In 1945, The United Nations replaced the ineffective League of Nations in hope of preventing another world war. The intention was honorable and in its inceptive years, the United Nations were very influential in a positive way. One example is without a doubt the vote in favor of declaring the State of Israel in 1948. It was both historic and prophetic. Much has happened in the last 70 years, and not always in favor of Israel. As a matter of fact, more resolutions have been passed against Israel at the United Nations than any other countries in the world. [Read more…]
In the book of Genesis, G-d made a covenant with Abraham and his descendants (the #Jewish people) in which He unconditionally promised Abraham several things including many descendants, a specific area of land in the Middle East known as Israel and in verse 3, He also promised to reward those dealing with Israel and the Jewish people according to their behavior, as we read: “And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will #curse.”
This promise from G-d isn’t an empty one as we can track through biblical history how He caught up with those who mistreated Israel. It didn’t take long for G-d to punish Egypt with the death of all their firstborns as the tenth plague inflicted on the Egyptians whose Pharaoh–who didn’t know Joseph– had ordered the death of all male children of the Jewish slaves he controlled (Exodus 1:8-22; 11:1-7). A curse for a curse!
We can also look at the story that unfolds in the Book of Esther. Haman, the arch-enemy of the Jewish people wants to get rid of Mordecai and all his people, so he fabricates a story and builds gallows to hang Mordecai. By the end of the book, it is Haman who is hanging dead on the gallows (Esther 3:5-15; 7:7-10), again…A curse for a curse!
But the #Genesis 12:3 principle doesn’t stop with the biblical narrative. It continues through time as we can see with the Spanish empire that had been leading Western Europe for close to 600 years until the late 1400’s. That era was known as the “Golden Age” of Spain and it lasted until 1492, a date that according to most historians and scholars isn’t only the time when Christopher Columbus “sailed the ocean blue”, but also the year when Queen Isabella chose to drive out all the #Jews of Spain. Subsequently, 1492 became known as the start of the decline of the Spanish empire.
Genesis 12:3 could be labelled “G-d’s foreign policy as it pertains to Israel.” And if indeed G-d keeps his word, He will catch up with all the enemies of Israel sooner or later. Sometimes sooner, sometimes not, sometimes with a similar curse, but not necessarily always with matching curses.
Looking at the situation in Europe today, it is hard not to connect the impact of #radical Islam to the behavior of certain countries towards Israel. All or most of the countries of the current #European Union have had a history of #antisemitism that, one way or another, can be traced back to the second Century BCE. Consider just a few of the European countries who expelled their Jewish communities over the last 600 years (several more could be listed):
England: Expelled the Jews in 1290
France: Expelled the Jews in 1306, 1321-22, 1394
Spain: Expelled the Jews in 1492
Sicily: Expelled the Jews in 1492-93
Lithuania: Expelled the Jews in 1495
Portugal: Expelled the Jews in 1496-97
Germany: Expelled the Jews in 1510, 1610, 1885
Bavaria: Expelled the Jews in 1551
Italy: Expelled the Jews 1567, 69, 1593
Austria: Expelled the Jews in 1670
Czechoslovakia: Expelled the Jews in 1745
Russia: Expelled the Jews in 1891
This doesn’t include a record of other major events in the annals of Jewish history that have punctuated the Jewish people’s story with horrific acts of antisemitism such as the Crusades, the Blood Libels, The Host Desecration accusations, Talmud burnings, the Inquisition, the Pogroms and of course the Holocaust. Without performing an in-depth socio-demographic study of all these countries, we can still speculate that there might be a connection between the treatment of their respective Jewish communities and how G-d might be responding in the twenty-first century.
Radical Islam had already almost impregnated all European countries until very recently. People like Bat Ye’or saw the hand-writing on the wall of European civilization as early as the mid 1970s in her seminal work Eurabia. Mark Steyn understood the demographics “point of no return” in 2006 in his book America Alone. I wrote about it as early as 2000 in my first book They Have Conspired Against You.
