The Tragic Consequences of Racism
How the sins of Ezra and Nehemiah led to the destruction of the New York's World Trade Center (Sep 01)
1. As I pointed out in last month's review of the Book of Daniel, since ancient times, the Hebrews and eventually the Judeans have historically paid a VERY heavy price for embracing the racist attitudes (including their prohibition against "intermarriage") taught by many of their religious leaders. I'm not saying that they deserved what happened to them, but it's important to honestly face up to the fact that racist attitudes and practices towards one's neighbors tend to inspire wide-spread counter-hatreds among those neighbors; it is the racist attitudes and practices that are causing the problem. When the wise King Solomon dedicated Israel's first temple, he encouraged his fellow Israelites to welcome foreigners:
I Kings 8:41-43 (NKJ)
"Moreover, concerning a foreigner, who is not of Your people Israel, but has come from a far country for Your name's sake for they will hear of Your great name and Your strong hand and Your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this temple, hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, that all peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this temple which I have built is called by Your name."
But after King Solomon died, some Levite priests engineered the breakup of Solomon's kingdom into a "Northern Kingdom" (still called Israel) and a "Southern Kingdom" which became known as Judea where the descendants of King David continued to rule until the Babylonians wiped out Jerusalem. Both of those kingdoms ignored Solomon's advice. They began to act in a racially prejudiced manner towards their neighbors and to put their faith in "national sovereignty" rather than God. By doing so, they turned many of the non-Hebrews in that part of the world into "enemies", many of whom (for understandable reasons) chose to side with the Assyrian forces that destroyed the Northern Kingdom and the Babylonian forces that destroyed Judea about a century later. The Levite religious leaders in both of those kingdoms were classic examples of what Jesus would call "the blind leading the blind."
2. After that, many of the Judeans who were deported to Babylon continued to embrace and teach racially prejudiced attitudes and practices which led to so much animosity against them that if it were not for the intervention of Queen Esther (an "intermarried" Judean), all the Judean's under Syrian rule at that time (including all of the Judeans in Judea) would have been annihilated.
3. When the Mede King Darius issued a proclamation allowing the Judeans in Babylon to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple, the initial contingents of Judeans worked together with their non-Judean neighbors to rebuild the temple. As a result, they got along fairly well with their non-Judean neighbors. But all that changed when a later contingent of Judeans from Babylon (led by Nehemiah and Ezra) arrived in Jerusalem and satanically demanded that the Judeans who were already there "put away" their non-Judean wives and children. By doing so, Ezra and Nehemiah re-established tribal Judean racism (including that prohibition against "intermarriage") as a key feature in the Judeans' religion. They not only rebuilt the physical walls around Jerusalem, they rebuilt ancient ideological walls around the Judeans' religion as well. And ironically (or perhaps not), it was those ideological walls that made those physical walls appear to be necessary.
4. Those racist ideological walls created so much animosity toward the Judeans that it was just a matter of time before another ruler (Antiochus Epiphanes) would try to wipe out most of the Judeans in Judea. However, enough Judeans survived to repopulate Judea and rebuild the temple again.
5. Unfortunately for those Judeans and their descendants, those racist attitudes and practices survived as well. In fact, such teachings became so blatant that at one point, that St. Peter remarked:
Acts 10:28 (NKJ)
Then he said to them, "You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean."
The Judean religious leaders in Jesus' day were teaching that it was "unlawful" for a Jewish man to keep company or go to one of another nation! THAT is religiously inspired racism, pure and simple.
With teachings like that, Jesus could easily see that it would be just a matter to time before Jerusalem and its beloved temple would be destroyed again (as happened in 70 AD).
