Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Lies, Damned Lies, & False Prophets

The Israel-haters' massive erection
There have been a number of excellent ripostes (there's one on the replica wall at St James's, Piccadilly itself in this picture by L.K., and may such messages keep coming) by outraged friends of Israel to the monstrous act of infamy committed by the left liberal ratbags and their misguided clerical allies who joined forces to erect this now-notorious eight-metre high gimmick (recommended on the tourist circuit) in Central London. (Elder of Ziyon has blogged about it here and there's a spoof on it here) (Update: hat tip: reader Fleur - great piece by Melanie Phillips here)

Among the sponsors of this Israel-demonising gimmick (which, I understand, cost several thousand pounds) is, as I've remarked before, the controversial charity Interpal.

Sam Westrop noted in October that one of Interpal's trustees, Ibrahim Hewitt of Leicester University, has said:
 "By their behaviour in vandalising and destroying Mosques and Churches, the Jews have demonstrated that they cannot be entrusted with the sanctity and security of this Holy Land". In a pamphlet written by Hewitt, entitled What Does Islam Say?, he advocates the death penalty for apostates and adulterers, and demands that homosexuals suffer "severe punishments" for their "great sin" [Ibrahim Hewitt, What does Islam Say?, The Muslim Educational Trust, April 2004].'
This video shows Interpal trustee Essam Mustafa (pictured, with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh; for Interpal and Hamas see also here and  here and here) arriving in a car with  Haniyeh to a joint Hamas-Interpal press conference in Gaza.

Recently, though, the British Charity Commission cleared Interpal of suspected links to terrorist organisations.

One of the best representative ripostes against the replica wall in Piccadilly comes from Jerusalem-based Michael Dickson, Israel director for StandWithUs, who has sent an open letter to the authorities at St James's Church, which begins:

"What a mean-spirited, one-sided and divisive stunt you chose to politicise your church with this Christmas.
In an ideal world there would be no walls.
In an ideal world there would also be no suicide bombers – radical Islamist Palestinians who hate the Jews that live close to them so much that they are willing to indiscriminately kill them and others – be it in a shopping centre, disco, pizza restaurant or if they are sitting at their Passover Seder.
Be in no doubt that Israel built a security barrier only after enduring a wave of horrific terrorism that left thousands dead and maimed for life.
Your completely partial representation of the situation negates their loss of life and shows gross insensitivity to their families – and by extension to all Israelis and the Jewish community in the UK, none of whom were untouched by these murders...."
Will such a riposte change anyone's mind?  Obviously, all who support Israel hope that it will. But, let's face it, several decades-worth of propaganda in favour of the people once known solely as "Arabs" (Israel, you're your own worst enemy sometimes; why did you aid and abet those who seek your destruction by adopting the new-fangled term?) has worked its egregious magic, especially on the generations that have reached maturity or been born since 1967 and have thoroughly digested the lie that Israel is not a valiant David but a militaristic Goliath.

But it is not only this latest obscenity on the part of certain Israel-hating elements within and without the Christian communion that have been roundly denounced for collusion in the demonic, financially wasteful  initiative (just think of the needy who've missed out on funds) that the charity-sponsored Piccadilly gimmick is.  That bizarre propaganda campaign of recent years, repeated by Mahmoud Abbas a few days ago, that Jesus the Judean, Jesus the Jew, was Jesus the Palestinian, has been coming in for its share of much-deserved criticism and contempt.

