Dear Friend of Israel,
When seven Coptic Christians were murdered in Egypt last week in an attack by ISIS terrorists, it was far from an isolated event – it was part of a growing and deeply disturbing trend of radical Islamist violence against Christians in the Middle East.
Indeed, with radical Islamist hostility toward Christians in the region reaching a fever pitch, it seems likely that many countries in the Middle East – with democratic Israel the lone exception – will soon be free of the “Sunday people” (Christians), just as they are now free of the “Saturday people” (Jews).
Jews know what it is like to be targets of stubborn, intractable, violent hatred. And it is a bitter irony that both the attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue last week that killed 11 Jewish worshipers and this despicable attack on Christians in Egypt came just prior to the anniversary of Kristallnacht – which took place November 9-10, 1938 – when angry mobs rioted throughout Germany, attacking Jews and destroying synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses.
Kristallnacht was a turning point – the beginning of Hitler’s “final solution” aimed at the extermination of Jews throughout Europe. As we note the somber anniversary of Kristallnacht, we must remember that the hatred of Jews that led to the Holocaust, and the murderous hatred of others because of their faith, is not a thing of the past. It lives on, as we so painfully saw, in the anti-Semitic hatred that led to the Pittsburgh attack. And hatred of Christians continues to manifest itself in the despicable actions of those who have set about to make Christianity extinct in the Middle East.
This intolerance and hatred is an offense to people of faith, and to God Himself. Thanks to our supporters, The Fellowship is fighting this hate by providing protection and security to synagogues and other Jewish institutions throughout the world. And we’re also providing aid to Christian refugees in Jordan, just as we have provided support to Coptic Christians in Egypt who find themselves on the front lines in the Islamists’ ruthless battle against “the Sunday people.”
May we who love and value freedom always be ready to raise our voices in prayer, protest against such evil and, and back up our words with decisive action. Most importantly, let us continue to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” and for the entire world, and for freedom and security for oppressed people of faith wherever they may be.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President