Is it the End of the World?

Is it the End of the World?

Donald Miller’s Blood Libel—One Year Later

posted by jfletcher

It’s his baby.

And it’s a year old.

Popular evangelical author (“Blue Like Jazz”) Donald Miller, one year ago today, wrote at his Storylineblog that the Israel Defense Forces murders innocent Palestinians. In a blog post titled, ironically, “The Painful Truth About the Situation in Israel,” Miller described a tour of the Palestinian territories. After an ever-so-brief nod to the terrorism Israelis live with 24/7, Miller wrote:

“But no conflict like this has a single side. We spent much of our time in the West Bank, interviewing Palestinian leaders. The stories we heard were heartbreaking. We had dinner with a woman whose mother was killed by Israeli guards after placing a rose on a tank. She was gunned down while sitting with her husband on their front porch later that week. We met with the assistant to the mayor of Bethlehem, a Christian man whose twelve-year-old daughter was killed sitting in the backseat of the family car while driving through an Israeli checkpoint.”

Did they really? Did the IDF murder a mother and a daughter?

I ask such a simple question because for one year, starting November 19, 2012, I have been asking Donald Miller to document the murder charges he’s placed at Israel’s feet. This is the same IDF, by the way, that dispatches teams around the world to provide disaster relief.

To date, one year later, Miller still hasn’t replied.

His blog post was filled with more invective for Israel, stoked by his quickie tour of tightly controlled Palestinian areas. The Palestinian leadership told him what they wanted him to hear. And he dutifully came back to America and parroted the propaganda.

Jews have suffered as the villains in the “blood libel” rite for centuries. Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe. Mein Kampf is still a bestseller in the Arab world. The UN issues a grossly disproportionate number of resolutions denouncing Israel.

And now evangelical leaders libel the Jewish state.

No one says a word.

I recently asked Miller’s assistant, Tim Schurrer (storylineblog.com), again, to provide documentation for Donald Miller’s painful blog/blood libel about Israel.

Now, he doesn’t even answer anymore.

Miller is one of a new breed of evangelicals—the New Evangelicals—who demonize Israel, and advocate for the Palestinians. To a man and woman, they parrot what the Palestinian leadership tells them. The net effect is the entrance of classic PLO propaganda, masquerading as the so-called “Palestinian narrative, into American churches.

That narrative is lethal, loathsome, and a lie.

In the meantime, Donald Miller’s blood libel has been in cyberspace for one solid year.

It’s his baby.

And it is uuuuuuugggggly.

"Long Live Israel"

“Long Live Israel”

Honestly!

posted by jfletcher

I had the privilege recently to speak with Joe Hyams, who directs HonestReporting, a media watchdog group specializing in the Arab-Israel conflict.

As one who obtained a journalism degree, and is fascinated by all things “Inky Wretch” (to quote the peerless Paul Greenberg), it grieves me to see so much media bias raging today. It always has, truth be told (the Sumerians were the same way, and just what the heck do you think “Mrs. Silence Dogood” was?), but one particular area today seems infected like no other.

Israel.

When Israel transformed itself from a tiny, struggling nation-state with a lightning victory in the Six-Day War, international perceptions of the Jewish state took, shall we say, a turn for the worse.

Suddenly, Israel became perceived as the bully to the downtrodden Palestinians. Never mind the fact that an Egyptian terrorist named Abu Ammar was installed as the freedom fighter leading his people, the Palestinians. Decades of incitement in the Arab world have led us to a place where Mein Kampf is still a bestseller in the Middle East.

Sadly, Western journalists often fall right in line with the propaganda that it’s all Israel’s fault.

Into this complex situation steps HonestReporting, a group founded during the dark days of the Second Intifada. HonestReporting features a sophisticated team well-versed in the use of social media, to draw journalists back to the ethical standards with which they began.

Hyams, a Brit who spent eight years in Israel, recently came to the U.S. to head HonestReporting’s efforts here. Since this country has long been Israel’s best friend in the world, it seemed a natural thing to strengthen those bonds, especially at a time when Palestinian propaganda has moved into Evangelical Christian circles.

Joe Hyams

Joe Hyams

Hyams understands the task.

“What does a cartoon do to public opinion?” he asks rhetorically. “Well, it does a great deal to public opinion.”

