Part Three Of A Brief History of Palestine Compiled by Lawrence Sutherland

Zionist Religious Claims to Palestine

1Eliya Khoury – A Priest deported from Dothan, Palestine to Jordan:

➢ “Is modern Israel the fulfilment of biblical prophecy?

1[The Palestinians: Portrait of a People in Conflict – Frank H. Epp: McClelland and Stewart 1976.]

2The Zionist claim to Palestine is primarily based on ancient Biblical Promises of four-thousand years ago that God promised Abraham that:

➢ “unto thy seed have I given this land…”

and that the words:

➢ “seed of Abraham,”

mean only those who are, by religion, Jews, whether or not they are the physical descendants of Abraham. Therefore, certain church leaders – some with good intentions, others out of ignorance – have succumbed to Zionist propaganda and influence, believing that by lending their religious support to Zionist political ambitions in Palestine, they would be fulfilling the:

➢ “Will of God,”

and bringing closer the second coming of the Messiah. These church leaders have misinterpreted the Holy Scriptures and in turn, used their pulpits to sway their congregations in favour of the Zionist movement.

However, a number of Christian and Jewish authorities in the Old and New Testaments, who observed this Zionist exploitation of the Holy Scriptures, felt grave concern over the inherent dangers that such misinterpretation held for the basic tenants of the Christian and Jewish faiths.

Therefore, they took it upon themselves to provide, individually and in their own words, an accurate religious interpretation of the Divine Promise to show Christians and Jews the true path.

2[Bitter Harvest: A Modern History of Palestine – Sami Hadawi – Olive Branch Press 1991.]

Here is a brief sample of what these scholars and theologians had to say:

3Dr. Alfred Guillaume, Professor of Old Testament Studies at the University of London and author of various works on the Old Testament, stated:

➢ “The first explicit promise of Palestine to the descendants of Abraham was at Shechem [now Nablus] in Genesis 12:7 – ‘Unto thy seed will I give this land.’ Chapter 13:15, when Abraham is standing on a hill near Bethel, has the words: ‘All the land which thou seest to thee will I give it and to thy seed for ever.’ Chapter 15:18 is more explicit – ‘Unto they seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates’!”

Furthermore, Guillaume explains that it is:

➢ “generally supposed that these promises were made to the Jews and to the Jews alone. But that is not what the Bible says. The words ‘to thy seed’ inevitably include Arabs, both Muslims and Christians, who claim descent from Abraham through his son Ishmael.”
Professor Alfred Guillaume continued:

➢ “Ishmael was the reputed father of a large number of Arab tribes and Genesis records that Abraham became the father of many north Arabian tribes through his concubine Keturah. It cannot be argued that the words of Genesis 21:10-12 necessarily cancel the promise made to Abraham’s seed as a whole: ‘[Sarah] said to Abraham, cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.’”

Guillaume further explained:

➢ “’And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight on account of his son. And God said unto Abraham: Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah saith unto thee hearken unto her voice: for in Isaac shall seed be called unto thee. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.’”

It should be noted that when Abraham made a covenant with God through circumcision [Chapter 17:8] and all the land of Canaan was promised to him as:

➢ “an everlasting possession,”

it was Ishmael who was circumcised; because Isaac had not yet been born.

Professor Alfred Guillaume goes on to remark:

➢ “It is true that henceforth among the descendants of Isaac, ‘the seed of Abraham’ was taken to mean the Israelites; but from the beginning it was not so and the descendants of Ishmael had every right to call and consider themselves of the seed of Abraham.”

On the question of whether the ‘Promise’ was not irrevocable, Professor Guillaume explains that:

➢ “there never was an unconditional promise of an everlasting possession; though a long and indefinite period was intended…”

Furthermore, he added:

➢ “Had we no prophetic messages to guide us, it will be apparent that these promises of possession of the land of Canaan were not unconditional: the covenant relation between Israel and God demanded loyalty from the people, and individual and corporate righteousness. Were the people to fail in these respects, a terrible doom awaited them.”

