Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be

Previously

In the previous writing we looked at the multitudes, being more obedient and yielding to the effect of the sign, who went to meet the Christ, hymning him as one who had conquered death, and carrying palm branches. And they do not praise him with ordinary language, but quote from the inspired Scripture that which was beautifully spoken with regard to him; confessing that he was indeed King of Israel, whom also they called specially their own king, accepting the lord-ship of the Christ.

We also saw that they spoke about the Son, they say, is Blessed: not because he who blesseth all things and guards them from destruction, and who is of the ineffable essence of the Father, receives the blessing which comes from the Father; but because the blessing which is due to One Who is God and Lord by Nature is offered to him from us, inasmuch as he came in the Name of the Lord.

Knowing his place under God

Many people in the old times as in the contemporary time do not see the prophetic language, which was quoted very suitably, with regard to that man that entered the gates of Jerusalem on a colt. For indeed some are called lords, who are not such by nature, but have the honourable name granted to them by favour. Many of them do not see the difference between tittles and names and do not remember that in the Holy Scriptures there is also spoken of a lot of gods and lords. In the Book of books men are also called “true,” when they abstain from falsehood: but this is not the thing to say with regard to Christ; for he is not called “Truth” for the reason that he does not speak falsely, but because he has that nature which is altogether superior to falsehood. He was a real man of flesh and blood and bones, having placed in the womb of his mother Miriam (Mary/Maria) from the lineage of king David. Though coming from a blue blood family, he was a simple ‘carpenters’ son. His earthly father Joseph was a skilled labourer. Jesus knew very well his place in the community, but also knew the task given by his heavenly Father, which was more important than his position on earth, where he could do nothing without his Father in heaven; Who is grater than him.

John 5:19-20 ESV  So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. (20)  For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.

Showing the work of his Father and the way to God

In the short period of Jesus his public life, he did many miracles, but never claimed to do them by himself, and never wanting people to thank him, but told them to thank his heavenly Father, Whom is also our Father.

File:Jesus Christ fragment.JPG

Jesus Christ fragment before his death

John 14:6-7 ESV  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (7)  If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

John 14:28-31 ESV  You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. (29)  And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. (30)  I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, (31)  but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.

The love of Jesus Christ (Jeshua from Nazareth) was with his heavenly Father, to whom he always prayed and taught others to pray to Him as well.

On Palm Sunday Catholics pray.

Almighty and everlasting God, who didst ordain that our Lord Jesus Christ should sit upon the foal of an ass, and didst teach the multitude to spread their garments or branches of trees in the way and to sing Hosanna to His praise: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be able to imitate their innocence and deserve to partake of their merit.

A redeemer for the people coming to Jerusalem

File:14th-century unknown painters - The Osnabrück Altarpiece (detail) - WGA23756.jpg

Triumphal entry into Jerusalem – The Osnabrück Altarpiece (detail) Unknown Master, German (active 1370s in Westphalia)

Never did Jesus ask the people to honour him. Jesus was an humble man. This holy week we better think about that humbleness he kept. We should think about that man about whom the children cried out, saying:

This is he that is come for the salvation of the people. He is our salvation, and the redemption of Israel. How great is he whom the Thrones and Dominions go forth to meet! Fear not, O daughter of Sion; behold thy King cometh to thee sitting on an ass’s colt, as it is written.

By this man, sent form God, salvation could come over the people there but also here now.

The multitude in Jesus his time went forth to meet their redeemer with flowers and palms, and paid the homage due to a triumphant conqueror:

the Gentiles proclaim the Son of God; and their voices thunder through the skies in praise of Christ: Hosanna in the highest!

It was the time for the this one seated on the colt:

Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord: Hosanna in the Highest!

As Jeshua entered the holy city, the Hebrew children, went declaring the resurrection of life, with palm branches, cried out:

Hosanna in the highest.

An appeal to be stopped

The people in charge of Jerusalem city and its temple did not like it at all that when the people heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they went forth to meet him, showing more interest in him than in what the priests had to tell in what they considered to be the House of God.

For them it was better that this “Saviour” would not get any more attention. He had already received to much followers because he had taken their amazement by the many miracles he had done. His followers were also calling to take up the same mind which Christ Jesus showed them. How could they talk about his nature coming from the first, divine, and yet he did not see, in the rank of Godhead, a prize to be coveted (Philippians 2: 5-11).

Jesus, like his earthly parents Mary and Joseph, knew his origin, but he did not want to boast by his descent. He dispossessed himself, and took the nature of a slave, fashioned in the likeness of men, and presenting himself to us as a humble man doing the works of his Father in heaven. He lowered his own dignity, accepted an obedience which even was going to bring him to his death, death on a wooden stake.

A name given to be greater

We should know that that is why God has raised him to such a height, given him that name which is greater than any other name; so that everything in heaven and on earth and under the earth must bend the knee before the name of Jesus, and every tongue must confess Jesus Christ as the lord, dwelling in the glory of God the Father.