Indeed, anti-Semitic cartoons are ubiquitous in the Middle East, but have also made their way into Western print media. As a former advertising and marketing executive, Hyams knows the damage that can be done from a single image.

Israel depicted as a monster in a German newspaper

Israel depicted as a monster in a German newspaper

“Classic print and broadcast has evolved into recognizing our social media and harnessing it…this is a very new way of moving people, and we’ve seen that in the Arab Spring,” Hyams says.

HonestReporting has made dramatic progress in not only making the public aware of the issues, but also in garnering retractions, apologies, and corrections from leading media outlets. Hyams maintains that most journalists aren’t malicious in their reporting of Israel, but in many cases are grossly misinformed.

For example, I know from staying in Arab hotels in East Jerusalem that journalists are targeted by propagandists who teach them Arabic and offer tours to “Occupied Palestine.”

Due to its diligence, successes, and growing influence, HonestReporting is now fielding 1,000 media inquiries each year, a trend Hyams sees continuing.

“Journalists themselves are called upon to be more than columnists, but tweeters and bloggers, to think quickly and respond in real time.”

It is into this volatile field that HonestReporting provides an invaluable service.

Check out their work at www.honestreporting.com, and prepare to be amazed!

Kristallnacht…”The Night of Broken Glass”

posted by jfletcher

This weekend marks the 75th anniversary of the infamous Nazi terror unleashed against German and Austrian Jews. As retribution for the assassination of a Nazi official in Paris, Germans murdered Jews and destroyed their property—including synagogues—on the night of November 9-10, 1938. The world had already capitulated to Hitler’s insane demands, and the Jews of Europe were in the middle of reaping that whirlwind.

I fear a return to those days of open hatred of Jews is upon us again. Blood libels—accusations of Jews murdering gentiles—are reaching fever-pitch in much of the international community. The Arabs and many Europeans practice anti-Semitism, medieval-style.

Sadly, there is for the first time in modern history a trend toward marginalizing Israel…among her traditional strong defenders: Evangelicals.

One year ago on his “storylineblog” site, popular author Donald Miller (“Blue Like Jazz”) accused Israelis of murdering Palestinians. He provided zero documentation, and the blog post now is listed on the site’s most popular. I have asked several times for Mr. Miller to provide documentation, but none has been forthcoming.

It is very true that such demonizing of Israel and Jews leads directly to hostilities breaking-out against Jews. The historical record is stained with their blood.

Even Southern Baptist Convention spokesman Dr. Russell Moore has described the Church as the “New Israel,” a distinctly wrong theological view that further marginalizes modern Israel.

In the lead-up to the Nazis, the so-called “German Christian Movement” sanitized Jewish history from church teachings, and the Old Testament was virtually ignored.

Some in our world today have said that it is 1938 again. A most chilling pronouncement.

I believe they are right.

A synagogue burning during Kristallnacht, 1938.

A synagogue burning during Kristallnacht, 1938.

“In Our Time”

posted by jfletcher

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered one of the most remarkable addresses of the modern era.

Why?

Long known as a gifted orator, even by his critics, Netanyahu spent a good deal of time discrediting the Iranians as serious about nuclear negotiations. His factual presentation/laundry list of state-sponsored terrorism by the Iranians incensed Israel’s enemies, most of whom were in the room to hear the leader of the Jewish state. Yet it was his closing remarks that sent a chilling echo throughout the chamber.

Invoking the Bible—invoking Bible prophecy!—Netanyahu quoted from Amos, stating slowly and clearly:

“In our time, the biblical prophecies are being realized.”

He read from the Bible, about the Jews being brought back to their ancestral land near the end of history, when they would never be “uprooted” again.

Detested by the international community, Netanyahu still delivered an indictment against the international body, which loathes the reality of Jewish sovereignty in the land of their forefathers.

Soon and very soon—as President Obama said last year—the international community will get tired of the status quo, regarding negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Something will have to give.

Since the official U.S. policy is virtually identical to the policy of the most rabid terrorists in the world (the “settlements” are a roadblock to peace), one can seriously ask: is the Bible an outdated, dusty book meant for another time?

Or is it meant for our time?

An Israeli suburb of Jerusalem, present-day

An Israeli suburb of Jerusalem, present-day

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