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  • Israel, Palestine, Cartoons and antisemitism – cont’d

Dec
5
Israel, Palestine, Cartoons and antisemitism – cont’d

Here is part 1 of the discussion we’re having here in at Disciple Dojo regarding Israel, politics and antisemitism. Be sure to read it if you haven’t already, as many of the comments readers have left have been excellent and raised valid points on all sides of the issue!

To summarize, a Palestinian Christian friend of mine shared this cartoon on Facebook a while back, which I shared on my page as well:

Upon seeing the cartoon, a good friend of mine, Jacob, who is a Jewish believer in Jesus shared his reaction to the cartoon with me and why he felt it was very antisemitic and hurtful.

After discussing it with him and listening to his points, I could see why he felt this way and so I offered the following altered version of the cartoon which attempted to make the point of the original, politically speaking, without the antisemitic baggage:

I also asked Jacob to share how he would liked to have seen the cartoon express the political view it was espousing (which he disagrees with) in a way that would do the same thing as mine was attempting to do.  He was gracious enough to do so and sent me the following revision:

One of Jacob’s main points was that it was wrong to suggest that Israel is the one in control of everything (as the original cartoon suggests) when it comes to peace talks and that doing so plays into the “greedy manipulative Jews” stereotype and fuels hatred of the Jewish people around the world [correct me in the comments section or elaborate more on this if you'd like, Jacob!]

Now, both Jacob and I readily admit that these are not examples of good photoshop skills by any means!  Rather, they are “quick ‘n dirty” attempts to communicate visually what we believe better represents the point seeking to be made by the original cartoon (I agree with the original cartoon, politically speaking; Jacob does not.  But I recognize Jacob’s points about the history of anti-Jewish cartoons and how they often serve to foster anti-Jewish sentiment, rather than purely anti-Israeli-government sentiment).

My concern, as a teacher of Scripture, is to combat the folk-theology which undergirds so-called “Christian Zionism” (for an explanation and history of Zionism, particularly Christian Zionism, head over to Stephen Sizer’s website or pick up a copy of his book “Zion’s Christian Soldiers?“).  As we talk about in my course on Biblical eschatology “Apocalypse Now??“, Zionism is the belief that the entire land of Israel belongs solely to  ethnic Jewish descendants of Abraham.  Many Christians, since Dispensational Theology’s invention in the 1850s, have been taught that God has two separate “People of God”–the “Spiritual” people (i.e. the Gentile Church) and the “Earthly” people (i.e. ethnic Jews).

[Note: for those who would like to hear the specific lecture from my course which deals with Dispensational Theology's origins I've embedded it below.  Consider purchasing the entire course if you like this talk...doing so supports the ongoing ministry here at Disciple Dojo!]

So in light of my experience as a teacher, I am predisposed to be critical of policies by the government of Israel which many of my fellow Christians seem unconcerned with due to their belief that the nation of Israel is the continuation of Biblical Israel and that as such, they are never to be opposed or criticized.

Thankfully, however, many Israelis as well as Jews around the world recognize the unacceptable actions taken by the Israeli government throughout the years and rightly (in my opinion) criticize Zionist ideology.  Such criticism, which I believe to be valid, should not be interpreted as antisemitic; and true antisemitism should not be accepted as valid political critique.

However…as the above cartoon illustrates (pun intended!), the line between valid political critique and historical antisemitism is on that often seems blurry.

So, I want to invite readers to share your thoughts on the above images.  What do you think?  Which one(s) are acceptable?  Which one(s) would you agree with/disagree with and why?  How do you see issues of race, ethnicity and religion playing into the current state of Israel and its policies regarding the Palestinian people?

Feel free to share links as well.  In that vein, I would encourage EVERYONE to watch the documentary by my friend Porter Speakman, Jr. entitled “With God on Our Side.”  It will make you re-examine many things, particularly if you come from a Dispensational tradition and background.

And regardless of our individuals beliefs regarding the political actions of Israel and Palestine today, we must continue to pray for the attitude depicted below to permeate both societies.  No matter what the talking heads on Christian TV say, anything less than this is not truly “praying for Israel”!

Shalom…Salaam…Peace

JM

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Comments

  1. Israel, Palestine, Cartoons and antisemitism – cont'd – James ……

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

    Trackback by World Spinner on December 5, 2010 at 11:53 pm

  2. Jacob I.

    I have been reticent to discuss these political issues as I did not wish to get into a debate with Rana. I prefer to focus on the positives and how we can move forward and I did not wish to in any way, belittle or embarrass Rana. However, since James-Michael asked me specifically to comment on these issues, here goes…

    Rana’s selection and interpretation of international law is, of course, convenient. She has quoted a bunch of laws that sound convenient but have no basis in the context of actual historical fact and don’t actually apply to this situation. As I understand her points, Rana would like us to think of Israel as an invading power that, although initially attacked by an established Arab state, then illegally took possession of the territories of said state. Territories which, we’re led to believe, Israel still illegally possesses today.

    Here are the facts regarding this inaccurate portrayal of history…

    The fact is, the San Remo Conference of 1920, in the wake of World War I and the dissolving of the Ottoman Empire, LEGALLY established the areas of Palestine, including the city of Jerusalem, as a Jewish homeland. This decision was later ratified by the League of Nations in 1922. The British were put in charge of stewarding these lands and ensuring that the decisions of the San Remo Conference were upheld. Palestine remained under the control of the British (occupiers), although they legally belonged to the Jews, until the end of World War II. In fact, in 1939 the British, who had long made it difficult for Jews to migrate to the lands legally promised them in 1920, attempted to change the status of the entirety of Palestine from a Jewish homeland. The League of Nations Permanent Mandates Commission declared this attempt ILLEGAL, affirming the status of Palestine as a Jewish homeland.

    Then, in 1945, the newly established United Nations reaffirmed this status as well (Article 80). Later, in 1947, they went about determining how they were going to divide these lands (which legally belonged to the Jews). They came up with a suggested plan which would divide the lands into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. This plan was ratified by the General Assembly. However, all such General Assembly resolutions on political issues are merely recommendations and MUST BE ACCEPTED BY THE PARTIES INVOLVED (Article 11; also see Articles. 10, 12, 13,14. Only the Security Council can make binding resolutions according to the Charter). The Jews, though they were legally entitled to the entirety of the land, including Jerusalem, agreed to the plan. THE ARABS UNANIMOUSLY REJECTED THE PLAN and immediately attacked the Jewish homeland attempting to possess the entirety of the land. Thus an Arab nation was NEVER LEGALLY ESTABLISHED in the land.

    At the end of the Arab/Israeli war in 1948, Israel LEGALLY took possession of only a portion of the lands that were LEGALLY promised to them at the San Remo Convention of 1920. The remainder of the lands, namely the West Bank and Jerusalem, which legally belonged to the Jews, were illegally possessed by Trans-Jordan (now Jordan). It’s interesting that no Arabs complained about the Jordanians’ illegal occupation of the West Bank. Then in 1967, when Israel was threatened by several of it’s neighbors, it took possession of the areas of the West Bank and Gaza, lands that LEGALLY belonged to the Jewish people based on the San Remo Convention of 1920, and had actually been illegally possessed by Jordan for the previous 19 years. It should also be noted that during this time, Israel took possession of the Sinai Peninsula, an area, under Rana’s interpretation of international law, that it had no legal claim to. It stewarded this area faithfully, according to Rana’s laws, and later returned it to Egypt.

    So, in summary, my argument is that, contrary to Rana’s proposition, there was never a LEGAL Arab state for Israel to invade and illegally take possession of, as the Arabs themselves refused to recognize such a state, and all the lands Israel is now in possession of are lands that were legally given to the Jews in 1920 and illegally possessed by Jordan and others until Israel rightfully gained possession of them. It’s only now, in hindsight, in an effort to de-legitimize Israel, that the Arabs claim that they actually wanted the lands proposed to them in 1948.

    Please, I in no way want this to belittle or de-legitimize the experiences Rana has had. But an attempt was made to show that according to international law Israel has no claim to the land and are illegal occupiers. My only goal was to show that this is not true and that Israel indeed has a legal claim to the lands it now possesses.

    For a visual reference…

    Map of San Remo Conference legally mandated Jewish homeland…
    http://tinyurl.com/2esfl3w

    Map of Palestine under British control…
    http://tinyurl.com/37m3sf5

    Map of proposed (but never accepted) borders of 1947…
    http://tinyurl.com/32f7ekm

    Again, I’m sure Rana and I can go back-and-forth like this forever, but what will we accomplish?

    [Reply]

    jm Reply:

    Well for one, you will accomplish clear dialogue and will inform those reading (including me) more on the nuances of this issue! That alone makes it worth it.

    I’m interested to hear Rana’s response on the legality, in particular I would like to hear you guys discuss whether or not the San Remo Conference was, in fact “legal” in the true sense of the word rather than in the sense of, say, the Magna Carta being “legal” (which it was in the eyes of the Europeans…but not the Native Americans for instance!).

    I readily admit that my emphasis has been on the groundlessness of the DISPENSATIONAL THEOLOGICAL claim that the land is rightfully the modern state of Israel’s (i.e. the claims of the John Hagees, Pat Robertsons and Jack Van Impes).

    The POLITICAL claims are not as clear to me and while my sympathies lean toward the less powerful in the situation naturally, I also believe that a SHARED solution of some type (either shared government/one state or shared area/two states) is not only possible, but is the only truly Godly outcome that should be sought. I think that may be the common ground that we can all agree on, is it not?

