Orthodox Rabbis Confirming End-Times Prophecy?

An article emerged a few days before Christmas claiming that "Rabbis Bring Jesus Home for Christmas." Naturally, it got my attention.  Not to mention the fact that several people sent the article to me and expressed their excitement after reading it.  Over two dozen orthodox rabbis from around the world issued a joint statement "calling for a renewed look at Jesus, Christians and the New Testament faith. " Frankly, I live for moments like these, so my initial reaction was a joyful surprise. Are some orthodox rabbis truly accepting the Messiahship of Yeshua (Jesus)? Have these men become Messianic believers? Could this be the start of a revival within the global Jewish community? The conclusion might surprise you!

The article was written by an Israeli Jewish believer in Yeshua, David Lazarus, who mentioned Yeshua several times. It quotes the rabbis saying, “Jesus brought a double goodness to the world,” further claiming that Yeshua "strengthened the Torah of Moses." Lazarus quoted other parts of the Rabbis' statement that clearly indicated the desire for true rapprochement between Christians and Jews. Considering the times we live in, this could be very good news. This will certainly not eradicate antisemitism since the longest hatred–a spiritual battle generated and fueled by Satan–will not come to an end until Yeshua returns at the end of the seven-year Tribulation. Can it help in the healing of Jewish/Christian relations? Absolutely, and this alone is a reason to rejoice!

My intention is not to burst the bubble of hope created by the statement, but before Israel-loving evangelicals rejoice, we might want to take a look at the statement itself. While it offers many positives, they are not necessarily what Christians might think. It was spearheaded by a commendable organization called the "Center for Jewish–Christian Understanding & Cooperation." In their mission statement, they declare the following, "Now that we as a people and a nation have returned to history, and the Christian world is beginning to recognize the continuing legitimacy of its elder brother’s covenant, grafting itself onto us as a branch is grafted to the roots, we must each complete our return to God, join hands and bring a religion of love, morality, pluralism and peace to a desperate, thirsting world. " Additionally, the statement dates from 2015. I am not sure why it was quoted as if it was recent, but it raises some very important questions that still need to be addressed.

The goal is to work towards rebuilding Jewish/Christian relations. While they certainly do not speak for all Jewish denominations across the spectrum, being a group of orthodox, pious Torah scholars pushing for a better world through mutual acceptance certainly deserves our attention. The topics discussed in their statement include Judaism, Christianity, God, Jesus and antisemitism. Here are some of the points they make that are worth analyzing to understand their desire further. The statement divides into seven articles, each worth mentioning. The bold part summarizes the main point made in the statement, followed by my analysis.

1. Failure of Jews and Christians to reconcile after the Holocaust created fertile soil for antisemitism to grow: The Holocaust (Shoah) remains a unique defining catastrophe on the timeline of Jewish history. While it is true that 2,000 years of animosity and violence coming from the Church were a major factor leading to the death of six million Jews (among other groups), not all perpetrators were Christians. In fact, it could be argued–maybe in another article–that none of the perpetrators and bystanders of the Holocaust were true Christians. Nevertheless, the abysmal divide between Christians and Jews that resulted from the Holocaust allowed other enemies of the Jews to contribute further to the erosion of Judeo/Christian relations. So, in a sense, it is true that this loss of trust resulted in further damage.

2. The Second Vatican Council (1965) contributed to a reconciliation between Jews and Christians: This was a milestone for the Catholic Church. Finally, after more than 1,900 years, it was officially declared that the Jewish people shouldn't be held responsible for the death of Christ. This has indeed led to more interfaith dialogue and well-needed healing between Jews and Catholics.

3. The emergence of Christianity is G-d's way to separate partners, not enemies:  19th-century British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli once said that “Christianity is Biblical Judaism fulfilled.”  What a simple but powerful statement!  Unfortunately, a theological wedge was placed between Jews and Christians. It progressively grew and separated the two. In their statement, the contemporary rabbis quote respected giants of Judaism, Maimonides (Rambam) and Judah HaLevi as their inspiration to accept Christianity as a valid religion. The signatories further declare, "Now that the Catholic Church has acknowledged the eternal Covenant between G-d and Israel, we Jews can acknowledge the ongoing constructive validity of Christianity as our partner in world redemption, without any fear that this will be exploited for missionary purposes." The goal is clear from the statement, it is "world redemption," also known in Judaism as Tikkun Olam. Not to be missed is the last part of that paragraph stating that the signatories do not fear Christian conversion due to this new relationship. Would all Christians truly adhere to a complete cessation of sharing the Gospel for the sake of reconciliation? This might be too broad a statement.