With the advent of the migrant crisis in the last two years, Europe has now been placed on a collision course. Germany and Sweden are leading the way in what could become to the first country wide cultural suicides. They are plagued by a brand of #political correctness that has crippled them. They have lost their ability and in some cases their willingness to fight for their native sovereignty and established law of the land. Belgium, England and France are not far behind.
While we cannot dogmatically ascertain the connection between Jewish expulsions and #God’s curse, there is a strong possibility that the steady, exponential and irreversible decline of Europe might be a result of these nations disdain for the chosen people of G-d. This certainly doesn’t place all Muslim as a curse to Europe, just like not all Germans were Nazis, but one cannot ignore the on-going cultural and demographic jihad happening in Europe. “G-d’s foreign policy as it pertains to Israel,” doesn’t allow for any grey areas. You bless or you curse and the results, while not always immediate and similar, have always been in kind– a curse for a curse and a #blessing for a blessing– The wake-up call is imminent and many will be surprised!
When the League of Nations (founded in 1920 after WWI) was replaced by the United Nations in 1945, the world was hopeful that the new organization would succeed in averting another world war–a feat that the League of Nations clearly failed at. The UN prides itself in promoting international cooperation and world peace. It even won the Nobel peace prize in 2001 (but so did Yasir Arafat in 1994.) The UN current Secretary is Ban Ki-moon (since 2007.) In the first article of the UN charter, we can read their purpose for existing:
1. To maintain international peace and security, to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
3. To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and
4. To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.
There is no doubt in my mind that the original crafting of the UN charter took a lot of careful efforts from its founding members to assure that the world organization would be equipped to function properly. As a result, we have seen many decisions made by the UN that definitely helped make the world a better place. One of these decisions was the 1947 vote for the partitioning of British Mandate Palestine, that led to May 14, 1948 and the re-birth of Israel as a modern nation (33 for, 10 against, 10 abstentions.)
But 1948 is nearly 70 years ago and since then, the United Nations have been less than friendly to Israel. As a matter of fact, for many years, there have been more resolutions passed against the Jewish state than the rest of the world combined (and here). For instance, in 2015, the UN adopted 23 resolutions, three against Iran, Syria and Korea and twenty against Israel. There are no indication that it will slow down in 2016. It is also very hard to forget the 16 years that it took the United Nations to revoke their 1975 resolution claiming that “Zionism is Racism.” And even if they did revoke it, the organizing of the Durban I (2001), II (2009) and III (2011) conferences against racism have shown that the target was once again almost exclusively Israel.
The United Nations’ obsession with demonizing Israel is obvious to any unbiased observer. Just days ago, the unbelievable claim was made by the UN that Israel was the number one country violating women’s human rights. The UN ignored Hamas, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, ISIS, Syria to name just a few of the countries were animals are treated better than women. Yet it found Israel guilty of human rights violation against Palestinian women. Is it me or whatever comes out of the UN is officially believed as fact by a world population that certainly doesn’t care to check for accuracy as much as it cares for stigmatizing and ostracizing Israel?
To add insult to injury, the UN decides to praise and promote violence, lies and murders. How do you explain the UN funded tree planting by Palestinians to honor the memory of terrorists? How sick is it to promote death and make murderers into martyrs while accusing the victims of human rights violation?
This makes it very difficult for anyone who is seeking truth and fairness to not accuse the UN of antisemitism. It is a fact that a large number of UN members are Arab/Muslim nations who are against Israel and are weighing in at every chance they have to vote against the only Middle East democracy. In the meantime, Israel treats Palestinians in their hospitals, gives jobs to Palestinians and even has two Arab parties as a part of the Knesset. This is looking more and more like there is nothing Israel can do to be in good standing with the world in general and the United Nations in particular.
Even if all Jews would die today and Israel as a whole would become Palestine, antisemitism would continue to exist in the hearts of men. You read me right, no Israel and no Jews do not guarantee no antisemitism, it only guarantees no Israel and no Jews, something that God will never allow (Jeremiah 31:35-37). But if the UN could continue trying to play god…well, that’s a different story! Those nations are united indeed, but they are united against Israel and as a result, against God (Psalm 83:5.)