Philipppians 2:5-11 ESV  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  (6)  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  (7)  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  (8)  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  (9)  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  (10)  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  (11)  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Not own will but the Will of the Father

Jesus his mind had always been on trying to do what God wanted from him. He also learned the apostles that nothing that we do means anything if the mind is not continuously fixed on God. All labour, all study, all service and sacrifice and suffering, are useless if we do not keep God before our mind, for none of it is serving its intended purpose. Like Jesus always did everything for God we always should remember: if we also are not consciously doing it for God — in love of God — it is fruitless and meaningless in any eternal sense. The mind fixed on God — in total harmony with God — is the ultimate goal and purpose of all. If any activity is not contributing to this purpose, but rather diverting the mind from it to its own self, then that activity is counter-productive and destructive, however “good” it may be. It has usurped the position of God in our heart and mind and thoughts. It has become idolatry.

Pope Francis I on Palm Sunday

Pope Francis leads the Palm Sunday mass at Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican April 13, 2014. REUTERS-Alessandro Bianchi

Pope Francis leads the Palm Sunday mass at Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican April 13, 2014. – Credit: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

The tired and somber-looking Pope Francis I, who led a Palm Sunday service before more than 100,000 people, opening two packed weeks of activities including Easter and the canonization of two popes, rode into the square of the Vatican on a white jeep and stopped at the centre of the square to bless palm and olive branches. He delivered an impromptu homily, putting aside the one he had prepared.

Francis spoke of the events on the last two days of Jesus’ life – his betrayal by Judas, his arrest, beating, trial and crucifixion – and asked his listeners to think hard about who they resembled more, those who helped Jesus or those who condemned him, betrayed him or were indifferent to his fate. For us this holy week we should think seriously about what had happened, what the people undertook and should question which site we do want to take.

We all could wonder like the pontiff:

“Where is my heart? Who among these people am I like? This question will remain with us all week.”

For the second straight year, Francis, whose has said the Roman Catholic Church must be closer to the poor and suffering, is holding two services for Holy Thursday outside one of Rome’s basilicas. In one he will wash and kiss the feet of elderly people in a nursing home to commemorate Jesus’ gesture of humility to his apostle on the night before he died.

14 April 2014 = 14 Nisan and the Holy Week

Tonight, April 14, we shall remember in our service this particular moment at the beginning of 14 Nisan, when the sun goes down and darkness might come over the world.

“For the infant Church, ‘Palm Sunday’ was not a thing of the past,”

wrote Pope Benedict XVI in Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week (Ignatius, 2011).

“Just as the Lord entered the Holy City that day on a donkey, so too the Church saw him coming again and again in the humble form of bread and wine.”

That “Bread and Wine“, the symbols of a New Covenant we shall remember tonight.

“At the Last Supper, on the night when he was betrayed, our savior instituted the eucharistic sacrifice of his body and blood”,

states the Vatican II Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy,

“He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is eaten, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us” (par. 47).

Form of a slave

The Catholic Church states also that Saint Paul in the great Christological hymn in his letter to the Philippians wrote that

“Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped”

They say the Son of God came in the “form of a slave” and humbled himself, accepting the cruelty of death on the cross. This, of course, was a most astounding, unexpected descent, flowing from the love the Father and the obedience of the son.

In the eyes of the world, the cross was complete and utter defeat. A ‘cross’ is the sign of the god Tammuz, the god of evil and “son god”, and by presenting this man nailed on that sign of evil they consider this evil conquered. The symbol of this son god would also be used to present the Christian son god or God the son (or god-son).

But, as pope Benedict XVI in Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week (Ignatius, 2011) noted, “The hour of the Cross is the hour of the Father’s true glory.”

The pilgrims who accompanied Jesus cried out, “Hosanna” (that is, “Save us!”), sang the praises of the Son of David, and told the unsettled city dwellers:

“This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Not his will but the Will of his Father

Many had been greatly troubled by the news of Jesus’ birth (Matthew 2:2-3), now the city was upset by this display of joyful praise; the stage was set for the arrest and crucifixion of Christ, where the vertical and horizontal movements would meet according to Catholics on the Cross.

File:Veringendorf St. Michael Gethsemane-Szene Detail.jpg

Veringendorf St. Michael Gethsemane-Scene Detail of the left column of the choir, facing the nave, showing the Agony in the Garden (Jesus Christ praying in the garden Gethsemane )

Many have forgotten what Jesus did and whom he really was. This humble man had feelings like we and was also very afraid , like we can be. Also he doubted a moment about the position of God in his life. The gospel-writers were not afraid to write it down, so that we too could see how agony could be come master of the inner soul of Christ Jesus. We this week should also remember that cry of that man of flesh and blood, who sweated in the garden of Gethsemane.  There he brought his last hours with his disciples and asked them to pray with him. There it was that Jesus said prayers to his Father in fear of what would be coming; Though there he also declared that not his will should happen. Clearly we get to know that not Jesus his will is most important, but the Will of Jesus his Father, the Only One God of gods.

