You should know that everywhere that I go and preach, regarding the people of Israel I often address them as the “chosen ones”.
Sometimes, depending upon the different circumstances, we might ask ourselves, chosen for what? The reply might be, chosen to suffer given their history.
It is important for you to know that the struggle of the Jewish people throughout history compares to no other nation or peoples in the world.
Even in modern times the distaste for the Jewish people, every now and again will manifest. We must not forget and must talk about the destruction of Jerusalem and the holy temple, in the year 70 AD by Titus the Roman General. The Romans under Titus, took more than 100,000 Jews and enslaved them. We must also talk about the inquisition’s, the crusades and the holy wars that targeted and persecuted the Jews that resulted in the killing of thousands innocent Jewish lives.
The Christian kings, and the nobles pillaged their possessions, their money, their houses, their artwork and many other valuables. The Christian bishops wrote books against the Jewish people. Others would openly persecute and kill Jews in public view without any fear of punishment. The suffering of the Jewish people continued following the crusades.
In the year 1096 Geoffrey Bullion swore that he would not let one single Jew live. In Mallen, in Regensburg, in Travis, in Prague, the Jews were killed by the thousands.
In the year 1215, the Catholic Church issued a decree to prohibit the Jews from appearing or being seen in public without displaying the Jewish symbol of the Star of David affixed to their clothes. In the year 1290, 17,000 Jews were expelled from England. In 1394 the Jews were expelled from France.
In 1480 Spain started the Inquisition that killed more than 400,000 Jews. By 1881, ladies and gentlemen, after the death of Alexander II, the Jews in Russia and Romania started to experience persecution.
By that time anti-Semitism had begun to flourish all over Europe and other parts of the world. In Germany a political party was organized with the sole purpose of stripping the Jews of all social and political rights. Anti-Semitic newspapers began to appear, falsely accusing the Jews of horrendous crimes.
Throughout Jewish history, Jews have been persecuted, assassinated, and it spread to other countries. However, ladies and gentlemen, nothing can compare to the anti-Semitism of Adolf Hitler and Adolf Eichmann. They are responsible for the killing of more than 6 million Jews under the “Final Solution”.
In 1887 Theodore Herz started the Zionist movement. In 1917, the British Chancellor, Lowell Alfred Bedford, proclaimed the British would support the making of a Jewish state in Palestine. General Edmundo Allenby directed the British forces across the Sinai desert to Palestine. David Ben-Gurion was part of the Jewish battalion who aided and assisted General Allenby in the liberation of Palestine from England in December 9, 1917.
On November 29, 1947, the United Nations issued a resolution creating the State of Israel. On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion declared, during a meeting, that the establishment of a Jewish state would be called the State of Israel.
We must not forget that in Israel’s struggle and their battles for survival, the creation of the State of Israel, and the return of the Jewish people to their homeland were made possible by the contribution of many courageous individuals among them are leaders such as Golda Meir, Yashik Shamir, Ariel Sharon. Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and many, many others.
Many enemies have sworn to destroy and wipe Israel off the face of the earth. On June 5th, 1967, 12 Arab nations declared war against Israel. Those nations were Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Iraq.
In the Middle East terrorist groups such as Hamas, Al Qaeda, the PLO, and nations such as Iran and others have sworn to destroy the State of Israel. News organizations such as Al Jazeera and people like the late Yasser Arafat and Osama Bin Laden joining together to seek the destruction of Israel.
Here in the United States, there are some people, even among the elected officials, who voice their displeasure with the Jewish people and the existence of the State of Israel.
Recently, in a city as “diverse”, and “tolerate” as New York City we have seen an increase of anti-Semitism. But we all have to join hands together and repeat the words of the great Menachem Begin, “never again, never again, never again.”
God bless the people of Israel and the State of Israel.
I am City Councilman Rev. Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.