– Olivier Melnick
Judea Pearl, who is a professor at UCLA and the president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation has written an article in “The Cutting Edge News” on March 30. It is a challenging and thought provoking article on the differences between Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism. following is a short excerpt:
“… anti-Zionism is in many ways more dangerous than anti-Semitism.
First, anti-Zionism targets the most vulnerable part of the Jewish people, namely, the Jewish population of Israel, whose physical safety and personal dignity depend crucially on maintaining Israel’s sovereignty. Put bluntly, the anti-Zionist plan to do away with Israel condemns five and a half million human beings, mostly refugees or children of refugees, to eternal defenselessness in a region where genocidal designs are not uncommon.
Secondly, modern society has developed antibodies against anti-Semitism but not against anti-Zionism. Today, anti-Semitic stereotypes evoke revulsion in most people of conscience, while anti-Zionist rhetoric has become a mark of academic sophistication and social acceptance in certain extreme yet vocal circles of U.S. academia and media elite. Anti-Zionism disguises itself in the cloak of political debate, exempt from sensitivities and rules of civility that govern inter-religious discourse, to attack the most cherished symbol of Jewish identity.
Finally, anti-Zionist rhetoric is a stab in the back to the Israeli peace camp, which overwhelmingly stands for a two-state solution. It also gives credence to enemies of coexistence who claim that the eventual elimination of Israel is the hidden agenda of every Palestinian.
It is anti-Zionism, then, not anti-Semitism that poses a more dangerous threat to lives, historical justice and the prospects of peace in the Middle East.”
Full link to article: (www.thecuttingedgenews.com)
In his article, Judea Pearl seems to clearly delineate several differences between the two AND claim that the most dangerous is Anti-Zionism. I am far from convinced that the two can be completely separated and additionally, I believe that Anti-Semitism is at the root of Anti-Zionism.
The complete destruction of Israel would not bring the rest of the Jewish people worldwide to a safe place, while the complete cessation of anti-semitic acts and sentiments would preserve Israel AND also the diaspora Jews.
So, to be sure, BOTH Anti-Semitism AND Anti-Zionism must be fought and defeated and BOTH will require us to stand up and speak against them.
Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.
Abraham Joshua Heschel
– Olivier Melnick
For the twelfth year in a row, campuses around the United States and now even around the world are promoting an event known as Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW). The decade old movement has picked up quite a bit of momentum in the last few years as we can see on their interactive map of events around the world. The vast majority of anti-Israel events will take place in the United States and Western Europe, with more in South Africa and South America. The claim is made that Israel is guilty of apartheid just like South Africa was. In a short video, a spokesperson for the AJ+ news website explains apartheid and leads the viewers to connect South African protest against it to Palestinian protest against Israeli apartheid. While her description of South African apartheid is somewhat accurate, her linking it to Israel is a giant stretch based on many false presuppositions. Yet, that well produced video and many more of the sort are fueling organizations such as Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW).
In their mission statement, which they call their “Basis of Unity”, IAW claims that:” The aim of IAW is to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns as part of a growing global BDS movement.” furthermore, they also state that they are “against the racist ideology of Zionism, which is the impetus for Israeli colonialism, because it inherently discriminates against those who are not Jewish. We are against all forms of discrimination, and believe that there can never be justice without the restoration of full rights for everyone, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or nationality.”
Their promotional video has a message of unity and social justice accompanied by a catchy reggae-style tune. It starts with a bold statement saying:” One has to keep telling the story in as many ways as possible, as it insistently as possible, and in as compelling a way as possible, to keep attention to it, because there is always a fear it might just disappear.” In and of itself the message is true, but what they apply it to isn’t. Over the years, the IAW organizers have invited Israel haters, antisemites, historical revisionists and Holocaust deniers alike. People such as Noam Chomsky, Illan Pappé, who while not blatantly denying the Holocaust, accuses the original victims [the Jews] of perpetrating a new Holocaust on the new victims [the Palestinians] and Rabbi Yisrael David Weiss from anti-Jewish (you read it right!) group Neturei Karta, to name just a few. Or even Omar Barghouti from Qatar who along with his anti-Israel BDS stance has also pursued a PhD at Tel Aviv University. So much for apartheid Mr. Barghouti!
