Jun 08, 2010
Yesterday's big news was news reporter, Helen Thomas, who was asked what the Israeli Jews ought to do about their situation. I think her answer was boosted by a little too much natural wine at the party, and no doubt she thought she was talking off the record. So she gave her personal view, not speaking as a reporter: "They should get the hell out of Palestine."
"Where should they go?" she was asked.
"They should go home."
"Where is that?"
"Poland, Germany, America . . . wherever they came from."
Fortunately for her, being 89 years old, she was able to retire, rather than be fired and banned from ever reporting the news again.
I did not realize that Helen comes from a family that immigrated to America from Lebanon. Her family was Christian Orthodox. So I suppose that is sufficient to explain her political position. Just think, she reported the news for over 50 years, and never once did I ever hear her express her own opinion on this topic. Perhaps that is the mark of a good reporter. Or it might be that when sober she understood that certain opinions would get her fired, so she kept quiet.
If I were to offer a critique of her remarks, I would say that she worded it in a way that was offensive, because the spirit behind it was anger or strong irritation. You see, I myself have often written that they should leave Palestine as well, but my motive goes beyond resolving the injustice to the Palestinian people. That is certainly a factor, of course, and a big one. But in studying prophecy, I see a big disaster coming to the Israeli state and other cities of the region. So my motive is that they should leave the danger zone.
But "go home"?? Helen is an old lady who remembers first-hand the early Jewish immigration from Poland and Germany. Most of those original immigrants are long dead by now. A large number of Israelis were born in Palestine, so "home" is where they now live.
But Zionists were quick to condemn her on the grounds that she was telling them to go back to the internment camps and the ovens. These critics are also living in the past and treating Poland and Germany as if this were still 1944. There is no need to insult Poland and Germany today.
The real issue today is whether German persecution of Jews in the 1940's justifies displacing Palestinians from their homes and giving their land to Jews. The Palestinian people do not think they should have had to pay for the sins of Germany. Palestinians were treated as if they did not exist. Note Golda Meir's famous statement: "Palestinians? What Palestinians?" And the current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, continues this claim saying that there is no such thing as a Palestinian.
That is like saying in early America, "Indians? What Indians? There's no such thing as an Indian unless you go to India." Such legalisms ignore the ten-ton elephant in the living room--the fact thatpeople exist regardless of what they call themselves.
In my view, Palestinians have the right to exist. So do Jews. So do Germans and Poles. Existence is not really the main issue. It is whether we have the right to own the land where we have lived for centuries. The issue is WHERE we live (or exist). Do we have the right to steal another man's land?
At this point the argument morphs from secular to religious. Zionists call upon religion as the proof of their right to expel Palestinians or make life so miserable for them that they leave voluntarily. This religious argument brings us back to the Bible.
The Bible insists that God Himself owns all the land (Lev. 25:23). In the days of Joshua, God gave the land to the tribes of Israel. Their occupation of the land was CONDITIONAL upon their obedience to the Covenant (promise/vow) that they had made at Mount Sinai. Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 make it clear that God held the right to displace Israel for violating the Covenant.
The book of Judges shows how God put Israel under the wooden yoke in six distinct captivities. God had every right to do this, and His reasons are clearly written in Scripture. Some centuries later, God cast out the northern tribes of Israel completely (2 Kings 17:18).
A century after this, God brought Judah into captivity to Babylon, where they remained for 70 years under the "yoke of iron" (Deut. 28:48; Jer. 28:13). When they returned, they remained under the wooden yoke of Persia, followed by Greece and Rome, until the first century.
Then once again, because the people refused to submit to the wooden yoke of Rome, and chose to revolt in 66 A.D., God sent them into an iron-yoke captivity once again, scattering them into all nations. The law in Lev. 26:40-42 said that God would turn their captivity only when they acknowledged their hostility against Yahweh (i.e., Jesus Christ).
Zionism is a movement designed to bring Jews back to Palestine without repenting first of their hostility to Jesus Christ. In other words, they have not fulfilled the terms of the Covenant by which God would reverse the Diaspora.
So if the Israeli Zionists justify their occupation of Palestine by appealing to religion or to God Himself, they must submit to the conditions in the law. Because they have not fulfilled the terms of the Covenant--which they themselves profess to hold--they find that God needs some fleshly help to accomplish this goal.
The key to the whole situation is their continued rejection of Jesus Christ. It was the primary reason for their dispersion at the hands of Rome in the first century. God gave them 40 years in which to repent, according to the intercession of Ezekiel (4:6). In 62 A.D. they stoned the last great intercessor for Jerusalem--James, the brother of Jesus--thus leaving the city without an intercessor.
Just before the revolt began in 66, God even raised up a prophet named Jesus, son of Ananias, to warn them in Jerusalem. The people beat him savagely. Finally, they took him before the Roman procurator.
"There, though scourged till his flesh hung in ribbons, he neither begged for mercy nor shed a tear, but lowering his voice to the most mournful of tones, answered every blow with 'WOE TO JERUSALEM'!" (Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. III, 8)
Christian Zionism today supports Jewish Zionism on the grounds that the Israeli state will repent and accept Jesus at the last minute. These Christians do not believe Jesus' words, so I do not expect them to believe me either. But Jesus cursed the fig tree, saying, "Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever" (Matt. 21:19). That fig tree was cursed because it was covered with fig leaves but had no fruit.
Fig leaves have been a problem since Adam and Eve. Fig leaves are a false justification for sin, or a self-justification without true repentance. When Jesus said later in Matt. 24:32 that this "fig tree" (nation) was going to come back to life and bring forth more "leaves," He prophesied of the Israeli state. However, leaves are not fruit.
Christian Zionists assume that this "fig tree" will bring forth fruit. I would like all men to bring forth the fruit of the Kingdom, but this is not what Jesus prophesied for this fig tree nation. In fact, in Matt. 21:43 He said that the Kingdom would be taken from them and given to another nation.
Scripture does acknowledge and prophesy the rise of the Israeli state, but it does not justify their actions. Instead, it predicts more fig leaves, excuses, and self-justifications for their sin against the Palestinian people. So Helen Thomas did speak a measure of truth, but it was not spoken in love.
Dr. Stephen Jones