September 19th, 2011 by Christine Colbert

By Christine Colbert

A number of nations, including the US and the UK, have withdrawn from participation in the September 2011 Durban III conference.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.

 

Sources:

http://www.umc-gbcs.org/site/apps/nlnet/content.aspx?c=frLJK2PKLqF&b=6683235&ct=9284281

http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/09/15/3089405/presbyterians-to-reconsider-divestment-from-cosin-israel

http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/03/10/canada-%E2%80%98will-always-stand-by%E2%80%99-israel-harper-says/

Posted in Featured Articles, Israel & The Jewish People, News Tagged with: , , , , ,

July 25th, 2011 by John Paul

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.

To highlight a recent specific attack on an Israeli company and possibly ‘coming to a shopping near you’ observe this video from Australia in ‘flash mob’ style.


[Link to Video]

The spurious mantra repeated in the video:

Standing on the side of freedom, justice

Tear down the apartheid wall

They’ve got blood on their hands

It’s not too late

To end support for the apartheid state

We will boycott 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.

I do not think anyone is giving up their computers or cell phones?  Anyone giving up their polio vaccine? This conversation is sad if it were not so absurd.  The world is again falling into the trap of lies and misinformation.  So has the church as Sorko-Ram continues from the opening article,

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.

How has these actions effected Israel’s economy?  Commenting on the passing of a new law directed against the attacks of boycotts, Hanoch Daum states in a Ynet Opinion page,

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.

For a resource on dealing with the BDS campaign visit http://www.stopbds.com/

 

John Paul is is an Associate Editor for Voice of Revolution, overseeing Jewish Issues.

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June 6th, 2011 by Michael L. Brown

Editor’s Note: Also published on Townhall.

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.

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May 29th, 2011 by Michael L. Brown

Editor’s Note: Also published on Townhall.

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.

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May 9th, 2011 by John Paul

I find many Christians who support the restoration of the Jewish people to their homeland in Israel also subscribe to the end-time teaching known as the pre-tribulation rapture.  This teaching holds that Jesus will return first as a “thief in the night” to snatch away the Church prior to a hellish reign of terror by a false messiah in the last days. He will then come again with His Church to destroy all satanic rule on this planet and establish the long-awaited Messianic Age.
But have these Christians who hold this view stopped to consider, as I finally did, that this teaching is fundamentally opposed to the heart and soul of Christian Zionism?

I do not know how many of our readers have had the same experience, but I certainly have.  Now it must be stated that any position on theology must be based in scripture first and foremost.  Although spending most of my formative years in a Scofield Bible, within the first year of college I had abandoned Dispensationalism based on a  different look at the texts in the Bible.  But at this point in my life, I was not able to see some of the implications of my beliefs and their impact on the connection to Israel.  Brian Hennessy continues on with his own experience

It didn’t take long to see where the problem lay. At almost every pro-Israel event there would be a time of public repentance for turning our backs – and often our weapons – on the Jews over the centuries. We’d loudly proclaim that “we will never abandon you again.” Either by keeping silent in times of persecution, as so many did during the Holocaust. Or by doctrinally distancing ourselves again through the acceptance of Replacement Theology.

Yet by embracing a rapture theology, aren’t we already planning to abandon them again? And at a time when Israel and the Jews will need us the most? Worse, we crow about our “saving event” without a blush or a word of apology to our Jewish friends. What must the Jews think? No doubt they are grateful for our present support, but I’m sure they won’t be holding their breath waiting for us to show up once the feathers hit the fan. What is wrong with us? Have we learned nothing from our past betrayals of our brothers? Are we just going to be happy-clappy cheerleaders for the State of Israel as long as the skies are sunny? But when dark clouds come will we quickly start looking for the rapture bus to get us out of here – fast?

 

Those are sobering words.  It is a functional disconnect between theology and relationship.  I have said this in conversations with other believers that a “pre-tribulation rapture is anti-Semitic.”  Now, those are strictly my words and this observation took over a decade to develop.  I say it that way to make us think.  A case in point without much personal input is my experience with my father.  He had great RESPECT and love for the Jewish people and it is here where I attribute my ‘nascent Zionism.’  Guess what?  I know my dad was not anti-Jew, but was his theology?  In unpacking some dispensational thought Hennessy reasons

Darby, who is known as the “father of dispensationalism,” believed God has dealt with mankind in different ways in different ages or “dispensations.” Christians belong to the latest dispensation, an age of grace, and are considered God’s “heavenly people.” But the descendants of Abraham – at least those who came before Jesus, plus those who didn’t accept Him as Messiah after He came – belonged to the dispensation of Law and are God’s “earthly people.” The only exception to this rule are Jews who do believe in Jesus. They are counted as part of the Church and those alive at Jesus return can get on the rapture “bus.”

