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Christians Must Continue Their Undying Support for Israel

By JERRY FALWELL



DATE: FEBRUARY 8, 2001

Every Evangelical Christian who loves Israel is celebrating the victory of Ariel Sharon as that nation's new prime minister. By a landslide margin, Mr. Sharon defeated Ehud Barak, and immediately set in motion a plan to prevent the fulfillment of Mr. Barak's earlier misguided concessions to the Palestinians.

During his final days in office, Mr. Barak had offered the Palestinians a state in about 95 percent of the West Bank and control over parts of Jerusalem. In addition, according to a New York Post report, Mr. Barak had also indicated a willingness to partially relinquish Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, where the Al Aqsa Mosque stands above the ruins of the sacred biblical Jewish Temples.

Mr. Barak, seemingly a willing dupe of President Clinton and rabble-rouser James Carville, was convinced by the Democrat leadership in the U.S. to make unnecessary concessions to the Palestinians even though history proves that these concessions do nothing to appease Yassir Arafat, the terrorist leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. The PLO has long sought the destruction of Israel, which became independent on May 14, 1948.

Bill Clinton, who poured untold amounts of money into the Barak election in 1999, was consumed with bringing peace to the Middle East as a personal legacy. His intent was clearly not to bolster Israel, but solely to direct his own individual glory before his presidency played out.

The fact is that peace is not the important issue to Israelis.

Security of the region is the prime concern of the vast majority of the 5.7 million residents of Israel. Sacrificing security in the desperate hope for peace was Mr. Barak's downfall.

However, Mr. Sharon, a 72-year-old retired general, has called on the Palestinians to end the latest four-month uprising and has vowed to hold on to a "united Jerusalem" as Israel's capital.

Additionally, he has pledged not to give up control over Arab sections of East Jerusalem.

"The state of Israel has embarked on a new path ... striving for security and a real, genuine peace," he told exhilarated Likud Party supporters. "I am aware of the fact that peace requires painful compromises by both sides. I call upon our Palestinian neighbors to cast off the path of violence and to return to the path of dialogue and to resolving the disputes between us by peaceful means."

Autonomy over Arab East Jerusalem, captured during the 1967 Middle East war, and the Temple Mount - revered by Muslims as "Noble Sanctuary" - are the primary obstacles in securing an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

Tom Rose, publisher and CEO of the Jerusalem Post, told me that, in addition to working for peace, Mr. Sharon will also attempt to preempt the terrorism that has gone unpunished in the region. "That terrorism has terribly hurt Israel's deterrent capability," he said.

"And that deterrent capability is what has brought stability to the region. When that capability goes down the tubes, the entire region becomes unstable."

Concessions to the Palestianians, he said, do nothing to alleviate this problem. "The more concessions we make, the more violence we see," said Mr. Rose.

Of course, dealing with a madman - Yassir Arafat - is a frequently a losing premise.

It is important to note that Mr. Arafat wickedly exploits the children of his nation, convincing them to fling rocks and bottles at Israeli troops. When one of these children is killed, their families are given up to $2,000 as a reward for their efforts and the children are buried as martyrs.

Sadly, the mainstream American press ignores this fact. Also often ignored is the fact that PLO terrorists who blow up busses are hailed as heroes. Mr. Arafat often attends the funerals of the "martyrs" of his nation. The press typically chooses to report that about 385 people have died in the bloodshed since September - about 330 of them Palestinians - without explaining the diabolical reason for many of these deaths.

"Palestinians don't want peace," said Tom Rose, "because Arafat is an unrepentant revolutionary."

Mr. Sharon is already facing pressure from other leaders in the region to continue making concessions to the Palestinians. Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Said Al-Sahaf has already called Mr. Sharon a "criminal," no doubt referring to Mr. Sharon's authorization of the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon to drive out Mr. Arafat's PLO forces.

While I unreservedly believe that Mr. Sharon is the right man to lead Israel today, the truth is that the opposition to his leadership within the region is sure to be increasingly heightened.

American Christians should be firmly in support of Mr. Sharon's work to protect Jerusalem. We must be praying for the peace of Jerusalem and for the Jewish people. And we must be encouraging our own government to be doing everything it can to prevent Mr. Arafat's success in destroying this great nation. President George W. Bush needs to promptly make his administration a new beginning in American-Israeli relations.

After Mr. Sharon's government is in place, he must establish a 2001 budget, which the Knesset must pass by March 31. If that budget is not approved, new elections must be initiated for prime minister and parliament. Needless to say, this is a crucial time for this new leader.

After 32 visits to Israel, I can tell you that the grassroots of this tiny but momentous nation express great appreciation for the unswerving support of American Evangelicals who fervently pray for a strong and secure Israel. Let us not grow weary in well doing and continue to earnestly pray for Mr. Sharon and his efforts to bring peace - and, most importantly, security - to our friend, Israel.

What do YOU think ?

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Date:
21 Apr 2002
Time:
15:51:26

Comments

Current Israel is a mixture of peoples from all over the world who for the most part desire nothing to do with God if by their standard He really exists. "Israel" is and always will be the spiritual seed of Abraham and no effort to distract from Abraham's God by siding attention to a mixed earthly people will defeat His Kingdom. The gates of Hell shall not prevail. Blessed be the "Seed of Abraham". Ani Ma Amin


Date:
21 Apr 2002
Time:
19:28:54

Comments

all of the land promises to Abraham were fulfilled thousands of years ago! Read Joshua! Read your Bible! NO 'STUDY' YOUR BIBLE!


Date:
22 Apr 2002
Time:
21:10:28

Comments

"One message of Genesis 1 is that 'All the earth belongs to the Holy One, Blessed Be He. He created [Israel] and bestows it upon whoever he chooses.' So we see why Christians are so sympathetic to the Jewish side in this painful conflict: they revere the Bible. Muslims disdain the Bible and revere the Quran. Secularists disdain all Scripture." And rationalists disdain reliance on irrational behavior that results in negative consequences for any group. The first thing that's got to go is the pro-Israeli and anti-Arab racial equivocation expressed by the very presence of Army and his ilk at the rally. What gives a bunch of Europeans the right to something from which they were not expelled? If anyone has a right to the Land at this time, it's those who have been cultivating it and keeping it going for the last few centuries. The irony of "terrorism" is that Ben Gurion and "rock-em sock-em Manachem" were just as much terrorist as anyone today. No one is excused for their actions, but the agression has always been on the European Jews trying to wrest the Land from its inhabitants. In this case, "possession is 9/10 of the law" is applicable.