4. It is G-d's desire for Christians to be loving partners: I couldn't agree more with that part of the declaration. Bible-believing Christians have no choice but to love and support the Jewish people (Genesis 12:1-3; Psalm 83:1-5). The way Christians express their love may vary, though. It can go from regular prayer for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6) to humanitarian help to sharing the Gospel. Yet, it would seem that sharing the Gospel with the Jewish people didn't make the cut on the list of proof of why Judaism and Christianity should work together. I tend to believe that the acceptance of Yeshua's free gift of salvation through His death and resurrection for our sins IS the ultimate way to love the Jewish people.

5. Jews and Christians have more in common than what separates them:  The rabbis continued by listing what connects Jews and Christians "The ethical monotheism of Abraham; the relationship with the One Creator of Heaven and Earth, Who loves and cares for all of us; Jewish Sacred Scriptures; a belief in a binding tradition; and the values of life, family, compassionate righteousness, justice, inalienable freedom, universal love and ultimate world peace."  The reason we speak of Judeo/Christian ethics is that the same principles are at the foundation of Judaism and biblical Christianity. We truly have much to gain in mutual acceptance. It will lead to cooperation and Christians and Jews are now at a crossroads where working together can only strengthen us against the enemy.

6. A true partnership doesn't negate differences; it embraces them: The statement continues by clearly speaking of two different religions for two different communities, allowing for God to "employ many messengers to reveal His truth." This is where I get nervous because this sounds like there is more than one way to get to G-d. Is the G-d of Judaism the same G-d found in Christianity? Well, if we believe that “Christianity is Biblical Judaism fulfilled," the answer must be yes! But do we get to G-d the same way? It seems that within Judaism, we strive to keep Torah to hopefully be accepted by G-d. In contrast, within Christianity, we strive to serve and obey G-d after He accepted us in His family through Yeshua's sacrificial death and resurrection. These are theological polar opposites.

7. Christians and Jews can redeem the world: In their concluding paragraph, the signatories boldly declared, "In imitating G-d, Jews and Christians must offer models of service, unconditional love and holiness. We are all created in G-d’s Holy Image, and Jews and Christians will remain dedicated to the Covenant by playing an active role together in redeeming the world." This, again, is the concept of Tikkun Olam. It speaks of redeeming or repairing the world to make it a better place for all mankind. While the concept is very commendable when one reads the whole counsel of G-d, the narrative leads us toward a universal need for a redeemer for mankind. That redeemer came two thousand years ago in the person of Yeshua, who paid the ultimate price by dying for our sins (Isaiah 52:13-53:12).  So, in the spirit of Tikkun Olam, only Yeshua can repair the world, and He will do just that at His Second Coming.

So, where does that leave this group of rabbis who are desperately trying to usher in a genuine reconciliation between Christians and Jews? There is nothing wrong with their noble effort. This will help both communities fight bigotry and antisemitism together better. Yet, this is not the same as claiming Yeshua as the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the world, which the article never does. By calling for more common ground between the two communities, this group of orthodox rabbis might help soften the hearts of many Jewish people towards Christians and biblical Christianity. Still, they never claim that Yeshua is the Messiah.

Could it be that these honorable Jewish men from all around the world are setting the stage for the coming of the 144,000 Jewish men who will play a key role in sharing the message of salvation during the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7)? Without setting dates but looking at work events through the lens of end-times prophecies, it is entirely possible that some of them might even be part of the 144,000 unbeknownst to them as of yet.

No matter how you look at it, this statement seems to be another piece in the end-times puzzle, and the final picture is becoming so clear!

The Proper Way to Support BLACK LIVES, and Why it MATTERS!