Matthew 6:10 ESV  Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Those words should remind us that Jesus also said:

Matthew 7:21 ESV  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

For Christ Jesus this doing the will of the Father was most important.

John 4:34 ESV  Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.

A call to witness

The God of our fathers appointed Jesus and his apostles, including Saul (Paul) to know His Will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth, so that they could be a witness for him to everyone of what they have seen and heard. (Acts of the Apostles 22:14-15)

Luke 22:39-44 ESV  And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him.  (40)  And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” (41)  And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed,  (42)  saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (43)  And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.  (44)  And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

A Spirit like God has no flesh, no blood, no bones, but Jesus had it all. He was the promise of God, the Word spoken in the Garden of Eden, that had become flesh and had brought words of truth. It was up to people to listen to those words and to take them at heart, or to ignore what they say.

Words of the Trusted One who does not forsake

Jesus had always loved and trusted the Words of his Father and had explained them to others. He also had told them they could come to his Father and trust Him. But now looking at death Jesus also was taken by fear and felt that it looked like God was far, far away from him. In case Jesus would have been God he would not have been afraid of death,because he clearly knew it could do nothing to God, or even to God’s people. But now, being a man of flesh and blood, coming into the reality to face that horror, he too was taken by fear. He also wondered, like many of us, if it could not have been that God left him on his own. He also cried like many of us want to do at certain moments:

File:Sankt Ingenuin und Albuin in Saubach Passionstafeln.jpg

Passion of Jesus (Jesus in the olive garden and Veronica wipes the face of Jesus) on painted tables in the Church of Saint Ingenuinus

Matthew 27:46 ESV  …. “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

As ordinary man, also afraid of death we to shall remember those words Jesus cried out about three in the afternoon in his own Aramaic language. He was calling to Eli, the Elohim his God, Who is also the God of Abraham and the God of Moses. He did not call onto himself but on the Only One Divine Creator.

Remembering tragic events

Today we are going to remember those tragic events and would like to call also

“My God, my God, look upon me;”

We should know that God did not leave his son in the dark. God was willing to take this man as a complete offering, the purest Lamb the world could give as ransom.

We should see that man and should see ourselves placed in his world. We, perhaps may also ask

Why cannot my sinful words reach Thee, Who art my salvation?

some people even might say:

Thou dost not answer, my God, when I cry out to Thee day and night and I am patient still. Thou art there nontheless, dwelling in the holy place Israel’s ancient boast. It was in Thee that our fathers trusted, and Thou didst reward their trust by delivering them. They cried to Thee, and rescue came; no need to be ashamed of such trust as theirs.

Are we not poor worms having no manhood left?

Where in this world we would like to stand

We should question ourselves where in this world we would like to stand and whom we would like to be. Do we want to be of this world or just living in this world where others may consider us a by-word, the laughing-stock of the rabble. Are we wanting to go with everybody keeping up traditions, like having Easter decorations and chocolate eggs searchings in the garden on Easter Sunday, telling children the bells are coming from Rome to throw eggs? (What do those bells and eggs have to do with the resurrection of Christ?)

Do we want to catch sight of us falling to mocking; mouthing out insults, while others toss their heads in scorn. Do we want to accept that Jesus was really a man who really died and not fake his death because God can not die? Are we willing to commit ourselves like Jesus committed himself to his heavenly Father? Are we not afraid that we do not always feel God around us? Are we accepting that we at moments can be week and also like Jesus may wonder why we do not feel God to be with us?

Do you ever have questions why “the Lord” does not come to your rescue and set you as His favourite free? Did you, when you felt abandoned by God, ever ask yourself if you were praising the right god? Have you ever thought if you were worshipping the right god or person or spirit?

These days when we remember the Passion of Jesus Christ, looking back at the time when Jesus had ended all these words which we can find written down in the New Testament, are we willing to place ourselves in the whole story and see the full picture?

Let us look at the disciples who even got more afraid after Jesus had died, but when the Comforter had come, found ways to get over their fear and went out in the world to preach.

Night of remembrance

They also kept remembering the exodus of God His people from slavery, but also remembered the moment that whilst they were at supper in the upper room in Jerusalem, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said:

Take ye, and eat. This is My body. And taking the chalice, He gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is My blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins. And I say to you, I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of My Father.

Let us not be scandalized in Jesus this night. Let us come together tonight to sit down and pray that we may not enter into temptation. We should be aware that the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. We should be stronger than human tradition and show the world where we do want to stand in this world.

Behold, the hour is at hand that we remember that the Son of Man was betrayed into the hands of sinners. Let us go to feel united with the one who was sent by the heavenly Father to save us from all evil. Let us see how then the Scriptures are fulfilled, that thus it happened some two thousand years ago.

