Friday, 28 January 2011

Was the Holocaust a Mistake?

Today, a friend sent me an article entitled “All European Life Died in Auschwitz” by a writer called Sebastian Vilar Rodriguez and allegedly published in a Spanish newspaper on 15 January 2008. I told my friend I would blog the email but, as I read it more carefully, I began to feel uneasy.

The fact that the “Spanish newspaper” was not named, that no date of publication was included and that on the web, Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez’s name only exists in reference to this article made me mistrust it. Bernie at Planck Constant also reckons that no European Paper would have the courage to publish anything as provocative as this article. Jihadwatch reports that since 2004, reports that Spain, where the article is said to have originated, has been encouraging Muslim immigration since 2004.

It looks as though the article originally appeared on the Spanish website Gentiuno (after all, who’s going to firebomb a website?).

What also began to ring alarm bells for me was that the latter half of the article was cobbled together from at least three other email postings I’ve received in recent years. Even if the piece is as fake as a 40 pence coin, there is much in it that is true. But the piece bears all the marks of a clumsily stitched together diatribe.

The article begins:

I walked down the street in Barcelona , and suddenly discovered a terrible truth - Europe died in Auschwitz ... We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world.

The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned.

All well and good but the article concludes ominously:

We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs.

What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe.

To say Europe made “a terrible mistake” in killing six million Jews falls horrendously far short of the mark. To call the Holocaust a “mistake” is to trivialise a crime of monumental proportions. The Holocaust was a devilish attempt to exterminate the Jewish people. If, however, Mr Vilar Rodriguez is saying Europe killed the wrong people – that the Nazis should have killed 20 million Muslims instead of six million Jews – his views are as racist and as fascistic as those of the people he attacks.

Islam must be confronted not by cartoons of its prophet, nor by scorn, hatred and violence. Islam must be conquered by the peaceful message of the Jewish Messiah who in love gave his life for both Jews and Gentiles. Therein lies the secret of a peaceful Europe and a peaceful world.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Missing the trees for the wood

It’s New Year and The Independent , following a number of other western papers, appears to be limbering up for a year of Israel bashing.

The Palestinian propaganda machine is cynically using the tragic death of Jawaher Abu Rahma to turn her into the new poster girl for their anti-Israel campaign.

Jahawer died last Friday after reportedly inhaling tear gas used by Israeli soldiers to disperse rioters protesting against the Israeli security fence separating Samaria (the “West Bank”) from Israel’s densely-populated coastal region. This demonstration takes place every week.

Details of the incident remain sketchy but after the demonstration, the Palestinian Authority, as it always does, provided Israel with a summary of injuries. The initial summary listed two people who had been lightly injured.

The following morning, however, the Palestinians claimed that Jawaher Abu Rahma, who was not one of the two injured, had died from inhaling tear gas. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat labelled Jawaher's death as the latest in a long string of “Israeli war crimes.”

The Palestinians did not allow Israel to directly investigate the death, and initially refused to release medical documents related to the case.

When Israel finally obtained official hospital reports, it discovered some suspicious inaccuracies, most notably that although Jawaher was described as being in good health, she was also receiving medication typically used on leukaemia sufferers.

Although Israel initially responded by suggesting Jawaher had not been present at the demonstration, evidence appeared to confirm that she was indeed present at Friday’s riot.

But, as Israel Today observes, the Palestinians and the Israelis are both missing the point. The Palestinians miss it on purpose, while the Israelis miss the point because they are desperate to deflect yet another blood libel.

The point is that even if the unfortunate Jawaher Abu Rahmer did die as a result of inhaling Israeli tear gas, the firing of tear gas at a violent demonstration does not indicate lethal intent. The Israelis were not trying to kill Jawaher or anyone else in the crowd; they were using a common and globally accepted form of crowd control.

If that method of crowd control resulted in the death of one of the protesters, the death must be put down to either a freak accident or a reaction resulting from an undisclosed medical condition.

To suggest that Jawaher's death in some way demonstrates malicious Israeli intent is the kind of propaganda that has come to characterise the Palestinian position. And not just from fringe apologists, but from the very Palestinian leaders with whom Israel is supposed to be making peace.

If there is to be peace between Israelis and Palestinians there will have to be significant trust between both parties. Cheap point scoring such as this indicates not only a contempt for Israel on the part of the Palestinian propaganda meisters but also a cynical disregard for the life of one their own.

Honest Reporting makes the importanat point that, unlike its Arab neighbours, Israel has a vibrant and highly self-critical free press. The story of Jawaher Abu Rahma was covered extensively by the Israeli media and there were even demonstrations by Israelis protesting against their own army and government following the woman's death. It is extremely rare that a negative story concerning Israel in the international press has not already been covered by the Israeli press. Most of these negative stories are lifted straight from the pages of the international journalists' paper of choice, Ha'aretz.

The IDF's latest findings led the headlines for some time on the Ha'aretz website while the story also appeared on page 2 of the print edition. Do international journalists cherry pick stories from Ha'aretz that suit their political agenda while ignoring those that do not?