Date:
27 Apr 2002
Time:
18:20:32

Comments

It is so disheartening to see dispensationalist Christians allied with American Jews in the support of the political state of Israel, which is definitely not the Israel of Biblical prophecy.


Date:
29 Apr 2002
Time:
06:23:59

Comments

Please tell me, why has God not spoken to his people for 1900+ years? If he has where is it recorded? All of these biblical quotes and interpretations are shrouded in mystery. It is interesting that the only people who have understanding of these things also stand to profit from the dispensing of the correct information. The many doctrines of the true faith in both Christianity and Judaism are at war with each other. If God wants to speak to our hearts why hide it in complicated mumbo jumbo? Why keep the priestly class as the keepers of the truth. I thought Jesus stated plainly his feelings about the leaders of religion in his time. Why is it when people enter into the presence of the creator of heaven and earth, people are doing all the talking?


Date:
29 Apr 2002
Time:
11:51:04

Comments

I can't help but wonder at these "warm' for Judaism guys! I wonder what they would say if they knew that the Talmud depicts Christ as condemned for all eternity to be boiling in excrement! I wonder if they know that the talmud teaches it is okay to have sex with a 3-year old child. I wonder if they know the Talmud condones killing Christians? I wonder if they know anything they ought to know!


Date:
28 Jul 2002
Time:
03:22:28

Comments

The blood of the innocent Palestinians ( many were Christians) that was shed for the last 100 years for the sake of Israeli Security is upon you and your "theology".


Date:
12 Aug 2002
Time:
00:46:46

Comments

Mr. Sharon cannot bring peace, only Christ can. What would Christ do if He was there today, with the Israelites? He would do what He has always done, right? Live according to peace and the Truth even if it got Him killed. It's better to suffer for the Truth the short while you are here instead of trying to fight to save yourself.


Date:
16 Aug 2002
Time:
09:34:05

Comments

I say to FALWELL: take that zionist. The zionists & their killer Christians are doomed to the judgment day. The hell with the zionist terirriosts and their supporters in the world.....Hell will be filled with all of you and it will be our day when "so called israel" is annihilated!!!!


Date:
17 Sep 2002
Time:
15:52:15
Remote User:

Comments

Modern Zionist Israel - that Rothschild creation - that flies, of all things, an occult/satanic symbol as its flag, is not worthy of Christian support. The Bible does say that the "end is near" when Jews return to Biblical lands. However, and this is a BIG however, none of the other "signs" of the end are good things; the state of Israel, likewise, is NOT a good thing. Jim McMichael jamesmcmichael@hotmail.com


Date:
12 Oct 2002
Time:
06:55:49
Remote User:

Comments

We, including GOD, are in minority on this point of view. How can "they" be so blind and antiscriptural?


Date:
12 Oct 2002
Time:
07:45:29
Remote User:

Comments

My comment is that there are many professors of Christ but few possers of our LORD.


Date:
23 Oct 2002
Time:
08:53:53

Comments

Granted , Zionism is a political movement, much of which are "secular jews." In biblical prophecy you find the literal, and that little sliver of land that the whole world wants a part of , is called Israel. I do not say that the Israel today is the fulfillment of prophecy, but since biblical prophecy or the most part is literal, then in the future, it will be as the Land and the people are literal.


Date:
28 Oct 2002
Time:
12:32:54

Comments

Jerry: I was your co-Pastor from 1966-67 and I observed methodology and infrastructure that caused me concern, as I shared with you. I was careless of you to call Mohammed a 'terrorist', irresepective of the reality of the substance. You were a more assute politician when I was with you. It was a necessary and beneficial move for me to go to Dayton, Ohio and assume the challenge of a small work. I am now retired, active in Preterism and heartily recommend the Preteristarchive.com WEB site as a source of good eschatological study. Your Brother and Friend. Bob Williams usmc1div@earthlink.net


Date:
28 Oct 2002
Time:
12:41:26

Comments

Jerry: I noted a mistake in a statement when I wrote "I was careless to call Mohammed a terrorist..'; I meant to write, It was careless for you to call him a terrorist irrespective of the sub- stance of the facts....etc. [10/28/2002] Bob Former Co-Pastor Pelham, N. C. KOREAN VETERAN, USMC 1385573 usmc1div@earthlink.net William has completed his twenty years in the "Corps", Tina is in top level management at a large hospital in Louisville, Ky., and David is in Human Resources with an electronics server manufacturer. Trust all goes with you and your family. Robert G. Williams


Date:
09 Nov 2002
Time:
16:18:03

Comments

God Bless ISRAEL!!! Shema Yisrael, Adonai, Elohenu, Adona echad!!! Yeshua IS LORD! GOD BLESS ISRAEL When the Lord Restors the Fortunes of his people Let Jacob Rejoice and Israel Be glad! Let every thing that has Breath Praise the LORD !


Date:
31 Dec 2002
Time:
14:37:38

Comments

I disagree with your view. You are wrong in so many areas it would be impossible to name them all. The biggest failure of your view is your inability to see the concept of the REMNANT. Apart from this.... Your hard and spiteful attitued (spirit) toward other Christians who do not believe as you do speaks for itself. I have studied other "end time theories" and those on the opposing side do not call Preterist Christian brothers "heretical, demented, etc.". Your wrong spirit toward other speaks much louder than your unconvincing theories. Numerous scriptures prophecy the return of the Jews to Israel. How do you "alegorize" this and make it applicable to the Church. CB


Date:
25 Feb 2003
Time:
08:24:50

Comments


Date:
25 Feb 2003
Time:
10:27:02

Comments

Apart from the fact that Jerry Falwell tends to turn Jesus into Joshua, He now calls Arafat a terrorist. He ignores that the founder of the Secular Zionist State of Israel were also terrorists of the worst sort. He seems to have us believe that they grew on trees. One of my church elders who has recently gone to be with the Lord was in the British Palestine police in the 1940s. He was one of the 4 British secret police officers who went to arrest both Manahem Begin and his crew( including Sharon. They happened to have escaped by minutes. According to the British and most of the International Community at the time they were a bunch of comfirmed terrorist killers. Rev. Dr. Samuel Hosain,Lamarti (Minister of John Knox Parish Church of Scotland, Stewarton, Scotland,U.K.


