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Posts Tagged ‘palestinians’

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?

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Does Israel Have The Right To Exist?

Posted by Job on January 7, 2009

That was the question posed to the Jerusalem Post columnist and Jewish intellectual David Forman by a liberal Christian group. As Forman is also liberal, they were expecting the usual apologies, defensive postures, and equivocations that the modern left makes regarding Israel. This is in contrast with, say, 60 years ago, when the position of the left was to defend a much more liberal – indeed socialist – Israel government from amillennial conservative mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics (this was before the rise of the religious right and its alliance with the conservatives that now in large part control Israel, even when the Labor Party is in power … the modern Israeli Labor Party is not the Labor Party of Golda Meir).

Well these liberal Christians were shocked when Forman launched into a vigorous stance on Israel that could have just as easily come from the conservative Jews (and Christians) that these liberal Christians obviously do not dialogue with. Forman’s strongest argument was that modern Israel has as much right to exist as any other nation, including the United States, and furthermore that Israel was created by the United Nations (the only nation that I am aware of that has that designation). Unfortunately, Forman went on to use some much weaker arguments, including some that amount to little more than Jewish propaganda.

This is my personal answer to the question that was posed to Forman and is often asked, especially in times such as this when Israel finds itself using military action. Iin a true or absolute sense, what we mean when we use the term “rights” is something that only comes from God. In that context, the only nation (and by that I mean nation – state, a sovereign political entity  associated with a general area of land) that ever had the right to exist was Old Testament Israel.

As for other nations in other places and times, well we know from Romans 13 and 14 that they are good things, gifts to humankind from God’s common place. We also know that other nations have been used by God to accomplish His purposes. God used Egypt, for instance, to make Israel into a people. He used Babylon and Assyria to judge Judah and Israel. The Roman Empire’s vast network of roads, political stability, and common Greek language facilitated the speedy spread of the gospel and the preservation of the New Testament. (God also used the Roman Empire to judge the Jewish people for their rejection of Jesus Christ: read Matthew 24 and then consider the destruction of the temple in 70 AD and the destruction of Jerusalem and scattering of the Jews in 132 AD). And our current nation, America, has been very important in A) strengthening the vital free church tradition, B) global missions, and C) protecting Jews, including but not limited to taking in refugees and supporting the modern state of Israel.

But the much good that many nations have done before the eyes of the Lord throughout history does not mean that any particular one had or a right to exist. That would imply that A) such a nation was created by an act of God as was Old Testament Israel and B) that God mediated either through prophets or His Son Jesus Christ a covenant with that nation. In other words, such a nation would have been a function of special grace and not common grace. It is my contention that only Old Testament Israel met either the conditions A) or B), let alone both of them. As such, no other nation has had a “right'” to exist.

As I have stated earlier, it is my proposal that Old Testament Israel’s right to exist as a unique sovereign political entity tied to the land that was formerly Canaan ended by virtue of their breaking the Sinai covenant, and such happened just as the book of Deuteronomy and the classical prophets that warned Israel’s kings and people largely based on Deuteronomy said that it would, first in 721 BC and then in 586 BC. For this nation – state to be re – established with a similar right to exist, whether in Canaan or anywhere else, would have required A) another miraculous act of God, B) another covenant of God, C) another prophet to mediate this covenant, and D) another purpose. Those who assert that this is the case, well the burden is on them to provide evidence of A, B, C, and D. Or failing that, Biblical evidence predicting that such a thing would happen.

I am aware of the many Bible passages that predict that the Jews would return to Israel. But none of those passages to my knowledge predicted that Israel would be re – established to the position that it held before, as a special nation with a special status by virtue of God’s special grace, and in particular with a specific role in human redemption or salvation history. As a matter of fact, the idea that Israel would be re – established in something closely resembling the form or character of the Sinai covenant nation – state caused the Jews much confusion and consternation, and was the cause of the belief that the Messiah would set up an earthly kingdom. Jesus Christ’s refusal to even aspire to such a thing was a key reason why He was rejected, and is still rejected by all but Messianic Jews to this day. But my reading of the Bible, especially Hebrews 1:1-4, would seem to preclude the idea that God would have created or had a use for a covenant nation in the last days, a period or dispensation that the New Testament made clear began with the ending of Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry, His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to the right Hand of the Father.

