Barefooted as I waded into the Sea of Galilee, I couldn’t help pondering on how Jesus might be received today. As a historian who has trekked the world from Europe and Asia, Africa and Latin America, to the Arctic and South Pacific, I have been to no place that has made upon me a bigger impact than the tiny nation state of Israel.
I followed Jesus’ footsteps from Galilee to the Jordan River to the Mount of the Sermon. And to Golgotha where He was crucified and died. I stood at his empty tomb in the Garden.
And I pondered his persecution.
More than six million Jews died in Hitler’s Holocaust. In today’s 21st Century, a handful of Jews in Israel and around the world are again being scapegoated, targets not only of Islamist Jihad but also of what appears to be a compulsive insanity to blame Jews for all the ills in the world.
Almost 2,000 Israelis have been murdered and over 10,000 maimed by radical Islamist terrorists since the 1993 Oslo “peace” process began. In recent months, terrorists prowl Israel stabbing and blasting innocent civilians.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon justified the murders, terming them a result of “Palestinian frustration.” He held a moment of silence at the UN for countries affected by terrorism—and left out Israel when he named those nations attacked by terrorists.
President Obama did the same thing, leaving out Israel when he also listed those countries victimized by terrorists.
The Palestinian Authority pays pensions to the families of terrorists who murder innocent Jews. The U.S. Government doles out $500 million to the PA every year, a portion of which goes into these pensions.
Everyday anti-Semitism is on the rise in the U.S. and Europe. In America, most synagogues and Jewish groups now station armed guards in front of their buildings.
During the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, demonstrators outside burned U.S. and Israeli flags.
U.S. campus rallies march against Jews in support of Palestine and call for an “intifada” against Jews.
So I stood before the empty tomb in Jerusalem. Jesus was a Jew. Should he reappear in Philadelphia or Paris or Hong Kong or Cairo, chances are he would be crucified on the cross all over again. And the masses would mindlessly cheer.
NEW BOOKS: Charles W. Sasser will publish four new books within the next few months: Shadow Mountain, a historical adventure-romance set during Stalin’s Great Famine of the 1930s; Night Fighter, the biographer of Navy Captain Bill Hamilton, former CIA covert agent, founder of Navy SEALs, fighter pilot, advisor to President Reagan. . .; Blood in The Hills, a Vietnam book about a Marine during the Khe Sanh “Hill Fights;” and The Collective: Chains We Revere, a historical look at the decline of empires and Western Civilization.