This article is likely to attract attention, and at the same time arouse a variety of strongly-held views and emotions. Whenever anyone speaks about the Jews it always has that effect. The Jews have been a “problem” to the world for the last 2000 years, and nations have dealt with that problem in a variety of ways. One of the most monstrous occurred last century in Germany, when Joseph Goebbels wrote toReinhard Heydrich in 1941, requesting him to “place before me soon a complete proposal for the organisational, practical and material preliminary measures which have to be taken in order to bring about the desired Final Solution to the Jewish question.” The outcome was the Holocaust. Jewish people have always walked the earth with a sense of fear and trembling, not knowing what anger and hatred might be stirred up, often quite gratuitously, by almost anyone they come into contact with. Take for example, what Albert Einstein said in his address in Paris in 1929. “If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German, and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German, and Germany will declare that I am a Jew.” Paul Johnson, the British historical writer, appreciated this sense of unease felt by Jewish people, and wrote, “For this is the vital litmus test; no intellectual society can flourish where a Jew feels even slightly uneasy.” (The Sunday Times Magazine, 1977) In Week-End Book(1924) the English Journalist William Ewer wrote, “How odd/ Of God/ To choose/ The Jews.” To which the American businessman, Cecil Browne answered, “But not so odd/ As those who choose/ A Jewish God/ But spurn the Jews.” I am reminded of that excellent film “Gentleman’s Agreement” in which Gregory Peck played the American Journalist who was told to write an article about anti-semitism, and in order to get the “feel” of it, he decided he would pretend to be Jewish. The problems he encountered, the abuse he suffered, and the prohibitions placed upon him showed him in no uncertain terms that there is an inbuilt antagonism to Jews amongst large portions of Western society.
Let me speak from personal experience. When I was a small boy of nine, in 1940, living in London at the time of the blitz, our house was a three-bed-semi in a Garden Suburb. Our next door neighbour decided to move, and we learned that the in-coming residents would be Jewish. I can recall with vivid clarity the grimace that appeared on my mother’s face, as she said to me, “Ugh, filthy Jews! You can never trust them.” I never learned the origin of this revulsion. Whether it was passed down from her father, or whether it was an attitude she had picked up casually from others, I never found out. However, the people moved in, and one of the first things I did was to suggest setting our black hound on them. “Oh, no, you mustn’t do that!” said my mother, causing me to be perplexed. She had taught me to hate the Jews, without giving me any reason for it, and so I just acted on it without knowing what I was doing. No doubt this type of indoctrination occurs the world over.
One of the Jewish sons, by name of Geoff, was of my own age, and we began to be friends. We grew up together in the war years, and in the process of time my mother was reconciled to the fact that our next-door-neighbours were not only decent, friendly people, but there was absolutely no sense or reason to hold tenaciously to a revulsion that had no foundation. Eventually Geoff was on the Londonstage, taking a lead part in “West Side Story”, and his other job was in Jewellery. My wife’s engagement ring and wedding ring were crafted by him. But far above all these things, when I came to know the Lord at 17, and Geoff was being schooled for his Barmitzva, he learned Hebrew, so he taught me, and this has been one of the great treasures of remembrance from those days. We are still in touch with each other. Hence, the anti-semitism was killed dead by close contact with another family. Sadly, this doesn’t always happen in such a fruitful way.
The plight of European Jews in the late years of the 19th century brought Theodor Herzl to the world stage. I have written about him at some length in my book “Recognising the Hand of Judgment.” He was alerted to anti-semitism when acting as a journalist in France during the time of the Dreyfus trial. Shocked, he determined to do something about it. The eventual outcome was the first of a series of Zionist Congresses, held at Basel in Switzerland. This was at the end of August 1897, and triggered off a yearning amongst Jews to return to their homeland, instead of being hounded about from one place to another in Europe.
In 1917, General Allenby marched into Jerusalem without a shot being fired. The British sent the Turks packing, and a whole new era began. The League of Nations proclaimed Palestine a BritishMandated Territory in 1922. Guess the date? It was September 11th. This was the start of a process of polarisation that has escalated into the present world war against terrorism. Perhaps Osama Bin Laden purposely organised the attack on New York on September 11th to show his anger at the appropriation of Arabic land in Palestine, which began on that day in 1922.
But in the same year that Jerusalem was freed from Turkish domination, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour formulated what has become known as The Balfour Declaration. On 2nd November 1917 he wrote to Lord Rothschild, chairman of the Zionist Federation, stating, “HM government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” I am writing today, 2nd November, with this in mind. Balfour was encouraged to make this declaration by Chaim Weizmann (1874 – 1952), who later became first President of Israel in 1948.
