Jesus Christ Is Lord

That every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

Posts Tagged ‘Hamas’

Well This Ends Any Desire On My Part To Advocate For The Palestinians

Posted by Job on June 14, 2009

In large part because of my finding out the truth about Zionism, the modern Jewish religion, and the dishonesty of many prominent premillennial dispensational political activists who knowingly deceive Christians about both, I had begun sympathizing on some level with the plight of the Palestinian people (in contrast with their leaders, Hamas and the PLO) for the sake of the gospel, for humanitarian reasons, and also out of a desire to provide what I felt was a much – needed counter to the “Judeo – Christianity” propaganda deception of the Zionists and the dispensationalists, which unfortunately has deceived a great many decent Christians and Jews. After the events of today, I am washing my hands of both sides of the Israeli – Palestinian conflict and am going to simply pray and wait for God to sort it out.

Today Binyamin Netanyahu, a fellow that I thoroughly dislike for reasons that I will not enumerate, made a fair offer to the Palestinians: a state that would be sovereign in every respect save a lack of a military in return for a cessation of hostilities, allowing Jerusalem to remain in Israeli hands, and the 4.5 million Palestinian refugees having to settle in the new Palestinian state as opposed to Israel. Now long term, these conditions are unacceptable: a state without a military is no state at all, and issues regarding east Jerusalem and Palestinians driven from their homes would still have to be worked out.

But this agreement would be outstanding as an intermediate step. It would give the millions of Palestinians now living in tents, refugee camps, or in other countries a place to go, and they would be immediately supported by hundreds of billions in foreign aid. Also, any Palestinian with a sense of irony ought to be able to appreciate the perverse pleasure at seeing the very same Israeli military and police that for decades bombed their neighborhoods and subjected them to checkpoints be FORCED to protect and defend PALESTINIANS while the PALESTINIANS use MONEY FROM ISRAEL AND ITS WESTERN ALLIES to build homes and businesses! Where now the Israeli military protects Jewish settlers in Palestinian territory, the military would be responsible for A) evicting those Jewish settlers and B) defending the Palestinians who move into the homes of very Jews that the Israeli military evicted! The plight and living standards of the millions of Palestinians would instantly be raised, and the Palestinians would have years, decades even, to work on getting still more concessions from Israel.

But alas, it appears that the Palestinians lack any sense of or appreciation for irony. The Palestinian leadership does not care about helping the Palestinian people out of misery, and the Palestinian people does not care about getting out of misery, about going from dirty tents to clean modern homes and apartments paid for with billions in international welfare. They don’t care about moving from having to deal with Israeli bombs, tanks, and police to having complete freedom. No, all they care about is destroying Israel and killing Jews, and are willing to live in poverty and squalor waiting for the chance.

So, Mahmoud Abbas, whom both the Obama AND Bush administrations claim is the “moderate, pro – western respectable peace partner”, rejected Netanyahu’s offer. Abbas rejected Israel’s desire to continue to exist as a Jewish state. (Realize that during the Clinton administration, the PLO pretended to recognize Israel’s right ot exist. We now know that they were lying and have been for the past 10 years.) Abbas claimed not only east Jerusalem but ALL OF JERUSALEM as the capital of the Palestinian state. After years of not even trying to stop terror attacks on Israel’s military and citizens, Abbas rejected Israel’s demand that they be demilitarized. And amazingly, Abbas insists on the millions of Palestinian refugees being allowed to return to Israel if they so choose, despite the existence of TWO “PALESTINIAN” STATES, PALESTINE AND JORDAN, for these “refugees” to live in while receiving new homes and unlimited welfare FOR LIFE!

Now prior to today, Abbas claimed that Netanyahu was destroying the peace process for refusing to commit to a two state solution and stated that violence would result. Now that Netanyahu has committed to a two state solution, guess what? Abbas claims that Netanyahu was destroying the peace process by refusing to allow the PLO/Fatah to bombard Israel’s airport, cities, factories, apartments with rockets and grenades, for refusing to turn all of Jerusalem over to Palestine, and for refusing to allow Israel to be flooded with Palestinians who oppose the existence of Israel!

And yes, Abbas sent the message to the Palestinians to start up a new round of murderous violence against the Jews. Of course, the last round of violence didn’t end because of the Palestinians’ commitment to peace. It only ended because of A) the internal power struggle between Hamas and the PLO and B) because of the security fence. Palestinians have complained for years over how horrible the security fence makes life for Palestinians. Now, in rejecting a chance to be free and on welfare without the worry of having to defend or provide for themselves for the next 50 years, we know that the real reason for opposing the security fence wasn’t the humanitarian effects on the Palestinians, but rather the fence’s successfully stopping Palestinians from getting into Israel to blow up Jewish toddlers.

So why do I not blame the Palestinian leadership while continuing to support the Palestinian people? Simple: the Palestinian people elected these leaders, they refuse to rise up to oppose these leaders, and they generally obey them. If these people wanted an end to the poverty, disenfranchisement and violence, they should be out on the streets demonstrating “take the deal!” Instead, as always, they will obey the PLO/Fatah and Hamas and take to the streets to be mowed down by Israeli airplanes and tanks, and allow their homes, schools, mosques and hospitals to be used as human shields. These people want to see the destruction of Israel and dead Jews more than they want to provide safety, freedom and prosperity to their own children.

It is obvious that the Palestinians do not need more advocates for their political, economic, or humanitarian agenda and plight, for it is now obvious that this agenda is only to destroy Israel and kill Jews, and their plight is due to their single minded devotion towards that goal rather than working to improve their own lives. No, what the Palestinians need – and what the Jews need for that matter – is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christian interaction with Palestinians and Jews should be limited to the gospel. Beyond that, we should leave these people to their own affairs and pray for the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Advertisements

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 98 Comments »

On Israel And The Palestinians: A Tragedy Is Not A Crime

Posted by Job on January 19, 2009

Despite my sympathy for the Palestinians and many disagreements with Israeli policies, I have always maintained that ultimately Israel has not only the right but the responsibility to defend itself when faced with a population that throws rocks at Israeli tanks trying to avoid civilian casualties rather than at the terrorists using them as human shields. One can oppose political and religious Zionism – as do I – and sympathize with the intractable plight of the Palestinians – again as do I – while realizing that Palestinian civilian casualties are inevitable because the Palestinians allow themselves to be used as human shields.