That said, as I mentioned earlier, nations are clearly intended by God as a good thing. It is not a bad thing when nations are created, and it is a very bad thing when nations that are basically decent and moral fall. As all nations are certainly imperfect, claiming that Israel is anything but an orderly, decent and moral nation is a lie. So, Israel’s existence is a good thing that restrains evil. And yes, I do consider Israel’s existence as a work of God’s providence – if not an act of God’s special creation like Old Testament Israel and the church – because Bible passages speak of a gathering of Jews in the land of Israel having great endtimes significance. (Keep in mind, I am a millennialist, even if it is postmillennial.) I merely reject the notion that those prophecies require a sovereign Israel – especially one run by a constitutional democratic republic form of government that is the product of human paganism and philosophy – to be carried out. After all, when Jews returned to Israel the first time – a precondition for the birth of Jesus Christ – they were under Medo – Persian domination, and Jesus Christ Himself was born to an Israeli people under Roman domination. So, the fulfillment of the revelant eschatological passages, including the famous ones in Ezekiel that are so popular with dispensational premillennialists, do not require that Jews have a sovereign state in Israel. It merely requires that a large number of Jews live in Israel.

Still, this does not make Israel’s formation or existence illegitimate. Realize that nations do not have a “legitimate” way of forming in the first place. They simply exist. The idea that Israel was formed on stolen land … well name the nation that exists today on land that did not belong to some other people group or political entity in times past. Also, Israel’s existence in some form has been endorsed by the United Nations, which let us face it is the highest human authority on the planet today, and likely will be until the beast, the anti – Christ takes power. (Being millennialist, I reject amillennial notions that the anti – Christ will be an institution or body like the Roman Catholic Church, but rather that the beast will be as Daniel, Revelation, and 2 Thessalonians states: a literal human being.)

What makes a nation’s continued existence legitimate? The ability and willingness to govern and defend itself. A nation that cannot or will not govern or defend itself … well that nation will fall and either be dominated by another nation or just descend into general anarchy and with it end any question of its legitimacy. So Israel must govern and defend itself even if it means defying the international community. Governing itself means capturing, imprisoning, and killing the Palestinian criminals that are murdering its citizens. Defending itself means taking definite action against Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and other nations that are funding and arming the Palestinian criminals. Is there such a thing as being excessive, cruel, or unwise in governing and defending itself? Of course, and Israel has been at times. In my opinion, the primary cause of this is relying on air strikes, knowing full well that it will both endanger innocent civilians while accomplishing relatively little, rather than ground troops and soldiers. Do not be deceived: Israel does this only because of politics and public relations. But Israel’s mistakes and unwise policies in the couse of governing and defending itself does not remove the fact that Israel has the responsibility to do so. Israel is not committing a sin against God’s common grace by governing and defending itself. Rather, it is doing so if they refuse.

So, should Christians support the state of Israel? Of course. Romans 13:1-4a reads “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same. For he is the minister of God to thee for good.” So Christians should support every stable, functional, basically moral government, and also support the establishment of the same where it does not exist. (Please note: this does not mean that we should be in the business of going to war with sovereign nations and occupying them in the interests of establishing a government that is more to our liking, or support such endeavors.) Israel is a stable, functional, basically decent government, and we should support it in being so and support its continuing to be so. However, this is not necessarily special with regards to Israel (the Biblical imperative to pray for the peace of Jerusalem notwithstanding) but with all nations, including our own. Which means that we should resist our own nation’s slide into corruption and lawlessness.

