There is a Modern Crusade against Israel and the Jews. It is a Christian- and Muslim-inspired coalition founded on Jew-hate. It aims to take our land from us. It seeks our destruction.
Look at recent headlines.
In Israel, the ‘Silent Intifada’ against the Jewish State continues. Arabs attack Jews (“Arab Terrorists Try to Burn Jews Alive in Jerusalem”, Arutz Sheva, October 17, 2014). Arabs desecrate Judaism’s holiest site, The Temple Mount (“Muslims on Temple Mount Attack Police with Fireworks, Rocks and Live Ammunition”, Israelvideonetwork, October 9, 2014).
In Europe, anti-Semitism reaches fearsome heights (“‘Gas the Jews!’: European anti-Semitism during the Gaza crisis”, Vox, July 21, 2014). Jew-hate reaches epic proportions (“Antisemitism on rise across Europe 'in worst times since the Nazis'”, The Guardian, August 7, 2014). The European Union supports anti-Semitism with its diplomatic warfare against Israel (“EU Officials Weighing 'Settler Travel Ban' to Press Israel”, Arutz Sheva, October 14, 2014).
In New York, the United Nations (UN) continues to seek advice for ‘peace’ in the Middle East. But it ignores Israel. It prefers a terror organization (Hezbollah) that has declared Israel “an enemy of all humanity” (“UN Envoy Meets Hezbollah Leader Who Called to Destroy Israel”, Arutz Sheva, October 17, 2014).
In Washington, D.C., the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, pursues his own ‘peace’ in the Middle East. But he ignores Arab Jew-hate. He declares that Israel’s failure to implement a two-state solution created The Islamic State (“Kerry Blames ISIS on Failure in Israeli Peace Talks”, Arutz Sheva, October 17, 2014).
For more than a thousand years, anti-Semitism has called Jews the representation of absolute evil (“The untold truth: 150 million Europeans hate Israel”, antisemitism.org, July 14, 2013). Today, the world prepares a Modern Crusade to ‘exorcise’ that evil.
In South Africa, politicians demonize the Jewish State. They declare that, unique among the nations, Israel’s very existence is a humanitarian evil (“Israel’s founding a ‘crime against humanity,’ says South Africa’s ANC”, Times of Israel, September 14, 2014).
In America, Protestant clergy blame Israel for Arab Jew-hate (“Presbyterian Church group: Zionism is the problem”, Times of Israel, February 11, 2014). They equate Zionism with a bastardized brand of Christian exceptionalism that they claim led to the Nazi Holocaust (ibid). They say Zionism is heresy (“Presbyterian stances causing tension with Jews”, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 22, 2014).
From the Vatican, the Catholic Church says it wants Israel to surrender both the Western Wall and the world’s holiest Jewish site, The Temple Mount (“Op-Ed: Expose: The Vatican - PLO Pact”, Arutz Sheva, February 9, 2102). The Church of England, meanwhile, supports UK Anglican clerics who hate Jews (“Christians who hate Jews”, Arutz Sheva, February 19, 2012).
Christianity is busy. It wants ‘justice’ in the Middle East. But instead of justice, it creates “a kind of demonology that bans Israel from the family of nations” (ibid). For ‘justice’, Christianity participates in a Crusade that demonizes the Jewish Israel.
The Haftorah we read at the beginning of our holiday, Succot, spoke to us of the nations gathering to attack the Jewish Nation. Now, more than two thousand years later, our news headlines report on that gathering storm.
The rabidly anti-Semitic Hamas Charter declares that Jews cause international strife. The US Secretary of State echoes that declaration. King David spoke of the collusion between Edom and Ishmael (Psalm 83). Almost three thousand years later, our news headlines report it to us.
Religious Zionism, which calls for Jews to embrace both G-d and Israel, is not frightened by the hate—or the Crusade. The first Rashi (1040-1105) commentary we read in this past Torah Portion, B’reisheit, explains why: G-d began the Torah with the story of Creation in order to remind us that, when individuals and nations sin, they ‘qualify’ to be expelled from their place of settlement. Adam and Eve were expelled from their place of settlement (the Garden of Eden) because of sin. The generation of the Flood was removed from the world altogether for its sins. The generation of the Dispersion (Parshat Noah) was removed from its land of settlement because of sin (The Ramban, B’reisheit, 1:1).
The Ramban (c1194-c1276) tells us (ibid) that Creation is all about G-d. He creates. He gives life. He punishes. One way He punishes is by banishing individuals and nations. That’s why the Canaanites were expelled from their land (when the Jews replaced them). It’s also why Jews were exiled from Israel. They sinned.
Secular ‘Zionists’ are overwhelmed by the pressure that emanates from the Christian- and Muslim-inspired Crusade. But our Torah’s very first Rashi creates the foundation stone to resist that pressure: we are here because G-d brought us here. This land is ours because G-d gave it to us (“Rabbi Moshe Lichtman, Eretz Yisrael in the Parshah, Devorah Publishing, Jerusalem, p.19-21).
Religious Zionists have the answer for Modern Crusaders who peddle hate in order to take away our land: you have no rights here. This land comes to us from G-d, not you. We are His Chosen. He Chose to put us here. The Bible is our deed.
The G-d of Israel has a Story for you to read. It’s the Story of the Jewish Redemption.
Israel lives to empower that Story. Religious Zionism lives because G-d created that Story.