fbpx
News

In 2021 Israel stood increasingly alone. But she is not alone.  

24 December 2021

As we look back on 2021, and forward to 2022, we can see a number of very significant trends and developments concerning Israel, the Jewish people and the nations. The overall picture is: while Jews in the diaspora are being increasingly vilified, and Israel is being increasingly isolated on the world stage, the Lord is bringing His people home, never to be uprooted, as He has promised.

According to the Israeli Ministry of Aliyah and Integration and The Jewish Agency for Israel, “aliyah” to Israel (ie. Jews immigrating into Israel from other countries) increased by around 30% in 2021. By the beginning of October, 20,360 olim (new immigrants) had arrived in Israel, compared to 15,598 during the corresponding period in 2020.  Most came from Russia (5,075), USA (3,104), France (2,819), Ukraine (2,123), Belarus (780), Argentina (633), UK (490), Brazil (438) and South Africa (373), and Ethiopia (1,589). In total, 3,340,000 immigrants have made Aliyah to Israel since the state’s establishment in 1948.  The population of Israel today is about 9.4 million, of which 74% are Jews.

A related trend, unfortunately, has a been a marked rise in antisemitism and anti-Zionism over 2021. Reports from around the world indicated a sharp rise in antisemitic incidents in 2021. According to Margaritis Schinas, European Commission Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, “antisemitism is tragically again on the rise, exacerbated by the context of the pandemic.”
Anti-Zionism and the BDS movement have also been prominent, particularly on university campuses in the US, UK and other parts of the Western world. According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), “the conflict between Israel and Hamas in May 2021 was a flashpoint for anti-Israel activism on campus” in the US.

Alliances and political and religious dynamics in the Middle East are shifting rapidly. The “Iranian problem” is perhaps the biggest threat to Israel at the moment. Iran is close to achieving production of nuclear weapons, and is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. The so-called JCPOA negotiations with Iran in Vienna over recent months have failed. The US is showing reluctance to use the military option against Iran. Iran is supporting Hamas in Gaza and West Bank and Hezbollah on Israel’s northern border on Lebanon, as well as infiltrating Syria. Israel has been carrying out military operations throughout 2021 against Iranian installations in Syria, and has vowed not to allow Iran to achieve nuclear weapons. Israel is preparing different military and non-military options to destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Tensions are rising, and conflict is brewing.

On the other hand, Israel continues to build on the Abraham Accords signed with UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan in 2020. Trade and investment, research, cultural exchanges and religious ties are growing in the region as a result.

A number of developments within the United Nations and related institutions present real threats to Israel’s security. The May 2021 conflict with Hamas has provoked several initiatives to investigate and criticize Israel. Most ignore the existential threats facing Israel as it seeks to manage radical Islamist terror organizations on its doorstep. One of these is the newly-created UN Human Rights Council “Commission of Inquiry”. Anne Bayefsky warns that the “primary purpose” of the inquiry is “to delegitimize the Jewish state by characterizing it as guilty of “systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity.” The mandate and structure of the “inquiry” have been designed to rewrite history from 1948, to find Israel guilty of apartheid and to declare the “root causes” of “conflict” to be Jewish infringement of Muslim rights. The plan is for (false) claims of racism to validate and unleash criminal prosecutions of Israelis and demands upon “third states” and “business enterprises” to boycott, divest and sanction Israel.”

In 2021, Human Rights Watch published a horribly distorted report alleging that Israel is guilty of the crimes of apartheid and discrimination. The authors twist and distort the law of apartheid, as Josh Kern and Anne Herzberg demonstrate in their recent analysis. But the damage is done: Israel is perceived by the wider community and media as being an “apartheid state”, á la South Africa. This all feeds into the “delegitimization” of the Jewish State. On this note, in 2022 we can also expect to see the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court move forward with investigation of Israeli leaders for the so-called “war crimes” of settlements – including the presence of Jewish communities in “East Jerusalem”. In 2021, the Court came down with a ruling that it has “territorial jurisdiction” to prosecute Israelis, even though Israel is not a member of the Court.

All of these developments are signs that Jerusalem is a “cup of trembling” (Zechariah 12), and that the Gentiles will “trample on Jerusalem” until the times of the Gentiles have come to an end (Luke 21). They are signs that the Lord is returning His favour to the Jewish people, and that He will fulfil in them all of His wonderful purposes of restoration and reconciliation (see Romans 9-11). The day is coming that Jerusalem will “shine like the dawn” (Isaiah 62).

Israel is not alone. The Lord is with her. He who watches over Israel “will neither slumber nor sleep, He watches over her comings and goings, from now to evermore” (Psalm 121).

We wish all our readers a blessed Christmas Season and peaceful New Year.