Growing up  as a Jew in France in the 60s and 70s wasn't without its challenges. My own mother who had lost her dad in the Holocaust at age 15, had developed a fear about telling people that we were Jewish. So much so that she even forced me to learn German in school as a second foreign language, just in case the Germans would invade France again, so that I could get by. It was not until she was in her early forties before she was comfortable telling others that we were Jewish. But all this never stopped me from making friends of different backgrounds at school. Two of my earliest buddies were Vietnamese and African. Every time I told my mother about a new friend, this fearful question always arose, "Do they know we are Jewish?" to which I always answered that they didn't care and neither did I. Racism never had a foothold in my life. It never made sense to me to hate somebody based on color, race or creed. It didn't when I was a teenager and it doesn't today as a middle age adult.

When I moved to the United States in 1985, it quickly became evident that there were racial tensions between blacks and whites on many levels. Economically, culturally, politically to name just a few. Blacks and whites were clashing. Inter racial relations have not improved, they have actually gotten worse, to the point of injustice and wrongful deaths that we have witnessed in 2020. There is a serious problem affecting America today that cannot be ignored, and that is a reason why the movement known as Black Lives Matter–founded in 2013– has gathered so much momentum and picked the interest of so many. Such a movement appears to be giving the African American community the voice and momentum that they need to push reform forward. Philosophically, this is a good thing, but practically, the BLM ideology sends a very different message–if you know where to look. To be sure, I am not saying that black lives do not matter. Of course they do, as all lives matter. I am simply saying that before we blindly join and support the BLM movement based on somewhat of a knee-jerk reaction, from a mix of compassion, rightful indignation and misplaced guilt, we should investigate who the BLM supports and promotes. It is not always the easiest thing to do as a lot of the connections are no longer evident from their website. But let's consider the following:

To put it simply; Black Lives Matter supports BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions). I have tried my best to expose the false narrative used by BDS proponents for several years. The BDS movement (officially co-founded in 2005 by Mahmoud Abbas and Omar Barghouti), has been pushing for a total boycott (academic, cultural and economic) of Israel and those who support Israel and Israeli products and companies. It has made great strides towards convincing people across the globe that Israel was the perpetrator of crimes against humanity, oppression, invasion and persecution. The BDS movement is not interested in social justice in general or they would also call for the boycott of many other countries that truly commit crimes against humanity such as Venezuela, China, Iran, Sudan and many others, but they don't. Their only agenda is Israel and the Jewish people worldwide. They are not even hiding it as California University Professor Asad Abu Khalil said, “The real aim of BDS is to bring down the state of Israel….That should be stated as an unambiguous goal. There should not be any equivocation on the subject. Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel.” Likewise, BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti stated"A Jewish state in Palestine, in any shape or form, cannot but contravene the basic rights of the land's indigenous Palestinian population...definitely, most definitely, we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine. No Palestinian – rational Palestinian, not a sellout Palestinian—will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine."

While it is challenging to find the connection between BLM and BDS, it is not impossible. BLM is part of a larger network known as M4BL (The Movement for Black Lives). Dots become a lot easier to connect once we realize that M4BL is an umbrella organization under which you can find other groups such as Black Lives Matter. Once this is established, it takes no time to find out that M4BL supports BDS. They claim that "3 billion dollars in US aid is allocated to Israel, a state that practices systematic discrimination and has maintained a military occupation of Palestine for decades." or "The US justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliance with Israel and is complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people." They even propose some actions to be taken against Israel as they encourage people to "Fight the expanding number of Anti­BDS bills being passed in states around the country. This type of legislation not only harms the movement to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine, but is a threat to the constitutional right to free speech and protest."

Additionally the Movement for Black Lives cites as resources: www.BDSmovement.net and www.blackpalestiniansolidarity.com. Both these websites are clear supporters of the BDS ideology and the flawed Palestinian narrative. So, the connection between BLM and M4BL is undeniably clear, and their antisemitic slant is also very obvious. I do not want you to miss the irony here: A movement that claims to fight racism of all sorts and promotes social justice, is also promoting the destruction of Israel and the hatred of Jewish people. So before we support BLM and donate to the cause, we must examine our hearts. Is it OK to fight for justice and equality for African Americans while supporting the oppression and destruction of Israel? Whichever way you look a it, it is hypocrisy. Not to mention the global support for BLM including anti-racism gatherings in Paris where some people were shouting dirty Jews to the crowd. Again, where is the connection? So, where do we go from here?