    [Reply]

    Jacob I. Reply:

    Woah! Hold on JM. You can’t have your cake an eat it too!

    Rana was the one who brought up UN International law as an argument supporting her side. When I use that same standard (UN Articles and Resolutions) you can’t say, ‘well that didn’t count because our side didn’t accept it.’ You of all people know that’s intellectually dishonest.

    The San Remo Resolutions were ratified by the League of Nations, the precursor to the UN, 3 years later and were upheld by the UN when it was formed in 1945.

    [Reply]

    jm Reply:

    No cake eating here, my friend. :) Just saying that I want to hear the discussion of the issue in more detail, as it’s outside of my area of expertise and I could learn a great deal from you guys discussing it.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jacob I. on December 6, 2010 at 4:39 am

  3. Jacob I.

    James-Michael has encouraged me to comment specifically on some of the points Rana brought up in the previous post, as he feels this is an important conversation. I completely agree, and I have done so above (and in the previous thread), however I just seem to have a different opinion on how best to discuss the issues. Do we talk about facts and figures and who’s right and who’s wrong, or do we attempt to heal wounds?

    The problem with this discussion is that both sides have a habit of only seeing things their own way. This is the reason I have specifically tried not to get into a debate about politics. Rana and I can both come on here and present convincing cases based on impressive statistics and complicated-sounding laws, as to why the other side has no claim to the land, which I think Rana did quite nicely earlier and maybe I did as well. This type of discussion looks only to the PAST and does nothing to find a way FORWARD.

    JM, I understand that you’ve come to this current position as a reaction to what many Christians preach… the infallibility of Israel. I would agree, this is a silly position. The problem is, in an effort to “stir the pot” so to speak, you’ve swung to the other extreme and thrown out the proverbial baby with the bathwater. Has Israel done stupid things which are inexcusable because they are a largely secular government bureaucracy, yes. I for one admit this. Have the Palestinians done unacceptably stupid things as well? I would hope (but am not sure) that Rana would admit this.

    Sadly, the question in this situation is NOT who is right and who is wrong. That question and its answer will NEVER EVER EVER solve anything. The question is how do we solve the problem moving forward from where we are now? As I’ve said previously, we can only do this when both sides accept the dignity and value of the other and agree to move forward in a way that honors both, truly valuing the concerns and cares of the other side. And this can only be done one person at a time.

    G-d willing that this should happen soon and in our days and that we should merit to see the day when both our people live in Peace and worship the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob together in Jerusalem.

    Jacob

    [Reply]

    jm Reply:

    Agreed, brother!

    But this particular pot has been so polluted by bad theology and racial/ethnic stereotypes (which are often subtle and even unintentional, as this entire discussion started off addressing!) that I would argue it NEEDS to be stirred so that we can see what’s involved and get rid of the junk preventing a healthy stew from cooking! Yes, I totally belabored that metaphor beyond all recognition so I’ll sum up: most people (on both sides) don’t know WHY they believe what they believe about Israel/Palestine. All they know is that “those people” are oppressors/terrorists who they are supposed to oppose. Therefore, historical facts and figures and things pertaining to the past DO matter because they help us form a more coherent picture and therefore a better-informed view of the situation. So contributions of the arguments like you and Rana are both contributing help everyone involved understand the issue better. And doing so in a way that honors Jesus is even more essential because without the help of the Prince of Peace there will never be true peace in the land from which He came.

    [Reply]

    Jacob I. Reply:

    Fair enough.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jacob I. on December 6, 2010 at 4:52 am

  4. Rana

    “I did not wish to in any way, belittle or embarrass Rana … Rana’s selection and interpretation of international law is, of course, convenient. She has quoted a bunch of laws that sound convenient but have no basis in the context of actual historical fact and don’t actually apply to this situation.”

    Funny, your tone/ voice in this post is belittling and condescending.

    How exactly do the Laws not apply? I would LOVE to share your argument with the International Law professors from grad school that first introduced me to these “bunch of laws that sound convenient but have no basis in the context [what context exactly, btw, do they not have basis?] of actual historical fact and don’t apply to this situation [clarify please, who says these laws don't apply, my reference was an Israeli Law Resource Center?].

    I think it is rather convenient that you did not link the San Remo Convention :)
    I am going to post the San Remo Convention text in another comment, since it is lengthy. I think it is important for us to read and understand, with “intellectual honesty” if Jacob is using this text as his basis for delegitimizing Palestinian claims to the land.

    Peace,
    Rana

    [Reply]

    Jacob I. Reply:

    Rana,

    Thank you for posting the text of the San Remo Resolution. I did not readily have a link to it. I as well, encourage everyone to read it and decide for themselves if any of the points I made were inaccurate.

    As for your point that my comment sounded belittling and condescending, I concede and ask your forgiveness. As I stated in my other posts, in this type of discourse BOTH of us will inevitably pick and choose the laws that conveniently prove the point we’re trying to make. My choice of words could have been more sensitive in this area. I apologize.

    Admittedly, I am not an expert in International Law. Just a simple Jew who probably has enough knowledge to be dangerous but not enough to be wise.

    As for your request to explain “how exactly… these laws [do] not apply,” I’m pretty sure I spent the entire last post doing just that. If you’d like me to summarize my point again, I’ll be happy to do so. In brief, you asserted that International Law makes it illegal to maintain possession of lands acquired in armed conflict. I countered that this law does not apply to this situation as Israel was not possessing foreign lands but simply reclaiming lands that legally belonged to them in the first place. As someone well-versed in International Law, I’d like to know if you think the points I made do not apply to this situation. Maybe they don’t. As I said, I’m no expert, but this is my understanding from what I do know.

    Finally you accuse me of “using this text as [my] basis for delegitimizing Palestinian claims to the land.” In fact, with all do respect, you were the one that was attempting to delegitimize Israel’s claim to the land. I simply offered a counter-point. I offer the following quotes from your original post as evidence:

    -”awarding the Zionists more than 1/2 of the land (55%) even though their current holdings totaled only about 6%, and their population was only about 16% of all the people in Palestine.”

    -”Even though this additional land was thus illegally gained in violation of both the Hague Regulations (1907) and UN Charter (1945) ”

    -”clearly Israel has violated International Laws and continues to do so vis a vis acquiring land/ territory by force and the ongoing occupation and siege of Gaza.”

    I was simply making a counter-point to show that, according to the standards that you set up (UN Resolutions and Articles [generically, International Law]), as they pertain to this issue, Israel has not violated International Laws and, in fact, the lands they have acquired were actually illegally being occupied by those they rightfully reclaimed them from.

    As we’ve never met, I know it is hard for you to know my intentions. I promise you, my heart is for you. As I’ve said (too many times now I’m sure) I have no desire to maintain this sort of debate except for the benefit of others. I’d much prefer to focus on what we have in common as fellow descendants of our father Abraham. As such, i would like to again extend my offer to you and invite you to join me as my guest for Shabbat dinner if you’re ever on the West Coast of the US. I would be honored to have you. If the two of us, as followers of Jesus, cannot find a way to put aside our differences and come together as friends/brothers and sisters, what hope do our people have? I would also like to again pose a question of my own… How do you (or do you) view the relationship between Jesus and the Jewish people?

    Jacob

    [Reply]

    Rana Reply:

    Jacob, I answered your question in the original post, in part one of this. Jesus is the promised Messiah of the Jewish people, the Jewish people, like all people, desperately need Jesus.

    Jacob you didn’t prove that the land belongs to Israel, you mentioned the San Remo Convention which says Palestine is a Jewish homeland and if you closely read the San Remo convention it has very clear protections for the Palestinians, limits on Israeli immigration, limits to who owns and governs the Mandate of Palestine, basically the authority was still under the British Rule. My grandfather was a land surveyor for the British Mandate of Palestine, I know what I am talking about when I say that this document is not legal since I showed you in history that it was dissolved by the British Authorities.

    The San Remo Convention does not need to say that Palestine is for Palestinian Arabs since this population was already in the land of Palestine, rather it was the Jewish people who were seeking a homeland to immigrate to. Again, the Convention you brought is the parameters for the British Mandate, which the British concluded wasn’t working and therefore sought Partition.

    Peace,
    Rana

    [Reply]

    Comment by Rana on December 6, 2010 at 8:22 am

  5. Rana

    “The San Remo Conference decided on April 24, 1920 to assign the Mandate [for Palestine] under the League of Nations to Britain. The terms of the Mandate were also discussed with the United States which was not a member of the League. An agreed text was confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations on July 24, 1922, and it came into operation in September 1923.”
    The Council of the League of Nations:

    Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have agreed, for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, to entrust to a Mandatory selected by the said Powers the administration of the territory of Palestine, which formerly belonged to the Turkish Empire, within such boundaries as may be fixed by them; and

    Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; and

    Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connexion of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country;

    and

    Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have selected His Britannic Majesty as the Mandatory for Palestine; and

    Whereas the mandate in respect of Palestine has been formulated in the following terms and submitted to the Council of the League for approval; and

    Whereas His Britannic Majesty has accepted the mandate in respect of Palestine and undertaken to exercise it on behalf of the League of Nations in conformity with the following provisions; and

    Whereas by the aforementioned Article 22 (paragraph 8), it is provided that the degree of authority, control or administration to be exercised by the Mandatory, not having been previously agreed upon by the Members of the League, shall be explicitly defined by the Council of the League of Nations;

    Confirming the said Mandate, defines its terms as follows:

    Article 1.