The Editorial Team – Israel & Christians Today

2021: some major global trends affecting Israel
by Andrew Tucker

 

Antisemitism in Australia

Julie Nathan, ECAJ Research Director, and author of the 2021 Antisemitism Report, stated that, “The Israel-Hamas war in May 2021 contributed to the increase in antisemitic incidents. Behind the statistics lie some horrific personal stories of persistent antisemitic bullying of Jewish students at schools, the brutal physical assault of a man on his way to synagogue, the spray painting of “Free Palestine. Fuck Zionist. Free Palestine” on the signage at the front of a synagogue in Adelaide, the flying of a Nazi flag above a synagogue in Brisbane, and the draping of two Palestinian flags and two shredded Israeli flags at the front entrance of a synagogue in Sydney.  What is perhaps worse is the disgraceful discourse online and occasionally in the mainstream media of those who, for whatever reason, seek to rationalise or minimise this egregious behaviour.” In addition, Nathan warned of “extremist groups and individuals, whether religious or ideological, who continued to espouse violence against Jews”. Nathan identified the main offenders as the extremist Islamist group, Hizb ut’Tahrir, and the neo-Nazi group, National Socialist Network.
Read more

Call for Sydney Festival boycott over Israeli funding

Nick Galvin at The Sydney Morning Herald writes: “A coalition representing Sydney’s Arab community and others are calling on patrons and performers to boycott next January’s Sydney Festival in response to the festival’s $20,000 partnership with the Israeli Embassy in Canberra. The money will be used to stage a performance at the Sydney Opera House of work by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. In addition, novelist and community organiser Michael Mohammed Ahmad, who had been due to join the festival board, has now refused to take up the position in protest.”
Read more

Erdogan’s Turkey and Hamas: A natural partnership

Jonathan Spyer writes: “At a conference in Istanbul [early December], Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh expressed his gratitude for the role that Turkey is playing in the advancement of the Palestinian cause. ‘From the land of the beloved Turkey, which is always etched in the conscience of our [Muslim] ummah (nation),’ Haniyeh told conference participants, according to the Turkish news agency Anadolu. ‘We feel proud to participate in this conference.’”
Read more

US diplomatic failure on Iran may force Israel to fight for its life, again

James Sinkinson writes at JNS: “US diplomatic failure on Iran may force Israel to fight for its life, again. Israel may soon conclude it has no good options—only bad and worse ones. Israel has long understood it cannot allow its enemies the ability to destroy it. It has also learned that when enemies say they will annihilate the Jewish people, it must take that threat seriously.
Read more

Abraham Accords represent a groundbreaking model for Mideast peace

Fleur Hassan-Nahoum and Jonathan Harounoff write at JNS: “Even under a Biden administration that has at times shown reluctance to perpetuate a Trumpian agenda, unprecedented agreements continue to be forged in this new era of economic prosperity, security cooperation and cultural exchange that we cannot ignore.”
Read more

Pillay’s pogrom: A call to action against new UN ‘inquiry’ to devastate the Jewish state

Anne Bayefsky (Director, Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust) writes at Human Rights Voices: “The  so-called U.N. “Human Rights” Council has initiated an anti-Israel venture to outdo the legions of all U.N. anti-Israel schemes ever devised. Deceitfully labeled a “Commission of Inquiry,” it is headed by former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, South African Navi Pillay. In short, the U.N. has launched Pillay’s Pogrom. It is imperative not to underestimate the anti-Semitic path of destruction that Pillay and her partners intend to pave. Given her history and the diabolical format of the new “inquiry,” all those who truly care about combating modern anti-Semitism need to respond. In practice, the “inquiry” itself has issued a “Call for Submissions” and answering this call provides such an opportunity.”
Read more

False Knowledge as Power: Deconstructing Definitions of Apartheid that Delegitimise the Jewish State

Joshua Kern and Anne Herzberg write at NGO Monitor: “HRW, B’Tselem, and other NGOs promote artificial and manufactured definitions designed to extend the ongoing campaigns that seek to delegitimize and demonize Israel.”

Read more

Israel’s Moment of Truth in Dealing with Hamas
Dr. Kobi Michael writes at INSS: “Hamas is now driven by a “dual resistance strategy” that seeks to preserve quiet in the Gaza Strip while consolidating a military infrastructure in the West Bank and southern Lebanon and organizing terrorist activity against Israel. Therefore, now is the time for Israel to take the initiative, at a moment that from its perspective is most auspicious, to wage an ongoing, critical attack on Hamas’s military infrastructures in all its theaters of activity – even if this undermines the chances of reaching an arrangement.”
Read more

There is No Difference| Romans 9-11 with Johannes Gerloff #2

There is no distinction between Jew and gentile. This is one of the decisive insights the apostles and Paul have been communicating to the world. However, the distinction between Jew and non-Jew are crucial if we wish to be effective and fruitful – just as much as the difference between employer and employee or the distinction between male and female.

 

 

Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the Lord. “Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.”
Zechariah 2 : 10-11