Frequently Asked Questions

  • Anti-Semitism
  • Christian Zionism
  • Israeli Policies
  • Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  • Support for Israel
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israeli-Palestinian-Conflict

 

Yes. The acts against Israeli citizens on October 7 make Hamas and Islamic Jihad criminally liable for war crimes.

Multiple acts violated the “rule of distinction” in International Humanitarian Law (IHL), which requires combatants to limit attacks to legitimate military targets. According to IHL, what follows are “inexcusable and flagrant violations of humanitarian norms and international law and odious insults to humanity that constitute war crimes”:

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) says that advocating a religious holy war aimed at creating a regional Islamic entity encompassing the whole of the territory of Israel “contravenes the provisions of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention of Genocide.”

Above content excerpted from: The 2023 War with Hamas: What You Need to Know

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Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israeli-Palestinian-Conflict

 

Hezbollah is a Shi’ite terror militia based in Lebanon and backed by Iran and Syria that has been committed to the destruction of Israel since its founding in 1982.

Calling Israel a “cancerous tumor,” Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah once claimed that Allah has regathered the Jewish people from around the world into one place to make it easier to destroy them. The clerical Shi’ite regime in Iran funds Hezbollah with over $700 million per year. Hezbollah’s original manifesto from 1985 called for establishing an Islamic Republic in Lebanon, while adding, “Our struggle will end only when this entity [the State of Israel] is obliterated.” Today, Hezbollah has managed to build a large army of nearly 100,000 militiamen and accumulated over 250,000 missiles and rockets now capable of reaching all of Israel. Its military capabilities have allowed Hezbollah to gain a stranglehold over the Lebanese government. Many countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Arab League, and Israel, have declared Hezbollah to be a global terrorist organization, while the European Union designates only its military wing as a terrorist entity. Learn more about Hezbollah in this video: Terrorists? Or Freedom Fighters?

Above content excerpted from: The 2023 War with Hamas: What You Need to Know

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Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israeli-Palestinian-Conflict

 

Hamas is a radical Sunni Islamist terrorist organization that has been the de facto ruler of the Gaza Strip since 2007.

Considered the Palestinian chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas was founded in late 1987 as a political rival to the Fatah-led PLO, and its charter commits the group to the destruction of Israel and creating an Islamic state under sharia law in Palestine. The Hamas charter promotes a dark Islamic eschatology that calls for perpetual jihad (holy war) against the Jewish State and people as a first step to regaining Jerusalem and then taking on the “Crusader West” to secure world domination for Islam. Hamas has its main presence in Gaza and broad support in the West Bank, but its senior leadership has been harbored in Qatar for the past decade.

After Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in the 2005 Disengagement, Hamas liquidated the local Fatah leaders and security forces in a bloody coup in 2007. Today, it governs over 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, imposing a strict brand of fundamentalist Islam. Hamas totally rejects any peace negotiations or agreements with Israel, including the Oslo Accords, as well as a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although Hamas presents itself as a Muslim welfare society, the group commits most of its budget to its military buildup, including rockets, weapons, and terror tunnels. The militia group is also known for its many suicide bombings and other terror attacks inside Israel. 

Above content excerpted from: The 2023 War with Hamas: What You Need to Know

Israel's War with Hamas

Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, 2023, when upward of 3,000 Hamas militants breached the wall between Israel and Gaza and flew in with paragliders, murdering over 1,200 mostly civilians. Israel responded by declaring war, the first time since the 1973 Yom Kippur war. 

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Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israeli-Palestinian-Conflict

 

Hamas instigated the war with Hamas on October 7, 2023.

Early that morning, hundreds of Hamas militants breached the fence at the Israel-Gaza border in southern Israel, massacred more than 1,200 innocent men, women, children, and the elderly (mostly Israeli citizens), took more than 240 more captive to Gaza (enough to negotiate the release of all Palestinian terrorists held in Israel), and raped innocent women. They also launched an air assault from the Gaza strip of over 2,200 rockets into Israel in just 20 minutes. It was the first invasion of Israel since the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. As the rockets were falling, 3,000 or more Hamas militants entered southern Israel to attack innocent civilians on the ground and still others in the air through paragliders. Because it was the end of the Jewish holiday feast of Sukkot on the holiday called Shemini Azeret, many Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers were on leave. Entire families were massacred that day with no regard to age or gender. It was bloody and inhumane: people were decapitated, grenades were thrown into people's safe rooms where they were hiding, and people were burned alive. Arms and feet were chopped off, and pets were shot.

Hamas had used hardwired phone lines within their vast tunnel system for several years to communicate and plan what they called "Al Aqsa Flood" (a reference to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem). Hamas leadership says the attack was in response to Israeli "occupation" of Palestinian territories and the blockage of the Gaza Strip and because of the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaze they deem illegal. Ultimately, Hamas' goal is to eliminate Israel from the map.

Israel responded by declaring war and conducting air strikes on Gaza, followed by a ground incursion called Operation Iron Sword. The IDF called up 295,000 reservists, many of whom chose to serve despite exemptions.

It was the first time Israel declared war since the 1973 Yom Kippur war.

From the start of the war on October 7, 2024, to June 12, 2024, Hamas and Hezbollah launched more than 14,500 rocket and mortar attacks against Israel.

Learn more: The 2023 War with Hamas: What You Need to Know (PDF)

Additional Resources

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israeli-Palestinian-Conflict

 

 

Jews have maintained a continuous presence in the Land of Israel for more than 3,000 years—a fact supported by substantial archeological and historical evidence.

  • There was a politically independent Jewish kingdom from approximately 1000 BC until 586 BC and from 165 BC until 63 BC when the kingdom became a client state of the Roman Empire.
  • Roman emperors have long acknowledged Jewish traditions and Jerusalem's centrality in Judaism. Augustus issued the following edict in 1 BC: "Jews shall use their own customs in accordance with their ancestral law ... and their sacred offerings shall be inviolable and shall be sent to Jerusalem; and they shall not [be required to appear] in court on the Sabbath."
  • The word "Jew" is derived from their land of origin, Judea. It was not until the Romans expelled many Jews from Israel in AD 135 that they renamed the area Palestine in an attempt to de-Judaize it.
  • Extensive documentation exists of the Jewish presence in Jerusalem and the Land of Israel.

 

Jerusalem has been the Jewish people's capital for more than three millennia.

  • Jerusalem is mentioned nearly 700 times in the Hebrew Bible.
  • More than 100 generations of dispersed Jews prayed three times a day to return to Jerusalem.

 

The sacred texts of both Christianity and Islam confirm the Jewish people's connection to the Land of Israel.

The New Testament confirms the Jewish connection to the land in St. Stephen's sermon in Act 7 and in Hebrews 11:

  • "Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you." Then he came out of the land of the Chaldeans and dwelt in Haran. And from there, when his father was dead, He moved him to this land in which you now dwell." (Acts 7:3–4)
  • "By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise." (Hebrews 11:8–9)

 

The Koran refers frequently to Jews and identifies them with Israel and the promised land.

  • "And thereafter we said to the children of Israel: 'Dwell securely in the promised land." (Sura 17:104 "The Night Journey")
  • The Koran describes Solomon's construction of the First Temple (Sura 34:13) and recounts the destruction of the First and Second Temples (Sura 17:7).

 

Jews have been a majority in Jerusalem for the last 150 years.

  • The Jewish population was decimated by the Crusaders in the twelfth century AD, but it eventually rebounded. By the 1880s, when the Ottoman Empire ruled the city, Jews once again became the largest religious group in Jerusalem. At that time, there were 9,000 Jews and 7,000 Arabs living in the city.
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israeli-Palestinian-Conflict

The Jewish people also have a historic connection to the land that is claimed by the Palestinians.