Inequality can only be remedied by true reconciliation and true reconciliation only comes from God. The problem that seems to arise out of the BLM movement is that reconciliation is spoken of, but submission is what is meant. There are some strong similarities between the "reconciliation" promoted by BLM and the one promoted by groups like "Christ at the Checkpoint (CaTC.) claiming to seek reconciliation between Israel and Palestinians in the name of Christ. When reconciliation is simply a word spoken to force the other side to submit unilaterally, then we have a problem. Reconciliation is a two-way street that includes compromise and humility. I have seen very little of that coming from BDS promoters as well as those who defend the BLM movement. What I am even starting to see, is more and more parallels drawn between the tragic murder of George Floyd and the deaths of Palestinians. Some people are even borrowing visual elements such as the Middle East head scarf worn by Arafat and the Palestinian flag, to incorporate them into images of George Floyd. There is absolutely no foundation for this connection, but that doesn't stop people from drawing it.

As a French/Jewish immigrant to America, I have come to realize that injustice and inequality is very real all around us, and that is a tragedy. I have been speaking and writing against antisemitism for over twenty years, and I know that it is very real, as Satan infuses that hatred daily in the heart of men. Racism will continue to exist everywhere, but it doesn't mean that we have to adhere to it. As God's word tells us that through the blood of Messiah, Jews and Gentiles have been reconciled into one new man, without any separation between them. Racial reconciliation is not something we have to work on, but something we need to grab hold of and believe in, in complete faith, because of what Yeshua did on our behalf; Jews and Gentiles, blacks and whites.

Ephesians 2:11-16 drives the point home better than I ever could," 11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separate from Messiah, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Messiah Yeshua you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Messiah. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity."

So, I support black lives today as much as I have supported them my whole life, but not through a manmade movement that has a shaky foundation at best. I support black lives because of my Messiah who supported all lives, enough to die for them. We all should support black lives and it definitely matters how we do it!

Christ at the Checkpoint or Crisis at the Checkpoint?

I recently reviewed the current Christ at the Checkpoint (CatC) Manifesto point by point from a biblical perspective. As a result, I found myself either agreeing, disagreeing or a bit of both. The whole breakdown was part of a pre-conference review I did. One apparent core value of the CatC Manifesto–rightfully so– is reconciliation:
1. The Kingdom of God has come. Evangelicals must reclaim the prophetic role in bringing peace, justice and reconciliation in Palestine and Israel.
2. Reconciliation recognizes God’s image in one another.

On one hand, I do not agree on the point that the Kingdom of God has come (Kingdom Now Theology claims among other things, that Yeshua’s Kingdom was inaugurated at His first coming while Scripture states that He will reign as Messianic King on the throne of David from Jerusalem in a yet to come Millennial Messianic Kingdom as validated by Psalm 72:8, 11, 17; Isaiah 9:7, 11:6-11; Jeremiah 23:6, and Zechariah 3:10 among other Scriptures). But on the other hand, as a believer in Yeshua, I see the great need for peace, justice and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. Furthermore, as proposed in Article 2 of their Manifesto, I agree that we are created in God's image and should look at each other from that perspective only (God created man and woman in His image, regardless of ethnicity as seen in Genesis 1:27; 5:1; 9:6; 1 Corinthians 11:7; and Ephesians 4:24.)

Reconciliation is indeed critical, as long as real reconciliation is sought.Biblical or not, proper reconciliation requires:
1. Identify the issue
2. Identify the protagonists
3. Recognize the need to reconcile
4. Recognize shortcomings
5. Seek forgiveness and unity

These five steps can be used in any context, but when it involves believers, it must be on the firm foundation of God's word, based on a consistent and literal approach to the Bible. Anything less brings man's opinion into the equation and reveals our inability to be unbiased and just. In the context of CatC 2016, it was hardly the case. the scale was tipped in favor of the Palestinian and Palestine from the word go!

It is obvious to Israelis and Arabs, as well as the rest of the world that there is a crisis/conflict in the Middle East. The issue has been identified as a disputed piece of land the size of the state of New Jersey. Some will claim that this sliver of real estate belongs to the Jewish people based on a covenant that God made with them through Abraham, going back to Genesis 12 and further ratified through Isaac and Jacob in Genesis 12:1-3, 7; 13:15;17:7-8, 19; 25:5-6; 26:3; 28:3-4 and 35:9-15. Others will argue that the land belonged to the Palestinians and was stolen, colonized and now suffers from an apartheid policy by Israel. Identifying the issue could be done by saying that opinions differ on whom the land belongs to.

