The events of the week that began with Jesus’ humble-but-triumphant entry into Jerusalem and culminated with the crucifixion are unspeakably precious.
The overturning of the moneychangers’ tables in the Temple apparently followed His arrival in Jerusalem. Every one of His recorded acts during this pivotal week is spotlighted by the world-changing events that would subsequently unfold. This story of the cleansing of the Temple comes to our ears and hearts on its surface as revealing Jesus’ desire to re-establish God’s sacred intent for the Temple. To put the emphasis back on prayer and take it away from financial gain. “It is written: ‘My house shall be a house of prayer.’ — but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”
This level of purpose comes across clearly. Perhaps nothing is more important in this world than prayer. But Yeshua was accomplishing more than this with His decisive and fearless disruption of the status quo.
He knew that He would fulfill the Passover later that week, once and for all, as the sacrificial Lamb for whom God had been preparing the way through the Temple’s sacrificial system. God had instructed Abraham to sacrifice animals. And the specific practice of sacrificing a spotless lamb at Passover had been divinely instructed as the Israelites prepared to depart from captivity in Egypt for the Promised Land. We remember John the Baptist’s clarion announcement: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” And Revelation’s describing Yeshua as “the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.”
His overturning the tables that had been used for the business of selling doves and pigeons to Jews wanting to make ritual sacrifices signaled the end of the centuries-old sacrificial system. Fully knowing the price He would very soon pay to deliver Himself up to redeem lost humanity and restore us to His Father and our Father, no one was more appropriately qualified to upset these tables — notwithstanding the indignation of the Temple elites who stood by. This was His way of signaling the new and better covenant; the new dispensation of grace that He, the spotless Lamb, would provide through His voluntary sacrifice of His own sinless blood. He showed us in a way that we cannot forever miss how profoundly God loves every one of us. “For God so loved the world . . .”
Matthew 9:13 is a wonderful, instructive verse. The Torah teachers or scribes had just asked Jesus’ disciples why their teacher ate with marginal people like tax collectors and sinners. Yeshua the great communicator replied, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” (NLT; italics added) This is a direct reference to Hosea 6:6, among other passages. Jesus revealed that God never liked the idea of killing animals to sacrifice their blood. But He instituted this practice to paint a picture of Yeshua’s ultimate atonement. Down the long centuries God had worked through a concrete example that He hoped would provide the clear insight to enable Israel, forever the beloved seed of Abraham, to recognize Yeshua.
In Dr. Brown’s The Real Kosher Jesus, he provides several rabbinic texts that speak of the atoning sacrifice of a tsadik (righteous one) as a means of saving the people. He points out that this concept is not a Christian construct; it had for centuries been part of Judaism. As one example, “. . . the Zohar states, ‘As long as Israel dwelt in the Holy Land, the rituals and the sacrifices they performed [in the Temple] removed all . . . diseases from the world; now the Messiah removes them from the children of the world.’ ”
In addition to providing several rabbinic sources for this fundamental Jewish teaching, Dr. Brown details discussions from rabbinic literature associating the deaths of righteous people with atonement. Miriam and the sons of Aaron are examples.
These insights help to clarify the initially-opaque John 18:14, among other verses, which indicates that Caiphas, because he was “high priest that year,” explained the need for one person to die for the people — as the dark events surrounding Jesus’ illegal trials unfolded. While Caiphas undoubtedly had his own misguided reasons for citing this Jewish teaching in support of the outcome of the bogus hearing that was perfunctorily extended to Jesus, Caiphas’ doing so clearly reflects that an understanding of the power of the death of a single person to benefit all the people was present in Temple instruction.
Dr. Brown’s life-long focus on sacred content that matters is deeply appreciated. Its power to enlighten our understanding is considerable.