I remember the Los Angeles race riots when brave residents of South Central Los Angeles risked their lives to rescue badly beaten Reginald Denny. Why? Because they had the mindset to do so, and I also recall specifically that one of the people who ran out in the middle of a race riot to rescue Denny was a Christian woman, a longtime and faithful church attendee. Well, the Palestinians lack the mindset required to drive out the murdering cowards that are using pregnant women and babies as human shields. The article below contains things that I do not agree with, but it is an excellent example of what the Israelis are faced with in dealing with actions of the Palestinian population that defy human reason. I am not going to state that the Palestinians practice some form of Islam that promises heaven to human shields, because not all Palestinians are Islamists, or Islamic fundamentalists. As a matter of fact, only a few are, and a real problem is how outside elements (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria) is supporting the portion of the Palestinian population that is Islamist. So then, what motivates the non – Islamist Palestinian majority to allow cowardly murderers to use their mosques, hospitals, schools, and apartment complexes as places to hide and fire rockets?

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1232292897813&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

By the way, things are only going to get worse. Iran is upset that so few Jews died this time around (more Jewish deaths increases the pressure on the Israeli government to capitulate … I am sorry to say that it works just about every time, even when a conservative Israeli government is in power … Binyamin Netanyahu talks a tough game, but he made a series of concessions after a wave of successful terror attacks just like all the rest) so they are planning to send Hamas missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1232292910127&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Also, Hamas will be able to rearm itself from whatever weapons and infrastructure damage that Operation Cast Lead inflicted in as little as three months.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1232292908245&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

The  Hamas lives lost will take longer to replace, but even Israel acknowledged that the 750 Hamas members killed were only a fraction of the 25,000 members of the Hamas military wing. Incidentally, even that 750 count doesn’t include only actual Hamas murdering cowards; a lot of it included police officers (even the decision to target police officers by Israel’s military was controversial) and also members of Hamas in governmental, administrative, and other non – military posts. So the actual number of people with the desire and training to launch missiles into Israel and perform other acts of murderous mayhem killed … the actual reduction in Hamas’ fighting capacity … is considered to be very small. Thinking that it is 500 or even 400 out of 25,000 would be extremely optimistic. So truthfully, Operation Cast Lead, while completely justified, accomplished absolutely nothing.

All the more reason why we should continue to pray for the return of Jesus Christ, that many be added to the church in the meantime, and that Christians in the Middle East and around the world be comforted in their turmoils and afflictions until the day of perfection, the return of Jesus Christ and the resurrection of those that sleep and those that are alive being changed and caught up, happens. Maranatha!

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Is Israel’s Heavy Handed Military Tactics In Gaza Justified?

Posted by Job on January 12, 2009

Many American Christians state that Israel’s devastating military tactics against the Palestinians in the Gaza campaign – and in general – are justified by terrorism. I wonder if people who make that case are aware of incidents of terrorism in our own history.

First examples: the Ku Klux Klan and related violence. Over a period of many decades, hundreds – possibly thousands – of blacks were lynched. Homes, businesses, and churches were bombed. Not only were there individual citizens targeted, but at times there were mass wholesale indiscriminate assaults on entire communities such as Rosewood, Florida and Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921 and 1923. Government officials not only did nothing to prevent this domestic terrorism whether in terms of law enforcement or prosecution, but in many cases were themselves complicit, down to local, state and federal law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, and military officials not only being members of the KKK and other terror groups, but taking part in the very acts themselves, including the Oklahoma National Guard personally killing a still unknown amount of citizens in the attack on the Greenwood community in Tulsa.

The second example: the wave of urban criminal activity – including gang and drug violence but also including random, senseless brutal crimes – that gripped our nation from the late 1970s until the mid 1990s. Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Detroit and Washington D.C. were the flashpoints, but truthfully it was a nationwide problem, as evidenced by Albany, Georgia, not even large enough to qualify as an actual city, not only once being named murder capital of the country but remaining in the top 5 and top 10 on the dreadful list produced by the FBI’s crime statistics for several years. Whole communities and regions felt unsafe, families abandoned these communities seeking safety, and those lacking the means or mindset to do the same (often the elderly and single parent led households) saw a generation of children grow up in fear. Even though the level of direct government complicity in this was nowhere near as high as it was in the first example, they certainly were not blameless. There was a general refusal – even hostility to – enforcing the law in many of these communities and a rejection of notions of law and order by many members of the citizenry and the governments that they elected, which emboldened the criminals even more to commit crimes against innocent people and violently resist law enforcement.

Even though it was never called such, these and other incidents in our nation’s history were clearly incidents of terror, and they resulted in a great many more deaths than Hamas’ rockets into southern Israel. For instance, nearly 4000 people were murdered in one single year in New York City alone. Less than ten years later when New York officials finally began to try to enforce the law, that total dropped to less than 1,000.

So what if the response of the federal government in response to the Ku Klux Klan and other hate group terror, especially after incidents like Rosewood and Tulsa, been to conduct a bombing campaign in civilian areas, residential communities, targeting KKK members, their sympathizers, and families – including those that had committed no crimes – and in the process killing as many innocent civilians as their actual targets, if not more? What if the US government’s response to those criticizing the war on its own citizens as “where the Ku Klux Klan blows up churches and homes and kills innocent people by design, we target KKK members and kill innocents accidentally.”

What if the response to the criminal violence in our inner cities in the 1980s had been to use missiles and machine guns in the public housing projects and neighborhoods where the drug gangs lived and were known to congregate? Do not be naive, such gangs were organized criminal enterprises who killed many innocent people directly and many more indirectly.

In both cases, there would have been massive public outcry against the tactics. This nation would have never supported military action against the Ku Klux Klan and the drug gangs or any of the other groups of people that have spread large scale mayhem in our national history, and certainly not indiscriminate violence that could have had no consequence except kill large numbers of innocents.

Yet truthfully, that is very similar to what is going on in Israel right now. Israel, along with its allies and the media, have done a very good job at portraying themselves as being at war. It is not quite true. They cannot be at war with the Palestinians because the Palestinians are not a foreign state, or even a group operating out of a foreign state with that state’s unwillingness or inability to control them. Instead, the Palestinians are a group of people within Israel’s domain; under Israel’s military and ultimately political control (though Israel does not exert political control over these territories for domestic and international political reasons).

So Israel is not at war in Gaza the way that, say, the United States was at war with Germany and Japan, or even in our undeclared wars – and in my opinion illegal under our own Constitution – which are technically conflicts in Korea, Viet Nam, Afghanistan, and both Iraq campaigns. It also does not even rise to being considered a civil war. (Even if it did, Israel would NEVER call it a civil war because of internal and international political considerations.) Instead, Israel is using military tactics against its own population, people that live within their own borders.

It is true, the Palestinians are not Israeli citizens, and do not wish to be. It is equally true, however, that Israel would not grant citizenship to the Palestinians anyway. Israel’s citizen population contains only 5.5 million Jews against 1.5 million Israeli Arabs. About 1.5 million Arabs live in Gaza, 2.3 million Arabs live in the West Bank. So add the nearly 4 million Palestinians to the 1.5 million Israeli Arabs, and the result would be a roughly equal proportion of Jews and Arabs – 5.5 million – with the Arab Muslim population growing far faster than the Jewish one. Israel would no longer be a Jewish state.