 

The Jewish people's right to sovereignty in their homeland has been firmly established in international law.

 

What about the “atrocity” that took place in Deir Yassin in 1948?

On April 9, 1948, just a month before the official start of Israel's 1948 War of Independence (after the 1947 UN Partition Plan was announced), Zionist paramilitaries attacked the village of Deir Yassin near Jerusalem and killed 107 Palestinians—men, women, and children. However, what really happened that day does not depict a large-scale massacre but a deliberate attempt by Palestinian leadership to force Arab militaries of surrounding countries to intervene in the battle over Palestine—leading some to posit the whole thing is a myth. Keep learning about what's substantiated by historians and what is propaganda in the below resources.

 

Israel captured the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in a defensive war in 1967. It has satisfied its obligations under international law to administer these areas until permanent borders are set within the framework of a permanent peace agreement.

  • Israel's possession of these lands was legal since the Jewish people had been included in the land approved for a Jewish State by the British Mandate, San Remo, and League of Nations agreements.
  • In 1947 the UN Partition Plan set aside areas in the West Bank and Gaza for Arab sovereignty—but the Arab countries rejected the plan.
  • Israel's possession of these territories is not a legal "occupation" because these territories were never the possession of an Arab entity and are therefore considered to be "disputed territories."
  • As a result of the Oslo Accords, 97 percent of Palestinians enjoy self-rule under the Palestinian Authority.

 

A "State of Palestine" never existed in history.

  • The areas now described as Palestinian were once part of the British Empire and the Ottoman Turkish Empire.
  • In 1948 Egypt captured the Gaza Strip and Jordan captured Judea and Samaria, renaming the territory "the West Bank."
  • Egypt and Jordan controlled these areas until 1967. During that time, no country in the Arab World called for the creation of a Palestinian state.

 

Additional Resources

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israeli-Palestinian-Conflict

 

While both sides bear some responsibility for the failure of the peace process, there are several reasons why the peace process has continually failed:

 

 

October 7, 2023 – Israel's War with Hamas

 

On October 7, 2023, Hamas launched an attack on Israel from Gaza by air, sea, and ground, brutally massacring more than 1,200 innocent mostly civilians from upward of 30 countries and taking hostage to Gaza more than 240 others. Israel declared war, and the Biden administration expressed "unwavering support" for Israel with instruction for Israel to do everything is could to protect innocent Palestinian lives. Israel offered a ceasefire several times in exchange for hostages, but Hamas repeatedly rejected those proposals. 

 

History proves that Palestinian leaders do not want an independent state

 

Any lasting peace agreement would have to ensure security for Israel's citizens. Yet, the Palestinian leadership has never agreed to the basic security arrangements necessary to protect the Israeli people. 

 

 

The culture of incitement in Palestinian schools, mosques, and media poisons the well for peace in future generations. 

 

Palestinian leaders fill children's textbooks, summer camps, television programs, mosques, and official media outlets with incitement. Children are taught to value terrorism. They are taught to hate Israelis and Jews, that Jews are occupiers of the Land of Israel, and to be martyrs for the Palestinian cause—suicide bombers are glorified. Israel is demonized, and the existence of Israel is consistently denied. Schools focus on the Palestinian return to an exclusively Palestinian homeland. On October 7, 2023, Hamas militia invaded Southern Israel and massacred over 1,200 people, raped hundred, and took hundreds more hostage to Gaza on October 7, 2023. Sources say the roots of the horrific attack could be traced to what had been taught in Gaza schools for generations. Jew-hatred quickly surged around the world, fueled by social media that spread rampant misinformation Israel's response to the attack, civilian deaths in Gaza, and the Holocaust.

Additional Resources

 

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israeli-Palestinian-Conflict

 

Palestinians have a flag, a national anthem, and even diplomats, but it is not yet an internationally recognized state. Some nations have pressed for diplomatic acceptance. But accepting it as a Palestinian state would not bring peace because Palestinians do not want peace—with or without a state—and refuse to accept Israel's right to exist as the legitimate homeland of the Jewish people. 

The Palestinian Authority (PA) asserts that:

  • Jews are inherently evil, endangering not only Palestinians but all humanity.
  • Jews themselves are responsible for the antisemitism and hatred they have faced throughout history.
  • Read more in the Palestinian Media Watch document from the hearing "Responding to Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israel Bias in the UN, Palestinian Authority, and the NGO Community from June 22, 2023.

If there were a Palestinian state, nearly half of the Palestinian population would be ruled by Hamas—a violent terrorist organization fundamentally opposed to peace—who have ruled Gaza since 2007. The Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews, so until Hamas is dismantled, there will be no peace and no chance for a Palestinian state. It's a terror organization only interested in an Islamic Sharia state eradicated of all Jews. The Palestinian Authority turns this demonization of Jews into its political ideology. Western countries were "anxious to get rid of the Jews and solve their 'Jewish problem' and so established a Jewish state. The PA asserts Jews would never have come to the land of Israel on their own because the Jews have no history in the land and their presence there is, therefore, an illegitimate result of "settler colonialism" with no right to exist. Thus, the PA's goal is to liberate Palestine, which they consider to be stolen by the "colonialist and aggressive Zionist movement."

While world leaders are calling for two states—an independent state for Palestinians alongside that of Israel—Palestinian Authority leaders have historically called for the creation of an inherently racist, "Jew-free" state.

Palestinian Authority President Abbas said, "In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli—civilian or soldier—on our lands." This is what's behind the refrain popularized after the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, 2023. Though Israel was attacked, around the world, protestors took to college campuses and the streets, declaring, "Palestine will be free from the river to the sea." The river is the Jordan River, and the sea is the Mediterranean Sea. It means having dominion over that stretch of land—all of Israel. 

Plus, the Palestinian Authority continues to undermine the future possibility of two states living in peace. It fosters a culture of hate against Israelis and Jews in Palestinian mosques, schools, and media.

Palestinian leaders fill children's textbooks, summer camps, television programs, mosques, and official media outlets with incitement. Children are taught to value terrorism. They are taught to hate Israelis and Jews, that Jews are occupiers of the Land of Israel, and to be martyrs for the Palestinian cause—suicide bombers are glorified. Israel is demonized, and the existence of Israel is consistently denied. Schools focus on the Palestinian return to an exclusively Palestinian homeland. On October 7, 2023, Hamas militia invaded Southern Israel and massacred over 1,200 people, raped hundred, and took hundreds more hostage to Gaza on October 7, 2023. Sources say the roots of the horrific attack could be traced to what had been taught in Gaza schools for generations. Jew-hatred quickly surged around the world, fueled by social media that spread rampant misinformation Israel's response to the attack, civilian deaths in Gaza, and the Holocaust.

History proves that Palestinian leaders do not want an independent state.

After October 7, 2023

Rather than pushing to eradicate the terrorist group Hamas after what it did to innocent Israelis on October 7, 2023, many nations pushed harder for a Palestinian state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza—including the United States. But Hamas and other terrorist groups like Hezbollah hold an ideological root that can't be acquieced, and awarding the Palestinians with statehood would only catalyze terrorism globally and "convince groups that expanding violence rather than developing their economy achieves its goals."

Additional Resources

 

 

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israeli-Palestinian-Conflict

 

Israeli settlements have been a longtime source of dispute between Israel and the international community. But are settlements the reason there is no peace between Israel and the Palestinians?

