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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Two States, One State, No State: Israel Must Get out of the Way!

     One thing that the enemies of Israel have in common aside from their passionate desire to see that tiny strip of land obliterated, is that they are very creative in their ways to promote her destruction. It does not matter that Israel became a modern nation in May 1948, after vindication by the UN vote (33 Yes and 13 Nos) in November of 1947. It does not matter that Israel is the ONLY democracy in the middle east where many Arabs are better treated than in their own respective countries, and it certainly doesn't matter that God Himself covenanted with Israel and the Jewish people so that Israel would never be destroyed (Genesis 12:1-3; Jeremiah 31:35-37)!
     From the moment Israel was reborn as a modern nation, neighboring Arab countries and soon after other worldwide countries started to work overtime on a plan to thwart her growth if not her very existence. As it turned out, the UN, the very organization used as a platform to Israel's rebirth out of the ashes of the Holocaust, has passed more resolutions against Israel since 1948 that any other country in the world.
     Today, many solutions are brought forward to bring peace in the middle east between Jews and Arabs. While common sense dictates that any good solution requires compromise which is a bilateral effort, the options presented to Israel seem to be unilateral at best. At the end of the day, the destruction of Israel is always part of the equation, either in an obvious or insidious manner.
Three recurring options can be defined.

1.  A Two-State Solution
     Based on direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the Two-State Solution envisions two countries side-by-side: Israel and Palestine, carved out of the Land currently know as the State of Israel. Constant disagreements pertaining to borders and sensitive areas such as the Temple Mount have rendered the Two-State solution very unlikely. Yet it continues to be pursued.
     Regardless of the numerous geographical, political and spiritual roadblocks, many countries have pushed for Israelis and Palestinians to "get along" and live side-by-side. Just about all American presidents have tried to bring about a Two-State Solution since the first attempt was presented by the Peel Commission Report of 1937 under the British Mandate of Palestine.
     Beyond governments, grass root movements such as Christ at the Checkpoint (CatC) have organized conferences (2010 and upcoming in March 2012) at the Bethlehem College of the Bible. Under the guise of hope, peacemaking and reconciliation, this gathering turns out to be a hateful parade of politically correct pro-Palestinians and anti-Zionists wanting nothing less than Israel admitting her "colonialist" approach to the middle east crisis. Their agenda is only fueled further by recent movies such as With God on Our Side or Little Town of Bethlehem were Israel is clearly (but inaccurately) represented as the oppressor or "New Nazi of the Middle east" creating an "apartheid nation". Both movies are boldly endorsed by an array of Evangelical Christians.
     Even though many Israelis and Palestinian might genuinely be in favor of a Two-State Solution, the Palestinian leadership has made it impossible to achieve, especially when one looks at their unilateral demands. The Two-State solution is NO SOLUTION!

2.  A One-State Solution
     Another way to possibly solve the volatile situation in the middle east is to create a One-State Solution. The current boundaries of the State of Israel being used as the One State where both Israelis and Palestinians would coexist. This solution is usually favored by Israeli Arabs while it receives very little support from Israeli Jews. It has found much support in academic circles worldwide where for ideological reasons if nothing else, it seems to be the most viable option. Incidentally, if Israel remained the sole nation under the One-State Solution, Israeli Arabs would benefit from the perks of the only democracy in the middle east (not to mention the treatment of women under Muslim rule).
     The One-State Solution with both Palestinian and Israeli receiving identical citizenship would only lead to an steady increase in Palestinian birthrate thus forwarding the Palestinians to the forefront demographically and eventually politically, giving them a majority in Israeli government. I will let you imagine the rest of the story.
     As ludicrous as the solution might be, it is very popular in academic circles as we can see by the upcoming conference to be held at Harvard University on March 3 and 4, 2012 known as the One State Conference. This conference of hatred includes speakers such as Ilan Pappe (a radical Jewish leftist), Ali Abunimah, Executive Director of The Electronic Intifada and many other highly biased pro-Palestinians.
     The One-State solution is NO SOLUTION but a DISSOLUTION of the State of Israel waiting to happen!

2.  A No-State Solution
     Then of course we can always go for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's solution, the "NO STATE SOLUTION. in 2005, he was quoted saying that he wanted Israel to be "wiped off the face of the map", a statement highly reminiscent of the one made by the enemies of Israel in Psalm 83:4:
     They have said, “Come, and  let us wipe them out  as a nation,  That the name of Israel be  remembered no more.” 
     Ahmadinejad is laughing at Western Civilization's impotence as he fine tunes his nuclear arsenal. 
     A No-State solution is obviously NO SOLUTION, yet all factors indicate that Iran is months away from having enough nuclear power to eradicate Israel and even parts of the United States.