So rather than viewing Israel’s bombing and invading Gaza in the same terms as America going after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, it would truthfully be more analogous to our sending tanks and missiles into our Native American reservations in response to any violent nationalist movement on their part. (I will not say the same regarding a similarly violent movement, whether political or criminal, involving illegal immigrants holed up in a particular area, because like the Palestinians in Israel, the Native Americans were living on the very land that outsiders came to and declared to be a nation with them still on it. Of course, this is not to compare Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to America’s initial – and long running – treatment of its indigenous population.)

So what is it that allows Americans – particularly Christians – to accept tactics against Palestinians that we would have never accepted had they been used against the Ku Klux Klan or the Bloods and Crips? (I wonder who killed more innocent people: the KKK or Hamas? The Crips or the PLO?) Or more accurately, the communities of 99% innocent civilians that had nothing to do with the KKK or the street gangs but would still wind up bearing the brunt of the collateral damage that everyone knows is inevitable?

I will say this on behalf of the Israeli government, however: the behavior of the Palestinians make it difficult to defend this population. Compare the Palestinians with, say, the residents of our inner cities during the crime crisis. Of course, in these inner cities there were plenty of criminals. Even worse, there were a great many criminal sympathizers: politicians and activists who claimed that the criminals were acting out of economic privation and political marginalization, and that efforts to punish them and impose law and order were illegitimate and criminal in and of themselves. Many of them called the police officers an occupying army, or criminals themselves. And keep in mind: it was not marginal people who held these views, but rather the mayors of large cities, members of the US Congress, prominent members of academia, and not a few influential preachers. So you had not only criminals, but those who were pro – criminal, and the latter group was actually the most harmful.

However, this element was not  universal. There were scores in these communities who opposed crime and the leaders and sympathizers that enabled it. Such people petitioned the police, went to various political leaders, and took their case to the media. Some of them even took matters into their own hands by staging “clean up our streets” or “save our kids” marches and rallies, organizing neighborhood watches and cooperative ventures with the police, etc. In some cases this was dangerous work, because the criminal element that had an interest in these communities remaining lawless and feeling powerless at times targeted the leaders and participants of these anti – crime ventures for murderous violence, but they continued their work.

What difference did these people make? Regrettably very little, because it was a small amount of people with very little resources and know how against heavily organized and ruthless criminal networks, corrupt or incompetent government officials, and/or higher profile and better funded community leaders with different agendas. However, despite the failure of the citizens of these communities that worked to promote law abidedness to accomplish anything but prevent a few crimes and clean up a block or neighborhood here or there, the fact is that the very presence of such people let the government and its citizens know that the entire population of these inner cities were not opposed to law and order. Instead there were people, lots of them, who opposed not only the criminals and gangs, but the politicians and activists that were creating and defending the lawless environment that enabled them to thrive.

So I must ask: where are the counterparts of these people among the Palestinians? I remember this one particularly tragic case in Baltimore where this woman tried to stand up to the drug dealers on her block. The drug dealers responded by setting fire to her place of residence, killing her along with her entire family. Where are the people like this woman among the Palestinians?

Now keep in mind: these Palestinians in question need not necessarily support the Israeli state in order to take a stand like this. They merely need to A) oppose terrorism, especially terrorism done by people allegedly representing them and purporting to advance their interests and B) want to avoid the inevitable Israeli response to terrorism. There needs to be a visible movement of Palestinians willing to stand up and say that sending rockets – as well as suicide bombers and everything else – against Israel and claiming that it is done by their leaders with their support is wrong, morally and politically. At the very least, there needs to be Palestinians with the basic survival or self preservation impulse – as well as a desire to protect the lives of their women and children – to hold marches and demonstrations saying “we are not Hamas, we are not Hizbullah, we are not sending rockets into your country, don’t bomb us!” And yes, there should be an effort on behalf of these people to prevent being used as human shields. “Don’t fire rockets from our mosque. Don’t hide your fighters in my school where my kid attends. Don’t stash your weapons in the hospital where I plan to take my pregnant wife when she has our baby. Because when Israel counterattacks, I don’t want my family to die!”

Some people may claim that there are plenty of Palestinians who feel this way, but refuse to speak out for fear of Hamas and similar groups. First, the very fact that Hamas’ (and Hizbullah’s) alleged leadership is so vicious that its own people live in terror of it shows that people who apologize for Hamas, believe that Israel should give them credibility or status by acknowledging and negotiating with them, etc. are not being honest. How on earth could allowing the Palestinians to be ruled by such people be in the best interests of the Palestinians, and how could those who would murder their own people for the “crime” of not wanting to be collateral damage be trusted to not continue trying to destroy Israel?

Second: so what if Hamas will retaliate! Is being killed by Hamas any better than being killed by Israel? I understand the argument that death is more certain for the Palestinian that rejects Hamas. However, the counterargument must be considered: making their opposition to terror and the use of human shields known would force Israel to deal with that fact. Right now, Israel is able to treat all residents of Gaza as potential Hamas sympathizers because there is no hard evidence otherwise.

There are no TV pictures of Palestinians demonstrating in the streets “down with Hamas, we want peace!” or even of their attempting to drive terrorists using them as human shields (and by the way, the terrorists are often long gone, leaving the innocent victims behind, before Israel strikes back!) out of their homes and schools. Al Jazeera would be able to run stories ad infinitum “this man, who risked death trying to stop Hamas from firing rockets from his apartment building, is now dead and his family. They were killed not by Hamas, but by an Israeli air strike!” and Israel would have to deal with it. One of the ways to deal with it: do their best to protect Palestinian dissenters against terror and against Hamas, or at least against being used as human shields, which is enough to qualify you as “a moderate.”

But we don’t see any of that. Instead, we see pictures of Palestinian youths throwing rocks at Israeli tanks instead of throwing rocks at the Hamas terrorists that are drawing the Israeli tanks to their homes, schools, and refugee camps. If you want to blame Israel for your being in a refugee camp, fine. But it is the terrorist using you and your family as human shields that is causing those tanks to fire on your refugee camp, and you yourself saw the “brave freedom fighters” scurry like roaches at the first sight of that tank, leaving you to face down the tank without even the benefit of the same escape route that they took. Now while the Israeli state is the long term problem, the tank about to rain deth on you and your family is the short term problem, and you blame the Israeli state rather than the cause of the immediate problem?

