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The dispute over that thin strip of land called Palestine and Israel has been the single issue in the past fifty years that is dragging the world into disaster. Many Christians have foreseen this great conflict by reading the Bible, but very few really understand how God views it. This book traces the history of that conflict from the beginning.
Category - Long Book
Jewish author, Robert Friedman, writes in his book, Zealots For Zion, page 73, about the policy of the Likud Party of Begin, Shamir, and Ariel Sharon:
"Part of Likud's plan was to deny Palestinians residential building permits in an attempt to stem their expansion on land they had resided on from time immemorial and squeeze them into crowded cities."
Israeli government policies have spawned the feeling of hopelessness. An increasing number of Arabs would rather die as martyrs and freedom fighters than live under such conditions. Many of their religious leaders as well have encouraged such martyrdom with their militant brand of Islamic belief. And so there is an increasing supply of suicide bombers, for they have been denied all other methods of obtaining freedom.
They target civilians, because civilians are being used on both sides as soldiers in this war. The Israeli government uses the West Bank settlers as front-line soldiers armed to the teeth. Arab suicide bombers are also civilians, because the Palestinians have no standing army. The success of their missions, of course, solves nothing, but only brings more retaliation and further oppression, as the Israelis forcibly suppress them back into submission. And the cycle of violence spirals higher and higher.
Rabbi Moshe Levinger is one of the founders of the Settlement Movement and considered by many Israeli settlers to be a hero. His mentally-unbalanced attitude and actions speak for themselves. On pages 6-8 of Zealots For Zion, Jewish author Robert Friedman tells the story of Abdul Rahman Samua, who became the object of Levinger's wrath after the Rabbi's daughter was teased by Arab girls.
"One afternoon in the spring of 1988, he [Samua] closed the metal shutters on his shop and walked the few blocks home for lunch and a nap. Suddenly, Samua was jolted awake by screams. He came out of his bedroom to find Rabbi Levinger standing in the middle of his living room beating his wife and children while three armed settlers watched. 'Levinger had his hands around the neck of my [seven-year-old] daughter and tried to kill her,' Samua told me matter-of-factly in Hebron. When his nine-year-old son intervened, the rabbi punched the child in the eye, then twisted and broke his arm. Samua's wife, a big woman, scooped up her daughter, holding her tightly. 'Levinger beat my wife on her back with his fists. It all happened in a matter of seconds'...
"By the time a jeepload of Israeli soldiers pulled up in front of Samua's home, Levinger was shouting for someone to fetch his pistol. Levinger's daughter and a pack of her friends, teenage girls in white blouses and black skirts, stood in the front doorway, egging the rabbi on. The Samuas' television had been kicked in, and the dining-room furniture had been smashed into kindling. Levinger refused to budge, calling one Israeli soldier who tried to shove him outside 'a PLO agent'. ' This is my house! ' screamed Levinger. ' This is my house! '
"Yisrael Medad, New York-born settlement leader from Shiloh on the West Bank and a friend of Levinger's, explains, 'The fact that an Arab insulted a Jewish child after we've ruled Judea and Samaria for twenty-three years was for Rabbi Levinger simply intolerable. It was an assault on Jewish sovereignty and honor'.
"Palestinians also have a keen sense of honor. But Samua told me that he was afraid to press charges. It was only upon the urging of the Israeli military officers who investigated the incident that he agreed to bring Levinger to trial. 'About eight months later, the Israelis sent a police car to my house and drove me to a Jerusalem court,' recalled Samua. After a brief trial, Judge Yoel Tsur acquitted Levinger on assault charges and on charges that he insulted an Israeli soldier. (The judge dismissed testimony from the Samua family, saying they were 'interested parties.') In dismissing the testimony of the soldier who was the first to enter Samua's home-and who corroborated much of the Arab family's account-the judge ruled that once he left his rooftop post, he was no longer officially on duty. Tsur also acquitted Levinger of trespassing, ruling that when he barged into Samua's home, it was as a neighbor visiting a friend. The state prosecutor appealed to a three-judge appellate court, which, in an extremely rare action, overturned Judge Tsur's ruling. It criticized him for blatantly disregarding evidence and convicted the rabbi of assault.