The protagonists–for lack of a better word– are the Arabs and the Jews. The fact that Arabs in the region are now called Palestinians only exacerbates the issue. Before 1967, the word "Palestinian" simply described inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael also known back then as Palestine. It was then inhabited by Palestinian Arabs and Palestinian Jews. So technically, anytime Israelis and Palestinians are described as the two main protagonists, it is a misnomer and it results in setting-up a false premise. It would then be proper to describe the protagonists in the context of an "Arab/Israeli" conflict.

All sides speak of the obvious need to reconcile and bring peace to the region. CatC claims that the model for that reconciliation is Yeshua and His Gospels, yet the vast majority of the conference is spent describing Israel as the occupier and the enemy. There were so many instances where Israel was called the enemy during CatC, yet no mention was made of Palestinian terrorism, stabbings or any other feats of Islamic terror. They actually even invited a Muslim scholar who is linked to Hamas. CatC's definition of reconciliation doesn't seem to include the recognitions of both sides' shortcomings and really seems to emphasize Israel need to apologize and stop the invasion of "Palestine."

On a lighter note, I found it very telling that in the name of reconciliation, the only symbol hanging next to the speakers podium was a Palestinian Kaffiyeh (head covering made popular by Yassir Arafat). It would have gone a long way to hang it next to a tallit (Jewish prayer shawl) as a symbolic picture of reconciliation. Additionally, the worship sessions included songs in English and Arabic. It would have also shown good intentions if they had included some of the lyrics in Hebrew. Even the CatC website only exists in English and Arabic.

To an extent, I can understand that people living in the Middle East and having been brought up in a culture that is vastly antisemitic could have a hard time accepting Israel right to exist and right to the land. I don't share their views but I understand that they can have them. What baffles me is the involvement of evangelical Christians–once supporters of Israel– such as Fuller Seminary Mark Labberton or "Bible Answer Man" Hank Haneggraff. Mr Haneggraff's presentation was a disgrace. His unbiblical approach to the issue at hand and his vitriolic description of Zionism and Christian Zionism was borderline antisemitic and certainly in line with the conference's philosophy. I have yet to find anything in Mr. Haneggraff's message that would encourage anybody towards proper reconciliation. He was joined by a plethora of speakers from all theological perspectives with only one common goal: the demonization of Israel. It was Christian Palestinianism at its scariest best!

For the honest viewer who respects the Word of God, the veneer of reconciliation and fight against extremism wasn't very hard to peel. Once that done, it was easy to see that Christ at the Checkpoint is indeed interested in reconciliation, as long as by it they mean Israel's unilateral apology for its "crimes" against Palestinians, Israel relinquishing the "occupied" land of Palestine and further submitting to the regional demands by its Arabs neighbors. As a one way street, this has nothing of a true reconciliation. So at the end of the day, Christ at the Checkpoint was really more of a "Crisis at the Checkpoint." Evangelicals should have nothing to do with such a farce!

The Six Dangers of Christian Palestinianism

There has been a shift in Christian theology as it pertains to the Church’s relationship with Israel and/or Palestinian Christians. Loyalties once rooted in biblical principles are quickly changing. For followers of Yeshua (Jesus), it should not be much of a struggle to recognize Israel’s right to exist as well as the desperate need of the Jewish people for their Messiah.

Nevertheless, there is a real crisis facing Evangelicals today. A growing number of Bible believers appear to have made it their personal duty to act as theological referees between Jews and Palestinians. One of the key words heard over and over is “reconciliation,” and it often punctuates the various programs and projects aimed at bringing both Jews and Palestinians to Yeshua. It seems to be the ultimate goal of Evangelicals involved in such programs. But is it really? For any reconciliation to work, it must be a two-way street. Reconciliation needs to include forgiveness, mutual acceptance and a desire to press on together towards a common goal. The new trend in question is known as Christian Palestinianism.