Again, this is the opposite of those who stood up to gang and drug violence in their inner city neighborhoods. Many of them held grievances against America’s political, economic, and social structures and might have actually agreed with the street radicals in theory. But in practice they knew that it was the drugs and thugs killing their kids in the streets, not the bankers and the governors, and those were the ones that they stood up to or went to the chiefs of police begging them to do something about.

So with Hamas firing rockets at Israel and no evidence that any Palestinian opposes it – or even opposes being used as a human shield – how else is Israel supposed to act? What evidence is there that the 1.5 million residents of Gaza not only support Hamas, but support them enough to stand up and sacrifice themselves and their innocent family members as collateral damage?

This is not to say that I support Israel’s tactics in Gaza. Quite the contrary, I really honestly want to oppose it. However, the behavior of the Palestinians makes opposition to Israeli tactics virtually impossible. Israel has just as much responsibility to show that they will not tolerate being subjected to rocket fire as the political leaders of Florida and Oklahoma had to show that they would not tolerate mob violence, and the hundreds of innocent dead people, including women and children, in Rosewood, Florida and Tulsa, Oklahoma shows what happens when that responsibility is not taken. However, the Palestinians also have a responsibility to unconditionally dissassociate themselves from those who would murder innocent people by firing rockets at civilians and using human shields in the process.

Hamas’ claims that their firing rockets was in response to Israel’s using a blockade to force its legitimately elected regime into crumbling has considerable merit, but the 1.5 million residents of Gaza are not Hamas. If anything, were the residents of Gaza to separate themselves from Hamas’ terrorism while insisting that Israel respect the results of the free and democratic elections that Israel itself allowed to occur knowing full well that Hamas might win, that would pressure Israel to stop punishing the Palestinian people for Israel’s mistakes. Hamas’ refusal to accept Israel’s right to exist is an issue between Hamas and Israel, but Israel’s refusal to allow food, medicine, fuel etc. into Gaza is an issue between the people of Gaza and Israel. But the absence of anyone willing to publicly reject Hamas terror tactics or even their using infants as human shields allows Israel to basically paint the 1.5 million population as Hamas and act accordingly.

It is not right, and it is not fair, but the exceedingly foolish (and that is being kind!) behavior of the Palestinian people allows Israel to get away with its conduct. Israel can and should take responsibility for the peaceful Palestinians, either by granting them a state or by absorbing them within their own state, and then treating the terrorist Palestinians as the criminals that they are. However, lacking the cooperation of Palestinians that are not terrorists, Israel doesn’t have to do a thing. They can simply sit and allow conditions to linger. Why not? The Palestinians are the ones that have to deal with the overwhelming amount of misery and tragedy. It also keeps Israel from having to deal with the not insubstantial portion of its own population – and of its evangelical Christian Zionist supporters – who do not want a Palestinian state, and yes that does include those who wish to drive the nearly 4 million Palestinians out of Israel, including eastern Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank.

Even though it would come at a very heavy cost  – money and Israeli lives  – Israel can and should do better. However, they have no pressing reason – or even no incentive? – to do so, and for that we have only the law abiding and terrorism opposing Palestinians to blame. Some more right wing Israelis claim “there is no such thing as a Palestinian.” That is a spurious proposition at best. But were such Israelis to claim “since there is no such thing as a Palestinian who opposes terrorism in any substantial way, then all Palestinians are terrorists and should be treated as such” then regrettably there isn’t much that can be said – or done – against that proposition. So even if the Israelis are acting in an unjust manner towards the Palestinians, the actions of the Palestinians allow them to get away with it. And since we are dealing with two populations here that save a tiny minority on both sides rejects Jesus Christ, what more can we expect?

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 76 Comments »

Do Evangelical Christians Consider The Plight Of The Palestinians?

Posted by Job on January 4, 2009

Please note: several updates and edits have been made.

Israel is well into their mini – invasion of the very same Gaza Strip that they abandoned just a few years ago. Now when the Gaza Strip was abandoned, critics claimed that militants would take control of the area and use it to plan and launch attacks on Israel. After years of the critics being proven right, Israel is yet again taking military action against the Gaza area to stop rockets from being fired on its population.

Israel has every right to defend itself. However, one of the conservative – leaning Jerusalem Post’s better columnists claims that the invasion has less to do with self defense than with politically positioning Israel’s current corrupt ruling coalition in advance of the February elections. Now one does not have to be as cynical as that columnist to question Israel’s motivations. And one certainly does not have to endorse the unabashedly Zionist views of this columnist – and of the Jerusalem Post that she represents – to wonder exactly what this military campaign will accomplish other than killing lots of people.

The best reason why one should ask themselves this question is to view this conflict from the side of the Palestinian people. Most Americans have been reared to view only the Israeli side. The first reason is that quite simply Israel is a very important American and western ally in that critical region. That alone will mean that our government and our mainstream media will inevitably side with Israel. The second reason is that many American Christians have been indoctrinated into regarding Israel as a natural ally for religious reasons which range from the premillennial dispensational movement (that I myself until recently belonged to) which considers Israel as belonging to the Jews alone and its rebirth as a fulfillment of endtimes prophecies to other Christians who simply prefer Judaism to Islam, and in particular conservatives who subscribe to the “Judeo – Christian western culture” ideology which conveniently casts aside inconvenient facts of religion and history.

So, the western – and evangelical Christian – line has been that the sole source of the Palestinian – Israel problem is Palestinian terror, and that were the Palestinians to renounce violence, all of the problems would end. And for 50% of the equation that is correct. It would end all of the problems for the Israelis. But for the Palestinians, I am not so certain.

Let us start, of course, with the premillennial dispensational position, which just happens to be the position of the majority of evangelical Christians, and furthermore heavily influences evangelicals that hold other endtimes beliefs. (Consider, for instance, that even amillennial evangelicals often subscribe to the “Judeo – Christian western culture” ideology and have made it a very important part of their dominionist thought.) Such people take the position that Palestinians have no basis for being in Israel in the first place, and should accept being dealt with however Israel chooses to. As these people oppose even a two state solution on terms as favorable to Israel as possible – as for them it would be a sin and an attempt to rebel against prophecy – if pressed they would ultimately admit that it would be best if the Palestinians simply left Israel. Best for who? Israel? Of course. Christians who hold these beliefs? Certainly. Palestinians? Of course not.

You see, there are MILLIONS of Palestinians, and they are FLAT BROKE. So … where would they go? Many float the “there is no such thing as a Palestinian” notion and proclaim the idea that the Palestinians are actually Jordanians. So, such people claim, the Palestinians could return to Jordan. Of the many problems with this thinking, the most pressing and relevant one is that the sovereign nation of Jordan disagrees with it. Or should I say that even if Jordan did agree that the Palestinians were in fact Jordanians, they are not going to accept being flooded with millions of impoverished “Jordanian” refugees – thereby adding to their own set of not insignificant problems – based on it. Incidentally, neither is Iran. Neither is Iraq, Neither is Syria. Neither is Lebanon. Neither is Egypt. Neither are any of the other places where the people who adhere to the “Israel belongs to the Jews and if the Palestinians don’t like it they can just leave!” mindset suggest as potential homes for the Palestinians. And why should they?