    The Mandatory shall have full powers of legislation and of administration, save as they may be limited by the terms of this mandate.

    Article 2.

    The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.

    Article 3.

    The Mandatory shall, so far as circumstances permit, encourage local autonomy.

    Article 4.

    An appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognized as a public body for the purpose of advising and cooperating with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish national home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine, and, subject always to the control of the Administration, to assist and take part in the development of the country.

    The Zionist Organization, so long as its organization and constitution are in the opinion of the Mandatory appropriate shall be recognized as such agency. It shall take steps in consultation with His Britannic Majesty’s Government to secure the cooperation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national home.

    Article 5.

    The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of, the Government of any foreign Power.

    Article 6.

    The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.

    Article 7.

    The Administration of Palestine shall be responsible for enacting a nationality law. There shall be included in this law provisions framed so as to facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews who take up their permanent residence in Palestine.

    Article 8.

    The privileges and immunities of foreigners, including the benefits of consular jurisdiction and protection as formerly enjoyed by Capitulation or usage in the Ottoman Empire, shall not be applicable in Palestine.

    Unless the Powers whose nationals enjoyed the aforementioned privileges and immunities on August 1st, 1914, shall have previously renounced the right to their re-establishment, or shall have agreed to their non-application for a specified period, these privileges and immunities shall, at the expiration of the mandate, be immediately re-established in their entirety or with such modifications as may have been agreed upon between the Powers concerned.

    Article 9.

    The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that the judicial system established in Palestine shall assure to foreigners, as well as to natives, a complete guarantee of their rights.

    Respect for the personal status of the various peoples and communities and for their religious interests shall be fully guaranteed. In particular, the control and administration of Waqfs shall be exercised in accordance with religious law and the dispositions of the founders.
    Article 10.

    Pending the making of special extradition agreements relating to Palestine, the extradition treaties in force between the Mandatory and other foreign Powers shall apply to Palestine.

    Article 11.

    The Administration of Palestine shall take all necessary measures to safeguard the interests of the community in connection with the development of the country, and, subject to any international obligations accepted by the Mandatory, shall have full power to provide for public ownership or control of any of the natural resources of the country or of the public works, services and utilities established or to be established therein. It shall introduce a land system appropriate to the needs of the country having regard, among other things, to the desirability of promoting the close settlement and intensive cultivation of the land.

    The Administration may arrange with the Jewish agency mentioned in Article 4 to construct or operate, upon fair and equitable terms, any public works, services and utilities, and to develop any of the natural resources of the country, in so far as these matters are not directly undertaken by the Administration. Any such arrangements shall provide that no profits distributed by such agency, directly or indirectly, shall exceed a reasonable rate of interest on the capital, and any further profits shall be utilized by it for the benefit of the country in a manner approved by the Administration.

    Article 12.

    The Mandatory shall be entrusted with the control of the foreign relations of Palestine, and the right to issue exequaturs to consuls appointed by foreign Powers. He shall also be entitled to afford diplomatic and consular protection to citizens of Palestine when outside its territorial limits.

    Article 13.

    All responsibility in connexion with the Holy Places and religious buildings or sites in Palestine, including that of preserving existing rights and of securing free access to the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites and the free exercise of worship, while ensuring the requirements of public order and decorum, is assumed by the Mandatory, who shall be responsible solely to the League of Nations in all matters connected herewith, provided that nothing in this article shall prevent the Mandatory from entering into such arrangements as he may deem reasonable with the Administration for the purpose of carrying the provisions of this article into effect; and provided also that nothing in this Mandate shall be construed as conferring upon the Mandatory authority to interfere with the fabric or the management of purely Moslem sacred shrines, the immunities of which are guaranteed.

    Article 14.

    A special Commission shall be appointed by the Mandatory to study, define and determine the rights and claims in connection with the Holy Places and the rights and claims relating to the different religious communities in Palestine. The method of nomination, the composition and the functions of this Commission shall be submitted to the Council of the League for its approval, and the Commission shall not be appointed or enter upon its functions without the approval of the Council.

    Article 15.

    The Mandatory shall see that complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals are ensured to all. No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.

    The right of each community to maintain its own schools for the education of its own members in its own language, while conforming to such educational requirements of a general nature as the Administration may impose, shall not be denied or impaired.

    Article 16.

    The Mandatory shall be responsible for exercising such supervision over religious or eleemosynary bodies of all faiths in Palestine as may be required for the maintenance of public order and good government. Subject to such supervision, no measures shall be taken in Palestine to obstruct or interfere with the enterprise of such bodies or to discriminate against any representative or member of them on the ground of his religion or nationality.

    Article 17.

    The Administration of Palestine may organize on a voluntary basis the forces necessary for the preservation of peace and order, and also for the defence of the country, subject however, to the supervision of the Mandatory, but shall not use them for purposes other than those above specified save with the consent of the Mandatory. Except for such purposes no military, naval or air forces shall be raised or maintained by the Administration of Palestine.

    Nothing in this article shall preclude the Administration of Palestine from contributing to the cost of the maintenance of the forces of the Mandatory in Palestine.

    The Mandatory shall be entitled at all times to use the roads, railways and ports of Palestine for the movement of armed forces and the carriage of fuel and supplies.

    Article 18.

    The Mandatory shall see that there is no discrimination in Palestine against the nationals of any State Member of the League of Nations (including companies incorporated under its laws) as compared with those of the Mandatory or of any foreign State in matters concerning taxation, commerce or navigation, the exercise of industries or professions, or in the treatment of merchant vessels or civil aircraft. Similarly, there shall be no discrimination in Palestine against goods originating in or destined for any of the said States, and there shall be freedom of transit under equitable conditions across the mandated area.

    Subject as aforesaid and to the other provisions of this mandate, the Administration of Palestine may, on the advice of the Mandatory, impose such taxes and customs duties as it may consider necessary, and take such steps as it may think best to promote the development of the natural resources of the country and to safeguard the interests of the population. It may also, on the advice of the Mandatory, conclude a special customs agreement with any State the territory of which in 1914 was wholly included in Asiatic Turkey or Arabia.

    Article l9.

    The Mandatory shall adhere on behalf of the Administration of Palestine to any general international conventions already existing, or which may be concluded hereafter with the approval of the League of Nations, respecting the slave traffic, the traffic in arms and ammunition, or the traffic in drugs, or relating to commercial equality, freedom of transit and navigation, aerial navitation and postal, telegraphic and wireless communicatiion or literary, artistic or industrial property.

    Article 20.

    The Mandatory shall co-operate on behalf of the Administration of Palestine, so far as religious, social and other conditions may permit, in the execution of any common policy adopted by the League of nations for preventing and combating disease, including diseases of plants and animals.

    Article 21.

    The Mandatory shall secure the enactment within twelve months from this date, and shall ensure the execution of a Law of Antiquities based on the following rules. This law shall ensure equality of treatment in the matter of excavations and archaeological research to the nationalals of all States Members of the League of Nations….

    Article 22.

    English, Arabic and Hebrew shall be the official languages of Palestine. Any statement or inscription in Arabic on stamps or money in Palestine shall be repeated in Hebrew and any statement or inscription in Hebrew shall be repeated in Arabic.

    Article 23.

    The Administration of Palestine shall recognize the holy days of the respective communities in Palestine as legal days of rest for the members of such communities.

    Article 24.

    The Mandatory shall make to the Council of the League of Nations an annual report to the satisfaction of the Council as to the measures taken during the year to carry out the provisions of the mandate. Copies of all laws and regulations promulgated or issued during the year shall be communicated with the report.

    Article 25.

    In the territories Iying between the Jordan and the eastern boundary of Palestine as ultimately determined, the Mandatory shall be entitled, with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations, to postpone or withhold application of such provisions of this mandate as he may consider inapplicable to the existing local conditions, and to make such provision for the administration of the territories as he may consider suitable to those conditions, provided that no action shall be taken which is inconsistent with the provisions of Articles 15, 16 and 18.

    Article 26.

    The Mandatory agrees that if any dispute whatever should arise between the Mandatory and another Member of the League of Nations relating to the interpretation or the application of the provisions of the mandate, such dispute, if it cannot be settled by negotiation, shall be submitted to the Permanent Court of International Justice provided for by Article 14 of the Covenant of the League of Nations.

    Article 27.

    The consent of the Council of the League of Nations is required for any modification of the terms of this mandate.

    Article 28.

    In the event of the termination of the mandate hereby conferred upon the Mandatory, the Council of the League of Nations shall make such arrangements as may be deemed necessary for safeguarding in perpetuity, under guarantee of the League, the rights secured by Articles 13 and 14, and shall use its influence for securing, under the guarantee of the League, that the Government of Palestine will fully honour the financial obligations legitimately incurred by the Administration of Palestine during the period of the mandate, including the rights of public servants to pensions or gratuities.

    The present instrument shall be deposited in original in the archives of the League of Nations and certified copies shall be forwarded by the Secretary General of the League of Nations to all Members of the League.

    DONE AT LONDON the twenty-fourth day of July, one thousand nine hundred and twenty-two.”

    [Reply]

    Comment by Rana on December 6, 2010 at 8:27 am

  6. Rana

    Point 1:

    “The San Remo Conference decided on April 24, 1920 to assign the Mandate [for Palestine] under the League of Nations to Britain. The terms of the Mandate were also discussed with the United States which was not a member of the League. An agreed text was confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations on July 24, 1922, and it came into operation in September 1923.”

    http://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/San_Remo_Convention

    This means that the San Remo Conference was about the British Mandate of Palestine, not the establishment of Israel.