Who has heard such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children. (Isaiah 66:8)
This is what the Lord God says: Look, I will lift up My hand to the nations, and raise My banner to the peoples. They will bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters will be carried on their shoulders. (Isaiah 49:22)
They will bring all your brothers from all the nations as a gift to the Lord on horses and chariots, in litters, and on mules and camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,” says the Lord, “just as the Israelites bring an offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord.” (Isaiah 66:20)
“However, take note! The days are coming”—the Lord’s declaration—“when it will no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives who brought the Israelites from the land of Egypt,’ but rather, ‘As the Lord lives who brought the Israelis from the land of the north and from all the other lands where He had banished them.’ For I will return them to their land that I gave to their ancestors.” (Jeremiah 16:14,15)
“ . . . the nations will know that I am the Lord. For I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again to your land.” (Ezekiel 36:23,24)
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach appeared recently on a Sid Roth television debate with Dr. Brown (Viewable at: http://www.sidroth.org/site/News2?news_iv_ctrl=-1&abbr=tv_&page=NewsArticle&id=11373&security=1041).
Shmuley recited a list of reasons that Jesus “can’t” be the Jewish Messiah that was, to say the least, less than persuasive. One of his “reasons” seemed particularly strange; Shmuley cited the “unfulfilled” Messianic prophecy that Israel’s Messiah would “restore the kingdom to Israel.” He asked, with his characteristically-intense, rising volume, pitch, and speed, whether anyone thought this prophecy has been fulfilled.
Surely Shmuley is aware of the massive return to Israel in recent decades of people of Jewish ancestry from Russia, Africa, the U.S., and other parts of the world. Christians (and perhaps other people of faith from around the world) have financially supported the return of those who couldn’t have “made aliyah” otherwise. Even if Shmuley refers to the restoration of military power and superiority to Israel, rather than the restoration of its lost tribes and scattered citizenry, these military objectives have also been accomplished by tiny Israel in recent decades!
Yes, Rabbi Shmuley, many viewers are absolutely certain that these amazing prophecies have been — and are still being — fulfilled before our eyes.
The prophetic verses above (and there are many more on this topic) become so powerful and precious in light of recent history, with regard to the return of the lost tribes or scattered citizenry of Israel. But the statement at the end of Isaiah 66:20, which is about Israel’s children being brought back to her in every possible type of conveyance, is deeply intriguing: “as the Israelites bring an offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord.”
Could the “clean vessel” be a new Israel (“Messianic” Israelis), whose citizens’ eyes will increasingly be freed from the “scales” that have blinded them (also foretold in prophecy), and whose people will at long last see the One who has so long been obscured from her understanding and recognition — and finally requite to the Lord the offering of love and recognition that He so richly deserves?
May it increasingly come into manifestation before all rejoicing hearts. Maranatha!
Zola Levitt taught that while the Book of Job tells the story of a man — his story parallels the larger story of the country of Israel.
We remember early glimmerings of the important ideas in Job. For example, its raising the question “Why do the righteous suffer?”
And that most-beautiful statement of faith that Job managed to voice in the midst of his grievous trials: “I know that my Redeemer lives.”
As we read to see if there was anything in Job that opened the door for dark experiences, we consider his realization “The things that I have greatly feared have come upon me.”
We might even have gone so far as to look deeply at why God, rejoicing in Job’s righteousness, more or less paraded Job before Satan for him to consider — and ultimately take aim at. We heard one analyst observe that God’s boasting over Job to Satan was done with the hope that after Satan had taken all of his best shots, God would then be able to bless Job even more. We appreciate this opinion, because it arrives at the same enormously-loving Father that Jesus “walked” before us.
But Zola’s teaching that in Job, as in other scriptural stories, there is a parallel between the central figure’s story and Israel’s story is particularly helpful.
God knew that while Satan’s worst arrows would bring Job — and Israel — very low, even close to despairing — that Job and the Jewish people would never turn their backs on God. He knew that the crusades, the pogroms, World War II — all the horrific anti-Semitic experiences — would leave Israel an emaciated, disenfranchised state of “dry bones.” But He also knew, and even prophesied for Satan to see, that the dry bones would come together again, the scales would fall from Israel’s eyes; that the second time Yeshua appears, His own beloved brethren would run to embrace Him. That like Job, God’s beloved Israel will finally come into her own.
A number of nations, including the US and the UK, have withdrawn from participation in the September 2011 Durban III conference. This gathering is a forum for those who hate Israel to get together for the purpose of condemning her attempts to protect her citizens.
