A Jewish acquaintance, Garry, sent us this article:
The Mystery of Hate
by Yair Lapid
Hundreds of years of fighting, six and a half wars, billions of dollars gone with the wind, tens of thousands of victims, not including the boy who laid down next to me on the rocky beach of lake Karon in 1982 and we both watched his guts spilling out. The helicopter took him and until this day I do not know whether he is dead or survived. All this, and one cannot figure it out.
And its not only what happened but all that did not happen – hospitals that were never built, universities that were never opened, roads that were never paved, the three years that were taken from millions of teenagers for the sake of the army. And despite all the above, we still do not have the beginning of a clue to the mystery of where it all started:
Why do they hate us so much?
I am not talking about the Palestinians this time. Their dispute with us is intimate, focused, and it has a direct effect on their lives. Without getting into the “which side is right” question, it is obvious that they have very personal reasons not to stand our presence here. We all know that eventually this is how it will be solved: in a personal way, between them and us, with blood sweat and tears that will stain the pages of the agreement. Until then, it is a war that could at least be understood, even if no sane person is willing to accept the means that are used to run it by.
It is the others. Those I cannot understand. Why does Hassan Nasralla, along with tens of thousands of his supporters, dedicate his life, his visible talents, his country’s destiny, to fight a country he has never even seen, people he has never really met and an army that he has no reason to fight?
Why do children in Iran, who can not even locate Israel on the map (especially because it is so small), burn its flag in the city center and offer to commit suicide for its elimination? Why do Egyptian and Jordanian intellectuals agitate the innocent and helpless against the peace agreements, even though they know that their failure will push their countries 20 years back? Why are the Syrians willing to stay a pathetic and depressed third world country, for the dubious right to finance terror organizations that will eventually threaten their own country’s existence? Why do they hate us so much in Saudi-Arabia? In Iraq? In Sudan? What have we done to them? How are we even relevant to their lives? What do they know about us? Why do they hate us so much in Afghanistan? They don’t have anything to eat there, where do they get the energy to hate?
This question has so many answers and yet it is a mystery. It is true that it is a religious matter but even religious people make their choices. The Koran (along with the Shariaa – the Muslim parallel to the Jewish Halacha) consists of thousands of laws, why is it that we occupy them so much?
There are so many countries who gave them much better reasons to be angry. We did not start the crusades, we did not rule them during the colonial period, we never tried to convert them. The Mongolians, the Seljuk, the Greeks, the Romans, the Crusaders, the Ottomans, the British, they all conquered, ruined and plundered the whole region. We did not even try, so how come we are the enemy?
And if it is identification with their Palestinians brothers then where are the Saudi Arabian tractors building up the territories that were evacuated?
What happened to the Indonesian delegation building a school in Gaza strip? Where are the Kuwaiti doctors with their modern surgical equipment? There are so many ways to love your brothers, why do they all prefer to help their brothers with hating?
Is it something that we do? Fifteen hundreds years of anti-Semitism taught us – in the most painful way possible – that there is something about us that irritates the world. So, we did the thing everyone wanted: we got up and left. We have established our own tiny little country, where we can irritate ourselves without interrupting others. We didn’t even ask a lot for it. Israel is spread on a smaller territory than 1% of the territory of Saudi-Arabia, with no oil, no minerals, without settling on another existing state’s territory. Most
of the cities that were bombed this week were not plundered from anyone. Nahariya, Afula, and Karmiel did not even exist until we established them. The other katyusas landed on territories over which no one ever questioned our right with regards to them. In Haifa there were Jews already in the 3rd century BC and Tiberias was the place where the last Sanhedrin sat, so no one can claim we plundered them from anyone.
However, the hatred continues. As if no other destiny is possible. Active hatred, poisoned, unstoppable. Last Saturday the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, called again “to act for the vanishing of Israel”‘ as if we were bacteria. We got used to it so much that we don’t even ask why.
Israel does not hope and never did for Iran to vanish. As long as they wanted, we had diplomatic relations with them. We do not have a common border with them or even any bad memories. And still, they are willing to confront the whole western world, to risk a commercial boycott, to hurt their own quality of life, to crush what’s left of their economy and all that for the right to passionately hate us.
I am trying to remember and cannot: have we ever done something to them? When? How? Why did he say in his speech that “Israel is the main problem of the Muslim world”? More than a billion people living in the Muslim world, most of them in horrible conditions. They suffer from hunger, poverty, ignorance, bloodshed that spreads from Kashmir to Kurdistan, from dying Darfur to injured Bangladesh. How come we are the main problem? How exactly are we in their way?
