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Br. Max, OFC
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« Reply #90 on: January 03, 2004, 05:54:47 PM »

Sokay peter you can have another opinion if you like.  I will always stand with Israel who at least honour the same God as we than with hate mongering Muslims.  I will stand with Israels right to defend themselves against murderers and terrorist.  I will stand with them and their right to live free.
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« Reply #91 on: January 03, 2004, 05:55:34 PM »

For too long and in too many places terrible things have been done to Jews in the name of Christ.  The least we can do is allow them a homeland.
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« Reply #92 on: January 03, 2004, 06:06:55 PM »

I don't disagree about the first bit, but what of every other persecuted group? What of every other minority overwhelmed by a more dominant culture? Does everyone deserve their own political state?
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« Reply #93 on: January 03, 2004, 06:09:10 PM »

name me please one other people who have suffered similarly?
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« Reply #94 on: January 03, 2004, 06:18:40 PM »

Peter: quite simply, the nation of Israel plays a role in prophesy.

Wow. I thought you were Catholic, not an evangelical Protestant! :smiley1:
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« Reply #95 on: January 03, 2004, 06:19:52 PM »

The Copts in Egypt have suffered 1500 years of persecution. The Armenians and Syrians in Turkey have been almost wiped out in the last 100 years. Roman Catholics in Britain faced 300 years of persecution and death. The Kurds. Racism against black folk. Native Americans. Tasmanian Aborigines. Any non-Communists in the Soviet Union. Any non-nazis in Nazi Germany. The Cathari.

It's not a competition.

Are Jewish folk as a community at risk in the UK and USA and many other countries?

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« Reply #96 on: January 03, 2004, 06:21:31 PM »

Sub-Deacon Peter:

The rest of the world is NOT Great Britain. Great Britain has historically been kind to Jewish refugees fleeing persecution, we know this.  

HOWEVER: The rest of Europe has not.  The rest of Europe often still IS not. The rest of Europe is quite remarkably racist at times. These very modern times. I brought up the Pontic Greek situation simply to point out that had that religious and ethnic community had sovereignty, it would not have happened.  The modern world recognized that had there been a governement to protest these acts on behalf of its citizens, those who identified themselves as Jewish but because there was, of course at the time NO HOMELAND, who had no government to speak for them in the national forum, the Holocaust may have been averted.  Remember, the modern State of Israel was created not last week, but shortly after WWII, when there MOST CERTAINLY was anti-semitic feeling all over Europe, the world, and even, Great Britain.  

Is it any wonder, then, that those who had lost most or all of their family members to camps or other persecutions JUMPED at the chance to settle in the Bibilical lands promised to them by God once offered to them by the rest of the world? The chance to live in a WHOLE country that practiced Judaism! Where no one looked at them funny! ABSOLUTELY! You think it odd that people would give up the prosperity of Great Britain for the hardship of Israel...Think of it as the comforts of the secular world for sacrifices of the religious.  

I grew up in a very large Jewish community...many firends would spend summers in Israel working on a kibbutz....they gew greatly in their faith by living in a community composed entirely or religious people....as opposed to a secular society.  Now, there are MANY MANY secularists in Israel, don't get me wrong, Iwas speaking only of that work study thing...But that was how the situation was viewed among the settlers after WWII. Further, there were the ANTI-Semites encouragingthis, too....give them a home of their own, and get them out of Europe....but that is something else.

Fact is, they felt that united, as a state, with borders and a world voice, they could protect both themselves, living there, and the Jews living in other countries.

Given that synagogues still need police guards on the High Holidays in quiet American cities, I doubt very much the world is so free of anti-semitism as you think.

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« Reply #97 on: January 03, 2004, 06:25:17 PM »

Peter: The Jews have faced pogroms, forced conversions, genocide, murder and abuse for nearly 2000 years.  From who?  EVERYONE.  

I'm not downplaying the sufferings of other communities, but there is a difference between those being persecuted by the followers of Satan and those being persecuted by those who are the followers of Christ.  It’s one thing to face persecution at the hands of Muslims for refusing to deny God, it is quite another to face persecution at the hands of Christians for a perceived evil.
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« Reply #98 on: January 03, 2004, 06:32:16 PM »

I don't think it odd that the modern state of Israel came into existence. Would I think it odd if the defenders of Kernewek culture leapt at the chance of a modern Kernow even when the issues are not at all as serious as those faced by 20th century Jews.

But I am not convinced that the issues of persecution and of Biblical prophecy equal a necessity for the state of Israel to have been erected.

Roman Catholics have suffered persecution in Great Britain for hundreds of years. As much as Jews. Roman Catholic churches get vandalised and torched in the UK still in some places. This shows that there are bigots not that a modern state of Israel can do what it likes. It only takes a handful of people to threaten a synagogue or a church. I would have thought that the US was a prime example of a state where Jews were entirely at home and had great power and influence.

I would have thought there was a great deal more racism than anti-semitism in the US.

My issue, and that of many other folk I guess, is that it is not the existence of the state of Israel that is the issue but the manner in which it seems to treat those around it. I am sure I do not understand the circumstances but the modern secular state seems to use many of the same methods as used by the enemies of Jews through the centuries.
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« Reply #99 on: January 03, 2004, 06:42:03 PM »

Pardon, Sub-Deacon, but you miss the point: The persecution of Catholics in MODERN times 1940 on....didn't KILL over 6, million, systematically.

And yes, modern states run by modern governments use modern means of diplomacy, and when that fails, modern means of warfare to protect their borders.  

Also, there are suicidal nutters in everyones religious persuasion: Israeli, Palestinain, and e-cafe. Pretty soon THEY will start blowing themselves up.

You never answered me....Was the Terry Pratchett book you received "Monstrous Regiment?"
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« Reply #100 on: January 03, 2004, 06:43:27 PM »

Those who have committed atrocities are not Christians. And the Copts actually suffered persecution from the Eastern Orthodox empire until the Arab conquest. All who commit atrocities are followers of Satan.

Have all Jews in all places suffered these things?  Have there not been times in many and most societies where they have played an important part. I don't think I can agree with an analysis which takes persecution in different times and places and different societies and adds it up to a perpetual persecution.

If we follow this methodology then surely we could say that other groups have always been persecuted by everyone. Why was Disraeli prime-minister of Great Britain, why was Henry Kissinger a world statesman.

I'm not dismissing the presence of the state as an historic fact but there are other cultures which have and continue to suffer persecution. Why should they not have their own state. And once more it is the behaviour of the state, not its existence which causes most concern.
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« Reply #101 on: January 03, 2004, 06:45:26 PM »

Pardon, Sub-Deacon, but you miss the point: The persecution of Catholics in MODERN times 1940 on....didn't KILL over 6, million, systematically.

But they were not killed by Arabs - they were killed by the Nazis. So Israel should have been recreated in East Germany. Why should the people of Palestine be punished for the sins of the Nazis?
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« Reply #102 on: January 03, 2004, 06:48:26 PM »

Because that was historically the lands that were theirs, Biblically.  Hard luck on someone, no matter where you carve the land out, but carve it out of the land God promised them.
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« Reply #103 on: January 03, 2004, 06:52:47 PM »

Yes it was Monstrous Regiment, but I haven't got into it yet.

Stalin did kill millions of Orthodox. And a million Armenians were killed in Turkey, virtually the whole population. Both of these genocides were systematic. Stalin would have happily wiped out all Christians, all Jews, all opponents. Turkey would have happily wiped out all Armenians, and the state of the Phanar shows its great support for Turks of Greek ethnicity.

I think I am trying to say that historical connection with Palestine is invalid because I and my fellow Englisc have a historical connection with Northern Germany. Such a connection provides no rights in the present, especially after 2000 years. And that many other people do suffer persecution and have been wiped out by their enemies or are in constant threat of being wiped out, whereas even without the state of Israel that would not have happened to the Jews who have large communities which are not now facing the threat that Kurds do, as an example.

That the Jews wanted a modern state is understandable, that doesn't mean it was right. It would have been better had Britain done more to prevent the Jewish Holocaust and welcome more Jewish refugees. This has nothing to do with statehood and everything to do with shameful self interest. The Armenians in Turkey were of no interest. If they had their own state in the region it would have been of no interest.

Look at Rwanda.
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« Reply #104 on: January 03, 2004, 06:55:43 PM »

Is this thread starting to resemble "The Late Great Planet Earth" to anybody else?
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« Reply #105 on: January 03, 2004, 06:56:38 PM »

Because that was historically the lands that were theirs, Biblically.  Hard luck on someone, no matter where you carve the land out, but carve it out of the land God promised them.

2000 years mean it isn't theirs at all. Germany doesn't belong to me. Are we supposed to look at the settlement patterns of the time of Christ and ship everyone back East. By such logic the population of the US should all go home and leave the US to the Native Americans.

I don't believe that the promised land belongs to a secular state of Israel. I don't believe the prophecies refer to a modern state of Israel at all. That's modern Protestant thinking not Orthodoxy.

I'd not want the state of Israel destroyed. I wish that they had secure borders and lived at peace with their neighbours, whose faults I hope I recognise. But the state of Israel is not biblical Israel.
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« Reply #106 on: January 03, 2004, 07:00:09 PM »

Is this thread starting to resemble "The Late Great Planet Earth" to anybody else?

I am not anti-semite. I am even pro-Israel. I just don't believe the land belongs to them by any right save the fact that they have established themselves there. Now they need to live with their neighbours and their neighbours need to live with them. Talking about prophecy seems, from some folk not on this forum, to be used as an excuse for any behaviour on the part of the political leaders of the modern secular state of Israel.

Indeed is it not the case that many religious Jews in Europe reject the modern state of Israel. I think I recall an interview on radio 4 with a religious group which said that the establishment of the state was counter to the will of God.
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« Reply #107 on: January 03, 2004, 07:07:12 PM »

Ok. I go with that. If I was setting up a state I'd put it there. But that isn't the argument usually used is it? In fact there are those who go further back in time and say that the modern state should take control of all the land under the control of the ancient state at its height.

I don't deny the legitimate existence of Israel. I just find some of the arguments used by others to justify what seem totalitarian measures used by the political state to be weak.

I can go through the totalitarian measures being introduced by my own government to balance the argument. I'm not saying that Israel is better or worse than any other state. Just that I find some actions to be difficult to justify and seemingly self-defeating int terms of providing security etc. Even the states closest allies are saying this.
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« Reply #108 on: January 03, 2004, 07:09:07 PM »

Sub-deacon

[The Copts in Egypt have suffered 1500 years of persecution. The Armenians and Syrians in Turkey have been almost wiped out in the last 100 years. Roman Catholics in Britain faced 300 years of persecution and death. The Kurds. Racism against black folk. Native Americans. Tasmanian Aborigines. Any non-Communists in the Soviet Union. Any non-nazis in Nazi Germany. The Cathari.

It's not a competition.]

I agree it's not a competition but you failed to mention the Irish?  A little English guilt?

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« Reply #109 on: January 03, 2004, 07:15:23 PM »

Sub Deacon: Answer my question about the Pratchett book
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« Reply #110 on: January 03, 2004, 07:33:08 PM »

Not at all. I'll mention anyone. I did mention Roman Catholics. There are Irish Protestants. It's a cultural thing not an ethnic thing.

But it did seem as intractable as the Israeli/Arab conflict and yet things have changed remarkably in a few years of activity.

And I did mention the book Vicki. You missed the sentence. Yes I have Monstrous Regiment. Haven't read it yet.

Off to bed now. See you all later.
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« Reply #111 on: January 03, 2004, 07:50:36 PM »

Peter: There is one large difference between the persecution of Catholics in England and the persecution of Jews.  English Catholics were still ethnically English and could easily convert.  Jews, on the other hand, are still ethnically and evidentiarily Jews even if they do convert.  One need only look to the Jewish converts in Spain under the inquisition.  SURE there were those Jews who only made surface conversions, but what of those Jews who had in truth converted and were still persecuted by their neighbors by being brought before the inquisition?
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« Reply #112 on: January 03, 2004, 08:11:37 PM »

Sub-Deacon Peter:  It is odd how such an extremely PROTESTANT concept of the end times has crept into some Orthodox circles.  Especially since such good (i.e. Orthodox) material is now avilable in English Huh
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« Reply #113 on: January 03, 2004, 09:36:33 PM »

Speaking of hate here, I know this is a little off-topic at the moment (though it would have been on-topic earlier) I just gotta love all the love flowing through these boards about the French. I myself am of French origin (and Normandais as well), and I harbour a great joy in my french heritage. I find it despicable the way some people speak of my ancestors and my "old-country", I am sure nobody here likes being told idiotic things like "all Russians do is drink vodka, Poles are dumb, Greeks are (I wont even mention what people say here, it's so disgusting), etc." Well, I get the same feeling being told apparently that my ancestors were a bunch of surrender-monkeys or whatnot.