So in absolute terms with respect to a special position before God, Israel has no special right to exist that any Christian need respect as was the case with Old Testament Israel. But in relative terms with respect to every other nation that has ever existed, Israel does have rights that Christians should respect, and rights that Christians have an interest in seeing Israel stand up and defend. The fact that I have declared their conflict with the Palestinian population that resides within their borders to be intractable based on very legitimate considerations on the part of both the Palestinians and Israelis does not in any way alter this. Quite the contrary, living in this creation that has fallen into sin due to the sin of Adam means that just these sorts of issues will occur whether they are within nations, within families and marriages, or within an individual (please see Romans 7:7-25 for the individual conflict). I only hope and pray that Palestinians and Israelis handle this inevitable and intractable conflict with justice and dignity, and that more and more individual members of those respective populations accept salvation through Jesus Christ to aid them through their trials.

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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 »

Christian Zionist Elwood McQuaid Lies On Christian Left By Claiming That They Are Replacement Theologists!

Posted by Job on January 15, 2008

Original link: Where the Christian Left is wrong

Now of course, I have no regard for the Christian left. But claiming that their advocacy of the Palestinians is motivated by replacement theology is a lie, and this fellow knows it. If you believe in replacement theology, then you believe that the Bible is inerrant (or infallible) and authoritative, and therefore the commandments of the Bible, including God’s covenant with Jews and Christians, should be a determinative influence in contemporary secular politics. What member of the Christian left believes this? Do you honestly expect us to believe that the same people that are baptizing murdered fetuses at abortion clinics and marrying and ordaining homosexuals have anything resembling the sort of mindset that would support replacement theology? McQuaid knows that this is not so, and he is willing to lie to frightened Jews as a way to get their political support. McQuaid knows that Jews have been raised to believe that replacement theology is the source of all evil that has befallen the Jews, from Muslims turning against them (or so they say) to the Holocaust. McQuaid is exploiting this in order to gain the political support of Jews, which is key to evangelicals gaining more political power in America.This proves that so – called Christian Zionists are not the true friends of the Jews, but are exploiting them for their own purposes. So now, we see that these people are so depraved that they are trying to convince Jews that the same people that cast aside what the Bible says about adultery, fornication, murder, homosexuality, women pastors, etc. when running their own churches are willing to impose a Biblical view on determining who gets political control of Israel. Also, the increasingly confrontational mindset of evangelicals is disturbing. We see in this Christianity Today link, for instance, where they are convinced that fundamentalist Christianity is the greatest evil in the world (actually preferring evil sinners to born – again Bible believing Christians it seems), in this link in Frances Beckwith their increasing opposition to Christians that believe that the Reformation happened for a reason and are unwilling to accept Roman Catholicism today (and Mormonism tomorrow) as just another Christian denomination, and in this very story they are telling Jews that the religious left is seeking their genocide. Whatever side you have taken in the Middle East peace process, do not join yourself to the Christian Zionists! See article below.

An interesting contest seems to be heating up as the world paves a road to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The American religious Left has felt compelled to issue a series of documents slanted toward the Arab and Palestinian points of view, urging the powers that be to muscle Israel to accede to demands that will place Israelis in a virtually untenable position regarding their future security.

Signatories to these documents propose that they speak for the majority of evangelical Christians (as do you you!) and, therefore, are in a position to pontificate on the direction the United States and other Western powers should take in (1) determining the future shape of the new Middle East and (2) correcting what they claim are the egregious malefactions of the Israeli government and its friends in the Zionist evangelical camp (apparently friends lie on each other).

Their criticisms are based on the concept that Israel’s day is over, both biblically and historically. Consequently, Israelis have no more right to the land than their Muslim/Arab antagonists. Theologically, this position is popularly known as Replacement Theology, which claims that God’s promises to the heirs of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were conditional and therefore abrogated by Israel’s disobedience. So the church stepped in as the true “Israel of God” and possesses the spiritualized, redefined covenants of promise. (In addition to being a liar, this fellow is an apostate heretic, denying Jesus Christ before men that the old covenant is passed away – see the Book of Hebrews – and the new covenant is not of dead works but of spirit and is based on better promises – see Hebrews, Galatians, and Romans.)