"Levinger was sentenced to four months in jail on January 14, 1991, the day the world counted down the hours to the Persian Gulf War. When the sentence was read, Levinger bounded over the defense table, shrieking that the court was a tool of Yasir Arafat. His attorney, David Rotem, dragged him outside. The rabbi was sentenced to an additional ten days for the outburst. Sometime later, Samua said, he was closing his shop when three burly settlers wearing knitted yarmulkes and brandishing clubs beat him unconscious.
"There was the time when the rabbi let loose Doberman pinschers on Arab demonstrators. And there was that wild afternoon when he gunned down an Arab shoe-store owner in a fit of hysteria."
Friedman was referring to the time Rabbi Levinger drove to Hebron, parked his car, and walked toward Arab demonstrators, firing his pistol indiscriminately. Friedman writes on page 38 of his book of an incident that occurred in 1988,
"... Ibrahim Bali, an Arab textile salesman, was buying new shoes for his daughter when he heard the shooting. He was standing outside a shop when a bullet tore through his shoulder. A bullet also ripped into the chest of Khayel Salah, who was about to close the metal shutters of his shoe store. The Israeli Army company commander who witnessed the shooting said that after the rabbi fired his weapon, he walked down the road screaming 'You're dogs' at Arab vendors, kicking over vegetable crates and flower containers. The officer said he grabbed Levinger's trembling hand and told him not to move. Levinger snarled back, 'Leftist! Arab lover'!"
Levinger was finally tried for negligence and sentenced to five months in prison. He was released after serving just ten weeks. Victor Ostrovsky, former Israeli spy for the Mossad, in his book, By Way of Deception, page 335, quotes an Israeli Supreme Court judge who commented upon Levinger's court case:
"Justice Heim Cohen, a retired judge of Israel 's supreme court, said, 'The way the situation is going now, I would be afraid to say where we are going. I never heard of anybody who was tried for negligence after shooting somebody in cold blood. I'm probably getting old'."
Friedman records on page 39 of Zealots For Zion the words of Salah's brother, Khaled:
"Khaled says the short prison term Levinger received for killing his brother just compounds his family's grief. 'When I see Levinger in the street today with a pistol and a rifle, what shall I do? There is a saying in Arabic, ' If your enemy is the judge, to whom are you going to complain ?'"
Friedman also notes on page 4,
"Ariel Sharon calls Levinger and his wife 'true heroes of our generation'."
This is why the Palestinian people have revolted to the point of giving their lives as suicide bombers. Lack of basic justice has spawned Arab terrorism. There will be no peace, because the Israelis have never ruled Arabs with equal justice for all. Israelis are not overcomers. They are not chosen to rule the world. Zionism is not a godly movement. And God will have no tyrants ruling in His Kingdom.
The greatest obstacle to peace remains the issue of the West Bank Jewish settlements. Jews own 42% (2002) of the West Bank territory. Yet they want it all and are working feverishly to obtain it all, legally or illegally. Friedman writes on page 118,
"Rabbi Aviner has put it this way: 'We must settle the whole Land of Israel, and over all of it establish our rule. In the words of [Nachmanides]: "Do not abandon the land to any other nation." If that is possible by peaceful means, wonderful, and if not, we are commanded to make war to accomplish it'."
Gush Emunim ideology teaches that the Messiah will not come if any part of Eretz Israel is relinquished. They believe that all Arabs are simply "resident aliens" on Jewish land and therefore have no right to be there at all, much less have their own Palestinian state. From their point of view, the right of a Jewish State to exist means that a Palestinian State has NO right to exist.
It is important to them that Jews immigrate and settle the West Bank, because only when all Arabs have been expelled from the West Bank and Gaza Strip can they foment another war with neighboring countries for the purpose of taking more land. Ultimately, their intent is to take all of Jordan, Syria, Cyprus, the Sinai, and even parts of Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. They firmly believe that all of this land belongs to Jews only. The occupation of the West Bank is only the beginning of a long-term strategy to displace millions of Arabs in the region.
This is called "Greater Israel." One of the Gush Emunim's greatest supporters from the start was Sharon.
