Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fight The New Anti-Semitism!: Truth, Half-Truths and Lies: "Christ at the Checkp...

Check out this blog written by my friend Olivier Melnick. He does an excellent job in critiquing the Christ at the Check Point Manifesto.  His blog is called NewAntisemitism.  I highly recommend his writing on the subject of antisemitism and especially this article on Christ at the Checkpoint.

Fight The New Anti-Semitism!: Truth, Half-Truths and Lies: "Christ at the Checkpoint" Anti-Israel Conference :

            For as long as I can remember, the Middle East has been in turmoil. Arabs and Jews appear to have been at each other’s throats since the day Israel was reborn as a modern nation in May of 1948 (that very day also being known as “al-Nakba” or “the Catastrophe” in the Islamic culture).
            Being a Jew born and raised in Paris and as a child of Holocaust survivors, I grew-up in a culture that instilled in me the reality of anti-Semitism as well as the existing hatred between Arabs and Jews. While my own family never taught me to retaliate evil for evil, there was always an underlying uneasiness about “those Arabs who hate us!” as I often heard growing up.
            Then I met my Messiah in the summer of 1981. While my growth in Yeshua (Jesus) was slow at first, it was steady and I grew increasingly aware of God’s love for ALL people, Jews, Arabs and anyone else. As difficult as it was for this Jew to really accept that concept, as a follower of the Messiah, I had no other choice but to accept that God not only loves all, but that He also requires us to love all, including our enemies: “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44).
            This is why I am deeply saddened AND concerned by the recent conference known as “Christ at the Checkpoint” (CatC) that took place March 5-9, 2012 at Bethlehem Bible College. This was the second of its kind after the one that took place in 2010.
The subtitle of the conference was “hope in the midst of conflict”. The theme was advertised as being “peace and reconciliation”. In and of themselves, both the title and theme are commendable efforts to be recognized by anyone, assuming they are an accurate and ethical description of the events that took place. As it turned out, following in the footsteps of the 2010 conference, the 2012 event did not have reconciliation at heart, unless of course reconciliation was the result of a unilateral admission of Israel’s faults in the Middle East crisis. This would of course require recognizing Israel as a guilty occupier and perpetrator of crimes against humanity, hardly a fact!
Advertised on their own website as a huge “evangelical breakthrough” , CatC claims that over 600 local and international Christians gathered (including several Messianic Jews). Many evangelical figures spoke during the conference, bringing their support and endorsements to the cause. It was also stated that:
Conference organizers challenged the evangelical community to cease looking at the Middle East through the lens of “end times” prophecy and instead rallied them to join in following Jesus in the prophetic pursuance of justice, peace and reconciliation.
This prompted a unified response from several Messianic Jewish organizations (a small miracle considering that when you put two Jews in a room, you get three opinions). A response that rightfully so, showed great concern for the direction the Conference was taking
Additionally, CatC organizers including blatant anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic Stephen Sizer, also published a manifesto that was agreed upon and signed by all organizers.
While that manifesto contains some truth, it is ambiguous and misleading at best, but also rather libelous in some cases. A closer look at it in light of God’s Word is necessary. Following in bold is the exact text of the manifesto along with Scripture to either validate its truth or rebuke its error.       
The Christ at the Checkpoint Manifesto

The Kingdom of God has come. Evangelicals must reclaim the prophetic role in bringing peace, justice and reconciliation in Palestine and Israel.
DISAGREED: Kingdom Now Theology also known as a variance of Dominion Theology claims among other things, that Yeshua’s Kingdom was inaugurated at His first coming while Scripture states that He will reign as Messianic King on the throne of David from Jerusalem in the yet to come Millennial Messianic Kingdom (Psalm 72:8, 11, 17; Isaiah 9:7, 11:6-11; Jeremiah 23:6, Zechariah 3:10)

Reconciliation recognizes God’s image in one another.
AGREED: God created man and woman in His image, regardless of ethnicity. (Genesis 1:27; 5:1; 9:6; 1 Corinthians 11:7; Ephesians 4:24).