6. After the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, many of the surviving Judean religious leaders recognized that they would have to rethink what it really meant to be a "Jew." Some of them, like the authors of the Kabbalah, wisely decided to discard the racist aspects of traditional Judean religious teachings, but others sought to retain them. For the most part, those others prevailed and continued to promote such racist attitudes and practices. So for the next two millennia, most Jews in Western and Eastern Europe continued to isolate themselves from their "Gentile" neighbors, and many of those neighbors reacted accordingly by embracing and promoting "anti-Semitism." Eventually, Adolph Hitler took advantage of such animosities to help justify his efforts to scrap Germany's democratic government and seize total control of the country. Once again, the Jews (at least those in Europe and the former Soviet Union) were faced with the possibility that they would be totally annihilated. But Hitler lost the war (in part BECAUSE of what he attempted to do to the Jews), and many Jews decided that the time had come to re-establish a Jewish "homeland" in Palestine. So they "worked the bureaucracy" of the United Nations to get a nation-state of Israel created in 1947.
7. Unfortunately for the new Jewish Israelites as well as for their non-Jewish neighbors, the Jew's own reputation for racist attitudes and practices led many non-Jews in Palestine to conclude (with some justification) that they would suffer the consequences of sever discrimination under a Jewish run state. So they foolishly decided to resort to force to prevent the establishment of this new Jewish state. The Palestinians not only lost that fight, but they ended up losing most of the territory that the United Nations had promised to them, because the new Israeli government used that fight as an excuse to "seize" (steal) significant portions of that territory without paying anything to those who had been the owners of that property. So a large number of Palestinians ended up becoming refugees. In revenge, the other Arab nations in that area decided to force those Palestinians to become "permanent refugees" rather than absorbing them into their own societies. Apparently, they figured that those refugees and their descendants would be a "permanent thorn in the side of Israel", which has certainly turned out to be true.
8. Since then, there have been two more Arab-Israeli wars. The Israelis not only won both wars, they also managed to seize even more Arab territory in the process. And even without the justification of any further wars, the government of Israel has continued to "seize" Arab properties and create Jewish settlements on them. What more evidence does one need to recognize that the present government of Israel is in fact a "racist state"?
9. Now we can see that the historical sequence of events that led to recent destruction of the World Trade Center towers goes back thousands of years and is STILL HINGING on those ancient tribal religious teachings that promoted Judean racist attitudes and practices (including the prohibition against "intermarriage."). Many Arabs hate the United States intensely, because it appears to them (with some justification) that the United States is supporting the Israeli government's racist attitudes and practices. In fact, during the weeks leading up to the destruction of those office towers, Secretary of State Colin Powell refused to attend a United Nations' conference on racism and made it quite clear that he could not agree that the present government of Israel was a "racist state." Although that particular terrorist attack was clearly planned long before then, Colin Powell's' actions and statements no doubt re-assured those terrorists that the violence and sacrifice that they were planning was "the only alternative they had left" to bring the world's attention to their grievances. If the United States government had taken that United Nations conference on racism seriously and demonstrated to the world that such grievances CAN be effectively addressed and resolved in a PEACEFUL manner, perhaps one or more of the persons involved in that attack might have opted instead to "blow the whistle" on the whole plot.
So the World Trade Center towers were destroyed not just because some terrorists arbitrarily decided to hijack some planes and fly them into some buildings, the ultimate cause of all that destruction was the religiously inspired racial bigotry that Ezra and Nehemiah reestablished in the religion of a relatively small number of Judeans nearly 2,500 years ago! History has clearly shown that even today, those who continue to embrace or support such attitudes and practices of racism are in fact contributing to the perpetuation of problems like these. In fairness to the present government of Israel, it should also be noted that our own government was largely a "racist state" until President Johnson pushed John F. Kennedy's Civil Rights Act through Congress in 1964. We have come a long way in irradicating racist attitudes since then. The present government of Israel needs to do likewise, not just for themseleves, but for the peace and security of the whole world.
10. Also, as pointed out in earlier articles on this web site, the Israeli government's reliance on "tit for tat" terrorism rather than God's two most fundamental commandments (Matt 22:37-40) has in fact created MORE death and LESS security for Israeli citizens, in spite of what the Israeli government claims. The same will happen to the United States if our own government decides to follow the Israeli government's largely ineffective example in this regard.
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Last modified on Friday, May 03, 2002