Elan Carr, Hillel Newman Speak at Friends of Israel Pastors Meeting

Carr explained to the various pastors in the audience the nature of antisemitism today.
March 22, 2023
Elan Carr speaks at the event (Photo by Aaron Bandler)

Former Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Elan Carr and Counsul General of Israel in Los Angeles Hillel Newman highlighted the Friends of Israel pastors meeting at Core Church LA on March 16.

Carr explained to the various pastors in the audience the nature of antisemitism today. “Who would have thought less than eight decades since history’s most notorious crimes that took out two-thirds of the lives of Jews in Europe… antisemitism would be rising even in Europe and, yes, even here in one of the most philosemitic countries in the history of the world,” Carr said.

When he served as the special envoy, people would often ask Carr how it’s possible for antisemitism to currently be rising so much. Carr explained that there are three main sources of antisemitism, one of which is far-right supremacist, often neo-Nazi types who permeate “vile Internet chat rooms,” engage in “torch lit marches in Europe” and synagogue shootings. “These haters have taken innocent lives in synagogues on shabbat on yom kippur demonstrating their vicious insatiable hatred for the Jewish people,” Carr said.

The second source: militant Islamism, which Carr called “the source of lethal violence for the Jews of western Europe.” As an example, Carr recalled being told by a congregant of a synagogue he was visiting in Paris that it wasn’t safe to wear a kippah in the streets of the city. “That tells you everything you need to know,” Carr said, adding that he wore the kippah anyway.

But the third––and newest––source of antisemitism is from “the radical left, an ideology that is neo-Marxist in character,” Carr said. “Jews particularly are branded as a noxious form of oppression in this ideology.” This form of antisemitism has become mainstreamed on various schools and campuses and has even metastasized into the “halls of Congress,” Carr said.

Carr said he’s had pastors tell him that “we’re losing our young generation on Israel” and had a young churchgoer tell him about this issue, who told him that it was the result of the “constant drumbeat of antisemitism” at college campuses. In fact, this churchgoer had a math problem that discussed Israelis “murdering children” in “occupied Palestine.”

Carr went on to call these three sources of antisemitism “un-American,” “anti-Christian” and “ungodly” and argued that antisemitism is a “barometer for human history and suffering.” “Those movements threaten all of us,” he argued, pointing to the fact that the Nazis “left an entire continent in ruin” in the aftermath of World War II.

The former special envoy argued that the way to fight antisemitism is to be able to properly identify it through the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, encouraging churches and communities to adopt the definition. He also urged the pastors to teach their churches on “how to use the Internet and social media” since social media is the “chief vector” for spreading hate. Carr also argued that a message of philo-semitism needs to be promulgated to counteract antisemitism.

He concluded his remarks by pointing to the words outside of the church saying, “There is a God in heaven who loves you” and asked how many problems in the world would be solved if people simply lived by those words.

Hillel Newman (Photo by Aaron Bandler)

Preceding Carr was Newman, who called the world “fragile” due to the current state of affairs, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Jews recently being shot in the Pico-Robertson area in February, the recent alliance between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the collapse of a couple of American banks and “domestic polarization in Israel.” “In this fragile world we need some anchors,” Newman said, arguing that those anchors are Judeo-Christian principles and the United States-Israel alliance. He also urged everyone to stand against hate crimes against Asian-Americans, Jews and Christians, and the fact that Israel is prospering 75 years into its existence shows that “divine guidance” exists.

David Edery, who founded Friends of Israel, also spoke, saying that the text of Genesis:12 states that God promised to Abraham “to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel” and the organization was founded to be religious, not political, in an attempt to unite pastors together against the scourge of antisemitism. “If you hate Israel, you are anti-Christian,” Edery said, pointing out that Jesus was a Jew who based his teachings on the Hebrew Bible.

Pastor Steve Wilburn of the Core Church LA had kicked off the event by leading prayer for the event and gave a brief speech; other speakers included Jewish News Syndicate CEO and Jerusalem Bureau Chief Alex Traiman, Dina Orenbach of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism and Bar Reuven and Yoav Asa, reserve combat unit members of Unit 669, the elite Israeli rescuing squad. Asa is a reserve combat medic unit in the squad.

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