On a very different note, the World Council of Churches in May 2011 hosted “World Week for Peace in Palestine.” On its official site the Methodist Church’s Rev. John Calhoun, identified in an editor’s note as a member of the New York Annual Conference and convener of World Week for Peace in “Palestine Israel,” described the uprisings in Arab countries that have come to be known as “Arab Spring.” He characterized these overthrows in this way: “. . . ordinary citizens have been rising up against their illegitimate leaders and demanding political freedoms.” He mentioned the regimes that “already have fallen in Tunisia and Egypt.”
In Calhoun’s article, this language flows directly into: “Those living under [Israel’s] illegitimate control are the Palestinians of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.” The title of this article, reflected in a banner photo of Palestinians walking beside a heavily-graffitied wall, is “It’s time for Palestine.”
It should be recognized that “Palestine” is a name that was first applied to the larger area of Israel by Roman occupiers. This applied name was continued by the British during the time of their mandate after WWI. Prior to the Roman occupation, Israel was Israel.
Further, the words “Illegitimate control” need to be considered. The piece cites various UN resolutions relating to Israeli territories that Israel has “defied” by not yielding these in various ways to “Palestinians.”
Our understanding of Scripture is that Israel was given sovereignty in the Land forever, although not to the exclusion of residency and participation for other nationalities. Arabs live in Israel and even participate in the Knesset. Throughout Israel in many places one sees a green “Palestinian”/Arab flag flying alongside of the Israeli flag. This openness is not extended to Israelis in Arab nations. Further, Israel is not firing on or terrorizing “Palestinians.”
Walid Shoebat, who is a Jordanian by birth, speaks of the time in 1967, immediately following the 1967 War (in which Jordan and other Arab neighbors attacked Israel, resulting in Israel’s winning the war and regaining control of Jerusalem); he indicates that at that time he “suddenly became a ‘Palestinian’ — before this I was a Jordanian.”
This is key information.
Calhoun cites the Wesleyan tradition of social responsibility within the church. He mentions a church publication that encourages visitors to the Holy Land to worship with “indigenous Christians.” Further, he cites a Methodist publication entitled “Opposition to Israeli Settlements in Palestinian Land.” This publication states:
The United Methodist Church opposes continued military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, the confiscation of Palestinian land and water resources, the destruction of Palestinian homes, the continued building of illegal Jewish settlements, and any vision of a “Greater Israel” that includes the occupied territories and the whole of Jerusalem and its surroundings (Resolution 6073).
One wonders whether Methodist administrators have glanced at the Old Testament recently.
A recent report within the Presbyterian church recommends continuing the “phased, selective divestment” from companies that do business with Israel, which was enacted in 2004. “The church has been split on this for years,” general presbyter for the Hudson Valley Susan Andrews told Jewish Telegraphic Agency reporter Dan Klein.
On a brighter note, Canada’s conservative prime minister Stephen Harper recently indicated that “Canada will always stand by Israel” in national policy.
Israel’s deputy minister of foreign affairs Danny Ayalon recently released a video that discusses Israel’s legitimate presence in the West Bank. In this brief video, he discusses historically verifiable facts like Israel’s capturing the West Bank from Jordan in 1967. He points out that there was no Palestinian state at this time. Mr. Ayalon states that Jordan had no legal right to be in this area, and that it had changed the names of Judea and Samaria to “the West Bank.”
He states that Israel’s presence in the West Bank in 1967 was for the purpose of self-defense and provides historic details that strongly support his remarks. These facts are verifiable. He suggests that the term “disputed territories” is far more appropriate for the West Bank than “occupied territories.”
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat immediately responded by characterizing Israel as “pro-conflict,” occupying colonialists. He described the video as “not . . . amateur” and as presenting a “cynical and falsified account” of history and international law.
Mr. Ayalon has replied that PA representatives are “unable to challenge a single fact in the video and have completely avoided a legitimate and honest discussion on the issues.”
The video, released in late July, has already drawn more than 100,000 views. Mr. Ayalon has said he would be happy to present facts in a debate setting with any PA representative. “I now realize that there has been such a thirst for the truth, not just among Israel supporters, but also among the undecided, and its success has prompted me to think of doing a lot more in this area,” he said, referring to the video.
It seems that the kinds of historical dates, occurrences, and binding resolutions that Mr. Ayalon and Mr. Erekat address should be a matter of ascertainable fact. If one side has long been pulling the wool over much of the world’s eyes, it shouldn’t succeed in misleading or confounding many in the global community forever.