It's called respect; whether for Palestinians or Israelis, French or Americans (or would you prefer "Yankee-doodle-dandy"? I know I wouldn't). And also, we need some tolerance of each others opinions: I am somewhat of what you may call an "opponent of Israel's existence as a secular state," but I would at least expect to be treated with some level of dignity by my Christian brethren. If we cannot master respect and tolerance, I sure as heck don't know how we'll ever even come close to knowing Christ's love, much less being an instrument of it.

peace,

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p.s. sorry for this being my first post, I assure you I can actually be an enjoyable person Smiley
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« Reply #114 on: January 03, 2004, 09:58:36 PM »

Quote
Poles are dumb

Truer words have never been spoken...
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« Reply #115 on: January 03, 2004, 10:00:34 PM »

[Well, I get the same feeling being told apparently that my ancestors were a bunch of surrender-monkeys or whatnot.]

If they do they need to brush up on their history.  "Surrender monkeys"Huh?  Charles Martel, St Louis, Turenne, Conde, Foch, Sarsfield, Lafayette, DeGaulle, LeClerc, and (even though he was Corsican) yes Napoleon.  Not a surrender monkey in the bunch and all good RC boys (well maybe not the last one so much).  Brush up on your history people.

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« Reply #116 on: January 03, 2004, 10:43:49 PM »

It is odd how such an extremely PROTESTANT concept of the end times has crept into some Orthodox circles.  Especially since such good (i.e. Orthodox) material is now avilable in English Huh

Quite odd.  I believe that the teaching of the Orthodox Church is that the Church is Israel.  The Church is the promise of God to mankind.
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« Reply #117 on: January 04, 2004, 12:13:09 AM »

Here's a thought-provoking article by Robert Sungenis on this subject matter. Regardless of what you think of him, i think he's right on the money here. Comments?

Christian Zionism: A Contradiction in Terms

Anyone who has been watching any of the major news networks in recent months has been subjected to a barrage of propaganda from so-called Christian Zionists, that is, Christians who support the territorial claims of the State of Israel. News programs that would ordinarily have little use for the opinions of men like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell are suddenly very interested to hear what these men have to say about American foreign policy.

Robertson, Falwell, and other Christian Zionists in effect suggest that unswerving support for some of the most aggressive Israeli politicians is the only legitimate position for Bible-believing Christians. Yet their position constitutes an utter novelty in the history of Christian thought, and it is long past due for Christian Zionism to be refuted, from a traditional Christian perspective, once and for all.

Zionism itself was born in the late 19th Century. Austrian journalist Theodor Herzl played an especially important role in spreading the idea throughout Europe, consolidating numerous strains of Zionist thought into a single political program. As Herzl put it in his influential book Der Judenstaat [The Jewish State] (1896), "Let the sovereignty be granted us over a portion of the globe large enough to satisfy the rightful requirements of a nation; the rest we shall manage for ourselves." He specifically pointed to Palestine as the "historic homeland" of the Jews.

At first, Palestine was not the exclusive site where Zionists supposed that their plans would be realized (though by the early years of the 20th Century Palestine had become well established as the center of Zionist efforts), and even the idea of establishing a Jewish state as opposed to the lesser goal of a Jewish homeland was not necessarily in the minds of some Zionists as the 20th Century progressed. The Balfour Declaration, the British Government’s crucial 1917 statement in favor of Zionism, limited itself to calling for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Ultimately, of course, it was precisely a Jewish state in Palestine that the Zionist movement succeeded in erecting when, on the heels of the United Nations partition plan proposed in 1947, the new state of Israel declared its independence in June 1948.

Among the Old Testament verses cited most frequently on behalf of Zionism is God’s promise in Genesis: "That day God made a covenant with Abram, saying: To thy seed will I give this land, from the river of Egypt even to the great river Euphrates ... And I will give to thee, and to thy seed, the land of thy sojournment, all the land of Canaan for a perpetual possession, and I will be their God" (Gen. 15:18, 17:Cool. Since God promised this land to the Jews, the Christian Zionist contends, His will is done when human effort hastens their return.

This is, however, at best a half truth. From the time Israel worshiped the golden calf and God nearly destroyed them; (Ex. 32-33) to the time they complained of manna and God caused a plague among them; (Num. 11) to the bad report of the spies of Canaan which God punished by having them wander in the desert for forty years; (Num. 13) to the wish to go back to Egypt and Korah’s rebellion, (Num. 14, 16) and about a dozen other such incidents, the land of Canaan was not given to them because of their own human effort. In fact, Deut. 9:5 indicates that Israel was so sinful during their trek through the desert that the only reason God would reluctantly give them the land of Canaan was due to the unbreakable oath He had made with Abraham (which oath Abraham received for his obedience in offering Isaac as a sacrifice to God).

This fact is confirmed by examining the numbers. According to the census in Num. 2:32, there were 603,550 men who came out of Egypt, not including the Levites, or the women and children. Out of those, only two men were allowed to enter the land of Canaan, Joshua and Caleb. Six hundred years later things were not much better. God tells Elijah that only 7,000 Israelites had not bowed the knee to the false god Baal, out of a nation of approximately 10 million -- a mere .07% of the people.

In addition, much in the Old Testament indicates that God has, indeed, fulfilled the promise of land to Israel. Not only did He fulfill it, but the same Scriptures are also quite adamant that God did so in every minute detail that He promised to Abraham. Notice how the following passages make a point of saying that God did everything He promised regarding the land.


Joshua 21:43-45: Thus the LORD gave to Israel all the land which He swore to give to their fathers; and having taken possession of it, they settled there. And the LORD gave them rest on every side just as He had sworn to their fathers; not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the LORD had given all their enemies into their hands. Not one of all the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.

1 Kings 8:56: Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised; not one word has failed of all His good promise, which He uttered by Moses His servant.

Nehemiah 9:7-8: Thou art the LORD, the God who didst choose Abram and bring him forth out of Ur of the Chaldeans and give him the name Abraham; and Thou didst find his heart faithful before Thee, and didst make with him the covenant to give to his descendants the land of the Canaan- ite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite; and Thou hast fulfilled Thy promise, for Thou art righteous. (RSV)
Notice especially in the last line of Nehemiah 9:8 that God had fulfilled the promise of land He made to Abraham based on the fact that He is "righteous." In other words, it is a matter of preserving God’s integrity that the promise of land to Israel has already been fulfilled. Thus to claim that the promises have not been fulfilled and that we are still waiting for God to act upon them is to accuse God of dishonesty.

Moreover, the above passages took place at completely different times. Joshua occurs in the 15th Century B.C.; 1 Kings occurs in the 10th Century; Nehemiah in the 5th Century. Thus, we have the whole history of Israel represented, and they all insist on the same message -- God has already done His work regarding the land, and there is no more promise to fulfill. The curious are unlikely to find much if any commentary on these passages coming from Christian Zionists. The reason is obvious: such passages fly in the face of the prediction Christian Zionists maintain for a revival of national Israel based on the promises of land to Abraham.

As for whether Israel could keep the land that God gave them, Deut. 28:62-68 is clear that the continued possession of the Land of Canaan was contingent on whether Israel obeyed the voice of the Lord. The very reason the Jews went into captivity in Assyria in 722 B.C. and Babylon in 586 B.C., which resulted in the loss of their inherited land, was due to their unrelenting disobedience.

The traditional understanding of the Jews’ exile, among Christians as well as Orthodox Jews, was that it constituted a divine punishment for their sins and their lack of faithfulness to God. It was to be ended by miraculous means at a time of God’s choosing. As one anti-Zionist rabbi recently put it, until the late 19th Century "no believing Jew thought that the biblical prophecies concerning a return to the land were to be fulfilled via human initiative." Rather, these prophecies were read as "a God-initiated, miraculous event that will end history as we know it."

The original Zionists, say anti-Zionist Jews (mainly but not exclusively Orthodox), were atheists who wished to substitute the worldly glory of an earthly state and army for the supernatural promises in which religious Jews placed their hopes. Neturei Karta, a well-known group of anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews, puts it this way:


"Jewry always viewed their exile as a Divine punishment for sins. Thus, exile is the result of metaphysical forces. It cannot be rectified by force, political efforts or any other worldly means. Jews yearn for the Biblically promised redemption of the entire world to be ushered in by the Heavenly appointed Messiah. This yearning manifested itself over the centuries only in prayer, good deeds and a spirit of penitence. This is the only Divinely sanctioned methodology to end the punishment of exile. Zionism, at root, rejected this sacred view of history. Its vision was and is limited to material cause and effect. Hence, to the Zionist mind, which has come, tragically, to dominate much of contemporary public discussion, exile was simply the result of Jewish political weakness. Their solution was to establish political sovereignty over the Holy Land."
Neturei Karta has also denounced what it describes as Zionist attempts "to ruin Gentile politicians and writers who in some small way challenge its demands."

If Zionism is a historically recent innovation -- or corruption, as anti-Zionists would have it -- then any Christian defense of Zionism runs into an immediate difficulty. If the Jews are meant to return to the Holy Land and end their exile through natural, human means, as Christian Zionists claim, why had the Jews themselves, who might reasonably be expected to know something about such things, never heard of this idea until the 19th Century?

But by far the more decisive argument against Christian Zionism involves the traditional Christian understanding of the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. Christians do not, of course, reject the Old Testament; that would be the heresy of Marcionism. But what Christians have always done, from the days of the Fathers to the present, is to read the Old Testament in the light of the New.

In the Old Testament we are presented with the shadows that become New Testament realities. The Old Testament is filled with what are referred to as types of things to come under the New Covenant of Christ. The sacrifice of animals (and foodstuffs, as with Melchisedech) was a type of sacrifice of Christ and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The manna from Heaven prefigures the Eucharist. St. Paul speaks of the festival days of the Old Covenant as having been "... a shadow of things to come ..." (Col. 2:17). The old law, likewise, is a shadow of the new.

A Protestant writer, O. Palmer Robertson, astutely observes that not only are we dealing here with type and fulfillment, but that the fulfillment is always qualitatively superior to the Old Testament foreshadowing.


"As the Israelites journeyed through the desert, God provided them with manna from Heaven, water from the rock, and a serpent on a pole. All these images found their New Covenant fulfillment, not in more manna and water, or in a larger serpent on a taller pole, but in the redemptive realities that these Old Covenant forms foreshadowed. (see, e.g., John 3:14; 6:51; 7:37; Rom. 15:16) The very nature of the Old Covenant provisions requires that they be viewed as prophetic shadows, not as permanent realities."
The traditional Catholic position has essentially been that the promises made to the Jewish people have been literally fulfilled in the person of Christ and in the Catholic Church, and that to look for physical fulfillment is to miss what separates the New from the Old Testament. Non-dispensationalist Protestants, while of course not looking to the Catholic Church as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, have generally held that the Christian community broadly conceived is what inherits the divine promises. God still desires the salvation of the Jews, but it must be accomplished in the same way that anyone else is saved: through Jesus Christ. God’s special covenant with the Jews came to an end when Christ entered the world and made believers in Him, no matter what their race or geographical location, the new chosen people of God.

Beginning with the New Testament and continuing through the Church Fathers, one finds a clear continuity throughout Catholic thought on the question of Israel, the Jews, and the idea of a "chosen people." According to St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, the idea of the "seed of Abraham" is to be understood in a spiritual rather than a racial or nationalistic sense, for "... they who are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham" (Gal. 3:7). "And if you be Christ’s, then are you the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise (Gal. 3:29).

In his First Epistle, St. Peter addresses the faithful as "... a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people: that you may declare His virtues, who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Who in times past were not a people: but are now the people of God" (1 Pet. 2:9-10). It is the followers of Christ, therefore, who constitute the "chosen generation" and the "people of God." One could easily multiply examples. (cf. Luke 3:8-9; Rom. 2:28-29) Another crucial distinction that Christian Zionists consistently overlook is to whom the promises of Genesis 12-22 are addressed. In some places the promises are made to Abraham and his descendants, while in other places they are made only to Abraham’s descendants. In Genesis 12-22, these two categories are distinguished by the refrains "you and your descendants" and "your descendants," respectively.

For example, Genesis 13:14-16 states:


"The LORD said to Abram, after Lot was separated from him; Lift up thy eyes and look from the place wherein thou now art, to the north and to the south and to the east and to the west. All the land which thou seest, I will give to you and to your descendants forever. I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered."
Notice that Genesis 13:15 specifies "I will give it to you and to your descendants forever." We do not find this language in either Genesis 12:6-7 or 15:18-21, the latter of which specifies the very names of the peoples who inhabited the land that the Israelites will dispossess. Both Genesis 12 and Genesis 15 say only that God will give the land "to your descendants," but not "to you," that is, to Abraham.