We should look at the man who was accused by the chief priests and the elders, who made no answer, so that the procurator wondered exceedingly. Pilate knew that they had delivered Jesus up out of envy. Also his wife sent to him, saying,

“Have nothing to do with that Just Man, for I have suffered many things in a dream today because of Him.”

Who do you want to be and what do you want to believe?

Are you willing to listen to such dreams and such talks from others? Do you want to believe those few people at that time who saw in Jesus the promised Messiah and accepted him as the son of God, the sent one from above? Or do you prefer to follow the same thoughts as the Pharisees and those who accused Christ of saying he was equal with God?

Do you want to be like the two robbers which were crucified with Jesus, one on his right hand and one on his left, who when the passers-by were jeering at him, shaking their heads, were saying,

“Thou Who destroyest the temple, and in three days buildest it up again, save Thyself! If Thou art the Son of God, come down from the cross!”

In like manner, the chief priests with the Scribes and the elders, mocking, said,

“He saved others, Himself He cannot save! If He is the King of Israel, let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He wants Him; for He said, “I am the Son of God.”

What do you need to believe Jesus is really the son of God and not god the son?

Do you feel with Jesus when at the ninth hour (3 p.m.) Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying,

“Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani.”

That is,

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?”

God can not die but on that day Jesus again cried out with a loud voice, and gave up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent, and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep arose; and coming forth out of the tombs after his resurrection, they came into the holy city, and appeared to many. Now when the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, they were very much afraid, and they said,

“Truly He was the Son of God.”

What do you want more?

Do you need extra wonders or spectacular events before you want to believe who Christ Jesus is? Are would you be willing to accept the stories which God allowed to continue through the ages and to reach many people in many languages?

Are you willing to tell the Most High that you know you need no other gift to set before Him, because the ransom paid by God His son Jeshua by God His Majesty may obtain for us the grace of devotion, and ensure us an eternity of bliss. Through our lord Jesus Christ His Son.

We should know that it is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto the Father of Jesus Christ, who like Jesus looked at Him and praised Him, we also should worship Him as the Only One God Whose Will we want to do.

That we may pray tonight  to the Most High and be thankful that He wanted to accept that offering by His son, so that we can have light and eternal life. To this Most Holy Father Almighty, everlasting God Who didst establish the salvation of mankind, by the death of His beloved son on the tree, that whence death came thence also life might arise again, and that he, who overcame by the tree, by the tree also might be overcome.

Tonight we shall look on a special way to the symbols and place in our minds how that man born in Bethlehem made that our sins be purged away, and our just desires fulfilled.

We shall be looking at Jesus on the donkey, thinking we are no donkey. But perhaps it would not be bad to night to see  ways in which we can identify with him. A colt is meant to work hard, are we? Do we want to carry Jesus and have also all have heavy burdens to bear?
Being a Christian we shall not be liked so much by others. And when we only want to worship One God, we shall be in the minority outvoted by the world.

Are you  prepared to take your humble position in this world like Jesus took his position, only willing to do the Will of his Father?

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Preceding article: Entrance of a king to question our position #1 Coming in the Name of the Lord

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Find also to read:

  1. The meek one riding on an ass
  2. The son of David and the first day of the feast of unleavened bread
  3. Importance of the only proper name of God
  4. Praise the most High Jehovah God above all
  5. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  6. Titles of God beginning with the Aleph in Hebrew
  7. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name (Video)
  8. The Divine name of the Creator (Video)
  9. Use of /Gebruik van Jehovah or/of Yahweh in Bible Translations/Bijbel vertalingen
  10. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  11. People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life
  12. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  13. Lord and owner
  14. About a man who changed history of humankind
  15. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  16. Who was Jesus?
  17. The Beginning of the life of Jesus Christ
  18. Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
  19. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah’s Prophecy
  20. Jesus begotten Son of God #16 Prophet to be heard
  21. Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
  22. Jesus begotten Son of God #18 Believing in inhuman or human person
  23. Jesus begotten Son of God #19 Compromising fact
  24. Jesus is the Son of God but Not God the Son
  25. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  26. A man with an outstanding personality
  27. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  28. No Other Name (But Jesus)
  29. Death of Christ on the day of preparation
  30. Impaled until death overtook him
  31. After the Sabbath after Passover, the resurrection of Jesus Christ
  32. A fact of History or just a fancy Story
  33. Why do we need a ransom?
  34. Ransom for all
  35. Suffering redemptive because Jesus redeemed us from sin
  36. Servant of his Father
  37. Only one God
  38. God of gods
  39. The Trinity – true or false?
  40. The Trinity – the Truth
  41. Altered to fit a Trinityod of gods
  42. History of the acceptance of a three-in-one God
  43. Christianity without the Trinity
  44. Sitting at the right hand of God
  45. Human Nature: What does the Bible teach?
  46. Your Sins Are Forgiven
  47. God is my refuge and my fortress in Him I will trust

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Additional reading:

  1. Trinity And Pagan Influence
  2. Trinity: A False Doctrine of a False Church
  3. Part 2) God is not a Trinity
  4. The Trinity: paganism or Christianity?
  5. Unitarianism and the Bible of the Holy Trinity
  6. Trinity: The Truth about Matthew 28:19 & 1 John 5:7
  7. Anyone Who Goes Too Far and Does Not Abide in the Teaching of Christ, Does Not Have God
  8. Is Jesus God?
  9. If the Father is the “only true God” (John 17:3) , does that mean that Jesus is a false god?
  10. Following Jesus’ Footsteps
  11. Massacre of children leaves many asking, ‘Where’s God?’

