Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, takes him seriously and is considering a pre-emptive strike. The situation is so explosive it could set off World War III.
Why does Iran hate Israel? In fact, why does much of the world resent that little, thumb-nail-size country? It is simply because they are Jews.
Leon Uris, a Jew and the famous author of “Exodus,” tells of his problems at the hands of his classmates in elementary school in Norfolk, Va.
“About once every two weeks, for reasons I never learned, I’d find myself looking into a dozen angry faces of kids I played with who were trying to trap me.”
Uris continued: “At Grammar School 62 in Baltimore a pal of mine had a swastika carved on his cheek with a penknife. It took a lot of them to hold him down. But there were always a lot of them.”
Two-hundred-and-fifty years ago Frederick the Great said to his chaplain: “Doctor, if your religion is a true one, it ought to be capable of very brief and simple proof. Will you give me evidence of its truth in one word?”
The minister answered, “Israel.” Perhaps he was correct; for the very fact the Jews are still a distinct, separate race testifies to the preservation and guidance of the Almighty.
The Jewish people are the only race whose origin can be traced with any degree of accuracy. Who can point to the first German or the first Englishman?
What person knows who the first Chinese was? Though the beginning of many nations is shrouded in legend, we all know that Abraham was the first Hebrew.
The survival of the Jewish race down through the centuries is one of the most improbable facts of world history.
When speaking of the Jews in “Prophecy and the Seventies,” Charles Stevens Jr. wrote, “There they stand, singularly alone, magnificently different, defiantly unchanged.
“Like the Bible itself, the descendants of Abraham are standing like a Gibraltar, beat upon by a ceaseless and angry tide of hatred and opposition, but still remaining the eternal nation.”
Stevens continued, “‘There is the Book of the people, and there is the people of the Book.’ Through storm, fire, sword, and chastening time, they have come to fulfill the divine pronouncement, ‘Lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations’ (Numbers 23:9).”
Just as surely as night follows day, and the sun shines in the sky, God’s promises to Israel are everlasting.
He said, “I would no more reject my people than I would change my laws of night and day, of earth and sky. I will never abandon the Jews, or David my servant, or change the plan that his Child will someday rule these descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Instead I will restore their prosperity and have mercy on them” (Jeremiah 33:25, 26).
In his book, “Thus It Is Written,” Henry Goerner puts it succinctly, “God’s choice of Abraham had an arbitrary element in it.
“This selection was not made on the basis of the inherent merit of the man, but on the assumption that he might prove usable for God’s purpose.”
The Jew is no more holy, nor any more excused for his sins, than a person of any other race.
No segment of world society has been as hounded, persecuted, and massacred as have the Jewish people. It is believed that beginning in 1881 Russia exterminated six million Jews. Hitler murdered a like number.
Though the world has had its Jewish leaders such as Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconfield (England), and Henry Morganthau, secretary of the treasury (United States), still history shows such acceptance is not the rule. Anti-Semitism is constantly part of the Jews’ lot.
They are a different kind of people. They have their own holidays and customs, and they even have their own calendar.
These things make them different and this difference often engenders persecution. Nonetheless, their peculiarity is based on God’s laws of the Old Testament.
Therefore, as it relates to their religion, we had better be careful about opposing them, lest we be found opposing God.
Speaking for them, the psalmist declared, “For your sake are we killed all the day long” (Psalm 44:22). Hostility toward the Jew can be a disguised hostility toward God, because He instituted their laws, worship, and customs in order to keep them a distinct race.
The psalmist prayed: “They have taken crafty counsel against your people, and consulted against your hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance” (Psalm 83:3, 4).
Most of us are not Jewish, but if we follow Christ we, too, can expect trouble. The Bible promises, “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).