Date:
08 Apr 2003
Time:
15:00:37

Comments

Go hogs go!


Date:
15 Apr 2003
Time:
19:52:27

Comments

Stuff the blood of Jesus says Jerry Falwell. Israel broke the covenant and were scattered. Everone gets into the kingdom through Jesus. all this support Israel nonsense is racist and non-Biblical. There are Billions of Muslims on their way to hell and we couldn't give a Dam. Let God deal with Israel the way He wants and has always done. Our interpretation of prophecy is often up the creek anyhow.


Date:
10 May 2003
Time:
12:48:36

Comments

Let God to do what He wants to do... Humans must not to intervene with God's plans, or "give a hand" to God. Perhaps, you are on the evil side, and you have not seen it clearly enough. Have you seen that Jews does not believe in Jesus? What is worst, they say that Jesus is a usurper, a bastard, a sin's son, a false prophet, etc. Is it virtuous to take those antichrists as friends?


Date:
23 Aug 2003
Time:
04:05:00

Comments

Exodus of the Palestinian Christians Dear Sir The Palestinian Christian is an endangered species. When the modern state of Israel was established there were about 400000 of us. Two years ago the number was down to 80000. Now it’s down to 60000. At that rate, in a few years there will be none of us left. Palestinian Christians within Israel fare little better. On the face of it, their number has grown by 20000 since 1991. But this is misleading, for the census classification ‘Christian’ includes some 20000 recent non-Arab migrants from the former Soviet Union. So why are Palestinian Christians abandoning their homeland? We have lost hope, that’s why. We are treated as non-people. Few outside the Middle East even know we exist, and those who do, conveniently forget. I refer, of course, to the American Religious Right. They see the modern Israel as a harbinger of the Second Coming, at which time Christians will go to Paradise, and all others (presumably including Jews) to Hell. To this end they lend military and moral support to Israel. Even by the double-dealing standards of international diplomacy this is a breathtakingly cynical bargain. It is hard to know who is using whom more: the Christian Right for offering secular power in the expectation that the Jewish state will be destroyed by a greater spiritual one; or the Israeli Right for accepting their offer. What we do know is that both sides are abusing the Palestinians. Apparently we don’t enter into anyone’s calculations. The views of the Israeli Right are well known: they want us gone. Less well known are the views of the American Religious Right. Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) said: ‘God Appeared to Abraham and said: “I am giving you this land,”the West Bank. This is not a political battle at all. It is a contest over whether or not the word of God is true.’ House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) was even more forthright: ’I'm content to have Israel grab the entire West Bank… I happen to believe that the Palestinians should leave.’ There is a phrase for this. Ethnic cleansing. So why do American Christians stand by while their leaders advocate the expulsion of fellow Christians? Could it be that they do not know that the Holy Land has been a home to Christians since, well… since Christ? Do not think I am asking for special treatment for Christians. Ethnic cleansing is evil whoever does it and to whomever it is done. Palestinian ChristiansMaronite Catholics, Orthodox, Lutherans, Armenians, Baptists, Copts and Assyrians have been rubbing shoulders with each other and with other religionsMuslims, Jews, Druze and (most recently) Baha’is for centuries. We want to do so for centuries more. But we can’t if we are driven out by despair. What we seek is supportmaterial, moral, political and spiritual. As Palestinians we grieve for what we have lost, and few people (the Ashkenazi Jews are one) have lost more than us. But grief can be assuaged by the fellowship of friends. (Signed Prof. Abe W. Ata is a 9th generation Christian Palestinian born in Bethlehem. He is the author of 11 books including Intermarriage between Christians and Muslims : the case of the West Bank (Melbourne, David Lovell Publ. 2000) a.ata@asian.unimelb.edu.au


