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

Posts tagged ‘USA’

alt-Right -Richard Spencer

Richard Spencer, as reported in Ha’aretz, makes clear what has been evident to many of us for years, Zionism is racist nationalism. Uncomfortably, Israel’s nationalism is compromised by Jewry’s ethnic diversity; uncomfortable, not least, because of historic parallels. Israel invites Jews anywhere and everywhere to ‘come to Israel’, but they’d better be religious and orthodox at that. Spencer wants to protect white Americans. Black ones, many of whose families came under duress (polite way of not mentioning ‘slavery’) hundreds of years before Mr.Trump’s family, can go back where they came from. Not that that is always easy to work out – black people can be ‘mixed heritage’ too.  The parallels Spencer draws are not liked by Zionists, which doesn’t mean they aren’t accurate. Nationalism is nationalism whatever other label is attached: alt-Right (=white supremacist) for America, Zionist for Israel; I don’t know what term Mugabe uses for black Zimbabwean’s but I’m pretty sure he’s got one.

Spencer is probably happy to call himself a ‘white zionist’ as long as the real ones go to Israel and stay there. Nationalists can unite – as long as they do so at a distance. At the period in history when we are most inter-connected fear of ‘the Other’ causes many to look for simplistic solutions. Simple solutions are available; typically they are ones used by bullies. They are short-sighted and therefore short-term. We need wise people as leaders – where are they?




The pedagogy of the oppressed.

The two-year old child in his mothers arms sees his grandfather abused, insulted and beaten by a young man. Does he understand the uniform, the helmet, the weapon? What does he think? He’s too young surely to think!  He sees – he sees each day his father too tired, too dejected, defeated, old before his time. He goes with his mother to a gate in a wall and she argues and pleads but is turned away. How can he know that she only wanted to attend her grandmothers funeral: five miles away in her own land.

The child is six years old – following his older brother and friends. They are throwing stones at a  wall: he doesn’t understand. The wall he knows, he sees it when he looks from the window of his bedroom. He has never been beyond the wall but he has seen hills and houses, and he’s heard his grandfather speak of “my old olives, just over there”, as if they were a lost, first love.

His brother is shouting and he comes back from his dreaming to see a hole appearing in the wall. A large steel door slides back and through it advance young men armed with what he has learned are guns; they are marching each side of a large truck with very small windows. There is another shout, and clouds of white smoke appear just in front of him. He begins to cough, to choke – he can hardly breathe and his eyes are stinging.

An older boy grabs him, wraps a scarf round his face hefts him onto his shoulder and carries him away down a side street. What does he think?

He is twelve. He is a stone-throwing youth. Does he think, or does he remember. His grandfather’s olive trees that he has never seen, his father’s tired look and bruised face, his mother who looks so old, and his brother, missing now for months.

They came for him in the midde of the night. Smashed the door and dragged everyone, women, children and men, out of bed. And his brother, Adam, they took, no-one will say where or why. His mother has been asking – and is told “it’s ‘administrative detention'”; and when she asks “why” is told, “there doesn’t have to be a ‘why'”.

Two-years old become twelve-years old doesn’t need to think. He remembers: has been taught and has learned well. If those you love, your family, your friends, are oppressed, insulted, beaten, imprisoned without justice, abused, persecuted, assaulted, can it be a surprise that you hate the perpetrator?  And, if you are told that this is all in the name of God, who loves and supports your oppressor and persecutor, will you not likely seek another God? Yet the real surprise is that there is less hate and more understanding from the oppressed than we might suppose.  It is the oppressors who sustain themselves by hate and fear.

This is Palestine: this is Israel: this is Zionism: this is blasphemy! And the Christian response should not be collusion with the lies of Zionism, as did the people of Judah in the time of Jeremiah. The Church was in error in persecuting Jews in the past. We do not redeem that error in the present by being complicit in Zionist persecution of Palestinians in the name of Judaism.

A very Dodgy Dossier

What is it about British and American parliamentarians, and Israel?