Christian Palestinianism is a new way to look at the Middle East. It is almost like a new worldview. It has ramifications politically, historically geographically, archeologically, culturally and even spiritually. In his book For Zion’s Sake, Dr. Paul Wilkinson defines Christian Palestinianism by opposing it to Christian Zionism. He writes: “Christian Palestinianism is an inverted mirror image of Christian Zionism. All the basic elements of a Christian Zionist eschatology are reversed, so that the Bible is seen to be Christian, not Jewish, the land of the Bible is Palestine not Israel, the son of God is a Palestinian not a Jew, the Holocaust is resented not remembered, 1948 is a catastrophe not a miracle, the Jewish people are illegal occupiers not rightful owners, and biblical prophecy is a moral manifesto and not a signpost to the Second Coming.”[1]

I believe that Christian Palestinianism is a distorted view of God’s Word hiding a political agenda behind a reformed theology, resulting in a presentation of Christian Zionism as heretical. The Bible is slowly getting “de-judaized,” paving the way for Islam’s influence to overtake Judeo/ Christian history. This shift from Israel to Palestine in the Christian psyche really is a slap in God’s face and a grave altering of His Word. Postmodernism’s thirst for social justice and tolerance has positioned many Evangelicals on the other side of the spectrum from Christian Zionism to Christian Palestinianism. It could be argued that Christian Palestinianism is Replacement Theology amplified. It presents six dangers as follows:

• A Distortion of God’s Word
The promise of Genesis 12:1-3, made by God to Abraham and the Jewish people, still stands. The land boundaries of Genesis 15:18-20 have never changed and have yet to be fully fulfilled:“To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite.”

Why is it that almost nobody questions the historical and biblical revisionism of people like Stephen Sizer, Naim Ateek, Elias Chacour and the likes? We are seeing 21st century Christians blinded by reports of occupation and ethnic cleansing against Palestinians completely turn their back on Israel. But even more than changing one’s interpretation of the Bible, we also witness rejection of the inspired Word of God.

• A Rejection of God’s Word
Christian Palestinianist Naim Ateek recently wrote in Sabeel’s newsletter Cornerstone: “The lesson is clear for me: whatever does not agree with the hermeneutic of God’s love for all people has no authority for us and must not be read even if it is written in the Bible…Jesus had a hermeneutic of God’s love for all people and Isaiah’s words did not comply with that criterion.” [2]

This desire to ignore and even reject Scripture from the Tenach simply because it appears to be in conflict with later teachings of Yeshua is strangely reminiscent of Islam’s “Law of Abrogation,” when Qur’anic verses can be annulled, when historically superseded by contradicting ones. Such an approach to God’s Word is inherently wrong, yet many Evangelicals take their lead from people like Naim Ateek on what they perceive to be a valid biblical approach to the Middle East crisis.

Biblical illiteracy is running rampant within the Evangelical Church, and it creates a very shaky foundation upon which historical revisionism can be built with very little challenge, if any. Christian Palestinianists excel at biblical revisionism. They will go as far as painting Yeshua as the first Palestinian. This far-fetched revisionist approach to Yeshua’s origins has been heavily promoted by the Palestinian Authority. [3]

In both cases of distortion and rejection of God’s Word, the authority of the Bible is put in question. The God of the Bible, who is the God of Israel, as well as the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob, is made into a different god. This allows for the insertion of a revised agenda favoring the Palestinian people at the expense of Israel and the Jewish people.

The concept of Eretz Yisrael being the Palestinian homeland and that of the existence of a native Palestinian people were already looming over the horizon a couple of decades ago, but today it is no longer discussed. The land ownership is accepted without questions. The false premise of a biblical Palestine was propaganda long enough to become truth, with no longer needing to be checked for biblical accuracy.

• A One-Sided Reconciliation
Accusations of “apartheid,” “colonization,” “ethnic cleansing,” or “nazification” of Palestine are constantly brought-up without ever speaking of terrorism, rocket attacks and human rights violations ordered by Palestinian leadership of both Fatah and Hamas. Islamic terrorism is simply dismissed and, in some cases, even justified. Christian Palestinianism offers a one-sided reconciliation, and that, of course, is no reconciliation at all.

• God the Covenant Breaker
Christian Palestinianism changes God from a covenant maker and keeper to a covenant breaker. While it might not be clear to many Evangelicals yet, for Christian Palestinianism to exist, Israel has to cease to exist.
What better way to postulate that Israel has become irrelevant than to say that God’s covenants with the Jewish people have been changed? If God had reneged on His covenant or changed the original recipients of His covenantal blessings, it would become obvious that He is done with Israel and the Jews.

