hinde-street-methodist-church-burn-jews-alive
Ethics & Morality

Methodist church visitors’ book calls for Jews to be burned alive

When Hinde Street Methodist Church in London erected their ‘Israeli checkpoint’ exhibition (or, since it looks like a plywood chicken coop, Israeli checkpoint ‘exhibition’), it was denounced by the Board of Deputies as an “unnecessary strain on Christian-Jewish relations”. Rabbi Barry Marcus of the Central Synagogue accused the church of “fanning the flames of anti-Semitism”, and former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey rebuked them for casting Israel as the oppressor of victims. He said: “Jewish people across Europe are increasingly being targeted and killed by terrorists, who often attempt to justify their actions by demonising Israel. It is therefore particularly sad to see a church in London demonising and singling out Israel’s defensive actions against terrorism.”

He reminded the Methodists: “Checkpoints in Israel are sadly needed in order to save lives. The methods used by democracies to defend their civilians should not be undermined by religious leaders in places of worship and brotherhood.”

Hinde Street Methodist Church naturally denied that their ‘exhibition’ – entitled ‘You cannot pass today – Life through a dividing wall‘ – was in any sense anti-Semitic. It’s just that they chose to focus on a wall erected by the Jewish State, and ignore those erected by, say, the USA along the Mexican border; or by Turkey in Cyprus; or Egypt along its border with Gaza; or Saudi Arabia along its border with Yemen; or the India/Pakistan ‘security barrier’ which weaves its way through Kashmir. There are quite a few defensive walls in the world which follow no internationally-recognised border, but why bother with those when you can have a go at the Jews? The church naturally rejected the allegation that they were fanning the flames of anti-Semitism. They issued a statement, which assures critics that the exhibition:

..has been carefully curated to reflect the issues of divided communities within Israel and Palestine and to promote reflection and prayers for peace.

..seeks to explore aspects of human rights and dignity. It has been put together on the basis of principled impartiality, putting concern for human rights above support of any particular group by referring to international law. There is no criticism or judgement of the Jewish community or faith.

What manner of “principled impartiality” singles out the State of Israel? By all means criticise its government’s immoral policies and abhorrent actions, but no church should draw attention to human rights violations or injustices by demonising that state alone, for when they do so they are holding it to a higher standard of political morality and ethical rhetoric than they do other nations. What about Somalia, Burma, North Korea, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan or Libya? What about China or Saudi Arabia? Shouldn’t Christians be even-handed about these things? Shouldn’t they be generous in their understanding, and compassionate in their spirit? Why aren’t critics of Israel consistent in their condemnation? Or is it simply that a tourist trip to Bethlehem is easier to arrange and safer to enjoy – precisely because the Israeli government prioirtises the security of its people?

There are quite a few peaceful, prayerful reflections in the visitor’s book. One reads: “IDF soldiers are the scum of the earth. They are disgusting filthy animals and need to be burned alive.” It is signed by someone called Omana, who clearly thinks the proper place for Jews is in ovens. Hinde Street Methodist Church may not believe they are fanning the flames of anti-Semitism, but they seem content to hand out free kindling wood and matches to Jew-haters.

The stated IDF mission is: “To defend the existence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the state of Israel. To protect the inhabitants of Israel and to combat all forms of terrorism which threaten the daily life.”

Its spirit draws on: “The tradition of the Jewish People throughout their history.”

Its basic values include: “At the core of service in the IDF stand the love of the homeland and the commitment and devotion to the State of Israel-a democratic state that serves as a national home for the Jewish People – its citizens and residents.”

When the Methodist Church boycotts the State of Israel uniquely; when it erects exhibitions which focus on Israel’s alleged injustices uniquely, the church is manifesting an anti-Semitic attitude. Whatever words of peace they preach, and whatever assurances of prayer they give, they are sustaining a vile history and supplying an abhorrent industry. This has no place in any Christian church.

  • Inspector General

    Baby names meanings search results: The name Omana is a baby girl name. The name Omana comes from the Indian origin. In Sanskrit the meaning of the name Omana is: Woman. “Giver of life”

    A damnable tourist perhaps…

    • Ivan M

      Girls named Omana are usually not the brightest bulbs. If it is authentic name, it would likely be one of the nurses, though I can’t understand why anyone from my state would be worked up to this extent.