    The Peel Commission in 1937 concluded the Mandate was no longer workable and recommended Partition:

    “The British government issued Command Paper 5479 on 7 July 1937. It concluded that the terms of the Mandate were unworkable and could only be enforced by repressing the Arab population. Both Arabs and Jews demanded political independence. Establishing an Arab state would violate the rights of the Jewish minority, but forming a Jewish state in the entire territory would violate the rights of the Arab majority and arouse international Arab and Muslim opposition. The only feasible solution was partition: two sovereign states? Arab and Jewish? with a British zone encompassing Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and a narrow corridor to the Mediterranean near Jaffa. Britain would temporarily control the strategic ports of Haifa and Aqaba. The Jewish state would cover about 25 percent of the country, north from Tel Aviv along the Mediterranean coast and all of Galilee. The Arab state would lie in the central mountains and the Negev, include Jaffa port, and merge with the Hashimite state in Transjordan.

    The Jewish Agency accepted the principle of partition but criticized the proposed boundaries and insisted that all Palestinians be deported from the Jewish state at British expense—at that time, 300,000 Palestinians, a number equal to the Jewish residents in the area. The Palestinians’ Arab Higher Committee denounced the plan and insisted that Palestine remain a unitary state because 70 percent of the population was Palestinian and 90 percent of the land was under Palestinian control. Palestinians in Galilee, whom the Jewish Agency wanted expelled, then played leading roles in the rebellion that erupted again in October 1937.”

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3424602147.html

    I noticed I failed to cite the San Remo text in the previous post, here it is:
    http://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/San_Remo_Convention

    Peace,
    Rana

    [Reply]

    Comment by Rana on December 6, 2010 at 8:49 am

  7. Rana

    I just notified I did not clarify that the portion of on the Peel Commission is Point 2.

    Peace,
    rana

    [Reply]

    Comment by Rana on December 6, 2010 at 8:53 am

  8. jm

    Rana, I can vouch for Jacob’s lack of condescension and his loving intentions. That’s why I invited him to this discussion in the first place. It’s easy to read into people’s comments in online forums since we don’t have access to their nonverbal communication at the time. So I want to encourage both of you in this discussion to feel free to share, challenge and critique the points being made, but not the intentions or heart of the one making them. Jacob is right in that if followers of Jesus cannot talk openly and charitably about these things, what hope do the Israelis and Palestinians who do not follow Jesus have??

    And thanks for posting the full document above! As I said to Jacob, the legal/political aspects of the situation are not my area of expertise, so I am learning much from this discussion already, as I’m sure other readers are as well!

    [Reply]

    Rana Reply:

    JM, I respect your opinion of Jacob, but writing and choice of words at times does reveal tone/ voice and using terms like “it was convenient” and “I don’t want to embarrass” in the context of a counterclaim is insulting.

    My education includes many courses in discourse where I was trained to read tone/ voice in written discourse. I am not angry at Jacob, I forgive him, just not sure that i will take him up on his kind offer even though I do reside on the West Coast as well.

    Peace,
    Rana

    [Reply]

    Comment by jm on December 6, 2010 at 1:32 pm

  9. Rana

    Jacob said,

    “I was simply making a counter-point to show that, according to the standards that you set up (UN Resolutions and Articles [generically, International Law]), as they pertain to this issue, Israel has not violated International Laws and, in fact, the lands they have acquired were actually illegally being occupied by those they rightfully reclaimed them from.”

    The San Remo Convention is not International Law and as I showed the Peel Commission saw that the establishment of the British Mandate was not workable, therefore dissolved the Mandate and sought Partition.

    Readers please take the time to read the piece I quoted about these historical events (actually it looks like that comment I wrote about the Peel Commission did not make it? not sure.), here it is again:

    “The British government issued Command Paper 5479 on 7 July 1937. It concluded that the terms of the Mandate were unworkable and could only be enforced by repressing the Arab population. Both Arabs and Jews demanded political independence. Establishing an Arab state would violate the rights of the Jewish minority, but forming a Jewish state in the entire territory would violate the rights of the Arab majority and arouse international Arab and Muslim opposition. The only feasible solution was partition: two sovereign states? Arab and Jewish? with a British zone encompassing Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and a narrow corridor to the Mediterranean near Jaffa. Britain would temporarily control the strategic ports of Haifa and Aqaba. The Jewish state would cover about 25 percent of the country, north from Tel Aviv along the Mediterranean coast and all of Galilee. The Arab state would lie in the central mountains and the Negev, include Jaffa port, and merge with the Hashimite state in Transjordan.

    The Jewish Agency accepted the principle of partition but criticized the proposed boundaries and insisted that all Palestinians be deported from the Jewish state at British expense—at that time, 300,000 Palestinians, a number equal to the Jewish residents in the area. The Palestinians’ Arab Higher Committee denounced the plan and insisted that Palestine remain a unitary state because 70 percent of the population was Palestinian and 90 percent of the land was under Palestinian control. Palestinians in Galilee, whom the Jewish Agency wanted expelled, then played leading roles in the rebellion that erupted again in October 1937.”

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3424602147.html

    [Reply]

    Comment by Rana on December 6, 2010 at 5:07 pm

  10. Rana

    Here is my comment from last night, it still says awaiting approval:

    Your comment is awaiting approval

    Point 1:

    “The San Remo Conference decided on April 24, 1920 to assign the Mandate [for Palestine] under the League of Nations to Britain. The terms of the Mandate were also discussed with the United States which was not a member of the League. An agreed text was confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations on July 24, 1922, and it came into operation in September 1923.”

    http://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/San_Remo_Convention

    This means that the San Remo Conference was about the British Mandate of Palestine, not the establishment of Israel.

    The Peel Commission in 1937 concluded the Mandate was no longer workable and recommended Partition:

    “The British government issued Command Paper 5479 on 7 July 1937. It concluded that the terms of the Mandate were unworkable and could only be enforced by repressing the Arab population. Both Arabs and Jews demanded political independence. Establishing an Arab state would violate the rights of the Jewish minority, but forming a Jewish state in the entire territory would violate the rights of the Arab majority and arouse international Arab and Muslim opposition. The only feasible solution was partition: two sovereign states? Arab and Jewish? with a British zone encompassing Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and a narrow corridor to the Mediterranean near Jaffa. Britain would temporarily control the strategic ports of Haifa and Aqaba. The Jewish state would cover about 25 percent of the country, north from Tel Aviv along the Mediterranean coast and all of Galilee. The Arab state would lie in the central mountains and the Negev, include Jaffa port, and merge with the Hashimite state in Transjordan.

    The Jewish Agency accepted the principle of partition but criticized the proposed boundaries and insisted that all Palestinians be deported from the Jewish state at British expense—at that time, 300,000 Palestinians, a number equal to the Jewish residents in the area. The Palestinians’ Arab Higher Committee
    denounced the plan and insisted that Palestine remain a unitary state because 70 percent of the population was Palestinian and 90 percent of the land was under Palestinian control. Palestinians in Galilee, whom the Jewish Agency wanted expelled, then played leading roles in the rebellion that erupted again in October 1937.”

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3424602147.html

    I noticed I failed to cite the San Remo text in the previous post, here it is:
    http://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/San_Remo_Convention

    Peace,
    Rana

    [Reply]

    Comment by Rana on December 6, 2010 at 5:10 pm

  11. Jacob I.

    There were too many separate threads going on for me to keep track of so I compiled all my thoughts into one response…

    Rana,

    Like me, you have quoted from a document without posting said document. You were so kind as to help me out earlier, so I’ll return the favor :)

    Summary of the Report of the Palestine Royal (Peel) Commission:
    http://bit.ly/dLThUq

    Map of the Peel Commission’s recommended borders:
    http://bit.ly/g0dvSb

    Again, like in 1948, this Commission was a RECOMMENDATION ONLY and never became actual international law. In fact, just like later in 1948, the Arabs refused to accept any plan that allowed for an autonomous Jewish State.

    As the official representative of the Arabs, regarding the Peel Commission’s recommendations, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, testified before the commission that any partition that gave ANY Arab lands to the Jews was unacceptable. He further called for a complete cessation of Jewish migration to the land.

    In fact, if you read the text of the Peel Commission’s findings you’ll see that, although the Balfour Declaration, the San Remo Convention and several other documents had established the right of Jews to return to the land of Palestine, the reason the British declared the Mandate no longer workable and convened the Peel Commission was that the Arab occupants refused to recognize the right of any Jews to migrate to the land or purchase land and continued to cause conflict in an attempt to prevent these things from happening (read the document above, their words not mine). To be fair, the Jews, as well, were divided on whether or not to accept the Peel Commission’s recommendations. Ultimately, the British threw out this plan, which opened the door for the later UN partition recommendations of 1948.

    I agree that the San Remo Conference made it clear that the Arab occupants of the land were to be allowed to remain in the land free from oppression or discrimination based on race or religion. This is why I was quick to point out that it was not my intention to de-legitimize the Palestinian claim to the land.

