Christians, Now Is the Time to Stand Up for Jews and Actively Denounce Antisemitism Everywhere

By Michael Brown Published on April 24, 2024

As followers of Jesus, we are often grieved over the compromise and cowardice of previous generations of American Christians. With righteous indignation, we say, “Had I lived in the days of slavery or segregation, I would have taken a stand. I would have spoken up!”

In the same way, we decry the compromise and cowardice of European Christians during the Holocaust, stating with deep conviction, “I would have been like Dietrich Bonhoeffer! I would have acted like Corrie Ten Boom!”

In the process, we condemn our own compromise and cowardice today.

Jesus had some harsh words for the religious hypocrites of His own day, when He said,

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!” (Matthew 23:29–32 NIV)

Not many days later, some of those same men were complicit in the death of the Son of God, the preeminent Prophet sent to Israel.

Today, as university protesters on American college campuses call for genocide and shout, “We are Hamas!” it is time for Christians across the nation to speak up on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people.

1938 Berlin

The protesters chant, “Hamas, make us proud, kill another soldier now!” Therefore, Christians must shout even louder, “This must stop on our campuses, and it must stop now!”

The New York Post noted that

one Jewish Columbia University student was repeatedly kicked in the stomach during the protests, and an agitator reportedly told her to “kill yourself.”

Billionaire Bill Ackman posted about the protests on X, asking, “How would @Columbia respond if the students took over campus in support of the KKK and called for the genocide of other ethnic minorities? Would @Columbia continue to support the demonstrations on the basis of a commitment to free speech or would the University’s code of Conduct suddenly have operative impact?”

According to the Post, another Jewish student at Columbia said that “anti-Israel protesters snatched and burned his Israeli flag, then struck him in the face with rocks during campus unrest over the weekend.”

Jews in a railway car in the way to the death camp during the Second World War in Europe at the time of the Holocaust.

Other Jewish students, and at least one Jewish professor — Israeli-born professor Shai Davidai — were actually blocked from the campus. In fact, the moment Davidai discovered his entry card had been deactivated was captured on video. He later posted on X, “Earlier today, @Columbia University refused to let me onto campus. Why? Because they cannot protect my safety as a Jewish professor. This is 1938.”

In Our Own Schools

Things got to the point that, on Sunday, the school’s Orthodox rabbi issued a call for all Jewish students to leave campus for their own safety, just one day before the eve of Passover.

Columbia University is just one of a growing number of college campuses marred by ugly, anti-Jewish protests.

Christian friends, this is happening today, in our country, on our campuses, on our watch. How can we be silent?

Earlier this month, I was visiting some Indian Christians who live in Texas, showing them footage of the protests outside the Israeli embassy that I encountered last month. Their son, a college student commented, “That’s how my university looks.”

His parents added, “This is what’s happening in our younger children’s schools, too.” This was in Texas!

I ask again: How can we be silent?

Repeating Itself

Nine members of Corrie ten Boom’s family were sent to German concentration camps for hiding Jews during World War II. Four of them died of starvation there before the war ended.

I ask the same question of my Christian friends in Europe, where their Jewish neighbors increasingly fear for their lives. (For documentation from England, see here. For Germany, see here. For France, see here.)

Remember that these protests are not a simple matter of fair-minded people raising concerns about the suffering of Palestinian civilians as Israel wages war against Hamas; they are frontal assaults on Israel as a nation and ugly attacks on the Jewish people as a whole. They are calls for the death of the “evil occupiers” and the elimination of the “wicked colonizers.”

These are rallies celebrating the demonic actions of Hamas.

After the Holocaust, Rabbi Ephraim Oshry, one of the few Lithuanian rabbis who survived it, wrote:

“Another shocking surprise for us was the position taken by the Lithuanian populace —our ‘good’ Christian neighbors. There was literally not one gentile among the Christians of Slobodka who openly defended Jews at a time when Slobodka ‘s ten thousand Jews, with whom they had lived together all their lives, were threatened with the most horrible pogrom imaginable.

Where are these “good Christian neighbors” today?

History Teaches Us

More forcefully still, Jewish philosopher Eliezer Berkovits wrote,

After nineteen centuries of Christianity, the extermination of six million Jews, among them one-and-a-half million children, carried out in cold blood in the very heart of Christian Europe, encouraged by the criminal silence of virtually all Christendom, including that of an infallible Holy Father in Rome, was the natural culmination of this bankruptcy. A straight line leads from the first act of oppression against the Jews and Judaism in the fourth century to the holocaust in the twentieth.

These words may sting, but they are true, at least in terms of professing Christians. Why is it only the tiniest minority who, historically, have said to their Jewish neighbors and colleagues, “If they come after you, they will have come after us as well”?

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With good reason Basilea Schlink, the courageous Lutheran woman who stood up to the Nazis, penned these words after the Holocaust:

We are personally to blame. We all have to admit that if we, the entire Christian community, had stood up as one man and if, after the burning of the synagogues [on Krystallnacht, November 9, 1938], we had gone out on the streets and voiced our disapproval, rung the church bells, and somehow boycotted the actions of the S.S., the Devil’s vassals would probably not have been at such liberty to pursue their evil schemes. But we lacked the ardor of love – love that is never passive, love that cannot bear it when its fellowmen are in misery, particularly when they are subjected to such appalling treatment and tortured to death. Indeed, if we had loved God, we would not have endured seeing those houses of God set ablaze; and holy, divine wrath would have filled our souls. . . . Oh, that we as Germans and as Christians would stand aghast and cry out ever anew, ‘What have we done!’ At every further evidence of our guilt may we repeat the cry.

Call to Action

It is my fervent prayer that Christians across America and around the world would not be silent today, would not lack that “ardor of love,” would not have to say in retrospect, “Why were we so indifferent in the face of such evil?”

Today — when your life is not at risk for standing with the Jewish people and when concentration camps, torture, and starvation are not awaiting you for sheltering Jews — is the time to stand up in every way you know how, from social media to the streets and from your place of business to the campuses, to raise your voice to say to the Jewish people, “You are not alone! We are standing with you! Never again!”

Then do whatever you can, whenever you can, wherever you can, however you can. And by all means, regardless of cost or consequence, do not be silent!

 

Dr. Michael Brown is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. He is the author of more than 40 books, including Can You be Gay and Christian?; Our Hands Are Stained With Blood; and Seize the Moment: How to Fuel the Fires of Revival. You can connect with him on Facebook, X, or YouTube.

 

 

 

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