  • Inspector General

    How do you go about getting a Methodist church closed. The only thing you can do when its gone political and bad…

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      The Methodists are completely rotten as far as I can tell. … just a husk of bureaucrats supported by investments made by people who really were Methodists.

    • Andrew Price

      You wait….

  • Anton

    The wall in question was built to protect the citizens of Israel from an increasing number of terror attacks that took place in the early years of the present century. The number of attacks plummeted. The first job of any State is to protect its citizens.

    John Wesley understood that the Jews were entitled to political jurisdiction in the Holy Land. This follows from the covenant with Abraham, passing through Isaac and Jacob as the Old Testament clearly states. How unhappy that Wesley’s legacy has been disrespected.

  • a higher standard of political morality and ethical rhetoric

    As Jews insist they are a superior species, it is surely not unreasonable to expect a higher standard of them. From Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel, page 60 in the print version: ‘everything, all developments, all discoveries, the creation, including the “heavens and the earth”—are vanity compared to the Jews. The important things are the Jews, because they do not exist for any [other] aim; they themselves are [the divine] aim.’

    a democratic state that serves as a national home for the Jewish People

    Britain was a national home for the British until Jewish desires prevailed and a nation was transformed into a dog’s dinner. From the 1945 publication Jews in the Post-War World, page 85: ‘Proof that Jewish minorities, on the whole, have received better treatment in the multi-national states has been established by outstanding Jewish historians…national group differences would no longer be primarily political and nationalistic, but cultural, linguistic, and religious.’

    And not just Britain but every white Christian nation unlucky enough not to have been behind the Iron Curtain.

    • Anton

      You’d rather have lived behind the Iron Curtain??

      Not many Christian fundamentalists are taken seriously in the church; why take Jewish ones seriously?

      • Demon Teddy Bear

        Church officials only take themselves seriously, certainly not fundamentalists like Jesus or St Paul.

        • Anton

          By fundamentalist I mean someone who has a drawbridge mentality when he thinks that scripture cannot be reconciled with human discoveries and gives up too easily on the attempt, thereby making it more difficult for non-Christians to bridge the gap and become converts.

    • James Bolivar DiGriz

      “As Jews insist they are a superior species”
      When your foundations are sand the building will not be stable.

      Where is your evidence that all Jews ” insist they are a superior species”?
      If not all then an overwhelming majority? A clear majority? A bare majority?

      You have supplied one opinion (the first one) that supports your contention. In any population in the millions you can find someone who supports a particular view.

      • @ James Bolivar DiGriz—Under the sub-heading ‘Jews and Identity Politics’, Stephen Steinlight writes: ‘I was taught the superiority of my people to the gentiles who had oppressed us. We were taught to view non-Jews as untrustworthy outsiders, people from whom sudden gusts of hatred might be anticipated, people less sensitive, intelligent, and moral than ourselves.’

        On page xliii of the Preface to The Culture of Critique, Kevin MacDonald quotes the former head of the Anti-Defamation League as saying that the Holocaust is ‘not simply one example of genocide but a near successful attempt on the life of God’s chosen children and, thus, on God himself.’

        This review of Israel Shahak’s Jewish History, Jewish Religion says: ‘the rabbis have taught their fellow Jews that their Gentile neighbors are spiritually and morally unclean; that they are subhuman, on a level with the beasts of the field; and that they hate Jews and must be hated in return. Jews are taught that the Christian religion is a religion fit only for animals’. If you don’t mind, I’ll leave it there.

        • Anton

          Yes, there is some unhappy antagonism between Christians and Jews. Read John Chrysostom’s foul and deeply influential ancient sermons about Judaism for another side.

          What were British schoolboys taught about the superiority of the British race 150 years ago?

        • James Bolivar DiGriz

          As others have pointed out, not answering the question posed.

          Let me spell it out for you. You made an assertion about ‘Jews’ believe. The only sensible interpretation of that is that this is what all Jews believe, or at the least an overwhelming majority believe.

          You have found one or two more opinions to go with the one you mentioned originally.

          Wikipedia says that there are 14-14.5 million Jews worldwide.

          Do you have any evidence whatsoever that you original assertion is anything other than a fringe view held by a tiny minority?