Racial ethnicity alone does not guarantee the benefits of the Abrahamic Covenant.
DISAGREED: The benefits of the Abrahamic Covenant as multi-faceted as they are promised to both the Jewish people and the nations through Abraham, yet the physical land is ONLY promised to the Jewish people, ethnic descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Genesis 12:1-3, 7; 13:15;17:7-8, 19; 25:5-6; 26:3; 28:3-4; 35:9-15

The Church in the land of the Holy One, has born witness to Christ since the days of Pentecost. It must be empowered to continue to be light and salt in the region, if there is to be hope in the midst of conflict.
AGREED: Yeshua’s last command to His disciples was to make disciples of ALL NATIONS (Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:47)

Any exclusive claim to land of the Bible in the name of God is not in line with the teaching of Scripture.
DISAGREED: It must be understood first and foremost that the Land of Israel belongs to God Himself (Leviticus 25:23). God chose to make a covenant with Abraham that would include that piece of land as an eternal AND unconditional part of that covenant. Additionally, God’s gifts are irrevocable (Romans 11:29).

All forms of violence must be refuted unequivocally.  
AGREED: Yeshua always taught against violence for believers, as a matter of fact, He taught the exact opposite between His followers as well as between His followers and unbelievers, making Christianity a most unique faith were disciples of Messiah must EVEN love their enemies (Matthew 5:39-48; Luke 6:27-35, Romans 12:17-21)

Palestinian Christians must not lose the capacity to self-criticism if they wish to remain prophetic.
AGREED: In any conflict, ALL parties must be willing to recognize fault and prepared to adjust accordingly. (Proverbs 18:12; Ephesians 4:2; Philippians 2:3; Colossians 3:1-17)

There are real injustices taking place in the Palestinian territories and the suffering of the Palestinian people can no longer be ignored. Any solution  must respect the equity and rights of Israel and Palestinian communities.
 PARTIALLY AGREED AND DISAGREED: While mutual respect of human beings as being made in God’s image is at the core of peace and reconciliation, what is meant by “injustices in the Palestinian territories” remains to be defined. (Genesis 1:27; 5:1; 9:6; 1 Corinthians 11:7; Ephesians 4:24)

For Palestinian Christians, the occupation is the core issue of the conflict.
 PARTIALLY AGREED AND DISAGREED: While nobody enjoys living in a land that they feel is theirs and is occupied by a foreign people group, it remains to be proven biblically that Jewish people are the occupiers. All previous Scriptures cited about the Land lead to an opposite view (See verses under points 3 and 5).

Any challenge of the injustices taking place in the Holy Land must be done in Christian love. Criticism of Israel and the occupation cannot be confused with anti-Semitism and the delegitimization of the State of Israel.
AGREED: While it is possible to disagree with Israeli policies, much of what has  been labeled as anti-Israelism or even anti-Zionism has really been anti-Semitism in disguise. Genuine Christian love is at the core of any reconciliation and is irrespective of color or race. (2 Corinthians 5:14; Ephesians 3:19; Colossians 3:14).

Respectful dialogue between Palestinian and Messianic believers must continue. Though we may disagree on secondary matters of theology, the Gospel of Jesus and his ethical teaching take precedence.
PARTIALLY AGREED AND DISAGREED: Respectful dialogue means that both sides must be heard and both sides must listen. Agreeing on the Gospel of Yeshua doesn’t negate God’s covenants with the Jewish people (Romans 1:16; 9-11)