As pro-Israel Christian Jim Fletcher wrote recently:
'.... What began as a clever propaganda ploy by Yasser Arafat—as part of his lifelong attempt to erase Jewish history—has been picked up by American evangelicals. That Jesus of Nazareth was born and lived as a Jew is an obvious historical fact, just as, for example, Robert E. Lee commanding the Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War. The background of Jesus Christ, however, inarguably the most famous person in history, is of great importance. His life as a Jew is increasingly being called into question by Muslims, who are working overtime to open “interfaith dialogue” channels with American Christian leaders.
The revisionists originally were the usual suspects: Arafat, mainline church scholars, media types. But now this revisionist history has burrowed-into the American evangelical community.
In February, 2000, popular author Philip Yancey referred to Jesus as a “Palestinian rabbi” in the pages of Christianity Today.
Ed Stetzer, president of research at LifeWay—the resource arm of the Southern Baptist Convention—referred to Jesus as a “Palestinian Jew” in a September 12, 2011 blog post entitled “Monday is for Missiology: Some Thoughts on Contextualization.”
In a banner above his May 9, 2012 blog post, “Solidarity Fast With Palestinians?” Assemblies of God minister and Palmer Theological Seminary Professor Paul Alexander referred to Jesus as “the Palestinian Jew.” Alexander, professor of Christian Ethics and Public Policy at Palmer (the seminary of Eastern University) has long advocated for the Palestinians.
Knowingly or unknowingly, some evangelical leaders are advancing a false narrative concocted by the likes of Arafat and the PLO....'
Fletcher continues:
'British writer Paul Wilkinson is also very familiar with this type of anti-Israel agenda:
“The portrayal of the Lord Jesus Christ as a Palestinian refugee who lived under military occupation has, in recent years, been used as a powerful propaganda weapon against Israel by an increasing number of pro-Palestinian Evangelicals. This blasphemous depiction of Jesus ominously echoes what Palestinian authors, clerics, and political leaders have been saying publicly of late in a brazen attempt to claim Christ as one of their own. By propagating their Islamicized version of ‘replacement theology’ (now rebranded ‘fulfillment theology’ or ‘messianic fulfillment’ by leading pro-Palestinian Evangelicals such as Stephen Sizer and Gary Burge), Islamic scholars have endeared themselves to many in the Church who have cast off the restraint of God’s Word and God’s Spirit. The forging of unholy Evangelical-Muslim alliances in the name of ‘dialogue’ and ‘bridge-building’ is reminiscent of the unholy alliance which suddenly developed between Herod and Pilate during the trial of Jesus – they were sworn enemies who united against a common enemy; today the common enemy is Israel. Like the false prophets of old who prophesied lies in God’s Name, pro-Palestinian Evangelicals, or ‘Christian Palestinianists’ as we might call them, are running with a message they believe is from God, but God has not sent them, for they have not stood in His council (Jeremiah 23:9-32).”' [My emphasis]
Remarks Evelyn Gordon in a great article here:
'Christmas this year brought the usual spate of Palestinian historical revisionism, including the by-now routine claim that Jesus was a Palestinian. This, as Jonathan Tobin noted, tells us a lot about the Palestinian mindset and prospects for peace. But to me, the most striking aspect of this story is that objections to such historical revision come almost exclusively from Jews, whereas many Christian churches and organizations seem to have no problem with it. After all, it’s not only Jewish history and the Jewish religion Palestinians thereby erase; they are also erasing Christian history and the Christian religion.
What, for instance, becomes of the famous scene of Jesus evicting money-changers from the Temple if, as Palestinian officials claim, the Temple never existed? (They refer to it strictly as “the alleged Temple”; for examples, see here and here.) Or what becomes of Mary’s husband Joseph, who was “of the house and lineage of David” (Luke 2:4), if, as Palestinians claim, the Davidic kingdom never existed?
Even if you want to claim, in defiance of all the evidence, that Jesus himself wasn’t a Jew, his entire story as related in the Gospels takes place in a Jewish state with a largely autonomous Jewish political and religious leadership, albeit subject to some control from the Roman Empire. According to the Gospels, it is this Jewish leadership that arrests and tries Jesus, though the Romans ultimately crucify him. If no Jewish state with the power to arrest and try ever existed (as Palestinians, again, routinely claim; see here or here, for instance), how did this most foundational of all Christian stories ever occur?