    Furthermore, your initial argument was that Israel is an “illegal occupier” of the land and that control of the land should revert back to it’s rightful “owners,” namely, the Palestinians. Even if the San Remo Commission, which was ratified by the League of Nations, did not set up a National Jewish Homeland, but only a British-controlled Mandate (which I do not concede), neither was there ever an official Arab state established for the Israelis to illegally seize this land from. As we’ve discussed, the Arabs flatly rejected both the Peel Commission’s recommendations in 1937 as well as the UN recommendations in 1948. Therefore, IF you’re correct and the San Remo Conference’s recommendations were regarding a British Mandate only and not a Jewish State (although this creates a debate of whether a Mandate establishes an official British State or simply gives them official charge over a State that legally belongs to the Jews), by the standards of your initial argument, control of the lands now held by Israel should revert to the control of the British.

    Finally, I’m sad that you feel I’ve insulted you. I apologized for the appearance of condescension in my previous posts. I feel that I was simply too familiar with you, someone I’ve never met. Furthermore, there was absolutely no hint of condescension when I said I did not wish to embarrass or belittle you. Personally, I did not mean to imply that I’m so much smarter that I would embarrass you with my arguments. I consider it an embarrassment simply to disagree with your well-thought-out, intelligent points publicly. Again, this goes back to why I was reticent to get into this type of discourse, as all it seems to do is bring division, rather than unity. Know that my invitation remains on the table, if at any time you feel I’ve regained your trust.

    I do have a question for you… since I’m the one who keeps saying we need to look forward rather than back. You’ve made the point that Israel are illegally occupying the lands they currently hold. What is your recommendation moving forward? How can this be resolved in a way that brings lasting peace? Not that you or I can solve a problem that the greatest political minds of the past Century have been unable to bring resolution to, but what would your recommendation be if you were asked?

    Jacob

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jacob I. on December 6, 2010 at 9:12 pm

  12. Jacob I.

    Rana,

    Thank you for your response to my question regarding the relationship between Jesus and the Jewish people. I was genuinely interested to understand your position and I appreciate your answer.

    You asked “Who is a Jew?”

    Who am I to answer a question that my own people have not been able to come up with a definitive answer to? I will give you my OPINION.

    Yes, as you mentioned Jewishness is both a religion AND an ethnicity. Therefore, someone is born as a Jew but they have the choice to have emunah (faith) in G-d. However, they do not cease to be Jewish based on their lack of emunah and they are still heirs to G-d’s promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In the same way, I believe G-d made promises to the physical descendants of Ishmael that are yet to be fulfilled.

    As far as ethnic descent, our people have generally accepted for at least several centuries that a person who is descended from a Jewish mother is Jewish and a person who is descended from a Jewish father is not Jewish. I accept this as the consensus of my people however I think one day we’ll find out that G-d’s definition may be a little broader. I think Hitler (Imach Shemo), who in my opinion was motivated by the spirit of Amelek and the Satan, made it pretty clear whom the spiritual forces consider to be Jewish. However, G-d forbid I should make Hitler (Imach Shemo) into the chief rabbi, and so I stick with the accepted belief of our people.

    Shaul (Paul) makes it pretty clear in Romans 11 that G-d still has a plan for the Jewish people and that, although they have been temporarily stunted in their knowledge of Jesus as Moshiach so that he may be an Ohr L’Goyim (Light to the Nations), in the end we will come to the knowledge of Moshiach and all Israel, along with all the Nations, will come up to worship G-d on the Mount of Olives. Should we merit to see this happen soon and in our days!

    This time of Chanukah is an especially auspicious time to discuss the Jews and the Jewish Moshiach as an Ohr L’Goyim as the entire theme of Chanukah is the Divine Light and G-d’s continuing revelation and miracles within his creation.

    I can go into more detail if you like.

    Jacob

    [Reply]

    jm Reply:

    Jacob,

    You said, “Therefore, someone is born as a Jew but they have the choice to have emunah (faith) in G-d. However, they do not cease to be Jewish based on their lack of emunah and they are still heirs to G-d’s promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

    Under Torah, if someone was “cut off” (karath) from the people of Israel, were they still to be considered an heir to the promises to the patriarchs? Or was their ongoing status as “children of Abraham” dependent upon faith and acceptance of God’s Covenant with them? If not, then what do you make of Yeshua’s teaching (John 8) that those who opposed Him were acting like their true father, the Accuser, rather than their biological father, Abraham?

    Likewise, under the New Covenant, what do you take Shaul to mean when he says that “not all Israel is Israel” in his letter to the Romans?

    From a Biblical/theological perspective, these questions are fundamental to any discussion of a “Biblical” view of modern Israel in particular and the non-Messianic Jewish people in general.

    Personally, I believe Dispensationalists AND “Replacement Theology” advocates have missed it when it comes to this issue, but I invite you to share your thoughts on it more fully if you care to.

    [Reply]

    Rana Reply:

    JM,

    the Christ-centered hermeneutic of Reformed amillennialism–in which the New Testament interprets the Old (type, shadow and promise pointing to Christ) is NOT “Replacement Theology”, I reject that label in case you imply people are either Dispensational or believe in “Replacement Theology”.

    Peace,
    Rana

    [Reply]

    jm Reply:

    Rana,
    For what I mean by the term “Replacement Theology” and why I believe it and Dispensationalism are BOTH in error, you can listen to the following lecture I gave:
    Should Rapture Theology be ‘left behind’?
    Many of the Reformers fell into Supercessionism unfortunately, but there is a third way; a more Biblical way, to read the Hebrew Scriptures in light of the arrival of Messiah, which does not commit the error of either Dispensationalism or Supercessionism. It is that way which I advocate.

    [Reply]

    Jacob I. Reply:

    This is a short question with a long answer. I’m happy to comment but have been busy with work all day. I’ll post as soon as I get some time. This may have to wait until tomorrow.

    Jacob

    [Reply]

    Jacob I. Reply:

    JM,

    This is actually a discussion I’m very excited to get into.

    Before I answer your question though, I’d like to ask you a couple questions so I know how best to answer.

    I listened to the teaching you posted. I enjoyed it a lot. Of course I had no doubt I would, you’re a great teacher. I’m a little unclear on exactly what you’re proposing though. I understand why you’re against “Dispensationalism” but am not exactly sure what you’re proposing as an alternative.

    As I understand it, the position you’re advocating is that Jesus was the embodiment of Israel, the “one man Israel” if you will, and the New Testament never speaks of “the church” in terms separate from Israel so therefore Jesus himself has taken on the mantle of ethnic Israel and is the inheritor of all the promises of Abraham and therefore, in order to be an “heir to the promises of Abraham” one must believe in Jesus.

    Am I wrong in this assessment?

    [Reply]

    jm Reply:

    Jacob,
    This is pretty close to what I mean. I’m going to repost this question/summary that you asked and then answer it in a separate blog post hopefully this weekend so that it doesn’t get bogged down too much in the discussion with Rana. What the two of you are discussing regarding Israel/Palestine/Law is very important and I don’t want to spin off too many rabbit trails (though of course I don’t believe this is a rabbit trail, but I think you know what I’m saying).

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jacob I. on December 6, 2010 at 10:05 pm

  13. Jacob I.

    One more note,

    I am genuinely impressed with your grandfather’s background. It is amazing that you have such a long and storied history in the land. I would love to hear stories of your grandfather someday. This is exactly to what I was referring when I said I did not wish to belittle your experiences or those of your family.

    Jacob

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jacob I. on December 6, 2010 at 10:19 pm

  14. Rana

    Hi JM,
    Unfortunately, I had problems with listening and was not able to finish without starting over. I don’t think the teaching that has formed my understanding of covenant theology falls under super-c. The way I have understood covenant theology is that we’ve been grafted in and adopted by faith, and that the Israel of God has expanded to include the elect from all nations. We don’t see ourselves as replacing anyone, nor do we see the original promise being based on an ethnicity but rather on faith. You said you studied Meredith Kline on the OT, right? Remember the Suzerain treaties/ covenants?

    The second part of the following article might help clarify the position of confessional Amil Reformed theology.

    http://kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com/a-reply-to-john-macarthur/

    I don’t really think in ethnic categories when I think of the Bride of Christ/ the Church. I find this irrelevant to my identity in Christ, even though it is a very real possibility that my generations/ ancestry goes back to the early Jewish church.

    Peace,
    Rana

    [Reply]

    jm Reply:

    Sorry the playback got interrupted, Rana. :(

    Yes, I’m very familiar with the Suzerainty Treaties (despite the massively unreadable nature of Kline’s “Kingdom Prologue”, the few gems found within its pages are well worth suffering through the writing style in order to find!) :)

    I’m also quite familiar with Riddlebarger’s work, as I use his “Case for Amillennialism” in preparation for Apocalypse Now?? (it’s in the recommended reading in the course handouts, in fact!). I largely agree with him and his critiques of Dispensationalism in general. I lean towards the Amil position, but I also see strengths in the Historic (as opposed to Dispensational) Premil position as put forth by scholars such as Ben Witherington or Walter Kaiser.

    I present both options in the next lecture in that series in case you’re interested: http://sermon.net/thenetwork/sermonid/2373859

    [Reply]

    Comment by Rana on December 7, 2010 at 7:49 pm

  15. Rana

    JM:
    Yes, Kline is pretty intense to read. I have been wanting to dig out his books/ lecture notes and reread everything within the context of a study group.

    I found his smaller books, like the Structure of Biblical Authority and Images of the Spirit easier to read and they illuminate one’s ability to read/ follow Kingdom Prologue. Are you familiar with Geerhardus Vos’ book Pauline Eschatology? He is another good one to read.

    I will listen to that lecture you posted.

    Jacob:
    I would be happy to share more of my family history at a later time.