Professor Guillaume continued:

➢ “The following words spoken by Moses in the 28th. Chapter of Deuteronomy apply in parts so easily to the sufferings of Jewry in the past few years that many have seen in them a prophecy of our own times: It shall come to pass if thou wilt not harken unto the voice of the Lord thy God to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all those curses shall come upon thee and shall overtake thee…”

➢ “And the Lord shall scatter thee among the peoples, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; and there thou shalt serve other Gods, which thou hast not known, thou nor thy fathers, even wood and stone.”

➢ “And amongst these nations shalt thou find no ease and there shall be no rest for sole of thy foot; but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart and failing of eyes and pining of souls; and thy life shall hang in doubt before thee…”

Professor Guillaume concludes:

➢ It is clear that the divine promises to the patriarchs have been annulled by the national apostasy; and when the Assyrian captivity removed the population of Samaria, and the Babylonian captivity of the people of Judah, the prophets saw in the disasters a vindication of the divine justice on a disobedient and gain-saying people.”

➢ “But they taught their people that a remnant would return…The Jews did return to Judea, they did rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and they did rebuild the temple; and after fluctuating fortunes, they did secure a brief period of political independence and expansion under the Maccabees. Thus the prophecies of the ‘Return’ have been fulfilled, and they ‘cannot’ be fulfilled again. Within the canonical literature of the Old Testament, there is no prophecy of a second return after the return from the Babylonian exile, because:

[1] After the Exile all the Jews who wished to do so had returned to the Holy Land, though a great many more preferred to remain where they were, and they formed the ‘Diaspora,’ which afterwards became the backbone of the Christian Church; and:

[2] the last of the Prophets died centuries before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D.70.”

3[Israel According to Holy Scriptures – Cedar Rapids: Ingram Press, pp. 11-15.]

4Ibrahim Sama’an – A Journalist from Haifa:

➢ “God promised that Abraham would prosper and that his descendants would be as much as the sand of the sea and the stars of the skies, and twelve kings, would come out of him and so on. If the Arabs consider themselves, and they do, to be the descendants of Ishmael, then they have the same promise given to the descendants of Abraham through Isaac.”

4[The Palestinians: Portrait of a People in Conflict – Frank H. Epp: McClelland and Stewart 1976.]

5Doctor Elmer Berger, a gifted Rabbi and an author of many books on Judaism, came to the same conclusions as his Christian counterparts. Doctor Berger added:

➢ “No Orthodox Jew believes the present state of Israel has come into being in a process which fulfils the injunctions of the Old Testament. There are Orthodox Jews who actually repudiate the present Israeli sovereignty as a profanation of the Biblical texts.”

➢ “This attitude is most vigorously and dramatically represented in precisely that part of the state of Israel where the most traditional Judaism is observed – the Mea Shearim quarter of the City of Jerusalem.”

Doctor Berger continued:

➢ “Here lives the ‘Neturei Karta’ who regard the present state of Israel as a subversive phenomenon to their faith and who, themselves, indulge in frequent acts of defiance of the governmental authority of the state of Israel.”

➢ “There are less well known but equally convinced followers of the same position among the Orthodox Jews of the United States. These groups, at times, have made representations to the United Nations. They are particularly agitated over the claims of the New City of Jerusalem advanced by the state of Israel. They prefer internationalization of a Jerusalem once again uniting the old and the new cities.”

Furthermore, Rabbi Berger points out:

➢ “This attitude cannot necessarily be equated with an anti-Israel position, although there are those in these groups who do oppose the present state and who agree it came about, not through fulfilment of the Word of God, but as a result of the secular-political activities of Zionism.

➢ “It cannot, therefore, be a fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy; and it does not represent, for these people the Messianic dream. They regard Israel as a secular state, devoid of Zion.”

Rabbi Berger concludes by stating:

➢ “The most charitable construction which can be put upon the state of Israel therefore, in the context of considering its Biblical legitimacy, is that through methods having no sanction in the Bible at all, a political sovereignty has been established.”

➢ “In a majority population of Jews, a minority is still engaged in a furious, ‘political’ battle to compel the State to adopt a character which ‘could’ be equated with the Biblical prophecies. The equating is ‘not’ accomplished today. The fulfilment is not even remotely near realization.”

