30 Apr 2018

A Remarkable Resource

Especially in the last 10 years, I’ve watched with alarm as Palestinian operatives have made deep inroads into the American Evangelical culture. You well know I’ve written about that many times.

One of the issues that made this tragedy possible is the lack of coordinated education about Israel and the Jewish people. Several pro Israel groups hold rallies and even church seminars. Often though attendees simply go home without much if any literature to help in the ongoing process of education.

In our own Christian faith, we know that we are always to be ready to give an answer if someone asks a question. In the context of this week’s Israel Watch, I’d like to extend that to Israel advocacy.

To that end, I’d like to recommend a remarkable new book, Judaism, Zionism, and the Land of Israel, by Rabbi Yotav Eliach.

Yotav is a friend, and teaches at a school in New York. Education is his thing, and wow, did he hit it out of the park with this new book.

Over the years, I’ve received many books and DVDs, etc., from people who want to market to Christian Zionists. I rarely actually recommend anything. I think it’s better to wait for something really good and helpful, rather than endorse everything.

The rabbi made it easy on this one. I’ve enjoyed many studies of Israel, including Israel, by Sir Martin Gilbert. Yotav’s book, I sincerely believe, will become a classic in the field.

At over 700 pages, it’s no light reading. But that’s the point. When confronting the myriad lies from the Left, including the standard Palestinian Narrative (“Everything is Israel’s fault”), one needs resources that address issues raised.

Judaism, Zionism, and the Land of Israel is like a one-stop resource. From simply defining Zionism, to discussions of the ancient world, modern Arab culture, and Israel’s current place in the international community, this book has it all. I’ve read it all and have learned much. This after 25 years of studying these issues.

Yotav provides important context into scores of subjects. For example, in Chapter 11 and the discussion of the Six Day War, he provides a balanced perspective on the true plight of the Palestinians:

“These refugees were treated as pariahs who needed to stay in their UN-sponsored refugee camps where they could be a tangible exhibit of “Israeli aggression” against the Arab world in particular and the Palestinian Arabs specifically. There was no attempt to integrate them into society or to allow them to feel wanted and accepted. Jordan, who illegally annexed the West Bank, pretended that there was never supposed to be an Arab Palestinian state based on the November 29, 1947 UN

Partition Plan. Egypt had a similar attitude with regard to the Gaza Strip; as far as Egypt was concerned the Gaza Strip was a military district belonging to Egypt and the Arab Palestinians who lived there were treated as if they were prisoners. They were not allowed to leave the Gaza Strip to enter Sinai or Egypt, though they were not forgotten when it came to be recruited as terrorists to attack Israeli civilians in the 1950s.”

The book will be available May 7, just ahead of the May 14 celebration of 70 years of statehood for Israel. I would like to ask that you tell those in your circles that a definitive defense of Israel is now in print. Go to the Amazon link above for your copy. Kindle is my preferred reading now, but you may want the print version. If you consider yourself a Christian Zionist activist, think about getting a copy for your local library, and your church library. I believe Judaism, Zionism, and the Land of Israel should be distributed far and wide within our community.

It’s that good.

Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23 Apr 2018

70!

An extraordinary moment is here. Israel begins celebrating 70 years of statehood.

It is the greatest miracle of the modern era.

The story is gripping, both the lead-up to declaring statehood and the aftermath. And beyond.

Most of us know the basics: after 30 years of waiting, world Jewry stood poised to have its own country again, after two millennia. The United Nations voted on November 29, 1947 to partition what remained of Mandate Palestine.

(That is a key point, because originally, all of Palestine—which included today’s country of Jordan—would have been the Jewish state.)

The Arabs said no, the Jews said yes.

Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion spoke into a microphone inside a nondescript building in Tel Aviv at 4 p.m., May 14, 1948.

And Isaiah 66:8 was fulfilled.

The story of the days just before this announcement make the hairs stand up on one’s neck.

I read a terrific article about it this week, and was reminded once again of the sheer number of enemies Israel has always had. In this case, Secretary of State George Marshall played the role. Notice this account of his meeting with an envoy of Ben-Gurion’s:

“Nevertheless, America still expressed doubts about partition.  Secretary of State George Marshall met with Moshe Sharett, acting as the provisional government’s foreign minister, on May 8. Marshall warned, ‘It’s not up to me to advise you what to do. But as a military man, I want to tell you: don’t rely on your military advisers. They’re intoxicated with success after their victories. What happens if there’s a protracted invasion? Are you considering how that will weaken you?’”

How pathetic that Marshall would try to muscle the Jews, even as they escaped Europe’s ovens. We know that Marshall also basically threatened President Truman not to recognize the new Jewish state, but HST wasn’t afraid of him and did it anyway.

The momentous moment came when Ben-Gurion “marshaled” support where he needed it most:

“Emerging from the Mapai meeting with a majority in favor of a state, Ben-Gurion spent most of the next day in an 11-hour meeting with the People’s Administration, three of whose members were absent, one in the U.S. and two trapped in Jerusalem. Here the actual decision for declaring the state was made. With somber reports from military heads Yigal Yadin and Yisrael Galili, and bad news pouring in from the fronts, it was not surprising that the vote was close: 6-to-4 in favor of proclaiming statehood.”

Am Yisrael Chai!

Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com