NASHVILLE, Tennessee (NRB) – During a breakfast to honor Israel at the NRB 2020 Christian Media Convention, Gary Bauer said anti-Semitism, an “ancient evil” that “never seems to fully go away,” is on the rise again.
Bauer, recently appointed by President Trump to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), worked in the Reagan administration and has served in various pro-family roles.
Anti-Semitism, he said, shows up in more obvious forms such as skinheads and Nazi-enthusiasts with swastika tattoos. “They’re dangerous people, but they’re never going to gain a real foothold in a country like the United States. The American people are too decent for that,” Bauer said at the breakfast on February 26 in Nashville, Tennessee, sponsored by Combat Anti-Semitism, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, and NRBTV.
“I worry a lot more about the anti-Semitism that comes all dressed up. You have people in powerful positions, people who went to all the right schools, who run the universities, who deliver us the news. The anti-Semitism is alive and well among those people.”
Sometimes anti-Semitism “comes disguised as a little old lady,” Bauer said, referring to longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who once said the Jews “need to go back to where they came from – Germany and Poland.”
The Jews are where they came from – the Holy Land of Israel, Bauer said.
“Anti-Semitism has climbed out from underneath its rock,” he said, citing mobs walking through the streets of major European cities chanting, “Death to the Jews,” as well as the Labor Party of Great Britain being “riddled with anti-Semitism” to the point that Jewish members of that party have resigned from their positions in the House of Commons.
“We’ve had Jews beaten on the streets not only of European countries. We’ve had Jews beaten in recent months on the streets of New York City, a city that prides itself as being one of the most progressive cities in America,” Bauer told NRB Convention attendees.
Synagogues have been attacked in the United States, “and it has to be roundly condemned,” he said.
“We’ve got anti-Semitism in the finest universities in America. … Normal, good Americans save all their lives to send their children to these universities, and some professor is giving them Jew-hatred in the classroom,” Bauer said.
He recounted the story of a man who did an experiment at the University of Berkeley in California. The man went to the steps of the library, waved an ISIS flag and yelled, “ISIS has the answers for the Middle East. America should stand with ISIS.” Some students looked at him strangely, and others “gave him the clinched-fist salute” of support.
The man went back a few hours later and instead waved an Israeli flag and yelled, “Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. America must stand with Israel.”
“You would not believe that videotape. You would not believe this was taking place at a university in the United States,” Bauer said. “People cursing him. He had to be escorted off the campus for his own safety because he was waving an Israeli flag and saying America and Israel ought to stand together.”
Anti-Semitism is being mainstreamed in American government, Bauer said, and when Congress tried to pass a resolution condemning the anti-Semitic comments of two of its members, “the politics got so involved that before it was over, the resolution was condemning every hatred known to man, and of course by doing that it wasn’t doing anything. They couldn’t bring themselves to simply condemn anti-Semitism by members in their ranks.”
Bauer said it’s fine for anyone to disagree with a particular policy of a particular Israeli government, but it’s not acceptable to hold Israel or any particular Israeli government to a standard no other country is given.
“That’s anti-Semitism. If you hear somebody questioning the historic presence of the Jews in the Holy Land, there’s only one motivation for that. That’s anti-Semitism. But the Palestinian Authority does it regularly. So does the United Nations,” Bauer said.
Anti-Semitism shouldn’t be a side issue for Christians, he said, because if the Jews weren’t in the Holy Land then not only is the Torah a lie but so is the New Testament.
“The attacks on the Jewish presence in their homeland is an attack on Christianity, too. The Jews in Israel are not visitors. They didn’t arrive yesterday. They didn’t move to Israel a few years ago. Israel is the cradle of the Jewish people. It is their past, it is their present, and it is their future,” Bauer said to applause.
The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, he said, “is not a legitimate debate. When you are only singling out one nation in the world to boycott, divest, and sanction, that is clear evidence that your motives are anti-Semitic.”
Such behavior, Bauer said, reminds him of Hitler ordering his storm troopers to attack Jewish businesses, burn them to the ground, and throw their children into the street. The BDS movement targets Israel rather than China, which has declared war on every religion in the country and oppresses hundreds of millions of people, or Syria, which killed a million of its own people, he said.
“There’s only one country they’re interested in economically punishing, and it’s Israel. They single out the most free, democratic and tolerant nation in the Middle East. There’s not a legitimate argument. It’s anti-Semitism, pure and simple,” Bauer said.
He also spoke against the leaders of mainline Christian denominations who continue to pass resolutions not condemning countries such as Russia, China, or Venezuela but condemning Israel.
“And they do it in the name of Christ. It’s outrageous,” Bauer said. “… These mainline denominations and their hateful resolutions do not speak for us. You cannot be a Christian and hate Jews. You simply can’t.”
Israel is the only nation on earth that was created by a sovereign act of God, Bauer said.
“The Jewish people don’t occupy the land. They own the land.”
By Erin Roach