Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
I am reposting this blog from Olivier Melnick from his blog New Antisemitism. I believe his blog is especially appropriate in light of the fact that a Hamas-affiliated organization held a UN endorsed "informal parallel meeting" promoting the destruction of the Jewish state.
According to the Jerusalem Post the event was advertised on the UN website and listed on an official UN document headlined “Human Rights Council, twentieth session, 18 June – 06 July 2012."
One of the speakers at this event was Sameh Habeed, head of the media department at the "Palestinian Return Center." In the course of the speech, Habeed said at a UN-provided microphone, at a UN-advertised event associated with the UN’s top human rights body:
“In 1947, 1948 and 1949 the Palestinian refugees were ethnically cleansed by the Israeli gangs.... Some Arab armies came to Palestine to fight the Zionist project, which came from all over Europe to take over Palestine and to make it as a national home for the Jews, although it was always the national home for the Palestinians for thousands and thousands of years.
Notice the words concerning the land of Israel, "although it was always the national home of the Palestinians for thousands and thousands of years." For my readers who are familiar with biblical history and post-biblical history, it is clear this is an outright lie meant to kick off a campaign of propaganda concerning Israel. In light of this UN endorsed meeting, I thought Olivier's blog was appropriate.
Friday, June 22, 2012
Today ScriptureSolutions published a new booklet written by Louis Lapides. This brief book can be found for Kindle at Amazon.
It came to no surprise to me that when I first became a Jewish follower of Yeshua, I was going to have a cultural crisis trying to fit into a Gentile Church. I lasted a few months before I started asking inevitable questions, "I'm Jewish. Jesus is Jewish. His first followers were Jewish. The New Testament was written by Jews and a lot of the concepts they discussed have a powerful Hebraic background. Then why is Christianity so "not-Jewish"?
Jesus or Yeshua: Exploring the Jewish Roots of Christianity provides the reader with some of the findings I came upon as searched for answers to my questions. For me a lot of the issues were resolved when I studied the origin of most of the terminology used by Christians when describing their beliefs and practices. When I was growing up attending Hebrew school in preparation for my Bar Mitzvah I never expected that Rabbi Printz would tell me that the mass practiced by the Catholic Church across the street from our temple was actually based in the Jewish Passover. Nor was I told that baptism has it's origins in the Jewish practice of immersion or mikveh used when Gentiles would turn from their paganism and convert to Judaism.
Attending a church for me at age 23 was a shocker as I describe in my opening chapter. Here is a sample section from that chapter that will give you an idea of what Jesus or Yeshua: Exploring the Jewish Roots of Christianity is all about.
Here’s a shocker . . . Jewish people don’t feel at ease in a Christian church. The first time I attended a Protestant congregation, a Southern Baptist one, I couldn’t avert my eyes from the 10-foot tall stained glass mosaic of Jesus looming behind the pastor. I imagined for a few moments the man from Galilee was about to step out of the window, float over to my pew and ask whether I noticed the “Jews Not Welcome” sign at the church’s front door. “Of course,” I would respond, “But Jesus, aren’t you . . . .?”
Upon further reflection I figured out why I experienced the heebie-jeebies on my initial visit. As a Jewish seeker of truth, I was convinced I was cheating on the God of Israel. Why did worshipping in a Gentile Christian church make me feel like I was unfaithful? Was I cheating on my Bar Mitzvah? Was I betraying Abraham or Moses?
Was it the pastor’s perfectly pressed suit and tie graced by his Southern Baptist grin? It could have been the Sunday morning promise of that evening’s Lord’s Supper that did not turn out to be the smorgasbord I anticipated. I left the service feeling spiritually fulfilled; however, I was famished.
I slowly discovered my discomfort stemmed from the culturally alien environment of a Gentile church. I couldn’t blame them. It wasn’t their fault they were not Jewish. Yet it didn’t feel like I was at Temple Bnai Abraham, the house of worship I attended as a child in Newark, New Jersey.
Each time I entered a church building all I could see were crosses, wall-to-wall beaming Gentiles and hearing the words “Christ” and “Christian” sprinkled into every conversation. I later heard that such church-talk is labeled “Christianeze,” and all Christians learn the lingo quite quickly.
I did not fit. Church did not feel Jewish. The jargon was not Jewish. The terminology caused me to cringe, asking, “What have I gotten myself into?” When the pastor referred to me as a Baptist kid, I knew it was time to delve deeper into this Christian faith that was launched 2000 years ago by courageous Jewish followers of Jesus. I needed to know what happened to a messianic movement started in Israel that now feels more like it was birthed in Nashville, Tennessee (and I happen to love Nashville and its music).
I would love for my readers and friends of ScriptureSolutions to read Jesus or Yeshua: Exploring the Jewish Roots of Christianity and gain from this book what I learned on my safari through Christianity not looking for the "lost ark of the covenant" but simply the "lost Jewish roots" of Christianity. Check out the book and please let me know if it was helpful.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Pay close attention to the section in this article about the various states of ownership in the land after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. You will not hear about this on the major new networks nor will you be taught these facts by pro-Palestinian propagandists founds in both secular and evangelical camps.