But God never changed His mind when He said to Abraham: “I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

If God were a covenant breaker, He would also have to be a liar. 1 Samuel 15:29 tells us otherwise: “Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.”

• A Demonization of Israel
Once one is convinced that God is finished with Israel and the Jews, it becomes easier to extrapolate the generalization that Israel is the cause of evil against the Palestinians. The accusations against Israel come from Palestinians, Liberals and some Evangelicals. They come so strongly that at times, it becomes difficult to define one source from another. Additionally, the liberal media has absolutely no other agenda than demonizing the victims and victimizing the perpetrators. Facts no longer matter in our postmodern global village. As a matter of fact, radical anti-Zionism is now part of the fabric of society and is in the process of becoming the standard by which one measures his/her degree of tolerance and multiculturalism. French author Pierre-André Taguieff develops it further in his recent book Israel et la Question Juive when he writes: “ Intellectual and political conformism moves alongside radical anti-Zionism, having nothing to do with a critique of Israel’s politics but rather aiming at the final destruction of the Jewish State.” [4]

• A Promotion of Islam
In her book Eurabia: the Euro-Arab Axis, Jewish author and activist, Bat Ye’or, describes Christian Palestinianism as “Palestinian Marcionism:” “The Christian policy that would eliminate the Jewish source of Christianity by suppressing the link between the Hebrew Bible and the Gospels represents an old and lingering trend, always opposed by the Church. Today, Palestinian Marcionism (Palestinianism) paves the way for the Islamization of the Church as it prepares mentalities for an Islamic replacement theology…and encompasses the whole paraphernalia of traditional anti-Semitism.” [5]

Bat Ye’or’s assessment has tragically proven true in the last eight years. Christian Palestinianism is well on its way to de-judaize Yeshua–a job that the gentile branch of Christianity generously contributed to, out of ignorance and sometimes, pure hatred of the Jews over the centuries. Christian Palestinianism will also continue to invalidate much of the Jewish Scriptures as history gets re-written and Jewish references get replaced to accommodate the “Islamization” of the Bible.

While it would be tempting and almost accurate to describe Christian Palestinianism as anti-Semitism, we must be careful in labeling this new trend. Some Christian Palestinianists are clearly anti-Semitic, but this doesn’t allow us to paint with broad strokes and simply say that Christian Palestinianism IS anti-Semitism.

I believe that it is a fair assessment to claim that Christian Zionism and Christian Palestinianism can be found on two opposite sides of the spectrum in terms of the Church’s relationship with Israel and the Jewish people. In fact, Christian Palestinianism is Christian anti- Zionism. But rather than labeling Christian Palestinianism as anti-Semitism, I would rather place it as one of the key components of the latest trend in anti-Semitism: Eschatological anti-Semitism.

Being well aware of the fact that anti-Semitism is the “irrational hatred” of the Jewish people, I see the obvious converging of many unlikely allies against Israel. Islam, Liberals and Evangelicals have many reasons to disagree ideologically and spiritually, yet they find it acceptable to go against Israel in one accord. Campus Intifada, BDS, media bias, historical revisionism, and Holocaust denial are different arrows in Satan’s quiver of hate.

An evangelical might not be as determined to destroy Israel as a radical Muslim is, but they have become co-conspirators and co- perpetrators. As such, they become guilty of the same crime in the eyes of the God of Israel.

God was the first Zionist but He also sent Yeshua for both Jews and Arabs. I am obviously pro-God and thus I am pro-Israel, but being pro- Israel doesn’t mean that one is anti-Palestinian, sadly, and I must say irrationally, the opposite is seldom true!

[1] Wilkinson, Paul R.: For Zion’s Sake (Paternoster, Nottingham, England, 2007) p. 65

[2] Ateek, Naim: Sabeel Newsletter: Cornerstone (Winter/Spring 2014), p.3-4.

[3] http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=13536

[4] Taguieff, Pierre-André: Israel et la Question Juive (Les Provinciales, Paris, France, 2011), p. 191-192.

[5] Bat Ye’or, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis (Teaneck, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Press, 2006), p. 213.