The Portland State University chapter of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) has graciously invited me to give a speech this Monday night, May 14, addressing the latest developments in the Middle East and the threats gathering against Israel.
Over the past four years, I've been privileged to give countless similar talks around the country, including many for CUFI. Yet the upcoming Portland State event is the first in which I've actually received a threat in advance: and a viciously anti-Semitic one at that.
PSU's CUFI chapter has put up posters around campus to promote the event, which is open to the public. The posters feature the American and Israeli flags, plus my picture and bio. Well, as you can see below, vandals defaced the posters, drawing swastikas over the Star of David and scrawling pro-Palestinian slogans. Here is one example:
Where to begin? First off, a Christian student initially discovered the defaced flyers. But imagine the anger, shock, and revulsion Jewish students must have felt to see the symbol of Nazi Germany--perpetrator of a Holocaust that nearly eliminated their people from the face of the earth--superimposed over the Star of David. What did every Jewish student on the Portland State campus feel when they were greeted by such a menacing image?
They have clearly been marked for harassment and intimidation, if not worse. It also sends a chilling message to Christian supporters of Israel, including myself, to watch their backs: "You are not welcome here."
Second, this kind of vandalism and anti-Semitic rhetoric has become commonplace on college campuses throughout the country, as has open support for jihadist genocide against the Jews.
How bad is it? This bad. Comparing Israel to Nazi Germany due to Israel's supposed oppression of the Palestinians (a "genocide" that is "worse than the Holocaust," as some pro-Palestinian fanatics have told me in the past) is a favorite tactic of radical Islamists and their allies on the radical left.
Notice the slogan scrawled on the poster above: "Never again includes Palestinians." The term "never again" is commonly used by Jews as a reminder that the days of pogroms, genocides and forced expulsions are over--thanks in large part to the existence of Israel--and can never be allowed to return. For pro-Palestinian radicals to co-opt it and suggest that Israelis are the equivalent of the greatest Jew-hating machine of all time is not just insensitive and absurd: it's pure evil.
My third thought: who was behind the vandalism? I don't have that answer, but based on history, my best guess is that it was either elements of the radical left or Islamists on campus, or perhaps a combination of both. I've long documented the work of Muslim Brotherhood-tied groups at American universities. And with Portland State offering courses like this, it's not surprising that good little Leftists--who are invariably hostile to Israel--are being produced.
Portland State University administrators and campus police have been notified about the threats and I'm fully expecting that they will launch an investigation and have ample security on hand for Monday night's event. If they do not, and if they allow anti-Semitic radicals to disrupt my speech, run amok during the Q and A, or intimidate others in the audience (click here to watch a particularly egregious 2010 example from UC Irvine) you will surely hear about it in this space come Tuesday morning.
Islamists attempted--and failed--to hijack my last speech for CUFI on a college campus. And if they attempt a repeat at Portland State, they will fail again.
Anti-Semites beware: This is not 1944. Bible-believing Christians will not sit idly by in shameful silence and watch as Jews are threatened, once again, with extinction. As my friends at CUFI so often say, quoting the Book of Isaiah, "For Zion's sake, I will not remain silent."
No matter how many threats are thrown our way, we will continue to stand strong and speak the truth with boldness. There are already untold millions of us. As we continue to educate people around the world about what Israel is really all about (here is a great example), our numbers will only grow. And we will prevail.
In the meantime, I strongly encourage you to support the brave and vital work of CUFI on Campus. More details to come here after the speech.