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Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Gaza v. Israel: Whose side is God on?

Five ships of the Free Gaza Movement went full tilt this week to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza, yet when the crunch came the only ship that saw violence, among the flotilla of boats trying to break through, was the crew of the Miva Marmara. Some on board claimed they were peacefully sleeping when the Israelis touched down on deck and opened fire indiscriminately. The Israeli forces counterclaimed, saying that the outbreak of violence resulted from the fact that the Marmara was controlled by and carrying activists belonging to the IHH, a violent Turkish organization that supports Islamic terrorism. “The IHH activists never intended to reach Gaza. Their goal was to pick a very public fight with Israel, and use the outcome to further besmirch the Jewish state in the media. These tactics of the IHH mirror those of Hamas, which also publicly supported the flotilla and sent representatives to Turkey to bless its embarkation,” says Israel Today

Who caused the violence? Whom should we believe?

“The first casualty when war comes is truth," said Hiram Johnson, a Californian politician, referring to a uncensored unreliable supposed eyewitness memoir of Australians fighting on Gallipoli. So, when we hear conflicting reports on the news media, in the attempt to apportion blame - as between terrorists on the one hand and the Israeli government on the other - it’s best to take most of what is said with a fair amount of salt.

The direct conflict between the Palestinians and Israel entails the very existence of Israel. The religious side of this conflict can be understood from the Hamas charter which allies itself with Islam, and is bent on destroying Israel. Thus, it is written into their Charter article 15, which states: "The day that enemies usurp part of Moslem land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Moslem. In face of the Jews' usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised." In article 11 the charter states the land of Israel and the territories constitute the land of Palestine: "The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up." Article 20 declares Israel's existence is null and void: "The Balfour Declaration and the Mandate Instrument, and all their consequences are hereby declared null and void."

Now that couldn’t be clearer, could it? In effect, the words mean: “The land of Israel belongs to us.” Signed, Hamas.

On the other hand, were I, who happens to be a Christian - were I a citizen of Israel and resident there, I would need to acknowledge Israel’s governmental authority over my life. Holy Scripture obliges me to do this: “. . . Be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good." (Romans 13: 1-4) I could not deny, then, Israel’s right to exist, for these Scriptures exclude that option for a Christian.

On what grounds does Hamas deny Israel’s right to be a lawfully constituted State present in the Middle East? The obvious answer is found in the devout Muslem’s appeal to the later verses of the Koran, which have final interpretative authority for him. He denies Israel’s right to control Palestine. Mohammed laid it down in the Quran, and in the Sunna, that the Jews were a fair target for annihilation. Walid Shoeblatt explains this in a video dialogue with Dave Hunt.

When it comes to family squabbles between the sons of Abraham, Ishmael (Arab) and Isaac (Jew) set a fatal precedent into the future, as shown in Genesis 21:10:

“And the child [Isaac] grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. 11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

Muslem genealogists trace the descent of Mohammed from Abraham to Ishmael, from Ishmael to Kedar (Bedouin Arabs) and through to Mohammed. Kedar (Gen 25:13) was the tribal founder of the Arab Bedouins, a malignant and fierce people. Kedar was the second son of Ishmael, whose posterity was cruel and merciless. Even before Ishmael was born, God through Moses set out the pattern for all time, as between Ishmael (the Arab) and Isaac (the Jew)

And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. 12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.Gen 16:10

And so it has been, ever since; so it is, and so it will be until Jesus Christ returns to resolve the mess.

Now, the interesting thing is that there are some devout Orthodox Jews living in Jerusalem, with their heads all day long in the Torah (Five Books of Moses). But, neither do they recognise Israel’s right to exist as a State! That’s a bemusing thought, when you consider those same people get privilege and State protection all the while! The so-called ultra-Orthodox say not until Messiah comes will the Israeli government have legitimacy. But, how would they justify such an extreme position? They would doubtless say, ‘God never promised legitimacy to Israel until those who return to Israel do so as believers in Jehovah: most returning Jews are hardly believers, to say the least.’

Whose land is it, Mohammed’s or Moses’? Truth is, the legal ownership of the land of Israel belongs neither to Israel nor to the Islamic ‘authorities.’ It belongs only to Jehovah, who often called ‘eretz Israel “my land.” (2 Chron. 7:20; Isa 14:25; Jer. 2:7; Ezek. 38:5, 16; Joel 1:6; 3:2)

In the KJV of 2 Chron. 7:20 Jehovah refers to the approaching Temple destruction (586 BC) and the Babylonian exile, saying:

Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations.

The AV translation mirrors the Massoretic Text of the Hebrew exactly, including the words emphasised above. Every word in the Bible is significant and should be translated for maximum impact. By what right, then, did the NRS translate the verse with the word “my” omitted, as follows ?

Then I will pluck you up from the land that I have given you; and this house, which I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.

The sophisticated atheistic Israeli ‘polly’ may think he has the freehold rights of the land. On the other hand, the devout Muslem believes he will inevitably ‘retrieve’ the legal rights to the land, thus reversing the 1948 dispossession! Both are wrong. God says, “It’s my land.” Only He actually owns the land, and He will dispose of it through His Son. One day the final campaign of Armageddon will get under way. The prophet Joel flagged this event as early as the eighth century BC:

I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. Joel 3:2

Notice the last three words of this verse!