In the introduction of Jewish author Robert Friedman's Zealots For Zion, written in 1992, he writes:
"This is a book about the settlers and their controversial enterprise. Whatever its future, the settlement movement has changed the geography and character of Israel. Far more than a massive construction project, it is a marriage of Jabotinsky's militant secular nationalism and Gush Emunim's messianism. Revisionism and militant religious nationalism, both marginal Zionist ideologies for the first two decades of Israel 's history, had combined to set the national agenda of the Jewish state.... And if Labor falters and Likud returns to power, there may be no turning back. The heirs of Jabotinsky and of the Zealots who fought the Romans will have triumphed over the liberal Zionist idea, the Palestinian Arabs, and the nascent peace process. Four million Jews will then permanently rule two million hostile Palestinian Arabs, and Belfast will seem like Disneyland."
Friedman's greatest fears have now been realized. The Likud Party returned to power under Netanyahu, Barak, and now finally, Ariel Sharon.
One of the earlier West Bank settlements was at Hebron and known by the name Kiryat Arba. It was established in 1970 on land confiscated from Hebron 's mayor, Sheikh Humammad Ali Ja'abri. A few years later, in 1973 Rabbis Kook and Levinger formed the Gush Emunim, "Block of the Faithful." Their ideology was that establishing the borders of "Greater Israel," laying claim to the entire land, and filling it with Jewish settlers was the key to Israel 's redemption. Rabbi Kook taught vehemently that the Torah forbade them to give up even one inch of land. They call this "redeeming the land." By this they mean that the land is redeemed when ownership is transferred from non-Jews to Jews. Friedman writes on page 75,
"Indeed, a 1983 report by the Israeli state comptroller said that much of the thirty-one thousand acres of West Bank land bought by Jews had been fraudulently obtained. On August 23, 1985, a Ha'aretz editorial strongly criticized unscrupulous Israeli land brokers for conducting business on the West Bank as if it were 'the Wild West.' 'Swindlers must be dealt with in a most forceful manner'....
"The New York Times reported on August 20, 1985 that Shamir had ordered the police not to look too deeply into West Bank land-fraud cases, saying, according to the Times reporter, that 'a certain amount of sleight of hand' was needed to obtain land from the Arabs. 'Redeeming land in the Land of Israel often necessitated crafty and tricky devices,' Shamir said in a speech at about the same time."
Consider the case of Moshe Zar, friend of Ariel Sharon, an Iranian Jew who is one of the biggest land dealers on the West Bank. Friedman writes of him on page 25,
"Residents of the nearby Arab village of Jinsafut say they have lodged hundreds of complaints against him in a Nablus court for fraudulent land deals.
"'When Zar moved here, he was very sweet, very nice, and offered us a lot of money for our land," a Jinsafut resident told me. 'When we said no, he kept persisting. Finally he just showed up in our field with armed men, a bulldozer, and a piece of paper that said the land was his'."
Zar was also a member of a Jewish terrorist organization called the Makhteret, ("underground"). This group was founded primarily to plot the destruction of the Dome of the Rock Mosque. Its chief ideologue was Yehuda Etzion, whose father, Avraham Mintz, fought in the Irgun under Begin in the 1940's. On June 2, 1980 he and his cohorts rigged a bomb to a car owned by Nablus mayor Bassam Shaka. The mayor lost his legs in the explosion. Others in the organization rigged a bomb to the Cadillac of Ramallah mayor Karim Khalif, who lost a foot in the explosion. They also rigged a booby trap at Hebron 's soccer field and in a mosque, injuring Arab schoolchildren and adults.
Prime Minister Begin refused to do anything about it, because he had profusely supported the Gush Emunim. But finally, on April 26, 1984 the Jewish terrorists were caught red-handed. Three of them, including Rabbi Levinger's son-in-law, attached bombs to five buses in East Jerusalem. One of the buses had been chartered by a German tour group. Agents of the Shin Bet (Israeli FBI) dismantled the bombs and arrested three dozen of the Makhteret. Friedman writes of this on page 31,
"In a signed confession, Menachem Livni told Shin Bet that several prominent rabbis, including Levinger, were actively involved in the underground and had 'blessed' the attacks on the mayors."
