By Joel Richardson
In a recent blog post for CNN, Middle East expert and evangelical Christian, Carl Medearis, wrote a piece arguing that Jesus would support a Palestinian state.
I've met Carl on a couple of occasions. Carl is an amazing storyteller, a nice guy, and he truly loves Muslims. But his theology is utterly abysmal. And, even worse, his pro-Palestine position stands in direct conflict with the principles of justice, truth, love and righteousness.
The gist of Carl's argument, and one I suspect is shared by many American evangelicals, is that Christians should discard the Bible, discard their eschatology and support a Palestinian state simply because it is the right thing to do. Carl warns against, "allowing obscure Old Testament promises to dictate our foreign policy." Instead we should simply focus on, "love, compassion, justice and peace-making."
The glaring problem with Carl's argument is that it assumes that those "obscure Old Testament promises" are in conflict with the principles of "love, compassion and justice." Carl could not be more wrong. Not only does Carl's position require him to discard numerous very clear passages from the Bible (would Jesus reject these sections of the Bible?), but it also runs rough shod over the principles of love, justice and compassion.
For the sake of argument, let's take Carl's approach. Let's forget the Bible entirely. Let's just examine the conflict based upon an objective assessment of the reality on the ground. Let's also begin by acknowledging that whether Jew or Arab, it doesn't matter; God loves them all.
First, let's ask: Which side truly desires peace? This question is a no-brainer. According to the Pew Research Center, in a poll conducted between March 21 and April 26 of 2011, 78 percent of Palestinians support suicide bombing to kill Jews. Of those polled, only 19 percent said they would never support suicide bombing. But Carl says, "The good news is that extremists are a minority on both sides of the conflict." Seventy-eight percent is no minority, Carl; it is an overwhelming vast majority. As a person who claims to desire justice, peace and love, let this fact sink into your head: Roughly eight out of 10 Palestinians believe that it is acceptable to use suicide bombing to kill Jews – simply because they are Jews. Truth and justice demand that we begin by acknowledging the dark reality the Jewish people are contending with.
What about the present Palestinian leadership? Could they, despite the systemic murderous racism so prevalent among the majority of their people, still establish a just peace? Let's consider the words of President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas. In his anti-Semitic work, "The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism," Abbas argues that the Holocaust of more than six million Jews is a dramatically exaggerated "myth." Instead, Abbas claims, the real number is probably closer to "only a few hundred thousand." Elsewhere in his book, Abbas mentions his position concerning the nation of Israel:
"A Jewish state, what is that supposed to mean? You can call yourselves as you like, but I don't accept it and I say so publicly."How can the Israelis live peacefully with such a man?
Far more recently, on July 29, 2010, Abbas also stated,
"I will never allow a single Israeli to live among us on Palestinian land."How can the Israelis negotiate peace with such a vile and disgusting racist?
But Abbas is not the only leader of the Palestinian people. There is also the leadership of Hamas. Let's consider a few recent statements.
Mahmoud Zahar, a senior Hamas official, said Hamas will accept the idea of two states, but will not recognize Israel, because doing so would "cancel the right of the next generations to liberate the lands."
Yunis Al-Astal Hamas MP and cleric on Al-Aqsa TV, May 11, 2011, stated the following:
The Jews are brought in droves to Palestine so that the Palestinians – and the Islamic nation behind them – will have the honor of annihilating the evil of this gang. … All the predators, all the birds of prey, all the dangerous reptiles and insects, and all the lethal bacteria are far less dangerous than the Jews. … In just a few years, all the Zionists and the settlers will realize that their arrival in Palestine was for the purpose of the great massacre, by means of which Allah wants to relieve humanity of their evil. … When Palestine is liberated and its people return to it, and the entire region, with the grace of Allah, will have turned into the United States of Islam, the land of Palestine will become the capital of the Islamic Caliphate. …Once again, I ask, how can the Israelis live in peace with such evil?
Now let's consider a few brief sections of the official charter of Hamas:
"... the Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah's promise whatever time it might take. The prophet ... said: The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!"This material is far from loving, just, compassionate or peaceful, wouldn't you agree, Carl? What if these people were your neighbors? And what if they were talking about murdering your children? When you support the establishment of a Palestinian state, this is exactly the type of demonic, murderous rubbish that you're getting behind.
"There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by jihad. The initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility."
"Jihad is a duty binding on all Muslims. … We have no escape from raising the banner of jihad. I swear by that who holds in His Hands the Soul of Muhammad! I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I will assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill."
But you will never hear this information discussed by pro-Palestinian propagandists like Carl Medearis. Instead, he devotes the majority of his article to demagoguing and attacking Christians simply for supporting Israel's right to defend itself:
When it comes to Israel and her neighbors, many Christian Zionists believe that peacemaking is the devil's work. … But Christian Zionism blesses military action by the modern state of Israel, under the banner of "national security."Let's talk about justice. Do Palestinian children suffer because of the conflict? Of course they do. Does God's heart burn for the Palestinian child as much as the Jewish child? Of course it does! But to place the blame of this injustice at the feet of the Israeli people and the Christians who support them is both anti-Semitic and just plain asinine.
Palestinian children suffer because the Palestinian leaders continue to propagate the Islamic traditions that foment an anti-Semitic murderous racism among its people. And the people refuse to reject it. Repentance must come before peace can even be considered! While this saying may be overplayed, the simple fact of the matter is that the Palestinian child will have peace when the Palestinian people learn how to love their own children more than they hate the Jewish people.
I am a Christian, and I support the right of the Israelis to live in their ancient homeland. I also support their right to defend themselves. But one need not look to the Bible to support this position. I am a Christian Zionist, not simply because of "obscure Old Testament promises," thank you, but because it is the only just, right, compassionate and loving position to take.
Who Owns the Land of Israel Today? - BPB (Arno Froese)
Is Today’s Israel Still Chosen by God? - BPB (Tony Garland)
Quartet launches new peace process to end by 2012 - Jerusalem Post
Palestinians Formally Submit U.N. Statehood Bid - FOX News
Urgent terror alert in southern Israel - Ynet News