Since that is the case, the obvious question is: when is Abraham going to receive his promised land? Abraham never received the promised land while he was alive on earth. The only land he owned was a burial plot he bought for Sarah. Thus, Scripture tells us that Abraham’s promise of land is going to be fulfilled in a different way. Hebrews 11:10- 16, 39-40 shows how:


10. "For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 13. All these died according to faith, not having received the promises but beholding them afar off, and saluting them and confessing that they are pilgrims and strangers on the earth. 14. For they that say these things do signify that they seek a country. 15. And truly, if they had been mindful of that from whence they came out, they have had doubtless, time to return. 16. But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city. 39. And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40. Since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect."
So here we see that Abraham’s promise of land will indeed be fulfilled, but it will not be on this present sin-cursed earth. Rather, it is a "heavenly" city that God Himself builds, or as Romans 4:13 says: "For" the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world ...," (Greek: kosmos, i.e., the New Earth of Ap. 21:1f) not merely a piece of land in Palestine. Abraham and his faithful descendants -- the descendants of whom St. Paul says, "And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, and heirs according to the promise" in Galatians 3:29 -- will inherit the New Heaven and New Earth, and live with God for eternity, and thus Genesis 13:14-16 will be fulfilled, quite literally. Nothing in traditional Christian theology suggests that it will be fulfilled for Jews on this earth, at least by divine mandate. The Jews of this earth were already given their land, and God took it back, quite a long time ago. It is only Abraham and his Christian descendants who are still entitled to land, but that promise will be fulfilled in eternity.

Since, as we have seen in Hebrews 10:10-16, the promise of land to Abraham is going to be fulfilled in the New Heaven and New Earth -- a place of peace and contentment in a cosmic land far removed from sin and wickedness -- we can understand why Israel’s possession of land by divine promise in the Old Testament was merely a foreshadowing of a greater glory. According to Palmer Robertson, "Israel’s experience with the land had the effect of placing the promise of it in the category of an Old Covenant shadow that would have to wait for the arrival of New Covenant realities for its fulfillment."


In the time of David and Solomon, the full extent of the land was described as stretching from the Tigris-Euphrates River to the border of Egypt. (3 Kings 4:21) In this restored paradise of the kingdom, every man would sit under his own vine and fig tree. (3 Kings 4:25; Mic. 4:4; Zech. 3:10) Yet from the beginning, the actual experience of the people was quite different. From Solomon’s day onward, the people experienced oppression rather than paradise, which had the effect of placing this promise firmly within the category of an Old Covenant shadow that would have to wait for the arrival of New Covenant realities for its fulfillment."1
Put in another way, although Israel’s acquisition of the land was based on an oath God made to Abraham, Israel’s dispossession of the land due to their disobedience is the other side of this story. Sin always had a way of putting conditions on God’s promises. As in the time of the monarchy cited above, oppression was a common characteristic in the Judges period. Over the span of about 400 years, from the conquering of Jericho to Israel’s first king, Israel’s disobedience caused God to raise up various nations, especially the Philistines, to oppress them. When Israel repented, God would raise up a judge to defeat the foreigner, and then Israel would have "rest in the land" for a certain period of time. This cycle of "oppression-rest" occurred six times in the Judges period.

Along with Scripture, the consensus among the early Fathers is that there is no divinely mandated future glory for national Israel. Divine promises made to Israel are said to have been already fulfilled in the Old Testament. Remaining prophecies concerning "Israel" are said to be fulfilled in the New Testament Church, or in the eternity of the New Heaven and New Earth. There are only a few personalities who even address the issue of Israel in the future. Some give commentaries on Romans 11:25-27, e.g., Origen, Theodoret, Chrysostom, Jerome, Cyril, Augustine, Pelagius (not the heretic of the same name, of course).

Of those, Origen admits that he does not know what "all Israel" means. He writes: "What all Israel means or what the fullness of the Gentiles will be only God knows ..."2 Chrysostom refers only to a spiritual restoration: "God’s covenant will be fulfilled not when they are circumcised ... but when they obtain the forgiveness of sins... it will certainly come to pass.3 Augustine states that Romans 11:26 applies only to the remnant of Israel, and spiritually to the Church: "Not all the Jews were blind; some of them recognized Christ. But the fullness of the Gentiles comes in among those who have been called according to the plan, and there arises a truer Israel of God ... the elect from both the Jews and the Gentiles."4 Theodoret takes the same track as Augustine: "All Israel means all those who believe, whether they are Jews, who have a natural relationship to Israel, or Gentiles, who are related to Israel by faith" (Interpretation of the Letter to the Romans, Migne p. 82, col. 180). Pelagius challenges those who interpret Romans 11:25-27 as applying to the future, stating that if it does, what does that leave for those Jews in the present: "Some interpreters regard all these events as future. To them one must reply ... what will become of those who are now perishing as unbelievers."5

Only two Fathers hold out for any future large restoration of faith in Israel. Jerome states: "... because when the Jews receive the faith at the end of the world, they will find themselves in dazzling light, as if Our Lord were returning to them from Egypt." (Commentary on St. Matthew, Ch. 2) Cyril of Alexandria says: "Yes, one day, after the conversion of the Gentiles, Israel will be converted, and the Jews will be astonished at the treasure they will find in Christ." (Commentary on Genesis, Bk. 5) But although Jerome and Cyril look for a spiritual movement in the future, neither of them specify or imply that such movement in- cludes a national and physical restoration of Israel to the land of Palestine, and neither did any other Father. Indeed, the earlier Fathers do not even envision a large conversion of Jews.

That this has indeed been the traditional Christian understanding of Israel and Old Testament prophecy likely accounts for the Popes’ lack of sympathy toward Zionism. According to Herzl, who obtained an audience with Pope St. Pius X in 1904, the Pope concluded, after some discussion between the two, "We cannot be in favor of it ... And so, if you come to Palestine and settle your people there, we shall have churches and priests ready to baptize all of you."

Pope Pius XII, ludicrously slandered as "Hitler’s Pope," performed many acts of kindness and charity toward the Jews, but the Vatican was always careful to distinguish between charity and support for Zionism. Thus when Pius XII helped to save 4,000 Slovakian children and transport them to Palestine, the apostolic delegate to Washington, Archbishop Amleto G. Cicognani, hastened to note that the Pope’s action was not meant to indicate support for Zionism. "It is true that at one time Palestine was inhabited by the Hebrew," Archbishop Cicognani wrote in a June 1943 letter to President Roosevelt’s special envoy to the Vatican, "but there is no axiom in history to substantiate the necessity of a people returning to a country they left ninteen centuries before." He added: "If a ‘Jewish Home’ is desired, it would not be too difficult to find a more fitting territory than Palestine. With an increase in the Jewish population there, grave new international problems would arise."

Even Pope Paul VI, far more liberal than his predecessors on every important matter, upon visiting the Holy Land in 1964 refused to meet with the country’s chief rabbi, never once mentioned the word Israel, and made clear that his trip to the Christian holy sites should not be interpreted as conferring legitimacy upon the Jewish state. John Paul II, while establishing diplomatic relations with Israel in 1993, continues to be critical of Israel’s policies in the occupied territories.

Patriarch Michel Sabbah, the present Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem, rejects the biblical claims of Zionism. Himself a Palestinian, Patriarch Sabbah asked in a 1993 pastoral letter: "Does the Bible as the Word of God give the right to the Jewish people today to appropriate the land for themselves and, in doing so, dispossess the Palestinian people?" Clearly not, for "God cannot permit His love for one people to become an injustice for another people."

Patriarch Sabbah likewise insisted that it would be wrong to imagine the Old and New Covenants "as though they were two entirely separate, parallel or autonomous Covenants." The material and temporal aspects of the Old Covenant have given way to the spiritual meaning of the New. This is an especially important point with regard to the question of land and God’s promises: "The concept of the land had then evolved throughout different stages of Revelation, beginning with the physical, geographical and political concept and ending up with the spiritual and symbolic meaning. The worship of God is no longer linked to a specific land. A specific land is not the prime and absolute value for worship. The sole and absolute value is God and the worship of God in any place in the world."

(Readers can decide for themselves the pertinence of this digression, but Zenit news service reports that in January of this year Patriarch Sabbah was detained by Israeli security at the airport in Tel Aviv when he attempted to fly to Rome to attend a conference at which he was to be a speaker. In apparent violation of Israel’s 1993 agreement with the Vatican, Israeli security officials searched the Patriarch’s suitcases, and also demanded to examine his personal papers. L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s semi-official newspaper, reported that such conduct violated the respect routinely accorded to a Vatican diplomatic passport. Patriarch Sabbah never got to the conference.)

Patriarch Sabbah is joined in this matter by Fr. Majdi al-Siryani, a legal advisor to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. "[F]or the extra-majority of the believers in the Bible," he writes, "the restoration of Israel came true in a greater spiritual reality, that is the coming of the Messiah and the election of the Church. In this understanding, the realities of the Old Testament are not abolished or replaced but raised to a greater reality. For any Christian to accept the Israeli claims is to deny a basic dogma in Christian theology." (emphasis added)

Likewise, Fr. Labib Kobti, who holds a doctorate in canon law from the Lateran and has worked and written extensively on issues relating to Zionism and the Middle East, recently remarked:


"Note that as the Lord is speaking about a ‘New Covenant’ in Jeremiah the Prophet, the Lord declares that the ‘First Covenant,’ a covenant of flesh and of Land, was abolished by the new one, and that the old one was only a symbol of the conversion of our hearts to Him. He does not speak in Jeremiah about a right to return to a Land but about a kingdom of peace, love and truth open to all people, as He [has] put the ‘Law within us and written it upon our hearts.’ ... The Bible does not give to Jews any moral ‘right to return’ and repossess all the land, nor even a part of the land exclusively, or make the people who have lived there for thousands and thousands of years ... submit themselves as illegal immigrants."
God is a "God of righteousness, justice, peace and love," Fr. Kobti observed, and "not a real estate agent for one people."

This, in sum, is why Catholics must reject the idea that their adhesion to biblical truth commits them to Israeli territorial claims. To the contrary, eighteen centuries of Christian tradition say just the opposite, just as they also testify against the entire system of dispensationalist theology on which Christian Zionism is based. Although the Christian Zionists routinely claim the moral and biblical high ground, their boasts rest on a foundation of novelty and fallacy.

Footnotes:

1. Robertson, p. 13.

2. Commentarii in Epistulam ad Romanos, ed., T. Heither, (Freiburg im Breisgau, 1990-1995) Volume 4, p. 304.

3. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Volume 11, p. 493.

4. Fathers of the Church: A New Translation, (Catholic University of America, 1947), Volume 20, p. 253.

5. Pelagius Commentary on Romans, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993) p. 129.

This article was reprinted from the April 2003 issue of Catholic Family News, M.P.O. Box 743, Niagara Falls, NY 14302.

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« Reply #118 on: January 04, 2004, 01:24:22 AM »

Because that was historically the lands that were theirs, Biblically.  Hard luck on someone, no matter where you carve the land out, but carve it out of the land God promised them.

2000 years mean it isn't theirs at all. Germany doesn't belong to me. Are we supposed to look at the settlement patterns of the time of Christ and ship everyone back East. By such logic the population of the US should all go home and leave the US to the Native Americans.

I don't believe that the promised land belongs to a secular state of Israel. I don't believe the prophecies refer to a modern state of Israel at all. That's modern Protestant thinking not Orthodoxy.

I'd not want the state of Israel destroyed. I wish that they had secure borders and lived at peace with their neighbours, whose faults I hope I recognise. But the state of Israel is not biblical Israel.

I wholeheartedly agree, Peter, and when I get a chance to agree with you, I'll take it quick!  Wink

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peterfarrington: I find it as hard to fathom as Linus and his philo-papalism.

Uncool remark.  Huh
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« Reply #119 on: January 04, 2004, 02:26:20 AM »

The Year the Arabs Discovered Palestine
by Daniel Pipes
Jerusalem Post
September 13, 2000
Today is the day when a Palestinian state was nearly declared - for the third time.

On October 1, 1948, the mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Husseini, stood before the Palestine National Council in Gaza and declared the existence of an All-Palestine Government.

In theory, this state already ruled Gaza and would soon control all of Palestine. Accordingly, it was born with a full complement of ministers to lofty proclamations of Palestine's free, democratic, and sovereign nature. But the whole thing was a sham. Gaza was run by the Egyptian government, the ministers had nothing to oversee, and the All-Palestine Government never expanded anywhere. Instead, this fa+ºade quickly withered away.