So, if I understand IAW promoters, it is appropriate to further tell the story–as unfounded as it might be–of Israeli occupation and crimes against Palestinians, and it is equally appropriate, if not expected, to perpetuate the notion that the Holocaust never happened or was grossly exaggerated.
Over the years, what started as a series of meeting over a few campuses in America and even fewer across the globe, has grown to over 150 locations globally. IAW sympathizers go out of their way to encourage others to boycott Israel and divest any funding they could from the only democracy in the Middle East, all in the name of social justice. Recently they have used what is known as intersectionality. This approach to social justice connects all types of oppressions and abuses under the same banner. Writer and lecturer Ziva Dahl explains “Proponents of intersectionality see a world of all-encompassing oppression, where racism, classism, sexism, homophobia and ableism constitute an intersecting system. All injustices are interconnected, even if occurring in unconnected geographic, cultural and political environments. This is the rationalization for building alliances among unrelated causes like LGBTQ rights, fossil fuel divestment, prison reform, racial discrimination and immigration.”
Anti-Israel organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace, are quick to add the Palestinian struggle to all other minorities’ fights against injustice. So, now we can save the whales, promote transgender people and divest from Israel all in one fell swoop! After all, it is all about minorities being abused! This also leads to having groups who share no common ground ideologically, hold hands against Israel and the Jewish people. This builds a stronger case for what I call End-Times antisemitism as it illustrates incredible irrationality.
But where is the outrage for all the other countries of the world that commit or have committed crimes against humanity? According to the International Criminal Court in La Hague, Netherlands, a crime against humanity, as defined in their “Rome Statute” is any of the following:
• Deportation or forcible transfer of population
• Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law
• Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity
• Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious and/or gender
• Enforced disappearance of persons
• The crime of apartheid
• Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
Where is the call to boycott China, Sudan, North Korea, Rwanda, Congo or Syria among others? Where is the public cry to denounce the multiple genocides and ethnic cleansing around the globe? It is a stretch, but even if these people were to continue pointing the finger at Israel for crimes that they haven’t committed, why are they not also pointing the finger at Hamas for crimes that they are committing? Sure, it can be argued that not all Palestinians are terrorists, but regarding those who are, why are they still being given “carte blanche” to commit more crimes? Israel Apartheid Week is more than blindness or ignorance, it is a willful vilification of Israel and it has absolutely nothing to do with global social justice.
– Olivier Melnick
Growing up in France in the 60s, I often heard conversations about Zionism and Israel at family gatherings. I didn’t really understand what they were all about except that there were always a few family members who spoke passionately about Eretz Yisrael. Some even occasionally spoke of the possibility of returning to the Land. Zionism was some sort of magical, mystical word that made people both dream and argue in the same breath. It never got bad press, except maybe from the few Jewish family members who were comfortably assimilated in France and wouldn’t fathom making Aliyah. Fast forward to 2016 and Zionism has now become a cuss word in many circles around the world.
The term “Zionism” and “Zionist” were coined in 1890 by Jewish activist Nathan Birnbaum (1864-1937) who also played an important part in the first Zionist Congress in 1897. The word “Zion” comes from the Hebrew tzion, a reference to Jerusalem and often, by extension, to the land of Israel itself (first mentioned in II Samuel 5:7.)
According to scholar Mitchell Bard, Zionism is: “ The national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel. Additionally, Israeli diplomat, politician and historian Abba Eban defines it as follows: “Zionism is nothing more — but also nothing less — than the Jewish people’s sense of origin and destination in the land linked eternally with its name.
Over the years, we have heard about historical, political, practical, cultural and even Christian Zionism. Today we hear more about anti-Zionism because the word has been given a new meaning that is so politically charged and so negative. How did we go from “The national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel” to a movement labelled as “occupation”, “colonization” or even “racism?”
