On November 11–12, 2011, thousands from across America will gather to Detroit to fast, pray and cry out to God. We will gather to this city that has become a microcosm of our national crisis—economic collapse, racial tension, the rising tide of the Islamic movement, and the shedding of innocent blood of our children in the streets and of our unborn.
But the place where they say there is no hope, God has chosen as His staging ground for a great communal healing and His house of prayer for all nations. Therefore, we are calling the nation to a 24-hour solemn assembly, daring to believe that Detroit’s desperation can produce a prayer that can change a nation.
Come and take your place on the wall in Detroit, where we will ask God to send fire on our hearts, to forgive our national guilt and establish justice in our land.
Is there any subject more controversial than the question of the legitimacy of the modern State of Israel? Is it the eternal home of the Jewish people, promised to them by God Himself? Or is it the illegitimate home of violent Jewish occupiers, an apartheid state guilty of ethnic cleansing? Or is it something in between? In the midst of the often emotional arguments on both sides, it is helpful to review five simple truths about the Mideast conflict.
1. There is no such thing as a historic “Palestinian people” living in the Middle East. To be sure, there have been Arabs living in the land of Palestine for centuries. (The land of Israel was derisively renamed “Palestine” by the Romans in the second century A.D.). And it is true that some of these families have lived in Palestine without interruption for many generations. But at no time before 1967 did these Arabs identify themselves as “Palestinians,” nor did they seek to achieve any kind of statehood there. As expressed by former terrorist Walid Shoebat, “Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian?”
Before 1967, there was no such thing as Arab, Palestinian nationalism and no attempt to develop the territory as a homeland for the Arabs who lived there, and in 1936, when the Palestine Orchestra was formed, it was a Jewish orchestra. In fact, the original name of the Jerusalem Post, the flagship Jewish newspaper, was the Palestine Post.
There is no question that there are several million people who identify themselves as Palestinians today, and many of these people have suffered great hardship in recent years. Nonetheless, the concept of a Palestinian people is a modern invention, and it is part of the anti-Israel propaganda machine without any basis in fact. The recent comments of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, claiming a 9,000 year Palestinian pedigree, are purely fictional: “Oh, Netanyahu, you are incidental in history; we are the people of history. We are the owners of history.”
2. There were anti-Jewish intifadas in Palestine two decades before the founding of the State of Israel in 1948. We are often told that Jews and Arabs coexisted peacefully in Palestine prior to the formation of the Jewish state in 1948, or at least, prior to the rise of strong Jewish nationalism. In reality, as Jews began to return to their one and only ancestral homeland in the late 19th century, hostilities began to rise among their Arab neighbors, despite the fact that there was more than enough room for both.
By the 1920’s, radical Muslim leaders like Haj Amin Al-Husseini, later a confidant of Adolph Hitler, were organizing intifadas against the Jewish population, with many Jewish lives lost. And what helped fuel Al-Husseini’s Jew-hatred was the anti-Jewish sentiment found in the Koran and early Muslim traditions. Post-1948 Jew-hatred simply built on centuries of Islamic anti-Semitism.
3. Jewish refugees fleeing from Muslim and Arab countries were absorbed by Israel after 1948; Arab refugees fleeing from Israel after 1948 were not absorbed by Muslim and Arab countries. Despite the fact that the Muslim nations surrounding Israel are 650 times the size of this tiny state, they made no effort to absorb the approximately 600,000 Arab refugees who fled Israel in 1948 when war was declared on Israel by five neighboring Arab nations.
To this day, these refugees are not welcomed by other Arab states. As expressed more than 20 years ago by Ralph Galloway, former head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, “The Arab States do want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront to the United Nations and as a weapon against Israel.” Yet Israel absorbed roughly 800,000 Jewish refugees that had to flee from Muslim nations after 1948.