Now keep in mind that the dispensational evangelicals in question who wish to push the Palestinians off on the Egyptians, Jordanians, Syrians and Lebanese feel the same way. How many American evangelicals want to bring the Palestinians over here? To put them in South Dakota, Wyoming, or even Alaska? That’s what I thought. They could care less about where the Palestinians go. They just don’t want them in Israel and don’t want them over here. And the Judeo – Christian westerners don’t even want them in Europe. As a matter of fact, they want Europe to expel the Muslims and Arabs that they have already.

So the people suggesting that everything would be better if the Palestinians simply left en masse – or were Israel be bold and courageous enough to stand up for themselves by driving them out – either know full well that they are not proposing a workable solution or have not studied the situation enough to know that what they propose is not viable. Either way, they are no help to the situation, which means that they are no help to Israel or to the Jews. The truth is, though, that the people who believe that a solution for the Palestinians involves them remaining in Israel are not being much more realistic.

For instance, start with the common Israeli position that they offered to come together with the Palestinians to form a single state decades ago, and that the response of the Palestinians was to join the Arab/Muslim world in declaring war. So, the Palestinians are just a bunch of anti – Semite war mongerers, right? Well, that assumes that the Palestinians were ever obliged to accept forming a state with this huge influx of EUROPEANS and AMERICANS to begin with. Certain conservative Jews and their advocates would have you believe that Israel was basically barren, and that virtually all of the Palestinians are squatters from Jordan (and Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and wherever) who barged into area simply to keep and drive the Jews out. Even were that version of history true, one of the many variants of the “there is no such thing as a Palestinian” idea, all that it means is that the Palestinians and Jews have an equal claim on the land, which is ZERO based on modern history.

Even if we accept the Old Testament version of events as history (which of course the Palestinians, being neither Jews or Christians, are not obliged to), that version tells us that the nation of Israel ceased to exist in 586 BC. Which means that for people who tend to reject Judaism and dispensational Christianity (which again would include Muslims by definition) even according to their own history and literature, the Jewish claim on the land ended in 586 BC.

Sure, some Jews did remain in Israel, and more repatriated from elsewhere to Israel, but only because the Babylonians, Medo – Persians, Greeks and Romans allowed them. What is also true is that after the Jewish – Roman War in 132 AD, the Roman Empire burned Jerusalem to the ground, renamed it, and made it a capital crime for any Jew to attempt to re – enter. The Roman Empire then fell and control of the land of Israel and Jerusalem went back and forth over the centuries to various entities – including but not limited to Arabs and Muslims – that weren’t very much more accommodating to the desires of any large number of Jews wishing to resettle Israel than the Roman Empire was.

And incidentally, after the Jewish – Roman War, there actually was no large organized international effort of Jews to resettle Israel in the first place. Until, that is, the Zionist movement, which was originally led by socialist – and largely atheist – Jews with nationalist and secular aims. A big motivating factor of the original Zionists: getting away from religious people. The original Zionists were trying to get away from both the Christians who were oppressing and discriminating against them and the religious Jews who were making the atheist and secular Jews outsiders in their own communities, and create a secular socialist state where there would be religious freedom and a commitment to equal rights and peace.

This is, of course, in direct contrast to modern Zionism, which is heavily religious in nature (both Jewish and Christian), militaristic, and hyper – capitalist. I am not afraid to say that the original Zionists would call the modern Zionists fascists, religious zealots (and hypocrites), and insist that they pick another name for themselves.

In any event, the original Zionist movement did get some Jews into Israel, but not that many. So the result was that immediately after World War II, Israel was just one of many colonies in the British Empire, and had a small Jewish population (that the Palestinians were not above targeting for murderous violence I should add). Also, the British liberated Israel after World War II not because of any special considerations for Israel, but because of the general consensus shortly after the great war that western colonial powers should grant self – rule and self – determination to its colonies.

Further, Israel was not chosen as the homeland for the Jews because of the Old Testament. Instead, after World War II, there was the thorny issue of what to do with the many Jewish refugees, and for that matter the Jewish diaspora in general. There was a huge number of displaced Jews, and there was also the general agreement that Jews needed a place to go to in case of persecution. Many Jews tried to flee Hitler’s Holocaust, but they had nowhere to go: no nation would accept them. The sad truth is that no one wanted them. No nation wanted the Jewish refugees, and in particular no nation wanted to be the place that would accept large numbers of Jews fleeing persecution or some other distress in another nation or nations.

Only a single nation, an African nation, offered to accept any appreciable number of Jews, and even that was almost certainly because they were promised international aid for doing so: basically accepting being paid off by people who preferred giving up large sums of money in exchange for not having to host current and future Jewish refugees. However, the Jewish community quite understandably did not find that destination to their liking.

So only then did the international community see Israel as the answer to the immediate problem of the Jewish refugees and the long term issue of a place where members of the international Jewish diaspora could flee persecution, as everyone agreed was needed after the Holocaust. (It is generally agreed that upon seeing that no nation was willing to take on a large number of Jewish refugees, Hitler saw that there would be no repercussions for fully pursuing his final solution. So no matter what history books claim, whatever motivations that various countries had for entering World War II, saving the Jews was not one of them.) Everyone agreed that the Jews needed a place to go if they had to, but no one wanted their country to be that place!

So the intent never was to recreate Biblical Israel to satisfy the religious aims of Jews or of dispensational Christians. (Quite the contrary, the Christian bodies with the most political influence at the time, Roman Catholics and mainline Protestants, were amillennial, and believe that the church has replaced Old Testament Israel. Church of England = amillennial.) Being a colony that England was about ready to wash its hands of anyway, Israel was merely the most convenient – and very likely the only practical – place to put them. 

So, this was fine for the international community, who got to rid themselves of their responsibility to the Jewish people plus not a few actual Jews. And it was fine for the Jewish people. Secular Jews saw it as Zionism achieved (and the Israeli nation was indeed secular and socialist initially), religious Jews saw it as being returned to their land of promise to await the Moshiach (Messiah). But no one can pretend that Israel being flooded by European Jews was good for the Palestinians living there in any way, shape or form. The Palestinians saw it for what it was from their perspective … an invasion. So the Israeli argument “we offered the Palestinians the opportunity to join us in a state and they chose war over peace” … well imagine if a flood of Mexicans, Kenyans or Soviets came to America offering to create a nation with us and had the United Nations backing them. What would we say? No, right?

