Deleting the Jews

Artwork by Elhanan ben-Avraham

“Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.” Psalm 83

The calls from various quarters to destroy and dismantle the Jewish nation of Israel in the present incarnation of its long history is akin to denial of the reality of the Holocaust in the not-too-distant past, which is indeed a call for another Holocaust. Yet still living in this new/old nation are aged survivors and witnesses of that Nazi Holocaust in Europe, hearing once again that demonic clarion call to delete the Jewish people from under the sun. But, as the wise King Solomon wrote, “there is nothing new under the sun.”

Accusations are aimed like missiles at Israel even from that august international body calling itself the United Nations, and from the Nouveau Nazis on the right and Progressives on the Left, and from the Palestinian ‘scholars’ who claim that Jews have no part in the Land of Israel and Jerusalem, no history here in their Islamic homeland of Palestine. Never mind that every Biblical town and name of Jewish history resides in this land, including the term Judah, from which arises the word Jew. And even now that ancient specter of anti-Semitism has once again arisen to torment and attack Jewish people and their synagogues and cemeteries from Paris to London to the cities and streets of America. Israel is falsely called racist and apartheid and land thieves, and its existence deemed an illegal and illegitimate entity by its detractors.

Would that I could take you by the hand and lead you through the treasury of witnesses living today in the Israel Museum and the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem. There you will meet such notables as King Senechariv of Nineveh describing in his own words his military campaign to destroy Judah in the days of Isaiah the prophet and king Hezekiah, in the 8th century BC. You will also meet King Nebuchadnezzar describing his destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC in the cuneiform chronicles of Babylon. You will read the personal letter from Lachish, that was destroyed by Senechariv, and see the very sling stones and arrowheads and helmet remains of those invading Assyrian soldiers, all confirming the biblical accounts of those events. And you will see the large wall stele found in Senechariv’s own Palace in Nineveh that describes in detail the capture of the Jewish town of Lachish.

And you will meet the Prophet Isaiah, who along with all the other Biblical Prophets of Israel, waited for two thousand years in a dry desert cave by the Dead Sea, scrolls discovered “coincidently” in 1947, a year before the re-birth of Israel in 1948, as those prophets predicted.

All these witnesses lived in the Land of Israel nearly two thousand years before Muhammad and Islam were born in the 7th century AD. And that same prophet of Allah, born some seven centuries after the Jew Jesus of Nazareth lived in what the 1st century document called the New Testament names “the Land of Israel,” made his best effort to deface and delete the Jews as his hordes rode roughshod over the Holy Land, and built their now gold-domed mosque upon the ruins of the first and second temples of the Jews and their God, hoping thus to extinguish and replace their memory forever.

But why all this rage and effort to delete the Jews?  The Jews are a very small people representing some 0.5% of all humanity, and their land is but a tiny sliver of turf in today’s vast Islamic Middle East. In every generation civilizations have attempted to delete the Jews, from the Egyptians to the Babylonians to the Assyrians to the Persians and Greeks and Romans, and to the Nazis of Germany. Is it but a matter of land? Hardly, as the Jews had no land to defend themselves in the Nazi Holocaust, or the Russian Pogroms, or the Inquisitions, or the expulsions from Spain and England, etc. But the Jews remain nevertheless, a living reminder and goad of that which every ‘modern’ civilization would now wish to forget and to delete. In them, and in their very living flesh as in their ancient scrolls written in Hebrew on the skins of goats, is the reminder of that Old God with His unchanging standards, values, purposes, and promises, one of which now stands before the eyes of all nations in their return to Jerusalem after two thousand years.

With one mind they plot together;
    they form an alliance against you—
 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
    of Moab and the Hagarites,
 Byblos, Ammon and Amalek,
    Philistia, with the people of Tyre.
 Even Assyria has joined them
    to reinforce Lot’s descendants.

– Psalm83