  • ​After Israel's War of Independence in 1948 to 1967, the West Bank was controlled by Jordan, but with no international authorization. Jordan expelled 17,000 Jews from what is today known as the West Bank. There were no Israeli settlements in the West Bank during that time, yet Palestinian leadership and the Arab world still sought Israel's annihilation.
  • As a result of the resounding Israeli victory in the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel gained the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem. Less than a week after the war ended, the Israeli unity government under Prime Minister Levi Eshkol affirmed—and then told —that Israel would return the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt and the Golan Heights to Syria in return for signed peace treaties. Separate negotiations would then be conducted regarding the future of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and the refugee issue. While Egypt accepted the Sinai offer, Syria rejected the Golan Heights offer. Negotiations over the West Bank and Gaza failed. 
  • While the Israeli government was trying to figure out what to do with the West Bank, some Israelis took up residence across the 1967 armistice lines without authorization. These Israeli developments, known as “settlements,” only take up around 2 percent of West Bank land. Over time, US administrations recognized that Israel would retain some of these towns in any peace agreement.
  • Many legal scholars question whether settlements are illegal. Eugene V. Rostow, one of the authors of UN Security Council Resolution 242—written after the 1967 war to create a framework for peace negotiations—stated, "The Jewish right of settlement in Palestine west of the Jordan River, that is, in Israel, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, was made unassailable. That right has never been terminated and cannot be terminated except by a recognized peace between Israel and its neighbors." Moreover, Rostow contended that "The Jewish right of settlement in the area is equivalent in every way to the right of the existing Palestinian population to live there."
  • Others contend that the Geneva Convention, passed after WWII, makes the settlements illegal (Israel rejects this claim). The December 2016 UN Security Council Resolution 2334 Vote—passed due to the US government’s abstention—declared them illegal and opened the door to future international actions against Israel.

Does Geneva Convention Apply?
The Legal Case for Settlements in Judea and Samaria
Global Study of Settlements in Occupied Territories

Though the international community argues those settlements violate international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention and that Israelis are illegally "occupying" that land, Israeli citizens were never deported or transferred there and were not and are not occupying an already-exisiting sovereign territory

 

Thus, Israeli communities in the West Bank are not illegal.

  • The Jewish people are restablishing what was already there before they were expelled in 1948.
  • The UN declaration on the rights of indiginous people, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007, states that indigenous people have a right to land they traditionally owned, and this includes the Jewish people who are indigenous to Judea and Samaria—the West Bank.

The Settlements Are Not Illegal

 

However, Palestinians are building illegally around Jerusalem. 

  • ​​All of the governments and international bodies that criticize Israel for building what many claim to be legal communities are silent about the construction of new Palestinian developments surrounding Jerusalem.
  • According to a detailed article by Bassam Tawil of the Gatestone Institute, the questionable construction is primarily in Zone-C, which under the Oslo Peace Accords should be territory controlled by Israel. According to Tawil, Palestinians estimate that in the past few years they have built more than 15,000 illegal housing units in areas surrounding Jerusalem as part of a plan to encircle the city. These are not single family homes, but massive apartment complexes without proper licenses, not built to code, and some without proper sewage. The article claims that many of the "contractors" are land-thieves and thugs who are building without permission on private Palestinian-owned land or on lands whose owners are living abroad.

The Real Illegal Settlements in Israel
Palestinians are Building Illegal Settlements to Extend their Claims to Jerusalem
The EU's Lethal Obsession with Israel

 

Settlements do not jeopardize future "land for peace" deals. The major obstacle to peace is Palestinian leadership.

  • ​​​​The Palestinian leadership's refusal to give up the conflict, recognize Israel as a Jewish State, and renounce the "right of return" for most Palestinian refugees, is the real obstacle to peace. The so-called "right of return" would allow millions of descendants of Palestinian refugees to flood Israel.
  • No Israeli leader would ever accept the "right of return," since it would mean the end of the world’s only Jewish state. Yet, the Palestinian leadership has never told its own people that they must forfeit this claim in order to achieve peace. 
  •  

Additional Resources

 

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israeli-Palestinian-Conflict

 

Who are the Palestinian refugees?

Palestinians are the world's largest, stateless community, and as of 2024, there are approximately 6 million Palestinian "refugees." The definition of "Palestinian refugees" according to the United Nations are those people whose "normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1, 1946, and may 15, 1948, who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict." However, are they truly refugees? Consider the following.

 

How the Palestininan refugees were created

 

Who has perpetuated the Palestinian refugee problem?

  • The Arab world has perpetuated the Palestinian refugee problem. Among all Arab countries, only Jordan has offered Palestinians the rights of citizenship. Many others have passed discriminatory laws, preventing Palestinians from buying land and from entering certain professions, like law and medicine.In 1959, the Arab League adopted Resolution 1457, which stated: "The Arab countries will not grant citizenship to applicants of Palestinian origin in order to prevent their assimilation into the host countries." The Arab world discriminates against Palestinians, yet the world does not outcry against Arab apartheid 
  • ​The UN and international organizations have perpetuated the Palestinian refugee problem. Palestinians are the only population in the world that the UN refuses to resettle. Instead, it passes their refugee status on to children and grandchildren. As a result, the original Palestinian refugee population of a few hundred thousand has grown to more than 6 million today. There unique status is "the single biggest stumbling block to achieving peace

 

Israel absorbed all Jewish refugees forced to flee their homes in Arab countries. 

An estimated 850,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries in the years following the establishment of a Jewish State. Israel fully integrated these Jewish refugees into its society, while the Arab World exploited and oppressed the Palestinian refugees.

 

The real number of Palestinian refugees is quite different than what's stated. 

An infant in 1948 would be over 75 years old today, and adults would be elderly. "The percentage of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza over the age of 65 is 3.15 percent. If we include Palestinians in Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria, the figure could be as high (on average) as 4.48 percent. That means if there were 40,000 refugees in 1948 and they were all still alive, there would be only 12,600 to 17,912 refugees today. Even if you use the exaggerated number of 750,000 refugees, there would be at most 33,585."

 

​Additional Resources

Israeli Policies
Israeli-Policies

Zionism is a movement of national liberation based on the idea that the Jewish people—just like any other people—are entitled to live in their homeland with independence, self-determination, and freedom from persecution.

  • Zionism is the opposite of racism. It is an answer to the racism directed at the Jewish people throughout history, known as antisemitism
  • The founders of Zionism saw their movement as a path to ending many centuries of racist antisemitism and persecution. In 1896 Zionism's founding father, Theodor Herzl, wrote that antisemitism, "is a remnant of the Middle Ages, which civilized nations do not even yet seem able to shake off. In countries where we have lived for centuries we are still cried down as strangers ... [the only solution is] the restoration of the Jewish State."
  • Herzl wrote in Altneuland, his seminal book on Zionism, "You must hold fast to the things that have made us great; to liberality, tolerance, love of mankind. Only then is Zion truly Zion."
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote that "Zionism is nothing less than the dream and ideal of the Jewish people returning to live in their own land ... the fundamental right that we justly claim for the people of Africa and freely accord to all other nations of the globe."

 

The Zionist movement is based on the Jewish people's ancient connection to the Land of Israel.

  • The word "Zion" originally referred to the easternmost of the two hills of ancient Jerusalem, during the tenth century B.C. Over the years, it came to mean all of Jerusalem and then all of Israel.
  • The name Zion appears 152 times in the Old Testament. "Mount Zion" is the place where God dwells. Jerusalem, or Zion, is a place where the Lord is King, and where He has installed His king, David.

 

Zionism is an ideology rooted in the idea of equality. The State of Israel breathes life into these principles.

  • The State of Israel's Declaration of Independence says: "The State of Israel ... will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants, irrespective of creed, race or gender; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education, and culture."
  • Israel today is a beacon of equality in the Middle East, providing the full rights of citizenship for people of all cultures and faiths.