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  • Hosanna to Hallelujah (my52sundays.wordpress.com)
    From ancient times Christians have brought palm branches home from church on Palm Sunday.  Some place them on the wall behind a cross or sacred picture.  Farmers would bury palm branches in the corners of their fields.
    As time went on, many people added a twist to this tradition by weaving the palms into a cross, a picture frame, or a flower. Some of these were very elaborate, requiring considerable craftsmanship which was passed on in families from generation to generation.The holiest week of the year begins today.  But the world doesn’t stop.  Everything goes on, all the regular TV programs, the regular work schedule, income taxes, all of our daily chores.  So…if I want this to be a “holy week” what do I do?  I decide.

 

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Anti-Semitism ‘on the rise’ in Europe

For some years now in Belgium we see a bad evolution, similar as the trend was evolving in the 1930s Berlin.

Media creating an idea of danger

Once a world full of entertainment and “joy de vivre”, without financial restriction the people loved to have their freedom, going out until late in the morning.  Being drunk they passed others, but found themselves, by their anti-social behaviour more looked at. This annoyed them. with the financial crisis they also saw that they could not any more enjoy their going out “a volonté” and could not have so many trips to other countries any more. Aannoying as well was that some cheaper regions became more dangerous because of Muslim Fundamentalists. Those also came more in the news and tried to get more Belgians involved in their ‘road to Damascus’. Sharia for Belgium took care that the Muslim community came in a worse picture, and the media did the rest to present all those Muslims as a danger for our community.

The banks corrupting and the financial market bringing down the people with the little savings while the Jews still kept the thriving market of jewellery. Seeing those sometimes ‘poorly’ black dressed Jews was a sneer in the face of those who envied their money.

Antisemitism is one of the most alarming examples of how prejudice can endure, lingering on for centuries, curbing Jewish people’s chances to enjoy their legally guaranteed rights to human dignity, freedom of thought, conscience and religion or non-discrimination. Despite European Union (EU) and Member States’ best efforts, many Jews across the EU continue to face insults, discrimination, harassment and physical violence that may keep them from living
their lives openly as Jews. Nevertheless, there is little concrete information available on the extent and nature of antisemitism that Jewish people encounter in the EU today – whether at work, in public places, at school or in the media – information critical to policy makers seeking to craft effective solutions to bring an end to such discrimination.

Nazi Anti-Semitic propaganda at Yad Vashem

Nazi Anti-Semitic propaganda at Yad Vashem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Data by European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has reported on the available official and unofficial data on antisemitic incidents in its Annual report on Fundamental rights: challenges and achievements, as well as in a separate annual working paper – Antisemitism: Summary overview of the situation in the EU – which presents trends on the available data covering up to 10 years. This provides a long-term view of the developments concerning
antisemitic incidents. These reports are part of FRA’s body of work on hate crime, shining light on the experiences of various groups such as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons, immigrants and ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities.

The available data fail to answer many questions, however, which are of keen interest to policy makers looking to improve responses to antisemitic acts. Effective solutions require information on the types of antisemitic incidents, the context in which they take place and the reasons why many incidents are not reported at all, indeed, why official statistics markedly underestimate the number of antisemitic incidents and the number of people exposed to these acts.
Furthermore, even the most basic official statistics on antisemitic incidents are not available in many EU Member States.

Need for rallying against something

For some it might be clear that people need something to rally against to stay united. A good example of that we could see in the ‘Cold War’ where we had the West against the East, the Americans against the Soviets. Many do think it was the best time when they had the USA to rally against the USSR. Several Americans do find they have come to sit in a slow-motion train wreck of a divisive, culturally degenerative society ever since the Soviet Union ceased to give them purpose and unity.

Others consider that certain people are looking for it by placing themselves as a separate people. They are convinced that the Jewish religion encourages a separate identity for Jews, asking them to keep themselves apart in certain respects from the cultures they live within. That naturally can lead to conflict. People hate certain Christians for much the same reason. Those who want to follow the Only One God undergo the difficulty of ‘not being of this world’ and still having ‘to be part of this world’. Non-trinitarians are as ridiculed and confounded as the Jews who have the same God of Abraham. (Check in your own environment how people do think for example of Jehovah Witnesses.)

Blamed for suffering

It's not a question of religion, the Jew is of...