I refuse to accept the argument that claims “that is just the way they are”. They said it about us so many times that we have learned to accept this expression. There must be another reason, some dark secret that because of it, the citizens of South Lebanon allow to rouse the quiet border, to kidnap the soldiers of an army that has already retreated from their territory, to turn their country into a wasteland exactly at the time they finally escaped twenty years of disasters.
We got used to telling ourselves worn expressions – “it’s the Iranian influence”, or “Syria is stirring behind the scenes” – but it is just too easy explanation. Because what about them?
What about their thoughts?
What about their hopes, loves, ambitions and their dreams?
What about their children?
When they send their children to die, does it seem enough for them to say that it was all worth while just because they hate us so much?
Victor’s and Paul’s replies:
Garry, thank you for this article.
The hatred of Jews is indeed a mystery, one that makes no sense on the contemporary scene at all. While Yair does not mention the rest of the Gentile world along with Muslims and Arabs as hating Jews, it too is really no different. I am sure that, as a Jew, you know this to be true. Given the occasion, have not most Gentiles, one way or another, demonstrated their true colors against Jews? Look at what the Brits did before and after Israel was declared a state. Where do the Chinese and the Koreans stand today? The Spanish, French, Ukrainians, Russians, Poles, Italians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians, Germans, Canadians, Americans, blacks, whites, natives…at one time or another, everyone in the world has been guilty of this same prejudice and hatred toward Jews for apparently no good reason. Religion-wise, Jews have been hated by Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, many evangelicals, Muslims and more (and still are).
It is true that God has raised up some friends among Gentiles from time to time, sometimes from the most unlikely quarters, some faithful to the end, and some unable to endure, lest the Gentile wrath hurt them too. Who can stand and endure anything but by the grace of God? What man can do right but by His grace? Neither Jew nor Gentile is able to do so. That is, as you should know, where the Messiah comes in.
I was thankful, Garry, that you should call on us to give you moral support when you spoke in your “debate” at Ericksen’s a while ago. It was a privilege for us to do so, and I hope that we will always do the will of God, whatever it may be, and that you will have the conviction and peace to call on us again whenever necessary, and that we will always be able to do the right thing by you, no matter what.
I know – talk is cheap. You and all of Jewry have heard it all before, only to be forsaken and betrayed, whether out of fear or hypocritical intent. God grant us grace to do right not only by you but also by all men, in all things. We are helpless without Him and entertain no illusions that we can ever do anything right or good solely in and of ourselves. I hope you have learned that as well. We will make you no promises, only an assurance that we desire to faithfully serve the God of Israel and of all creation.
You also know by hearing us and by reading our site that we know the God of Israel to be none other than the Gentile-misrepresented, distorted, maligned, and blasphemed Yehoshuah HaMashiach, Whom both the Jews and Gentiles have hated, scorned and mocked with passion. The Jews obviously have done their share of defiling HaShem, even as the Hebrew prophets of the Tanach have boldly declared, losing their lives in the process, to rebuke Israel for its idolatries and iniquities.
Garry, if you can possibly believe me, I am not writing to convert you or to convince you of anything, though I confess, unashamedly, that one of the greatest blessings on this earth for me (since it happened to me) is to see a person, Jew or Gentile, come to be made free through HaShem’s atoning work in a heart, miraculously, instantaneously creating the new heart of which both Ezekiel and Jeremiah prophesied. I know that to be impossible not only for you or other Jews but for any man. It certainly was for me. As Yehoshuah/Yeshua said, “With men these things are impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”
Guess what, Garry? When Jesus Christ (Yehoshuah HaMashiach) gave me a new heart, He turned me from a heart of hatred toward Jews (and others) to a heart of love for them. If He was but an ordinary man, a plain Jew, still buried in some grave, how could He have done this – 2000 years later? It was on His Name that I called in trouble and need, according to the Scriptures – including the Tanach, having tried so many other names and failing to get results. Was and does it continue, thirty-five years later, to be my imagination – by my imagination, my life transformed, everything changed, permanently? Some imagination! Have you seen imagination transform a life for the better, to love all men, Jews included, and to desire, indeed covet, to walk in His Law as brought forth by Moshe at Sinai, namely the Ten Commandments? Is it by imagination that I could suddenly declare with David:
“MEM: Oh how I love Your Law! It is my meditation all the day. Through Your Commandments You make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers; for Your testimonies are my prayer. I understand more than the old men, because I keep Your Commandments.” (Psalms 119:97-100 MKJV) ?