➢ “Neither the process which gave birth to Israel nor the result, in the form of the state itself, can – by any theory with the integrity which is central to all genuine religions – be regarded as justified by the magnificent ethical and religious declarations of the spiritual giants whose words are immortalized in scripture.”

5[Israel According to Holy Scriptures – Cedar Rapids: Ingram Press, pp. 19-25.]

6Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss and members of Neturei Karta International, Jews United Against Zionism, protested outside the Washington, D.C. Convention Center as Pastor John Hagee and his pro-Israel organization, Christians United for Israel [CUFI], held their ‘Washington Summit,’ on July 22 to 24, 2013.

Interestingly, CUFI’s Executive Director, David Brog, is not a Christian himself. Brog told the Israeli daily Haaretz:

➢ “I am Jewish.”

In fact, David Brog is a cousin of former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who:

➢ “changed his last name from ‘Brog’ to Barak’ during his time in the army.”

CUFI’s Web site urged supporters to attend the ‘Washington Summit’ to show support for Israel:

➢ “From Cairo to Beirut, from Gaza to Damascus, and from Ramallah to Tehran, the Jewish people are surrounded by enemies who seek to destroy them. These are truly dark and dangerous days for our ally Israel.”

Summit speakers included Republicans such as Representatives Michele Bachmann [R-MN], former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor [R-VA] and Lindsey Graham [R-SC].

Democratic speakers included John Barrow [D-GA] and Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. [D-GA].

Also invited to speak was Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Malcolm Hoenlein, and radio and TV talk show host Glenn Beck.

Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss and the assembled protesters from Neturei Karta International, Jews United Against Zionism, protested outside the Washington, D.C. Convention Center carrying signs that proclaimed:

➢ ‘Judaism condemns the State of Israel and its Atrocities’

➢ ‘Judaism Rejects Zionism and the State of Israel’

Another Neturei Karta sign stated:

➢ ‘Read the Talmud, Jews in Israel are Forbidden to have their own State’

As Rabbi Elmer Berger previously stated, the ‘Neturei Karta’ regard Zionist Israel as subversive to their Jewish faith and therefore they continue to indulge in acts of defiance and protest.

6[Washington Report Magazine – September 2013.]

7Ne’Meh Sima’an – A Church Bishop from Nazareth:

➢ “This is the real problem. They try to have, not a religious centre, but a national home. The national home became a national state. And what is not mentioned, a national empire. The whole problem of Palestine is not a religious problem.”

➢ “From the very beginning it was a Zionist movement. It was a political movement. The Zionist movement in Palestine is 85 per cent atheist. So, you have them not observing, not believing even in the Holy Bible, not even Golda Meir. So the whole history is more a dirty policy and has nothing to do with religion.”

7[The Palestinians: Portrait of a People in Conflict – Frank H. Epp: McClelland and Stewart 1976.]

One could find many Religious Scholars, both Jewish and non-Jewish, and also Rabbis who would dispute the Zionist religious claims to Palestine. The findings of these Religious Scholars should leave absolutely no doubt that the Zionist claim to Palestine is neither correct nor legitimate.

Moreover, one can go a step further to prove the Zionist absurdity of the claim: Nowhere is the notion found that being a Jew is synonymous with physical descent from Abraham.

8There have been a great many Jews throughout history that have been converts from other stock.

This would include the Black Jews of Malabar and the Falashas of Ethiopia. Many of the Jewish immigrants who hail from Central Europe, Poland, Russia and the United States, are mostly of Khazar extraction, descendants of Caucasian Russians whom Byzantine Jews converted to Judaism in the mid-eighth century.

8[The 13th. Tribe – Arthur Koestler: Random House.]

Furthermore, Palestine may be associated with those who profess the Jewish religion, but this association is only spiritual, not physical.

9Sir Edwin S. Montagu. Secretary of State for India in the Lloyd George Cabinet, which approved the Balfour Declaration in 1917, told his Christian colleagues at the time, as a Jew:

➢ “I deny that Palestine is today associated with the Jews…It is quite true that Palestine plays a large part in Jewish history, but so it does in modern Mohammedan history and, after the time of the Jews, surely it plays a larger part than any other country in Christian history. The Temple may have been in Palestine, but so was the Sermon on the Mount and the Crucifixion.”