It’s not a question of religion, the Jew is of a different race and the enemy of ours. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Historically, Jews have had religious traditions and doctrines that have allowed them to thrive (or at least survive) where others have struggled. Because those people did follow the Laws of the Divine Creator somehow they also where protected and blessed by this Creator God. They also seemed to cope better with their struggle for life and their suffering, which was a thorn in the flesh for the people around them who underwent more difficulties with the same problems.

During the Black Plague, Jews washed themselves more often than once a year, which reduced their infection rate; they were blamed.
Due to Christian bans on usury, they were inevitably the money lenders; they were blamed.

Having been able to cope with many diseases, many terrible incidents, every-time springing up again, like not destroyable weed, always forming one union with their community, combined with being members of a highly visible minority where race and religion are not equal but intermingled, is sufficient to trigger envy by others who also look at the actions taken in Israel where walls are build and Palestinians provoked.

2012 Survey

5,847 self-identified Jewish people (aged 16 years or over) in eight EU Member States – Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the
United Kingdom gave their answers for the survey which was carried out online during September and October 2012.

Two thirds of the survey respondents (66 %) consider antisemitism to be a problem across the eight EU Member States surveyed, while on average three quarters of the respondents (76 %) also believe that the situation has become more acute and that antisemitism has increased in the country where they live over the past five years. In the 12 months following the survey, close to half of the respondents (46 %) worry about being verbally insulted or harassed in a public place because they are Jewish, and one third (33 %) worry about being physically attacked in the country where they live because they are Jewish. Furthermore, 66 % of parents or grandparents of school-aged children worry that their children could be subjected to antisemitic verbal insults or harassment at school or en route, and 52 % worry that they would be physically attacked with an antisemitic motive while at school or en route. In the past 12 months, over half of all survey respondents (57 %) heard or saw someone claim that the Holocaust was a myth or that it has been exaggerated.

Protecting Jewish people from discrimination

About one quarter of respondents (23 %) said that they have felt discriminated against on the grounds of their religion or ethnic background in the 12 months preceding the survey. Specifically concerning discrimination because of being Jewish, the respondents in all eight EU Member States indicate that they are most likely to experience discrimination at the workplace (11 % of respondents who were working during the period have experienced this), when looking for work (10 % of respondents who have been looking for work) or on the part of people working in the education sector (8 % of respondents in school or training or whose children were in school or training have felt discriminated against by people working in this area). More than three quarters (82 %) of those who said that they have felt discriminated against during the period because they are Jewish did not report the most serious incident, namely the one that most affected them, to any authority or organisation.

Antisemitism on the internet

Antisemitism on the internet – including, for example, antisemitic comments made in discussion forums and on social networking sites – is a significant concern for a majority of respondents. Overall, 75 % of respondents consider antisemitism online to be a problem, while another 73 % believe antisemitism online has increased over the last five years.
More than 80 % of the respondents living in Belgium, France, Hungary and Italy are concerned by the level of antisemitism on the internet which they say has increased either a lot or a little. Antisemitic hostility in public places and antisemitism in the media are the next two manifestations that respondents are most likely to perceive as on the rise.

Meeting the needs of Jewish victims of hate crime

Antisemitism in Budapest Gyermekavasut

Antisemitism in Budapest Gyermekavasut (Photo credit: Yigal Chamish)

One quarter of respondents (26 %) experienced some form of antisemitic harassment in the 12 months preceding the survey – including various offensive and threatening acts, for example, receiving written anti-semitic messages, phone calls, being followed or receiving offensive antisemitic comments in person or on the internet, according to the survey results. Overall, 4 % of respondents experienced physical violence or threats of violence because they are Jewish in the 12 months preceding the survey. Of all respondents, 3 % on average said that their personal property has been deliberately vandalised, because they are Jewish, in the 12 months preceding the survey. A majority of the victims of anti-semitic harassment (76 %), physical violence or threats (64 %), or vandalism of personal property (53 %) did not report the most serious incident, namely the one that most affected the respondent, in the past five years to the police or to any other organisation protecting Jewish people from discrimination The relative position of antisemitism on the list of other social and political issues varies slightly among the EU Member States surveyed. When asked to consider whether each of the items presented is a problem or not in the country where they live, the respondents rated unemployment (85 % saying that it was ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’), state of the economy (78 %) and racism (72 %) ahead of antisemitism (66 %) in terms of the present magnitude of the problem. Anti-semitism was followed as a problem, respondents said, by crime levels (62 %), immigration (59 %), religious intolerance (54 %), state of health services (51 %) and government corruption (40 %). In contrast with other countries, in Germany antisemitism was regarded as the greatest problem (61 %) in comparison to the other issues listed in the survey, such as unemployment (59 %), racism (57 %) or others.

Respondents from all the EU Member States surveyed except of Germany – consider unemployment to be the most pressing issue facing the country where they live.
Over 90 % of respondents in five countries (France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia and the United Kingdom) saw the state of the economy as ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’. Respondents in Germany and Sweden seem less concerned with the state of the economy – 41 % and 25 % of the respondents, respectively, said it is ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’.

