This past summer has been eventful for Israel, for the Jewish People and for ALDEN FILMS. On June 18-19 CUFI (Christians United For Israel) held their annual Washington Summit. This year the gathering, while having fewer attendees and speakers due to the Democratic and Republican conventions, compensated by the eloquence of its speakers and the passion of its members. The founder of CUFI, the Reverend John Hagee, spoke about his founding of Christians United For Israel in 2006, with an initial membership of 400. CUFI was founded because of his premonition that the US government would not be as friendly toward Israel in the future as it was at that time. Clearly his fear has proven to be correct.
Reverend Hagee spoke about physical threats made to him and his family after the founding of CUFI, which included shotgun blasts at his home as well as a constant barrage of threatening antisemitic phone calls and letters. In spite of this, Reverend Hagee has continued his leadership of CUFI, taking it to its current state as the largest pro-Israel organization in the world, with a membership of more than 3 million. In his talk Reverend Hagee declared that the credo of CUFI is fourfold: Israel’s Enemies are our Enemies; Antisemitism is Evil; Replacement Theology (1) is Antisemitism, and last, that this time The Church will not be Silent (2).
The most eloquent speaker was Colonel Richard Kemp, British Army retired and former head of British forces in Afghanistan. Colonel Kemp evoked the three words that are ever present in the US and European dialogue with Islam: Tolerance, Peace and Goodwill, stating provocatively that “There is too much Tolerance, Peace and Goodwill to Islam. Tolerance is literally killing us.”
French Premier Manuel Valles said that France should learn to live with terror. France’s policy of appeasement has not worked. The agreement with Iran has emboldened Iran’s policy of terrorism (Hezbollah) and the building of a nuclear bomb. We’ve been paralyzed by the fear of enraging Muslims. 1268 Islamic terror attacks have been launched in the past year, 2015. This is the price of appeasement. In the 40’s and 50’s, former German/NAZI SS officers trained Arab terrorists, later supplanted by the Soviet Union and Left Wing groups in Germany, Latin America and Asia. The West ignored this because the Jews (i.e., Israel) were the targets. Today, however, the West itself is the target, with massacres in New York, San Bernardino, Orlando, London, Madrid, Nice, Paris, Brussels; the mass rapes by Muslims in Germany, Britain, and Scandinavia, and the thousands of unreported attacks by Muslims worldwide.
The Western media is complicit with Hamas and Hezbollah in demonizing Israel. The effect of criticizing Israel spurs Hamas to make even more attacks. The European Union has blamed the violence in Europe on Israel. The BBC is frightened to name Radical Islam as the cause of terror. Clearly, if you cannot name the enemy, you cannot defeat it. ISIS has inspired Muslims worldwide but it never attacks any Iranian entity.
Colonel Kemp’s sobering comments were followed by Israel’s Ambassador Danny Danon, who spoke about Israel as being the only country in the Middle East where people live without fear to worship their religion. Ambassador Danon accused the UN of giving legitimacy to the demonizing of Israel. According to the UN, Israel is the source of all the violence in the Middle East. There are 22 resolutions against Israel, versus one resolution against North Korea, Syria and Iran. The UN has even blamed Israel for domestic violence of Palestinian women by Palestinian men, even climate change is blamed on Israel. UNESCO, a UN entity, has even declared the Western Wall a Muslim holy site. This obsession of hate is endemic in this world organization. But it continues and will continue to grow unless the West puts an end to it. Sadly, this does not seem to be the policy of UNESCO, the UN, or the US. Thus tacitly the West gives further validity to Jew hatred.
One of the most inspiring people at the CUFI Summit was Jessica Marzucco, Director of Education of CUFI On Campus, which has a nationwide membership of between 4000 and 6000 students. CUFI fights antisemitism and BDS on 165+ college campuses nationwide. Marzucco’s career started in her freshman year in 2009 at Regent University when she saw a brochure about a trip to Israel sponsored by CUFI. She went to Israel and was enthralled by the experience. In 2010 she attended the first CUFI Summit in Washington and became an active member of CUFI On Campus. Ms. Marzucco now runs the Bonhoeffer Fellowship, a yearly course on organizing branches of CUFI On Campus., and as part of the course, holds an intensive seminar in San Antonio for all participants. The course involves implementing initiatives on hot topic issues, and advocacy training. According to Ms. Marzucco, the younger millennial generation is asking hard questions about “right” and “wrong,” contrary to their media depiction as shallow pre-adults with a relativistic, mind- numbing view of morality. In actuality, they really have a hunger for the truth. Because the case for Israel is the case of “good vs. evil” and “right vs. not right,” the true story of Israel and BDS must be presented in that light.