Is it possible that Israel doesn’t “occupy” Israel?
The attempt to harm Israel through boycotts is nothing new. Commenting on the BDS (Boycotts, Divestment,and Sanctions) movement against Israel Shira Sorko-Ram writes
Although the Arab nations have not been able to destroy Israel militarily, they now believe they are finally on their way to success. By pouring billions of dollars yearly into public relations with governments, the media, universities and churches throughout the world, Palestinians feel certain they are winning the war by turning world opinion against the legitimacy of the nation of Israel.
The Palestinian public relations war is bearing much fruit, especially in the West. One of their tools is launching campaigns to boycott all Israeli products and apply sanctions against international companies that do business with Israel.
One blaring hypocritical note is that a key component of the technology to produce that video is from Israel (i.e. Intel Pentium chip).
The action taken in Australia is modeled after an apparent ‘success’ from Ireland and Scotland where two malls removed kiosks representing an Israeli cosmetics company. As one activist gloated,
The products being sold on these stalls help to fund Israel’s war economy and their brutal and illegal military occupation of Palestine. It is also highly likely that these goods come from illegal settlements on Palestinian land, although it is routinely mislabelled as coming from within Israel’s borders.
These are typical statements made by young people at these proceedings, but can be demonstrated to be inaccurate and false. The statement quoted above is simply ones perspective not fact.
Have you ever thought of the scope of products that have originated from Jews and Israel? In exposing the misguided intentions of these actions, David Brumer writes, in order for the BDS crowd to be honest with themselves, this action
would include most computers, since Israel helped to develop the Intel Pentium chip, Windows MP, XP and Vista as well as Microsoft Office. They’d have to boycott Google and cell phones developed in Israel by Motorola, as well as voice mail and camera phones. Thousands of products that were developed through technological innovations in Israel, in agriculture, aerospace, energy, pharmaceuticals, and bio-medicine would also be off limits. But naturally, the self-righteous boycotters and their legions of supporters aren’t interested in such banalities.
In the last couple of years, many liberal churches have initiated anti-Israel campaigns – that is, they have resolved to withdraw investments from companies owned by Israelis, or that even do business with Israeli companies, and these churches suggest that all of their members do the same.
After all, what’s really happening in Israel at this time? The unemployment rate is at a 20-year low, last month the number of tourists who arrived in Israel was the highest in more than a decade, and the personal security situation is the best we have seen here in the past 30 years or so.
Generally speaking, people no longer fear terrorism as they did in the past and they also do not feel that they are about to lose their jobs.Meanwhile, immense reforms are being undertaken in the transportation and education systems, and in the communication market as well.
For now it appears the BDS movement has had a real economic impact on Israel. It is enjoying a sound economy and for that we are thankful. However we need to be aware of the broader goal of these actions in making modern Israel an illegal, illegitimate nation. This is the spiritual backdrop of the boycott Israel campaign.
By Asher Intrater | www.revive-israel.org | Reprinted from Revive Israel Ministries with permission.
This past year offered some unprecedented opportunities to discuss our faith on Israeli media. This included the educational television, television channel one, and the largest Hebrew newspaper, Yediot.
During this time I have also attended a local Sephardic orthodox synagogue, because I enjoy studying, praying and fellowshipping with them. A few weeks ago, one of the members identified me from the television. I affirmed to him my faith as a Messianic Jew. It didn’t take long for the word to spread around the synagogue.
The rabbi asked to meet with me. He is a dear man, whom I respect. We talked for over an hour about faith and religion. Although he was polite, he told me that the rabbis in Jerusalem were organizing “harsh” opposition to me and that he would stand with them. That next Shabbat they refused to let me into the synagogue. I realized they were not really rejecting me, but rejecting Yeshua, who loves them more than they know. He and I walked away together sadly.
On Sunday the police showed up at our door. They had a summons for me to appear in court (along with a couple from our congregation). The summons contained 19 pages of unfounded claims. The suit was presented in the name of the parents of a teenage girl who had developed a friendship with the couple in our congregation.