Date:
23 Aug 2003
Time:
04:06:18

Comments

Subject : Response to Letter Exodus of the Palestinian Christians (Last Day Ministries - USA) Dear Professor Ata, Thank you very much for your email. I must say that it struck me in a variety of ways. I found it somewhat disturbing, enlightening, puzzling and humbling. I hope you don't mind that I have taken your email and answered individual points as needed. You wrote: The Palestinian Christian is an endangered species. When the modern state of Israel was established there were about 400000 of us. Two years ago the number was down to 80000. Now it's down to 60000. At that rate, in a few years there will be none of us left. Palestinian Christians within Israel fare little better. On the face of it, their number has grown by 20000 since 1991. But this is misleading, for the census classification 'Christian' includes some 20000 recent non-Arab migrants from the former Soviet Union. My response: I have seen various figures, but most are close to what you have quoted. I have always found this alarming. In a twisted sort of irony I have met many Christians who feel such attachment for the region that they sometimes express desire to move there. You wrote: So why are Palestinian Christians abandoning their homeland? We have lost hope, that's why. We are treated as non-people. Few outside the Middle East even know we exist, and those who do, conveniently forget. My response: I believe that many Americans know of the existence of Palestinian Christians, but unfortunately I believe that their view has been adulterated by slanted journalism that depicts the siding of a few Palestinian Christians with Yassar Arafat as indicative of the beliefs of the general Palestinian Christian population. It isn't helped by Arafat's shrewd attempts to pretend solidarity with Palestinian Christians. My personal opinion is that we are being deceived here in America and that the majority of Palestinian Christians do seek peace with Israel. You wrote: I refer, of course, to the American Religious Right. They see the modern Israel as a harbinger of the Second Coming, at which time Christians will go to Paradise, and all others (presumably including Jews) to Hell. To this end they lend military and moral support to Israel. My response: I believe that the teachings found endemic to the Religious Right are steeped in false assumptions about who is going where and how this will happen. My web site (www.LastDay.info) demonstrates my beliefs by what I find in the Bible rather than the regurgitations of myths perpetuated in false teachings. I have indeed taken side with Israel against the Intifada. I am not against the Palestinian people but against the violence and their choice of leadership. My beliefs, based on the Bible, are that the Jews are the apple of God's eye. He refers to Israel as his wife. But she is a wayward wife filled with sin and wickedness. God has clearly pronounced that in the end-times she will rebel against the covenant he made with her. She will do this by entering what Isaiah called a covenant with death. That is, she will desperately seek peace with her enemies apart from God and will give some of her covenant lands to her enemies in order to procure that peace she desires. She will indeed have that peace for 3.5 years and then God will severely punish Israel by letting her enemies have at her. This will last for another 3.5 years before Jesus Christ comes. At that time he will resurrect ALL who have stood firm in the faith to the end, whether they are faithful Jews, Christian Palestinians or other believing gentiles makes no difference. God seeks obedience from ALL of his people. I, as a Christian American do agree with American military and moral support of Israel. As long as America sides with the covenant then we are not against God. Unfortunately our president supports the establishment of a Palestinian state. By supporting this he stands against the covenant and so God will severely punish the US just as he will all who stand against his covenant with Israel. That covenant made with Abraham is to be everlasting and it will be, regardless of the desires of mankind. You wrote: Even by the double-dealing standards of international diplomacy this is a breathtakingly cynical bargain. It is hard to know who is using whom more: the Christian Right for offering secular power in the expectation that the Jewish state will be destroyed by a greater spiritual one; or the Israeli Right for accepting their offer. My response: Again, the Religious Right does not represent all Christian Americans as evidenced by my growing newsletter subscription list. The Religious Right is often sadly mistaken because, as the name implies, they are religious but not necessarily believers. By the time Jesus comes Israel will have been nearly annihilated by the forces of a world that is bent on evil rebellion. They will have no love loss for Israel. Along with Israel's destruction will come the near extermination of true Christians. When Jesus comes he will deliver wrath upon his enemies and save the remnant of Israel and true gentile believers and resurrect those who have already fallen asleep. Most of the Religious Right's adherents are shallow in their beliefs. They will be among those who fall away from the faith as the time of testing comes upon the world. You wrote: What we do know is that both sides are abusing the Palestinians. Apparently we don't enter into anyone's calculations. The views of the Israeli Right are well known: they want us gone. My response: I am guilty of saying little to defend Christian Palestinians, I will take immediate steps to rectify my oversight. I am sorry, please forgive me. You must understand though that I differentiate between Christian Palestinians and non-Christian Palestinians. I do this the same as I would with all humanity. The line is drawn and clear; People are either believers or not in Jesus Christ. I see no difference in the lost condition of an American non-believer and a Palestinian non-believer. And likewise with true believers. Therefore I will continue to speak up on behalf of the covenant by standing against a Palestinian state on covenant lands. There are alternatives that all parties are guilty of not pursuing seriously. Israel's lack of love in regards to Palestinian rights will be dealt with severely by God, but so will the Palestinian violence upon Israel. America will be judged because she has lost her way and no longer understands God's word or looks to it for guidance. She will continue to act with good intentions but at the moral expense of all! The faithful Jews read God's word and see what will come upon them. They are afraid and therefore they react to events. They are the keepers of Judaism and if they are faithful then they will be saved. They know that they are being isolated by the secular powers of Israel. They see that Israel is abandoning God and thus heading for desolation as spoken of in the Bible. They are desperate to keep God at the center of an exclusively Jewish culture. Their extremist are not always right, but they on the right are not all extremists. These people will be blind to the ultimate truth of Jesus Christ and their brotherhood with you as a Christian until Jesus himself lifts the veil from their eyes on the last day of this age. You wrote: Less well known are the views of the American Religious Right. Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) said: 'God Appeared to Abraham and said: "I am giving you this land,"the West Bank. This is not a political battle at all. It is a contest over whether or not the word of God is true.' My response: I don't know the context in which this statement was taken from, but by itself it is true. I agree with it based on what I explained earlier. You wrote: House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) was even more forthright: 'I'm content to have Israel grab the entire West Bank. I happen to believe that the Palestinians should leave.' There is a phrase for this. Ethnic cleansing. My response: I don't agree with this statement. I do believe that the West Bank belongs to Israel but I believe that the Palestinians, if they choose to, could live under Israeli law in an Israeli state and voice. Israel on its part would do well to allow a more pluralistic society based on moral concerns. Israel had taken the steps of allowing the Palestinians self-governance (since then almost destroyed by the Intifada) within Israel. I think this model can work biblically with further concessions by both parties. You wrote: So why do American Christians stand by while their leaders advocate the expulsion of fellow Christians? Could it be that they do not know that the Holy Land has been a home to Christians since, well. since Christ? My response: Good questions and good points, but the situation is not that simple. Christians were persecuted in the Holy Land from the time of Christ along with other peoples and by other peoples. What shall we say of the exodus of Christians from Lebanon? Is it at the hands of Jews? This is far more complex than that. The bottom line is that American Christians wouldn't be accepted in Israel either if didn't protect and support Israel through huge loans and grants. Israel will never be the home of Christians until Jesus Christ comes and establishes his kingdom in Jerusalem. Whatever select American