4. Only one side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is truly committed to peaceful co-existence. It is often stated that if the Palestinians put down their weapons, there would be no more war but if the Israelis put down their weapons, there would be no more Israel. This is not to say that all Palestinians are warmongers and all Israelis are doves. But the vast majority of Israelis are not driven by a radical ideology that calls for the extermination of their Arab neighbors, nor are they teaching their children songs about the virtues of religious martyrdom.
Israel does not relish spending a major portion of its budget on defense, nor does it relish sending its sons and daughters into military service. It simply will not surrender Jerusalem, its historic and religious capital, and it will not commit regional suicide by retreating to indefensible borders. In return it simply asks the Palestinians to say, “We embrace your right to exist.”
5. The current uprisings throughout the Muslim and Arab world today remind us that Israel cannot fairly be blamed for all the tension and conflicts in the region. The nation of Israel is obviously not faultless in the current conflict, but it is ludicrous to think that without the presence of this supposed evil nation in the Middle East, all would be well. There have been constant disputes between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, and in 1980, Abd Alhalim Khaddam, then Syria’s Foreign Minister, admitted, “If we look at a map of the Arab Homeland, we can hardly find two countries without conflict. . . . We can hardly find two countries which are not either in a state of war or on the road to war.”
Certainly, there are many obstacles that stand in the way of a true peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, and the road ahead is fraught with uncertainty, but it would be a good starting point if we replaced myths and emotional arguments with facts.
Dr. Michael Brown is the author of A Queer Thing Happened to America and the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network.
Hussein “Steve” Mashni is a Palestinian Arab who has published the website jesusdied4mohamed2.com, as well as authoring books and other content.
Mashni grew up in America in a home with a Muslim father and a Catholic mother. He says that his mother wasn’t religious, so the Muslim culture was emphasized in his home. He was devout even as a child, and as he grew older he pleaded with “Allah” to show up in a way that he could comprehend. Nothing happened, and this was of great concern to Mashni.
In a recent interview he said that as a teenager he was watching an Oral Roberts event on television. He said that suddenly he knew beyond a doubt that Jesus was right in the same room with him, “that He is the Son of God, and that He is Messiah.” These perceptions are in direct opposition to tenets of his Muslim upbringing.
Like other former Muslims who are finding the courage to “come out” with their stories of finding Christ — or more accurately, as in Mashni’s case — with their accounts of Jesus’ coming or appearing to them, Mashni’s conversion was not without difficulty. His life was never the same after his conversion experience.
As we listened to him describe his experiences and perceptions about Arab nations, we were increasingly convinced of his sincerity and devotion.
We visited Israel last year. It is an exceedingly precious Land. Our guide talked with us about the antagonistic graffiti we saw in some of the Palestinian Arab communities. Antagonistic toward Israel, of course.
He said that it’s all about “a kind of one-upmanship” or rivalry.
As we read Scripture with its prophecy about the nations that will “come against Israel” in latter days that is being fulfilled before our eyes, the ugliness of this rivalry and its most appalling manifestation in acts of suicidal terror, often on the parts of young men — and even women — came to mind.
But Mashni has opened our eyes to a new perspective on the Arab experience.
Most of us know the remarkable ancient story of Abraham and Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael, and Isaac.
Mashni says that the pain of Ishmael — of being sent out of his father’s house — is still the source of deep “woundedness” in Ishmael’s Arab descendants today.
Mashni says this deep cultural wound “creates anger and jealousy,” — and that we see this borne out in Arab cultures.
But Mashni reminds us that just as in the old scriptural story God continued to care for and about Ishmael and his mother — Jesus is appearing to many Muslims today and working to heal this woundedness of the Arab people, whose forefather Ishmael was so painfully close to those who were “chosen” to be the forebears of the Messiah — even living under the same roof with them! — yet he, and through him the Arab people — were not the chosen!
Increasingly reports are coming in about people throughout the Arab world having dreams and visions of One they often describe as “the man in white.”