In Israel it is illegal to convert a minor to another religion without the parents’ consent. We would not do that under any circumstance, and in this case, we had notified the family in writing that the teenager could only attend with parental permission. Therefore the suit was groundless in the first place.
When we arrived in court, there was a religious lawyer and a representative of an “anti-missionary” group. [It is worth noting that the majority of the Israeli public and the government agencies are not “anti-Messianic.” The opposition comes primarily from extremist religious groups.]
Instead of dealing with the suit of the parents, the lawyer simply began to attack us as a cult, calling me repeatedly “a leader of the cult of the Messianic Jews (Acts 24:4-5).” While this was demeaning, it had no legal bearing on the case. The suit was a ploy to defame us and had little to do with caring for the needy young lady.
Finally, the judge became angry and asked what all this religious talk had to do with the legal suit (Luke 23:4, 14, Acts 18:14-15, 19:38). When we presented as evidence our letters to the family requiring parental permission, the judge closed the case. It is a shame that the parents were exploited in the hands of those trying to discredit us. We can only hope for the best for this girl and her family.
When we returned home, we found out about the next “wave” of opposition: an article planned in the local newspaper, attacking us as a “missionary” cult. Apparently the court case was part of a “spin” to defame us in the newspapers. Please pray fervently that everything that was meant for evil will be turned to good. I want to thank our lawyer and dear friend Caleb Myers, of Jerusalem Institute for Justice, who represented us in this case.
The spiritual attack of religious persecution is three fold: Rejection, Intimidation, and Defamation. You could say they are trying to get RID of us. Because of your prayers, we were protected by the grace of God and sustained with great peace of mind.
The whole situation was reminiscent of living out a scene from the book of Acts. There we were, sitting in a court room in Jerusalem, accused of being a cult, blocked from the synagogue, plotted against by Pharisees. I suppose it was sort of an honor. The slanders against us are a diversion from the real issue: Either Yeshua is the Messiah, or He isn’t (Acts 17:3).
For decades I have taught that we should live like the apostles. Ah, but there is no apostolic revival without persecution. “Now, Lord, behold their threats, and grant to Your servants to declare Your word with all boldness, stretching out Your hand to heal and do signs and wonders…” – Acts 4:29. Did we expect to get the signs and wonders without the threats?
We are gaining a clearer perspective on the biblical narrative.
Religious leaders will “incite” normal people to be angry (Acts 6:12, 14:2, 14:19, 13:50, 17:5, 17:13).
They will hire legal and forensic specialists to accuse us (Acts 24:1).
This is why Yeshua decreed to separate state and religion (“Give unto Caesar…” – Matthew 22:21), and Saul/Paul turned to state authorities (“Before the judgment seat of Caesar…” – Acts 25:10).
We will be accused of being a cult (Acts 24:5, 14, 28:22).
Instead of dealing with the content of our message, the issue will be diverted to attacking our character, through lies and slander (Luke 23:1-2, Acts 16:20, 17:6, 18:13, 21:28, 22:22).
They will seek to catch us in one mistake in our words in order to accuse us (Luke 11:54, 14:1, 20:20).
If we pray hard enough, the modern day apostles will be delivered from jail (Acts 12:5). If we do not, they will not be delivered (Acts 12:2).
Thinking there will be revival without persecution is a deception (Acts 14:22).
Everything will be acceptable except one thing: the name of Yeshua (Acts 4:17-18, 5:28, 5:40).
Is all this worth it? Yes. For what reason? – LOVE. If we love our people, then pain and persecution are worth the price to show them the love of Messiah. I don’t feel in any way offended or hurt. We simply love our people and would be willing to lay down our lives for them (Acts 7:60, 20:24, 21:13). They really just don’t understand (Luke 23:46). Yet.
Asher Intrater is the director of Revive Israel Ministries, an apostolic ministry team dedicated to revival in Israel. To access more articles by Asher Intrater or to find out more about the Ministries of Revive Israel, go to www.reviveisrael.org.
This is the story of a remarkable Christian Zionist who did so much for the cause of Zion in the early years of the 20th century.
