...promised to them in the Torah.
Since 1967 Israel has, illegally under international law, settled an estimated 250,000 people in the occupied West Bank and made it clear that only the smallest populations would be removed as part of a peace deal. And the Israeli Defence Forces have erected a vast 'security barrier' of concrete and wire slicing off yet more Palestinian territory.
Israel's 1.7 million Arabs are these days seen as a 'demographic threat' to the Jewish nature of the state in a country where some politicians have begun to talk openly of 'transfer' of ethnic Arabs to Palestinian areas, or of slicing off Arab villages in Israel and handing them over to Palestinian control.
A quarter of the men and women called up for national service now slide out of it, claiming mental problems or religious exemption. And a growing number of seasoned soldiers from elite units and the air force are refusing to fight on moral grounds.
Zohar Shapira spent 15 years as a member of the Special Forces, the Sayeret Metkal, ending as a warrant officer in charge of 13 other highly trained men before he decided Israel's occupation beyond the green line was bad for Israel as well as the Palestinians.
'I didn't kill anyone, thank God. But when you're kicking down doors and shooting live rounds over the heads of young children in their own homes, you have to question what you're doing. For many years I believed that the missions I went on were defending the Jewish state, but the immorality of what we did on the West Bank endangers the Jewish state. A country with no moral flags can become barbaric - it becomes a question of the laws of the jungle,' he says in a coffee shop in Raanana. 'If things go on like this, with violence feeding violence - I'm not sure I want to bring up my children here.'
Meanwhile, if Jesus Christ were alive today among his earliest miracles would be to survive his own baptism, because of the profligate use of the River Jordan's waters for irrigation in Israel and the kingdom of Jordan. At the site attributed to St John's baptism of Christ, the Jordan is no longer a river. Thick, green, about 2ft wide, Israel's government calls it an 'effluent channel'.
'It's mad,' says Mira Edelstein. 'Israeli farms who get subsidised water use 70 per cent of all water in the country and produce 2 per cent of the GDP. The mountain aquifer on the West Bank is getting polluted, the coastal aquifer is getting salty, and our rivers are poisonous. We might have greened the desert, but at what cost? The state will collapse if it has no water.' So, facing an enemy within, a demographic 'time-bomb', chronic water shortages, and a dwindling level of patriotism in defence, one might think things look bleak for Israel at 60.
"ISRAEL: 60 YEARS OF HOPE AND DESPAIR," by Sam Kiley in Tel Aviv. The Observer. April 20 2008.
"[P]romised to them in the Torah" is what they say of the land they are occupying. That's what we Anglo-Saxons said about the whole of the United States. It was our Manifest Destiny that we come to rule over the whole land and everyone on it then or to come. Only, that wasn't right. It wasn't moral. It wasn't Christian. It wasn't Godly. It was rationalizing the act of just horning in. We could still assert that Manifest Destiny idea. We could plan world domination. In fact, many Anglo-Saxons have done just that. It's called the capitalist economy. Many Jews and others (Russians, Chinese, Indians, Brazilians, etc.) have joined in of course. Well, that doesn't make it right. In fact, it isn't.
It was Titus, who spoiled Jerusalem in A.D. 69, who reportedly said that there is "no merit in vanquishing people forsaken by their own God." Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. Matthew 21:43. That's what Jesus had said. He also said that what was done under Titus to Jerusalem and the Temple would happen. He prophesied it. After that, the Nazis did what they did, and many Jews are now atheists as a result. How then is it that God is fulfilling the Torah?
We have so-called Christian Zionists saying amongst themselves and on the Internet and elsewhere that those Jews who turn to Christ will be saved and those that don't will burn. Well, one doesn't have to be one of them to know that. However, what constitutes literal versus figurative burning or real purging isn't something those so-called Zionists care to discuss. When asked directly, they hedge their statements. John Hagee tap dances all over the place on such issues.
Well, the truth is that the true nature of God is enlightening humanity. As I've written before, The Bible shows a running debate over the nature of God and consequently what God wants and doesn't want.
We have Jews who believe that because a verse in The Bible says that they are to fight and kill that, that verse negates that The Bible also says that vengeance is God's alone. Now, what goes on is that people believe they become the instruments of God's wrath. Titus said that about himself. He said he had merely lent his arms to God, who had so manifested his wrath. George W. Bush wants to think of himself in such terms as well.
However, Jesus taught us never to cave into such wrath or to call for it. Jesus was the Son of consistency. Think about it. Jesus said to his disciples when they asked him whether or not to call down the wrath that they didn't know of which spirit they are. One spirit is the wrath. The other is the spirit of Jesus. Is God a split personality? In which case, who would Satan be?
The Bible has God repenting of evil. Now, does God fall and get back up as do humans, or is that just humans projecting onto God their poor vision, less than perfect righteousness? Is this all just semantics?
The truth is that God is perfect and doesn't fall and never has. We are to rise to that to join God in that one spirit of God's. That's the new message Jesus came to give. There is still the other range of spectrum of spirit. There is the spirit that never gets up but is constantly down. Then there is everything in between where the battle for hearts, minds, and souls is being waged on Earth and in the Heaven in our minds.
Was Palestine promised to the Jews by God for them to take by killing if only they keep to all their ritualistic laws, etc.? I'll overlook your sin of killing off these people to take their land, because they are even more wicked then you are and only if you promise to be good to each other but not to all others, who are inherently inferior. Does that sound right to you? Is that the truth, or is that just a hypocritical, rationalizing interpretation of the Holy Spirit? Is God better than that?
How can anyone even imagine a spirit better than is God? If God is exactly the God of the Torah and not as Jesus showed, then God isn't as good as your best thoughts. Isn't it just that people with extremely poorer vision than Jesus's laid down traditions Jesus came and showed were hypocritical and whose laws were in need of fulfilling (completing)?