"After recovering from the shock of the arrests, Gush Emunim sympathizers set up a legal-defense fund-primarily with American Jewish donations collected by Rabbi Weiss, who raised more than $100,000. (About $75,000 of that sum was donated by Charlie Fox, an elderly Jew from Florida who had been mobster Meyer Lansky's bagman.)
Although in 1985 the perpetrators were found guilty, and their sentences ranged from four months to life in prison, the court in Jerusalem also stated for the record that these men should be "praised for their pioneering ethos and war records. The following day Shamir began to press for clemency" (Friedman, p. 32). By 1992 all of these Jewish terrorists were free.
The JDL was founded in 1968 by Rabbi Meir Kahane and Morton Dolinsky. Friedman tells the story on pages 48, 49,
"Kahane and Dolinsky met again in 1967 in Laurelton, Queens. Blacks were beginning to move into the quiet, tree-lined, predominantly Jewish, working-class neighborhood. 'Larelton home-owners didn't want blacks in!' Dolinsky said emphatically. 'We knew what would happen to property values.' The prophetic tradition of Judaism teaches Jews to fight social injustice; but as far as Kahane and Dolinsky were concerned, it was Jews who were being mistreated by blacks who were moving into their neighborhoods, taking over their schools, and turning their streets into battle zones of drugs and crime. It was Jewish civil rights, they asserted, that needed to be defended. They created the Jewish Defense League in 1968 to combat these problems.... Within a year of its founding, the JDL had evolved into a militant right-wing Zionist organization that used terror violence against its perceived enemies, most notably Arab-Americans and Russian diplomats. Dozens of its members, mostly lower-middle-class Jews from New York 's ethnic neighborhoods, fled to Israel, often one step ahead of federal indictments."
Friedman writes further about the founding of the JDL on pages 182, 183,
"By 1970 the JDL's bombings and shooting attacks against the Soviet embassies in America and Europe were so numerous that, according to confidential State Department documents, President Richard Nixon became concerned that Kahane would wreck the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks... Little did they know that the JDL's guerrilla war against the Soviet Union was orchestrated by right-wing Mossad officers led by Israel's future prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir.
"The secret relationship was forged in December 1969 when Geula Cohen, who had just been elected to the Knesset as a member of Begin's Herut party, visited Kahane in his cramped JDL office on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue. 'Why are you wasting your time fighting the shvartzers ?' asked Cohen, who had dropped out of Begin's Irgun underground in the 1940's to fight with Shamir's more extreme Stern Gang because she found Begin 'too mild.'
"During the next few months, Cohen, Shamir, and a group of Mossad officers and Jewish businessmen helped lay the groundwork for the JDL's violent campaign to publicize the plight of Soviet Jewry. Cohen and Shamir calculated that the selective use of violence against Soviet targets in America and Europe would inevitably strain U.S.-Soviet relations. They predicted that rather than risk the breakdown of détente, the Soviet Union would be forced to alleviate the crisis by freeing hundreds of thousands of Jews, who would then be herded to the Jewish state....
"Kahane moved to Israel in September 1971, one step ahead of a federal indictment for his role in a number of violent attacks against Russian diplomats based in the United States, and set up the Kach ['This is the way'] party. He frequently returned to America to raise funds, hold demonstrations, and speak at synagogues and on college campuses, where he dispensed a dangerous brew of hatred and violence."
Alfred Lilienthal, writes of Kahane on page 394 of his book, The Zionist Connection II, saying,
"The five-year suspended sentence given him in 1971 after his admitted manufacture of bombs, harassment of Soviet diplomats, and acts of violence against American and Arab citizens was scarcely believable. Only in a Brooklyn District Court presided over by Judge Jack Weinstein and in an America under Zionist domination could this have happened."
It would appear that Jewish terrorists are treated more sympathetically at least in the New York court system than their Arab counterparts would be treated. And why is it that it is illegal to contribute to an Arab organization that might have terrorist ties, but no one is ever prosecuted for contributing to Jewish terrorist organizations?
In 1982 an American Orthodox Jew, Alan Goodman, went to the Temple Mount and shot two Arabs with an M-16 rifle, killing one and injuring another. Meir Kahane not only paid Goodman's legal fees, but also made him an honorary member of the JDL.