John Henry Patterson was the product of an Anglo-Irish family. He was born on November 10, 1867 in Ireland to a Protestant family and died in 1947 – one year before the rebirth of the Jewish State of Israel. Following the family’s military tradition, he joined the British army and served with the 16th Lancers in Lucknow, India. He was sent in 1898 to East Africa where he was engaged in building a railway bridge at Tsavo. The African workers were being terrorized by man eating lions and Patterson was successful in restoring order and killing the marauding lions. He later wrote a book about his exploits titled, The Man-Eaters of Tsavo.
According to the writer, Ami Isseroff, Patterson served in South Africa during the Boer War and retired from the army in 1911. At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, he rejoined the army, saw service in Flanders and was subsequently sent to Egypt. It was while he was visiting Alexandria that he met the two men who would transform his life and make him a lifelong passionate and ardent Zionist.
Yosef Trumpeldor and Ze’ev Jabotinsky, two Jews who had earlier left Russia were attempting in 1915 to form a Jewish brigade to fight with the British and Anzac Forces against the Ottoman Turks. They were meeting constant obstacles and refusals by high ranking officers of the British High Command who were often anti-Jewish and did everything in their power to prevent a Jewish military unit from seeing active duty. Turkey, which had allied itself with Germany at the outset of World War I, ruled Mesopotamia and vast swathes of the Middle East, including the geographical territory known as Palestine, and was resisting allied pressure to oust them from their 400 year old occupation of the region.
Jabotinsky, arguably the greatest Zionist leader of his time, had sought to revive the same long dormant Jewish fighting spirit that had led the Maccabees to victory over the Greek-Syrian invaders of Judea 2,200 years earlier. He and Trumpeldor met Patterson and they immediately became firm friends, sharing the same longing for a rebirth in its ancestral and biblical homeland of a reconstituted Jewish state. Indeed, Patterson was to become the commander of the Zion Mule Corps with the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
On March 31, 1915, Lt. Colonel Patterson officiated at the swearing in ceremony of the new Jewish volunteers for the Mule Corps. He invited the soldiers to pray with him that he should, “not only, as Moses, behold Canaan from afar, but be divinely permitted to lead you into the Promised Land.” He wrote in his diary about the military training camp that, “ … never since the days of Judah Maccabee had such sights and sounds been seen and heard in a military camp – with the drilling of uniformed soldiers in the Hebrew language.” Jabotinsky had made it a personal mission to help revive the ancient language of the synagogue liturgy into the new vibrant functional language of a revived and hoped for Jewish state.
Lt. Colonel Patterson. with Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky and Yosef Trumpeldor serving as a fellow officers, led the Zion Mule Corps onto V Beach during the ill-fated Gallipoli Campaign. Half of the Mule Corps had been arbitrarily seconded to Anzac forces who treated them badly and eventually sent them back to Egypt. Patterson, with the remaining 300 soldiers, saw action against the Turks during which time 14 of his men were killed and several more wounded.
The Mule Corps was disbanded in 1916, a result of relentless pressure by anti-Jewish elements in the British High Command. Patterson had been wounded at Gallipoli but eventually recovered and returned to Ireland where he commanded the 4th Royal Irish Fusiliers and the fifth Royal Dublin Fusiliers. In July, 1917 he was made commander of the 38th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, which happened to be one of three battalions of the Jewish Legion. The soldiers who comprised these three battalions were British and foreign Jewish personnel. Marching through the East End of London, prior to leaving to join the fighting in the geographical territory of Palestine, they were met with a tumultuous and joyful reception by Jewish and Christian Londoners who lined the streets of Whitechapel to cheer on the departing battalion.
Still smarting under British High Command reluctance to allow them to see active service in the front, Colonel Patterson and his Jewish Legion were forced to remain out of the fighting. Severe Allied losses however forced the High Command to finally let the Jewish Legion enter the campaign. By now some 5,000 Jewish soldiers were serving in the three Battalions.
The relentless anti-Jewish persecution by the British High Command towards the Jewish Legion and the serial disdain that Lt. Colonel Patterson received in reply to his long and valiant entreaties on behalf of the Jewish forces finally led him to resign in 1920. That he was never promoted, despite his outstanding record as an officer and commander, is a bitter reflection upon the endemic hostility by elements within the British Government and military towards both the Jewish Legion and the Jewish community in Palestine. Yosef Trumpeldor was later killed in 1920 while helping to defend a Jewish farmstead from Arabs at Tel Hai in Galilee.