Sir Montagu warned:

➢ “Zionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen of the United Kingdom. If a Jewish Englishman sets his eyes on the mount of olives and longs for the day when he will shake British soil from his shoes and go back to agricultural pursuits in Palestine, he has always seemed to me to have acknowledged aims inconsistent with British citizenship and to have admitted that he is unfit for a share in public life in Great Britain, or to be treated as an Englishman.”

Sir Montagu then asserted, with emphasis:

➢ “there is not a Jewish nation.”

He referred to members of his own family, whom, he said, had been in the country for generations, as having:

➢ “No sort or kind of community or views or of desire with any Jewish family in any other country beyond the fact that they profess to a greater or less degree the same religion.”

Edwin Montagu concluded:

➢ “It is no more true to say that a Jewish Englishman and a Jewish Moor are of the same nation than it is to say that a Christian Englishman and a Christian Frenchman are of the same nation.”

9[From the secret documents released by the British Government: Paper No. CAB. 24/24 – The Anti-Semitism of the Present Government – Sir Edwin S. Montagu, Secretary of State for India, Dated August 23, 1917.]

10Doctor William H. Stinespring, Professor of New Testament and Semitics at Duke University, North Carolina and a Minister in the Presbyterian Church, explains:

➢ “There is no basis in either Old or New Testament to support the claim of the Zionists that a modern Jewish state in Palestine is justified or demanded by the Bible or Biblical prophecy.”

➢ “The ‘promises’ of Biblical prophecy apply to all mankind, and not only to Jews or Zionists; that such terms as ‘victory’ and ‘salvation,’ in their true Biblical meaning, connote religious and spiritual achievements and not the conquest or degradation of political enemies; and, more specifically, that such terms as ‘Israel,’ ‘the new Israel’ or ‘the Israel of God,’ in the New Testament apply to the Ideal Christian Church, or to a body of true believers in the religious sense.”
Doctor Stinespring goes on to point out:

➢ “The evidence is overwhelming that no true Christian, believing in the New Testament, could possibly confuse the modern Israel, brought into being by political machination and military power accompanied by ruthless deprivation of the native inhabitants, with the Israel of God of Christian faith.”

Stinespring emphasized:

➢ “These two Israels contradict one another completely.”

Doctor Stinespring concluded his report by stating:

➢ “Even without the specific statements of the New Testament with regard to the spiritual and religious nature of the promises of Israel, the Old Testament alone in its truest sense and in the hands of its truest interpreters, pointed to a ‘spiritual’ kingdom for all mankind and not to a ‘political’ Israel that occupies territory and homes belonging naturally to another people and reduces some of its inhabitants to second-class citizenship.”

➢ “Moreover, Judaism, like Christianity has had a continuous history since Biblical times; and the best insights of this continuing tradition also lead towards an ‘Israel of the spirit and not of the flesh.’

10[Israel According to Holy Scriptures – Cedar Rapids: Ingram Press, pp. 6-9.]

11On another point, Sir Edwin S. Montagu was bitterly opposed to the Balfour Declaration. It should be noted that Montagu was also the only Jewish member of the British Cabinet of Lloyd George at that time.

Montagu registered his profound disagreement with British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour and with the philosophy of Zionism in general.

Reflecting on Balfour’s promise, Montagu wrote:

➢ “I do no know what this involves, but I assume that it means that Mahommedans [i.e., Muslims] and Christians are to make way for the Jews and that the Jews should be put in all positions of preference and should be peculiarly associated with Palestine in the same way that England is with the English or France is with the French, that Turks and other Mohammedans in Palestine will be regarded as foreigners, just in the same way as Jews will hereafter be treated as foreigners in every country but Palestine. Perhaps also citizenship must be granted only as a result of a religious test.”

Furthermore, Montagu added:

➢ “Such a test seems to me to be only admitted by those who take a bigoted and narrow view of one particular epoch of the history of Palestine, and claim for the Jews a position to which they are not entitled.”

Moreover, Montagu warned:

➢ “Zionists would almost inevitably strengthen anti-Semitism and all its attendant violence as well.”