Granted, the Christians most sympathetic to this Palestinian revisionism generally represent liberal churches that aren’t wedded to a literal reading of the Bible. Nevertheless, belief in Jesus is ostensibly fundamental even for liberal Christians–and absent the historic Jewish kingdom of the Gospels, there quite literally is no Jesus...'
 (Privately advises a scholar, pertinently:
'... the New Testament itself says that Bethlehem where Jesus is supposed to have been born is called Bethlehem of Judea, in the NT [book of Matthew 2:1]. Get that. The NT itself says that Jesus was born in Judea. No mention of  Palestine. Apparently, this is a usage of Judea in the narrow Jewish sense referring only to the former kingdom of Judah, not the broad Greco-Roman usage of Judea which referred to the whole country, all of the Land of Israel, roughly speaking. I deduce from the fact that the same chapter of Matthew calls the country "Land of Israel" twice [2:20-21].')
To quote Professor Phyllis Chesler:
'Lets' set the record straight before the year ends:
Israel is not an apartheid Nazi state. Islam is the largest practitioner of both gender and religious apartheid.
Infidel violence against or hatred of Muslims is a mere drop in the bucket. Muslim-on-Muslim violence is a pandemic and indigenous feature of Muslim-Muslim relationships, beginning with the endless religious feuds between Sunni and Shiia Muslims.
Today, Muslims are torturing, exiling, and blowing each other up in Egypt, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan—to name only a few Muslim-majority countries.
While the West may be imperfect, mea culpa, mea culpa, Islam has a very long and bloody history of imperialism, colonialism, anti-Black racism, conversion via the sword, slavery, and the above mentioned apartheid.
The miserable Brits have just built a large "Security Wall" at St James Church in Piccadilly and plan to use it to continue demonizing the Jewish state for the next twelve days. It is an "art installation," political theatre, very trendy.
Not shown, never mentioned, are the names or graves of Israeli civilians, including children and the elderly, who were being blown up and butchered during the height of the Al Aqsa Intifada; not mentioned are those who were disabled for life; but mainly, it is forbidden to say that the "security wall" worked, that the number of Israeli civilian casualties plunged because it existed. [Emphasis added]
Jesus was not a "Palestinian." He was a Jew, some say he was a rabbi, and that the Last Supper was a Pesach seder. The attempt to appropriate Jesus as a victimized "Palestinian" by the very Muslims who are slaughtering Christians all over the Middle East and who have driven Arab Christians out of Bethlehem is typical, disgusting, and must continually be exposed.
Israel may not be a perfect nation but its Arab citizens, both Muslim and Christian, are the only Arabs in the Arab world who enjoy religious freedom, can vote and express themselves freely, and who have been peacefully elected to Parliament.
As Hamad Amar, a Druze citizen of Israel and the Speaker of Israel's Knesset has written in The Hill, an American Congressional blog:
"In our whole region consisting of over 350 million Arabs, there are only 1,658,000 Arabs who have complete political and religious freedom and have the right to vote in full democratic elections. It is no coincidence that all of these Arabs live as full and equal citizens in the one Jewish State."  [Emphasis added]
Israel values human life, its enemies value death, murder, martyrdom. To redeem Gilad Shalit, Israel released terrorists with blood on their hands to return as glorified heroes and to resume their "careers" as terrorists. Jews value life this much....'
As for Hamas, its Islamist vision was displayed yet again very recently, when Gaza's Interior Minister, Sharia-advocate Fathi Hammad, declared publicly:
“We shall liberate our land, Allah willing. We shall liberate our Al-Aqsa Mosque, and our cities and villages, as a prelude to the establishment of the future Islamic Caliphate. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are at the threshold of a global Islamic civilization era....
The fuel and spearhead of this era will be Gaza, and its mujahideen and leaders will be from Gaza, Allah willing....
[Addressing Fatah:] We just sit and talk to the Jews. Enough with that! Come join us, the legions of the believers, which have translated the Koran into victory, the law of the Prophet's ancestors into glory, and Jihad into liberation....
We shall be coming with a third Intifada, an armed revolution, a Jihadi revolution, Allah willing.... Gaza and the West Bank will fuse together, along with our brothers within the 1948 borders, in a second Battle of Hattin [the first was in 1187], in order to uproot the Jews”.
Yet, despite such vows (showing that while the threatened Caliphate will begin with Israel it will not end there), despite Islamism's misogyny (St James's Church, Piccadilly has a female pastor, by the way), and despite ghastly Islamist persecution of their fellow believers in Jesus, even unto death, the truly warped phenomenon of Christians who stand with Islamists persists.