Of course, it isn’t that simple, because the Palestinians did not have a sovereign state at that time. But it is equally true that the Palestinians were never obliged to accept what the British, the international community, and the flood of European Jews were attempting to impose on them.

There is still more. When Israel advocates mention the refusal of the Palestinians to join them in a state, they leave out some key details. Namely, that the state would have been Jewish. Any other way would have been unacceptable to the Jews, because it would have been impossible to ensure that Jewish citizens of that state would have religious freedom and be otherwise well treated, and it certainly would have been impossible to allow such a state to allow an open – ended stream of Jewish refugees from primarily Europe and America. Now it would have been technically possible to make such guarantees had Jews remained a numerical majority (allow me to point out that the number of Palestinians when added to the number of Arab/Muslim Israeli citizens far exceeds the number of Jews, and has for quite some time now!), but there was no way to ensure that it would happen. So, the Palestinians would have had to consent to living in a state that while technically secular and socialist would be by constitutionally mandated as Jewish and western, and would allow for Jews all over the world to come automatically be citizens with other Arabs and Muslims not having that same right. Thus, the Palestinians would have actually been better off by remaining a British colony than by joining this state.

And what of the two – state solution? Well, for starters, that presumes that a Palestinian accepts the right of a bunch of Europeans to grab half the land which they consider theirs. (Even if the land isn’t theirs, from their perspective it certainly does not belong to the Jews. Again, not only are Muslims not obliged to respect the Old Testament, but even according to the Old Testament Israel ceased to exist in 586 BC, and history records Jews being driven from a Jerusalem that they didn’t even control in 132 AD.) Just like no Frenchman, German, Irishman, or American would agree to those terms willingly, it is something that very few Palestinians would naturally be obliged to accept. Rather, it is something that they would acquiesce to over time after finally realizing that nothing better is forthcoming. So yes, a majority of Palestinians will accept a two – state solution even though they don’t really want one, because they prefer it to perpetual poverty and warfare.

The problem: what Israel has been offering is not a two state solution. Israel proposals include A) Israel getting more land and B) Israel getting the better land, including most of Jerusalem. Also, because of their very real and understandable security needs, this Palestinian “state” would have no real military, strict limitations on trade, and a lack of control over its ports and airspace. Those things would either be monitored by Israel or by “the international community.”  Now you can call such an entity a lot of things, but an actual sovereign state is not one of them. In truth, it is not much different than being a territory ultimately under the jurisdiction of another nation (or the U.N.) or for that matter being a colony allowed limited self – rule. And to keep on being redundant, the Palestinians could have had that with the British and without having to surrender the better part of the land to what they quite understandably view as European interlopers.

Israel and its many advocates keep trying to claim that the Palestinians would go from being poor people in refugee tents to being extremely wealthy and carefree with virtually unlimited international aid and also international military protection from any nation that tried to attack them (i.e. an irate Syria or Egypt that considered them traitors to the Arab/Muslim cause, or failing that simply wanting their land) but few Palestinians have been so easy to buy off with promises of becoming a permanent welfare state.

Now am I leaving out a lot, including things concerning anti – Semitism and radical Islam, and the pernicious influence of other Muslim/Arab states who truthfully could care less about the Palestinians and simply hate Jews and westerners? Of course. But if you think that even absent those influences the Palestinians would be happy to accept second class status within a Jewish state, or living in a phony Palestinian state that cannot so much as operate its own airport, then you are expecting the Palestinians to accept terms that no westerner, and especially no American, would accept for himself. After all, why did America fight the revolutionary war again? And why did the American south fight the Civil War? Enlarging that a little bit, the French, British, and Russians didn’t just roll over and accept being dominated by the Germans and Italians did they? And America and its allies didn’t just sit back and allow the Soviet Union to win the Cold War either.

But the Palestinians aren’t westerners. They aren’t western Europeans, and they certainly aren’t Americans. So, most Americans believe that the Palestinians should just accept whatever conditions that America and Israel impose upon them, and are shocked – SHOCKED – when Palestinians reject terms that no American (and no modern day Israeli Zionist) would accept. To go ahead and spell it out, the Palestinians refuse to accept that they are an inferior people with an inferior culture, and that they should just sit back and allow people who consider themselves to be a superior people with a superior culture (and religion) to dictate their fates as they please. And of course, Americans and Israelis get very upset when the Palestinians refuse to accept their inferiority or our superiority; that everything would be SO MUCH BETTER if they and everyone else in the world were to just obediently do everything that America (and Israel) tells it to do. You have one side seeking its best interests at the expense of the other side, and the other side pushing back just as certainly as the first side would were they in their position, indeed as the first side has in the past. After all, colonial America had a much better lot than the Palestinians currently do, and do not forget that their relative comfort in many cases came at the expense of slaves and native Americans (a fact that the British that the Americans rebelled against never ceased to point out).

So that is why this current military action by Israel, indeed any military or political action by Israel, is ultimately doomed to fail. It does not change the fact that there are millions of Palestinians in land that Israel ultimately controls. It does not change the fact that there is no place for these Palestinians to go even if they wanted to. They cannot become Israeli citizens because if they did Israel would no longer be a Jewish state but an Arab/Muslim state (with all that it entails, including at minimum but certainly not limited to no longer unconditionally accepting Jews), and “the Arab/Muslim world” will not take them in, nor should they be expected to. (They didn’t create this problem, they don’t support the current policy, so why should they solve it? Let the British, who created the problem, or the Americans, who so proudly unconditionally backs Israel, accept the Palestinians. Of course, none of those people who thinks that the Palestinians should just go to Jordan or Egypt thinks that sounds like such a good idea!) And they are unwilling to accept living in a phony “Palestinian state” that wouldn’t even be able to defend itself from attack from another Arab nation, Israel, or anyone else, let alone truly control its own economy.

So, there is really only one solution. That is to make Palestinian existence so miserable that whoever survives will agree to Israel’s terms. That actually is the position of Binyamin (Benjamin) Netanyahu and those to the right of him. However, even that has problems. First, it will mean an all out war with the Palestinians that will mean a very high number of Jewish casualties, especially if other Arab nations get involved. Most of the “crush the Palestinians” contingent delude themselves of the actual cost of this policy in Jewish lives – and I include Netanyahu himself in this delusional group – and the rest see it as a price that they are willing to pay. Second, a great many Jews, including some that are quite conservative and/or religious, really truly do not want to be cruel and oppressive to the Palestinians; or to slaughter large numbers of them and to crush the spirits of the survivors. Most of them are willing to fight a war, but only a defensive one.