 

Related Resources

Israel's Declaration of Independence 
Theodor Herzl (article)
Is Zionism Racism? And Why The Phrase Is Antisemitic (article)
Is Zionism "Settler Colonialism"? (article)
7 Antisemitic Tropes in Full Force Today (article)
5 Lies about Israel and Its Birth as a Nation in 1948 (article)
A Short History of Christian Zionism (Donald M. Lewis, book)
A Short History of Christian Zionism (ICEJ webinar)

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israeli-Palestinian-Conflict

​Palestinian refugees suffered an injustice in 1948. However, the much greater injustice is that the international community and the Arab world have refused to resettle them for over seven decades.

 

The UN and international organizations have perpetuated the Palestinian refugee problem.

  • Palestinians are the only population in the world that the UN refuses to resettle. Instead, it passes their refugee status on to children and grandchildren. As a result, the original Palestinian refugee population of a few hundred thousand has grown to more than 6 million today. 

 

The Arab World has perpetuated the Palestinian refugee problem.

  • Among all Arab countries, only Jordan has offered Palestinians the right to citizenship. Many others have passed discriminatory laws, preventing Palestinians from buying land and entering certain professions, like law and medicine
  • In 1959 the Arab League adopted Resolution 1457, which stated: "The Arab countries will not grant citizenship to applicants of Palestinian origin in order to prevent their assimilation into the host countries."
  • Throughout the years, many Arab countries—including Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan—have expelled tens of thousands of Palestinian residents. Few in the Arab world or the international community have spoken out against this. Kuwait expelled nearly 200,000 Palestinians from its country following the Gulf War in 1991 and Jordan expelled Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria in 2014.
  • During Israel's 2023 war with Hamas, which started after Hamas militants invaded southern Israel and massacred more than 1,200 men, women, and children, no Arab nation would take in Gazan refugees. Egypt also refused to open its border with Gaza—even to ease the humanitarian crisis—for "security reasons." 

  • "Palestinian leaders would rather see their people continue living in devastating poverty as refugees than improve their living conditions and search for new opportunities in Western countries. They want millions of Palestinians to remain stuck in refugee camps so that the Palestinian leadership can continue milking the world for money." (Gatestone Institute, International Policy Council)

 

Much of the Palestinian suffering in the region is a result of failed Palestinian leadership.

 

The Palestinians' standard of living improved significantly under Israeli control from 1967 up until the Oslo Peace Process in the early 90s.

  • Mortality rates in the West Bank and Gaza fell by more than two-thirds between 1970 and 1990, and life expectancy rose from 48 years in 1967 to 72 years in 2000.
  • Israeli medical programs reduced the infant mortality rate of 60 per 1,000 live births in 1968 to 15 per 1,000 in 2000. Under Israel's systematic program of inoculation, childhood diseases like polio, whooping cough, tetanus, and measles were eradicated.
  • By 1986, 92.8 percent of the population in the West Bank and Gaza had electricity around the clock, compared with 20.5 percent in 1967; 85 percent had running water in dwellings, as compared to 16 percent in 1967.
  • In 1967 not a single university existed in Gaza or the West Bank. By the early 1990's, there were seven institutions of higher learning, boasting some 16,500 students.

 

The Palestinians' standard of living would improve if they stopped fighting against the one country best able to employ their people: Israel. Warfare against Israel damages their own economy

​Related Resources

Israel's War with Hamas FAQ (downloadable PDF)
The Double Standards of the 2023–24 Gaza War (article)
The History of Hamas (video)
Palestinians: A Story You Have Not Heard (article)
Hamas Charter

 

Israeli Policies
Israeli-Policies

 

What is apartheid?

The word "Apartheid" means "apartness." It's a policy or practice of racial segregation. The word is derived from the segregation and political, social, and economic discrimination against the non-white majority in South Africa from 1948 to 1994. Israel is often falsely accused of being apartheid in an effort to demonize the Jewish State, making Israel look so bad the international community believes it needs to act against her her right to exist. 

 

Why Israel is not an apartheid state

Two million Israeli Arabs make up 20 percent of Israel's population—the freest Arab population in the Middle East. It is the only country in the region where all people are guaranteed equal political and legal rights. It is also the only country in the region where the Christian population is growing. Arabs occupy senior positions in all sectors of Israeli society, from the Supreme Court and parliament to the arts and business—including women (the first Arab woman was appointd Israeli Consul General in Shanghai in 2022). Hundreds of Arab schools are sprinkled throughout the country. Israeli Arabs, including women, have equal voting rights.

Israel provides medical care to all people in Israel—Arabs included. In July 2023, for example, Hadassah hospital surgeons reattached an Arab boy's head after he was internally decapitated after being hit by a car while riding his bike.

Many Muslims—inside and outside of Israel—have made it clear that Israel is not an apartheid state but rather a model for toleration in a region filled with sectarian violence. A 2019 study Reveals 65% of Israeli Arabs are proud to be Israeli.

 

Much of the Palestinian suffering in the region is a result of failures in their own leadership.

Israel withdrew completely from the Gaza Strip in 2005, and by 2007, the area was taken over by the Hamas terrorist organization. Today Hamas brutally oppresses women, political opponents, Christians, and other minorities. There would be a Palestinian state in East Jerusalem, 97 percent of the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip if Palestinian leaders had accepted the peace offers presented to them by Israel. Much of the international aid earmarked for the Palestinian people has been siphoned off by corrupt leaders in the Palestinian Authority.

 

The use of the term apartheid to describe Israel diminishes and degrades the brave struggle of those who fought against apartheid in South Africa.

 

Additional Resources

 

 

Israeli Policies
Israeli-Policies

Israel's leaders are fallable, just like all human beings, and they have made mistakes. Howeer, they are held fully accountable for their actions by the country's democratic process and independent judicial system.

In contrast to all other nations in the Middle East, corruption and wrongdoing by government officials in Israel is fully investigated and prosecuted. Back in 2019, for example, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted on charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust for "allegedly acceptiving expensive gifts" from the owner of a newspaper to secure postitive press coverate. No Israeli leader is above the law. Israel is a parliamentary democracy with a multiparty system and indepenent itstitutions that guarantee political rights and civil liberties for most of the population. Israel's highest court, the Supreme Court, has ultimate jurisdiction over all other courts. 

Israel's government system contrasts the leaders of the Palestinian Authority (PA), including Gaza's terrorist government, Hamas, that have siphoned off many billions of dollars in international aid to their people without consequence. Though Israel's government strives for transparency, Freedom House states "The Hamas-controlled government has no effective or independent mechanisms for esuring transparency in its funding, procurements, or operations,

 

Israeli Policies
Israeli-Policies

Amid a region filled with tyranny, violence, and human rights abuses, Israel strictly abides by the tenets of international law.

International Humanitarian Law (IHL) refers to the rules that govern how nations like Israel and "armed actors" (non-government, like Hamas) conduct themselves in war. They are rules intended to protect civilians and reduce suffering related to war as well as limit the effects of how war is conducted.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) incorporate the principles of international law into their basic doctrine. All of Israel's government and military decisions are overseen by the nation's Supreme Court. The misuse of international law to target Israel has distracted attention from real human rights abuses around the world, while Israel's enemies have distorted its human rights record.

 

Palestinian leaders and personnel in the West Bank and Gaza can be held accountable for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes under international law. 

On October 7, 2023, when Hamas militants invaded southern Israel, Hamas deliberately targeted Israeli civilians, brutally massacring more than 1,200 people—women and children and the elderly included. Plus, Hamas embeds military personnel dressed in civilian clothing in dense, urban areas. These are two of many clear violations of international law. Keep reading to learn more about how Israel abides by the tenets of international law and how Palestinian leaders are systematic violators of it.