(This photo, from here, merely hints at the forced conversion,  bloodshed and sorrow rampaging Islamists have caused and continue to cause, to some of the oldest Christian communities in the world, while in the case of the suffering Christian communities in Pakistan and other former colonies of European powers, who faithfully follow Jesus owing to missionary activity among their forebears, I would have thought that Christians, particularly leftist Christians who decry colonialism and its effects, might feel a special sense of obligation.)

As Evelyn Gordon goes on to observe:
'Many of these same liberal Christian groups have also turned a blind eye to the ongoing slaughter of Christians in Syria and Iraq, the worsening persecution of Christians in Egypt and various other anti-Christian atrocities worldwide, preferring to focus all their energies on vilifying the one Middle Eastern country where, to quote Israeli Arab priest Father Gabriel Nadaf, “We feel secure” as Christians. ...[T]his contrast between the terrible plight of other Middle Eastern Christians and the safety they enjoy in Israel is increasingly leading Israel’s Arab Christians to rethink their former identification with the state’s opponents; one result is that the number of Arab Christians volunteering for service in the IDF shot up more than 60 percent this year (though given the minuscule starting point, the absolute numbers remain small). But no such rethinking has occurred among anti-Israel Christians in the West....' [Emphasis added]
 But to return to that reprehensible replica wall.  If you're passing, add a pro-Israel message.  Am Yisrael Chai will do!


    By Robin Shepherd

    1. Thanks. It is important to remember that such decent individuals are on Israel's side, appalled by the antics of the haters.

  2. If you read the birth stories in Matthew and Luke, the names of places and of people, the quotes from the Tenach, the prophecies that parallel those of the Tenach, the genealogies, the circumcision, the presentation at the Temple, the Bar Mitzvah (why else would Jesus go to the Temple aged twelve?); the one thing that you would have to blind and brain-dead not to see and understand, is that these stories are Jewish stories. Some Christians may not like it; some Jews may not like it, but the fact remains, and it will continue to remain, Jesus is Jewish.

    Believe it or not, at this point, someone will ask; sometimes in all innocence, "But isn't Jesus a Christian?" I know this because as a teacher of religious education, it has happened to me, frequently.

    I explain that Christians follow Jesus because they believe that He is the Christ/The Messiah. Whether you believe this or not, Jesus cannot follow himself.

    When I started teaching, I taught the Old and the New Testaments. The Bible was available to be read and it was read - aloud. When I finished teaching, I was expected to teach six different religions without any real reference to any of their holy texts. This is how the lies take hold. They no longer know the truth.

    I think I'll do a more detailed version of this on my blog as well.

    1. Thanks, Ian. The way the religious studies curriculum has gone seems to resemble in its deleterious effects the demise of the traditional history curriculum: majority culture children deracinated from a full understanding of their heritage.
      I'm convinced, btw, that the fact that few people know their OT anymore has led to the dilution of gentile sympathy with Israel.
      I shall look with interest at what you write.

  3. My only response would be to shoot anyone who leaves the church with a paintball gun.

  4. Melanie Phillips has also written a great open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury

    1. Thanks for telling me, Fleur. She is wonderful.
      Just read it:

  5. How about these Quranic passages:

    Children of Israel, remember the blessing I have bestowed upon you, and that I [the Almighty] have exalted you above the nations. [Chapter 2, verse 47]
    Bear in mind the words of Moses to his people. He said, 'Remember, my people, the favor which [the Almighty] has bestowed upon you. He has raised up prophets among you, made you kings, and given you that which He has given no other nation. Enter, my people, the holy land which [the Almighty] has given you. Do not turn back, or you shall be ruined.' [Chapter 5, verse 21]
    [The Almighty] said to the Israelites, 'Dwell in this land. When the promise of the hereafter comes to be fulfilled, We shall assemble you all together.' [Chapter 17, verse 104]

    How do the anti-Israel Muslims and Xians explain them away?