After the early Zionist pioneers of the late 1800s, the Jewish people started to move back to the land of Israel in the late 40s from all over the Diaspora. They were drawn to Israel for reasons as various as political, familial, economic or even religious. Nothing was frowned upon by anyone. Then came Yassir Arafat, the PLO and the Palestinian quest for self-determination. Unfortunately, the Palestinian cause was one without a land…something had to happen!
“Wait a minute! What if the Palestinians were a people displaced by Jewish colonialists who stole their land, kicked them out and even killed them? This is a long shot but if we keep at it, the masses will eventually buy it!” This might be what went through the minds of Yassir Arafat and his cronies. Zionism slowly started to acquire a bad reputation. It would take several decades to get as bad as it is now, but eventually, it started to spread beyond the Middle East to the rest of the western world
For a while, the damage inflicted on Zionism was counteracted by a strong support from Evangelical Christians who became known as “Christian Zionists.” They based their support of Israel on a belief that the Bible spoke of that land given to Jewish people by God Himself. They also made a strong connection to End-Times prophecies including and involving Israel in a very strong way all the way to the end.
In Genesis 12:1-3, which I like to call “God’s foreign policy as it pertains to Israel” we see that God made a covenant with Abraham, further confirmed through Isaac (not Ishmael) and Jacob. In that Covenant, He gives the Jewish people the deed to the Land of Canaan (Exodus 13:11). This is further developed in Genesis 12:1-3, 7; 13:15;17:7-8, 19; 25:5-6; 26:3; 28:3-4; 35:9-15. Anti-Zionism is simply a human attempt at rewriting a Divine Covenant between God and the Jewish people and because of that, it can be deemed as anti-biblical and is bound to failure. If God changed His mind, this would also make Him a Covenant breaker and a liar.
Israel and Zionism suffer from many foes, not just the Palestinians. The United Nations General Assembly passed resolution 3379 in 1975, in which it stated that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” It took sixteen years for the UN to revoke that statement in 1991. But the damage was done and would continue to be inflicted on Israel and the Jewish people to this day. Today, many countries in the Middle East continue to see Israel as the enemy. They describe Zionism in no uncertain terms:
• Ahmadinejad used to call for the complete destruction of the Zionist Regime.
• Khameini believes that the Zionist Network dictates US policies which a lie taken straight from the early twentieth century hoax known as The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.
• Hamas claims that, “The lie of the Zionist Holocaust crumbles with countless holocausts committed by the Zionists.”
Should a Zionist agree with every single decision made by the Israeli government? Of course not! Should a Zionist systematically reject any prospect of shared land space between Jews and Palestinians if peace is truly the goal? Probably not! Yet, these and many more libelous statements by Israel’s enemy have poured over into the Evangelical Church. The Palestinian narrative has become stronger than the biblical narrative. The Christian Zionists of yesterday has morphed into a politically correct Christian “Palestinianist.” As a result, very few within the Evangelical ranks continue to support Israel. Zionism has truly become a cuss word and yet, the Bible never changed. Anti-Zionism is almost always antisemitism in a cloak of social justice.
Many followers of Yeshua (Jesus) look at the Bible and clearly see that God is NOT done with Israel. They see a glorious future for the people and the Land. While their numbers are dwindling down, these people are still called Christian Zionists as they recognize Israel’s biblical right to the Land and the Jewish people right to return to that Land. Christian Zionism is a noble cause and is part of what every Bible believing Christian should promote because God Himself declared it to be true in His Word.
The foundation for Zionism was established by God in the book of Genesis. It continues to run through like an uninterrupted thread through the tapestry of Jewish history. If Zionism has existed for a long time, we also cannot deny that God used people like Theodore Herzl, Achad Ha’am, Eliezer Ben Yehuda, Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gourion, Golda Meir and many others to further promote the Jewish people right to the Land of Israel. What God established, no man can destroy (Jeremiah 31:35-37).