     What a relief though, that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob holds Israel in the palm of his hands and considers the Jewish people as "the apple of my eye" (Zechariah 2:8). 
     Yet, there is one state that is most important to all, and that is the state of one's heart.
     We must all give our heart to God by accepting the free gift of salvation and the only possible reconciliation between Jews and Arab, and that is the death and resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah for all people. (Isaiah 52:13-53:12, John 1:12, Romans 6:23). Only through Yeshua's love can enemies be reconciled.
     The state of your heart is the only one state that matters to God so consider giving it fully to Yeshua! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

UNESCO and Historical Revisionism: Baby Steps Towards Palestine!

     Last October, in a bold move praised by most of the world community, UNESCO decided to include the Palestinian Authority as its newest member. The Palestinian Authority's (PA) failed attempt at forcing its membership at the United Nations a month prior, didn't stop them from continuing to push their agenda of deceit. They had just obtained a new platform to promote that lethal agenda.
     My immediate concern was that with the help of UNESCO, the PA would start a campaign of historical revisionism or negationism aimed at deligitimizing Israel's right to the Land and/or some of the Jewish holiest sites. After all, the best way to send a people into oblivion is to make them irrelevant to the rest of the world, then their obliteration can be seen as a favor to the world, if even noticed by the international community. Nazi Germany nearly mastered that concept with the death of 6,000,000 Jews.
     Of course, we are a far cry from that status of irrelevancy when it comes to Israel and the Jewish people, but we shouldn't underestimate the enemies of Israel's commitment to her total destruction. Ideologically, for radical muslims and too many liberals, Israel is a cancerous tumor that must be removed from the international body to keep it healthy.
     If you can't physically destroy them, you must at least deligitimize their existence, and what better way to do that than rewriting history. Radical attempts have been made in the recent past at rewriting history like for instance denying that the Holocaust ever happened. But Holocaust deniers, in as much as they exist today, still do not constitute a force to be reckoned with. As a matter of fact, Canada and Europe prosecute Holocaust deniers for racial defamation and hate crimes, a move prevented in the United-States by our First Amendment guaranteeing us free speech (that's free speech of course as long as you don't denigrate Islam or Mohammed).
     Holocaust denial is negationism par excellence, it is hardcore revisionism on speed, and if there is one thing that Radical Islam has learned in regards to their establishment of Qur'anic ruling in the world, it is patience! Baby steps towards Sharia, removing one tiny freedom or right at a time from an increasingly weakened western civilization, are much more attainable and for the most part, fly under the radar of Postmodern tolerance.
     As a result, I am afraid that some of my concerns might have been justified, as we are starting to see some of those baby steps being implemented. For instance, UNESCO just announced that Rachel's Tomb in Israel also belongs to Christians and Muslims. While Muslims vaguely recognize Rachel in the Qur'an, there is no historical validity to the claim of her burial site being the "Bilal ibn Rabah mosque". Bilal ibn Rabah was a slave of Mohammed first used to call Muslims to prayer five times a day, and he was buried in Damascus (ca. 640 AD). As a matter of fact, until 1996, Rachel's tomb as much as it was revendicated by both Muslims and Jews, was never referred to as a "mosque". This bold move flies in the face of Jewish history AND Islamic traditions, defying all logic. But who needs logic where demonization of Israel is the ultimate goal? I also find it puzzling and somewhat counter-productive that the very site suddenly claimed by Muslims to be a mosque was also bombed by them prior to that time. This is a bit self-destructive, isn't it?
     Possibly with the biased help of UNESCO and without any explanation from its Director Irina Bokova, the PA will succeed in forcing Israel to reconsider its inclusion of Rachel's tomb and the Patriarch's Cave into the country's national heritage sites. That would be a shame!
     If successful, this one baby step in historical revisionism would take us a bit closer to an Israel cleansed of its Jewish roots and would help reclaiming the land as "Palestine". Truth would be turned on its head as the invented people "the Palestinians" would end up supplanting "the People of the Book"
     If historical revisionism comes from the very organization known as "United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization", how far will the demonization of Israel go? Are we again to be accused of self-victimization simply because we want honest reporting about Israel's biblical heritage, its history and its people. Can traces of anti-Semitism be found in these actions by UNESCO? who are we to trust anymore? But then again, I should have seen it coming from UNESCO when the first two words in their name is "United Nations"
SRachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).  And Jacob set up a pillar over her grave; that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day. 
(Genesis 35:19-20).

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Christian Palestinianism: With Friends Like You Who Needs Enemies?

