By Annabel Foery, Special to ASSIST News Service (Writer’s Opinion)
ALEXANDRIA, VA (ANS – October 9, 2017) — It was only after I had spent a three-month sojourn in Israel a couple of years ago that I became sensitive to the myriad ways that I had, in my past, cooperated with the spirit of Anti-Semitism that is, and always has been, so much an influence in the world.
After I spent some time on my knees in a House of Prayer in Jerusalem and repented before the Lord, my eyes became open in a new way to the insidiousness and destructiveness of that evil spirit. A few days after one of the first and most horrific attacks of what has become known as the “Knife Intifada”, in the Old City of Jerusalem a father, and a Rabbi who had come to help had been killed, a mother knifed 22 times, (who survived), I had the opportunity of meeting with locals, both Israeli Jews, Christian Arabs, and resident Muslims.
Much had been written about the teaching of children in Palestinian schools about ways to stab and kill Jews both on social media and in leaflets at schools. I spent an afternoon with a kind, beautiful Muslim shopkeeper celebrating the birth of a third child. We drank tea, ate cakes and got to talking. I asked if he was disturbed by the corruption of the young people who were being encouraged to hate and kill their Jewish neighbors- but he assured me that these young people were not being corrupted by anyone — it was their own desire to do these (heinous) acts. I realized that this man, loved as much by God as I, was under the influence of this terrible spirit of Anti-Semitism.
In December 2015 on my way home to the United States, I went from Israel to attend the European Prayer Breakfast in Brussels. There I met with the founder, Tomas Sandell, of The European Coalition for Israel which was holding its yearly Policy Conference in conjunction with the activities around the Breakfast. As a European, who had grown up in Finland, Tomas told me that as he had learned the history of the actions and rhetoric that over many years led up to what we now refer to as the Shoah — The Holocaust — whereby a nation [Germany] accepted the validity of the concept of the “final solution”, he became convinced that he would dedicate his life to combatting the myriad ways that antisemitism can infiltrate the consciousness of nations.
In early 2004, Nobel peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel was invited to a crisis summit in Brussels, hosted by the European Commission, to speak about the rise of Anti-Semitism in Europe. In his speech, he explained how disappointed and helpless he felt as nobody, except the Jewish communities, seemed to be reacting to the rise of anti-Semitism. “Where are all the others?” he asked.
Together with like-minded friends, Tomas founded The European Coalition for Israel which was formally launched in Brussels later that year in response to this question as “a coalition of all the others,” meaning non-Jews, who felt it was their moral obligation to stand up for the Jewish people and the State of Israel in a time of threat.
Then, in April 2014 The Forum for Cultural Diplomacy, an initiative of the European Coalition for Israel, was inaugurated at a Symposium in San Remo, Italy, and its first event took place in the United Nations Headquarters in New York on the 65th Anniversary of Israel’s admission to the UN. The Forum’s raison d’être is to create a platform for promoting better inclusion of Israel and the Jewish people in the community of nations, and now they continue to work with leaders at the UN in New York.
The Jewish faith has contributed to humanity for well over 3,000 years. Its contribution to the creation of the UN and its Charter can be read on the Isaiah Wall, opposite the UN Headquarters in New York. The words of Isaiah 2:4 offer hope for a better future, when swords will be turned into ploughshares and there will be world peace. However, in order to have peace, we first need to establish a culture of forgiveness and reconciliation.
The Forum for Cultural Diplomacy is a platform where these principles can be explored and built upon, as we listen to one another and recognize the universal values of the Golden Rule (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you), and in so doing, strengthen the core purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.
The milestones of their work over the years can be explored on their website: http://www.ec4i.org/american-friends-of-eci/
So now, when I read news headlines and articles such as the first Canadian Holocaust Memorial being inaugurated with a plaque that does not mention the Jews in any way; when our own President’s speech remembering the Holocaust does not mention the Jews; when I see that our UN representative was instructed last October to abstain, instead of opposing, a vote on UNESCO designations that deny Jewish historical connections to Patriarchal sites in Israel; when I see headlines on major news outlets that report terrorist killings of innocent civilians in Israel only with the headline of “Israeli soldiers shoot 2 Palestinians”; as I see our schools and universities reference the “State of Palestine”, which in fact, does not legally exist; when I see university students, supported by their faculty, not allowing any pro-Israel speaker to actually speak on campus; when I read the details of the BDS movement (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) and recognize their strategy to dehumanize the Jewish people and the right of Israel to exist, I ask myself “What can I do?” to bring awareness, to hold accountable, to combat this ancient and evil spirit of Anti-Semitism.
Photo captions: 1) This chilling footage shows a woman pulling a giant knife from her purse and attempting to stab an Israeli guard in broad daylight. The guard suffered minor injuries, and the woman was shot and wounded and was listed in serious condition. (See video at http://www.businessinsider.com/video-shows-palestinian-woman-trying-to-stab-israeli-2015-11). 2) Children at the Auschwitz Death Camp in Poland. 3) The United Nations (UN) building in New York. 4) The Isaiah Wall across the street from the United Nations building in New York quoting prophet Isaiah chapter 2 verse 4. 5) The ZAKA volunteer emergency response group — cleans up the scene of a Friday night deadly Palestinian terror attack at the Salomon family home in Halamish. (Credit: Yehezkiel Itkin/ZAKA). 6) Annabel Foery.
About the writer: Annabel Foery, an English transplant to the USA, has been a follower and disciple of Jesus Christ, (Yeshua Ha-Mashiach) learning to know the heart of God and encouraging others to do likewise. She lives in Alexandria Virginia and helps volunteer with hosting overseas guests at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC.
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