And if He, Jesus Christ, is your enemy, as you have been led to believe by murderers and hypocrites, and those ignorant, why should He move me to love His people, unlike those who have persecuted Jews in His Name, and grant me to keep and to be strengthened in that perspective and attitude for over three decades now, while leading others to do the same? Answer these questions if you can, reasonably and honestly. What alternative explanations can you possibly have?
Yes, it is the Jews that crucified their God-Come-In-The-Flesh, the Anointed One, the Messiah, not the Romans or the pagans. The Jews are indeed responsible, but it had to be so. “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” Indeed, without His death and resurrection, we would all be without hope; therefore we can be thankful it happened, and therefore thankful for those through whom it happened. In actual fact, as the Romans were instruments of the Jews in the crucifixion, so the Jews were only instruments of HaShem, performing that for which the whole world was guilty, so that the whole world might be saved from its sins against its Creator, the breaking of the Law of HaShem. The nation of Jewry, the chosen priesthood of God, performed its service as the High Priest of nations, performing the Great Sacrifice to fulfill, once and for all, the Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur.
We are all guilty. By the predeterminate counsel and foreknowledge of God, according to His Divine Purpose, the Jews, by wicked hands and hearts, rejected and slew Him, thus setting the stage for the salvation of all mankind, including Jews. We are all sinners in need of His salvation, His intervention, His mercy, through His shed blood as The Perfect Sacrifice, without spot or blemish. And we shall all have it because it is His will.
Pagans, going back to Nimrod and Semiramis, have perverted the record, based on prophetic and Torah-Scriptural truths, and committed the greatest identity theft known to mankind, impersonating the Messiah millennia before. The Catholic Church and its daughters (wayward children, she calls them) have carried the torch of this deception, harlotry and confusion to this day. It is these that are guilty for so much of the confusion and ills on earth. Even the Jews are guilty, though the chosen of God in this world.
I am a fulfilled Jew. Paul Cohen is a fulfilled Jew. Sara Schmidt is a fulfilled Jew and so are others of us. And though you may resent me for saying these things, Garry (we expect no appreciation or reward from you), we stand with you regardless, not by emotion or indoctrination or silly persuasion or fanciful notion or any other thing but by a new nature granted us by HaMashiach, not merely a historical one, not the one that over a billion professing Christians, Catholic and “Protestant” evangelicals promote, but the One and Only, Who lives Today, Here. While they speak of Him, we know Him, being born of His Spirit, and are so thankful for it. He has made it our business to declare Him and His will to all, and so we do. And we are hated for it. No matter; we love Him for it. Our reward is more than worth it.
Hi Garry, Paul Cohen here.
One of the great benefits of knowing there is a Creator and Sovereign God in Heaven, as the Bible declares, is also knowing there is a good reason for everything. Nothing happens except He knows about it, and is over it. He has told us all in no uncertain terms, in a thousand ways, that He is in charge.
Jacob proved Him:
“And Jacob vowed a vow, saying: ‘If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then shall the LORD be my God’” (Genesis 28:20-21 JPS).
And God did so, becoming known as the “The God of Israel.”
If He can do that with Jacob, He can also do that with the nation:
“And it shall come to pass, if you shall hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments which I command you this day, that the LORD your God will set you on high above all the nations of the earth” (Deuteronomy 28:1 JPS).
I would like to tell Yair that he is asking the wrong questions. The answers to anything are not found in explaining or knowing men’s motivations. The question is, “Why is God doing this?” The crucial question is, “What would He have us to do?”
We have posted some new articles in Israel and the Jew that particularly address the matter of finding help in man. We have the answers for those who are looking. God has visited us, and is with us. He has not left us without, or abandoned ship. He is still in charge.
P.S. – While it is not mentioned in the answers we have given here, the Islam section sheds light on the motivations taught by Muhammad, which are not at all pure or good as are those taught by God in Holy Scripture, so-called by men the Old and New Testaments, which are One.
Readers response: It is true that Jesus died for all people, especially came for the Jews. But the Bible does not tell us to convert them.
Pictures of Rachel Corrie posed by the Associated Press
What the God of Israel has done for me, and what He will do for you.