Almost exactly forty years later, on November 15, 1988, a Palestinian state was again proclaimed, again at a meeting of the Palestine National Council.

This time, Yasser Arafat called it into being. In some ways, this state was even more futile than the first, being proclaimed in Algiers, almost 3,000 kilometers and four borders away from Palestine, and controlling not a centimeter of the territory it claimed. Although the Algiers declaration received enormous attention at the time (the Washington Post's front-page story read "PLO Proclaims Palestinian State"), a dozen years later it is nearly as forgotten as the Gazan declaration that preceded it.

In other words, today's declaration of a Palestinian state would have retreaded some well-worn ground.

We do not know what today's statement would have said, but like the 1988 document it probably would have claimed that "the Palestinian Arab people forged its national identity" in distant antiquity.

In fact, the Palestinian identity goes back, not to antiquity, but precisely to 1920. No "Palestinian Arab people" existed at the start of 1920 but by December it took shape in a form recognizably similar to today's.

Until the late nineteenth century, residents living in the region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean identified themselves primarily in terms of religion: Moslems felt far stronger bonds with remote co-religionists than with nearby Christians and Jews. Living in that area did not imply any sense of common political purpose.

Then came the ideology of nationalism from Europe; its ideal of a government that embodies the spirit of its people was alien but appealing to Middle Easterners. How to apply this ideal, though? Who constitutes a nation and where must the boundaries be? These questions stimulated huge debates.

Some said the residents of the Levant are a nation; others said Eastern Arabic speakers; or all Arabic speakers; or all Moslems.

But no one suggested "Palestinians," and for good reason. Palestine, then a secular way of saying Eretz Yisra'el or Terra Sancta, embodied a purely Jewish and Christian concept, one utterly foreign to Moslems, even repugnant to them.

This distaste was confirmed in April 1920, when the British occupying force carved out a "Palestine." Moslems reacted very suspiciously, rightly seeing this designation as a victory for Zionism. Less accurately, they worried about it signaling a revival in the Crusader impulse. No prominent Moslem voices endorsed the delineation of Palestine in 1920; all protested it.

Instead, Moslems west of the Jordan directed their allegiance to Damascus, where the great-great-uncle of Jordan's King Abdullah II was then ruling; they identified themselves as Southern Syrians.

Interestingly, no one advocated this affiliation more emphatically than a young man named Amin Husseini. In July 1920, however, the French overthrew this Hashemite king, in the process killing the notion of a Southern Syria.

Isolated by the events of April and July, the Moslems of Palestine made the best of a bad situation. One prominent Jerusalemite commented, just days following the fall of the Hashemite kingdom: "after the recent events in Damascus, we have to effect a complete change in our plans here. Southern Syria no longer exists. We must defend Palestine."

Following this advice, the leadership in December 1920 adopted the goal of establishing an independent Palestinian state. Within a few years, this effort was led by Husseini.

Other identities - Syrian, Arab, and Moslem - continued to compete for decades afterward with the Palestinian one, but the latter has by now mostly swept the others aside and reigns nearly supreme.

That said, the fact that this identity is of such recent and expedient origins suggests that the Palestinian primacy is superficially rooted and that it could eventually come to an end, perhaps as quickly as it got started.

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« Reply #120 on: January 04, 2004, 02:29:27 AM »

Imperial Israel: The Nile-to-Euphrates Calumny
by Daniel Pipes

Even before the State of Israel came into existence, Arab leaders accused Zionists of seeking to establish a state that would cover most of the Middle East. This notion of a Greater Israel, quite distinct from the one understood by Zionists, eventually became so routinized and accepted, it by now serves as the conventional wisdom in all the Arabic-speaking countries and Iran. However fantastical, the fear has real significance, virtually guaranteeing misunderstanding, poisoning attitudes toward Israel, and making resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict more difficult. Although a distant and difficult topic for Americans to deal with, it deserves U.S. government attention as part of the general effort to forward Arab-Israeli peace negotiations.

PROOFS: A COIN, A FLAG, AND A MAP

On May 25, 1990, the United Nations Security Council left its permanent quarters in New York City and moved its representatives and staff all the way to Geneva, Switzerland, just so Yasir Arafat, who had been prohibited from entering the United States, could address the Council. And what did Arafat have to say on this momentous occasion? One of the subjects he chose to highlight for this august body was his proof that the Israeli government sought to expand far beyond its present borders. "Please allow me to show this document," he told the assembled diplomats. "This document is a 'map of Greater Israel' which is inscribed on this Israeli coin, the 10-agora piece." Producing a map, Arafat elucidated in detail the boundaries of Israel purportedly represented on the coin: "all of Palestine, all of Lebanon, all of Jordan, half of Syria, two-thirds of Iraq, one-third of Saudi Arabia as far as holy Medina, and half of Sinai."1

This was hardly the first time Arafat had displayed such a map. Indeed, throughout 1990 he made a practice of carrying 10-agora coins in the shirt pocket of his uniform. On occasion he would hand them out. "Look, look," he would exclaim, taking out a coin, this is a 10-agora piece. It is a new Israeli coin, And what does it show? The Jewish seven-branched candelabrum against the background of an incredible map: an outline shows the region goes from the Mediterranean to Mesopotamia, from the Red Sea to the Euphrates. It is a glaring demonstration of Zionist aspirations.2

Sometimes, Arafat claimed that these boundaries show the map of Israel after the immigration of a further 3.5 million Jews. Except to someone predisposed to find clues of Zionist expansionism the 10-agora piece has only the vaguest resemblance to a map of the area Arafat describes. It was closely patterned after a coin issued in 37 B.C.E., during the Roman siege of Jerusalem, by Mattathias Antigonus II, the last Hasmonaean king. According to Professor Yaacov Meshorer, head of the antiquities section of the Israel museum, the artist Nathan Karp used only the general outline of the ancient coin in his design of the 10-agora piece. "Karp was astounded," said Meshorer, "that anyone could see the coast of the Land of Israel there."3

Arafat rejected this explanation. As further proof of his assertion, he produced a second document, a map from a scholarly articled titled "Developing Perspectives upon the Areal Extent of Israel: An Outline Evaluation." Despite its jargon-laden title, this article by Dr. Gwyn Rowley of the University of Sheffield in England4 contained a diagram of spectacular utility for Arafat's argument: a map of the Middle East with a superimposed outline reaching from the Sinai peninsula to the Iraq-Iran border (see map 1). According to the legend accompanying the map, it provides "the areal dimensions of Israel according to the current (1989) Israeli 10 Agorot coin." Arafat rested his case on the basis of Dr. Rowley's scholarship.

In another, yet more imaginative argument, Arafat discerned a hidden symbolism of expansionist intent in the Israeli flag: its two horizontal blue lines represent the Nile and Euphrates Rivers, he told a Playboy interviewer, "and in between is Israel."5 (In fact, the blue lines derive from the design on the traditional Jewish prayer shawl.)

The claim for Greater Israel also asserts that Israel's parliament, the Knesset, contains an inscription or map asserting Israel's right to rule the Nile to the Euphrates. Leaders such as Syria's president, Hafiz al-Asad, and its defense minister, Mustafa Tallas, as well as Iran's president have all claimed that "the Land of Israel from the Euphrates to the Nile" is chiseled over the Kenesset's entrance.6 That no one has yet laid eyes on either does not stop the rumors; to a witness who tours the parliament building without seeing the map, the reply comes that it was removed in anticipation of his visit.

As ever, Arafat showed special creativity. Addressing the Jerusalem Committee of the Arab League, he noted that the Knesset's inscription had been gone for thirty-two years but went back up in 1990:

Last year [1989] they stamped on its face the Israeli menorah, directly under which there is the map of Greater Israel. This has attracted our attention, especially since talk about Greater Isreal had commenced with the establishment of Israel, when they put a sign on the entrance of the Israeli Knesset that said: "This is your land Israel, from the Nile to the Euphrates." This sign remained for ten years. They were advised to remove it, but now the have put it back up. They have returned to it following the agreement of the two giants in Malta [a reference to the Bush-Gorbachev summit of December 1989].7
Days later, Arafat substituted an alternate conclusion: "They were advised to remove this plaque, [which they did], but they have engraved this map on this coin under the menorah."8 On another occasion he added that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has "published maps on this issue,"9 though, again, no one has laid eyes on them.

THE IDEA

Whence comes this wild notion of Greater Israel, and what, if any validity does it have? It has four main sources. First, and by far most important, the Jewish Bible contains two passages that point to Israeli domination of the Middle East. In describing God's covenant with Abraham, Genesis 15:18 reads: "To your descendants I give this land from the River of Egypt to the Great River, the river Euphrates." Even more ominously, Moses announces to the Jews in Deuteronomy 11:24 that "every place where you set the soles of your feet shall be yours. Your borders shall run from the wilderness to the Lebanon and from the River, the river Euphrates, to the western sea."

Second, some Westerners expected modern Israel to recapitulate the ancient state's borders; that British ambassador in Istanbul, for example, predicted as early as 1910 that "the domination of Egypt, the land of the Pharaohs, who forced the Jews to build Pyramids, is part of the future heritage of Israel."10

Third, early Zionist leaders referred to an Israeli intent to rule large territories. Around 1900, Theodor Herzl and Isidore Bodenheimer routinely referred to Jewish settlement in "Palestine and Syria," as did organizations like the Jewish National Fund and the Zionist Congress. In 1898, Herzl planned to ask the Ottoman sultan for a territory stretching from the Egyptian frontier to the Euphrates.11 Four years later, he spoke of settling Jews in Mesopotamia.

Fourth, later Zionist leaders are questioned making ambitious claims. Vladimir Jabotinsky, the founder of Revisionist Zionism, was quoted in 1935 stating, "We want a Jewish empire."12 Moshe Dayan's visit to the Golan Heights soon after its capture by Israeli troops in 1967 has become the stuff of legends. According to Hafiz al-Asad, Dayan announced that "the past generation established Israel within its 1948 borders; and you have to establish a Greater Israel from the Niles to the Euphrates."13 An Iraqi writer recounts the speech somewhat differently: "We have taken Jerusalem. . .and are now on our way to Yathrib [Medina] and Babylon"14 --two other cities of ancient Jewish habitation. Whatever the specifics, Arabs agree that Dayan spurred a new round of Israeli expansionist fervor. Prime Minister Menachem Begin was later quoted, supposedly, to the effect that the Bible predicts the Israeli state will eventually include portions of Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Jordan and Kuwait.15

How valid are these arguments, and how accurate these quotes? The second and third sources--statements by European Christians and early Zionists--clearly have only limited importance. External predictions can hardly serve as authoritative sources for the Zionist movement. Territorial musings before the Balfour Declaration of 1918 were uttered when the Zionist movement was still embryonic; in any case, Herzl did not in fact request the Nile-to-Euphrates region from the Ottoman king or anyone else. As for the bellicose statements attributed to Jabotinsky, Begin and Dayan, they are all second-hand and at best somewhat dubious. In all probability, opponents simply invented them. The first was quoted by Robert Gessner, a hostile writer; the second by enemy leaders of proven unreliability; and the third by a friendly source (the American television evangelist Jerry Falwell), yet the claim to the Sudan and Kuwait strains credulity and therefore casts doubt on the whole assertion.

The passages in the Bible are a more complex matter. Three considerations have to be taken into account to understand what they mean.

First, the "River of Egypt," almost certainly refers not to the Nile, but to Wadi al-Arish on the north coast of the Sinai Peninsula. The lack of parallel between the two formulations, "the Great River, the river Euphrates" and the "River of Egypt" seems to corroborate this interpretation. In any case, the principal Jewish commentaries on this text, notably that of Rashi, identify the River of Egypt with Wadi Al-Arish. These commentaries, it bears noting, have for centuries accompanied the Biblical text itself in published editions of the Bible, and thus predisposed Zionists to understand "the River of Egypt" along these lines.

Second, the rules of Biblical exegesis hold that specific laws always take precedence over general laws. Accordingly, the detailed, and geographically far more constrained, delineation of Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) in Numbers 34:1-12 ("It shall then turn from the south up to the ascent of Akrabbim and pass by Zim, and its southern limit shall be Kadesh-barnea. . . .") and Ezekiel 47:13-20 supplant the much vaguer ones in Genesis and Deuteronomy. For this reason Jewish tradition has long viewed Genesis statement as nonoperational.

Third, in the Biblical account, Abraham's "descendants" include not just the Jews through Isaac, but also their "cousins," the Arabs through Ishmael--in which case the covenant was long ago amply fulfilled.