There seems to be a new trend going around within the political arena and garnering quite a bit of support from the Evangelical community. It is known as Christian Palestinianism (CP) and is a new approach to the middle-east crisis that once again has the world fooled into thinking that a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict can easily be reached. Reconciliation seems to be its primary goal, but many questions arise as to the real catalyst for such a movement?
Could there be a hidden agenda and even another goal than peace? Is Christian legitimization of a Palestinian plight a worthy cause?
Christian Palestinianism opposes and rejects the basic tenets of Christian Zionism. It is antithetical to an honest biblical view of Israel and the Jewish people. As a matter of fact, a historical-grammatical method of Bible interpretation will only lead to one conclusion: God Himself is a Zionist!
Psalm 132:13 For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation.
14 “This is My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
15 “I will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her needy with bread.

Once again, the liberal camp is leading a pack of “peace activists” who appear to be fully committed to seeing justice (albeit solely from a Palestinian worldview) and reconciliation in the middle-east. Unfortunately, politically correct and tolerant liberals end up promoting the anti-Semitic views put forward by Islamists. Do not miss the irony of a group of people whose liberal ideology encourages them to promote the repressive and dictatorial ideology of another! The potential for a lethal backfiring against Western Civilization seems obvious.
Part of the process of Christian Palestinianism is a progressive removal of the Jewish roots of Christianity. Judeo-Christian ethics are replaced with "Christian" ethics, fully deprived of any of their Jewish heritage. This systematic removal of the Jewish roots of Christianity facilitates the delegitimization of Israel as God’s chosen people and further justifies her removal from the world as we know it, even though this might not be the most apparent agenda.
In her book Eurabia: the Euro-Arab Axis released in 2006, Jewish author and activist Bat Ye’or almost prophetically calls it “Palestinian Marcionism”:
The Christian policy that would eliminate the Jewish source of Christianity by suppressing the link between the Hebrew Bible and the Gospels represents an old and lingering trend, always opposed by the Church. It was first formulated by Marcion, a second-century Byzantine priest of pagan background who was strongly influenced by Gnoticism. Today, Palestinian Marcionism (Palestinianism) paves the way for the Islamization of the Church as it prepares mentalities for an Islamic replacement theology[1].

Bat Ye’or’s assessment has tragically proven true in the last 5 years.  Christian Palestinianism is well on its way to de-judaize Jesus – a job that the gentile branch of Christianity generously contributed to, out of ignorance or pure hatred of the Jews over the centuries. CP will also continue to invalidate much of the Jewish Scriptures as history gets re-written and Jewish references get replaced to accommodate the “Islamization” of the Bible.
Additionally, British expert Paul Wilkinson documents the movement as he traces its origins and agenda:
“Christian Palestinianism is an inverted mirror image of Christian Zionism. All the basic elements of a Christian Zionist eschatology are reversed, so that the Bible is seen to be Christian, not Jewish, the land of the Bible is Palestine not Israel, the Son of God is a Palestinian not a Jew, the Holocaust is resented not remembered, 1948 is a catastrophe not a miracle, the Jewish people are illegal occupiers not rightful owners, and Biblical prophecy is a moral manifesto and not a signpost to the Second Coming. Despite enlisting support from the theological community and seeking validation through academia, the overriding thrust of Christian Palestinianism is political, not Biblical.

A tragic example of this ideology is the recent movie Little Town of Bethlehem that came out in 2010, painting the portrait of three men who wanted peace and reconciliation in the region: an Arab Muslim, an Israeli Jew and a Palestinian Christian. They promoted their views of reconciliation against all odds. Really, who would disagree with that?
The issue does not lie in the validity of such an aspiration but in how the different sides were being portrayed. Palestinians were being compared to African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement following the leadership of Martin Luther King and fighting the National Guard for their freedom, while Israelis were being painted as the oppressors and invaders of Palestine.
It is a shame to see that many Evangelical are buying into the lies of Christian Palestinianism. Endorsements of such projects by former World Vision US President, Robert Seiple; Stephen Sizer, Vicar of Christ Church in the UK, Lynne Hybels, wife of Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Church or even Gary Burge from Wheaton College, only add insult to injury.
The same can be said for a more vocally Christian project known as With God on Our Side, directed by Porter Speakman Jr. and endorsed by Tony Campolo and current Vice President of World Vision, Steve Haas. It has also received rave reviews from Christianity Today 
Christian Palestinianism is Supersessionism gone wild! Where the Church left off with Replacement Theology’s faulty substitution of Israel for today’s Body of Messiah, Christian Palestinianism picked up and ran with it.
With any vestige of the Jewish roots of Christianity eradicated, Israel and the Jewish people will become irrelevant and this is a risk we cannot afford to take!                      

Palestinianism is becoming the next big wave of Christian anti-Semitism, yet there is a simple solution... READ YOUR BIBLE!

[1] Bat Ye’or, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis (Teaneck, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2006), p. 213.