Patterson went on to write two books about his experiences both as commander of the Zion Mule Corps –With the Zionists at Gallipoli (1916) – and the Jewish Brigade – With the Judeans in Palestine (1922). But after the war, John Henry Patterson grew yet more active in supporting Jewish rights in British Mandatory Palestine. Indeed, Jabotinsky who had served with Patterson and who was now a firm friend of the Anglo-Irish Christian Zionist, went to America with Patterson on a fund raising mission. According to Shmuel Katz, Jabotinsky wrote of Patterson: “I made an appeal for funds, then the collection began, but no one left the hall because they were waiting for Patterson to speak.”
Patterson himself wrote of Vladimir Ze’ev Jabotinsky: “… his mentality was ‘void of the peculiar inhibitions of a Jewish mind influenced and twisted by the abnormalities of centuries of life in dispersion. That was probably the main reason why his political philosophy was so healthy and simple, and why, with all his tremendous popularity, he never became the recognized leader of the Jewish People.”
John Henry Patterson traveled to British Mandatory Palestine in the 1930s where he remained a steadfast supporter of the Irgun Zvai Leumi Jewish forces resisting Arab aggression and British hostility. Both he and Jabotinsky worked together in the United States unsuccessfully to raise a Jewish army of 100,000 to fight Nazi Germany. Jabotinsky continued to fight for a restored Jewish homeland in Eretz Yisrael: The Land of Israel. He was a phenomenal giant within the Zionist Movement but ultimately felt estranged from his less assertive colleagues in the struggle to re-establish the Jewish homeland.
Jabotinsky warned the Jewish communities of eastern Europe of the impending German Nazi juggernaut that was descending upon them, which led to the Holocaust. He died in 1940 near New York of a broken heart.
John Henry Patterson, a great Christian Zionist, died in 1947 before he lived to see the rebirth of the Jewish state that he had devoted his life to fighting for. His wife of many years died six weeks later and both were cremated and their ashes sent to Mandatory Palestine. Their burial place remains unknown except to Almighty God.
Victor Sharpe is a freelance writer on Jewish history and the Islamist-Israel conflict. His books include Volumes One and Two of Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish state.
My May 28th article, “Five Simple Truths about the Mideast Conflict,” elicited some passionate responses from those on both sides of the debate, with the first point in particular proving to be the most controversial: “There is no such thing as a historic ‘Palestinian people” living in the Middle East.’”
Let’s unpack two of the most common responses to that assertion, separating myth from fact. Of course, we know that there are several million people living in the West Bank and Gaza who identify as Palestinians today, and regardless of their historic pedigree, they are human beings with real needs. But when a misleading “history” is presented so as to delegitimize Jewish claims to the Land, the falsehoods must be exposed.
Myth #1. The modern Palestinians can trace their lineage back to the ancient Philistines, who were living in the land of Canaan (= Palestine) long before the Israelites had arrived on the scene.
This is completely false as to any lineal or ethnic connection between modern Palestinians and ancient Philistines.
First, the Philistines were Aegean (or Cypriot) sea peoples who migrated to the southern coast of Israel/Canaan in the 12th century BC. It is unclear what relationship they bear with the Philistines who are mentioned in Genesis, hundreds of years earlier. In short, they were not a Semitic people, as the Israelites and Arabs were. Second, from the 8th-5th centuries BC, they were crushed or ruled by the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians, ultimately being absorbed by these populations and entirely disappearing from history. In other words, there was a distinct, end of the line for the Philistines roughly 2,500 years ago.
Third, six hundred years after the extinction of the Philistines, and after putting down a Jewish revolt, the Romans changed the name of Judea to Palaestina (in Latin) in order to discourage Jewish patriotism. So, there is absolutely no lineal or ethnic connection between the (earlier) Philistine people and the (later) land called Palestine. In fact, the Philistines had previously lived in the western part of the country, on the Mediterranean coast, whereas Palestine originally referred to the eastern part of the country, on the West Bank of the Jordan river.