Palestinian Propaganda Map Deconstructed
Anti-Israel (and now other*) organizations are fond of showing the following graphic on their websites:
This map is a lie.
The first panel has the biggest lie:
While I presume that the white sections are indeed the land that was privately owned by Jews, the land in green was not privately owned by Arabs.
Only a tiny percentage of land in Palestine was privately owned. The various categories of land ownership included:
- Mulk: privately owned in the Western sense.
- Miri: Land owned by the government (originally the Ottoman crown) and suitable for agricultural use. Individuals could purchase a deed to cultivate this land and pay a tithe to the government. Ownership could be transferred only with the approval of the state. Miri rights could be transferred to heirs, and the land could be sub-let to tenants. If the owner died without an heir or the land was not cultivated for three years, the land would revert to the state.
- Mahlul: Uncultivated Miri lands that would revert to the state, in theory after three years.
- Mawat (or Mewat): So-called “dead”, unreclaimed land. It constituted about 50 to 60% of the land in Palestine. It belonged to the government. …If the land had been cultivated with permission, it would be registered, at least under the Mandate, free of charge.
By the early 1940s Jews owned about one third of Mulk land in Palestine and Arabs about two-thirds. The vast majority of the total land, however, belonged to the government, meaning that when the state of Israel was established, it became legally Israel’s. (I believe that about 77% of the land was owned by the government, assuming 6 million dunams of private land as shown in this invaluable webpage on the topic from which I got much of this information.)
To say that the green areas were “Palestinian” land is simply a lie.
Now the next one:
While this is an accurate representation of the partition plan, it has nothing to do with land ownership. The entire purpose of this map is to make it appear that Israel has been grabbing Arab land consistently, to serve as a bridge between maps 1 and 3. What is not said, of course, is that Israel accepted the partition and the Arabs did not, so as a result Israel in 1949 looked like it does in map 3.
Map 3 is still a lie, however, because in no way was the green land “Palestinian” at that time. Gaza was administered by Egypt and the West Bank annexed by Jordan. No one at the time spoke about a Palestinian Arab state on the areas controlled by Arab states – only in Israel.
In other words, this progression of maps is a series of lies meant to push a bigger lie, and it is tragic that a lot of people believe them to be the truth.
Here is a small attempt on my side to show a more accurate picture of Israel’s giving land it controlled up for peace since 1967:
This map shows that Israel gave up control of the Sinai, Gaza, Southern Lebanon and much of the West Bank over the years. Rather than falsely accusing Israel as a land-grabbing rogue state, it accurately shows Israel as perhaps the only state in history that has voluntarily given up more than two-thirds of the areas it controls in exchange for nothing more than a paper agreement – or sometimes not even that. All at the risk of serious security concerns for her people, no less.
This is all because Israel wants, desperately, to live in real peace with her neighbors. This desire is not reciprocated by those neighbors, unfortunately.
The real map shows the truth of Israel’s incredible concessions in the often vain hope for peace.
Friday, June 1, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
A few weeks ago, Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the United States, wrote a pretty straightforward piece about Christians in the Middle East. The piece, titled “Israel and the Plight of Mideast Christians,” appeared in the Wall Street Journal on March 9, 2009.
|Michael Oren-Israel's Ambassador to the US|
Oren stated two obvious and undeniable truths. He said Christians living in the Middle East are suffering from Islamist violence and as a result they are fleeing the region, just as Jews fled Arab countries a few decades ago. Oren also stated that while Christians do sometimes encounter intolerance in Israel, Christians living in the Jewish state are safer there than they are anywhere else in the Middle East.
These two points are unassailable, but Oren's piece sure did offend some people. After the piece was published in the Wall Street Journal, Oren was attacked by a number of Christians in the United States and the West Bank. He was accused of fomenting Islamophobia and ignoring the impact of Israeli policies on Palestinian Christians.
Apparently, talking about dhimmitude, or the status of Christians living in Muslim-majority countries, is out of bounds for the Israeli ambassador.
Interestingly enough, Palestinian Christians admitted that Islamist hostility toward Christians is a problem in Palestinian society. They made these statements at the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference on March 6, 2012 – just a few days before Oren's piece appeared in the Wall Street Journal.
Why is it that Oren is not allowed to say in the Wall Street Journal what Palestinian Christians told a roomful of people in Bethlehem just three days before?
Munther Isaac's Response
One of the most notable condemnations came from Munther Isaac, the chief organizer of the one-sided Christ at the Checkpoint Conference that took place in Bethlehem in early March.
Isaac wrote a response to Oren's piece. The article, which appeared in Sojourners on March 27, 2012, included the following passage:
To insist thatradical Islam is the primary struggle for Palestinian Christians undermines the sufferings of Palestinian Christians caused by the occupation, and labels these struggles as imagined and unreal. This is insulting. To blame the Muslims is an attempt to mask the injustices of the occupation. It is also an attempt to color the conflict with familiar Western "black and white" colors. This is the shameful goal behind Oren's article: to stereotype Palestinians as radical Muslim persecutors of Christians, with Israel as the only ally for Christian Americans who are concerned for Christians in the East.Click here to read more.