    I do want to get back to some of the conversation I started, especially where I became frustrated by comments and diverted from the 4th Geneva Conventions and the UN Resolutions I posted. I don’t seek out confrontation either, and I too would rather focus on what we have in common as Christians rather than where we do not see eye to eye on history and currents events.

    At the same time, somewhere in the dialogue the conversation went downhill and I take responsibility for my failures and weaknesses in the dialogue. I still think it is essential to go back to where the dialogue began going downhill, and in my opinion/ in my experience that is where you made your “is convenient” comment and work from there. At that point in the dialogue I was really upset by your tone and the fact you glossed over these essential texts.

    Jacob said:
    “Rana’s selection and interpretation of international law is, of course, convenient. She has quoted a bunch of laws that sound convenient but have no basis in the context of actual historical fact and don’t actually apply to this situation. As I understand her points, Rana would like us to think of Israel as an invading power that, although initially attacked by an established Arab state, then illegally took possession of the territories of said state. Territories which, we’re led to believe, Israel still illegally possesses today.”

    Right now, I need to get back to my family but this is where I would like to go back, and slowly clarify my understanding and my intentions, as I see it:

    1. my intentions were mocked/ ad hominem attack, since the implication is that of course I, as a Palestinian would selectively/ deceptively choose these UN Resolutions and these parts of the 4th Geneva Conventions.

    2. Jacob said, “She has quoted a bunch of laws that sound convenient but have no basis in the context of actual historical fact and don’t actually apply to this situation.”

    and rather than deal with the text/ International Law info I provided, Jacob diverted us to another document, while making it sound as if the text I provided is irrelevant.

    For now, I at least would like to go back where the dialogue began breaking down and finish what was started.

    I will do this at a later time since this comment is already lengthy and I do have other responsibilities.

    Peace,
    Rana

    [Reply]

    Jacob I. Reply:

    Fair enough!

    [Reply]

    Jacob I. Reply:

    Fair enough! As I’ve said before, I am in no way an expert in International Law (Although I know a few if you’d like me to get them involved in the conversation). I look forward to your thoughts.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Rana on December 7, 2010 at 9:59 pm

  16. Rana

    Okay, I am back, and I am just going to through the following paragraph sentence by sentence. I will respond as much as I can and then finish the final points, Lord willing tomorrow.

    I don’t know what will be gained from this, but Lord willing at the very least
    some understanding, charity and an introduction to historical documents underpinned by International Law pertaining to the national struggle for self-determination of Palestinians.

    Jacob said:
    “Rana’s selection and interpretation of international law is, of course,
    convenient. She has quoted a bunch of laws that sound convenient but have no
    basis in the context of actual historical fact and don’t actually apply to this
    situation. As I understand her points, Rana would like us to think of Israel as
    an invading power that, although initially attacked by an established Arab
    state, then illegally took possession of the territories of said state.
    Territories which, we’re led to believe, Israel still illegally possesses
    today.”

    1. “Rana’s selection and interpretation of international law is, of course,
    convenient.” Jacob

    This type of statement is often deployed by Israel apologists, as I said earlier
    Jacob implies that I selectively/ deceptively chose to quote said texts. Rather
    than engaging in the text Jacob diverts from the text by insulting me.

    2. “She has quoted a bunch of laws that sound convenient but have no basis in
    the context of actual historical fact and don’t actually apply to this
    situation.”

    a. Again, that word “convenient”, maybe it is just me and the horrible
    prejudices anti-semitism (Palestinians are semitic people) I have experienced
    but to me the use of “convenient” implies a premeditated action or at the very
    least implies that I am seeking to manipulate history so that you can side with
    Palestinians. And when used with “she has quoted a bunch of laws that sound
    convenient” Jacob is attempting once again to undermine my comments and
    International Law texts by rhetorical uses of language to prime you into
    questioning my integrity. A wise Jew once illuminated on Israel apologists’
    tactics or game plan, “if you can’t win the argument, change the language, if
    you can’t change the language attack the person.” -comment on mondoweiss.net
    Someone once explained that these were the tactics used in Israeli hasbara or
    propaganda to limit criticism of Israel and promote a pro-Israel framework.

    b. “have no basis in the context of actual historical fact” -Jacob
    Now that my integrity has been put into question Jacob alleges the laws
    and texts I quote and provide a link for “have no basis in the context of
    actual historical fact” when in fact these are the the United Nations
    Charter Article, the Declaration On Principles of International Law …,
    Hague Regulations IV (1907), articles 43 and 55, Geneva Conventions IV
    (1949) Article 47 and 54.

    c. “and don’t apply to this situation” -Jacob
    Says who? Says Jacob I. who said the following after the dialogue took a
    nose dive, “I am in no way an expert in International Law.”

    I will finish the final two sentences tomorrow.

    I do want to emphasize that for me and my family this is REAL. In 2008-2009 my cousins, uncles, aunt and grandmother, dozens of family members were under HEAVY military bombing for 22 days. Each day they clung and cried and cowered in fear and in ceaseless prayer from the Israeli Cluster bombs in HEAVILY populated civilian areas of Gaza while white phosphorous burned people alive. This is against International Law to use these type of weapons on civilian populations.

    This is not a game I am playing to see who has the best argument, to see who has the best team, this is not cross town UCLA- USC rivalry. We’re talking real people who love Jesus, made in God’s image being killed, maimed, tortured, starved, abused for political Zionism. What happened to Judaism? What happened to Never Again? Sadly I feel that many liberal Jews understand the teachings of the Torah more than those who back Israel and protect Israel at any cost. Idolatry much? (and I am pointing the finger at you, I don’t you know you)

    Peace,
    Rana

    [Reply]

    Comment by Rana on December 9, 2010 at 3:23 am

  17. Rana

    OOPS! should read as:
    (and I am NOT pointing the finger at you, I don’t know you)

    [Reply]

    jm Reply:

    Rana,
    Like I told Jacob in a conversation I had with him, these two posts in which the two of you have been discussing this issue are the two most-read posts I’ve ever had on my site. This tells me that it is CRUCIAL that people hear a genuine Jewish follower of Jesus and a genuine Palestinian follower of Jesus discuss, debate, challenge, agree and disagree with one another in a spirit of charity, raw honesty, Spirit-led passion and openness to seeing things from the viewpoint of the other. It’s PRECISELY because this isn’t just an “academic debate” that such conversations must happen! Real lives ARE on the line and Christians are blown about by all types of opinions, doctrines, prejudices and media presentations. Discussions like this shine the Messiah’s light into what is already an area bathed in darkness and help advance the true Kingdom of God one reader at a time.

    I encourage both of you to see yourselves involved in ministry rather than just discussion on a website.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Rana on December 9, 2010 at 3:27 am

  18. Mark Shannon

    Jacob,
    I’d just like to say that I really respect how quickly you took responsibility and apologized for your poor choice of words.

    And I’d like to thank you and Rana for being willing to discuss such a hard and time consuming topic. I have benefited from both of your perspectives and am sure many others have as well.

    - Mark

    [Reply]

    Comment by Mark Shannon on December 9, 2010 at 3:35 pm

  19. Rana

    Mark, I appreciate that you see how time consuming and hard this is.

    JM, thanks for your encouragement.

    Unfortunately I spontaneously spent most of my day in a neighboring county and I am just getting home, so I won’t be able to write more tonight, too late.

    I was helping with Q & A at a film screening on Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem, Beit Jala, and Beit Sahour, if you are interested in hosting a screening (in your home, church, school, etc) of this film you can contact the American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights to host a film screening in your area. Tell Monica that Rana (the Americanized pronunciation is pronounced like Rhonda but w/out “d”) sent you :)

    Grace and Peace,
    Rana

    [Reply]

    Comment by Rana on December 10, 2010 at 8:00 am

  20. Jacob I.

    Mark,

    Thank you.

    Rana,

    When I read your comments a few days ago I was hoping that this would turn back into a civil discussion. I had no desire to get into a pissing match with you as it diverts from the intelligent discussion, but I am extremely offended and, quite honestly, hurt by your recent posts.

    Throughout this conversation I have refused to point the finger at you or at anything you have said and have apologized TWICE for the inappropriate tone of my initial comments. However, I actually feel that the new direction this conversation has taken is very important for people to see and as such I have decided to comment. As I’ve said before, on this issue neither side is 100% correct and neither side is 100% incorrect. Unfortunately, as you have pointed out, all too often these discussions turn into battles of rhetoric with one side being painted as all terrorists and the other side being equated to invading destroyers hell-bent on oppressing as many people as possible. The truth is there are good people on both sides who have suffered as a result of the actions of both sides.

    As the discussion of how these debates can quickly become heated is a very important one to have I would like to point out where, in MY opinion, this conversation “went downhill” and what precipitated my inappropriate comments.

    What initially offended me and “ruffled my feathers” so to speak was in your very first post on these topics. In that post 4 times you referred to “the Zionists.” If you had only done this once or had used any term other than “the Zionists” at any point in the post I probably would not have thought anything of it. For those who aren’t familiar, when used in a broad sense to describe all Jews living in Israel, this is very often a derogatory term meant to paint any Jews who live in Israel as oppressors whose only desire is to push the Palestinian Arabs out of the land. If you don’t believe me look up any pro-Palestinian propaganda (actually, you don’t have to go far… the picture of the Satmar Hasid [religious Jew] and the sign behind him that JM posted above is a perfect example). Maybe I was mistaken, but from your tone and your repeated usage of the term, it was my feeling that this was how you were using the term.