I’ve come to the conclusion that, with some notable exceptions, they’re scared stiff and playing safe. Even those who aren’t entirely sure whether God exists seem to have opted for the ‘insurance’ of keeping on God’s side and not offending ‘God’s people’.  It’s the safe side: if God exists then being nice to his folk registers on the plus side of your account.

It’s all because of the dodgy dossier; no not that one, this is a much earlier one, and I don’t mean the Bible! Any sensible Christian, indeed, many sensible Jews, must conclude that being God’s people wasn’t primarily to do with ethnicity but with behaviour. (Not, please note my evangelical friends, that our behaviour saves us: it doesn’t. But our behaviour reflects, albiet in a glass darkly, what we believe. Shouldn’t it?).

The dodgy dossier runs like this: “the Jews are God’s chosen people, God made them a promise and now he’s keeping it, don’t get in His way”. Alongside this is the claim, “it was our land 2000 – 2500 years ago, we were kicked out, we’re entitled to go back”.

What is remarkable about these claims is that anyone should take them seriously, especially as a justification, following a half century of industrial killing, for the dispossesion, ethnic cleansing, persecution and oppression of another people. A people, we should note, who themselves have claim to have been on that land for 2000 years and more.

Starting with the last claim; why should this people group be granted a ‘right of return’ that is not available to e.g. Aborigines, American Indians, Celts, Palestinians, etc.? But, further, there is a) no evidence to support the claim of ‘being kicked out’ , it didn’t happen, and  b) no evidence for this people group’s presence in Palestine 2000 – 2500 years ago as possessors. It’s questionable they were there as occupiers.  Which takes us to the Bible.

Here the issue is also quite straightforward. The covenant between God and Abraham-Jacob/Israel was demonstrably conditional. Israel, the 12-tribe collective, broke covenant and, as promised, were expelled from the land, (on which a great deal more could be said). The prophetic promise of return was evidently conditional – it was in peace and upon penitence and dependence on God and God’s Messiah, (not much evidence of that in the ‘do-it-yourself’ Zionist programme!).  The old, broken, covenant would be transformed by the New Covenant of the heart.

The Christian faith is that Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, has sealed the New Covenant in his blood. Those who have the faith of Abraham, whether of Hebrew descent or not, put their trust in Jesus Messiah as people of God, a continous and direct line of a believing remnant in every generation from Abraham to today.

If, by the way, you sincerely wish to ‘bless Israel’, and you should, pray that God’s people will act like God’s people following the example of Jesus. And if you wish to bless the State of Israel (along with USA, UK, France, Germany, Turkey, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia etc. ) and you should, you’ll do that best by speaking truth, which is what our politicians ought to be doing, even if it upsets the zionists.

So, please tell your MP or Congressman/Senator to get their facts straight and to do justice and act mercifully. If they wish to serve God’s people Zionism is the opposite, the wrong direction. And bringing peace in Palestine is very likely to mitigate the Middle Eastern irritation with European (which includes USA) imperialism!

American democracy

Just a couple of questions: The ‘West’ got involved in Syria because we wanted to get rid of Assad because his regime was undemocratic. Why, when regime change in Iraq has had such a disastrous effect (unless, of course, you make and sell killing equipment)?

We made similar claims for Iraq, removing the vicious dictator Saddam Hussein, despite protecting him for years and supplying him with weapons of mass destruction against Iran.

So perhaps the next question shouldn’t be “Why?”, but, “When are we going to invade Saudi Arabia?”  Let’s do some basic comparisons.

Syria – autocratic regime, but with some beginnings of democracy. Saudi Arabia – Monarchic rule based on Wahabi-Sunni ideology

Syria – protection of minorities.  Saudi Arabia – Shia persecuted. Christianity not allowed.

Syria – women have role as in modern Western society.  Saudi Arabia – women subordinate to men.

Final question (but wait for next post….)  who benefits from the chaos in Syria (apart from those who invest in killing)


Forget Daesh: Humanity is at Stake

I’m posting this because I believe this needs to be heard and shared as widely as possible. If we want to understand we need to read…

By Ramzy Baroud

I still remember that smug look on his face, followed by the matter-of-fact remarks that had western journalists laugh out loud.