As we come to more fully understand a primary cause of the longstanding strife in this area from Mashni’s personal experience and perceptions, this fuller understanding motivates us to continue praying and working for the end of all division between the Arab and Israeli cultures and the increasing presence of the “one new man” (or humanity) in Messiah that Ephesians 2:15 foretells.
Christine Colbert is a writer and editorial consultant, and is part of Or HaOlam Messianic Congregation in Overland Park.
For seven years now in various universities across the globe, there have been meetings and conferences linking Israel to the actions and policies of Apartheid South Africa (usually held the first two weeks of March). For a succinct description please note CAMERA’s portrayal of these events.
They come as part of “Israeli Apartheid Week,” a series of lectures, exhibits and events that single out Israel for fierce attack. Students are told the Jewish state is, by nature, a racist, colonial and oppressive state. They are told Israel should be boycotted, and even destroyed. They are told this by ideologues who distort facts about the country while ignoring genuine oppression in the Middle East and across the world.
Often the focus of attention is on Israel’s SECURITY FENCE and how this symbolizes a ‘wall of oppression’ when in reality it is a barrier that has led to a 90% reduction in terror attacks. The film “With God on Our Side” tried to use this argument but never made apparent the primary use of the fence. In the film a comment was made by one observer from South Africa. This individual was contacted by the writer for further clarification and made the disclaimer that he was not speaking from a professional perspective, but only as an observer, that he felt the limitation of movement, the check points, and restrictions of personal choice of employment made ‘the West Bank … like Apartheid’. Israel does not govern Judea and Samaria (West Bank), the Palestinian Authority does. The Palestinians suffer from their own failed government. This is an important distinctive that often gets lost in the conversation.
I am a South African who was born into, and lived through nearly half of, the apartheid era. During my childhood and teenage years my family relocated repeatedly, living in every corner of that country. I changed schools 13 times, and in three years as a member of the South African Defense Forces I was stationed in five different military bases across the land. I know South Africa well. I know apartheid well. I know Israel well.
And believe me, no factual or accurate comparisons can be drawn between that South Africa and this Israel.
Let me tell you what Israel would have to do to qualify as an apartheid state. But first, a couple of clarifications:
The charge is that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian Arabs is similar to White South Africa’s treatment of South African black citizens (which included full-blood “Africans,” mixed-race “coloreds” and the descendants of immigrant Asian laborers).
The whole argument collapses right there, because the Palestinian Arabs have never been Israeli citizens. Nor did/do they have any national history as “Palestinians” – neither in Israel nor anywhere else. They are Arabs – their country of origin is Arabia.
For starters, then, it is fallacious to compare Israel’s relationship with the Palestinian Arabs in any area to the apartheid governments’ relationships with their black South African citizens.
Next Goodenough makes the statement that Israeli-Arabs who comprise 20% of Israel’s population and that they “live in 15 towns and cities, mostly in and around the Galilee. They have full voting rights. Five Arab political parties are represented in the Knesset; there are 14 Arab members of Knesset, one has attained to a ministerial portfolio, one is a former and another is a current deputy Knesset Speaker.”
According to Goodenough:
Israeli Arabs enjoy complete freedom in their country. They can live, study, work and travel where they please. They have national health coverage and enjoy the same benefits as their fellow, Jewish, citizens.
What they do not have to do, is serve in the IDF (although some Druze and some Bedouin choose to do so and have served with distinction; even laying down their lives.)
He continues by describing 18 separate South African Apartheid laws and what they would look like IF in fact Israel was acting in concert with the same type of oppression. Here are a few examples
– Arabs would be required to be classified and registered in accordance with a racial classification (Population Registration Act).
– Arabs would be forced by law to live in Arabs-only residential areas and work in Arabs-only business areas (Group Areas Act).
– Arabs would have their names systematically removed from the voters’ roll until they were all deprived of their voting rights (Separate Representation of Voters Act).
– By law, Arabs would be deported from wherever they lived in Israel and forcefully settled in designated Arab-only areas (Bantu Authorities Act).