Now please do not misunderstand the intent of this, which is not to be anti – Israel or pro – Palestinian. Rather, it is to point out that the Israeli – Palestinian situation really is intractable. There honestly is no solution. The Palestinians can’t leave because no one will take them. The Palestinians can’t join Israel because that would destroy the Jewish state and homeland. Israel can’t give the Palestinians a legitimate state because Muslim extremists would use that state to launch devastating attacks against Israel’s population. And the Palestinians cannot agree to a phony state because such a state would be unable to defend itself and have no one truly willing to defend the state for them.

So, it comes down to the Christians who repeat the common slogan of Israel supporters: “why can’t the Palestinians just give up terror” is really “why can’t the Palestinians accept foreigners taking over half their land and being relegated to living in an economically unviable ‘state’ that cannot defend itself.” I say that American Christians who root for Palestinians to accept such terms – or any other terms that they would never themselves accept – in the interests of  “peace” violate Matthew 22:39 and especially Matthew 5:43-44.

Before you go claiming an “out” based on the notion that Muslims do not qualify as our neighbors because they aren’t Christians, please remember that save for the tiny percentage of Messianic Jews, the Israelis aren’t Christians either. So really, in this dispute, I would have a hard time proposing that Christians have a Biblical basis for choosing any one side over the other. (The liberal Christians who side with the Palestinians ignore that the Palestinians are not exactly innocent oppressed victims here.) Who I really want to hear from are the premillennial dispensationalists who stand with Israel because of Abraham’s covenant and believe that the recreation of Israel in 1948 was a mighty act of God that sets the stage for the endtimes including the rapture, and that Israel belongs to the Jews and the Jews alone based on it. Seriously, what is the solution according to your doctrines? What is the Biblical solution to this intractable problem that Christians should hope and pray to occur?

I freely admit that from where I sit there is no solution other than to wait for Jesus Christ to return. To choose the Israeli side is to be unjust to the Palestinians, most of whom have not engaged in a single act of violence against anyone and are living in a dire situation that they did not create and have no power to resolve. To choose the Palestinian side is to be unjust to the Israelis, who despite their superior wealth and military might are also stuck in a bad situation. They can’t give in to the Palestinians, and they can’t leave Israel because no one wants them, not even the United States.

Now I 100% believe Paul when he wrote in Romans that God has not cast off His chosen people the Jews. I also believe 100% when this same Paul wrote that God created all people and loves all people, including Palestinians. I do not advocate picking sides in this intractable situation that will only be resolved by God on the basis of doctrines that present an unbalanced view of scripture, and I rise up in direct opposition to those who pick sides based on worldly concerns (i.e. which one is “pro – western”, which one is “our ally”, which one’s culture and religion we find more appealing, etc.).

So Christians are left with the fact that with regard to the Israeli – Palestinian situation, we are to be on no one’s side but God’s, and therefore we are to pray for the speedy return of Jesus Christ and that God’s Will be done on earth as it is in heaven. And yes, it is God’s Will in heaven that Jews and Palestinians come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. So we are to pray for that to happen to. We are also to work for that to happen with our evangelism. And we are also to cast off everything, including unbalanced doctrines and worldly political situations, that would hinder us from being as effective as we possibly can in evangelizing both Jews and Palestinians. I have to say that the current way that many contemporary evangelical Christians view and paint the Israeli – Palestinian conflict often results in a form of false or negative witness to both groups that leave Jews feeling that they do not need to accept Jesus Christ because they are already inherently righteous without Him and Palestinians feeling that they don’t want a Jesus Christ that based on our own doctrines and political positions doesn’t love or care about them.

(I realize that my last statement may seem to conflict with my Reformed/Calvinist leanings, but it is still a true statement. Believing in a predestined elect and believing that God commanded us to show love to all without partiality and certainly without worldly considerations are ideas that are not in tension or conflict, because the same Bible that speaks of the former also incontrovertibly commands the latter. So if anything, the Bible is clearer and more direct on the compulsion to evangelize both Jew and Palestinian, not be partial to either, and to cast off anything that hinders it – if an eye or hand offends then pluck it out or chop it off! – than it is on predestination, so that should be doctrinally and spiritually prior. So yes, I disagree with Calvin’s successor Theodore Beza who called predestination the head of all doctrines. I also disagree with Beza – and Augustine – on the issue of hunting down and killing Anabaptists and Donatists, but that is a topic for another day.)

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 172 Comments »

Richard Holbrooke Would Lead Obama Administration Into War With Iran Just Like McCain!

Posted by Job on September 29, 2008

Iran: And the Beat Goes On The beating of war drums, that is

 

In a last-ditch, all-out effort to pave the way for war with Iran,Israel’s lobby in the U.S. has inaugurated a new front group: United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI). What, “another” neocon front group – why is this important? With Richard Holbrooke, Obama’s most prominent foreign policy advisor – and a likely Secretary of State or National Security Advisor in the Obama administration – joining neocon nutcase James R. Woolsey in the top leadership of this new group, the signal is clear: UANI represents a bipartisan call for war.

In an op ed piece for what else but the War Street Journal, the four horsemen of the apocalypse – Holbrooke, Woolsey, Dennis Ross, the Israel Lobby’s ace-in-the-hole in the Obama camp (please note: Ross is a former George H. W. Bush official who also served in the same capacity under Bill Clinton and trained Condi Rice), and Mark D. Wallace, formerly U.S. representative to the U.N. for management and reform – mirror the joint statement of Obama and McCain on the economic crisis. This is “not a partisan matter” – the War Party is the only party that really matters. “We may have different political allegiances and worldviews, ” they aver,

“Yet we share a common concern – Iran’s drive to be a nuclear state. We believe that Iran’s desire for nuclear weapons is one of the most urgent issues facing America today, because even the most conservative estimates tell us that they could have nuclear weapons soon.

“A nuclear-armed Iran would likely destabilize an already dangerous region that includes Israel, Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, and pose a direct threat to America’s national security,” etc., etc., etc…

I suppose it’s just a coincidence that the list of threatened countries starts with Israel and ends with the United States, but I wonder…

Leaving the realm of speculation, and entering the region of hard facts: our own National Intelligence Estimate on Iran and its alleged nuclear weapons program shows that the Iranians had a weapons program that they abandoned: “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.” While keeping the option open, the Iranian regime has not restarted its nuclear program, according to our spooks, and probably could not iron out all the technical problems and hoarding of nuclear materials until at least 2015 – and even then there is no evidence Tehran has any such intention.

The NIE was issued last year around this time, and afterward Robert Gates spoke to the New York Times Magazine:

“One afternoon in late November, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was flying back to Washington from the Army base at Fort Hood, Tex., where he had spoken with soldiers and spouses about the future of Iraq. Sitting across from him at his desk in the back of the Pentagon’s jet, I asked him about the possibility of another military conflict: U.S. air strikes on Iran. ‘The last thing the Middle East needs now is another war,’ he said quietly. ‘We have to keep all options on the table,’ he went on, reciting the standard caveat. ‘But if Iraq has shown us anything, it’s the unpredictability of war. Once a conflict starts, the statesmen lose control.'”