If put into practice, Sir Edwin S. Montagu pointed out, the argument to which Balfour subscribed, that Jews constituted ‘a nation apart,’ would mean that the Jewish citizens of European states might be regarded once again [perhaps with calamitous results] as incomplete citizens, homeless wanderers, undesirables deserving expulsion.

Therefore, Zionism would only strengthen the position of those who said that Jews could not assimilate into European Society.

➢ “I wish to place on record my view that the policy of His Majesty’s Government is anti-Semitic in result and will prove a rallying ground for anti-Semites in every country in the world.”

Montagu warned:

➢ “When the Jews are told that Palestine is their national home every country will immediately desire to get rid of its Jewish citizens, and you will find a population in Palestine driving out its present inhabitants, taking all the best in the country, drawn from all quarters of the globe, speaking every language on the face of the earth, and incapable of communicating with one another except by means of an interpreter.”

11[U.K. National Archives – CAB 24/24.]

12The Right Reverend Jonathan G. Sherman, Suffragan Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, New York pointed out:

➢ “The history of Israel demonstrates that God is not primarily concerned with Israel’s military conquests or geographical security or economic prosperity: the prophets’ predictions are fulfilled when Israel is destroyed as a nation in 722 B.C. and when Judah is driven into exile in 586 B.C.”

➢ “What then? What God is interested in, say the prophets, is a relationship with Israel grounded in God’s righteousness, justice and mercy, a relationship between God and man that involves at every point a right relationship between man and man.”

The Right Reverend Sherman concluded his report with the statement:

➢ “In the Old Covenant God promised to the children of Israel military victory over their enemies in order that they might enter into the land flowing with milk and honey on the condition of Israel’s obedience to his commandments.”

➢ “Israel failed to keep the Covenant, to be written not on tales of stone but in the hearts of his people [Jeremiah 31:31; Corinthians 3.2f]. Of this New Covenant Jesus is the mediator [Hebrews 8:6-13; 9:15]. In place of victory over human enemies Jesus gives us victory over sin and death [I Corinthians 15:55-57].”

➢ “In place of the land of Canaan, He gives us His Kingdom [St. Luke 12:32]. In place of milk and honey, He gives us the fruit of the Spirit – love and joy and peace and forgiveness. Verily, ‘in Him all the promises of God are Yes!’ [II Corinthians 1:20].”

12[Israel According to Holy Scriptures – Cedar Rapids: Ingram Press, pp. 6-9.]

13On April 10, 2013, the Palestine Israel Advocacy Group at the Washington National Cathedral hosted Father Elias Chacour, Archbishop of the Melkite Church of Akko, Haifa, Nazareth and all Galilee at the Perry Auditorium.
Abuna [Father] Chacour has spent a lifetime working for reconciliation between Arabs and Jews, he also founded the Mar Elias Educational Institution.

The Institution located in Ibillin, northern Israel has more than 3000 students and faculty, including Muslims, Christians, Druze and Jews from kindergarten to university.

During his speech, Abuna Chacour encouraged Americans to visit Palestine, not just the Holy places but also the refugee camps. Americans also should go to Bethlehem, where:

➢ “You’ll be horrified to see the wall, built with your money, which has torn up our hearts.”

Furthermore, when asked what Americans who care about peace can do, Abuna Elias Chacour said to continue to love Israel but criticize its policies.

➢ “Raise hell. No nation has chosen people. A nation can’t enslave another.”

➢ “If Jesus did appear he’d say to all of us, ‘I did not invite you to be peace contemplators but peace actors, activists, builders. Get up. Get your hands dirty.”

Finally, Abuna Chacour warned that the Palestinians are running out of patience, hearing Israelis and Americans do nothing but, “talk, talk, talk.”

13[Washington Report Magazine – June/July 2013.]

Albert Einstein and Zionism

14Albert Einstein, the Nobel Prize winning scientist and pacifist, speaking out about Zionism:

➢ “I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish State.”

➢ “Apart from practical considerations, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish State, with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power, no matter how modest.”

➢ “I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain – especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish State.”

➢ “We are no longer the Jews of the Maccabee period. A return to a nation in the political sense of the word, would be equivalent to turning away from the spiritualization of our community which we owe to the genius of our prophets.”

14[Moshe Menuhin – The Decadence of Judaism in Our Time – 1965]

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