 

Israeli Policies
Israeli-Policies

While Palestinian terrorists seek to maximize civilian casualties, Israel does everything in its power to minimize harm to civilians.

One core value of the Israel Defense Forces is the protection of human life and dignity. The Israeli military uses various strategies to minimize harm to Palestinian civilians—from dropping leaflets to diverting missiles mid-air. The IDF Code of Ethics reads, "The IDF and its soldiers are obligated to protect human dignity. Every human being is of value regardless of his or her origin, religion, nationality, gender, status or position."

Operation Protective Edge, 2014

Reports after the 2014 Operation Protective Edge war demonstrated the illegal, terrorist tactics of Hamas as well as the IDF’s efforts to protect innocent civilians.  The UN damage assessment report proved Israel was targeting tunnels and command centers, not civilians, and an Israeli report uncovered what the media did not. Hamas fired 4,500 rockets into Israel endangering the lives of 6 million people.

Rockets were launched from Gaza next to churches, mosques, schools, UN buildings, hotels, and residential areas, endangering the inhabitants. Had Israel not taken great measures to save the lives of civilians, urban warfare in a city as densely populated as Gaza City would have resulted in tens of thousands of deaths. Hamas had spent over $100 million in digging some 40 tunnels into Israel with the intent of carrying out terrorist attacks (see below), kidnappings, and creating widespread chaos. They also planned to take over the West Bank, oust the Palestinian Authority government, and set up a terrorist operation from there. Hamas fighters wore everyday clothing so they were indistinguishable from civilians, released phony civilian casualty statistics, and censored and threatened foreign journalists so they would not reveal Hamas activities.

The UN cooperated with Hamas, and while condemning Israel’s actions taken in self-defense, never condemned Hamas’ terrorist activities nor initiation of the conflict.

 

Israel-Hamas war, 2023–

Four months after Hamas invaded southern Israel on October 7, 2023, leading to a war with Hamas throughout Gaza, a West Point urban warfare expert said the IDF has implemented "more measures to prevent civilian casualties than any other military in history." Israel consistently and humanely warns residents to leave and evacuate urban areas before air and/or ground attacks begin, by using thousands of leaflets, cell phone calls, texts, and voicemails to alert civilians. Israel has demonstrated a commitment to adhering to the principles of international law to minimize casualties.

In contrast, Hamas tells residents not to leave so they can use civilians as human shields, and Hamas militants launch rockets from Gazan civilian areas. Even so, Israel is condemned for its "failure" to protect civilians" and is said to be committing genocide, while the International Court of Justice (ICEJ) disregards Hamas' genocidal jihadist agenda (even though Hamas cannot produce proof of actual civilian casualties). Not surprisingly, the UN sharply adjusted the number of female and child fatalities by half in May 2024—sadly, many months after media outlets had already been communicating inflated and unverified numbers.

Additional Resources

Israeli Policies
Israeli-Policies

Just like any other nation, Israel's government has a fundamental obligation to protect its citizens against terrorism and a right to live free from terrorist attacks. 

From the start of the Second Intifada, which began in 2000 and ended the existing peace process, terrorism has claimed thousands of lives. From 2000 to 2006 alone, terrorists from the West Bank carried out over 3,000 attacks, killing over 1,600 people. Then, on October 7, 2023, more than 1,200 innocent people lost their lives when Hamas terorrists invaded southern Israel. Keep reading to learn more about terrorism against Israel and why it must protect its citizens:

 

In 2002 the Israeli government constructed a barrier wall around the West Bank to protect its civilians against such attacks.

The security fence was a necessary response to the appalling suicide bombings of the Second Intifada. Israel would not have needed a security fence had there been no terrorist attacks against Israelis. It has reduced the number of Palestinian terror attacks in Israel by 90 percent, saving thousands of Israeli and Palestinian lives. It is a defensive measure—a fence, not a wall or a border. The right to erect a fence in self-defense follows international law. The route of the fence was designed to minimize disruption to Palestinian life. Keep reading for more information about the security fence:

 

Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups have been able to petition Israel's Supreme Court to contest the location of the fence. In many instances, the court has sided with these groups—and Israel has moved the location of the fence as a result. In 2004, Israel's Supreme Court ordered the military to move the fence because it would adversely affect eight Palestinian villages.

 

Checkpoints in the West Bank are necessary security measures that have dramatically reduced terror attacks against Israeli civilians.

For years, Palestinian terror groups used ambulances, taxis, and commercial trucks to smuggle suicide bombers into Israeli cities. Checkpoints allow Israeli forces to filter out these terrorists before they can strike. Checkpoints don't prevent Palestinians from coming into Israel; commercial and humanitarian goods, doctors and ambulances, and medical crews can move freely back and forth. In 2019 more than 80,000 Palestinians with jobs in Israel passed through checkpoints each day.

 

Additional Resources

Israeli Policies
Israeli-Policies

Israel imposed a blockade on the movement of goods and people in and out of the Gaza Strip when Hamas took it over in 2007. The UN's Palmer Report found that Israel's blockade of Gaza was both "legal and appropriate." The sole purpose of the blockade was to prevent Iran and other nations from smuggling rockets and other weapons into the Gaza Strip. Historically Iran has smuggled advanced weapons to Hamas and other terrorists in Gaza on ships. These weapons allow Hamas to launch rocket attacks against Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and other Israeli population centers.

The naval blockade intensified after the October 7, 2023, Hamas-led attack on Israel and the war that ensued.  

 

Israel's land crossings ensure that all commercial and humanitarian goods can enter Gaza.

 

While Hamas fires rockets at Israeli civilians, the Israeli government is working with the international community to support humanitarian efforts in Gaza.

Christian Zionism
Christian-Zionism

Hundreds of millions of Christians around the world support Israel for political, historical, and theological reasons. Christians see Israel as a champion of their values of freedom and human rights, a beacon of hope, and a symbol of God’s enduring covenant with the Jewish people.

 

Additional Resources

Support for Israel
Support-for-Israel

According to recent polls, about half of Americans hold favorable views of Israel because of the two nations' shared values and shared interests for many decases has been "a strong and steady supporter of the Jewish State." 

The American-Israel friendship is rooted in common values:

 

America's foreign aid to Israel fosters collaboration between the two countries and their defense industries.

 

​Additional Resources

Christian Zionism
Christian-Zionism

 

A Christian Zionist a Christian who supports the Jewish people's right to return to their homeland. Under this broad and simple definition, many Christians would qualify no matter what their reasons are for supporting Israel.

A more narrow definition of a Christian Zionist is one who holds to the theological school of thought known as Christian Zionism and supports the right of the Jewish people to return to their homeland on scriptural grounds. The biblical foundation for Christian Zionism is found in God's covenant with Abraham. It was in this covenant that God chose Abraham to birth a nation through which He could redeem the world, and to do this He bequeathed them a land on which to exist as this chosen nation (Genesis 7:7–8).

And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you a nd your descendants after you. also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. (Genesis 17:7–8)

The Mosaic covenant later explained that their right to live on the land promised to them would be determined by their obedience to the law and their relationship with their God. Sin and disobedience would result in exile for a season. The Hebrew prophets later proclaimed the arrival of judgement and punishment for sin, but also a time of future restoration to their land and to their God.

Christian Zionism recognizes God’s hand in the return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland after 2,000 years of exile and rejoices in the faithfulness of God to His promises.

Related Resources

Christian Zionism
Christian-Zionism
  • Christian Zionism is based on the entire Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, and considers both to be the inspired Word of God.

