Book Review: Will the Nazi Eagle Rise Again?
Will the Nazi Eagle Rise Again? What the Church Needs to Know about BDS and Other Forms of Anti-Semitism, by David Friedman, Ph. D., Lederer Books, 286 pages
In Will the Nazi Eagle Rise Again? author Dr. David Friedman cites “a troubling Church collaboration with [anti-Semitism] as opposed to resistance to it.” Many in the Christian clergy, per Friedman, increasingly blame the Jewish people “for various ills around the world, of particular concern is the role that the Church now plays in actually fueling anti-Semitism…”
Will the Nazi Eagle Rise Again? documents an alarming level of Church complicity in Israel’s enemies’ efforts to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish nation. “In 2004, America’s ambassador to the European Union, Rockwell Schnabel, warned the world that anti-Semitism in Europe was reaching its 1930s level.” Since then, the phenomenon has only increased with rising and unprecedented support from Christian leaders and organizations.
Friedman examines the Church’s role in five chapters. The first, Disconnects Between New Testament Faith & the Jewish Messiah, follows two forewords, the first of which, by Luba Mayekiso of the Africa for Israel Christian Coalition, defends Israel against the libelous charge of apartheid. “As a Black South African, who was born in an apartheid homeland and experienced the cruelties of such an oppressive racial system, I am deeply offended by this comparison.” The second foreword, by Rabbi Herschel Raysman, addresses the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) which “gives haters of Israel a tangible campaign around which to focus their efforts.”
Chapter one addresses the increasing urgency of “Palestinian rejectionist clerics” to replace Yeshua’s Jewish identity and recast him as a Palestinian. “Yet, Yeshua is identified—well after his resurrection—by his student, John, as ‘the Lion of the tribe of Judah.’” To the same point, Friedman quotes “a brave Anglican cleric…serving his community in Iraq,” who recently wrote:
“I find it incredibly sad that the radical anti-Judaic polemic has found a new foundation… While these people will deny that they are in any way anti-Semitic, their continual bombardment of Israel can be seen as blatantly anti-Judaic.”
Chapter two confronts the blatant hypocrisy (my words, not the author’s) of the Christ at the Checkpoint (CATC) conference series, the self-described aim of which “is to equip the global church to understand Scripture as it relates to the Palestinian context.” [emphasis added] Despite their stated mission, “…to challenge Evangelicals to take responsibility to help resolve the conflicts in Israel/Palestine by engaging with the teaching of Jesus on the Kingdom of God,” the CATC conferences have continually launched unabashed, one-sided attacks against Israel. (A March 25, 2014 article by Christine Williams appearing on the Gatestone Institute website seems to have approached the truth more closely, categorizing the conference series as “New Anti-Semitism Tailored for Evangelicals.”)
“When human behavior is given the power to cancel the promises of God,” says Friedman in summary, “something is wrong with our perception of who God is.”
Chapter three refutes at length the persistent “apartheid slander” increasingly leveled against modern Israel. Chapter 4 notes the growing propensity for Israel’s critics to apply the even more fallacious and contemptible analogy likening Israel to Nazi Germany.
“Where are the death camps [in Israel] like Auschwitz, Sobibor and Treblinka? …The late Holocaust scholar Robert Wistrich wrote that: ‘…anti-Zionists who insist on comparing Zionism and the Jews with Hitler and the Third Reich appear unmistakably to be de-facto anti-Semites, even if they vehemently deny the fact!'”
In chapter five, Some Suggestions for “Turning it Around,” Friedman applies the preceding chapters to summarily dismiss the several slanders habitually leveled against Israel by her enemies and, now, the worldwide Church. The chapter calls upon the Church “to do some serious self-evaluation” and points to scripture, correctly interpreted, as a hopeful approach to stemming the rising tide of anti-Semitism. Four detailed appendices, elaborate end-notes, a glossary and bibliography follow.
I found Will the Nazis Eagle Rise Again? What the Church Needs to Know about BDS and Other Forms of Anti-Semitism to be an important, informative, persuasive and well-written resource that successfully exposes as rebranded anti-Semitism much of the Christian Church’s pro-Palestinian posturing. Friedman remains a gentleman throughout, consistently relying on logic and reason while avoiding an accusatory tone. At times his forbearance mildly disappointed me, especially in chapter two on the CATC conferences, by his apparent reluctance to identify by name some of the conference sponsors whom he quoted.
(Regarding the book’s title and subtitle, it seems fair to point out that the term, Nazi Eagle, never appears in the book’s body and, except within the forwards and glossary, the BDS movement is mentioned only nine-times, usually within a list of other slurs upon the Jewish people and Zionism. So, perhaps, it could be more aptly titled.)
In the conclusion, Friedman asks, “Will the Church aid a future campaign to annihilate Israel? Or, will the Church stand up, defend Israel’s existence as the world’s only Jewish state, and help to insure the destiny of the Jewish people?”
What times these are when such outrageous questions clearly need to be asked! During this, the dawning Age of the Lie, it seems that reliable clues to the answers may only be found in insightful books like Friedman’s and the scriptures themselves, to which it often and accurately points.
Dr. David Friedman is the former Academic Dean and Professor of Jewish Studies at King of Kings College in Jerusalem, Israel. Dr. Friedman lectures internationally on biblical topics as well as on the history of the modern State of Israel. A former member of the IDF, he also works actively at Jewish-Arab reconciliation as a speaker and mentor and is an advocate for a secure State of Israel.
Other Books by Dr. David Friedman
A Messianic Commentary, James the Just Presents Applications of Torah
At the feet of Rabbi Gamaliel
They loved the Torah
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Cliff Keller lives in Jerusalem, Israel with his wife, Marcia after making Aliyah in the spring of 2011 from the United States. His most recent novel is a work of historical biblical fiction entitled The Lion or The Lamb: Samson Ruth and Salvation. Cliff also blogs at Standing by the Gate and has a writing website, goodStories.