today, when ‘human rights’ are paramount, Jew haters portray Israel as the world’s worst human rights violator for its treatment of the Palestinians. It’s just the same old Jew hatred, the same cancer, forever evolving and metastasizing.” The UN, the EU, and the radical churches cannot hide behind International Holocaust Remembrance Day to cover up the continuous and deliberate hatred for Jews and the Jewish state. In the absence of sincere action to eradicate the virus of anti-Semitism, the so-called “remembrance” of the Holocaust is nothing more than sheer hypocrisy.
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