One is able to write in a few brief paragraphs the progress of events from 1897 to the present day, simply by picking out significant happenings, but the history of the process was most tortuous, and involved political bargaining, and of course the horrific events of world war two. In 1947, the British proposal to divide Palestine was rejected by the Arabs. Likewise the Jews were not happy about the geographical limits being suggested. The whole question was referred to the United Nations, which eventually announced plans for partition. This proposal was made on 29th November 1947. Britainrefused to implement it, and it was left to the Jews to establish their own independent state, which they did on the afternoon of 14th May 1948.
The immediate reaction to the State of Israel was to be attacked by all the surrounding Arabic nations, who affirmed their right to the land, and who wanted to drive the Jews into the Mediterranean. They were unable to achieve their goal, and the War of Independence ended with the establishment of the present State of Israel. Ever since then the Arabic nations have sought to eliminate Israel. This is a form of anti-semitism which doesn’t even allow the existence of Israel, or the Jewish people. Whatever the situation is, and whatever grumbles either side has against the other, there is an altogether unbelievable, gratuitous, hatred of the Jews that goes beyond reason. As I write, I appreciate the problems of displaced Arabic people in Palestine, and could wish that some reasonable peaceful settlement could be found, but at the same time I know this to be impossible, because Islam has written the death sentence on Jews. Under such religious intolerance, nothing can ever be achieved to solve the crisis. This present war is a religious war, and politicians cannot possibly hope to engineer a solution.
Let’s take stock of the Christian position regarding the Jews. As most people know, there is a clear divide in opinion today about the Jews. One camp declares that the Jews, as a nation, have lost their right to all prophetic promises in the prophets. These are dubbed the “Replacement Theologians.” They say that the church has taken over the position once occupied by the Jews, who no longer hold the position of “God’s Chosen People.” The other camp declares, quite as vociferously, that the Jews are still “the apple of His eye”, and that Biblical prophecy is being fulfilled in a very manifest way since 1948, showing that in the Kingdom of God, the Jews will once again occupy the leading position in the world as a reflection of God’s ways and character.
The trouble is that both sides have some truth, whilst at the same time each refuses to see the king-pin factor that settles the matter. Replacement theologians speak about God’s elect, and there is no doubt that the “middle wall of partition” has been broken down, and that “all the promises are yea and amen in Christ.” There cannot be any blessings outside of true belief in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. All such believers, the “remnant”, the “little flock”, “the elect”, are being trained for Kingdom government in coming days, and Paul tells us in no uncertain terms that ethnic distinctions have been abolished. “There is neither Jew nor Greek.” He also declares that all other distinctions are abolished as well, such as male and female, slave and master. If all this constitutes “the church”, then what they say is correct.
But it is only correct as it refers to the elect. Outside the elect there exists a nation of Israel, where the Jewish people are still in unbelief as to the identity of their Messiah. Shall not the Old Testament prophecies speak of them? Do we not see, as the pro-Jewish lobby declares, a remarkable, strong, growing movement towards an apocalyptic conclusion graphically portrayed by the prophets? Is it not true that “Jerusalem is a burdensome stone for all people”? Last year Yasser Arafat, at Camp David, declined the most generous offer yet, given by Ehud Barak, for a Palestinian State. Why? Because it didn’t include the Arabic sovereignty of Jerusalem. Yes, Jerusalem is a problem that simply will not go away, and there is no device that any government can invent, that will solve the problem. The very existence of the Jews over 2000 years is in itself an amazing miracle of preservation. Does it not speak volumes?
Let both of these polarised camps settle their differences and realise the truths contained in each. We are in the process of watching a most intense battle occurring on this planet, a battle that rages in the heavenlies between forces of light and forces of darkness. It is almost as though “the Devil is come down to us, having great wrath, knowing that his time is short.” Perhaps prophetic truth has reached that point, because the world is now locked in a situation from which no politician can ever find a way out.