    Later in this post you said, “Please, take some time to understand the relevant International Law and history, not just the mythology and ethos.” Just like your accusation at me, this sentence seems to be a clear attempt to imply that anyone who disagrees with your position can only do so based on “mythology and ethos.”

    Now, moving on to your most recent posts you accuse me of “divert[ing] us to another document, while making it sound as if the text [you] provided is irrelevant.” This is simply not true. You yourself said, in your first post that “a little history and understanding of International Law is in order.” But your history started in 1947. All I was doing was attempting to bring the entire scope of relevant documents and historical facts. It is my contention that it is impossible to understand the 1947 documents/recommendations without understanding what happened before them, starting, at the very least, from when the Ottoman Empire lost control over the land in 1917. Furthermore, after presenting the history of the Balfour Declaration and the San Remo Convention (I wish I had remembered to bring in the Peel Commission at that time) I directly addressed the UN documents you presented, showing why I believe they do not, in fact, apply to this situation in the specific way you suggested. But again I felt like you belittled me and told me that I had to be an International Law Professor or at least have studied under one to have an intelligent thought concerning these issues. You said, “I would LOVE to share your argument with the International Law professors from grad school that first introduced me to these “bunch of laws that sound convenient but have no basis in the context [what context exactly, btw, do they not have basis?]”

    I would excuse this comment because of the inappropriate tone of mine, but then in your most recent post, you again asked me “Says who? Says Jacob I. who said the following after the dialogue took a nose dive, ‘I am in no way an expert in International Law.’” Again I would ask you, must one be an expert in International Law to have an intelligent discussion? I understand that your ideas come from very intelligent sources. Does that mean that anyone who disagrees with them is unintelligent or at least uninformed? It seems that’s what you’re saying. I assure you, all the ideas I am presenting come from people with PhD’s after their names as well. I’m surely not smart enough to come up with them on my own.

    Finally, the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back for me was when you brought up your family’s experiences and said, “This is not a game I am playing to see who has the best argument, to see who has the best team, this is not cross town UCLA- USC rivalry. We’re talking real people who love Jesus, made in God’s image being killed, maimed, tortured, starved, abused for political Zionism. What happened to Judaism? What happened to Never Again? Sadly I feel that many liberal Jews understand the teachings of the Torah more than those who back Israel and protect Israel at any cost. Idolatry much?”

    I cannot tell you how much this hurts and offends me. Throughout this conversation I have made it clear OVER AND OVER that the reason I didn’t want to get into a discussion of who’s right and who’s wrong is because I feel it takes away from the human element. I would much rather hear personal experiences of what your family has been through and how we can prevent these things from happening again. I have also said repeatedly (and I can go back through and provide quotes if needed) that I have no desire to belittle or justify what your family has experienced. As someone who has spent the past 7 years (I’m actually younger than JM) volunteering my time with non-profits who fight for social justice throughout the world, it is offensive to me that you would accuse me of not caring about the humans in this situation. On the contrary, I feel I have made it clear throughout this conversation that that is my ONLY care (not who’s right or wrong). To me it seems that Yeshua has always been more interested in the individuals involved in a situation and how to help them in the midst of the political climate than who is right or wrong politically. He, in fact, was the one who said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to G-d what is G-d’s.”

    I don’t think it’s a secret at this point that I believe the Jews have a right to the land, both biblical and politically. But I don’t think, as I feel I’ve been portrayed, that that has to be at the expense of the dignity of the Palestinian people. I also don’t think Israel are the only wrong-doers and aggressors, as is often portrayed. I did not wish to be accused of diverting the conversation (ironic) and as such I have purposely not brought up the fact that the Palestinian leaders have repeatedly taken actions which endanger and terrorize not only innocent Israelis but their own people as well. As someone who is committed to social justice I am ready and willing to admit that some of the actions Israel has taken are unacceptable. Are you willing to admit the same about your people?

    Shabbat Shalom!

    Jacob

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jacob I. on December 10, 2010 at 11:17 pm

  21. Rana

    Jacob,
    Please forgive for offending you, it was not my intention to offend you. I gave some warning of what I was going to comment on before I commented and I even expressed to JM my frustration at our dialogue in private expressing the need for guidelines. I even expressed that maybe we need to do a over, JM said that the dialogue was good for others to see. If people were going to see the dialogue I could not ignore what I and many others who pay very close attention to the media dialogue to the use of language and absence of Palestinian voice (maybe I will get to this point) in the Israel-Palestine conflict. These points are essential to seeing that the conflict is purposely or at the very least suspiciously framed in a light that prefers one over the other, and if you don’t believe me spend a little time at the blog mondoweiss.net it is run by Jewish journalists and the comments are primarily by Jewish journalists who believe in peace, and don’t feel a need to close down criticism of Israel.

    My previous comment where I went sentence by sentence analyzing your paragraph, which I still intend to complete at some point, but now I need to take time to express my apologies to you and assure you that this is not a “pissing contest” as you said.

    I am really sorry you are offended by what I say it is not my purpose to offend you. I genuinely brought International Law into the dialogue as a historically documented 3rd party to anchor the dialogue in history and law to temper passion for this issue, otherwise if we don’t have some type of guidelines this will be a useless and fruitless dialogue. I have not pointed out everything you’ve said that has offended me, I can even go back further in the dialogue and point out where you first offended me, if this is what everyone or you would like. I chose not to go back that far because I don’t believe that is the purpose of the dialogue. I just happened to choose that “downhill” point because I was trying to temper the conversation with something concrete rather than emotion, and already you shared opinions that reflect reflect poorly on Palestinians.

    Honestly, I was just trying to bring in historical documents, because I realize Americans are primed NOT to see Palestinians/ Arab world as who they are, children of Adam like everyone else/ human beings, made in the image of God and in need of Jesus. Whereas media has portrayed Jewish people, not just in this conflict in a myriad of forms from Seinfeld to the many films on the Holocaust to Adam Sandler, etc, etc. I know that the worldview from the lens of the media has given Jews a wider narrative, whereas the narrative, the Palestinian story has been very limited, we’re always terrorists, throwing rocks, wailing in the streets with a head scarf, dancing in the street at someone’s suffering, etc. I am willing to bet that the general American population can name 10 Jewish people from history or media and will struggle to name 2 Palestinians, and for those who can name 2 Palestinians I am willing to bet the Palestinians they name are a caricature of Palestinian hostility. I would love to be proved wrong on this, no googling people!

    Jacob said:
    “But I still believe that what (ironically) Benjamin Netanyahu said is true, “If the Palestinians put down their weapons there would be no war tomorrow. If the Israelis put down there weapons there would be no Israel tomorrow.”

    And for the record, in case it is not obvious, I do think peace is possible. I think it requires seeing each other as beni-Adam (human beings, united in the sin of Adam), looking at history together, attempting to see the history of Palestine through each others eyes, taking responsibility somehow (beyond the scope of this comment to go into detail here) which includes compensation, right of return for Palestinians and FULL EQUAL rights for Palestinians in Palestine and Israel.

    Jacob said:
    “What initially offended me and “ruffled my feathers” so to speak was in your very first post on these topics. In that post 4 times you referred to “the Zionists.” If you had only done this once or had used any term other than “the Zionists” at any point in the post I probably would not have thought anything of it. For those who aren’t familiar, when used in a broad sense to describe all Jews living in Israel, this is very often a derogatory term meant to paint any Jews who live in Israel as oppressors whose only desire is to push the Palestinian Arabs out of the land. If you don’t believe me look up any pro-Palestinian propaganda (actually, you don’t have to go far… the picture of the Satmar Hasid [religious Jew] and the sign behind him that JM posted above is a perfect example). Maybe I was mistaken, but from your tone and your repeated usage of the term, it was my feeling that this was how you were using the term.”

    1. The use of the term Zionist being used 4 times in my initial comment was
    directly cut and pasted from the link I posted. Those were not my words, I
    directly cut and pasted from the Israel Law Resource Center. Rather, I did to choose to post their words/ quote language directly and I take responsibility for posting that portion, but in no way were the choice of words my own. I wanted to post an Israeli website so that people can see some people in Israel see the history in the same way as I do, and not be accused of Palestinian propaganda. In fact most of what I have learned about Israel’s injustices has been through Israeli Jews, American Jews and similar non-profit organizations that advocate justice and equality for Palestinians.

    I don’t see the term Zionist as a derogatory term, you can take that up with the
    Israel Law Center. In fact, I think the term Zionist is an important term given
    that Jew/ Jewish is an undefined term and because many people, including myself, would rather not lump all Jews/ Jewish people and the religion of Judaism as supporters of a Jewish State at the cost of Palestinian freedom, equality and homeland. This also goes for Israelis, not all Israelis are Jews, and rather than lumping all Israelis as supporters of a Jewish State/ Theocracy I think Zionist is the best term we have. If you have another term please suggest one.

    acob said:
    “Again I would ask you, must one be an expert in International Law to have an intelligent discussion?”

    No Jacob, expertise is not essential. I am not an expert either but I do think an understanding is important, especially one in this medium. I only said what I did because you made sweeping statements to undermine the International Law texts I quoted.

    Rana said:
    “This is not a game I am playing to see who has the best argument, to see who has the best team, this is not cross town UCLA- USC rivalry. We’re talking real people who love Jesus, made in God’s image being killed, maimed, tortured, starved, abused for political Zionism. What happened to Judaism? What happened to Never Again? Sadly I feel that many liberal Jews understand the teachings of the Torah more than those who back Israel and protect Israel at any cost. Idolatry much?”