– Olivier Melnick
It was in 1894, when Hungarian Jewish reporter Theodor Herzl followed the Dreyfus Affair in Paris, it took him no time to realize that anti-Semitism was alive and well. Herzl was shocked to hear “Death to the Jews” on the streets of Paris. Napoleon might have been friendly to the Jews of his time, yet the “Jewish Enlightenment”, also known as the Haskalah, was mostly a failure.
Convinced that the Jewish people needed a state of their own, Herzl published his booklet Der Judestaat (The Jewish State) in 1896. In that small but visionary piece of work, he envisioned Eretz Yisrael and though he received a lot of criticism for it, was convinced that even though hardships and obstacles populated the journey, “Palestine” was the destination. Theodore Herzl, while not the originator or of the concept of Zionism, was definitely the visionary, catalyst, and leader of political Zionism. Ernst Pawel, in The Labyrinth of Exile: A life of Theodor Herzl, explained: “he brought to it leadership, organization and a unique blend of fantasy and practical realism, but his most important contribution by far was the messianic image of himself, his stature in the eyes of the Jews and in the eyes of the world 1“.
And so it was, in 1897 and not without struggle that Herzl organized the First Zionist Congress. As President, he convened six more until 1902. It was in Vienna, in 1897, that he said almost prophetically: At Basle I created the Jewish State. In five years, perhaps, and certainly in fifty, everyone will see it 2“. Add 50 to 1897 and you get 1947…the rest is history!
He also quickly realized that Zionism was a purely political movement in search of sustainability. A morphing into a more practical Zionism was becoming necessary. It eventually led to the birth of “Cultural Zionism”, appealing to a wider spectrum within the Jewish community of that time. Two key players were Ahad Ha’am 3 (Hebrew for “one of the people”) whose vision as the father of cultural Zionism was: “A Jewish state and not merely a State of Jews” and Eliezer Ben-Yehuda who had emigrated to Israel in 1881 and dedicated the rest of his life–not without hardship–to the rebirth of Hebrew as a modern tongue 4.
But as political, practical or even cultural as it might have become, it could be argued that Zionism was, before anything else, a biblical concept. In a sense, we can also say that God was the first Zionist. He created the Jewish people to whom He gave the Torah (Exodus 20) and the Land “from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates” (Genesis 15). It was only a matter of time before Bible believing followers of the Messiah would support and pray for Eretz Yisrael, becoming a group within Christianity, known as “Christian Zionists”.
While the biblical concept of supporting the existence of Israel and the Jewish people goes back much further, It was again, Theodor Herzl who might have used the term “Christian Zionist” for the first time in 1896. It is also believed, according to Edward Flannery amongst others that the re-birth of Israel in 1948 as well as its growth, had quite a bit to do with Christian Zionists. He stated that “without Christian Zionism, it is highly unlikely that the present State of Israel would have come into being so rapidly as it did 5“.
Christian Zionists have always varied theologically, yet they all maintain a common ground when it comes to certain essentials about Israel and the Jewish people. They all have a vested interest in Eschatology (the biblical study of the last days). They see a clear biblical distinction between Israel and the Church, they believe in the physical return of the Jewish people to Israel, the rebuilding of the Temple and Israel coming to faith in Messiah, amongst other things.
For at least the last 100 years, Christian Zionists have been the one arm of the Evangelical church that maintained a very friendly, positive attitude towards Israel and the Jewish people. Most Israeli Prime Ministers since 1948, have recognized the friends they had within Christian Zionist circles.
Unfortunately, the tide is changing. Christian Zionism appears to be dying worldwide. To be sure, Israel hasn’t lost all of its friends within the Evangelical ranks. Additionally, Messianic Jewish believers, regardless of their acceptance or lack of by the Jewish community at large, do support Israel unconditionally. I am one of them.
This changing tide is known as “Christian Palestinianism” and will turn into a tsunami if nothing gets done. It has already swept a large number of Evangelicals into questioning, disliking AND rejecting any kind of Zionism. Christian Palestinianism is Christian anti-Zionism, and as such it must be confronted.