– Arabs would be evicted and have their homes destroyed if they tried to remain in “Jews-only” areas (Prevention of Illegal Squatters Act).
The detractors of Israel who participate in these events have as one of their goals to ultimately render the nation an ‘illegal’ entity. Do those in the Church who subscribe to this flawed logic (Israel is an Apartheid state) realize the outcome of their positions? Will these Christians be able to stop the momentum of hatred that seeks to justify terror against the State of Israel, even its annihilation? What kind of slippery slope is this? Granted as followers of Jesus we do not agree with all the actions of the government of Israel or any nation, especially America. However, if God’s hand is upon Israel for his ultimate purpose at this time in history, whose side are they really on?
John Paul is is an Associate Editor for Voice of Revolution, overseeing Jewish Issues.
Editor’s Note: Joel Richardson is an author, artist, and lecturer, specializing in Islamic eschatology, and its role in how events may unfold in fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.
As a Christian author, teacher and commentator whose message often revolves around “the end times,” I am frequently asked how I cope emotionally with such a constant drum beat of negativity. How can anyone stomach a steady diet of such non-stop gloom and doom without developing a nervous condition?
While I understand the question, the fact of the matter is that discussing “the end times” doesn’t depress me at all, it actually excites me. But before I am quoted out of context, please allow me to explain myself. Discussing the end times actually energizes my spirit because my view of the end times is radically different than the popular understanding of the end times as it is most often conveyed and portrayed. Because the Bible informs my understanding of the end times, instead of anxiety and fear, I am filled with great hope and expectation.
You see, when most people hear the phrases “the end-times” or “the last days,” they often mistakenly understand these terms to be referring to some future destruction of planet earth or the complete end of all mankind. But from a Biblical perspective, this is not how these terms should be understood. Instead, the Bible simply portrays the end-times as the end of one particular age and the beginning of another much, much better age. The things that the Bible portrays as coming to an ultimate end are things that we should all be excited about.
Let’s consider a few examples of exactly what I am talking about.
I am a friend to a ministry called Exodus Cry headquartered in Kansas City, whose efforts are devoted to the abolition of modern day slavery. Did you know there are more slaves today than at any other time in human history? The dark and spidery fingers of the sex-slave trade have worked themselves deep into nearly every corner of the globe. The overwhelming majority of these slaves are young women and girls, some as young as five years old, forced against their wills to endure abuse and degradation beyond description. It’s impossible to hear of this reality without being overwhelmed with emotion. But to be very clear, from a Biblical perspective, when we discuss “the end-times,” this is precisely what we are discussing coming to an end.
And this is unspeakably good news.
The global sex-slave trade will be abolished, those unrepentant criminal predators that have perpetrated these evils will be judged, and every last victim will be personally comforted, healed, vindicated and beautified by the Creator of heaven and earth.
For me, this is the very heart of “the end-times” message. And you can be sure that I’m looking forward to this.
What else will come to an end in the “last-days”?
When I look back to the very first days of my children’s lives on this earth, I can’t help but to think of how absolutely and utterly dependent they were. My family lives next to an elementary school. I love to hear the sounds of laughter and shouting that fills the air during recess. But I also can’t get it out of my head that in the United States, for every twenty kids that are present on the playground, roughly ten more are missing. Where did they go? They were legally murdered by the very people that were meant to protect and care for them. The number is far higher for African Americans; for every ten, there are nearly eight that are gone. This reality should bring anguish to any who have a sense of justice.
Even more disturbing is the fact that abortion is an industry wherein multitudes are slaughtered as a few become filthy rich. I am fully convinced that God is at the same time heartbroken and enraged. With Him, I burn for the day when this great evil will be a thing of the past.
When we discuss the end-times, we are discussing the decisive end of the wholesale slaughter of the most vulnerable, the most dependent, the most innocent little lambs that this world has to offer. So yes, I’m absolutely looking forward to this.