Christians must understand the global context for the rise of extremist Islam. We challenge stereotyping of all faith forms that betray God’s commandment to love our neighbors and enemies.
AGREED: While again I find the statement misleading as it could be taken to mean that there is a justification for radical Islam’s violence, I agree that Christian love is always to be the foundation of any lasting peace and reconciliation (See verses under points 6).
            I recognize that the breaking down of the manifesto into sections to be either supported or refuted by God’s Word is non exhaustive at best. Nevertheless, it provides a bit more of a biblical foundation on which to rest for a more balanced approach to the Middle East conflict.
           While CatC appears to seek justice and to be interested in hearing both sides (thus the few messianic pro-Zionists on the list of speakers), it is still obvious to me that the scale was heavily tipped by anti-Semitism at worst, and anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism at best. Unfortunately, the very fact that some evangelicals participated in the conference and that many more will endorse its false agenda of “peace and reconciliation” is proof to me that the Body of Messiah has lost its sense of discernment, an issue that we have been warned about regarding the last days.

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Messiah Yeshua, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5).


Friday, March 9, 2012

Arab Mufti Admitted: The Arabs Sold the Land to the Jews

In contrast to the current lie being promoted by pro- Palestinian supporters, the Jewish people did not steal the land from the Arabs and kick them out.  Rather, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj al-Amin al-Husseini, a man who found friendship with Adolph Hitler in their hatred of the Jewish people, seventy years ago admitted the Arabs sold the land of Israel to the Jewish people. Here is a reposting of the blog Israel Matzav entitled:

The Mufti tells the truth: The Arabs sold the land to the Jews

The Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj al-Amin al-Husseini, will never be accused of loving Jews. In fact, 70 years ago today, the Mufti, who was Yasser Arafat's uncle,met with Adolph Hitler in Berlin to discuss the 'final solution' to the 'Jewish problem.'

In 1937, the Mufti testified before the Peel Commission, which was looking into the causes of unrest between Jews and Arabs in what was then known as 'Palestine.' The Mufti made a stunning admission: Most of the land that belonged to the Jews, which we are constantly accused of 'stealing,' had actually been purchased by the Jews from the Arabs. And the Arabs were what we lawyers call willing sellers.
The Peel Commission report had some very salutary things to say about the Zionists and their impact on the land and on Arab society and economy. One of the most important for debunking Arab anti-Israel accusations is: 
“The Arab population shows a remarkable increase since 1920, and it has had some share in the increased prosperity of Palestine. Many Arab landowners have benefited from the sale of land and the profitable investment of the purchase money. The fellaheen (Arab peasants) are better off on the whole than they were in 1920. This Arab progress has been partly due to the import of Jewish capital into Palestine and other factors associated with the growth of the (Jewish) National Home. In particular, the Arabs have benefited from social services which could not have been provided on the existing scale without the revenue obtained from the Jews…Much of the land (being farmed by the Jews) now carrying orange groves was sand dunes or swamp and uncultivated when it was purchased…There was at the time of the earlier sales little evidence that the owners possessed either the resources or training needed to develop the land.” The land shortage decried by the Arabs “…was due less to the amount of land acquired by Jews than to the increase in the Arab population.” (Chapter V in the report). 
El-Husseini’s interview on January 12, 1937 was preserved in the Commission’s notes and referenced, although not published, in the full report. It has been summarized by a number of scholars, including Kenneth Stein, The Land Question in Palestine 1917-1939 (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2009) and Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel from the Rise of Zionism to our Time (Alfred A. Knopf, 1976); and a detailed analysis with quotations from the interview can be found in Aaron Kleiman’s The Palestine Royal Commission, 1937 (Garland Publications, 1987, pp. 298ff.). 
The selections from the interview presented below can be found on line here and here. Sir Laurie Hammond, a member of the Peel Commission, interviewed the Mufti about his insistence to the Commission that Zionists were stealing Arab land and driving peasants into homelessness. He spoke through an interpreter. 
SIR L. HAMMOND: Would you give me the figures again for the land. I want to know how much land was held by the Jews before the Occupation.

MUFTI: At the time of the Occupation the Jews held about 100,000 dunams.

SIR L. HAMMOND: What year?

MUFTI: At the date of the British Occupation.

SIR L. HAMMOND: And now they hold how much?

