We should be encouraged to see our young people taking action on important issues. It means they are paying attention, they care, and they want to make a difference. Whether that difference is good or bad depends largely on what they have learned from their elders, and the willingness of both youth and elders to partner in identifying what is good and how to act on it.
Of course, we at Nations’ 9th of Av understand both from scripture and from our own relational experience that support to the Jewish people and the state of Israel is good, which means that antisemitism is bad. That is why we are encouraged to see one of our young colleagues take a stand in a highly visible public forum.
At 21, Matthew Wearp is the youngest member of our planning team. His talents and energy have enriched our work. As you can see in this opinion piece published inThe Jerusalem Post, one of those talents is writing. The opinion he expresses here is the result of his upbringing in a family that has labored for years in Israel and America to make a difference for good that impacts the Kingdom plans of the Almighty.
The rise of antisemitism on the Left and in America – opinion
The Jerusalem Post
By MATTHEW WEARP, JULY 31, 2020 10:28
In the past few years, we have seen a surge of antisemitism in America.
Antisemitic hate crimes are rising at an alarming pace, and according to the ADL, 2019 saw the highest level of antisemitic incidents since tracking began in 1979.
Only two months ago, as protests raged across our nation, Los Angeles experienced an explosionin antisemitism as kosher stores and synagogues were vandalized, looted, and burned.
The same has happened in cities across America as antisemitic incidents are sadly becoming more commonplace around the United States.
The problem is, instead of the Left condemning and strongly opposing these attacks, antisemitism has found a home in the Democratic Party and has become a shameful problem that the Left must confront.
Outright antisemitic statements from Democratic members of Congress have either been ignored or dismissed by party leaders and even if it is condemned no action is taken. The lack of action will doubtless lead to a rise in antisemitism in the party if Democrats continue to avoid the underlying problem. Politicians who spout any kind of antisemitic rhetoric must be shunned by both parties or else it slowly becomes accepted and normalized when party politics become more important than rejecting antisemitic hatred.
Democrat representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, have both come under fire during their first term in office for prejudice towards Israel, support of the BDS movement, and outright antisemitic comments.
Early on in her time in office, Ilhan Omar portrayedAmerican supporters of Israel as having been bought off by Jews, the scandal that followed forced Democrat leaders to scold Ilhan Omar for her comments yet beyond that, no action was taken.
In January, Rashida Tlaib retweetedand then removed a tweet falsely blaming Israelis for the death of a Palestinian child. This spread of an antisemitic blood libel was largely ignored by Democratic leaders and the media.
“The Democratic Party failed to condemn antisemitism, and that failure sent a message which Omar and Tlaib heard quite clearly. They were given a free pass to traffic in and promote antisemitism.” writes Bethany Mandel for the Washington Examiner.
“The Rubicon has been crossed. One of the two major political parties in this country is openly accepting of antisemites in its midst. We have not even begun to understand what the ramifications of this new reality are.”
The outright hypocrisy from the Left when it comes to antisemitism is also outright alarming.
It’s a valid question, especially in these times when the wrongs of the past are placed before the public continuously. If our ancestors thought, said, and did things that bring grief to our heavenly Father, then what are we to do?
The first step is to acknowledge that something wrong was done by those who came before us, and that we must live out the consequences. Nothing will change until that acknowledgement happens. Once it happens, then the way is open for God to bring healing, reconciliation, and restoration.
That is the purpose of the Nations’ 9th of Av as we seek to help Christians understand our unpleasant history with the Jewish people. The Jerusalem Post has taken notice of this initiative and has recently published an article about our plans for observing Tisha b’Av (the 9th of Av), the saddest day on the Jewish calendar. Read the article here, and then visit www.9-av.com to learn more.
There is still time to join our Virtual Tour of Israel and take part in this healing work between Christians and Jews. Click here to learn more:
Tisha Be’av, the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, will become a time for Christians around the world to repent together for two millennia of antisemitism through a virtual prayer event hosted on the 9-av.com website.
While Jews will be reading Lamentations in and out of synagogues, Christians will participate in a nine-hour online vigil of prayers. There will also be a week of online tours of biblical sites and other key locations in Israel.
The event is being organized by a steering committee led by Al McCarn, Laura Densmore and Steve Wearp, a Christian and former national director of the March for Remembrance, which holds events against antisemitism in more than 50 US cities. This is his third year organizing Tisha Be’av events for Christians in Jerusalem and his first time hosting it online due to the coronavirus.
“We struggled with how to do it this year, but we realized we have a much greater audience potential online,” Wearp said.
Jesus was perhaps the greatest Torah teacher of his day.
Think about that for a moment. We do not often consider the fact that Yeshua haMashiach (Jesus Christ) taught from the Torah, and that he was recognized by Jewish leaders as a great teacher. It began in his youth, when at the age of 12 he astounded the doctors of the Law (Torah) in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52). When he entered into public ministry, the teacher of Israel himself came to inquire of Yeshua about spiritual matters (John 3:1-21). His greatest oration, the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-7:29), was in fact an extensive midrash on the Torah and its application in daily life. That is why Yeshua stated early in that sermon that he had not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it – meaning to teach it correctly and live out its full meaning (Matthew 5:17-20).
This should lead us to the conclusion the Torah was given not only to the Jews, but to all of God’s people. In fact, the Torah applies to every person on earth, or at least it will when Messiah reigns from Jerusalem. How else are we to understand such passages as this one from Isaiah?
Now it shall come to pass in the latter days thatthe mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. (Isaiah 2:2-4 NKJV, emphasis added)
Notice the key to Isaiah’s oft-quoted prophecy: universal peace does not happen until after the nations of the earth submit to the judgment of YHVH’s Messiah and learn and obey the Law (Torah) which he shall teach.
What keeps Jews and Christians from getting along? That is a primary question addressed on The Barking Fox. The view here is that we are two parts of the same people, the Kingdom of Israel. Jews are the basis of that Kingdom, the remnant of ancient Israel to whom God committed His oracles, and through whom He brought forth salvation through His Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth. Christians are people of the nations (Gentiles) who, by the grace of God and their belief in Yeshua as Messiah, cease being Gentiles and join with Jews in the Commonwealth of Israel.