However, since an overwhelmingly anti-Israel story is continually being promoted by the media, by Muslim student organizations, anti-Israel, antisemitic groups, many faculty members, and by mainstream churches (Presbyterian Church USA, United Church of Christ, The Quakers, et. al.), the challenge is daunting. And since Muslim and anti-Israel leftwing groups use strategies of breaking up meetings with shouting (similar to the modus operandi of Communist Party members in the 1930s), they intimidate and prevent the presentation of pro-Israel views to groups on campus. Their strategy of shutting down any pro-Israel points of view has been successful because of their terrorizing of students as well as the fact that in many instances college administrators ignore the incidents, rarely punishing the Muslim students/professional agitators —or if they do, it is a minor punishment— never suspension or expulsion from the college. The wink, wink attitude of colleges toward the terroristic activity directed at Jewish students presents a great challenge. As Ms. Marzucco states, “Whoever gets there first (in presenting their case) wins.” Justice motivates millenials more than anything else, and presenting the case for Israel must be couched in this concept. Ms. Marzucco also said that occasionally CUFI On Campus works with the Jewish groups STAND WITH US and HILLEL in combatting antisemitism on college campuses. CUFI On Campus gives Jewish groups the courage to fight back against the onslaught of Jew hatred that has now become commonplace at many colleges. CUFI On Campus was created by Pastor John Hagee in response to the plight of Jewish students on college campuses who were being constantly attacked, vilified and demonized for their support of Israel: he didn’t want them to be alone, without friends and supporters. CUFI On Campus is a tribute to CUFI for its heartfelt love of Israel and the Jewish People, especially now in their time of greatest need. Clearly CUFI On Campus, next to CUFI’s moral and political support, is essential. A very sobering recent study has shown that while two thirds of Americans support Israel versus the Palestinians, college students have the opposite view, with two thirds of them having a negative view of Israel in regard to the Palestinians. This shows what hate disguised as religion, academic freedom, and political terrorism can do. Today’s students will soon be our leaders. Changing their views and opinions is mandatory. Such a task is formidable, but with people like Jessica Marzucco, truth and justice will overcome the lies against Israel.
On August 1, I gave a presentation on Antisemitism Then and Now at NewCaje —the largest Jewish educators conference in North America— at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. For the past 4 years ALDEN FILMS has been distributing the DVD lectures of the Vidal Sassoon International Center For The Study of Antisemitism at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Last year ALDEN published the first ever media catalogue on Antisemitism. Although I have often been a presenter, showing films to educators and librarians along with a talk, this was my first time as a presenter without the aid of a film. Instead, I used Prezi (similar to powerpoint) along with participation of the attendees for my 90 minute workshop.
One of the attendees had recently been a delegate at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia. Her comments were electrifying as she described the rampant antisemitism at the convention: Palestinian flags; the burning of Israel’s flag; Bernie Sanders’ supporters blaming Jews for much of the misfortune in the world, along with the elevation of anti-Israel delegates (Cornell West, et al) to the foreign policy platform committee. She was understandingly shocked and felt betrayed as a loyal Democrat, Jew and American. Her comments and those of the others pleased me as to my presentation’s effectiveness, but also saddened me as to the inroads that Antisemitism has made in our country. It is not just BDS alone that we’re fighting: It’s our right and responsibility as Jews, Americans and lovers of Israel to stand up to the challenge of combatting Jew hatred in all its guises wherever we find it.
There can no longer be any sacred cows that we dare not criticize. Coincidentally, during the conference it was revealed that the US sent cash (ransom) to Iran, to free Americans there and to insure the Nuclear deal with Iran (Wall Street Journal August 3).
Hopefully there are no longer illusions about the Iran deal which absolves Iran of terrorism and permits them to build and use nuclear bombs, or illusions about the attitude of most countries (including the US) toward Israel, countries that negotiated this heinous agreement.
To further ALDEN’s mission to speak out about Antisemitism by providing workshops to the public and educators, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 732-462-3522.
- Replacement Theology is the doctrine that after Christ the Jews no longer have a place in history.
- During and leading up the Holocaust, the Church was silent about the plight of the Jews.