Most pressing social and political issues

Antisemitism was rated among the three most pressing social and political issues in France, Germany and Sweden (85 %, 61 % and 60 %, respectively, considered it ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’). In a pattern that differs slightly from the other survey countries, respondents in Belgium viewed – besides unemployment – crime levels and immigration as the problems which most affect the country where they live (81 % and 80 %, respectively).

Respondents in Hungary and Italy alone considered government corruption to be among the top three problems in the country where they live (94 % of respondents voiced this opinion in both countries). A notable share of respondents in Latvia and the United Kingdom identified the state of health services as a problem (92 % and 69 % of respondents, respectively).

Respondents were also asked whether they felt that antisemitism has increased or decreased during the past five years in the country where they live. Antisemitism is reported to be on the increase – having increased ‘a lot’ or increased ‘a little’ – by a majority of respondents in all eight EU Member States surveyed . The percentage of respondents indicating that antisemitism has increased over the past five years was especially high (about 90 %) in Belgium, France and Hungary. These are also the countries, as shown earlier, where the respondents were most likely to say that antisemitism is ‘a very
big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’ today.

Manifestations and Attacks to affect community

Antisemitic attacks have a profound impact not only on the individuals concerned and those close to them, but certain manifestations of antisemitism also affect the Jewish community as a whole.

Among the specific manifestations listed, online antisemitism is seen as a particular problem: three quarters of all respondents (75 %) consider this either ‘a very big’ or a ‘fairly big problem’, and almost as many (73 %) believe that it hasincreased over the past five year.

59 % of the respondents feel that antisemitism in the media is ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’, while 54 % say the same about expressions of hostility towards Jews in the street and other public places. Half (50 %) consider desecration of cemeteries to be a problem.

The majority of the respondents in France (84 %), Belgium (74 %) and Hungary (72 %) consider expressions of hostility towards Jews in the street and other public spaces to be ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’ in the country. In Sweden (51 %) and Germany (48 %), about half the respondents consider it a problem, while in Italy (30 %) or the United Kingdom (35 %) one third of the respondents do so.

Arena’s

Regarding the four arenas where antisemitic comments may occur and comparing the eight survey countries, respondents from Belgium, France and Hungary indicate in particular antisemitic reporting in the media (64 %, 70 %, and 71 %, respectively, to be ‘a very big problem’ or ‘a fairly big problem’) and antisemitic comments in discussions people have (69 %, 72 %, and 76 %, respectively). Respondents in France and Hungary (87 % each) highlight political speeches and discussions. Respondents in Latvia were less likely than those in the other countries surveyed to highlight any of the four arenas as very or fairly problematic with regard to spreading antisemitic content. In Sweden and the United Kingdom, less than half of all respondents consider that  antisemitic content is ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’ in three of the four arenas, with the exception of antisemitism on the internet, for which respondents living in those two countries also give a higher rating, seeing it as a problem.

Prevalence and context of negative statements about Jews

Hearing or seeing statements that offend human dignity by assigning fictional negative attributes to individuals as members of a group can be detrimental to Jewish people’s sense of safety and security and undermine their ability to live their lives openly as Jews. The FRA survey addresses this issue by asking respondents to what extent they have been exposed to certain statements selected for the survey, and whether they consider these statements antisemitic. The statements selected cover various issues including the role of the Jewish community in society, their interests and distinctiveness, attitudes towards historical experiences and current issues. These statements do not necessarily reflect the whole spectrum of antisemitic views or connotations. They were used to guide the respondent into thinking about situations where they may have heard negative comments about Jewish people, in order to identify the contexts in which Jewish people hear these comments and to describe the person or persons who made the comments.
Respondents’ assessments concerning these statements offer an insight into the issues which they consider antisemitic. Respondents’ sensitivity to all things (perceived as) antisemitic has an impact on all of the other survey results.
First, the survey respondents were asked how often they have heard or seen non-Jewish people make these statements, in what contexts they have heard or seen them, and respondents’ perceptions concerning those who made these statements. The information concerning the medium used for making these statements and the context in which they are made can help the EU and its Member States in designing measures to counteract the use of such statements, for example, through awareness-raising and education campaigns.

Worrying level of discrimination

Antisemitism casts a long shadow on Jewish people’s chances to enjoy their legally guaranteed rights to human dignity, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and non-discrimination. The daily insults, discrimination, harassment and even physical violence, with which Jewish people across the European Union (EU) must contend, show few signs of abating, despite EU and EU Member States’ best efforts. Nevertheless, little information exists on the extent and nature of antisemitic crimes to guide policy makers seeking to effectively fight these crimes. This FRA survey is the first-ever to collect comparable data on Jewish people’s experiences and perceptions of antisemitism, hate-motivated crime and discrimination across a number of EU Member States,  specifically in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Its findings reveal a worrying level of discrimination, particularly in employment and education, a widespread fear of victimisation and heightening concern about antisemitism online.
By shining light on crimes that all too often remain unreported and therefore invisible, this FRA report seeks to help put an end to them.