Fourth, some Muslim leaders have claimed that there was a continuous Arab presence in Palestine dating back to Muslim conquests in the 7th century AD. But this dubious claim, even if true , would still mean that the continuous Jewish presence in the land predated the first major Arab presence by at least 2,000 years, and it would also underscore the fact that there is no connection between the later Arabs and the earlier (extinct) Philistines.
Myth # 2. The whole argument about there being no historic, “Palestinian people” is meaningless, since there’s is no such thing as a historic Iraqi people either. Borders were artificially created after World War I.”
This is false, as to the overall argument and only partially true about the artificial borders.
Anyone who knows the history of the modern Middle East will recognize the names of nation-states that did not exist as such before (such as United Arab Emirates). But not all national identities in the Middle East are of recent origin.
There has certainly been an ancient, historic Egyptian people in the region, to the south of Israel, and an ancient, historic Syrian-Lebanese people, to the north of Israel, while the Iraqi people often traced their heritage back to the ancient kings of Babylon as well as to the golden age of Islam that flourished in their region 700 years ago. In contrast, the Arabs living in Palestine had no such national identity because they had no such ancient, historic roots, not to mention the fact that there were dozens of other (non-Arab) peoples living in Palestine, some of whom had ruled the region for centuries.
In the oft-quoted words of the celebrated Arab-American historian and Princeton University professor, Philip Hitti, testifying before the Anglo-American Committee in 1946, “There is no such thing as ‘Palestine’ in history, absolutely not.” And so, if there was no “Palestine” in the pre-1948 Arab consciousness, there was no Palestinian people. The only people living in Palestine who traced their pedigree back to ancient, biblical times and who awaited the restoration of their ancient homeland were the Jewish people.
But why bother with facts? The old myths and lies are so much more effective.
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.
So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, and a secure Israel. The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.
“We have openly said that the map will never again be the same as on June 4, 1967. For us, this is a matter of security and of principles. The June map is for us equivalent to insecurity and danger. I do not exaggerate when I say that it has for us something of a memory of Auschwitz. We shudder when we think of what would have awaited us in the circumstances of June, 1967, if we had been defeated; with Syrians on the mountain and we in the valley, with the Jordanian army in sight of the sea, with the Egyptians who hold our throat in their hands in Gaza. This is a situation which will never be repeated in history.”
History is replete with the exchange of territory at the hands of war and conquest. How should we look at the modern state of Israel? The above quote by Abba Eban is the famous reference to the pre-1967 armistice lines as “Auschwitz lines” of which our President wants to use as a basis for the two states of Palestine and Israel. Commenting on the President’s speech, Charles Krauthammer sagaciously states,
Note how Obama has undermined Israel’s negotiating position. He is demanding that Israel go into peace talks having already forfeited its claim to the territory won in the ’67 war — its only bargaining chip. Remember: That ’67 line runs right through Jerusalem. Thus the starting point of negotiations would be that the Western Wall and even Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter are Palestinian — alien territory for which Israel must now bargain.
The very idea that Judaism’s holiest shrine is alien or that Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter is rightfully, historically, or demographically Arab is an absurdity. And the idea that, in order to retain them, Israel has to give up parts of itself is a travesty.
The point is well taken that President Obama once again has weakened Israel, although more seriously, at the negotiating table in same way he did with the settlement freeze. What exactly are Israel’s concerns with the pre-1967 lines? The video cited below gives a graphic illustration of Israel’s security concerns.
Arab countries make up territory 650 times the size of Israel.
The distance between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is 44 miles.
An aircraft can traverse the country of Israel in less than 4 minutes. An aircraft from the Jordain border can be in Jerusalem in 2 minutes. See map.
70% of the population and 80 % of the industrial capacity of Israel is within the reach of hills of Judea and Samaria (West Bank). See map.See map.
The narrowest point of the coastal plain is a mere 9 miles.
Certainly, this is a unique situation as are other things with the Arab-Israel conflict (for example, the refugee issue, water resource issues, and historical revision and false ancestral claims). And this is precisely the point: the world cannot just hand over a state to the Palestinians who have refused offers that even included half of Jerusalem as their capital. What remains enigmatic is why our President would put such stress on any negotiations. Better these issues are settled by talks rather than bombs or bullets or public fiat. God help Israel, God help President Obama.
John Paul is is an Associate Editor for Voice of Revolution, overseeing Jewish Issues.