Then, to assess the contemporary importance of the Biblical injunctions, a number of points need to be kept in mind:

--Greater Israel is an inexact translation of Eretz Yisrael Hashlemah, Hebrew for "the Integral Land of Israel." The English term implies a geographical expansion not present in the original.

--Early Zionists considered a wide range of lands for Jewish colonization, including Cyprus, Sinai, Mesopotamia, East Africa and Argentina. In addition, the Soviet regime made Birobidzhan, a distant region of Siberia, into its version of a Jewish homeland. These territories should be understood as alternatives to, not extensions of, Palestine.

--For decades, the Zionist debate centered on what emphasis Jewish control over the whole of Eretz Yisrael should have. Labor Zionists thought this less important than other objectives (such as establishing a sovereign Jewish state) but Revisionist Zionists made it their first priority. In nearly all cases, it bears noting, Revisionists lost out to their Labor rivals.

--The Israeli government has not adopted the Bible as a policy document. The Saudis call the Qur'an--or Koran--their constitution, and virtually every other Arab state derives some of its legislation from the Qur'an. Fundamentalist Muslims all agree that "Islam is the solution." So it is reasonable to imagine, as does Vice-President 'Abd al-Halim Khaddam of Syria that "Zionist ideology is based on the Jews' Torah."16 Reasonable, maybe, but certainly not accurate; Israel was founded by secularists inspired by nationalist and socialist goals, not religious ones. And really, isn't it faintly preposterous to assume that passages dating from three millennia ago would guide the actions of a modern democratic polity.

--While Revisionist Zionists did claim Jordan and parts of Lebanon and Syria as a part of Eretz Yisrael during the Mandatory period, no Zionist ever laid claim to or sought to control Egypt, Sudan or Iraq, much less Mecca and the Persian Gulf.

--The notion of Eretz Yisrael subsequently shrank, to the point that today it includes just the territory of Mandatory Palestine. As proof, note that Revisionists in recent decades viewed the Sinai, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights, and southern Lebanon in strategic terms only, not historic ones. That confirms that they now see these areas outside of Eretz Yisrael.

--No Israeli political party today (not even Meir Kahane's Kach) aspires to Israeli rule over all Eretz Yisrael as understood by the Revisionists during the Mandatory period; rather, Revisionists only demand now that Israel not give up any part of Eretz Yisrael already under its control.

--Difficulties with less than two million Muslims in the West Bank and Gaza surely put to rest the grandiose notion of four million Jews ruling a Muslim population twenty-five times larger. How would the Israeli defense forces handle an intifada in Cairo?

--The Israelis did not have a chance to choose their ideal borders in June 1967, and they stopped far short of the Nile and the Euphrates. Had they plans to expand to those rivers, they could have done so with virtual impunity at that time.

--The Israelis thrice won part or all of the Sinai peninsula (in the 1948-49, 1956 and 1967 wars) and thrice returned captured territories to Egypt. How can this fact be reconciled with supposed plans of wanting to rule from the Nile to the Euphrates?

EIGHT STATES

The whole idea of a Greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates has to be dismissed as groundless fantasy.17 But fantasy or not, leading politicians from the major Muslim states of the Middle East (with the important exception of Turkey) volubly express themselves on the subject of Greater Israel. Here are some statements, both typical and extravagant:

King 'Aabd al-'Aziz ibn Sa'ud of Saudi Arabia (who ruled between 1902 and 1953) seems to have been the first important politician firmly to believe in Greater Israel. He expected a Zionist invasion of his kingdom, as he confided to a retired British diplomat in October 1937: "The Jews contemplate as their final aim not only the seizure of all Palestine but the land south of it as far as Medina. Eastward also they hope some day to extend to the Persian Gulf." Why as far as Medina, the second holiest city of Islam? The Saudi king recalled the Jewish presence in that city during the Prophet Muhammad's lifetime; and he assumed they wanted to return to what he called "their old stronghold."18

Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt then picked up this theme and spread it through the Middle East. He argued tirelessly that Israelis sought a Greater Israel to include the whole central Middle East and thereby to turn the Arabs into "a horde of refugees."19 The Israelis would never give up this aspiration: "Even if they do not expect to realize their talk today or tomorrow about an Israeli state or a Kingdom of Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates, they will persevere in this goal until they find an opportunity [to attain it]."20 At times he agreed with the Saudi king and declared that "the Jews intend to conquer Mecca and Medina,"21 or that they planned to annihilate all Arabs. Abdel Nasser's aide, Hasan Sabri al-Khuli, went one further and portrayed Greater Israel as a way to implement "Zionist aspirations for world domination."22

Long after Abdel Nasser's death, and through years of Egypt's peace with Israel, his acolytes continued to warn against Greater Israel. General Saad El-Shazly flatly asserted that Ariel Sharon would "aspire to conquest over an area greater even than the biblical dreams of a land from the Nile to the Euphrates" and saw air power as Israel's means to this ambitious end.23 A 1990 editorial in Al-Akhbar held that the immigration of Soviet Jews to Israel would lead to the expulsion of Palestinians from the disputed territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip--"an important step toward fulfilling the old dream of Greater Israel, stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates."24

The Libyans, ever short of water, brought a different sensibility to the issue, transforming the Biblical injunction into a hydraulic dream of "dominating water sources in the region, from the Euphrates to the Nile."25 Jews covet the Nile and Euphrates Rivers, Mu'ammar al-Qadhdafi asserted, "to control Arab waters," and are ready to settle millions of Jews in the Arab countries.26 Controlling the sources of these waters would take the Israelis from Turkey to Central Africa.27 Thus fired up, Qadhdhafi conjured up the greatest Greater Israel of them all:

The Israelis said their home is from ocean to ocean, from the Indian Ocean to the straits of Bab al-Manib, stratis of Hormuz, the Red Sea. . .to the Atlantic Ocean together with the straits of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean.28
Qadhdafi imagined an Israel headquartered in Cairo stretching from Pakistan to Spain, from Turkey to Yemen! In his most paranoid moments he presented Greater Israel as a joint Zionist-American plot "to occupy the Arab world and the Islamic world," with special emphasis on the control of Mecca and Medina.29 In other words, Greater Israel will serve as an instrument to eliminate Islam.

After 1985, Hafiz al-Asad of Syria often raised the Greater Israel theme, presenting it as an imminent danger that he single-handedly stopped and calling on the Arabs to mobilize "to prevent the establishment of Greater Israel."30 Along these lines, Syria's Defense Minister Mustafa Tallas told a military audience that, "Had it not been for Hafiz al-Asad, Greater Israel would have been established from the Nile to the Euphrates." As if that were not achievement enough, he claimed that Asad's forces "prevented Israel from occupying the sources of oil."31 Asad even portrayed the attainment of Greater Israel as a Jewish religious duty and accused Israel of "talking mildly to deceive world opinion."32 The Syrian's brought Greater Israel into their diplomacy, too. In January 1992, during the peace process negotiations, the Syrian delegation displayed a map of Greater Israel and claimed it represented the Jewish state's territorial goals. Needless to say, the Israeli delegation quickly rebutted this assertion.

Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iranian propaganda has strongly emphasized the threat of Greater Israel, often in connection with accusations of Jewish plans to control the world. A 1985 Tehran reprint of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion included a map, the "Dream of Zionism," which purports to show Greater Israel's ideal boundaries. It showed within this Israel the whole of inhabited Egypt, Saudi Arabia down to Medina, all of Syria, Iraq and Kuwait, the oil-producing region of Iran, and a good-sized slice of Turkey. To make matters complete, the boundary is drawn in the shape of a snake; and the scales are represented by a Freemason's Eye drawn repeatedly along the snake's back.

The Iranian media deprecates Israel by referring to it as a "tribe" that "considers its geographical boundaries" to extend from the Nile to the Euphrates.33 A 1990 newspaper report warned that because of Greater Israel, "six Arab countries around Palestine will be destroyed, or their inhabitants will be reduced to refugees."34 Iranian president Rafsanjani noted the emigration of "millions of Jews from all over the world" (foremost the USSR, but also Argentina and other countries), and interpreted this in terms of a Greater Israel "from the Euphrates River to the Nile River." Included in this vast area, he speculated, would be the north of Saudi Arabia and a large section of the Red Sea coast. The Zionists hoped to settle ten to twelve million people, Jews and others, to make Israel "a mighty and invincible state." Rafsanjani portrayed the last major advance toward this goal taking place in 1967, while bringing the border zone of Lebanon under Israeli control provided a finishing touch.35

Arabs in other states, not always government officials, occasionally echo these statements. Just weeks before the Iraqi invasion a Kuwaiti newspaper accused the Zionist movement of planning to reach the Nile River, which it termed "the southern border of the Torah's Israel."36 This subject, understandably, has not been broached again in the Kuwaiti media.

In Jordan, Sultan al-Hattab, editor of the newspaper Sawt ash-Sha'b wrote that "Greater Israel means Jordan, Syria, and Iraq as an immediate target and the entire Arab homeland as Israel's Lebensraum."37 The Israelis are said to see Lebanon as a no man's land and to annex it up to the Wadi at-Tim, north of Sidon.38 Even the all-but-nonexistent government of Lebanon occasionally felt compelled to stir the pot from time to time. President Ilyas al-Hirawi declared in early 1990 that a plot existed for Soviet Jews emigrating to Israel to settle in Lebanon, where they would further the Greater Israel aspiration. Muhammad Fadallah, Hizbullah's spiritual guide, feared the same prospect.

CONCLUSIONS

An article in the Egyptian magazine on tourism asserted that Israelis visiting Egypt "talk all the time about. . .Israel from the Nile to the Euprhrates."39 In fact, the reverse approaches the truth: fear of Great Israel is common coin on the Arab street. When tens of thousands of Palestinians participated in May 1990 in a "march of return" (a walk to Jordan's border with Israel), they inevitably chanted slogans against Greater Israel. So widespread is talk of Greater Israel, it need not even be spelled out. When a Jordanian sought to blame Jerusalem for sedition at Yarmuk University in December 1989, he merely blamed plotters "who plan day and night to ruin this nation and to extend their country from the Nile to the Euphrates."40 Everyone knew exactly who he had in mind.

These fears also infect scholarship. Muslin D. Yusuf, a historian at Bir Zeit University, concludes a 1991 article implying that Jerusalem has territorial ambitions to a Greater Israel stretching from the Sudan to Kuwait.41

The idea has even spread outside the Middle East. Patrick Seale, a British journalist of considerable reputation, has flatly asserted that "some nationalist Israelis (especially those in the Herut Party) dream of [a] Jewish state extending 'from the Nile to the Euphrates.'"42 Foreign Minister Claude Cheysson of France in 1983 called the division of Lebanon between Greater Syria and Greater Israel "our nightmare."43

On the other hand, Palestinians living in Israel show caution, at least in public, about endorsing the notion of Greater Israel, 'Abd al-Wahhab ad-Darwasha, a leading Israeli Arab politician, sidestepped a question from an Arab journalist asking him if most Israelis supported a Nile-to-Euphrates Greater Israel, mumbling instead about Israel's lack of a constitution and the disagreement about Israel's final borders.44 While no friend of Zionism, Darwasha knew firsthand the falseness of claims about a Greater Israel.

Contradictions abound in the Greater Israel argument. To begin with, the borders keep changing. The eastern frontier, for example, ranges anywhere between central Iraq and Pakistan. The same speaker might offer different borders. In late April 1990, Arafat announced that the Zionists aspired to (among other territories) the whold of Lebanon, three-quarters of Iraq and the majority of Sinai.45 Less than two weeks later, his Greater Israel included just two-thirds of Iraq and no part of Lebanon or Sinai.46

In March 1989, Damascus was even less consistent. Asad defined a conventional Greater Israel extending from the Nile to the Euphrates.47 A month later (April 12, 1990), Radio Damascus reduced this to a country merely "double the size of the Zionist entity." But years before, Prime Minister 'Abd ar-Ra'uf al-Kasm had told a Turkish audience that Israelis intend to occupy everything "from the sources of the Nile [in Ethiopia and Uganda] to the sources of the Euphrates [in central Anatolia] . . .Greater Israel includes Turkey, Iran, and Africa."48 And in 1992, Asad declared that Israel "wants to extend wherever there are Jews."49 Which is it?

Arabs also contradict themselves about their future under Israeli rule. Sometimes they see themselves dominated and exploited, sometimes expelled, so that Greater Israel becomes a place "where only Jews can live."50 Sometimes they foresee a single giant Jewish policy, other times they expect today's Arab states to be replaced by "illegitimate cardboard entities" that would eventually accept the existence of Israel.51

So confused is this whole issue, Arab leaders even trip over their own nomenclature. Taha Yasin Ramadan, the Iraqi first deputy prime minister, postulated on one occasion that "Greater Israel" implies a new expansionist policy much more serious than the past slogan, "From the Nile to the Euphrates."52 In fact, the two expressions are synonymous in Arab usage.

