The Herman Allen "Hal" Israel (C'92) Endowed Lectureship in Jewish-Catholic Relations
"The Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism and the Persecution of Christians"
Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder
President, World Jewish Congress
Islamic extremism, the rise of anti-Semitism, and the slaughter of Christians were just some of the topics discussed at this year’s Herman Allen “Hal” Israel Lecture on Jewish-Catholic Relations. After a few short words by Fred and Leslie Israel, the director of the Program for Jewish Civilization, Dr. Jacques Berlinerblau, introduced the keynote speaker, Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress.
Delivering an address entitled, “The Rising Tide of anti-Semitism and the Persecution of Christians,” Ambassador Lauder discussed the common threat posed by Islamic extremism to both Jews and Christians. In the early 20th century, there were notable Jewish populations in predominantly Arab countries throughout the Middle East. After being killed or expelled, these Jews are now gone. Ambassador Lauder noted that today, Christians have also become the targets of Islamic extremism. “Hundreds of thousands forced to leave their countries are now refugees,” he asserted. “We have seen pictures of Christians beheaded, burned alive, and executed in medieval ways. 2015 is looking more like 1015 in parts of Africa and the Middle East.”
The Ambassador’s talk clearly revealed a sobering reality in the Middle East and demonstrated the importance of strong cooperation between the Jewish and Christian peoples as they seek to combat the threat of Islamic radicalism together.
Written by Joshua Shinbrot (C'16)