leaders say, it is the President who is charged by the our constitution with the formation and maintenance of foreign policy for the US. President Bush has made it clear that he supports a Palestinian state. This would suggest at least a temporary state of relief is on the way for Palestinians, but it will cost Israel dearly. God will first punish Israel for her unfaithfullness and then he will expend his wrath upon her enemies. You wrote: Do not think I am asking for special treatment for Christians. Ethnic cleansing is evil whoever does it and to whomever it is done. Palestinian ChristiansMaronite Catholics, Orthodox, Lutherans, Armenians, Baptists, Copts and Assyrians have been rubbing shoulders with each other and with other religionsMuslims, Jews, Druze and (most recently) Baha'is for centuries. We want to do so for centuries more. But we can't if we are driven out by despair. My response: I agree. The only advice I can give is what we receive in the Bible, "When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another." Matthew 10:23. I'm sorry if that sounds non-caring. I care deeply for my brothers and sister in Christ all over the world. I believe that you will get your state of Palestine, God has shown me in his Word. This grieves me because I know what will follow and it will be truly horrible. Not just for the Jews but for people such as yourself. Islam will not stop with the Jews. You must know that although you are proud to be a Palestinian you are considered an infidel to the adherents of Islam. They will not be satisfied by driving the 'Zionist entity' into the sea. They will come against all who stand firm in the name above all names - Jesus Christ! You wrote: What we seek is support: material, moral, political and spiritual. As Palestinians we grieve for what we have lost, and few people (the Ashkenazi Jews are one) have lost more than us. But grief can be assuaged by the fellowship of friends. My response: I am your friend and in the love of Jesus Christ I love you and all Palestinians, believers or not. Just as I, a believer in Jesus Christ, must put my faith above my patriotic love for my country so must you put your faith above the patriotic love of your people and culture. We must love our people, but the causes of this world are not to be placed above the cause of Jesus Christ, but rather at his feet in humble submission to his sovereignty over the affairs of men! I am committed to prayer for your people and I will be more outspoken on behalf of Christian Palestinians. If Christian Palestinians want to be supported by Americans then they must be seen standing firmly for the faith and against the violence of the Intifada. Your terrible situation cannot be morally supported if violence against the people of the covenant is supported by people who claim to be of Jesus Christ. I prayed I have served you well, Randy Loudenslager LastDay.info Ministries Randy@LastDay.info Feedback to Letter of Response Palestinian Christians (Associate Editor THE WITNESS - USA) Your query was forwarded to me by Aba Ata with a request to respond. Others, I am sure, will bombard you with analysis of scripture, Christological exegesis, and much else I am not qualified to present, let alone defend. However I would only ask for a brief moment of your time to propose a couple of points to fairly consider. Let us strip away the endless midrash of historical explanations and get to the central issue. If grace and charity is the example of Christ, even when he was with the Gentiles or those far outside the fold, then how do we condone persecution and oppression of any person even if that oppression was (and it wasn't in this case) furthered by choice? What sin or suffering doesn't involve some choice, even if it is unknowing? Did the choice of Jews to be Jews and to live in Poland mean they deserved the Holocaust? Did family who happened to be Cambodian deserve to be hauled to the killing fields? What about the following generations and their choices? This line of thinking simply transfers the moral onus onto those who are defenseless or who deserve our compassion. No greater hubris can I imagine than for us to set ourselves in the place of God, to make the determination of who and what deserves love or salvation, to usurp the role of Jesus Christ in judgement and to somehow view this paltry speck of dust populated by tiny sentient primates as the thing which determines God's vision. Only the father knows the time. Not me, not the Zionists, not even Christ, and certainly not you. But, even if we were to accept the general thesis that somehow the latest round in the historical quagmire which is the "Holy Land" has something to do with the end-times, what is it to any of us? What kind of twisted person is willing to consciously use an entire nation of people as a sacrifice for their own salvation? Who would use such an idea to persecute someone or worse, to supposedly act as their friends and to promote their agenda when they truly believe in their heart that most of them will be wiped out and sent into the void (at best)? In this sense we could be referring to either the Jews or the Palestinians. Either way it is cynicism at its worst. This is the ultimate expression of selfish narcissism, the ultimate placement of one's own well-being over that of others, the blasphemy of all blasphemies. It is, in a sense, another crucifixion. Indeed, even if I were remotely inclined to believe all this nonsense (and I certainly am not) it would seem to me that the final cut is being made but certainly not in the direction you might suppose. We cannot force the world into a particular relationship with the divine. Hate and persecution IS the human condition. That is the deterministic, the necessary, the socio-biological response, the curse, the eternal us vs. them which Judaism and Christianity have wrestled with for 3000 years. It is simply tribalism, and God is not a member of a tribe. By acting in this way you are not promoting the end of THE world, but the end of YOUR world and several other people's worlds along with it. It is just another chapter of suffering which has been repeated over and over and over again in the name of so many gods in so many places. Finally, as an archaeologist I think I can say with some authority that the people of Palestine (Jews and Arabs alike) have maintained their continuous presence in that land despite invasions, wars, persecution, genocide, deportations, and oppression without pause for many millennia. The ancient people who identified themselves as Judah did not wipe out the indigenous populations of Palestine because many of them were themselves indigenous to Palestine. So it remains today. The simplistic notions of anthropology, history, and prehistory which many people propose when speaking about Israel usually reflect a deep methodological and subjective ignorance of these fields of knowledge. In terms of the substance of your claims about Zionism, it would seem that the history of the movement is well documented. I have copied a recent article below which you might find informative and succinct. It is not my place to criticize the theological ideal of Israel or its meaning in Judaism and Christianity. The reality of it, however, is another matter. Peace, Jim Eighmey ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++ Christians and Zionism An interview with Michael Prior by Marianne Arbogast The Witness Online Volume 86 Number 3/4 March/April 2003 On the platform, an Israeli student is telling thousands of supporters how the horrors of the year have only reinforced his people's determination. "Despite the terror attacks, they'll never drive us away out of our God-given land," he says. This is greeted with whoops and hollers and waving of Israeli flags and the blowing of the shofar, the Jewish ceremonial ram's horn. Then comes the mayor of Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert, who is received even more rapturously. ... The placards round the hall insist that every inch of the Holy Land should belong to Israel and that there should never be a Palestinian state. These assertions are backed up by biblical quotations. It could be a rally in Jerusalem for those Israelis who think Ariel Sharon is a dangerous softie. But something very strange is going on here. There are thousands of people cheering for Israel in the huge Washington Convention Centre. But not one of them appears to be Jewish, at least not in the conventional sense. For this is the annual gathering of a very non-Jewish organization indeed: the Christian Coalition of America. - Matthew Engel, The Guardian, 10/28/02 The influence of Christian Zionists on American foreign policy is cause for concern among many who see their worldview - with its unqualified support of Israeli land rights - as potentially contributing to the outbreak of the world-engulfing apocalyptic battle they predict. Michael Prior, a Roman Catholic priest and biblical scholar at St. Mary's College, University of Surrey, England, describes and critiques the development of political Zionism and the "dispensationalist" Christian theology which has embraced it. Prior, who is the author of The Bible and Colonialism: A Moral Critique (Sheffield, 1997) and Zionism and the State of Israel: A Moral Inquiry (Routledge, 1999) and editor of Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal (Continuum, 2002), visited the U.S. in November 2002 on a speaking tour sponsored by Friends of Sabeel and other Palestinian advocacy organizations. The Witness: How did you become involved with the issue of Zionism and justice for Palestinians? Michael Prior: Probably the first time I became conscious of the situation in any kind of gripping way was during the 1967 war when I was a theology student. I remember gobbling my supper each evening in the seminary to watch the replay of what had happened that day or the night before. And at that time I was delighted by the victory of Israel - a little country which I understood to be under siege from a whole bunch of predatory and rapacious Arab neighboring states. Then in 1972 as part of my post-graduate biblical studies I visited the land, and even though the concentration was entirely on examining artifacts from the past, I did absorb that I was witnessing some kind of apartheid system. And in 1981, I went with a group of students from my university in England to the University of Bir Zeit, which is about 18 miles north of Jerusalem, and the university was occupied by the Israeli military the day before we arrived. We couldn't gain legal access to the campus, although we did get in surreptitiously. The university put a bus at our disposal, so we drove up and down the West Bank and into Israel proper. And being in the company of Bir Zeit students I began to appreciate much more readily the nature of the Israeli occupation and how it was impinging upon the indigenous Arab population. In 1983 and 1984, I was living in Jerusalem for a year. It was very tense all the time, and I was shocked one morning in the spring of 1984 when I turned on the radio to hear that Jewish settlers had climbed over the wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock compound, and they had guns and bomb equipment and hand grenades, and they were attempting to blow up the site of the third-holiest shrine in Islam. That was happening just down the road from me. And then, while they were in court, some of them were reading from the Psalms. So I was beginning to say to myself, good heavens, the oppression that I had begun to perceive in 1972 and that I was getting a better knowledge of from the inside - is it possible that this is being driven by religious zealotry of some kind? I began the task of reading the biblical narrative from the point of view of the land-to do so adequately would have taken me altogether away from the subject of my study (the "Pastoral Epistles")-but in the early 1990s, again in Jerusalem, I returned to that subject much more systematically. I started typing out those texts in the biblical narrative that were about land in any sense - the promise of it, how it was related to the covenant, etc. What really shocked me was that the people entering the land - which was already inhabited by Canaanites, Hivites, Hittites and so on - were to exterminate the indigenous population. That came through in a number of texts, especially in the Book of Deuteronomy. It was bad enough to find that the business of genocide or ethnic cleansing was legitimate, but I was actually reading that it was a requirement of fidelity to the commands of God. And for some crazy reason I hadn't noticed that in my previous reading of the biblical narrative - perhaps I became more sensitive by the recognition that, in fact, some of these texts formed part of the background for the maltreatment of the indigenous population. And then, over the years I was becoming much more sensitive to what happened in 1948. I don't think that I had known in any significant way that people had been kicked out of their homes in 1948 and 1949. I certainly didn't know that 418 villages were destroyed to make sure that those who were kicked out would not be able to resume occupancy in their home villages. The Witness: Where did the ideology of Zionism come from? Michael Prior: Political Zionism is a 19th-century European export, carrying all of the arrogance that one associates with the European nation-states in their colonial zeal. The founder of political Zionism, Theodor Herzl, a non-religious Jew, and his supporters - the vast majority of whom were not only utterly secular but anti-religious - saw it as being necessary to escape the manacled life that was imposed upon Jews in Europe in the ghettoes. At the time, the whole enterprise of political Zionism was regarded by the chief rabbi of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, whom Herzl visited around 1896 or 1897, as an egregious blunder. Several of the chief rabbis in Europe were of the same mind - that this enterprise was contrary to Judaism and contrary to the sacred scriptures. Today, you would not get a chief rabbi anywhere who would hold that position. There are other Jews, mostly secular, who take a much more moral stance, in my opinion, but the majority of the leadership of the Orthodox communities throughout the world support Zionism now in an overtly enthusiastic way. So Zionism has gone from being a secular, anti-religious enterprise despised by the religious establishment to becoming virtually an integral part of the self-definition of Jews. I have recently been examining the place of the state of Israel in the Jewish-Christian dialogue. One of the principles of Jewish-Christian dialogue - or indeed, dialogue between any two faiths - is that each faith acknowledges and respects the self-definition of the other. The Jewish partners in the dialogue are invariably religious Jews, and the dialogue has been tainted by the philosophy of political Zionism. You find the most extraordinary claims being made for Jewish rights in the land, and you find regularly a fundamental distortion of historical reality concerning the circumstances under which the state of Israel was brought into being - particularly the propaganda view that it was never the intention of the Zionists to expel the indigenous Arab population, and that this only happened in the context of the trying circumstances of war. Not only is it absolutely established that hundreds of thousands were expelled at gunpoint with threats after massacres, but all kinds of horror tactics were used to expel the people from their villages and homes. It's now emerged in the last 10 years from the study of the Zionist and Israeli archives that there is a clear line of development of the notion of what they called "population transfer." From the beginning, the prevailing and majority view was that, in order to establish a state, Israel must get rid of the non-Jews from the area. The Witness: How did that process of transformation of a political philosophy into a religious idea come about? Michael Prior: In the beginning of the 20th century there was a small group of religious Jews who identified themselves very quickly with the Zionist secular project. But probably most significantly was the coming to Palestine of a rabbi called Avraham Yitzhak Kook, who became chief rabbi in Palestine from 1921 until he died in 1935. He reinterpreted Jewish history and Jewish eschatology. He was moving away from the strictly Orthodox position that the restoration of the Jews to the land is the work of the Messiah, so any "scaling the wall" before the Messiah comes is blasphemous. He was saying that what these Zionists are doing, even though they don't know it, is actually in conformity with God's will. He established a center for the training of rabbis and, under the direction of his son, Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, virtually all the major religious ideologues in the West Bank or in the settlements have come through that particular rabbinical school. And of course they were using the biblical narrative, "Wherever you put your foot is land that belongs to us," and also claiming that the biblical narrative determined the dimensions of the land. The Witness: How did a version of Christianity that holds Zionist ideas come to develop? Michael Prior: There were several strands within some of the wings of the Reformed churches that saw the restoration of Jews to the land as being a preliminary to the Second Coming of Christ. Much of it is due to the theological speculation of a man called John Nelson Darby, who was a minister in the Church of Ireland, but he left the church and joined forces with other people in establishing the Plymouth Brethren. He said that all of human history is divisible into seven dispensations, from the period of creation to the final period, which will be the reign of the Messiah. And the final stage requires the return of the Jews to the land. Darby fell out of favor with some of his co-Plymouth Brethren and came over to the States and began to have a strong influence on a number of critical evangelical preachers here - Dwight L. Moody, William E. Blackstone, C.I. Schofield and several other people. And that strand of dispensationalism and Armageddon theology has run down all the years. It's represented nowadays by Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell and other people in that Christian Right evangelical constituency. That wing of the evangelical world viewed the establishment of the state of Israel as the first clear sign of the fulfillment of biblical prophecy and the final countdown to Armageddon. Later, Israel's "miraculous" victory over Arab armies in 1967 confirmed the prophetic scenario. The