In her book Eurabia: the Euro-Arab Axis released in 2006, Jewish author and activist Bat Ye’or almost prophetically calls it “Palestinian Marcionism”:”The Christian policy that would eliminate the Jewish source of Christianity by suppressing the link between the Hebrew Bible and the Gospels represents an old and lingering trend, always opposed by the Church. It was first formulated by Marcion, a second-century Byzantine priest of pagan background who was strongly influenced by Gnoticism. Today, Palestinian Marcionism (Palestinianism) paves the way for the Islamization of the Church as it prepares mentalities for an Islamic replacement theology…and encompasses the whole paraphernalia of traditional antisemitism“6.
While Bat Ye’or would claim that Christian Palestinianism is quite ancient –and to an extent she is correct–others such as British scholar Paul Wilkinson see the modern movement as being about 20 years old. He would posit that the modern founder of Christian Palestinianism is Naïm Ateek who started the movement in 1994 when he founded the Palestinian Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center known as SABEEL.
Some of the major proponents of Christian Palestinianism today are leaders such as Naïm Ateek or Elias Chacour. But more importantly, the torch of anti-Zionism is being passed down to people who used to be Zionists or at the very least not anti-Israel. These include British vicar Stephen Sizer who describes Zionism as a “devious heresy”, Professor Gary Burge of Wheaton College in Illinois, or even Liz Hybels (wife of Chicago area Willow Creek mega church senior pastor Bill Hybels). There are many more names I could add to this list.
A tragic example of this destructive ideology is the movie Little Town of Bethlehem (2010) painting the portrait of three men who wanted peace and reconciliation in the region: an Arab Muslim, an Israeli Jew and a Palestinian Christian. They promoted their views of reconciliation against all odds. Really, who would disagree with that?
The issue does not lie in the validity of such an aspiration but in how the different sides were being portrayed. Palestinians were being compared to African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement following the leadership of Martin Luther King and fighting the National Guard for their freedom, while Israelis were being painted as the oppressors and invaders of “Palestine”. It is a shame to see that many Evangelical are buying into the lies of Christian Palestinianism
The same can be said for a more vocally Christian project known as With God on Our Side, directed by Porter Speakman Jr. and endorsed by Tony Campolo and Vice President of World Vision, Steve Haas. It has also received rave reviews from Christianity Today.
Christian Palestinianism is Replacement Theology on steroids! With any vestige of the Jewish roots of Christianity eradicated, Israel and the Jewish people will become irrelevant and this is a risk we cannot afford to take! Evangelicals who moved from Christian Zionism to Christian Palestinianism are putting Israel and the Jewish people at risk. Are they no longer reading their Bibles to believe in such lies as Yeshua being the first Palestinian? How can they biblically validate Palestine?
Christian Palestinianism is Christian anti-Zionism which is Christian anti-Semitism in disguise. This shift from Israel to Palestine in the Christian psyche really is a slap in the God’s face and a grave altering of His Word. This is indeed the “Great Christian Betrayal” and I tremble at the idea that these people will one day answer to God and have absolutely no logical explanation for how they treated the “Apple of His Eye”.
What we can AND must do, is support Israel’s right to exist and right to the land. Israel is the only ray of hope in the Middle East as the only true democracy. The number of Israel’s true friends within Evangelical circles is dwindling down. We are becoming a minority, yet one of our members is God Himself, and that, I can live with!
Being pro-Israel doesn’t mean that one is anti-Palestinian, sadly, the opposite is seldom true!
– Olivier Melnick
1. Pawel, Ernst: The Labyrinth of Exile: A Life of Theodor Herzl (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, New York, NY, 1989) Page 3.
2. Eban, Abba: My People: The Story of the Jews (Random House, New York, New York, 1968) Pages 335-337.
3. Ahad Ha’am, The Jewish State and Jewish Problem, trans. from the Hebrew by Leon Simon 1912, Jewish Publication Society of America, Essential Texts of Zionism.
4. St. John, Robert: Tongue of the Prophets (Wilshire Book Company, N. Hollywood, California,1952) page 266.
5. Wilkinson, Paul: For Zion’s Sake (Paternoster UK, 2007) page 14
6. Bat Ye’or, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis (Teaneck, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2006), p. 213.