“I’m now going to show you a picture of the luckiest man in Iraq,” General Norman Schwarzkopf, known as ‘Stormin’ Norman, said at a press conference sometime in 1991, as he showed a video of US bombs blasting an Iraqi bridge, seconds after the Iraqi driver managed to cross it.

But then, a far more unjust invasion and war followed in 2003, following a decade-long siege that cost Iraq a million of its children and its entire economy.

It marked the end of sanity and the dissipation of any past illusions that the United States was a friend of the Arabs. Not only did the Americans destroy the central piece of our civilizational and collective experience that spanned millennia, it took pleasure in degrading us in the process. Their soldiers raped our women with obvious delight. They tortured our men, and posed with the dead, mutilated bodies in photographs – mementos to prolong the humiliation for eternity; they butchered our people, explained in articulate terms as necessary and unavoidable collateral damage; they blew up our mosques and churches and refused to accept that what was done to Iraq over the course of twenty years might possibly constitute war crimes. Read more

A right mess you got us into – from the British archives 1917-1922

Found in the British Archives:

‘Reply of His Majesty’s Government to the Memorial of Seven Syrians in Egypt, July 1918

HIS Majesty’s Government have considered the memorial of the seven with the greatest care … The areas mentioned in the document fall into four categories:-
1. Areas in Arabia which were free and independent before the outbreak of war.
2. Areas emancipated from Turkish control by the action of the Arabs themselves during the present war.
3.Areas formerly under Ottoman dominion occupied by the allied forces during the present war.
4. Areas still under Turkish control.

In regard to the first two categories, His Majesty’s Government recognise the complete and sovereign independence of the Arabs inhabiting these areas, and support them in their struggle for freedom.
In regard to the areas occupied by Allied forces, His Majesty’s Government draw the attention of the memorialists to the texts of the proclamation issued respectively by the General Officers Commanding-in-Chief on the taking of Baghdad (19th March 1917) and Jerusalem (11th December, 1917). These proclamations embody the policy of His Majesty’s Government towards the inhabitants of those regions. It is the wish and desire of His Majesty’s Government that the future government of these regions should be based upon the pinciple of the consent of the governed, and this policy has and will continue to have the support of His Majesty’s Government.
In regard to the areas mentioned in the fourth category, it is the wish and desire of His Majesty’s Government that oppressed peoples of these areas should obtain their freedom and independence, and towards the achievement of this objective His Majesty’s Government continue to labour.’
(pages 16 & 17 of a series of memoranda contained in the Archives)

(1922 memo on Syria- Palestine. Lord Curzon to a colleague);

‘This brings into clear relief what I fear is the unhappy truth – namely that France, England and America have got themselves into a position over the Syrian problem so inextricably confused that no really neta and satisfactory issue is now possible for any of them.
The situation is affected by five documents, beginning with our promise to the ruler of the Hedjaz in 1915; going on to the Sykes-Picot agreement with France of September, 1916; followed by the Anglo-French Declaration of November, 1918; and concluding with the Covenant of the League of Nations of 1919; and the directions given to the Commission sent out to examine the Arab Problem on the spot – directions which, it must be observed, were accepted by France, Britain and America, though the Commission itself was, in the end, purely American in composition. These documents are not consistent with each other … Each can be quoted by Frenchmen, Englishmen, Americans, and Arabs when it happens to suit their purpose. Doubtless each will be so quoted before we come to a final arrangent about the Middle East.’ … (my emphasis)
In 1915 we promised the Arabs independence; and the promise was unqualified except in respect of certain territorial reservations. In 1918 the promise was repeated by implication …

NOTE: this dispels the Zionist claim that trans-Jordan was regarded as part of their ‘Palestine’. Taken with the reply to the ‘Seven Syrians’ it is clear that the stated intention was for the inhabitants of the region to be governed by people of their choice.

Why is the Middle East in such a mess…..?

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