Do Arabs really believe what they say about Great Israel? Yitzhaq Shamir of Israel thought not, telling an interviewer in 1989 that Hafiz al-Asad knew this talk to be "sheer nonsense"53

But Patrick Seale, Asad's confident, held that the Syrian president truly believes vast expansion to be the long-term Israeli goal.54 There is no reason to doubt Seale's verdict. (Indeed, that Asad also believes that "Soviet Jews are the remains of the Khazars"55 confirms his general credulity on matters Jewish.) Shamir ignored the self-reinforcing impact of repetition; rulers and populations alike can eventually become convinced by their own propaganda machines.
Foreign reporters who encounter the Greater Israel mentality understand it to be genuine. Let's look at the Syrian case. The Wall Street Journal reports that "just as Israelis fear Damascus's old dream of a 'Greater Syria,' encompassing Israel, Syrians believe that Tel Aviv craves an 'Eretz Israel' stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates."56 Indeed, Mamdou Adwan, a leading Syrian poet, used almost these exact words in asserting that "we are as afraid of Greater Israel as they are of Greater Syria". According to Larry Cohler, an American journalist, Adwan is not alone: "Most Syrians support these hugh outlays [on the military] out of a genuine fear of Greater Israel." Cohler reports that he "encountered this fear repeatedly from people who earnestly believe that the Zionist goal is to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates." As his Syiran handler saw it, "Jews tend to lay claim to any part of the region they have dwelled in historically." One Syrian woman summed up the dangers of the Greater Israel accusation: "All the time we hear about Israel's claim, from the Nile to the Euphrates. How can we trust them when they act like that say they want peace."57

This woman's fear has significant consequences. Belief in Israel's plan to expand from the Nile to Euphrates, and maybe beyond, makes the Jewish state's very existence a threat to the entire Middle East and increases the already substantial paranoia in the Middle East to still higher levels. Arab and Iranian leaders who entertain these delusions conclude that they must destroy Israel before it devours them. For Muhammad Fadlallah, the Lebanese fundamentalist leader, Greater Israel means the Arabs cannot live in peace with Israel. "Israel's ambitions to extend from the Euphrates to the Nile are known. . . We can never have any security, whether military, economic, or political, so long as Israel is harboring its expansionist designs."58 The Greater Israel myth also justifies anti-Israel behavior as a defensive act. When Arafat asserted, "There will not be a Greater Israel,"59 he legitimated almost any action against Israel.

These fantastical Arab and Iranian fears of Israeli expansionism prevent Middle Easterners from seeing Israel as a country with normal security concerns. In addition, they transform the Jewish state into something too threatening with which to coexist. Just as the demonization of Jews in Europe caused uncounted pogroms and culminated in the Nazi holocaust, so making the Jewish state out to be a menace to the whole Middle East creates a parallel danger of unremitting conflict that could someday terminate in nuclear warfare.

Only when Israel comes to be regarded as a state like any other is there a chance that its neighbors will deal with it in accordance with convential diplomatic norms. There is little prospect of this happening soon, however, if wild claims about Israel expansionism remain integral to the fabric of its mainstream political life.

The Greater Israel calumny bounces back to harm Arabs, too. By exciting Arab hatred of Israel, it persuades many Israelis to hold on to the territories they won in 1967, and not take a chance on a peace treaty. Trading land for peace poses enough problems in its own right, without gratuitous Nile-to-Euphrates complications.

Nearly every polity's rhetoric contains statements of geographic grandeur that practical experience renders non-operational. It serves no one--least of all the Arab and Iranian populations--for their leaders to dredge out a religious pronouncement from three milennia back and transform it into a statement of aggressive intent.

U.S. POLICY

Turning to the United States, reducing apprehensions about Greater Israel is good American policy. Americans agree it's in their interest to end the Arab-Israeli conflict; because the fantasy of Greater Israel impedes resolution of that conflict. American diplomats and politicians should seize every opportunity to calm fears among their Arab and Iranian counterparts that Israel plans to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. Here are a few steps for U.S. officials to keep in mind:60

Understand the importance of fears about Greater Israel. More than anything else, sophisticated Americans are bemused by Middle Eastern paranoia. How can a serious Western analyst or policy maker credit this kind of conspiracy theory? It just does not fit into his stolid mentality, and he has trouble believing it fits into anyone else's either. But to ignore these fears is to base U.S. policy on faulty premises, which can lead to grave mistakes.

Indeed, American psychocentrism has sometimes led U.S. diplomacy astray. For example, Americans inadvertently did just about everything to confirm Iranian fears of plots during the 1960s and 1970s, and so helped bring on the Ayatollah Khomeini. American arrogance grated on Iranians. The huge size of the official American presence and its proximity to the central institutions of power, economics, and culture eased the way for the opposition to direct populist rage against Americans. Awareness of the conspiracy mentality would have gone far to have prevented this hostility from erupting

Use Greater Israel rhetoric to predict a dictator's actions. Projection--placing one's own motives and behavior on to others--implies that accusations often reflect the speaker's own intentions. When rulers are not accountable, this insight can help understand what their future moves may be. Qadhdafi's accusing Israel of wanting to divert the Nile waters reveals nothing about actual Israeli actions but it may tell us a great deal about Qadhdhafi; and in fact, he has devoted enormous resources into schemes to divert the Nile to Libya.61 Similarly, accusations from Damascus about Greater Israel confirm the Asad regime's ambitions for a Greater Syria more than they tell us about Israeli intentions.

Deny the validity of Greater Israel. The high road--not dignifying the outrageous with a response--does not work. Left alone, conspiracy theories fester. Better do as Middle Easterns; reply promptly and in kind. If the accusations are made privately, reply in private; if publicly, then in public. Americans in official positions do not often take this step.

Avoid the term Greater Israel. Greater Israel has two entirely different meanings. One is the Arab Nile-to-Euphrates notion analyzed here; the other an English translation of the term Eretz Yisrael Hashlemah used by Revisionist Zionists to refer to Israeli retention of Judea, Samarai, and Gaza. Arabs and Israelis tend to be completely ignorant of how the other uses the same term. Thus, when Labor Zionists criticize Revisionists in English, they refer to Revisionists' territorial claims as those of "Greater Israel," without any thought of how Arabs use this term.

Westerners tend to use Greater Israel in the Israeli sense, not the Arab one. That's what Secretary of State James Baker meant in 1989 when, in the Bush administration's first major policy statement on the Middle East, he admonished Israelis "to lay aside, once and for all, the unrealistic vision of a greater Israel."62 Baker used a term with self-evident meaning for Israelis and American Jews; but of course Arabs heard something quite different. His choice of words signalled to them that the U.S. government finally saw Israeli expansion as they did. Arafat observed that while the Israelis "are planning to establish Greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates, U.S. secretary of state Baker said Israel should forget its dream about establishing Greater Israel."63

To escape this sort of confusion, American officials should not use the term Greater Israel. And when they do, they have to be absolutely explicit that they mean Israeli control over the West Bank, and nothing more.

Remember that terms have different meanings. Westerners, and their statesmen in particular, must never assume a common political vocabulary when dealing with Middle Eastern political issues. Greater Israel represents a whole class of terms with starkly different meanings. When Americans can use the term peace in reference to the Arabs and Israel, they mean something along the lines of the United States and Canada. When Arabs use the term, they think of U.S-Cuban relations. Democracy in the West refers to a way of ordering politics, including the rule of law, freedom of speech, minority rights and political parties; in the Middle East, it just means elections. Syria in the West means the country delineated on the map; for people living in that country, it often refers to a cultural region that extends to include the entire Levant.

These differences point to a profound gap separating political assumptions in the West and in the Middle East. If outsiders hope to intervene constructively, they must begin by understanding what Middle Easterns are actually saying.



1. Radio Monte Carlo, May, 25, 1990.
2 La Repubblica, Apr. 3, 1990. Arafat made the same point again in a speech to the Jerusalem Committee of the Arab League on Apr. 9, 1990.
3 The Jerusalem Post, June 9, 1990.
4 GeoJournal, Feb. 19, 1989, pp. 99-110.
5 Playboy, Sept. 1988.
6 Al-Jazira, Jan. 17, 1982.
7 Sawt Filastin (Sanaa), Apr. 9, 1990.
8 Amman Television, Apr. 25, 1990.
9 Ad-Dustur, Apr. 17, 1990.
10 Secret letter from Gerard Lowther to Charles Hardinge, May 29, 1910, Lowther Papers, Foreign Office 800/193A, quoted in Elie Kedourie, Arabic Political Memoirs and Other Studies (London: Frank Cass, 19740, p. 256.
11 Theodor Herzl in Johannes Wachten, Chaya Harel et al., eds., Zionistishes Tageb++cher, 1895-1899 (Berlin: Ullstein, 1983), vol. II, p. 650. For a catalogue of Zionist and Israeli statements, real and alleged, see Ass'ad Razzouq, Greater Israel: A Study in Zionist Expansionist Thought (Beirut: Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center, 1970), esp. pp. 83, 87-90, 92, 96-97, 99-103, 144-145, 167-169, 178-81, 187, 209, 212-14, 230, 234, 24-, 243-245, 249-52, 264, 278-82, 286, as well as maps 3 and 4.
12 Robert Gessner, " Brown Shirts in Zion," New Masses, Feb. 19, 1935, p.11.
13 Damascus Television, Feb. 18, 1986.
14 Sa'd al-Bazzaz, Gulf War: The Israeli Connection, trans. Namir Abbas Mudhaffer (Baghdad: Dar al-Ma'mun, 1989).
15 Tyler Courier-Times-Telegraph, Feb. 5, 1983, reported in The Los Angeles Times, Feb. 6, 1983.
16 Sawt al-Kuwayt, Aug. 4, 1991.
17 As must its close cousin, Greater Armenia, an excusively Turkish phobia. One commentator, Necati Ozfatura, wroti in the nationalist newspaper T++rkiye (Sept. 29, 1991) that the Armenian president had secretly met with George Bush, and the two of them agreed on Armenian stretching from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, and the Perisan Gulf.
18 Conversation on Oct. 25, 1937, with H. R. P. Dickson, Foreign Office 371/20822 E7201/22/31, text in Elie Kedourie, Islam in the Modern World (New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston, 1980), pp. 72-73.
19 Speech, Mar. 26, 1964 quoted in Y. Harkabi, Arab Attitudes to Israel, trans. Misha Louvish (London: Valentine, Mitchell, 1972), p. 73.
20 Ibid., p. 74. The translation has been slightly altered.
21 Radio Cairo, July 22, 1965, and Al-Ahram, July 23, 1965, quoted in Eliezer Be'eri, Army Officers in Arab Politics and Society (Jerusalem: Israel Universities Press, 1969) pp. 399.
22 Hasan Sabri al-Khuli, Qadiyat Filastin (about 1966), pp. 19, 24, quoted in Harkabi, Arab Attitudes, p. 82.
23 Saad El-Shazly, The Atab Military Option (San Francisco, Calif.: American Mideast Research, 1986), pp. 17, 31.
24 Al-Akhbar, Jan. 31, 1990.
25 Al-Jamahiriya, July 19, 1991.
26 Al-Ahram, Feb. 23, 1990
27 More imaginatively yet, some Arabs suggested Israel would alter geography: according to one Egyptian, "Sadat even offered to divert the waters of the Nile into Israel," quoted in Sana Hassan, "Egypt's Angry Islamic Militants," The New York Times Magazine, Nov. 29, 1983, p. 138.
28 Jamahiriya Arab News Agency, Jan. 6, 1990.
29 Tripoli Television, Mar. 20, 1990.
30 Radio Damascus, Mar. 12, 1985.
31 Damascus Televsion, Mar. 17, 1990.
32 Radio Damascus, Mar. 8, 1989.
33 Kayhan International, May 30, 1991.
34 Kayhan International, May 8, 1990.
35 Radio Tehran, Apr. 20, 1990.
36 Ar-Ray al-Amm, June 14, 1990.
37 Sawt ash-Shab, Jan. 16, 1990.
38 Amman Television, Apr. 25, 1990.
39 As-Siyaba (Cairo), May 1991.
40 Naif al-Hadid, quoted in Jordan Times, Dec. 17, 1989. On page 25 of this issue, Hilal Khashan finds that 51 percent of Levantine Arabs fear a Greater Israel.
41 Muhsin D. Yusuf, "The Zionists and the Process of Defining the Borders of Palestine, 1915-23," Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies 15 (1991), p. 39.
42 Patrick Seale, "La Syrie et le processus de paix," Politique Etrang+¬re, Winter 1992, p. 785.
43 Reuters, Feb. 7, 1983.
44 Ash-Sharq al-Awsat, June 9, 1992.
45 Amman Television, Apr. 25, 1990.
46 Iraqi News Agency, May 7, 1990.
47 Radio Damascus, Mar. 8, 1989.
48 Damascus Television, Mar. 2, 1986.
49 Syrian Arab Republic Radio, Apr. 1, 1992.
50 The Grand Mufti of Palestine (Hajj Amin al-Husayni), Memorandum Submitted to His Holiness Pope Paul VI, Beirut, Feb. 28, 1964.
51 Al-Jumburiya (Baghdad), Mar. 2, 1991.
52 Iraqi News Agency, May 3, 1990.
53 Al Hamishmar, Jan. 17, 1989.
54 Patrick Seale, "Madha Yurid Hafiz al-Asad?" Al-Majalla, July 23, 1982, p. 22.
55 Radio Damascus, Mar. 8, 1990.
56 The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 27, 1990. Greater Syria is in fact a serious proposition, as I have argued at length in Greater Syria: The History of an Ambition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990).
57 Quoted in Larry Cohler, "Rethinking Syria," Tikkun, Sept./Oct. 1992, p. 33.
58 An-Narab alArabi wad-Duwali, July 1, 1985, quoted in Martin Kramer, Hezbollah's Vision of the West (Washington, D.C.: Washington Instutite for Near East Policy, 1989), p. 55.
59 Radio Madrid, Feb. 26, 1991.
60 These steps derive in part from Daniel Pipes, "Dealing with Middle Eastern Conspiracy Theories," Orbis, Winter 1992, pp. 41-56.
61 Martin Sicker, The Making of Pariah State: The Adventurist Politics of Muammar Qaddafi (New York: Praeger, 1987), pp. 61-66.
62 Secretary of State James A Baker III, "Principles and Pragmatism: American Policy toward the Arab-Israeli Conflict," May 22, 1989.
63 Ad-Dustur, Apr. 17, 1990.