Of course, there are multiplied thousands of other injustices that we could list. When discussing the end-times from a Biblical perspective, we are discussing the end of all of the things that mankind has groaned under for millennia. We are discussing the end of corrupt and unjust governmental leaders, the end of the exploitation of the weak and poor, the end of all war, the end of disease. Who wouldn’t look forward to this?
When I talk about the end times, I’m not talking about the destruction of this planet and all of its inhabitants. Not at all. I’m discussing its redemption, its renewal.
But wait! What about all of the death and destruction that the Bible describes will occur before Jesus returns? To be fair, the Bible most definitely describes some very dark times that will precede the redemption of creation. I believe we are seeing the beginning of those dark days right now. Yes the events in the Middle East are moving toward the unified Islamization of the region. Yes, the increase in natural disasters is going to continue. Yes, the financial crisis will get far, far worse. And for this reason, I’ll continue to blow a trumpet and sound the alarm. Dark days are coming. Wake up. Repent. Get ready.
But from a Biblical perspective, the dark days are never to be the emphasis. The focus is always to be on the Redeemer to come. According to the analogy that Jesus used, the difficulties that lie ahead are only the birth pangs and contractions; they are not the conclusion of the matter. The contractions point to and ultimately lead to birth. And despite the immense pain (or so I have been told), associated with delivery, the miracle of holding a newborn baby always eclipses the suffering that preceded it.
Yes, there are many things these days to be concerned about. There are numerous things that might cause us anxiety or even depression. But I’m looking beyond the dark days to the Messianic Kingdom that will soon be birthed in the earth. Jesus the Messiah will be King over all the earth. I believe this emphatically and I make no apologies. I’ll continue to shout it from the rooftops and yearn for it with every ounce of who I am.
What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly. – Richard Bach
Joel Richardson is the author of Islamic Antichrist and God’s War on Terror. His blog can be found at www.joels-trumpet.com
“America has embarked on the European path of economic stagnation and declining influence. Since 1945, Europe has depended on America to defend it, while spending ever smaller percentages of its Gross National Product on defense. The huge budget deficits resulting from Obamacare will push America in the same direction.”
So wrote Jonathan Rosenblum, director of Jewish Media Resources and columnist for the Jerusalem Post. (2Apr10)
Rosenblum reiterates what most other conservative journalists write: “Every major government entitlement program has ended up costing many times more than initially projected, and the proponent’s cost projections on Obamacare do not meet even minimal levels of credibility.”
He adds, “World War II cost Britain its empire, and the huge budget deficits racked up by Obamacare will likely force America to abandon its role as global policeman.” This will leave nations like Iran to take the lead and push the surrounding Islamic nations into making a head-long rush to develop their own nukes.
The “retreat of the Great Satan will only whet the appetite of radical Islam.” One thing is certain: The UN will never protect Israel against the Islamists. And now it appears that America is turning its back on its only democratic ally in the Middle East.
Body language seems to be very strong with President Obama. Here he is obviously in command, ordering Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Head Mahmoud Abbas to pose for a nice photo op.
Just what is Obama’s agenda for the future? What else does he want to accomplish during his first term in office? Of course, he would love to pass his Cap and Trade bill, but Rosenblum believes he can only commit suicide once (with Obamacare) and he does not think the president has enough political capital left to get another massively controversial bill through congress.
Most Israelis have come to the conclusion that the Jewish state has no choice but to offer the several million Arabs in the West Bank their own state. Nevertheless, Israel is fearful of the way it appears Obama will make it happen.
From Israel’s perspective, Obama is not really interested in a peace treaty between Arabs and Israel. As Rosenblum notes, “No confidence-building measures are ever requested from the Palestinians. At every stage, new demands are placed on Israel to placate [the Palestinians] and convince them that the U.S. has the power to deliver a state on terms even they cannot refuse.” (Ibid.)