Yasser Arafat is often considered to be a moderate Arab, trying to obtain a peaceful settlement for the Palestinian people. He gives the world such rhetoric as to advertise this position, but he tells his people, “I have two voices, one for you, and one for the media.” This news bulletin has just been obtained direct from Israel. –
‘On October 22, when Israeli forces burst into the Ramallah headquarters of Yasser Arafat’s presidential guard known as Force 17, they found an
extraordinary set of documents containing proof that the Palestinian leader was paying the entire body of Tanzim-Fatah terrorists out of his own ‘presidential’ budget. The figures were there in black and white. Every one of the 10,000 Tanzim activists was taking home 875 New Israeli Shekels – and had been ever since the Palestinian leader launched his armed confrontation against Israel last September. The Ramallah raid was carried out as part of a comprehensive punitive operation for the assassination of Israel’s tourism minister Rehavam Zeevi on October 17. The captured documents included Arafat’s signed directive, issued three weeks before the outbreak of the intifada, to pay $22,000 each into the personal account of each of the leading Fatah terror masters for defraying the costs of creating the terror spearhead body named the Tanzim. A corps of Palestinians was to be recruited who were prepared to engage in bombing, shooting, lynching and any other form of terror against Israel that was ordered by their masters. The recipients of these funds were the Tanzim commander MarwanBarghouti, Kemal Hamad, Ahmed Abayat (whom Israeli forces killed this month), Issam Abu Bakr and other Arafat trusties. The documents showed exactly how Arafat’s office transfers the Tanzim payroll to the Ramallah offices of Force 17, whose paymasters distribute the wage packets. DEBKAfile’sintelligence sources further report that Arafat fills those wage packets that keep his terror machine ticking over from the subsidies awarded the Palestinian Authority by European Union member governments, including Germany, Belgium, France, UK and Italy. (GAMLA: NEWS AND VIEWS FROM ISRAEL. Volume 2 Issue 121. Jerusalem, Israel. November 1, 2001)’
I have given this report to show how impossible it is to find a solution to the Arab/Israeli stalemate. But British and American politicians are intent on finding a solution. Why? Is it because they are really concerned for the plight of Palestinian refugees? Not at all. The driving force lies in obtaining OIL. 25% of the world’s oil output is received by America. But the USA only produces a mere 3% of the world’s output, and certainly not sufficient for their own domestic needs. Most of their oil comes from Saudi Arabia, and this was the home of Osama Bin Laden. The Arabs have one voice at the moment, and it relates to Israel and Jerusalem. Unless that problem can be resolved, America might end up with no oil supply. Hence the intense diplomatic efforts to bring about a cease fire in Israel. Next week President Bush will announce his desire to form an autonomous Palestinian State. We shall have to wait to see what this brings forth.
Bill Koenig, in his American news service, has recently reminded us of Psalm 83, in which ten nations form a confederacy against Israel, saying, “Come let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more.” Koenig says, Bible scholars tell us that there is no evidence that such a
regional war-uniting ten enemies to the north, east, south, and southeast of Israel-ever occurred in ancient times! The “Revised New Bible Commentary” (Eerdmans, 1970) states: “No such widespread alliance of adjacent states, as is described in verses 6-8 (of Psalm 83) is mentioned in the Old Testament.” It appears that this psalm is talking of a military alliance against Israel. The nations that surround Israel and other members of the Arab League today talk with increasing frequency about “eliminating Israel.” An actual military plan is being discussed in a plot against the Kingdom of God. This alliance is very significant. Koenig is very anti replacement-theology. He goes on to identify the ten nations as exactly those who are at present attempting to eliminate Israel.
Recently hundreds of Palestinians have been engaged in making sweeping changes to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Likewise they have been working in the many underground passages beneath the Mount. Their stated objective is to remove every vestige of evidence that a Temple ever existed on the Mount. This is laughable, because the world at large knows from history books, as well as the Bible, the ancient history of Jerusalem. But nevertheless, that is their objective. However, during these operations, they seem to have weakened the whole structure on the southern side of the Mount. Something has happened underground, to cause the southern wall to bulge ominously. Right above the bulge is their Al Aqsa Mosque. If the wall falls down, the Mosque will go with it. Who will be blamed? The Jews of course. And that will start a most vigorous and bloody conflict in Israel, which no outsider-nation will be able to quell.
In writing this article, my main purpose has been to present information relating to the present crisis, and enable readers to keep a watchful eye on developments in Israel. As Christians, I believe it is most important to do so. The latter chapters of Zechariah’s prophecies seem to have momentous import just now. To understand the war, it is necessary to realise that it is between Isaac and Ishmael, and it is of a religious nature that cannot be solved by political manoevering. Most of the western news-casts employ a one-sided position, seeing only the plight of Palestinian refugees, but for those who receive news directly from Israel, a vast quantity of information is available to redress the balance, and enable us to see both sides of this very vexed question. I am currently receiving news from two Israeli sources. One is GAMLA, stated above, and the other is Arutz-7, both of which can be joined to receive almost daily bulletins for anyone who has online facilities.
There seems to be no light at the end of this tunnel. Israel is fighting for its very existence against a formidable foe. Yasser Arafat refuses to negotiate a peace until Israel gives up its land. The Saudi have the USA “over a barrel”, to coin a phrase. Osama Bin Laden has a cunning intelligence, and thousands of sleepers all over the world who have been trained in terrorism, and no one knows where they will strike next. What about 29th November? The anniversary of the U.N. resolve to partition Palestine? Does he work on dates, as he did with September 11th? Then there is Saddam Hussein. We know his sentiments towards Israel.
But there is Light, and the Bible sheds it forth liberally for those who wish to consult it. However, if you believe that almost all prophecy has been fulfilled, and that the second coming of Christ occurred at Pentecost, and that Israel (as a nation) has no further significance in the world, then you will be left without any light. The world scene is but a reflection of a heavenly battle. It is coming to its climax, and its fulfilment, and the Kingdom of God is at the doors.