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« Reply #121 on: January 04, 2004, 04:30:31 AM »

I wholeheartedly agree, Peter, and when I get a chance to agree with you, I'll take it quick!  Wink

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peterfarrington: I find it as hard to fathom as Linus and his philo-papalism.

Uncool remark.  Huh

I apologise unreservedly and publically for this remark. It wasn't meant to be offensive but I can see that it has caused offense. Mea culpa!
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« Reply #122 on: January 04, 2004, 08:49:38 AM »

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SAM:  You cannot refute any point I have made so you choose instead to attack my person?  
How enlightened of you. I'm glad to see that the fine art of AD HOMINEM attacks has not >been lost.

In case your short-term memory fails you, I am the individual fending off sorry-ass accusations of being a Jew-hater, no less from a fellow who makes vitriolic remarks about the 'base nature of the sons of Ishmael'.  Don't scuttle your ship too soon, squinky.

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NOW, if you are quite finished attacking ME,


Perhaps you should first consider the merit of your attack against the Palestinian Christian populace in your little 'nazi' comment (help me to see the 'tongue in cheek' in such a statement), which effectively takes their plight, and implicitly deems their oppositional stance against the Israeli state and Zionism--not to mention their wish for their own country and self-determination--to be on the same level as or worse than belief in racial superiority and support for organised mass killing.  This to many of your religious brethren would seem reason enough to label you a traitorous Judas to your supposed brothers in faith (Judas being a remark insultingly improper for those who respectfully disagree on the issue, but not for men with such comments, I reckon).

But I decided to refrain from following you in your ungentlemanly character assassination.  If I didn't, I may have subsequently sat on my moral high horse and challenged the other party to exculpate himself, while simultaneously whining about ad hominems.

Since I would never wish to consider hate to be the reason for your 'nazi' statement, I chalked this up instead on probable ignorance of the fact that Palestinian Christians are not exactly sacrally-annointed Zionists, kissing the Israeli flag, saluting Zionism, and cheerleading Israeli forces as said goons sweep through their towns, demolish their homes, and shoot their children*, along with the now ever-growing assortment of foreign protesters and journalists.  But if you are oblivious to this, then why am I wasting my time and board-space even talking to you?

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why not deal with the issue at hand - Do the Jews have the right to the land that was first given to them by God.


Non-Palestinian Jews certainly do not have any right to immigrate and settle in the country, much less to steal sovereignty over it and engineer an entire demographic change of the country, without the consent of its native inhabitants.  I hope you are familiar with this basic rule of civilized conduct.

Jews with divine right to the land?  No.  I expect that kind of faulty theology from fundamentalist troublemakers and vagante lunatics like yourself, not an inaccurate description, seeing your blurb about prophecy jumping out in the midst of your Zionist hyper-enthusiasm.

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second bought through blood sweat, tears and money?


Again, yes, with those of their victims I have no doubt.

I'm not saying this for the fun of it, you know.  It conveys some sort of meaning, and I don't want to spell out everything to you.

I'm afraid your failure to distinguish between the concept of ad hominem, and that of sarcastic replies has apparently made you fail to address my points or comprehend my answers.

Let me make it clear:

Your fairytale scenario does not register with me.  Land confiscation took place.  

Jews owned only about ten percent of the land given to them by the U.N. partition plan.  They had their ownership of land skyrocket by over 70% in the twinkle of an eye during the turmoil of '48.  Oh no, ladies and gentlemen, seraphic little Israel didn't proceed to just buy itself into existence (and either way, neither can it buy sovereignty, nor had foreign Jews any right to immigrate there in the first place); it had a military army--and an army of armed squatters—ready to move in.


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Tell me - OH ENLIGHTENED ONE - what would you have done instead?

I would have scrapped Balfour's bumbling exercise in playing footsie with what would become a catastrophically explosive situation that still rocks the Middle East—and the world beyond, I'm afraid.  Then Israel would have retained its holy meaning as a word lovingly enshrined in our religious hymnology, rather than as the name of something created by a gang of crooks and marauders whose successors get paid to launch expeditions of land piracy.  The Jolly Roger should have been made Israel's flag.  After all, one of the gits had an eyepatch.

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Israel does not displace inorder to settle -

Uh huhGǪ

GǪI'm sorry, she 'relocates', I mean.

Her settlements are certainly sitting on occupied land of some sort: my country, part of which happens to be the Syrian Golan Heights!  

What, anyway, has this reply of yours to do with my post to which you directed it, wherein I state that this ambition to bring foreign Jews to make a permanent trespass in the Middle East is seen at work in the latest news concerning Syria?

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they move people into UNOCCUPIED lands.
 

Oh yes, I'm sure they made certain it remained unoccupied.  Wouldn't want a belligerent old Pal in his home with a shotgun to get in the way.  Those villages must have been an April Fool's joke, and those old men on P.C.P., spinning tall tales.

Israel has deported and displaced Palestinians and confiscated their lands as sport throughout its life—very uncivilised behaviour--with its very genesis and founding and securing a Jewish majority being based on these tactics.  Granted not every settlement is on a point of land that had a population, but settlements are part of a gigantic apparatus that chokes Palestinians.  More settlements mean more roads and more checkpoints, further dicing the territories into swiss cheese and separating and isolating Palestinian communities.  The chokehold is in the taking of a vital resource: water.  And of course moving armed civilian populations (I never thought the sight of an armed civilian would upset me) into the occupied territories isGǪGǪan occupation.  

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As for land theft - get real.  According to original British mandate,
Israel was to have ALL of what Israel currently controls AS WELL AS what is now the >kingdom of Jordan.

Am I to understand that you are one of those nutcases who actually view as proper and wish to see Israeli hegemony imposed over the occupied territories, over Palestine in its entiretyGǪand beyond?  Was Jordan's rightful place according to you, under the control of foreign immigrants who in '48 failed to make up the majority of the territory of mandate Palestine?

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SO tell me, why do you oppose their returning to their ancient homeland?


A weak attempt at brandishing a truism.  Yes, I am against the natives of a piece of geography being forced into accepting within their midst strange foreigners--be it Jews, Eskimos (of the variety that doesn't convert to Judaism, and then proceeds to 'return home'), or Martians--they make explicitly clear (witness the revolt against this state of affairs and the riots against the British in the '20s) they do not wish to enter their country, much less have handed over to them.  This is without mentioning, mind you, that at the time they were still a minority within British-designated borders, and you, Max—correct me if I'm wrong--, seem to think that control of then TransJordan in its entirety was rightfully theirs from the start (ha!).

Furthermore, I find myself more opposed to the roller-coaster ride mentioned above when it also helps to facilitate the passing of a crazy law that permits every Tom, Dick (nice filter, administrators), and Harry with a yarmulke, regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, or nationality (and without regard for the social friction this creates; yes, folks, there isn't such a thing as one Jewish people-the phrase connotes as much an international background as the word 'American') to be eligible for permission to waltz in and buy a condo (this includes South American Indians who have responded favourably to Jewish prosyletisers; I'm sure intrepid Brother Max will put his highly-flaunted research acumen to work and locate the Ha'aretz feature story to which I refer), while an old geezer who still carries the keys to his house, is not allowed to return to his own property because some Polish prick had decided to make it his home.  This stripping of private property rights is of course natural behaviour for a parasitical, socialist state like Israel, committed to a leftist, collectivist ideology like Zionism whose implementation in the Holy Land consists of confiscation and damage of property (Church property included), destruction of houses (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/1995_israel_demolish_homes_video_01_19_03.htm ), the routine killing of civilians*, and the construction of a goddam Berlin Wall, with the condo fortresses of foreign imposters from Brooklyn and the godd*m Amazon masquerading as the people of this land, put on the 'right' side of said wall, and with its construction involving such unpleasantries as ripping through monastic property (Christians and churches be damned) and damaging ancient Christian sites http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3226793/ --and it all comes with its expected bucket of spin and euphemisms (do you support 'transfer', Max?).  Who can expect anything less from a country that has had terrorists like those of Irgun who perpetrated atrocities in '48 and prior, amongst them setting off bombs in Arab population centers, become prime ministers and government leaders?  They were no doubt perfect for their jobs, as Sharon--the butcher who visited slaughter on Lebanon--unequivocally is.

I still haven't forgotten your execrative charge of Jew-hatred, not to mention your assigning me to the category of base creatures, and the insinuated charge of sin of a religious character against God in allegedly 'choosing' adherents of a certain religion (you of course conveniently forgot the side of the Christians, which happens to be Palestinian) over 'God's choice' of people in this matter (and all matters, I take it).  Now to return back to the issue of Israel's sordid policy of social engineering, I will at this point challenge you to respond to my opposition to this by declaring it to be an unambigious confirmation of my alleged hatred of Jews; I will also wish you to clearly direct this same rebuke at every member of this board here who has the slightest reservation towards this government immigration policy, since according to what your words imply, anyone who is not a Zionist must be a Jew-hating reprobate.  Otherwise, you will please immediately RETRACT the slanderous insinuations you made on the board.   I also would like to know if anyone on this board, like me, is so filled with seething hatred towards anything Jewish that he would object to the turning of a small, poor corner of the world into an American-style (albeit discriminative in the matter of religious/ethnic/cultural [still debated in the Jewish community] identity) immigrant country, with all its resultant social ramifications and radical change of populations (this does not include the matter of cultural abominations such as Jerusalem Gay Pride parades).

Now, onto the British: the British were charged by the League of Nations with trustee power and the responsibility of looking after the welfare of the inhabitants, not the coveters, of Palestine—of the human beings under their care--and the interests of—that's right--no one else, particularly those trying to buy them off.  They had no moral right or authority whatsoever to compromise the Palestinians' right to self-rule over their land, or to promise the surrender of sovereignty over one dunum of the country to a bunch of unwelcome strangers (factor out the Palestinian Jews here and note the word 'strangers', as I do not recognise a false Jewish/Palestinian/Arab dichotomy) who decided to move in and take what wasn't and isn't theirs to take.  Neither did they have any authority to permit a surge of immigration that the natives did not desire.  Self-professed hegemons do not law make, but only a coercive authority create (King Charles I's words before the judges who sent him to the chop are apt: "I see that I am before a power." [ie. a power and not the law]).  Might does not make right.  So theft obviously remains theft, regardless of what a mandate authority or international body deigns to implement as a territorial settlement.  Mr. Max here may seem to think that had the British 'originally agreed' to give Israel the entire Middle East, it would render as rediculous any labelling of this arrangement as theft (so by that argument, one must conclude that Jordan is currently stolen Israeli land; Jordan occupied byGǪJordanians—what staggering news!), but that sort of logic only works in the twilight zone and fantasylands, not in the sensible world of morality and of teachers who can execute proper spelling.