          • @ James Bolivar DiGriz—The original opinion I quoted is based on the Talmud. From page 60 of Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel: ‘This is the reason why the Talmud states that there is an halachic difference in attitude about the bodies of non-Jews [as opposed to the bodies of Jews]: ‘their bodies are in vain’…An even greater difference exists in regard to the soul. Two contrary types of soul exist, a non-Jewish soul comes from three satanic spheres, while the Jewish soul stems from holiness.’ As not a few Jews subscribe to the Talmud…

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            And your evidence that *all* Jews follow that particular interpretation slavishly is … completely non-existent.

            You seem absurdly keen to prove to everyone that you are incapable of making a coherent point so I will ignore you from now on.

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      It is no business of ours whether foreigners consider themselves the peak of creation. After all, we all know that the British hold that title and responsibility. But part of that duty is that we treat these people fairly, in their funny foreign way. Singling out Israel for defending itself is clearly wrong.

    • carl jacobs

      You do realize that the intellectual light behind your position considered Communism a Jewish plot. It’s ironic that you would call people “lucky” to live under Communism given this fact.

      • Ivan M

        When Uncle Joe needed to clean out the local reactionaries in Poland, Hungary, Romania and so on he had a ready cadre of what can be described as Comintern Jews. These ‘rootless cosmopolitans’ had little sympathy for local farmers, monarchists, patriots and so on and were relied on to kill off the spirits of these nations. Now Stalin made his name as Commisioner of the Nationalities and knew how to exploit racial hatreds when needed. It was a while before the nationalism of these countries reasserted themselves. Largely by the time of the 1967 war the Jewish nomenclature had lost its previous high position. By the time Nathan Sharansky grew his Jesus beard and became a cause celebre for Scoop Jackson, the separation between Jews and the other nationalities was well established, so that today they claim of the Communists – we hardly knew ya. Jews are a people much as anyone else. That they needed to survive in trying circumstances evokes fellow feeling. Their rewriting of history to portray their enemies in the blackest colours while exonerating their own actions as acts of God, or the Will of History, or understandable actions brought about by dire necessity pisses off every one who has read about these things.

    • Dreadnaught

      Britain was a national home for the British until Jewish desires prevailed and a nation was transformed into a dog’s dinner.

      This really is one of the most historically innacurate and ignorant of statements I’ve yet to read on this site.
      Let’s just take a backward glance of what a random sample of influences that have contributed to the making of the genetically ‘British’:
      Celts
      Picts
      Scoti
      Gaels
      Romans
      Saxons
      Eastern Europeans
      Scandanavians
      Normans
      Jews [invited by William DoN]
      Western Europeans
      Afros
      Chinese
      Indians
      Eastern Europeans [again]

      A dogs Dinner? without a doubt – A Jewish designed Dogs Dinner? – Now that really does make you look like a total bogot; as you have offered not a single shred of evidence to support your positional statement.

      • Anton

        + Angles.
        Jutes.

        • Dreadnaught

          It was just a shot off the top of my head sort of list; but you are quite right. Furthermore, when the genetic make up of those groups are examined there are traces back to the spread of homosapiens from what now is Africa.

      • @ Dreadnaught—Christopher Caldwell writes in Reflections on the Revolution in Europe:

        Genetic studies of the population of the British Isles show that it has been remarkably stable for millennia. Aside from the invasions of Angles, Saxons, and Jutes that started in the fourth century AD—and which brought, at the very most, 250,000 new settlers to Britain over a period of several centuries—British ‘stock’ has changed very little. Only about 10,000 people arrived with the Norman Conquest. Tens of thousands more Huguenots came after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. But, all told, three-quarters of the ancestors of contemporary Britons and Irish were already present in the British Isles 7,500 years ago. DNA from people who arrived after that makes up only 12 per cent of the Irish gene pool. Describing the countries of Britain as nations of immigrants is absurd, unless you are describing processes that began not just before modernity but before civilization.

        In addition, as Jews practise endogamy and as Africans, Chinese and Indians have yet to interbreed with every indigenous Briton, it is difficult to understand your assertion that they have contributed to the British gene pool.

        Jewish influence on Western immigration policy in the 19th and 20th centuries is discussed in Chapter 7 of The Culture of Critique.