 

  • Those who oppose Christian Zionism, however, tend to focus on the New Testament and to exclude or allegorize whole portions of the Old Testament. For instance, Rev. Naim Ateek, of the Sabeel Center for Palestinian Liberation Theology, has called for the "deZionization" of scripture. He does not recognize the inspiration of most of the Old Testament.

 

Resources

New Testament Confirmation of the Tenets of Biblical Zionism

Christian Zionism
Christian-Zionism
  • Christian Zionism is not based on prophecy or eschatology, but rather on the promises that God makes in the Abrahamic Covenant. The Hebrew prophets foretold the exile and return of the Jewish people to their land, but they were only confirming the timing of what God had already promised to Abraham.

 

  • Christians do not believe that they can cause events like the return of Jesus. Only God has control over these events. Christian Zionists do, however, find joy in being involved in the fulfillment of prophesies, such as the regathering of the Jewish people from the four corners of the earth, but they recognize that no man -- only God -- could have facilitated this miracle.

 

  • Christian Zionists' primary motivation in supporting Israel is the belief that God initiated a spiritual law of blessing so that those who bless the Jewish people will be blessed, aligning themselves with God's eternal redemptive plan. Similarly, those who oppose His people will find themselves in direct opposition to God's redemptive plan.

 

Resources:

Evangelicals and Israel: What American Jews Don't Want to Know (but Need to) by Robert W. Nicholson, Mosaic Magazine, October 2013

What motivates Christian Zionists? by Shelley Neese, The Jerusalem Connection, October 2012

 

Christian Zionism
Christian-Zionism
  • No one wants peace more than Israel and her Christian friends. However, true champions of peace cannot support the creation of a state that is committed to Israel's destruction. Until now, the Palestinian Authority has refused to truly accept Israel's right to exist. Instead, it continues to fill its schools, mosques, and public airwaves with hatred and incitement against Israel, making the possibility of peace a distant dream.

 

  • As a sovereign nation, Israel has the right and privilege to give away part of its land should the Israeli government wish to do so in pursuit of peace. However, Joel 3 sounds a very clear warning against those who seek to do Israel harm by dividing up her land. All nations should heed this warning before pressuring Israel to do what they themselves would never do, and in so doing, weaken Israel and threaten her security.

 

  • Christian Zionists believe that the land of Israel -- which includes Judea and Samaria or the "West Bank," as well as Gaza -- is the everlasting possession of the Jewish people. However, their right to live on the land is conditional on their relationship with God. This is why Israel's borders have changed throughout history and may continue to change in our time.

 

  • Christian Zionists support Israel's right to exist in peace and security, as a Jewish state with defensible borders.

     

  • In the face of overwhelming threats and hostile neighbors, Israel has been compelled to use military force. Yet, this does not mean that she does not seek peace. Israel signed peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan. It longs for peace with the Palestinians but needs a peace partner with whom to negotiate.

 

Resources

Reasons Why Peaceful Resolutions for the Arab-Israeli Conflict Always Fail, by Dr. Tawfik Hamid

A Biblical Stand on Zionism II: The Question of Land by Rev. Malcolm Hedding, ICEJ, March 2006

Christian Zionism
Christian-Zionism
  • War is a terrible thing. No Christian should ever look forward to it.

 

  • Christian Zionism is not based on prophecy or eschatology, but on the promise that God made to Abraham and the Jewish people. Interpretation of prophecy is speculative. There are many opinions in the Christian Zionist camp about how and when events will take place, and a wide range of theories about which events may have already occurred.

 

  • Throughout history there has been great spiritual opposition to the Jewish people and God's promises to them. War has plagued Israel's history, and there are prophetic portions of scripture that indicate it will continue to do so. One such event is a large battle that is mentioned briefly in the New Testament, but described more fully in the Hebrew books of Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel, and Zechariah. Some Churches devote significant time and energy to studying these scriptures in the same way that many Jewish movements study these prophetic passages, anticipating literal fulfillment of them.

 

  • There is a problem when Christian students of prophecy study and discuss these events without appreciation for the human element in the stories, making the Jewish people "pawns" in their end time charts. It is always helpful for these students of prophecy to tour Israel, and meet the people of the land. This inevitably leads them to develop a better appreciation for the sacrifices and suffering on all sides of the conflict, which would only increase in any future war.

 

Resources:

Annihilation or Redemption? By David Parsons, October 2012

The Worst I'll Ever Do, By David Parsons, October 2012

Armageddon Now? By Rev. Malcolm Hedding, ICEJ February 2010

Swords into Ploughshares: Christian Zionism and the Battle of Armageddon By David Parsons, ICEJ

Christian Zionism
Christian-Zionism
  • Justice is an important question for Christians in the Israeli-Arab conflict. God loves justice (Isaiah 61:8) and requires His children to do justly (Micah 6:8), but Leviticus 19:17 makes it clear that justice must be based on the facts. One has to carefully weigh the facts in the Arab-Israeli conflict in order to arrive at what is truly just.

 

  • For many Christians, the campaign to demonize and delegitimize Israel can cloud the facts, making it difficult to arrive at conclusions about who is the just party in the conflict. Issues like Palestinian refugees, Israeli control of the West Bank and the security wall are presented as examples of Israeli injustice.

 

  • To truly work for justice one must honestly admit the root cause of the problems and suffering on both sides.  There were similar numbers of Arab refugees and Jewish refugees in the early years of Israeli statehood.The Palestinian people have suffered many injustices, mostly at the hands of their own Arab leaders.  Israel also suffers serious injustices today. It still faces existential dangers in the region that threaten its existence. Around the world, Israel is demonized, delegitimized, and held to a double-standard.

     

  • This website helps truth seekers to rightly discern between fact and falsehood -- and to understand why Christians who stand with Israel are standing on the side of justice.

     

    Resources:

    Justice Must Be Based On Fact by Susan Michael, ICEJ, July 2013

    Hidden Injustices: A Review of PA & Hamas Human Rights Violations in the West Bank and Gaza to be presented to the European Parliament by Calev Myers, Jerusalem Institute of Justice, November 2012

    Christian Zionism and Social Justice by Rev. Malcolm Hedding, ICEJ, March 6, 2012

    The Question of Justice by David Parsons, ICEJ, January 2007

Christian Zionism
Christian-Zionism
  • Christians who are pro-Israel are not anti-Arab. On the contrary, Christians are commanded to be a people of love recognizing that God loves all people the same (John 3:16).

 

  • Those who do not have a heart for the Arab peoples of the region do not reflect God's heart. God's promise that Ishmael would have twelve princes and would be a great nation (Genesis 17:20) has been fulfilled. Isaiah 19 speaks of a great visitation by God to the Arab world, which will usher in a revival among the neighboring countries of Israel.The ICEJ encourages Christian Zionists to have God's heart for the Arab people and to pray regularly for them.

 

 

  • There are more than 50 Muslim countries, 15 Christian countries, and only one Jewish state -- Israel. Yet, only Israel is singled out as racist for having an official state religion. Just like all other nations, the Jewish people have the right to their own state. This is a not racism; on the contrary, it is a response to centuries of racism and persecution against the Jewish people. Thus, supporting Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state cannot -- and should not -- be considered racist.