This was supposed to signal that the much-anticipated U.S. strike on Iran – the imminence of which was predicted with near certainty by a number of commentators, including this one – has been successfully aborted. There was a collective and well-nigh audible sigh of relief, from Tehran to Terre Haute, but some of us were not convinced by this display of official caution. After all, the statesmen have lost control before….

If the NIE was supposed to blast the neocon war campaign out of the water, then its authors did not take into account the persistence – indeed, fanaticism – of the United for War With Iran crowd. The sheer relentlessness of the effort suggests its essential character as a lobbying campaign on behalf of a special interest – in this case, a very special interest. Corporate and professional lobbyists are notably impervious to facts, and tend to cherry-pick according to the interests of their clients, and foreign lobbyists certainly fall into this category. Yet the latter have a certain edge to them, lacking in the others – and Israel’s lobby has the sharpest edge of all.

No one even pretends anymore that the Israel lobby isn’t behind the effort to drag us into another Middle Eastern war. You don’t have to be me, or Mearsheimer and Walt, to make this case: you have only to listen to the public pronouncements of Israel’s leaders, who areopenly demanding that either we strike, or else they will – perhaps, as has been suggested by Benny Morris, with nuclear weapons.

In the U.S., AIPAC, the scandal-rocked central command of Israel’s amen corner, has come out of the shadows, where they remainedduring the run-up to the Iraq war, and taken the lead in calling for harsh sanctions and a military blockade of Iranian ports. Now we have this bipartisan ad hoc committee taking out full page newspaper ads and speaking in the implied names of both major party presidential candidates.

I had to laugh when I read, in the Journal op ed piece, that “Tehran’s development of a nuclear bomb could serve as the ‘starter’s gun’ in a new and potentially deadly arms race in the most volatile region of the world. Many believe that Iran’s neighbors would feel forced to pursue the bomb if it goes nuclear.” Methinks the starter gun went off long off – sometime in the early 1960s, Israel having earlier procured the technology to make the Bomb from the French.

“Iran,” say the four horsemen, “is a deadly and irresponsible world actor, employing terrorist organizations including Hezbollah and Hamas to undermine existing regimes and to foment conflict. Emboldened by the bomb, Iran will become more inclined to sponsor terror, threaten our allies, and support the most deadly elements of the Iraqi insurgency.” One has only to insert “Israel” where Iran sits in those sentences, and the pot-kettle-black aspect of this whole issue is underscored, as is the ridiculous double standard. After all, Israel has surely been emboldened by its possession of nukes, lo these many years, and acted in a manner that could reasonably called irresponsible – and even deadly, now that you mention it. Yet Israel is not only given a pass, but the defining factor of the Middle Eastern strategic environment – Israel’s nuclear arsenal – goes unmentioned by these worthies.

They are full of laughable pronouncements imbued with the solemnity that usually accompanies the argument from authority:

“The world rightfully doubts Tehran’s assertion that it needs nuclear energy and is enriching nuclear materials for strictly peaceful purposes. Iran has vast supplies of inexpensive oil and natural gas, and its construction of nuclear reactors and attempts to perfect the nuclear fuel cycle are exceedingly costly. There is no legitimate economic reason for Iran to pursue nuclear energy.”

Aside from the propriety of assuming to speak for “the world,” one has to ask where the war propagandists have been hiding out lately: haven’t they read about those gas lines in Iran? Sanctions and official corruption have contributed to the country’s shortage, while rationing ensured it would continue. Indeed, the more tireless Iran-ophobes were at one point speculating that the resulting riots might well spell the end for the mullahs.

And I’m surprised they raised the following accusation, considering the context in which it is hurled:

“By continuing to act in open defiance of its treaty obligations under the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, Iran rejects the inspections mandated by the IAEA and flouts multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions and sanctions.”

Iran is fully within its rights, under the terms of the treaty, to develop a nuclear energy program, which is what they say they are doing – and, as those gas lines attest, they have a real need for it. At any rate, at least Iran has signed the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, unlike a certain country whose interests seem to be at the heart of the signers’ argument:

At the same time, Iranian leaders declare that Israel is illegitimate and should not exist. President Ahmadinejad specifically calls for Israel to be ‘wiped off from the map,’ while seeking the weapons to do so. Such behavior casts Iran as an international outlier. No one can reasonably suggest that a nuclear-armed Iran will suddenly honor international treaty obligations, acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, or cease efforts to undermine the Arab-Israeli peace process.”

That old canard about wiping Israel off the map has been debunked so many times as a mis-translation of what Ahmadinejad really said – which was something more akin to predicting that Israel would be washed away by the tides of history and demography – yet it keeps bouncing right back. Just like all the other lies spread far and wide by the War Party’s propagandists. Remember that one aboutMohammed Atta meeting a top Iraqi intelligence official at the Prague airport? That one didn’t die until well after the invasion. I wonder how many people still believe Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks? A lie, repeated relentlessly, becomes enmeshed in the public consciousness, and rooting it out is a major operation, with a problematic success rate.

That’s what we do, here at Antiwar.com – root out the lies, and set the record straight. We did it in the run-up to the last war, and we’redoing the same thing when it comes to the Iranian issue. The chances that we’ll succeed, this time, in stopping the rush to war are better now, perhaps, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. The forces pushing for war, led by the Israel lobby, are marshalling their supporters for a final push. Even if they don’t pull it off before the election, the Holbrooke-Woolsey Pact will go down in history as the turning point, politically, the crucial juncture when the American elite made the decision to go to war because the Lobby demanded it.

Our political elites speak in unison: accept the bailout, pay trillions to the plutocrats – accept the coming war with Iran – and pay with the lives of your children. Our leaders, their system in crisis, have closed ranks around the slogan of Big Government at home, and progressively bigger wars abroad. If it were one crisis, or the other, Americans might remain impassive. In this case, however, with the economy imploding and the threat of war looming simultaneously, the Washington crowd that thought it could ride out the turbulence is finding it’s a bit more of a bumpy ride than they or anyone else imagined. The people are awakening, but there is a danger in this: without leaders of their own, their rebellion is bound to be inchoate, undirected, and perhaps even violent. As Garet Garrett put it, anticipating this moment some sixty odd years ago:

“No doubt the people know they can have their Republic back if they want it enough to fight for it and to pay the price. The only point is that no leader has yet appeared with the courage to make them choose.”

~ Justin Raimondo

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
%d bloggers like this: