Columnist Says Israel ‘Last Hope’ for Arab Christians Before Total Annihilation
Arab Christians must come to understand that Israel represents their “last hope” to be saved from annihilation by jihadists in the region, a Middle Eastern Christian columnist wrote Thursday in an op-ed published by the online news magazine The Federalist.
According to Luma Simms — who grew up in Ba’athist Iraq — Middle Eastern Christians must overcome widespread anti-Jewish indoctrination that is rampant in Arab lands.
“Anyone who claims that the Arab world — Muslim and Christian — is not pathologically antisemitic is delusional. This is the elephant in the room in the Arab Christian subculture; the secret sin no one wants to bring to the light,” she wrote.
It is this “secret sin” — which Simms calls “a blight upon the people of my heritage” — that prevents Arab Christians from reaching out to Israel for help as they suffer at the hands of radical Islamic jihadists.
Antisemitism has deep roots in the Middle East, Simms wrote, recorded as far back as the biblical Book of Esther outlining the genocidal plans of Persian vizier Haman against the Jewish nation. Islamic rulers adopted the idea of Jews as the “scapegoat” for their problems and this antisemitism “trickl[ed] down to minority groups living in Islamic dominated lands.”
Middle Eastern antisemitism in unique, Simms contends, saying it “goes beyond garden-variety envy. It is the belief that Israel is behind every evil in the world and especially the evil that befalls the Arab world. Therefore, it ought to be destroyed!”
The Arab world’s failure to recognize Israel as a Jewish state — with the exceptions of Jordan and Egypt — is a consequence of this unique form of antisemitism, Simms said, adding:
Because for Arab countries to acknowledge a Jewish state would require that they acknowledge Jewish people as people, as human persons. Their antisemitism does not allow them to do this. Antisemitism in the Arab bosom sets the relationship between the Arab and the Jew in what Austrian-German Jewish philosopher Martin Buber called the ‘I-It’ relationship, rather than the ‘I-You.’ They cannot recognize the state because they cannot recognize the people; they cannot recognize the people because they have established a relationship with them not as human persons but as an ‘It,’ as object rather than subject.
Simms expressed her hope that Arab Christian culture — which she believes is acting under a type of Stockholm Syndrome — will “break this spell” of antisemitism. “But hope is running out — Christianity may not survive in the Middle East,” she wrote, adding:
Israel is the last hope for Arab Christians; it’s as simple as that…Helping them, doing good to the Christians in the Arab world, would require Israel overcoming her neighbors’ antisemitism, even of those Christians who will not ask for help because of their prejudices. Arab Christians…feel caught between Muslim interests on one side and Israeli interests on the other. They are bitter. They are a weak minority, always overlooked…Their bitterness makes them miss an important ally: Israel. As the genocide of Middle Eastern Christians continues, the only hope of an Arab Christian remnant — a remnant that would keep and pass on its beliefs, traditions, and customs — is through help from the state of Israel. It is the humanitarian thing to do.
Praising Israel for its “humane treatment of her enemies,” Simms hailed the Jewish state’s decision to set up field hospitals near its borders where the IDF can discreetly treat those injured by conflict in bordering Syria.
Israel, for its part, must remember its own history and the many attempts to wipe the Jewish people off the map, Simms argues, writing:
Remember, Israel, that you were enslaved, persecuted, and almost exterminated. Remember that some wanted to destroy you from the face of the earth. Even now many of your neighbors want to annihilate you. What better way to do good to some of your enemies and save yourself at the same time than by forging an alliance with Arab Christians?
Concluding her article, Simms called on the Jewish state to “rise up and lead that region of the world.”
“Let it always be said: In the dark age of ISIS, when desolation and despair covered the Arab world, Israel was the house of light,” she wrote. “Like the prophet Jonah whom God commanded to go to Nineveh and offer redemption to the Assyrians, may Israel go and redeem Assyria — redeem the Nineveh plains once again.”