Tuesday 13 September 2011
Those who do not learn from history...
Last week I sent out an email newsletter in which I explained that although CWI is first and foremost a mission concerned with the spiritual well-being of the Jewish people, we cannot afford to stand by silently when Jewish people and our own friends and colleagues are in danger.
I pointed out that the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has called on the United Nations to support the establishment of a Palestinian state when the UN meets on the 20th of this month. In the lead up to the historic vote, attacks on Israel have increased and as we draw closer to the tenth anniversary of the destruction of the World Trade Centre claims that Israel was behind the 9/11 attacks abound on the Internet.
I related how, in May, PM David Cameron had assured Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that 'Britain is a good friend of Israel' while at the same time warning that unless Israel ‘engages seriously in a meaningful peace process’ with the Palestinian Authority, it is more likely that Britain will endorse the “State of Palestine” for which the PA is expected to seek recognition at the UN in September.’
Columnist Melanie Philips asked if Mr Cameron made a habit of threatening his friends. ‘This is not the behaviour of a friend,’ said Miss Phillips, ‘so much as the kind of intimidation that is more reminiscent of a Mafia protection racket.’
I reproduced a letter I had written to Mr Cameron, inviting readers to feel free to adapt it to write their own letter to Mr Cameron, to the Home Secretary and to their local MPs. Here it is:
The Prime Minister
The Right Honourable David Cameron MP
House of Commons
Dear Prime Minister,
Although I welcome your assurance to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Britain’s friendship with Israel is ‘unshakeable’, I was deeply concerned to read your warning to Mr Netanyahu that unless Israel ‘engages seriously in a meaningful peace process’ with the Palestinian Authority, Britain will support the PA’s call for the recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN this month.
Your threat concerns me for a number of reasons.
First, you are pressurising the victim in the Israel-Palestine conflict rather than the aggressor. Israel has constantly tried to make peace while their enemies have not, and virtually all Israel’s concessions to the Palestinians have been reciprocated with an increase in aggression.
Second, Mr Netanyahu has stated publicly that he will be the first to welcome a Palestinian state if that state is willing to recognise a Jewish state. Although Mr Abbas wishes the world to recognise and support a Palestinian state, he has stated repeatedly that he will never accept Israel as a Jewish state.
Third, a ‘State of Palestine’ will be a racist state, inasmuch as Mr Abbas has declared on several occasions that not a single Jew will be allowed to live there.
Fourth, Mr Abbas’ Fatah party is in an alliance with Hamas, a terror organisation explicitly committed to the genocide of the Jews and the destruction of the state of Israel. If Britain supports the establishment of a Palestinian state, it will be endorsing a regime committed to a programme of genocide.
Such unreasonable pressure on Israel is nothing less than a demand that Mr Netanyahu negotiate the destruction of his own country. Should Britain support a Palestinian state at the UN later this month, I believe future generations will condemn you as the Prime Minister who stood shoulder to shoulder with genocidal terrorists against their victims.
May I be assured that you will be a true friend to Israel by opposing the establishment of a Palestinian state until such a time as the Palestinian leaders unambiguously recognise the right of the Jewish people to a national homeland?
About six people responded to my email by unsubscribing but three people expressed concerns that CWI was deviating from its core concern: Jewish evangelism.
The following is the essence of my response to one of the respondents:
I did say at the start of the letter that ‘CWI is first and foremost a mission concerned with the spiritual well-being of the Jewish people’. The email was therefore a departure from my usual letters.
I am guessing that you did not receive the daily newsletters I emailed when I was reaching out to Hasidic Jews in August. If you did receive them, you will know that I was rising at 5.00am each day to reach out with the gospel to Orthodox Jewish men when they went to ritually immerse themselves in the sea. It should be evident therefore that CWI is not off-track regarding its ‘core commitment’.
I’m glad that your church member supports ‘the right of all people whether Jew or Gentile to be protected from abusive states’. That was the motivation behind my email because Israel is the target of state-sponsored abuse through terror organisations such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Fatah and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Additionally, the Iranian state continues to threaten Israel with annihilation even as it continues to seek nuclear capability. Things will get far worse if a Palestinian state, presided over by a founder member of the PLO, that refuses to accept or acknowledge the existence of a Jewish state. We should never forget that in 1967, following the Six-Day War, that all the Arab nations resolved at the Khartoum conference: No recognition of Israel; no negotiations with Israel; no peace with Israel. They have never rescinded those resolutions.
I agree totally that ‘Israel is not exempt from its responsibilities to treat Palestinians with dignity.’ When Israel was in control of the so-called West Bank, the Palestinian economy thrived and there was freedom of religion. After the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, the economy of the West Bank plummeted.
In 2010 and 2011, the economies of the PA and Gaza rose sharply as a result of aid from Israel. But the PA and Gaza have continued to bite the hand that feeds them.
I’m not sure what the church member means when he says he supports ‘the right of Palestinians to challenge the status imposed on them by the secular state of Israel.’ By choosing to reject Israel’s control and become a separate entity (the Palestinian Authority) the Palestinians chose their own status.
My friends and colleagues in Israel will suffer greatly should a Palestinian state be estate be established, because a state of ‘Palestine’ will be committed to the destruction not only of the Jewish state but also of the Jewish people.
And, of course, every Jew (or Arab) who is killed is one more person who never gets to hear the gospel.
Most Christians, with hindsight, believe that in the 1930s, the churches in Germany should have stood up to Hitler but seem to think we should remain silent in the face of modern-day Nazism in the Middle East. If that appears too strong a statement, it is worth noting that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which inspired Hitler and Mein Kampf are best sellers in Arab lands. In ten years, I don’t want to find myself wringing my hands and wishing I had spoken up when the world was making straight the way for another Holocaust.
Since the Jewish people began to return to the land from 1897 onwards, they have been the constant victims of Arab aggression. For example, in 1929, without any provocation, hundreds of Palestinian Jews were slaughtered in riots in Jerusalem, Hebron and other places.
In the 1930s and 1940s, the Arabs collaborated with Nazi Germany and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini supported Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’, intending to implement a similar programme in Palestine.
In 1947, the Arabs violently opposed the establishment of a Jewish state even though the Jews were willing to share the land.
When the state of Israel was established in May 1948, the Arab states immediately confiscated the possessions of their Jewish citizens and expelled them. Those same Arab states, on the day Israel became a nation, also declared war on Israel and attacked the fledgling state.
In 1967, by a miracle, in six days, Israel defeated Egypt, Jordan and Syria in a defensive war that was intended to wipe Israel off the map.
In October 1973, on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar when Jews in Israel were fasting and praying, Egypt and Syria launched a coordinated surprise attack against Israel.
In spite of all the Arab hostility, Israel’s Arab citizens still enjoy all the legal and civil privileges of Israel’s Jewish citizens. Arabs in Israel have a better standard of living and better health than their brothers in Arab countries. Yet Israel’s Arab neighbours still wish to destroy the Jewish state and its citizens.
Never were the words of Edmund Burke more important: 'Those who do learn from history are doomed to repeat it.'