He has asked nothing of the Palestinians – such as recognizing Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish nation or renouncing terrorism. He has not countered the demands of the Palestinians who plan to send millions of Muslim “refugees” to live in Israel proper and to take Jerusalem away from Israel and make it their Muslim capital.
When Netanyahu visited the White House in late March, Obama demanded that he sign an agreement to stop all building in East Jerusalem’s Jewish areas and consent to 12 other demands. When Netanyahu stalled, according to many press reports, Obama stood up and said, “I’m going to have dinner with Michelle and the girls.” He added, “I’m around. Let me know if there’s anything new.”
“It was awful,” a U.S. congressman who spoke to the Prime Minister said. One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages,” poisoned by such mistrust that the Israeli delegation eventually left rather than risk being eavesdropped on a White House telephone line. He left with no official statement from either side, an unheard of treatment of a close ally. (www.timesonline.co.uk, 26Mar10)
0510 - Haaretz Story This headline expresses the mood in Israel – the awareness of the indifference of the world to threats against Israel’s existence.
Ironically, the Israeli people, after decades of “negotiations,” are convinced that the Palestinians do not really want a Palestinian state – that is, a state living in peace beside Israel. They do not want that. They want one state and one state only – which would extend from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River – in other words, they want the land of Israel as part of their state. They say it this way: One state for both Arabs and Jews with each citizen having a vote.
To gain such a state, they would be ready to submit (at least temporarily) to being the first democratic Arab Muslim state in history because then their Muslim voters would, within a very short time, vote in a Muslim Palestinian prime minister and dominate the Knesset. And that would be the end of the Jewish state.
But that is not all. Israel is falling behind in military capabilities. “According to the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, every Israeli request for upgraded weapons systems has been denied, while the Arab states, most notably Egypt, have been provided with numerous advanced systems on par with Israel’s.” Most recently, bunker busters necessary for any attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities were denied. (Ibid.)
We must remember that Obama sat comfortably under Jeremiah Wright’s anti-Israel and anti-Semitic invective – including honoring Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam – for nearly 20 years. He is comfortable with Islamic principles and ambitions.
Israel’s only hope is God. As the nations turn increasingly antagonistic toward Israel, Christians and Messianic Jews who know how God feels about the land He promised to the Jewish people must pray for Israel and for their own nation. The promise is still true today. I will bless those that bless you and curse those who curse you.
For those that can stomach it, check out the video below to see clips from anti-semitic Arabic television shows (warning, the last part includes actual Holocaust footage with the host rejoicing and hoping it will happen again, but this time by the hands of Muslims):
Four Christians from Acts 17 Apologetics Ministry were arrested and taken away in handcuffs by police for “disorderly conduct” after sharing the gospel at an Arab Festival in Dearborn, MI. The Detroit Free Press picks up the story here, while the men arrested share their side of the story here.
Acts 17 described the series of events this way:
At one point, we came across a festival volunteer who seemed to take issue with us simply being at the festival. We could tell he had a problem with us, and so we asked “What are we doing wrong?” He said “Put the camera and microphone down, and I’ll tell you.” (By the way, there was more to this conversation, but when you see the footage, I think you’ll see I’m being fair in my summary.) So I obliged, handing the microphone to David and asking him to not record the man. I then approached him and said “No camera, no mic, tell me what we’re doing wrong”, he said “Get away from me!” (or something to that effect). Again, I obliged, and walked away.
About 20 minutes later, to shouts and cheers of “Allahu Akbar!” we were all being led away from the festival in handcuffs. From the brief description we were given by the police of why we were being arrested, it sounds like the festival volunteer said we surrounded him and didn’t give him an opportunity to leave, thereby “breaching the peace.” This is as blatantly false as an accusation can get.
Last year, security lied about us and we got kicked out of the festival. We had it all on tape, so we were able to vindicate ourselves. This year, a volunteer lied about us, and we got thrown into jail. But when we get our footage back, we’ll be able to vindicate ourselves again.