Recovering Evangelicalism – Seeking a Justice-based peace in the Middle East –

Archive for the ‘Zionism’ Category

Why Only Israel?

A very good question, usually asked by supporters of Israel who want to know why Israel’s critics don’t also criticize other nations*.  So, yes; why only Israel? And I’d like an answer to the following:

  • When Bashar Assad is subjected to sanctions for dealing with an Islamic extremist invasion, why is Israel allowed to get away with the collective punishment of Palestinians contrary to international law?
  • Why is Israel allowed to attack people in Gaza with international impunity but when Gazan’s resist they are called ‘terrorists’ and subjected to sanctions and a blockade?
  • Why, when Israel carries out assassinations on other territory it goes without censure yet when it ‘appears’ that Russia assassinates someone in Britain ‘the West’ retaliates without waiting for conclusive evidence?
  • Why, when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait was it OK to form an international force to kick him out while doing nothing to enforce international law over Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the Syrian Golan Heights?

‘You shall not bear false witness’   Not in my name, not in Jesus’ Name.

* They do!

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Zionism is antiSemitic

(Edited from Original post of September 2016)

My Objection to Zionism has nothing to do with Jews as a people group.  It isn’t Jews I have a problem with but the ideology that some Jews, (and sadly, some Christians) hold. I have to oppose Zionism because it is racist, exceptionalist and militarist. These should not be attractive characterstics for evangelical Christians, (like me), although they will be if you have an affinity with e.g. KKK, BNP, Frances FN or any other ethnic supremacist party, (whether white, black or other).

Zionism claims that it is simply about the rights of Jews to live in a land of their own, which sounds reasonable until we examine what that means in practice. The fact is that the land most Jews in Israel-Palestine now live on and the land they are taking away daily by building settlements is land where another people, Palestinians, live and have lived for many generations.

The Zionist arguments in justification are exceptionalist – the Jews are special (that, by the way, is not the same as the ‘chosen people’ argument. Most of the early Zionists were secular socialists).  Zionists believe that Arabs are inferior, not just different. It is only necessary to listen to their descriptions, ‘snakes’, ‘rats’, ‘dirty’, etc. That is racism.

Thus, to defend Zionism is to give comfort to a system that denies the inherent equality of humankind —  contradicting both creational monotheism (Hebrew) and the Christian Gospel — and demands special treatment for one people group, Jews, over all others, especially Palestinians. Defending Zionism is to support an ideology that achieves its aim of occupying all the land through overwhelming military force – the ‘Iron Wall’ and retains control by militaristic, economic and political oppression. It is to praise a system that allows democracy only when Jews are in a substantial majority.  Militarist, racist, exceptionalist, it is utterly at odds with true Judaism and as far as can possibly be from the Sermon on the Mount. (Mt 5-7) and the commssion Jesus gave his followers.

The claim that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic reverses logic. The real anti-Semitism is the claim that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic. Put it simply; because in its inherent nature it defines all Jews as racist, militaristic and exceptionalist it is Zionism that is anti-Semitic.

Balfour ‘celebration’ reflection

Last evening, Nov. 7th 2017,  people gathered at London’s Royal Albert Hall to celebrate the Balfour Declaration of 2nd Nov. 1917, as ‘Partners in this great Enterprise’. Christians and Jews together celebrating the creation of modern Israel and the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population. Maybe some of my readers will be upset by that description but if we are honest it is difficult to put any other interpretation of the facts.

Gathering inside, a mighty congregation; well, actually not so mighty. One member of ‘Raised Voices’ commented that there didn’t seem to be many people going in. I’d calculate no more than 2000 including performers, (a 600 member choir from Denmark?), in a venue that can hold over 5,000.

Outside? A very mixed bunch. Handing our leaflets was difficult, especially when RAH security backed by a massive police presence insisted we could not hand out leaflets on private property. When I was able, most people refused, were not interested in a Palestinian Christian viewpoint. Some, did take leaflets and some, a very few, seemed genuinely interested in a different perspective; they were mostly younger people.

There were pro-Israel demonstrators outside as well, including the couple from Ireland who’d ‘entertained’ us on Saturday, (not sure whether they’re sectionable, but probably harmless). One woman and her friend became quite aggressivly verbally angry when she read the banner I was carrying. The text ran as follows: ‘Biblical Christians reject imperialist, exceptionalist, Zionism. Exceptionalism is racism, “There is no distinction …” If God will not, we must not.’

What infuriated her, I believe, is that I was, ‘standing on her ground’ – ‘Bible-believing’ Christians take all God’s word seriously, and that means Zionism, the rest of us must be ‘liberals’ who don’t really believe anything and can’t really be Christian. So when I say I am a bible-believing Christian she refuses to believe it, I must really be a ‘toy’ of the ‘Muslim extremists’ who were chantinf ‘Free Palestine’ just a few metres away. More to say maybe, later, but now it’s time for a little relaxation and a coffee.

A Sad Centenary

This day, 2nd November, marks the one hundredth anniversary of the letter from Arthur Balfour, Britain’s Foreign Secretary in 1917, to Lord Rothschild as representing British Jewry. It is an indictment of Britain’s present government and many opposition members of parliament that they will be celebrating this event.

There is little for which to be proud. A degree of protection for Jews? Maybe, but at what cost. Might the Nazi holocaust have been averted had Zionism not been on the rise? That question may be impossible to answer, but it is well known that Nazis and Zionists wanted much the same thing: Jews out of Europe.

The Nazis didn’t much care where they went, it was Zionism that focussed on Palestine. Not because it was the best place in terms of space and population but because it was the only place that would have attracted the bulk of European Jewry, who, in the main, were not interested in Zionism.

Britain’s part in this, dating back to 19th century evangelicalism and beyond, should not be underplayed and should certainly not be celebrated. Apologising for the ‘sins of the fathers’ may seem pointless. It is unless it is accompanied by genuine action to put right the wrongs committed in our name. Britain and America together share major responsibility for the mess that is the Middle East. It is our duty to help people of goodwill – and they are there – to begin putting things right. If our leaders will not then we, the people, must.

I don’t get it

It will be obvious to my many readers, (or ‘my reader’), that there are many things I don’t understand. For instance, ‘eschatology’; lots of Christians today seem to think it’s a recent invention. “Hey Folks, Look Out, we’re in the Last Days; didn’t see that coming did you?”

But the NT writers  know about eschatology, including Paul if his answer to the Thessalonian Christians is anything to go by. But it’s also there in the gospels, “be ready” (Matt 25). So, then, if Paul wanted us to be ready for ‘the End Times’; and there’s lots of evidence he expected it soon; why don’t we hear him saying to the Jews, “hurry up and get back to Israel so Jesus can come back”. If the NT record is anything to go by the idea never crossed his mind. “Jesus is the Messiah, follow him”, time and again, but never, “haste ye back to Jerusalem”.

If having Jews back in the land of the holy one was that important we’d expect to see a mention of it in the writings of the Christian New Testament. But there’s not even a whisper of a hint. Get it?

Balfour blog link

The Protestant Romance with Zionism HERE

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