Although he taught that the Church and Israel would always remain separate and distinct, he believed both groups play parallel roles in God’s plan of salvation. And will receive parallel inheritances. That is, he didn’t teach that the Jews had been disenfranchised by the Church, as Replacement Theology taught. But he didn’t see the Church as being a continuation or enhancement of Israel, either.

 

So maybe I can get my dad off the hook by this logic, but how about those who do not believe in dispensationalism but still have the vestige of a sudden rapture, leaving unsaved Israel behind.  If after a thorough look at Scripture you still attest to this view, then I obviously accept that and will not allow us to be divided (Psalm 133).   There was never a scientific study done on my part, but via attendance at Messianic conferences, reading Jewish leaders writings and at one time being an active member in a Messianic congregation I observed a trend that they did not ascribe to this view.

In a recent interview of Ron Cantor, an Israeli believer, on Line of Fire radio, host Dr. Michael Brown briefly discusses this issue.  Cantor states that most Messianic believers , IN ISRAEL, hold to a post-Tribulation paradigm.   (Conversation starts at approximately the 30 minute mark, emphasis mine).  This corroborates my experience.

The point here is to help define the relationship of the Church to Israel and clarify the roles of Jew (even unsaved) and gentile believer.  Also, how do you daily LIVE your life thinking “Any minute I am out of here.”  As opposed to preparing your life knowing you (the Church)  are required to live through Israel’s ‘darkest hour’ for a divine purpose and witness.

So coming into focus the question is “What does it say to the unsaved Jewish person, when we sincerely want them to see the reflection of Messiah in our life, if we hold to this escapist mentality?”  Once again the thoughts of Brian Hennessy:

Therefore, if we are going to be solidly in Israel’s corner as we promised, we can’t also be planning for an early exit. Their fight is also our fight. We must come alongside them, not just as fans, but as family. It doesn’t matter that the majority of Jews do not recognize us or accept us yet as mishpochah. We know it is true! Therefore we have to act in faith and believe we have a stake in this game. The blessings of Israel are something we too will share in if we faint not.

But if we only rejoice over the reestablishment of Israel because it is a prophetic sign that Jesus is coming soon. Or because it is merely an encouragement that if God is faithful to them He’ll be faithful to us. Or because it shows we now reject Replacement Theology, even though we still hold fast to Darby’s Separation Theology – then our Zionism is indeed a hollow shell.

No, we must be in this for the long haul. We must be one with the Jews, come what may, and trust we will rejoice with them at the glorious deliverance our God has promised to perform for us. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for calamity; to give you a hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11).

 

 

John Paul is is an Associate Editor for Voice of Revolution, overseeing Jewish Issues.

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April 6th, 2011 by John Paul

The push for a new state for the Arab Palestinians may be attained by September of this year.  The way this could be achieved is outside of the current peace process and could lead to negative results.  A lengthy article has been written by David Horovitz of the Jerusalem Post  explaning how this could come about.  In essence if the UN Security Council reaches an impasse on its ability to maintain order and stability, the process can then go to General Assembly where resolutions are passed via two-thirds majority.  Although non-binding, this “Unity for Peace” Resolution has been used before where the dynamics on the ground affected the related parties (for example, boycotts and sanctions).  The article states,  

The Palestinian leadership, that is, anticipating that the US will veto its unilateral bid for statehood at the Security Council, will take the matter to the General Assembly. There it will push for the necessary two-thirds GA support for recognizing “Palestine,” presumably along the pre-1967 lines and with a “right of return” for refugees, under a “Uniting for Peace” resolution to ensure global action.

If this were to transpire,  critical issues that normally are solved through consensus could become flash points of contention and further world condemnation.  Horovitz adds

Most Israelis may well believe that the failure to make progress in negotiations with the Palestinians stems from the other side’s refusal to take positions that would guarantee Israel’s physical and demographic security alongside the proposed Palestine. Most Israelis may well believe that the Palestinian leadership has neither encouraged its people to accept the Jewish right to statehood, nor accepted this right itself, and has maintained an environment in which terrorists who target Israelis are regarded as role models.