        • Anton

          That’s odd; I’d thought that the people of Northumbria today were found genetically to be about 2/3 Anglo-Saxon and 1/3 Viking following the Viking raids/invasions/settlings of the 9-11th centuries.

        • Dreadnaught

          Look, you scapegoat the Jews in the same way the Nazis, as though they are a homogenous group deserving of group condemnation. I briefly illustated that their presence in these islands has not impacted on the genetic or cultural character of this country anywhere near those I listed.
          I have read more widely on the genetic make up of Britain than the work to which you refer, which is by all accounts examing the Europe of today in the light of Muslim settlement. I stand by all I said.
          Furthermore at the time of Hitlers appearance on the scene the Jewish presence in Germany was only two percent of the population. The pecentage in the UK at the sae time was considerably less.
          When you can prove that Jews formed in a cohesive body to influence the fortunes of this country in their favour you may have a point to press.

          • @ Dreadnaught—As I have said, Chapter 7 of The Culture of Critique deals with the Jewish push to liberalize US and British immigration policy. The Empire Windrush provides a rather neat example of Jewish power in Britain. After the war, she was transferred to the ownership of a Jewish shipping line by a Jewish government minister, another Jewish minister had the bright idea of filling her up with Jamaicans, and the opinion that she could neither be prevented from sailing nor docking at Tilbury was given by a Jewish Solicitor General. The goyim were powerless. Next thing you know, blacks are over-represented in crime and Muslims are gang-raping our kids. Happy days.

          • Anton

            One ship is irrelevant. Whatever the rights and wrongs of Commonwealth immigration, it was voted through Cabinet. A Labour Cabinet packed with representatives of the working class and not many of them Jewish.

          • @ Anton—not many of them Jewish

            Most of the rest will have been kind-hearted Christians, weeping uncontrollably at the appalling injustices suffered by Jews at the hands of Christians throughout the ages and yearning to do something—anything—to right the grievous wrongs and prove that they care.

            The Cabinet minutes show the following exchange:

            Jews [cribbing from page 85 of Jews in the Post-War World]: Outstanding Jewish historians have established that Jews are safest in a multicultural society with scores of minorities, racial and religious.

            Kind-hearted Christians [choking back the tears]: It shall be done. Britain shall be a rainbow nation, a progressive beacon to the world where all colours and creeds shall live happily ever after. We shall live side-by-side with our Muslim brothers. How exotic! Nothing could possibly go wrong.

          • Anton

            If you want to criticise those in this country who forwarded multiculturalism, including persons who regarded themselves as Christian, I wholeheartedly join with you. A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3:24). I always pitch in with you regarding multiculturalism, Farage, EU etc; it is about the Jews that we disagree. But I have no problem agreeing with you about one thing and disagreeing with you about another.

    • CliveM

      Out of curiosity, and in light of European history, what basis do the Jews have do you think for loving and being grateful to the European Christendom?

      If I was Jewish, I suspect I’d be a little ambiguous towards western Christianity.

      • @ CliveM—in light of European history

        European history as written by Jews or non-Jews? On pages 268-9 of Separation and Its Discontents, Kevin MacDonald refers to In the Shadow of History: Jews and Conversos at the Dawn of Modernity by the Jewish historian José Faur. MacDonald writes: ‘Jewish history, as the history of the persecuted, is viewed as “Sacred History”, while the history of the gentiles is “Profane History”—the “primitive beastly fantasies written by brutes of an alien race.”’

        The Jewish sojourn in Europe illustrates once again the inadvisability of multiculturalism.

        • CliveM

          I note you didn’t answer the question.

          There is I think two types of history. The first is written by experts and academics, using legitimate sources and attempts to get a proper picture of events.
          The second type is usually done by conspiracy theorists, antisemites, or those with a grudge or obsession. Typically found on the Internet, or produced by vanity publications.

          It isn’t controversial to point out that the history of European Jewry is one one persecution, violence and massacre, directed against it. There have been periods of quiet and peace and relative prosperity. However typically against a backdrop of discrimination. If understanding that backdrop you are unable to understand why a small number have anti European feelings, you don’t understand human nature.

          Now here’s the really funny thing. Despite all this, some people think that history is best understood in the context of a “Jewish conspiracy “!!! How dumb can you get.