 

ICEJ Resources:

Christian, Jewish leaders call for halt to persecution of Middle East Christians 2014

Tragic Fate of Iraqi Christians by David Parsons, ICEJ, October 2014

Israel's Troubled Neighbor Syria by Susan Michael, ICEJ, October 2013

Egypt My People by Dr. Juergen Buehler, ICEJ, August 2013

Cry of the People of Egypt by Susan Michael, ICEJ, August 2013

A Burden for Bethlehem's Christians by David Parsons, ICEJ, May 2013

The Real Root of the Christian Exodus by David Parsons, ICEJ, June 2012

ICEJ Study: Urgent Social Needs in Israel's Arab Sector March 2011

Under Siege: The Brutal Targeting of Middle East Christians by David Parsons, ICEJ, February 2011

The Plight of Christians in the Holy Land by David Parsons, ICEJ, July 16, 2006

Our Battered Brethren by David Parsons, ICEJ, January 2006

Troubled Town of Bethlehem by David Parsons, ICEJ, December 2000

Other Resources

World Council of Churches Stands By As Christians Perish, Churches Wither by Malcolm Lowe, Protestant Consultation on Israel and the Middle East, October 22, 2013

Demonizing Israel More Important Than Defending Persecuted Christians? by Michael Curtis, American Thinker, October 7, 2013

Turning a Blind Eye to Murdered Christians by Mark Tooley, Institute for Religion and Democracy, August 17, 2009

The Beleaguered Christians in Bethlehem by Khaled Abu Tomeh, May 2009

Anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
  • Anti-Semitism is hatred of or bigotry toward Jews. A Semite is someone who speaks a Semitic language, which includes Arabic, Amharic, Hebrew, and Aramaic. Semite used to refer to the ethnic groups within the Levant and Arab Peninsula during ancient (pre-Arab) times, but that use is obsolete. 
  • The term “anti-Semitism” was coined by anti-Semites in order to give pseudoscientific weight to their claims that Jews — “Semitic people” — were inferior to “Aryan people.” In the late 1800s, the term was used to refer to the opposition to Jewish people. At the time, anti-Semitism was viewed positively because hatred against Jews was so widespread.
  • The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), of which the United States is a member, adopted a non-legally binding “working definition” of anti-Semitism on May 26, 2016. The U.S. State Department uses this working definition and has encouraged other governments and international organizations to use it as well.
  • IHRA’s working definition is: “Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
  • The IHRA recommends using the spelling “antisemitism” rather than “anti-Semitism” to dispel the idea that there is an entity ‘Semitism’ which ‘anti-Semitism’ opposes. 
    • Antisemitism should be read as a unified term so that the meaning of the generic term for modern Jew-hatred is clear. At a time of increased violence and rhetoric aimed towards Jews, it is critical that there is clarity and no room for confusion or obfuscation when dealing with the subject.
    • For the purposes of this Israel Answers website, however, we use the more common spelling with a hyphen: anti-Semitism.

Sources:
https://www.holocaustremembrance.com/spelling-anti-Semitism
http://www.holocaustremembrance.com/sites/default/files/press_release_document_anti-Semitism.pdf
http://www.holocaustremembrance.com/sites/default/files/press_release_document_anti-Semitism.pdf

 

Anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
  • Throughout Jewish history, rulers of different regions and countries would persecute Jews for having a different religion, as was the custom at the time. This refusal to worship idols was seen as stubborn and was resented.
  • The earliest recording of attempted Jewish genocide is in the Book of Esther, which takes place when all Jews lived were expelled from what is now Israel and lived under Babylonian rule. The King Ahasuerus is convinced by an antisemitic adviser, Haman, to kill every Jew in his kingdom, which was every Jew in the world at that time. The Jews are saved by the King’s new wife, Esther, who reveals that she herself is Jewish and the King orders Haman to be killed on the gallows he had prepared for Jews.
  • Many American Christians are familiar with the Jewish holiday Hanukkah, which tells the story of Jewish resistance to anti-Semitism in Israel. Some of the earliest government persecution of Jews occurred under the Ancient Greek empire, when Jews began to be restricted from religious practice and certain legal rights. The story of Hanukkah  chronicles the resistance of Jewish Maccabees who rebelled against Assyrian Greek conquerors that sought to stop Jews from practicing Judaism.
  • Anti-Semitism has existed in most places where Jews have lived throughout history, but the severity of anti-Semitism varies drastically from time to time and place to place.

Sources:
https://www.adl.org/sites/default/files/documents/assets/pdf/education-outreach/Brief-History-on-Anti-Semitism-A.pdf
https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/The-Book-of-Esther-A-political-analysis

Anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
  • Anti-Semitism can be both religious and/or ethnic discrimination. Judaism is an ethno-religion and Jews are considered members of the Tribe of Israel (descended from the 12 sons that Jacob had with his wives, Leah and Rachel, and his concubines, Zilpah and Bilhah).
  • Jews who trace their ancestry back to different countries often look different, but they are all equally Jewish and members of the same nation. In this sense, conversion to Judaism can also be thought of as a tribal initiation process.
Anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
  • Anti-Zionism is the belief that Jews should not have a country in their historic homeland of Israel. It is anti-Semitic because it denies Jews the right to self-determination, which is an integral human right, included in the United Nations Article I.
  • Natan Sharanksy, an Israeli politician and human rights activist who spent 9 years in a USSR gulag for being a Zionist, developed the 3D test to determine when discussion of Israel is anti-Semitic. If any of the following are true, criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic:
    • delegitimization of Israel
    • demonization of Israel
    • subjecting Israel to double standards
  • The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism also includes examples of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism.
    • “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
    • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
    • Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
    • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
    • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.”

Sources:
https://www.un.org/en/charter-united-nations/
https://www.jcpa.org/phas/phas-sharansky-f04.htm
https://www.holocaustremembrance.com/working-definition-anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
  • BDS is short for “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” and refers to a campaign to punish the Jewish state for existing. Much of political force powering the BDS movement comes from the Arab League boycott, which was formed in 1945 to instruct Arabs not to do any business with Jews, with the explicit goal of preventing Jews from forming a country in their historic homeland. When Israel was founded in 1948, the Arab boycott became a boycott of the modern State of Israel.
  • The BDS National Committee (BNC) was established in 2007 in Ramallah as the Palestinian coordinating body for the international campaign. The BDS movement seeks the destruction of the State of Israel and opposes any peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians. BDS activists paint Israel as an “Apartheid State” that employs “Nazi-like” policies against the Palestinian people. They boycott corporations operating in Israel, stores selling Israeli products, entertainers who plan performances in Israel, and Israeli academic institutions.
  • To date, 28 states in the U.S. have adopted laws designed to discourage boycotts against Israel. Members of Congress have also introduced bipartisan legislation opposing the BDS movement.

Sources:
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/middle-east/1977-04-01/middle-east-arab-boycott-israel
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/bds-aint-new-the-arab-lea_b_9167542
https://bdsmovement.net/
https://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/South-Dakota-governor-signs-executive-order-prohibiting-Israel-boycotts-614204

Anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
  • Some forms of anti-Semitism are illegal in some countries, but in other countries and places, there are laws against anti-Semitism.
    • For example, Holocaust denial is illegal in Germany and much of Europe, but it is legal to deny the Holocaust in the United States under First Amendment protections.
    • In the United States, the Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act provides protections for victims of "a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person."