    Jacob said:
    “I cannot tell you how much this hurts and offends me. Throughout this conversation I have made it clear OVER AND OVER that the reason I didn’t want to get into a discussion of who’s right and who’s wrong is because I feel it takes away from the human element. I would much rather hear personal experiences of what your family has been through and how we can prevent these things from happening again.”

    Jacob, I made the above statement to reiterate to people that I was not making sentence by sentence explanations for my own pride and joy, rather I wanted to explain to people that there are real people, like my own family, who suffer in unimaginable ways, that there are very real implications/ consequences that hurt Christians based on Israeli policies and based in a FALSE theology that favors the Jew over the Palestinian/ Arab. I would HIGHL:Y recommend that people watch the film With God On Our Side by Porter Speakman Jr. which speaks to the theology, the political implications and the reality of consequences for Palestinian dignity that has been taken from them.

    I was also directly speaking to your belief/ statement that:

    Jacob:
    “This type of discussion looks only to the PAST and does nothing to find a way FORWARD.”

    Jacob, I disagree I don’t think we are merely looking at the past and not forward. I believe that it is essential to gird the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the narrative of both people, again this is why I chose to bring in the historical narrative. The Palestinian Nakba (the Catastrophe) is NEVER discussed in main stream media, yet the Holocaust is often made reference to. I would love to know what people know about the Palestinian Nakba or if they’ve even heard of it, can they name any of the Israeli Jewish Zionist terrorist groups of the time?

    The pain of so many Palestinians is that in 1948 Israel was created at the same time that Palestinians were being forced to leave from their homes, 750,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes, including my own family. My family was NEVER allowed to return to their and they were NEVER compensated or EVEN apologized to. This is the CRUX of the conflict form the perspective of Palestinians. The forced migration of a population is a form of ethnic cleansing, some dictionaries go so far as to use the word genocide when defining ethnic cleansing. The fact remains that Israel was created on land that Jewish people did not own.

    I want to say more about this, perhaps in another comment.

    I am not going to get into the biblical claims to the land, I believe the OT point to Jesus and that the land promises were fulfilled in Christ, Our Lord is not a Real Estate broker. I can refer people to books like Whose Promise Land? by Colin Chapman, Whose Land? Whose Promise? What Christians Are Not Being Told About Israel and the Palestinians by Gary Burge NT prof at Wheaton College, Amillenialism by Kim Riddlebarger of WestminsterTSCA, Dispensationalism: Rightly Dividing the People of God by Keith Mathison of Ligonier Ministries and Tabletalk magazine, OT Allis, Holwerda, Meredith Kline, etc.

    I mentioned my family in Gaza because I want people to realize that support of Israel’s policies carte blanche has real consequences and that I wasn’t going into minutiae for my own pleasure.

    And no, I have no allegiance to Palestinian/ Arab leaders and have no problem calling them out, mostly they have been opportunists, perhaps I will go further in another comment about this.

    Grace and Peace,
    Rana
    who is hitting submit without proofing b/c I need to get on with the day!
    (which apparently was a poor choice b/c I posted this on the wrong page!)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Rana on December 11, 2010 at 5:25 pm

  22. Jacob I.

    Rana,

    I’m excited. I too would like a “do-over.” As I said, I take full responsibility for my derogatory comments. My previous post was not meant to shift blame for my poor choice of words. Only to show how easily words can be misinterpreted, misheard and dialogue can fall apart. It has been quite some time since I have participated in this type of dialogue and it’s taken me awhile to remember how to do it gracefully.

    I did not realize that the paragraph with all the “Zionists” was not your words. I apologize. (And, for the record, just because Israelis said it doesn’t mean it wasn’t meant in derogatory terms, as we can see in JM’s picture above [I realize he's not Israeli, you get the point]).

    Looking forward to more constructive dialogue moving forward! It’s late and I just got in and need to go to bed so I just skimmed most of your comments. I think I’ll have more comments when I’m able to read through it in more detail tomorrow.

    Shavua Tov! (Good week)

    Jacob

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jacob I. on December 12, 2010 at 10:49 am

  23. Rana

    Jacob and others, may or may not be interested in this blog post from the “Magnes Zionist” it is a FAQ on Zionism and Racism. I am posting this because these are answers from a Zionist Israeli (you can read more about him on his blog) and the questions/ answers are full of good bits of history that I encourage anyone interested in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to read. I don’t agree with everything this man says, but I think he is honest and critical in his thinking and I respect that. I think the comments section is also worth reading. Let me know what you guys think, I would be interested in hearing from other people as well. I promise regardless of what you’ve seen here and what you’ve heard about Palestinians from the media I won’t bite :)

    Peace,
    Rana

    http://www.jeremiahhaber.com/2010/11/faq-on-zionism-and-racism.html

    And I am going to cut and paste some of the post as I am concerned about copyright issues, how does that work with personal blogs?

    Is Zionism inherently discriminatory?

    Not all forms of Zionism are, but the sort of exclusivist-ethnic-statist Zionism that emerged in Palestine was and is inherently discriminatory – even if Zionists wish to believe that it is not. They could never give convincing arguments for the distinction between favoring Jews (good) and discriminating against Arabs (bad) on the level of the state. You really can’t have one without the other.

    Was Zionism essentially a colonialist movement?

    There are essential colonialist elements within classical Zionism, both in practice (settlements) and in mentality (feelings of cultural superiority over the natives.) But it differs from colonialism in that it is a settler nationalism that sees its task as reclaiming its ancient land.

    Was Zionism essentially anti-Arab?

    Zionism essentially ignored the Arabs, at least until the Arabs made it impossible not to. Zionism was not initially directed against the Palestinian Arabs; they were the “collateral damage” of the Zionist project, especially the statist Zionist project. But with time, and with the predictable and justifiable Arab resistance, anti-Arabism entered Zionism.

    But didn’t a Jewish state require ethnic cleansing?

    That depended on the sort of Jewish state. The state that Ben Gurion envisioned would have had great difficulties without ridding itself of the Palestinian population, which it defined as hostile. It did not have enough land for the socialist pioneers, and it did not have room for the anticipated waves of immigration. Nor was anybody interested in 1948 with power-sharing. Before 1948 the Zionists told the world that a Jewish state could arise with a sizeable Arab population. The state that the Jewish Agency accepted was 40% Arab. But upon independence the State of Israel passed a law that effectively barred the return of Palestinians to their homes, and there has been an effort to keep the total number of Arabs to no more than 20%. To justify this morally, the Zionists have engaged in self-deception; they claim that the Arabs left voluntarily and had abandoned property claims and that they could not return because they were a hostile element. The Zionists didn’t want to accept responsibility for the ethnic cleansing, but they were happy for it. That is true of the vast majority of Israelis, today.

    Then why do people call Zionism “racism”?

    Either because they use the term loosely, or they don’t understand Zionism, or because racism is very bad, and if you want to delegitimize something, you throw the word “racism” at it. Thinking people, on the other hand, can realize that “Zionism” and “racism” and “colonialism” are complicated terms, and that terminological sobriety is a virtue. Something can be very, very bad without being racist or apartheid. If I say that Israeli society discriminates against Palestinian Israelis, the discrimination need not be based on racism in the technical sense. Part of it is racist; part of it is not. All of it is very, very bad.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Rana on December 13, 2010 at 6:45 am

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  25. Christian Trotter

    What happened? Did this conversation die? From an unbiased American’s perspective, so far this conversation is a microcosm of actual Israeli-Palestinian relations.

    Outside party: Let’s get together so you can discuss your differences and maybe we can work out some sort of agreement.

    Israeli leadeship and Palestinian leadership: That sounds scary . . . but I’ll do it.

    Israeli leadership and Palestinian leadership: Here’s why we are right and they are wrong.

    Israeli leadership and Palestinian leadership: How can you say that!? You have offended me! I knew this was a bad idea!

    Outside party: This is difficult, I know. Please come back to the table. We can work things out. The other side isn’t so bad.

    Israeli leadership and Palestinian leadership: Okay. We’ll try again . . .

    And then it takes something drastic for the trying again to happen. When the trying again does happen, the same narrative ensues. If this conversation does continue, it will be interesting to see if it goes down the same road.

    Its amazing that even a discussion between a Jewish follower of Yeshua and Palestinian Christian went the same way. I’ve always thought this was the most complicated and puzzling issue on the planet (or at least a close second to the fame of Kate Gosselin, but this is far more important). I’ve often wondered if it is possible for it to be resolved by men.

    Rana and Jacob,
    Thanks for trying. I hope you try again and I hope this do-over ends with a better outcome. As has already been mentioned several times, if you can’t do it, what chance do your nations have?

    I also realize the time, effort, emotion, passion, etc. that go into a conversation such as this one. I understand that continuing this conversation may not be worth it to you, personally.

    [Reply]

    jm Reply:

    I think it is on hiatus for the holidays, Christian. I hope to continue it soon though.

    I like your synopsis, btw! :)

    [Reply]

    Jacob I. Reply:

    Thanks CT,

    I had an absolutely CRAZY week last week with work. Hopefully I’ll have more time to devote to this soon. I’m especially interested in discussing the theological implications.

    And, yes… I too have found it to be an eerie microcosm of the broader discussion/conflict.

    Jacob

    [Reply]

    Comment by Christian Trotter on December 20, 2010 at 8:14 am

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