European Jewry Under Siege
President’s Prayer Letter, April 2015
Shalom! European Jewry is in CRISIS! We see it happening everywhere from France, to Denmark, England and Ukraine. I am afraid that soon, many other European countries will also succumb to more overt attacks against Jewish people. The brutal attacks, which seem to be inspired by a fiercely growing Jihadist influence in these countries, are reminiscent of the slow-growing, horrific Nazi antisemitism of the 1930s and 1940s.
Your Mission to the Jewish People MUST sound a warning signal as we need to take action to help those Jewish people that are suffering.
Right now, the Jews of France, a nation with almost 500,000 Jewish people (the third largest Jewish population in the world), are in the greatest danger. Let me share part of a conversation I had with Olivier Melnick, who is on our staff and was born and raised in France. Then I will tell you what we intend to do and how you can help God’s chosen people in the wake of these terrible conditions.
In Raanana, Israel, a woman mourns over the body of her husband who was gunned down in an attack.
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Olivier, your mom had an especially difficult time during the Holocaust. Can you tell us about her experience?
My mother saw her dad taken by the Gestapo in 1942. She immediately was sent to the southwest area of France below the Free Zone. She remained on a farm there until the end of the war, hidden and protected by a family of peasants who recently were named by Yad Vashem as “Righteous Gentiles.” Her father died in Auschwitz.
Did you experience antisemitism growing up in France?
My mother always warned me to not share too much about our Jewish heritage with my friends at school. She feared a return of the Nazis for many years and even forced me to learn German in school instead of Spanish as a second foreign language, just to get by in case they [the Nazis] came back.
In your opinion, what is the root of French antisemitism?
The root of French antisemitism is the root of all antisemitism—and it is Satan. He hates all that God loves, and loves all that God hates. The Jewish people are the “apple of God’s eye” and His chosen people. Satan lives to destroy them. Over the centuries, he has used different people groups to sub-contract his hatred of the Jews. France has a long history of antisemitism: blood libels, Crusades, multiple expulsions, the Dreyfus Affair and the events of World War II.
In January, an anti-terrorism rally in Paris drew people from all over the world.
Can you describe the growth of “modern” antisemitism in France?
Antisemitism became taboo after the Holocaust. There was great hope that the Jewish motto “Never Again” would become a clarion call in France. But today we see a return of this oldest hatred, fanned by the radical Jihadist Muslims living among the five million-plus Muslims in France.
Do you believe French Jews will leave France? Will many move to Israel? Do you have any personal stories you can share which illustrate this?
There is no question in my mind that French Jews are leaving France, a country they have called home for centuries. Last year 7,000 Jews moved to Israel; we might see an additional 10,000 leave in 2015—and the predictions have risen as high as 150,000 in the next five to ten years. The majority of them will go to Israel. This could be massively accelerated if there are more incidents as brutal as those of the past year.
Members of my own family are preparing to make this move in the next year or so. After the terrorist attacks in Paris in early January 2015, they made their decision.
My mother still lives in the same home where the Nazis arrested her father, only 500 yards from the kosher supermarket where the four Jewish people were slaughtered. When I called her and asked her to stay inside while the hostage situation was unfolding, she started crying and asked, “Do you think that they are coming back for us?” My niece lives only 40 yards from the same market and was there, in the market, 15 minutes before the killer went on his rampage.
My 88-year-old mother most likely will stay in Paris, but my nieces have already planned to get out.
What future do you see for French Jews?
The future for French Jews, or even most European Jews, is very bleak if they remain in their respective countries. French Jews have known that Jewish life in France was becoming more and more dangerous since the Ilan Halimi murder in 2006, the Toulouse massacre of 2012, and the near-pogrom at a synagogue in Paris in 2014. The capstone of the recent terror came with the murders at the Super Kosher supermarket last January.
French Jews are frightened—and should be!
What are the French government, media, religious leaders, etc., doing to help Jewish people in France?
The government is paying lip service in saying that they will do everything they can to protect French Jews, but are only placing a few police officers here and there. This cannot and will not solve the problem as long as the government is “soft” on Islamic terror.
My heart bleeds for my people. French Jews need the helping hand of loving believers in the Jewish Messiah. My prayer is that many Christians would seize the opportunity to help Jewish people inside of France and as they move to Israel.
Olivier and his family
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What Can We Do?
I am thankful for Olivier and for his insights. Now, allow me to list a few ways we are planning to help. I hope you will join us in reaching out to the Jews of France with the love of Jesus!
Prayer and Monitoring
The Psalmist tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6). This is critical. I hope you will both pray against future attacks and monitor the news, so that you can pray for the victims of new attacks as they come about. You might even reach out to the Jewish people in your community and let them know you are praying for the safety of the global Jewish people.
A French-Language Israel Online Help Desk
We are creating a French virtual help desk and linking French Jewish immigrants to Messianic believers in Israel who can help them as they immigrate. Our help desk will serve as a lifeline to French Jews who are making this transition to Israel. We will provide advice, helpful hints on where to live, shop, study Hebrew, and much more. We will advertise the help desk on Facebook and social media, so that French Jewish people in France and in Israel will know how to find some of the help they need.
The French Isaiah 53 Explained Book and the Isaiah 53 French-Language Campaign
The French translation of the Isaiah 53 Explained book is now complete and being printed. I would love to give away 10,000-plus books in the next few months—and hopefully many more! We will again advertise online and guide hundreds, if not thousands, of French Jews to our website to hear about the One who loves us and died as an atonement for our sins. There is no doubt that French Jewish people will be looking for spiritual answers to the problems of this world! We hope to provide a loving, biblical and very accessible witness to these dear people—in French!
Urban cafe on rue des Rosiers, a major centre of the Paris Jewish community.
Your Support – Needed Now!
I could not wait to help the French Jewish people until this letter was mailed. We have already been doing as much as we can, but will be able to do more because of your financial support.
I am often asked to be specific about our financial needs. So, I want to let you know what is needed and the impact your gift will have in reaching out to French Jewish people with the love of Jesus.
We know that it takes about $5 to get an Isaiah 53 Explained book into the hands of a Jewish person. This includes the printing, mailing and online advertising costs. Would you consider a gift of $50 to reach ten French Jews, $500 to reach 100, or as the Lord enables you—even more? We believe, based upon our experience in online ministries, that we can send out 10,000 or more if we have the funds available to do so.
We will also need to advertise the help desk. I believe this project will take an additional $35,000 to develop the site and advertise the help we are offering online and through other types of French media as well.
Thank you for taking the time to read this urgent request and for your generosity and prayers for the French Jewish people who are suffering because of the hatred of others!
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and its fulfillment in Jesus. Chag Pesach Sameach – Happy Passover!
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