Sources:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-03/holocaust-denial-not-protected-by-human-rights-law-court-says
https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/enforcement/oac
https://www.jewishpolicycenter.org/2009/11/30/iran-nuclear-anti-zionism-genocidal-political/
https://www.jstor.org/stable/41722004?seq=1
https://www.adl.org/sites/default/files/documents/assets/pdf/combating-hate/Introduction-to-Hate-Crime-Laws.pdf
https://www.adl.org/media/2143/download

Anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
  • Pogroms is a Russian word meaning “to demolish violently” and was coined to refer to attacks on Jewish villages. They often included sacking and burning Jewish homes, businesses, and places of worship; stealing or destroying Jews’ possessions; beating up Jewish men and sexually assaulting Jewish women; and murder.
  • While the term originally referred to this phenomenon in the Russian empire, it is now used to refer to genocidal incidents against Jews across history and in other parts of the world.
  • Some examples of pogroms include:  
    • the Odessa pogrom of 1821
    • a series of pogroms across Ukraine and southern Russia in 1881-84
    • Kristallnacht, or the “night of broken glass,” perpetrated by the Nazis in 1938
    • Iasi pogrom, which marked the turning point of the Nazi-allied Romanian government pursing the genocide of Jews in 1941
    • The Farhud, when mob violence against Baghdadi Jews broke out in 1941
    • 1947 pogroms, when Jews in countries including Syria and Yemen were murdered following the UN vote to confirm partition of Israel between Jews and Muslims

Sources:
https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/pogroms
https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/what-were-pogroms/
https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-farhud
https://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/previous-the-20th-century-pogroms-against-the-jews-of-the-middle-east-will-christians-suffer-the-same-fate/2019/07/24/

 

Anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
  • Blood libel is an anti-Semitic lie that Jews murder non-Jewish children as part of Jewish ritual. It was initially used to divide the Jewish and Christian communities, emerging in the 12th century as the claim that Jews used Christian blood to make matzo (unleavened bread used during the Passover holiday). It then spread across Europe and the Arab world as an anti-Semitic trope.
  • This propaganda has no basis in Jewish practice. Jews follow the 10 commandments, which includes “thou shalt not murder” as the sixth commandment (Exodus 20:12). Jews also do not consume the blood of any animal (or eat any humans), as Jewish dietary law (Kosher laws) forbid consumption of blood. (Leviticus 7:26-27; Leviticus 17:10-14.)
  • Some anti-Zionists perpetuate this anti-Semitic trope by falsely claiming that Israelis kill Palestinian children to steal their organs.

Sources:
https://www.britannica.com/topic/blood-libel
https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-ten-commandments/
https://nypost.com/2018/05/07/the-new-anti-semites-promote-a-very-modern-blood-libel/

Anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
  • Holocaust denial is any attempt to diminish or deny the established facts of the Nazi genocide of European Jews. This is a form of anti-Semitism because it perpetuates the belief that Jews are dishonest and manipulative. It perpetuates this anti-Semitic trope because Holocaust deniers say that Jews invented or exaggerate the Holocaust as a plot to advance “Jewish interests.”
  • Some common Holocaust denials include: minimizing the number of Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust (it was 6 million); claiming that the Holocaust only included Jews murdered at Death Camps; denying the existence of Nazi facilities that used gas chambers to systematically murder Jews; denying that Jews were murdered by Nazis at Concentration Camps, where Jews were made to work and live in uninhabitable conditions that were intentionally set up so that Jews would die, or murdered because Nazis and Nazi collaborators shot them.
  • The government of Iran currently engages in Holocaust denial as part of its campaign to destroy the modern State of Israel.

Sources:
https://www.ushmm.org/anti-Semitism/holocaust-denial-and-distortion
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/irans-holocaust-denial-is-part-of-a-malevolent-strategy/2016/05/27/312cbc48-2374-11e6-aa84-42391ba52c91_story.html

Anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
  • Anti-Semitism often functions like a conspiracy theory, in that anti-Semites claims that Jews secretly hold a great amount of power and use it for nefarious purposes. Anti-Semites often believe that Jews hold outsized political power, financial wealth, and/or media influence. They frequently claim that Jews have used this power to establish the State of Israel and often demonize Zionist supporters of Israel.

Source:
https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/9780230349216_5

Anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
  • Hatred and violence directed toward any group, including Jews, is immoral. We must love our neighbors as ourselves.
  • Anti-Semitism is not just a Jewish problem. All forms of persecution are direct threats to Western values of freedom and equality.
  • In many countries, Jews and Christians are both minority groups that suffer from laws and cultures that demonize other religious groups.
Christian Zionism
Christian-Zionism
  • Dispensationalism is a theology that holds a favorable view of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. However, it is not the same thing as Christian Zionism.
    • Dispensationalism is a biblical interpretation that was developed in the writings of John Nelson Darby and the Plymouth Brethren in the 19th century. It was propagated through works such as the Scofield Reference Bible, widely used in the United States. Dispensationalism understands God to have related to human beings in different ways under different Biblical covenants in a series of dispensations, or periods of history.

 

 

 

Resources

Christian Friends and Foes of Israel by David Parsons, ICEJ, February 2009

Christian Zionist Hall of Fame

A large majority of Americans support Israel because of the two nations' shared values and shared interests.

  • The American-Israel friendship is rooted in common values.
    • Commitment to democracy and human rights, the rule of law, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly are all fundamental values shared by the two countries.
    • Like the United States, Israel has an independent judicial system that safeguards the rights of individuals.
    • Israel has regularly scheduled elections that are free, fair, and open to all its citizens, regardless of religion, race or sex. The independent group Freedom House has consistently classified Israel as "Free" in its rankings of world nations.
    • American Presidents - going back to the founding of the United States - have supported the idea of a Jewish state. Since Israel's establishment in 1947, successive Presidential administrations - on both sides of the aisle - have stood behind the Jewish State. Read what America's Presidents have said about Israel.
  • Israel is a vital ally for America in an unstable Middle East. Israel is the "Ultimate Ally". No other country in the Middle East shares America's values and advances its interests like Israel.
  • America's foreign aid to Israel helps us to confront major threats abroad while creating jobs at home. Nearly 75 percent of all aid is spent in the United States on weapons and other supplies that Israel needs.

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Christian Zionism
Christian-Zionism

Those behind the public campaign to demonize and delegitimize the State of Israel have opened up a new front in the Christian world. A few voices representing a minority of Christians have begun to attack Christian Zionism as an extreme and even heretical theological position because it gives credence to the truth that Israel's modern-day restoration was not a political accident but ordained by God.

Those who criticize Christian Zionism as an extreme or heretical position completely overlook the fact that an overwhelming number of Christians support Israel. (In the wake of the atrocities that happened on October 7, 2023, when Hamas militants raided southern Israel and brutally murdered more than 1,200 people, 90 prominent pastors and other Christian leaders issued "An Evangelical Statement in Support of Israel.")

There should be room for respectful disagreement among Christian denominations and theologians on politics and the scriptural significance of Israel, but many of today's attacks on Christian Zionism distort facts, history, and theology.

Theologically, Christian support for Israel centers on one's understanding of the Abrahamic Covenant and whether it still applies to the nation of Israel. Those who do not believe that God's covenant with the Jewish people is still valid generally support what is known as Replacement Theology. This theology was the root of antisemitism throughout centuries of Christian history.

Politically, the debate about Israel in the Christian world centers on whether one accepts the Palestinian narrative, which demonizes and delegitimizes the people and the State of Israel. This narrative distorts facts and rewrites history to vilify and demonize the people of Israel to the point that it is nothing but a new expression of age-old antisemitism.

 

Overview of Theologies vis-a-vis Israel

 

Responses to this campaign from Christian Zionist organizations

 

Resources

 

 

Christian Zionism
Christian-Zionism

The Bible states clearly that Jesus and His family were of Jewish descent and lived according to Jewish law.

The books of Luke and Matthew make it clear that Jesus was a direct descendent of King David, from the House of Judah:

  • "So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations." (Matthew 1:17)
  • "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." (Matthew 1:1)

 

The name "Palestine" was not used until more than a century after the life and time of Christ.

  • Roman rulers renamed the area "Syria-Palestina" around AD 135 to try and erase the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel.
  • Throughout history, great Christian leaders have recognized Jesus' Jewish roots and the continued validity of the Abrahamic covenant between God and the Jewish people.

 

Additional Resources

"Was Jesus a Palestinian?" (video)