For over 20 years, I have labored ardently at exposing global anti-Semitism and its morphing trends. At some level, that task has become part of my daily routine within my ministry to my people. It has been emotionally, intellectually and even physically draining at times. Unfortunately, I do not see anti-Semitism slowing down any time soon. Everything seems to indicate that it is on the rise, now even including the deaths of Jewish people (San Diego, Pittsburgh, Paris.) That is why when something positive takes place, it comes as a breath of fresh air in a suffocating world of xenophobic hatred. It recently happened through one of my reliable sources.
One of my many sources on the topic is a site called canarymission.org. They do a very thorough job of exposing those who loathe Israel publicly. They are not interested in character assassination, but simply in exposing the people by name, position and quoting their own words to illustrate their anti-Semitism. They let people decide what to think based on quoting Israel's enemies verbatim, and as far as I can tell, they have always been fair. They describe their mission as follows: "Canary Mission documents people and groups that promote hatred of the USA, Israel and Jews. We investigate hatred across the North American political spectrum, including the far right, far left and anti-Israel activists."
In April 2020, the organization published statements made by five "ex-canaries" as they call them. These people, whose identities are being kept private for safety reasons, have done a 180 on Israel and the Jewish people. They have recognized the indoctrination they had been victims of and have decided to think for themselves. Imagine that! These people were anti-Israel activists involved with groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement (BDS.)
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They have been under a lot of pressure from these organizations and various people supporting their agendas. Courageously, they changed sides because they realized that they had been lied to. In all fairness, we must also admit that as much as the Palestinian narrative is based on a premise that is historically unsustainable, Israel is never 100% squeaky clean either. Regardless, these young people have chosen to seek the truth, not just what they think the truth is or what they are told the truth is. They went out of their way to research, compare, study and think for themselves – something that goes against what they experienced in college. Their conclusion changed them from foes to friends of Israel.
One "ex-canary" said: "I have come to renounce SJP because my experiences in the Holy Land have opened my eyes to several key points. Jewish people are not 'colonists'; rather, the Jewish people are historically indigenous to Israel. … Israel [is] being unfairly held to a higher standard. …"
Another one stated: "Although I am very visibly Muslim, the Israeli employees treated me with the utmost respect and kindness as if I was one of their own. … Seeing that truly made me so ashamed that I ever thought so negatively of people who literally did nothing to deserve so much hate being aimed towards them. I am very fortunate to be among those who have realized the error of my ways and use the opportunity to better myself and better the community."
Yet, another one spoke about BDS, saying, "I used to be involved with the BDS movement and would boycott certain companies and support the movement at my university. I no longer support this movement because it is aggressive and preventative to creating efficient dialogue. … Many people back this movement because of their anti-Semitism, and I refuse to participate in a movement that furthers the oppression of a group of people."
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These people had a lot more to say about how they were misled and indoctrinated against Israel. Their campus experiences were not uncommon, experiences that continue to plague thousands of gullible college students. Equipped with common sense and honesty, these students sought the truth. As it turns out, they actually applied biblical principles to arrive at the truth.
- They did their own research (Deuteronomy 29:29; Acts 17:11);
- They stopped lying (Deuteronomy 5:20)l
- They put any preconceived notion about Israel aside (Isaiah 29:20-21);
- They chose to respect all people as humans (Proverbs 25:21);
- They refused to commit character assassination (Exodus 14:14);
- They didn't rejoice over the fate of their enemies (Proverbs 24:17);
- They ended up loving their former enemies (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 5:43-45).
We can all learn from them (and incidentally, from the Bible) and certainly hope and pray that more of Israel's foes will seek the truth and become her friends. Israel could use a few more friends right now!