October War of 1973 gave further fuel to Armageddon theology. Jerry Falwell's "Friendship Tour to Israel" in 1983 included meetings with Israeli government and military officials, a tour of Israeli battlefields and defence installations. His "Prophecy Trips" to Jerusalem heralded the immigration of Jews into Israel as the sign of the imminent Second Coming of Christ. Jesus would rapture true Christians into the air, while the rest of humankind would be slaughtered below. Then 144,000 Jews would bow down before Jesus and be saved. This could even happen while the evangelical pilgrims were in Jerusalem, giving them a ringside seat at the Battle of Armageddon. Biblical prophecy was striving toward its fulfillment in the Middle East today. Thus, Saddam Hussein was reconstructing Babylon, and the city would ignite the events of the end times. The Witness: Is contemporary Christian Zionism primarily an American phenomenon? Michael Prior: Well, it's particularly prominent here. Christian Zionists number perhaps some 25 million worldwide, but their influence is greatest in the U.S., where they number some 20 million. I understand that includes several members of the cabinet of George W. Bush. The state of Israel is prepared to work with these people - even though it's part of their theology that Judaism will disappear, that only those Jews who recognize Jesus as the Messiah will be saved. When he came to power in 1977, Prime Minister Menachem Begin, realizing that the mainstream U.S. churches were growing more sympathetic to the Palestinians, directed Israeli lobbyists in the U.S. to work on the evangelical constituency. His Likud Party began to use religious language, and determined efforts were made to forge bonds between evangelical Christians and pro-Israel lobbies. Begin's example has been followed by every Prime Minister since. The Witness: How much influence do you think this has had on U.S. policy? Michael Prior: The evangelical Christian constituency was a major factor in the election of Jimmy Carter in 1976. However, his call for a Palestinian homeland in 1977 precipitated his downfall, and the evangelical right's switch to Ronald Reagan in 1980 was a major factor in Carter's defeat. The combined efforts of the Israeli lobbies and the Christian Right have continued since, and reached their climax in the present incumbent in the White House. While acknowledging the underlying oil interests, one cannot ignore the extent to which the Christian Right influences the administration 's worldview regarding the "war on terrorism" and appetite for "regime change" in Iraq. The Witness: How do you see the involvement or complicity of the mainstream churches? Michael Prior: I think "complicity" would be too strong a word, because by and large the mainstream Christian churches have never been sympathetic to the Zionist project. But whatever desire the Christian churches might have had to criticize the project of Zionism and its determination to expel the indigenous population, they weren't going to voice that criticism, for fear of appearing to be supporters of the Nazi determination to rid Europe of its Jews. And it's only as years have gone on, I think, that the extent of the disaster done to the Palestinian people has become more apparent, and Christians have begun to have a bit more sympathy for the Palestinian plight. The Churches in the Holy Land manifest virtual unanimity with respect to the situation in Palestine. The first intifada which erupted in 1987 stimulated a new sense of unity, marked by ongoing ecumenical cooperation, and issuing in a number of significant joint statements, not least in criticism of the excesses of the Israeli occupation. And such views are mirrored in the mainstream churches outside. But most of the mainstream Christian churches have settled - I think in a rather unprincipled way - for an accommodation between the oppressor - in this case the Zionists - and the oppressed. They talk about "balance." But there has been no systematic or moral critique of the ideology of Zionism, which I think is what the situation demands. Christian morality has some very clearly expressed fundamental positions - like, for example, if you do damage to somebody else, you must apologize for the damage you have done, you must make good the damage you have done insofar as that is possible, you must compensate the person who is disadvantaged insofar as that is possible, and you must commit yourself to working toward non-exploitation in the future. But, in the case of Zionism and the state of Israel, those principles are left aside. Instead we have church leaders advocating accommodations between the victim and the oppressor without demands for any of those kinds of things - like, for example, in practical terms, the return of refugees, which is a right under international law. And if that is the situation in the churches, I am afraid that the situation in the educational academies is even worse. There is presently a serious programmatic attempt to mute any criticism of the state of Israel or of the Zionist project. The World Zionist Organization, at its Congress this summer, called on it members to challenge anti-semitism, anti-Zionism and Holocaust denial. Anti-Zionism, in that view, is put into the same category as the other two - whereas, in fact, Zionism is a 19th-century political project that has wreaked enormous havoc on the indigenous population of Palestine. Not only do I think it is legitimate to protest against this project, but I think it is a moral imperative to do so - as I would think it a moral imperative to protest against the policy of apartheid. And incidentally, I consider Zionism to be an evil of far greater profundity than apartheid. The Witness: Why do you say that? Michael Prior: Well, first of all, even though the apartheid regime did all kinds of injustices to the indigenous population of South Africa, it didn't expel 80 percent of them. The Zionist project is much more severe - the Zionists wanted, simply, ethnic cleansing. I'm sure there are many people in Israel today who regard the Zionist project as having made their first major blunder in not getting rid of all of the Arabs in 1948. They got rid of 750,000, leaving behind approximately 150,000. That 150,000 has grown to a million. And there are very strong voices in Israel now that say the only way forward is to expel all the Arabs. And, of course, we're now in a situation where we could have a very, very serious war. We've had a whole pile of wars in the region, many of them related to the existence of the state of Israel, its policies of expansion and its militarism. I think it's very easy to demonstrate that a lot of the militancy and the expenditure of the resources of the surrounding countries on arms has got to do with the fact that Israel is so well-armed. So it has brought a great sense of belligerence to the whole culture and it has seriously undermined the credibility of the United States' foreign policy. Something like one-third of all American foreign aid goes to the state of Israel. The Witness: Insofar as Christian religious ideas or interpretations of the Bible are used to justify this, how do you think we can confront them? Michael Prior: This is a profoundly difficult task, since we are not dealing merely with the interpretation of texts, but, rather, with a whole worldview, and also, of course, with a personal philosophy and value system. There are obviously technical questions to pose about the nature of the biblical narrative. Crudely, not everything in the Bible in the "past tense" is necessarily history, and not everything in the "future tense" is necessarily calling out for fulfilment in political terms in each generation. But I consider the moral question to be even more fundamental. To begin with, I would wish to inquire into what picture of God is behind their particular interpretation of things - a God who rejoices in the slaughter of people in the Armageddon disaster? The God they portray looks to me to be a militaristic and xenophobic genocidist who would not be even sufficiently moral to conform to the Fourth Geneva Convention. How, I constantly ask myself, are such people so unconcerned about others being kicked out of their homes, children being shot, people struggling for survival against very oppressive forces of occupation? Instead of trying to give food to the hungry and sight to the blind, as Jesus exhorted, these people support institutions that make seeing people blind, put free people in prison, and make the poor poorer. But it is extremely difficult to make progress in the face of worldviews which are held tenaciously, and considered to be in conformity with the will of God as revealed in the Scriptures. I go back to the fundamental question: Is God moral? Is God just? Is God a God of love, compassion, tenderness and justice? Or, rather, is God the great ethnic cleanser? Those are fundamental questions that I would like the evangelical Zionist constituency to consider. I think that this particular question about the Holy Land - the cohabitation of people of three faiths and two nationalisms in the land - is presenting a massive challenge to the integrity of religion. If Christians don't contribute to getting that right, I think they do a serious disservice to the whole religious project. Marianne Arbogast is associate editor of The Witness.