But the sad fact is that most of the international diplomatic community simply doesn’t accept this narrative, and tends increasingly to blame strong, sovereign Israel for failing to grant independence to the weak, stateless Palestinians. Rocket attacks from Gaza, bombings at bus stops in Jerusalem, even horrific murders of fathers, mothers, children and babies in their homes, are evaluated in that context.

So there is certainly no automatic, or even readily attainable, blocking vote in the Security Council for the Palestinians’ demand for statehood, even if the establishment of that “state” is being sought while the core issues of dispute with neighboring Israel remain unresolved.

No Jews were allowed in Judea and Samaria between 1948 and 1967 while the region was under Jordanian control.  Currently there are many established Jewish communities in this same region.  What would happen as result of this machination to these communities?  Do any of the recent terror attacks give us a clue as to the attitude of some Palestinians?

Another area of incitement being reviewed is the attitude to peace: “They say that Jews have no right to be in this region, Jews have no right to be here. This is especially noticeable in school text books, where Israeli presence isn’t even mentioned. There are no maps with Israel. (Ynet News).

If such an event were to occur the security of an estimated 200,000 Jews  would be of immediate concern.  Just as a point of fact, other items that have been in negotiation are water, refugees, and the status of Jerusalem.

It is unclear what the position of the US is in this regard.  With the recent vote on the settlements, it was stated that the US ‘ was “very, very close” to not vetoing the anti-settlement resolution’. 

The manner in which this Administration has conducted its foreign policy over the past few years, allowing others to take the lead in domestic and international affairs, may pave the way for this potentially historic event in September.

 

John Paul is is an Associate Editor for Voice of Revolution, overseeing Jewish Issues.

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March 16th, 2011 by John Paul

Editor’s note: For a brief look at some false assumptions related to this issue please see http://walloflies.org/ . For an expose’ of what is happening on the university campuses please see http://campusintifada.com/?p=viewing_guide .

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.

Now for a viewpoint from another native South African.  Stan Goodenough has presented a clear and forceful argument to the contrary.

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.

None whatsoever.

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.

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February 22nd, 2011 by John Paul

The UN Security Council last week was one vote short of “rendering” all Israeli settlements illegal.  The US stood in the way and vetoed the resolution, opting however to agree to the settlement’s “illegitimacy.”  Ynet news stated:

US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told council members that the veto “should not be misunderstood to mean we support settlement activity.” She added that the US view is that Israeli settlements lack legitimacy.

The Ambassador continued on to indicate that settlements and other issues ought to be resolved through negotiations. The Jerusalem Post added that:

The resolution risks “undermining US-led efforts to pursue a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.” Rice said that the settlements have, for “four decades” undermined Israel’s security situation and hindered the peace process in the Middle East.

At the same time the Palestinian official said this veto actually threatens the peace process.  Again from Ynet:

The Americans have very clearly demonstrated to Palestinians, to Arab public opinion, and to world public opinion that they are biased to the point of destruction.

If they keep trying to manipulate and water down a resolution to become a statement, and they start selling us used goods again it’s not going to work

Israel’s position on this is that settlements and for that matter the entire peace process is to be through negotiations and not via UN resolutions.  A statement from Benjamin Netanyahu’s Office reads:

“We seek a solution that will integrate the legitimate Palestinian aspirations with Israeli requirement of security and recognition,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “The US decision makes it clear that the only way to peace is through negotiations. We are ready to vigorously advance negotiations and are interested in beginning the process of achieving secure peace and hope that the Palestinians will join the process.”

Was the US Administration trying to play both sides of the aisle?  The settlements were always part of the peace negotiations going all the way back to President Carter’s Camp David Accord.  For some reason, a non-issue became an ISSUE.  I am not willing to speculate here on why this seems to be the case, but the settlements are not only legitimate, they are in fact legal.  This can be traced all the way back to the League of Nations’ partitioning of Palestine and the British Mandate.  To make the settlements illegal, one would have to make the judgments of The League of Nations in 1922 and the UN in 1947 in establishing a home land for Jews void.  For a primer on the settlement issue please see Jewish Virtual Library, Myths and Facts, Settlements.

 

John Paul is is an Associate Editor for Voice of Revolution, overseeing Jewish Issues.

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May 16th, 2010 by Guest Writer

Editor’s Note: A guest article from N. Scott Rabinowitz.

