During Passover, it would be nice if God did something to give hope to the people of Israel: a message that not everyone hates them, that not everyone wishes them dead, that not everyone sees Israel’s assertion of its right to exist as morally equivalent to Palestinian lust for innocent Jewish blood flowing in the streets.
It looks like God is doing just that. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, has visited the Middle East during Passover. Although a cautious, thoughtful person, Merkel clearly is siding with Israel. As one Palestinian leader put it: “This woman is trying to be more Israeli than the Israelis.”
She is not the only political leader in the West who is standing up to Islamic anti-Semitism. Last year, Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, strongly defended Israel during its war against terrorism in Gaza and in Lebanon. Only President Bush was stronger in his support for Israel, but giving any support was hard for Harper because his Conservative Party is a minority party in the Canadian Parliament. That is one reason why one of the terrorist plots uncovered last year in Canada involved decapitating Harper.
According to all the polls, by May 2007 the next President of France will be Nicolas Sarkozy, who is more sympathetic to Israel than any French politician in modern memory. When that happens, the two major powers on the European continent and the two major powers on the North American continent will all be openly and unashamedly supporting the right of the Jewish people in Israel to live without fear. This is a dramatic change from one year ago. But the news is better.
Harper, who now has only a minority in the Canadian Parliament, is doing very well politically. The dramatic showing by conservative provincial parties in the recent Quebec elections and the brilliant performance of Harper himself as Prime Minister, along with the “winner take all” electoral system in Canada, means that Harper could easily call an election soon and that the Conservative Party could easily win a majority of the seats in Parliament. Such a political victory would make this friend of Israel much stronger in Canada.
Merkel is also running well in the polls in Germany, and her Christian Democrat Party – currently a minority party – is inching ever closer to being a majority party, when it Free Democrat coalition partners are included. This makes it extremely unlikely that the Social Democrat Party in Germany will do anything to bring down her government, which also gives her much more room to maneuver.
Harper and Merkel, like Sarkozy, are conservatives but there is another dynamic to these three political leaders, and to President Bush, which should bring joy to the hearts of all Jews, but which, sadly, will disturb some Jews: Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy, George W. Bush and Stephen Harper are all devout Christians in an increasingly secular West. Harper’s children, Benjamin and Rachel, go to church with Mr. and Mrs. Harper every Sunday. Merkel’s father was a Christian clergyman in East Germany when that was dangerous. The grandfather of Sarkozy, who Sarkozy considers to have been the greatest influence in his life, was a Sephardic Jew who converted to Christianity. Sarkozy himself, in stark contrast to nearly every politician in France, is a devout Christian.
The truth, the very good news for Jews and for Israel, is that the so-called “religious right,” which means serious conservative Christians, is on their side. This is anathema to Leftist Jews taught to doubt the existence of a Blessed Creator (how could He have allowed HaShoah?) and to view Christians as bigoted fools (Harper, Merkel and Sarkozy, by the way, are viewed by even their bitterest opponents as intellectually brilliant.)
Help is on the way for Israel, and none too soon. Perhaps the fact that this help comes from a German woman who grew up under Communism, an Hungarian immigrant who will soon be President of France (the most godless country in Europe), and from a Canadian Prime Minister who gave his children names right out of the Tanach – three devout Christians – will begin to dispel the destructive lie that Jews and Christians cannot and should not love each other.
Passover and Passion Week (Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter) fall together on the calendar this year. It is not always so, but it is this year. Maybe that means something. Maybe the Blessed Creator is trying to tell Jews and to tell Christians something. Maybe we should listen.
Bruce Walker has been a published author in print and in electronic media since 1990. He is a regular contributor to WebCommentary, Conservative Truth, American Daily, Enter Stage Right, Intellectual Conservative, NewsByUs and Men’s News Daily. His first book, Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie by Outskirts Press was published in January 2006.