Date:
08 Nov 2003
Time:
17:30:18

Comments

I think ariel sharon is a nazi, he learned to well from hitler.


Date:
09 Aug 2004
Time:
16:51:26

Comments

The Israel that was created in 1948 by the US and England is not the same Israel of the Bible. I see where your readers keep repeating the statement, "Read your Bible!" Maybe we should do that and would then understand why there continues to be continual war and upheaval. The European Jews that the homeland was created for are not the same Jews (Hebrew) of the Bible. There will never be a strong and secure US and UK made Israel until those Bible Packing American Evangelicals understand the "True Meaning" of the Bible and Christianity.


Date:
16 Sep 2004
Time:
09:05:51

Comments

So, who's "right" and who's "wrong"??


Date: 24 Dec 2005
Time: 12:05:03

Comments:

Well, I for one,can't beleive, in Farwell, statement.Within ten years. oh thier will be bad things happening ,cause peoples don't believe in Heavenly Father or Jesus anymore, even some people going to church every Sunday.
The tripalation will come, but the time for Antichrist is lot longere off then that 10yrs.
I believe, if we as people will turn to God and Jesus,and beive that the technology we have today is from him,and use it for good of man kind, it will be lotlonger time before he comes,but if we keep using the knowledge we have to do , wrong,bet your butt that day will come earlier.
CAsue if you read bible and truely understand, we can't just live our lives like thier is no one else on earth but me.
As for as standing up and fighting the evil folks, God will, cause these people major, pain in future.

Letting Gays, turn our Christian world into oppose direction,is a very wrong thing to do.
As some Gays, that has found Christ, has turned thier life around,but now we have gays,saying can't be done. Then thier faith aren't strong enough,over their desires,of flash is greater.

So they will feel the wrath of God way before the finally days.
These peopple that thanks it hip to have sex with other people beside thier wife, will also.
If you don't stop them at door of your church, the whole church will feel his power.
No i didn't say, these type of folks, would or could be kept out of church,but to recieve his blessing you got to change your ways and believe that what they had been doing was wrong by his words.

God BE with you all
 


Date: 02 Feb 2009
Time: 20:08:29

Your Comments:

You represent the ugly face of Christianity. You have no mercy, no conscious, and no love of God. People are dying everyday. Heart wrenching injustice is being committed against poor people for over 60 years. People herded in refugee camps like sheep and slaughtered at will. Stop the lies about Israeli leaders wanting of peace. Israel was created by the sword and continue to live by it. You Hippocrates and murderous so called men of God are devout of a drop of humanity.


Date: 19 Jan 2010
Time: 09:22:49

Your Comments:

On my own TV I watched last year's massacre and torutre of helpless, imprisoned Palestinians by murderous Israelis. They're still restricting food and water to those poor people and Israelis are even slant-drilling to steal the Palestinian's meagre water supplies. God is no respecter of persons. He judges people by their deeds, not their race. I don't have to kiss their tail.
 

 

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