MUFTI: About 1,500,000 dunams: 1,200,000 dunams already registered in the name of the Jewish holders, but there are 300,000 dunams which are the subject of written agreements, and which have not yet been registered in the Land Registry. That does not, of course, include the land which was assigned, about 100,000 dunams.

SIR L. HAMMOND: What 100,000 dunams was assigned? Is that not included in, the 1,200,000 dunams? The point is this. He says that in 1920 at the time of the Occupation, the Jews only held 100,000 dunams, is that so? I asked the figures from the Land Registry, how much land the Jews owned at the time of the Occupation. Would he be surprised to hear that the figure is not 100,000 but 650,000 dunams?

MUFTI: It may be that the difference was due to the fact that many lands were bought by contract which were not registered.

SIR L. HAMMOND: There is a lot of difference between 100,000 and 650,000.

MUFTI: In one case they sold about 400,000 dunams in one lot.

SIR L. HAMMOND: Who? An Arab?

MUFTI: Sarsuk. An Arab of Beyrouth.

SIR L. HAMMOND: His Eminence gave us a picture of the Arabs being evicted from their land and villages being wiped out. What I want to know is, did the Government of Palestine, the Administration, acquire the land and then hand it over to the Jews?

MUFTI: In most cases the lands were acquired.

SIR L. HAMMOND: I mean forcibly acquired-compulsory acquisition as land would be acquired for public purposes?< MUFTI: No, it wasn’t.

SIR L. HAMMOND: Not taken by compulsory acquisition?


SIR L. HAMMOND: But these lands amounting to some 700,000 dunams were actually sold?

MUFTI: Yes, they were sold, but the country was placed in such conditions as would facilitate such purchases.

SIR I HAMMOND: I don’t quite understand what you mean by that. They were sold. Who sold them?

MUFTI: Land owners.


MUFTI: In most cases they were Arabs.

SIR L. HAMMOND: Was any compulsion put on them to sell? If so, by whom?

MUFTI: As in other countries, there are people who by force of circumstances, economic forces, sell their land.

SIR L. HAMMOND: Is that all he said?

MUFTI: A large part of these lands belong to absentee landlords who sold the land over the heads of their tenants, who were forcibly evicted. The majority of these landlords were absentees who sold their land over the heads of their tenants. Not Palestinians but Lebanese.

SIR L. HAMMOND: Is His Eminence in a position to give the Commission a list of the people, the Arabs who have sold lands, apart from those absentee landlords?

MUFTI: It is possible for me to supply such a list.

SIR L. HAMMOND: I ask him now this: does he think that as compared with the standard of life under the Turkish rule the position of the fellahin in the villages has improved or deteriorated?

MUFTI: Generally speaking I think their situation has got worse.

SIR L. HAMMOND: Is taxation heavier or lighter?

MUFTI: Taxation was much heavier then, but now there are additional burdens.

SIR L. HAMMOND: I am asking him if it is now, the present day, as we are sitting together here, is it a fact that the fellahin has a much lighter tax than he had under the Turkish rule? Or is he taxed more heavily?

MUFTI: The present taxation is lighter, but the Arabs nevertheless have now other taxation, for instance, customs.

LORD PEEL: And the condition of the fellahin as regards, for example, education. Are there more schools or fewer schools now?

MUFTI: They may have more schools, comparatively, but at the same time there has been an increase in their numbers.

The Hajj Amin el-Husseini, the intractable opponent of Zionism, a Jew-hater on par with Hitler, admitted under questioning that no Arab land was stolen; no Arabs were wiped out, no villages destroyed. Rather, the Jews bought hundreds of thousands of dunam (about ¼ of an acre) of land from willing sellers, often from absentee Arab landowners. Moreover, thanks in part to the Zionists and the British, the quality of life for Palestine’s Arab peasantry was vastly improved, with less taxation, more schools, and an increase in Arab population.

The next time someone spouts the Arab line about how Zionists came and stole Arab land and drove Arabs out, just quote the Mufti.