A Christian’s Account of Standing with the Jews against an Anti-Israel Protest

Last Saturday afternoon, about 100 anti-Israel demonstrators gathered in Teaneck, New Jersey, home to a large and thriving Orthodox Jewish community. After a week of anti-Israel protests that frequently degenerated into the harassment of Jews, and in several instances into violent attacks, Luke Moon, a Christian, decided to be present at the location of the protest in a show of solidarity with the Jewish people. The experience brought to his mind a verse from the book of Obadiah: “On the day that you stood aloof, on the day that strangers carried off [Israel’s] wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them.”

As a Christian, my willingness to go stand alone for Israel . . . is rooted in my reading of Scripture. I find the passages like the one from Obadiah to be a warning for my fellow Christians not to be like the Edomites, [whom the prophet is addressing]. This passage is not the only warning about callous indifference towards Israel and the Jews.

My stand for Israel and the Jews is deeply personal—a combination of theology, history, experiences, and relationships that I have developed over the last several years.

As I stood with my sign opposite the 150 to 200 Palestinian activists, other Jews began showing up. Some wore kippot, and others did not. Our numbers never grew to more than a dozen. As the afternoon grew hotter, so did the anger hurled at us. The cries of “Fascists! Nazis! Baby Killers!” by the Palestinians, however, were met with “I don’t hate you” and “We want peace” by the Jews.

In those moments, I was proud of the side I had chosen. And when the next threat of pogrom happens, I will be there again. I will stand because I refuse to be counted among those who stand aloof when their brothers and sisters are in trouble.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Christian Zionism, Jewish-Christian relations, Obadiah

Why the Recent Uptick of Israeli Activity in Syria?

Sept. 23 2022

On September 16 and 17, the IDF carried out airstrikes in the vicinity of Damascus, reportedly aimed at Iranian logistical centers there. These follow on an increase in the frequency of such attacks in recent weeks, which have included strikes on the Aleppo airport on August 31 and September 6. Jonathan Spyer comments:

The specific targeting of the Aleppo airport is almost certainly related to recent indications that Iran is relying increasingly on its “air bridge” to Syria and Lebanon, because of Israel’s successful and systematic targeting of efforts to move weaponry and equipment by land [via Iraq]. But the increased tempo of activity is not solely related to the specific issue of greater use of air transport by Teheran. Rather, it is part of a broader picture of increasing regional tension. There are a number of factors that contribute to this emergent picture.

Firstly, Russia appears to be pulling back in Syria. . . . There are no prospects for a complete Russian withdrawal. The air base at Khmeimim and the naval facilities at Tartus and Latakia are hard strategic assets which will be maintained. The maintenance of Assad’s rule is also a clear objective for Moscow. But beyond this, the Russians are busy now with a flailing, faltering military campaign in Ukraine. Moscow lacks the capacity for two close strategic engagements at once.

Secondly, assuming that some last-minute twist does not occur, it now looks like a return to the [2015 nuclear deal] is not imminent. In the absence of any diplomatic process related to the Iranian nuclear program, and given Israeli determination to roll back Iran’s regional ambitions, confrontation becomes more likely.

Lastly, it is important to note that the uptick in Israeli activity is clearly not related to Syria alone. Rather, it is part of a more general broadening and deepening by Israel in recent months of its assertive posture toward the full gamut of Iranian activity in the region. . . . The increasing scope and boldness of Israeli air activity in Syria reflects this changing of the season.

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Read more at Jonathan Spyer

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Syria, War in Ukraine