From this lofty, self-ascribed position, modern Israel is seen as a squatter on property it seized from militarily inferior Palestinians who should receive it back, so much so that Israel has been called an apartheid state equal to South Africa, which practiced legal racial segregation and suppressed human rights from 1948 to 1994. (First off, few members of the Christian left do as “pastor” McQuaid is doing, which is to lie on history. The overwhelming majority of the Christian left wants the same two – state solution that has been advocated by the international community ever since 1948. Also, great job of lying on the South Africa analogy, pastor. Totally ignore the fact that Israel was apartheid South Africa’s biggest supporter, continuing to support them even after international sanctions were imposed. When apartheid fell, the #1 fear by the Israeli government was that new South African government would turn anti – Israel and take the rest of black Africa with them.)

ZIONIST Christians (those of us who believe the land promises to the Jewish people are irrevocable-biblically, historically, morally, and legally) are written off as an illegitimate theological mutation, unworthy of serious consideration. Furthermore, we are accused of being anti-Palestinian political meddlers who say, “Israel right or wrong.” This point of view elicits a number of responses that are perfectly in order considering the seriousness of the accusations.

First and foremost, on the matter of believing God’s biblical promises regarding Jewish rights to a homeland in Eretz Yisrael, we are guilty as charged. The birth of the church as God’s grace gift to the Gentiles did not contain a deed to property in the Middle East. Nor does it give Christian leaders, as some have wrongly concluded, a mandate to dictate what land is actually His land.

Second, the accusation that we are anti-Palestinian is totally without foundation. The Palestinians are caught in the middle of a conflict created and maintained by the manipulative mismanagement of their leaders who act in their own behalf, disregarding the needs of their people. The most unfortunate are Palestinian Christians. Witness the exodus of Christian Arabs to the West and Europe in recent years. Some have gone so far as to blame this evacuation on Israel and economic oppression and despair caused by the continual “occupation.”

Hardly mentioned is the fact that the Christian exodus from the Middle East is a response to the Islamic drive to exterminate Christians and Jews from the region.

Criticism of Israel’s 8,000 settlers in Gaza was a popular theme for many years. If the Jewish infiltrators were eliminated from the Gaza, the mantra went, Palestinians could elevate their social and economic status, which would change their lives and lifestyles. So the Jews left, at great cost. The result? Gaza became a staging area for terrorists; Hamas rules the street; and Christian Arabs are hunted, assassinated, and forced to find safe haven somewhere other than Gaza.

With regard to the charge of meddling in politics, let it be said that Christian Zionism is not primarily a political action movement. It is not the legitimate province of outsiders, however benevolently motivated, to dictate the political policy of a foreign government. The Israeli people are perfectly capable of determining the course their nation should pursue. That said, there is a point where politics and biblical, prophetic realities converge. This is not a matter of dictation but observation; and there is no doubt that current events, when compared with scriptural predictions, help us discern where we are and where history is heading.

For Israelis and the Jewish state, the issue is survival within secure, recognized borders. And for Palestinians, Christians, and others, it is the right to pursue productive and tranquil lives without fear of radical Islamist discrimination.

The writer, a pastor, is a veteran leader of the Christian Zionist movement in the US.

Posted in apostasy, Bible, blasphemy, Christian hypocrisy, christian left, christian liberalism, Christian Persecution, Christian persecution Palestinian Israel, Christian Zionism, Christianity, church hypocrisy, church scandal, dual covenant theology, evangelical christian, GOP, heresy, Israel, John Hagee, Judaism, liberal christian, Middle East peace process, replacement theology, Republican, Zionism | Tagged: , , , , | 13 Comments »

 
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