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You can hate Israel and the Jewish people all you like and choose muslims over the people God called the apple of his eye, I for one will not.


I have no religious obligation towards the Jews, except to pray for them.  Certainly not some half-baked notion of duty to allegiance to them in politics!  

I believe however that they have a special place in God's eye, and that He takes special delight in their conversion to the Way of their promised Messias.

Of course, why should I have anything against Hebrew blood?  A lot of it flows in some Palestinian Christians, after all—what, you thought that was Arab blood?  

Most Arabs are descendants of Arabised natives of the Levant.  We are culturally Arabs, not necessarily so ethnically, and the Palestinians are not all Arabs culturally either.  The folks in Palestine are not your imaginary invaders from the Hijaz.  Some probably have more claim to natural descent from Jacob than a German Ashkenazim.

And of course, there are the native Palestinian Jews, some having lived for numerous centuries there, and God only knows how many of them have been swallowed up by your international tsunami.  Of course, the thing that is Israel had a tremendous impact on developments in the region, and they include the disappearance of Arab Jews from our (and their) countries, where they have lived for centuries.  Am I happy about this?  I am very disappointed.

I honestly believe you belong with evangelical fundamentalists, my friend.  But, I suppose that being a vagante gives one licence to hold onto eccentric and exotic beliefs, such as your seeing Zionist Israel in some rightful place in prophecy—that such a theological idea is utter B.S., the Apostolic Churches in Palestine take great pains to make clear to people.

I owe reverence to Israel?  Yes, love for and devotion to the people of Israel; that would be us, the Church, the Christians who have lived for centuries in this Holy Land, not those who have left the fold by rejection of the Messias.

My allegiance in this matter ultimately boils down to the side whose case moral law supports, regardless of the faith of its members.  I find the Jewishness  of the other side to be incidental (substitute Israel with a state for Christians or Star Wars fans from all over the world, and see if my attitude will change one bit).  As a native of the Levant, all I see are a bunch of invading interlopers, who unfortunately are quite effectively armed and carry a penchant for killing people to carry out their plans (THAT, I have certainly seen).

You have the final word, as I am not prepared to protract this discussion any further.  I hope it includes your retraction of your accusation, and apology.  Please endeavour to say something yourself rather than pelt the thread with yet another salvo of articles from propaganda central.

In IC XC
Samer

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« Reply #123 on: January 05, 2004, 05:11:12 AM »

God gave the Jews the promised land. He also took it away from them.
God has permitted the terrible persecution of Jews over the centuries, once upon a time it used to wake them up and call them to repentance, You'd think that after 2000 years of this they would realise that maybe Jesus was the Messiah and that they had killed Him*

There has been attrocity committed against the Jews in the name of Christ, against others too (Christians even!) but on the whole I believe Jews have been well treated by Christians throughout history. If you think they deserve being given their own land in recompense then why not give them California? Heck, give them Greece, with the current birthrates there won't be any Greeks here after a few more generations!

Br. Max, I'm afraid I find your thread Prayers for the Peace of Jerusalem a bit distasteful considering the parallel animosity displayed in this thread. First deal with the issue of peace with your fellow Christian Samer. Until you do I will not be able to view the other thread as anything other than false piety, particularly as you posted the Franciscan prayer of peace shortly after your sarcastic remarks to Samer.

John.



*I know that I identify with the Jews each time I fail to follow God's will. I understand that each time I sin, I am hammering the nails into His hands and feet.
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« Reply #124 on: January 05, 2004, 08:11:05 AM »

It's a good thing the Zionists didn't take up the offer of establishing their "Jewish" state here in Australia in 1944. They would've kicked us off our property or bulldozed my house.
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« Reply #125 on: January 05, 2004, 08:59:35 AM »

Don't call me a leftist, but I have to say that using David Horowitz as your news source strikes me as unwise.

These people are leftists, but a little perspective never hurt.
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« Reply #126 on: January 05, 2004, 10:19:19 AM »

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There has been attrocity committed against the Jews in the name of Christ, against others too (Christians even!) but on the whole I believe Jews have been well treated by Christians throughout history.

Treated well when forced to live in Ghettos?  Treated well when they were prohibited from owning land? Treated well when their children were taken from them and force converted?  Treated well when they were slaughtered en mass for being Jewish?  Treated well when they were forced from their homes time and again?  Treated well when they were banned from teaching their faith?  Or were they treated well by the Tzars who enslaved them as surfs?

Until we can admit our collective guilt and complacency in the crimes Christians have perpetrated against the Jewish people - we are little better than those Jews who stood at the Trail of Christ and cried out “Crucify Him!”

As for my “animosity,” it is directed at one thing and one thing only - those who would DEFEND the crimes of murderers and terrorists as justifiable.  Israel has as much right to exist as America, Canada, New Zealand, Great Brittan, France, Italy, Egypt, Syria, etc.  Lets not forget that each of these nations consists of people who DISPLACED the “native peoples.” unlike these other nations, the Jews did not take Israel by force, but rather through diplomacy. They did not kill people to get homes, but bought their homes.  They did not force the Arabs out - but invited them to stay and work TOGETHER for a bright and peaceful future.  The funniest thing is, that Israel has great relations with all the nations who recognize their right to exist.  When Egypt recognized Israel, Israel returned the Sinai desert  - oil and all - to Egypt.

You cannot sit here across the world and pontificate about how evil Israel is for doing what YOU would do given the same situation - defending yourself from those who have said time and again that they would not rest, that they would not stop until every last person of Israel was dead.
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« Reply #127 on: January 05, 2004, 10:20:12 AM »

Iran's Earthquake of Jew-Hatred
By Dennis Prager
Townhall.com | January 5, 2004


If you want to understand the Middle East conflict, Iran has just provided all you need to know.

A massive earthquake kills between 20,000 and 40,000 Iranians, and the government of Iran announces that help is welcome from every country in the world . . . except Israel.

This little-reported news item is of great significance. It begs commentary.

Israel not only has the world's most experienced crews in quickly finding survivors in bombed out buildings, it is also a mere two-hour flight from Iran. In other words, no country in the world would come close to Israel in its ability to save Iranian lives quickly.

But none of this means anything to the rulers of Iran. The Islamic government of Iran has announced to the world that it is better for fellow countrymen and fellow Muslims -- men, women and children -- to die buried under rubble than to be saved by a Jew from Israel.

That is how deep the hatred of Israel and Jews is in much of the Muslim world.

Hundreds of millions of Muslims -- Arab and non-Arab, Sunni and Shi'a -- hate Israel more than they love life. Leaders of the Palestinian terror organization Hamas repeatedly state, "We love death more than the Jews love life." And now, Iran announces that it is better for a Muslim to asphyxiate under the earth than be rescued by a Jew from Israel.

Naive Westerners -- which includes most academics, intellectuals, members of the international news media, and nearly all others on the Left -- refuse to acknowledge the uniqueness of the Arab/Muslim hatred of Israel and Jews. Yet, there is no hatred in the world analogous to it. Not since the Nazi hatred of Jews has humanity witnessed such hate.

That is why finding survivors from earthquakes, creating a Palestinian state and life itself are all far less important in much of the Islamic and Arab worlds than killing Jews and destroying the little Jewish state.

That is why Arab newspapers run articles by Arab professors describing how Jews butcher non-Jewish children to use their blood for holiday meals.

That is why Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad could get a standing ovation from the heads of every Muslim country when he told them "the Jews rule the world by proxy."

That is why Palestinian parents celebrate the suicide terror of their sons -- the joy of killing Israeli families far outweighs the pain of the death of their child.

Western naifs like to believe platitudes such as "Deep down, all people are really the same," "All people want peace," and the great untruth of multiculturalism that no culture is morally superior to another. That is why they choose not to face the truth about the Nazi-like hatred that permeates the Arab/Muslim world and the consequent moral gulf that exists between it and Israel. It shatters too many of their illusions.

Surely the Iranian refusal of rescuers from the Jewish state ought to help all these people acknowledge the unique hatred that is at the root of the Arab-Israeli dispute and recognize that it is therefore a conflict unlike any other on earth.

So, too, the immediate and sincere Israeli offer of rescuers to Iran should make the moral gulf between Israel and its enemies as clear as day. Despite the fact that Iran is the greatest backer of anti-Israel (and anti-American) terror and despite the fact that Iran repeatedly declares that Israel must be annihilated (in other words, seeks a second Jewish Holocaust), Israel offered to send its people to save Iranian lives.

The two reactions -- Iran's preference for Iranian deaths to Israeli help and the Jewish state's instinctive offer to help save Iranian lives -- ought to be enough anyone needs to understand the source of the Middle East conflict. But they won't. Because those who are anti-Israel or "evenhanded" are not so because of the facts, but despite them.

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« Reply #128 on: January 05, 2004, 11:02:21 AM »

There is no doubt Jews have suffered throughout recent history at the hands of persecutors, but so have lots of other minority groups.

The secular state of Israel exists, however it got there. Some kind of settlement needs to be worked out among the various contending parties in that region.

What I think is most unhelpful and dangerous is the idea that the modern secular state of Israel exists by divine right while the other states in the region are mere human "options."

There is no New Testament prophecy concerning a rebirth of national Israel following its destruction by the Romans. The present Israeli state was the creation of men.
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« Reply #129 on: January 05, 2004, 11:49:16 AM »

linus: every nation exists by divine mandate.  No man on earth has power save it is given them by God.

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« Reply #130 on: January 05, 2004, 12:06:05 PM »

linus: every nation exists by divine mandate.  No man on earth has power save it is given them by God.



Okay, then modern Israel has no more claim on its territory than any other Middle Eastern state.

Besides, the whole "divine mandate" thing can easily be taken too far. Some if not most states exist not because God directly wills their existence but because He permits them to exist.
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« Reply #131 on: January 05, 2004, 08:59:48 PM »

If you think they deserve being given their own land in recompense then why not give them California? Heck, give them Greece, with the current birthrates there won't be any Greeks here after a few more generations!
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The problem with giving them Greece or California is simple - they have no connection to, or desire for that land.  What more, to give them California an existing thriving culture would have to be displaced.  To give them Greece, while you note that birthrates are on decline would also require the displacement of an existing culture.  There was no Palestinian culture.  There were Jews and Arab and even Christians living in the land, but no unique culture.  No people prior to the establishment of Israel even called themselves Palestinians.

 The Jews have just as much right to that land as anyone else.  They have LEGALLY migrated there and set up their homes.  The lies of land stealing and other crimes that are perpetuated about Jews (such as how Jews drink the blood of children in their services), those claims are what upset me.  How would you feel if similar claims were made about Orthodox Christians?

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Br. Max, I'm afraid I find your thread Prayers for the Peace of Jerusalem a bit distasteful considering the parallel animosity displayed in this thread. First deal with the issue of peace with your fellow Christian Samer. Until you do I will not be able to view the other thread as anything other than false piety, particularly as you posted the Franciscan prayer of peace shortly after your sarcastic remarks to Samer.



I’m sorry if I have come off harsh or belligerent in the discussion of this topic - I assure you that I harbor no ill will towards anyone here - not even Sam or Tom - well maybe vicki ( but who is not hostile towards her?? Wink ) - so I am sorry to any that have felt that way.
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« Reply #132 on: January 06, 2004, 11:49:52 AM »

I would like to recommend a book.

It is T.L. Frazier's A Second Look at the Second Coming (Conciliar Press, 1999).

The Foreword to the book was written by Fr. A. James Bernstein, a former Jew and one of the co-founders of "Jews for Jesus" back in the late Sixties.

Frazier's book is the best I've read on eschatology and deals with some of what has been discussed here.
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« Reply #133 on: January 06, 2004, 12:21:14 PM »

I would like to recommend a book.

It is T.L. Frazier's A Second Look at the Second Coming (Conciliar Press, 1999).

The Foreword to the book was written by Fr. A. James Bernstein, a former Jew and one of the co-founders of "Jews for Jesus" back in the late Sixties.

Frazier's book is the best I've read on eschatology and deals with some of what has been discussed here.

One of the next books on my list.  Read the foreward and a couple pages from Ch. 1.  Looks like a great read.  Our choir director used to be his around 10 years ago.
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« Reply #134 on: January 06, 2004, 03:29:53 PM »

Archbishop Averky wrote a patristic commentary on the Apocalypse which is well worth a read. It has a great preface by Father Seraphim Rose.

Only $10 at Amazon and worth $50.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0938635670/qid=1073417367//ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/103-2590052-7912636?v=glance&s=books&n=507846
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