The prophetic name of Jerusalem is Ariel. We read in Isaiah 29:1-6,
1 Woe, O Ariel! Ariel the city where David camped! Add year to year, observe your feasts on schedule. 2 And I will bring distress to Ariel, and she shall be a city of lamenting and mourning; and she shall be like an Ariel to me. 3 And I will camp against you encircling you, and I will set siege works against you, and I will raise up battle towers against you. 4 Then you shall be brought low... 5 But the multitude of your enemies shall become like fine dust, and the multitude of the ruthless ones like the chaff which blows away; and it shall happen instantly, suddenly. 6 From the Lord of hosts you will be punished with thunder and earthquake and loud noise, with whirlwind and tempest and the flame of a consuming fire.
Who are Jerusalem 's "enemies" that have come to camp in the city where David camped? It has been assumed that God was speaking about destroying the non-Jewish enemies who had come against Jerusalem. But that is simply not true. God did not say that He would save the Jews from annihilation at Jerusalem. He was speaking to Jerusalem itself, which would be delivered from God's enemies, the Zionists, who are the avowed enemies of Jesus Christ.
Jesus told a parable about His "enemies" in Luke 19:12-27. The parable is about "a certain nobleman" who obviously was Jesus Himself.
12... A certain nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself and then return.
Before going to the distant country (heaven) the nobleman gave his servants various amounts of money with the instruction: " Do business with this until I come back." The servants were those that served Him-that is, the good figs, the Christian believers.
Besides the servants in the parable, there are also "citizens." These are the citizens of the kingdom, that is, citizens of the nation of Judea and Galilee in Jesus' day. Of these citizens, Jesus says in verse 14,
14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, We do not want this man to reign over us.
Jesus drew this quote from 1 Sam. 8:7, where the people had demanded a king to rule them. God told Samuel,
7... Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.
When the nobleman in the parable returned from the distant country, he first rewarded his servants to whom the money was entrusted before dealing with the citizens who hated him. Some of the servants had increased his money by lawful trading-that is, buying and selling things of value. One of the servants, of course, was driven by fear, thinking that his master was a hard and unjust man. Verses 20 and 21 reads,
20 And another came, saying, Master, behold your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief; 21 For I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.
In other words, the servant thought that the nobleman (Jesus) was a thief. Any man who reaps another man's field is a thief. The nobleman then told this servant in verse 23,
23 Then why did you not put the money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?
Jesus was not teaching us that He had put away the law forbidding interest on money, as many have taught. He was saying to the servant, " If you really thought I was a thief, then why did you not put my money in the bank, so I could steal from others by collecting interest ?" In other words, Jesus affirmed that collecting interest on money is theft, unless (as the law says) it is a loan to foreigners who are not obedient to the moral principles of the divine law.
Finally, Luke 19:27 turns our attention to the "citizens" who did not want the Messiah to reign over them,
27 But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.
He was speaking of the Zionists themselves at the end of the age at the return of Jesus Christ. They are the "enemies" of Jesus Christ in the parable, the "citizens" who hated Him and refused to have Him reign over them.
These are also the enemies of Jerusalem itself, "Ariel, the city where David camped." These are the avowed enemies of Jesus Christ who have invaded and conquered Jerusalem today. Jesus said to " bring them here and slay them in My presence." Where is "here"? We are told in the next verse, Luke 19:28,
28 And after He had said these things, He was going on ahead, ascending to Jerusalem.
It is plain from this prophecy that Jesus prophesied the return of the "citizens" of Judah to the area around Jerusalem. But the purpose of their return is NOT to be blessed, but to be slain for their refusal to have the Messiah reign over them. This is not a tortured interpretation of the passage. This is the plain truth. God Himself said He would bring His enemies to Jerusalem where they would be slain. Most Bible teachers assume that this means the Russians, the Chinese, or the Arabs. But the Bible does not list these nations as God's enemies, except in men's presumptuous interpretations.
Thus, the question arises about the so-called "Russian chapters of Ezekiel." In Ezekiel 38 and 39 the prophet speaks of an invasion of people called "Gog" from the land of Magog. These chapters are commonly interpreted to mean that some day Russia will attack Palestine in alliance with Arab nations for the purpose of destroying " Israel."
Perhaps we need to take a closer look at this.