More to be done

John Mann, chair of the UK’s all-party parliamentary group against antisemitism, said he was shocked by the survey’s results.

“It is extraordinary that 75 years after the terrible events of Kristallnacht, Jews are again living in fear,” he said. “The inaction of the European commission in combating antisemitism is inexcusable.”

Mann said the EU had to do more to co-ordinate Holocaust education work and to crack down on online antisemitism.

“The internet is a classic EU territory because it crosses borders and the EU could have a huge impact – if it had a thorough approach to antisemitism and other hatred and abuse on the internet,” he said.

A spokesman for the Community Security Trust, which monitors antisemitism and provides security for the UK Jewish community, said the research showed that much more needed to be done to protect Jewish people across Europe.

“In some countries, including Britain, politicians and police are trying to deal with the problem, but these efforts are sorely needed everywhere,” the spokesman said.

“Jews also require basic anti-racist solidarity in all of this – solidarity that has been partial, or deliberately denied, far too often since the year 2000.”

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Please do find also to read:

  1. Ambassador Gutman and the relationship between the inhabitants of Belgium
  2. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #3 Of the earth or of God
  3. Migrants to the West #7 Religions
  4. Pupils asked ‘why do some people hate Jews?’ in GCSE exam
  5. What Are The Sources Of Anti-Semitism? or Why do people hate Jews?
  6. Stand Up
  7. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  8. Christian fundamentalism as dangerous as Muslim fundamentalism
  9. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #3 Right to Human dignity
  10. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  11. A world in denial
  12. Judeo-Christian values and liberty
  13. Anti-Semitic incidents in Australia in 2012 highest ever on record

In Dutch:

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To me, it demonstrates the outdated mentality of a post-war generation. Too many of us are trapped in an anachronistic mind-set, always looking out for examples of antisemitism, always trying to “catch it on the edge of a remark” (as Harold Abrahams put it in Chariots of Fire).
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Being Jewish today can be a lot of fun. I work and socialise primarily with non-Jews, so I milk the Jewish angle whenever possible. I wear a chai necklace, drop Yiddish words into conversation and grow a beard and a Jewfro during the winter months.

Jews could hardly be better-positioned in our multicultural society, part of the mainstream but retaining a crucial bit of edginess. It’s a good place to be. The same goes for America, where the pollster Mark Penn now uses the voter category, philosemite, to describe people who either wanted to marry a Jew or emulate Jewish values.

Of course I’m not suggesting antisemitism is dead. It is an ancient and insidious prejudice that will exist as long as we do. There is still plenty of antisemitism in Britain, whether it’s troglodyte football fans chanting about Auschwitz or belligerent anti-Zionists obsessing over Jewish media influence.

 

  • EU Study: Jews in Germany Fear Rising Anti-Semitism (spiegel.de)
    The survey’s results provide insight into the perceptions, experiences and self-conception of European Jews. Rather than supplying absolute figures on anti-Semitic attacks, the study focuses on the perceived danger of such attacks and how much the anxiety this causes affects their lives.
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    In Germany, the KPMD, a service for registering crimes, has recorded a decline in anti-Semitic crimes since 2009. However, by itself, that says nothing about the perceptions of Jews living in Germany. According to the FRA report, 63 percent of the Jewish respondents in Germany have avoided “wearing, carrying or displaying things that might help people identify them as Jews in public,” such as a skullcap (kippa). Likewise, 25 percent of them claimed to have considered emigrating from Germany in the last five years because they don’t feel safe there.

 

When it comes to the relative seriousness of anti-Semitism, Germany was the only country in which a majority (61%) of respondents said it was the greatest problem. Respondents from the other seven countries believed that unemployment was the most pressing issue.

 

  • Alarming early figures from Euro antisemitism poll (thejc.com)
    In France, thousands of Jews have moved to Israel, North America and Britain. In Hungary, the situation is also very concerning, but very different, deriving from far-right nationalists. Then, there is Malmo in Sweden, widely regarded as the worst example of a local community living in fear.

 

In Britain, we are relatively fortunate. CST and the police have had excellent relations since the 1990s and, over the past decade, our politicians have taken antisemitism increasingly seriously.

Many of our continental cousins look on with envy, and really need this survey to kick-start better responses from local officialdom.

  • Poll: 76% of European Jews Believe Anti-Semitism Is On The Rise in Europe (jpupdates.com)
    On the 75th anniversary of Kristelnacht, the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) has released the results of their first poll ever that they conducted on Jewish people’s experiences of antisemitic harassment, discrimination and hate crime in the EU. This report, which covers responses from 5,847 Jewish people in the eight countries in which some 90% of the estimated Jewish population in the EU live, will thus be a vital tool for EU decision makers and community groups to develop targeted legal and policy measures.