On May 14 the nation of Israel celebrates its sixty-second birthday. Despite insurmountable odds, Israel has not only survived, it has prospered.

The United States has played an enormous part in that prosperity—at least until now. President Obama has demanded that Israel reset the Middle East history button.

On March 10, Obama dispatched Vice President Joe Biden to demand that Israel halt renewed building in East Jerusalem. The trip resulted in what Israeli ambassador Michael Oren called the “most serious crisis since 1975″ for U.S. and Israel relations.

That assertion was dramatically confirmed on March 23 when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Washington to meet with the President. Failing to acquire concessions from the Prime Minister, Obama – in a breach of protocol, left Netanyahu to dine alone.

Despite extraordinary pressure from the White House, Netanyahu remains resolute regarding Israel’s right to build in East Jerusalem.

There are two reasons for this. First, Israel has a historical claim to the territory, a fact recognized by the international community. Second, Israel fought a series of defensive wars over the territory and the current borders are legitimate under the rules of international law.

Obama and other opponents of Israel’s sovereignty need to acquaint themselves with the history of Jerusalem and international law regarding the annexation of territory captured during a defensive war. If they did, they would discover the following:

The League of Nations Mandate for Palestine recognized Jewish national rights to the entire territory in 1922. While recognizing the need to protect the rights of the territories’ Arab inhabitants, the Mandate declared that “recognition has been to the historical connection of the Jewish People with Palestine and to reconstituting their Jewish national home in that country.” When the UN replaced the League of Nations in 1946, its charter specifically stated that the UN must uphold the terms of all existing international instruments ratified by the League of Nations. In other words, the UN—and President Obama—are obligated to recognize Israel’s legitimate claims on Jerusalem.

That obligation would be less clear, however, had the Palestinians agreed to UN Resolution 181—the Partition Plan of 1947. Conceding that the creation of a single Jewish state was impossible, the resolution was a non-binding recommendation that called for the partition of “Palestine” into two separate states, with Jerusalem existing temporarily under the administration of the UN.

For over half a century, the Palestinians rejected a two-state solution. They did so because they were confident that their Arab neighbors would intervene and destroy Israel militarily. That never occurred and Palestinian dreams of statehood never materialized.

Resolution 181 was a non-binding resolution and more importantly, it was one that the Palestinians rejected. Moreover, the Arab aggression that ignited the 1967 war irreversibly changed the territorial landscape and made a return to borders that existed nineteen year earlier impossible. In 2004 President George W. Bush acknowledged this fact in a letter to Prime Minister Arial Sharon. “In light of new realities on the ground,” Bush wrote, a return to the armistice lines of 1949 is “unrealistic.”

The Palestinians discarded UN Resolution 181 more than sixty years ago but they now wish to resurrect it to legitimatize their claim to Jerusalem.

President Obama also wishes to hit the reset button. He chooses to ignore Israel’s legal claim to Jerusalem, the fact that the Palestinians rejected UN Resolution 181, and that the U.S. has acknowledged current geo-political realties make a return to previous borders impossible.

Despite adamant claims to the contrary, East Jerusalem does not meet the criteria of an occupied territory. Following the 1948 war, Jordan occupied East Jerusalem and expelled its Jewish community. By the standards of international law, Jordan’s nineteen year occupation of Jerusalem — not Israel’s — was illegal.

Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem in a war of self-defense makes it the legitimate claimant to the territory. Former Chief Judge of the International Court of Justice of the United Nations, Stephen Schwebel wrote in 1970 regarding the matter: “Where the prior holder of the territory had seized the territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense, has against the prior holder, better claim.”

Why has the President turned on America’s staunchest ally in the Middle East and embraced the revisionist history of Israel’s enemies? As long as the U.S supports Israel’s claim to Jerusalem, Israel’s enemies will remain our enemies. President Obama has chosen to appease our enemies rather than stand by our ally.


About the Author: Noel Rabinowitz is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at The King’s College in New York City. You can contact Noel via his faculty profile located here.

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January 4th, 2009 by M. French

In the midst of the Gaza conflict, the Jewish website Aish has released a short video about the Hamas missile attacks in Israel: [Link to Video]

Sderot, Israel, shown in the map below, is less than a mile from Gaza, and has had to deal with 3 to 4 rocket and mortar attacks each day on average. More information on Sderot can be found at Aish, and Wikipedia. You can send your support via email here.

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