Those media outlets that reported on the original story have a duty to inform their readers of the latest developments lest Abu Rahma's death becomes yet another in a long list of anti-Israel allegations presented as unassailable fact employed in the delegitimization campaign against Israel.

More tributes to a great man

I bless and praise G-d for the precious life of his son Ernest Lloyd! his service in the IMJA was honorable and a great inspiration for several generations, and his testimony will remain a beautiful light that reflects the love of Yeshua.

Is the men of G-d and a servant more sweet than I've known, and his life, during the last 13 years of our friendship, was an inspiration to me (and to hundreds of people). Over the years we wrote many letters and talked on the phone. I'm crying at his departure but my consolation is that he is with G-d who served and loved with all his heart.

We will see each other with our Heavenly Father, my dear Ernest... is the way you say to me the last time we talked on the phone!

“Precious in the sight of the LORD [is] the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15)
Myriam Levy, Vice President International Messianic Jewish Alliance

Ernest was a man who took an enormous interest in the witness of the Free Church [of Scotland] and understood the support and understanding of the Free Church in the past. His links with many Free Church families go back over at least 50 or 60 years. My own appreciation of him is more recent, but I found him a most agreeable companion when, as a member of Council of CWI, I often sat with him in the meetings of Council. His dedication to his Lord, his appreciation of what would be useful in the extension of the work, his wisdom in evaluating character and his judgement on specific situations reflected profound godliness and a life lived in the light of his Saviour.

His graciousness, his wisdom, his humour and his vision will be sadly missed, but fondly remembered.
Rev William Mackay, former member of the Council of Christian Witness to Israel

Thank you for conveying the passing away to glory of our dear Brother Ernest.

I got your earlier news that he had gone into a home for care, so the news was not unexpected; although I was hoping the Lord will keep him until the Messiah whom he loved and for his cause he served until the coming of the Lord. I am certain the Lord would have said to him, “Well done, my faithful servant”.

I first came to know him when he came to Sri Lanka in the early sixties. I was in my twenties when I first came to know the Lord through the reading of the Word; thus I would go to any meeting to learn more of God’s word; not worried about denominational barriers. When Ernest came to Sri Lanka; he conducted studies in the mornings at the Bible Society. I used to go early mornings to these studies before I went to work. He also demonstrated the Jewish Passover at the Brethren Assembly in the city and I went to that meeting too I always thank the Lord for him, for he was the one the Lord used to teach me Israel’s special place in the Lords plan and purposes.

A few years after this meeting, the Lord was calling me to the Christian ministry; I was running away from it but ultimately the Lord got me and He opened the door as an independent student at South Wales Bible College. Again, in the Lords providence, Ernest came to minister unto us and I made myself known to him and thanked him for his ministry in Sri Lanka. The next and the last time I met him was during 1969/70 when I was ministering in an evangelical church in Gorseinon which is near Swansea and again I renewed fellowship with him and it was he who put me on the mailing list of the CWI.

I do praise the Lord for Ernest, who had the love of Christ in his life and ministry. I do thank and praise the Lord that he gave me the privilege in meeting him and have fellowship with him in the service for the spread of the gospel. Our loss is heaven’s gain; but the comforting thought is that one day we will meet him in glory; there will be no more separation.
Jonathan Chin

I would like to convey my sincere sympathies to you as a close friend of Ernest, and to all of the staff at CWI who loved him so much.

Ernest was always a tremendous blessing to me, and I have many happy memories of sitting around the dining table in Vancouver with him as he regaled us with wonderful, warm conversation.

Those who would like to imagine that as “Messianic Jews” today they are better than Ernest’s generation of “Hebrew Christians” can be reminded that in their day, Ernest and others were by no means less revolutionary than the modern generation in asserting their Jewish identity while passionately embracing the Man from Nazareth.
Daniel Nessim, Executive Director, Chosen People Ministries (UK)

I first met Ernest about 60 years ago at the home of my aunt and her companion. To that lad of 12 he appeared an enormous chap and a bit overwhelming. He was a big man, of course, not only in stature but in spirit. Years later he became a dear friend and valued colleague during my work for Spanish Gospel Mission. This friendship continued after retirement until his death. Ernest's life was filled with Christ and a desire for his glory and he worked tirelessly for that end. He was a man with a great heart. Now another Mr Greatheart has passed over and this earthly scene is the less for his passing.
Matthew W Hill <><

Many thanks for the communication. We had the GREAT pleasure of regular visits with him over the time he has been in the home ... and for years before that when we met him in S. Africa.

We will MISS him - but THANK GOD for the privilege of his friendship ... the Christian's HOPE is a great comfort!
Billy & Freda Farr.

He was a truly remarkable man. I am astonished heaven could get along so well for so long without him, but it is now a richer place and we are the poorer - temporarily. Thank you so much for passing on the news so promptly.

Elizabeth Arbuthnot

Thank you for letting us know of Ernest Lloyd's passing into the presence of the Lord. In that place of eternal safety we can rejoice he is there, even though he will be greatly missed by those who knew him. I only met him about 2-3 times, the last time being at a delightful meal with him and Tom Lori in dear Kathleen Thirtle's home, when I discovered his mischievous sense of humour!
Margaret E Martin