Feb 8, 2010

Calling Rand McNally

Jim FletcherBy Jim Fletcher

I think I’ll spring for one of those GPS systems. Like most men, I’ve always fancied myself as a fellow who could “tell directions.” Sure, I’ve been lost a few times, but overall, I’ve been to quite a few places, and I’m still here.

But the need for a navigation system stems from the fact that I have no idea where “Palestine” is. Several Christian leaders from a variety of denominations feel that they know for sure where it is, but I’m scratching my head here. I’ve looked at maps, Googled, and called a few people. Like the Spaniards who searched in vein for the fabled city of gold, I cannot find the elusive Land of the Palestinians.

Oddly enough (and this is almost comical), a growing number of Christians seem to know where Palestine is. They refer to it, long for it, nurture it. For FOPS — Friends of Palestine — there is only one impediment to realizing the dream.


“Palestine” was the name of a region in the Middle East for almost 1,900 years. When the Romans expelled large numbers of Jews from what was known as Judea (originally, Canaan) in the second century, they renamed the area “Palestina,” a reference to the ancient Phoenicians. The aim was to erase any reference to the Jews.

Nothing has changed. Since the modern state of Israel was established in 1948, the Arabs have worked to convince a (shockingly) naïve West that the Jewish presence in the Middle East, down through history, was either sparse or non-existent. This was a favorite lie of Yasser Arafat, who used to say out loud in front of Bill Clinton that there never was a Temple in Jerusalem. The blood-soaked dwarf would allege that the Temple had stood in Hebron!

It’s one thing for an arch-terrorist to spout such sick revisionist history. It’s beyond sad that American Christians would hop onboard the Propaganda Train.

Take the Disciples of Christ, for instance. The liberal, mainline denomination is one of several (officially, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) groups that refer to Palestine as if it exists. It’s really quite odd.

Imagine if I insisted that the eastern half of Missouri is really Twainistine. Would anyone believe me? No. So why do some people believe in Palestine?

Because it furthers their political agenda. There are plenty of people who so detest Israel that they fantasize about Palestine, which is intended to be an Arab state. There are already 22 Arab states.

Think about that. Palestine does not exist, has never existed as a sovereign entity. Yet significant groups virtually demand it. It is the height of arrogance to refer to “Palestine” when it doesn’t exist. Again, simply referring to Palestine, as if it were a state somewhere in or near Israel is mind-boggling.

In a press release late last year, the Disciples of Christ website announced that December 6 was “Prayer for Israel and Palestine” Sunday. In order to appear balanced, leftwing lovers of Palestinian Liberation Theology speak about Israel and sometimes express concern for Israel’s security.

But if you know what the Palestinians in fact intend for Israel, you’ll know that a two-state solution is a death sentence for the Jewish state.

According to the Disciples’ press release:

“In that spirit of humbleness and hope we come before your presence to intercede for the peoples of Israel and Palestine… For over sixty years these two communities have been trying to live together in peace, in the midst of violence, terror, deaths and wars! For more than six decades these two nations have been trying to discover the path of justice, in a world of aggressions, occupations, invasions and resentments! For over half a century these two peoples have been trying to create the necessary conditions to discover, promote, affirm and enjoy the results of a just peace!”

Notice first the reference to Israel and “Palestine.” I ask again: where is Palestine? Where is its seat of government? Where is its navy? What is Palestine’s GNP? What is the state’s chief export?

No one knows, because Palestine as an Arab state is a myth. It doesn’t exist.

The press release also refers to the “Sabeel Liberation Center,” a radical think-tank in Jerusalem. When someone positively references Sabeel, just as Germans once waxed enthusiastic about the National Socialists … you know where things stand. I encourage you to Google “Sabeel Center” and investigate for yourself just how “even-handed” this group is.

The fact is, the American Church in particular is so lost and groping when it comes to biblical truth that warming to “Palestine” seems like a perfectly good idea.

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is not the only denomination that has it wrong on this issue. And here I’d like to say — because I get emails from Lutherans and Presbyterians and Methodists who take me to task for making blanket statements — I’m aware there are quite a few individuals in these denominations who do get Zionism.

My point is that on the whole, the mainline is almost hopelessly lost on this issue. Their obsession about the Arab-Israeli conflict is vexing.

Because I don’t know where Palestine is.

Related Links

What is Zionism / Christian Zionism? - GotQuestions.org
It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine): How to stop worrying and learn to love these End Times - Jim Fletcher (Book)
Globetrotting Abbas Whips Up Worldwide Opposition to Israel - Arutz Sheva
Hamas sees `no prospects' for Mideast peace - Washington Post
'Israel's a mad state led by mad people' - Jerusalem Post