Israeli Holocaust Survivors and participants in the “Beauty From Ashes” tour. (Israel 365)
The past month has been filled with milestones for Israel: the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel, the 51st anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, and the historic move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, among others.
Another symbolic milestone for Israel and for Jews around the world was American politician Michele Bachmann’s public apology for the mistreatment of Jewish people throughout history. But a lesser known apology was also shared last month by a German native and her church in an effort to make amends for the tragedy of the Holocaust.
Ines Rogg, a German native, and her church group recently made a generous donation in the name of their Pastor Gerd Rodenwald to the Israel365 Charity Fund for support of Holocaust survivors.
“We belong to a church who believes only in one God, which bring us close to the Jewish faith. We have a very close relationship with the Nation of Israel,” said Rogg about the gift.
Donna Jollay, director of Christian relations for Israel365 said, “The Church had a 2,000-year history of direct involvement in brutally persecuting the Jewish People as in the crusades, pogroms, mass expulsions, and forced conversions,” she said. As such, the Israel365 Charity Fund has been collecting and distributing funds raised from Christians for Israeli Holocaust survivors.
Last month, the Israel365 Fund, in cooperation with an Israeli organization called Adopt-A-Safta, organized a lunch event for a group of Israeli Holocaust survivors. This event was made possible by Rogg’s donation.
Adopt-A-Safta reports that 40 percent of Holocaust survivors in Israel feel lonely, and that thousands of elderly survivors lack financial stability. At the lunch event, the group of Holocaust survivors were treated to a warm meal and were each given a cash gift to ease some of their financial burden.
“This was beyond meaningful to me as a Christian to be able to reach out and honor and bless the survivors,” said Jollay. “Because of the sad reality that both Germany and Poland were recognized as very Christian nations, it is inescapable for those who survived this most horrific of times, to not associate what was done with the Church.”
Also participating in the event were Christians touring on Israel365’s “Beauty from Ashes” tour. This tour began in Poland and finished 10 days later in Israel. The tour highlighted the juxtaposition between the Jewish experience during the Holocaust and the miraculous rebirth of the State of Israel some three years after WWII.
“Having recently been in Poland, the tour participants were all the more so moved by meeting and speaking directly to the Holocaust survivors at the event,” said Ayal Kellman, a staff member of Israel365 who helped organize the event.
“One of the greatest things that I have learnt is that God is brining the Jews and the Gentile Christians together for such a time as this,” said tour participant Danny Ortiz.
As Israel’s Holocaust survivors continue to age, Adopt-A-Safta emphasizes that we must continue to act responsibly “while we still are blessed with the presence of this holy generation.”
“As survivors are now in their 80s and 90s, it is critically important to get to meet them and hear their stories while we still have them with us, and to let them know that we care and that they are seen,” said Jollay.
The event was impactful for all in attendance.
“One of the most poignant moments was when one of the survivors shares that this was a first,” said Jollay. “She had never had a Christian express any interest in her. And she was so blessed that we did.”
Members of Students for Justice in Palestine speak at the “Palestine Without Borders” session at the 2018 United We Dream National Congress. Photo: Youth Empowerment Alliance.
A pro-Israel group on Thursday denounced an “antisemitic” session recently hosted by an immigrant youth organization, which compared Israel with Nazi Germany and equated the movement for Jewish self-determination with white supremacy and genocide.
69% of progressives are ashamed to be Americans, but 63% are proud of their political ideology instead. The majority don’t attend religious services, but 73% list politics as their preoccupation.
Numbers from one poll showed that, “religiously unaffiliated Democrats were more than twice as likely to have attended a rally within the past 12 months compared with their religious peers” and were “significantly more likely to have contacted an elected official or to have donated to a candidate or cause” or “bought or boycotted a product for political reasons or posted political opinions online”.
Campus Week: A guide for Jewish students and their elders
Anti-Zionism ghettoizes Jews from the rest of the justice movement, putting a wall around us that separates us from other marginalized people. It cannot be reconciled with any movement striving for inclusivity. It denies us access to solidarity-based movements which should be fighting for equality, for historically oppressed peoples. As American Jewish students return to campus, they should prepare to be challenged academically and intellectually, and should also prepare to challenge movements that don’t respect Zionism and their Jewish heritage.
The Jerusalem Post reviewed a video showing two speakers who called for the “liberation of all of Palestine 48” and “we must take a stand and boycott Israel. BDS.” The slogan to “liberate all of Palestine” reverts to the founding of the Jewish state in 1948 and is widely considered a euphemism to cleanse Israel of Jews.
The German Middle East expert Thomas von der Osten-Sacken wrote an article on the website of the Austrian-based think tank Mena-Watch, with the headline “Speaker at indivisible demonstration calls for Israel’s destruction.” The protest was called #unteilbar (indivisible) by its organizers.
From 1998 to 2008, 5.4 million Congolese died as a result of civil war. Most of the Congolese asylum seekers in Israel came during this period.
It is now the turn of hundreds of asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to be deported back to their country. The Foreign Ministry has implied that the conditions that justified collective protection to Congolese asylum seekers no longer prevail and that there is nothing to prevent them from returning home safely. The Population, Immigration and Border Authority (PIBA) has given them 90 days to leave the country.
With its decades-old track record of murder and mayhem, Hamas has already secured itself a place in the annals of infamy.
From bus bombings to underground terror tunnels to the indiscriminate firing of thousands of rockets and projectiles at Israeli towns and cities, the Islamic extremist group has repeatedly found new ways to sow widespread death and destruction.
Since Israel’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza in 2005, the standard of living for the Palestinian people in Gaza has steadily declined, even though Israel gifted the Palestinians with thriving agricultural lands, productive greenhouses and beautiful beachfront communities.
Every once in a while, I come across a book that I can say changed the way I understand the world I live in. Raymond Ibrahim’s new book, Sword and Scimitar, altered the way I understand the development of our civilization – I mean the one that America inherited from Europe and made our own. It drove home to me how little I knew about the way Islam – in the form of attempted and often successful conquest – really changed the way our civilization evolved and the way it grew to understand itself.
American Thinker: “How War with Islam Shaped and Defined Us”
“In the Hadith, the Day of Judgment will never happen until you fight the Jews,” Hatem Bazian reportedly declared, “until the trees and stones will say, oh Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him!”
That was in 1999.
Two years later, Bazian had co-founded Students for Justice in Palestine. Three years later, 79 members of his new SJP hate group were busted for disrupting a Holocaust Remembrance Day event.
Iran is a formidable enemy. A large country of more than 80 million people, endowed with energy riches, it has always been a regional power. Having an imperial past and revolutionary zeal (since the 1979 Iranian Revolution), Iran nourishes ambitions to rule over the Middle East and beyond. Furthermore, theologically there is no place in Iranian thinking for a Jewish state.