          • @ CliveM—I answered your question with my final sentence on the inadvisability of multiculturalism. Jews arrive in Europe → two cultures sharing the same territory → vexations. The bottom line is that Europe is the home of Europeans, and Jews who find us distasteful are free to leave.

          • CliveM

            A comment on the in advisability of multiculturalism doesn’t answer the question.

        • Dude

          Your source is notorious as a “go to” for the loony tundra of the far right. In other words your “source ” is what one can call in an academic sense “utter bollocks”.

      • Dude

        I’m grateful in so much as the UK have welcomed Jews into this country and allowed us to practice our faith without pogroms or persecution. Jews fought and died under the banner of the British empire in two world wars and are loyal to Her Majesty the Queen. Johnny Rotten whatever is an utter shit who wants to scapegoat Jews as an enemy. That’s his problem and not mine.

        • Anton

          Like me he loves England. Unlike me he hates the Jews.

      • Cressida de Nova

        If I were Jewish I would be disgusted at having the infantile schmock ,who struggles forming a sentence and is not characteristically Jewish at all , in his insulting behaviour and demonstrated ignorance , as a spokesperson for Judaism on this site.

        • Stop flirting with me babe !

  • David

    Lord Carey, although not a great Christian leader, did often demonstrate common sense. In contrast I know that another, former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, turned a visit to Israel into a protest against the existence of the walls and check points. He did this by insisting that he exit his government provided chauffeured car, and walk through the security on foot. Presumably he was prepared to risk losing more Israeli lives to bombers, to allow a free flow of incoming workers.

    Yes queuing daily must be a real burden, but what else is the government to do to protect its citizens ? It is always so easy to criticise, looking down from ones assumed moral high ground, when you have do not have any responsibility for taking tough decisions – student protesters have always done this. But then so many of the high positions in institutional Churches are now occupied by those whose minds have been captured more by liberal-left politics than the deeper, more thoughtful paths trod by those who attempt to apply God’s advice, in practical ways, to a deeply fallen world. Virtue signalling is hugely popular amongst the liberal-left.

  • len

    Burning people alive ?.
    Did we ever think we would see these sorts of threats in the heart of a democratic country?.A few years ago maybe not but Western society is under attack from within and from without.
    Perhaps churches should be a bit more perceptive and check what their visitors are putting in their books?.

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      This is what happens when the borders are not kept.

    • Dreadnaught

      Rather than edit what has been written, it serves for a better understanding if highlighted, the true nature of the ‘un-radicalised’ sub-culture that seeks to undermine all basic freedoms.

      • len

        Even better.

  • carl jacobs

    Experience what it is like to cross a checkpoint everyday

    Except you don’t. A bunch of people in Marylebone will experience an irritating delay that is divorced from any perceived threat. It’s a truncated presentation by its very nature. All you can possibly see is the impact on Palestinians. But how does it show the impact of suicide bombers and destroyed busses?

    The display is designed to create sympathy for one side at the exspense of the other. The poor Palestinians standing in line are visible. But where can we see the pieces of dead Jewish bodies on what used to be a bus?

  • Royinsouthwest

    Yesterday I responded to a comment someone made about the Israel – Palestine issue on one of Cranmer’s other recent postings. My comment was simply to point out that the Palestinians do have a case and it is unchristian simply to ignore it. However I agree with Cranmer’s article about the ridiculous exhibition at the Hinde Street Methodist church. The world is full of evils, many of which are worse than those faced by Palestinians. Could Methodist leaders say hand on heart, or better still, hand on the Bible, that this exhibition has nothing to do with “Virtue Signalling”?

    If such exhibitions do have a value what will be the subject of the next one? How about choosing one closer to home? One possible topic would the way in which the police, social services and, for many years, the media ignored widespread sexual abuse of girls in many English cities in order not to be thought of as “racist”, which would, of course, have been very damaging to their careers.

    Somehow I doubt if the Methodists would touch that subject with a barge pole. It would not earn them any Brownie points with the BBC or the Guardian, would it?

    • carl jacobs

      The Palestinians have a case for what?

      • Royinsouthwest

        The fact that you ask the question shows your bias. They have the same case as anyone else whose country has been taken over by people from other countries.

        • Anton

          The Arabs of Palestine have not had autonomy for nearly 1000 years. Before World War 1 they were run for many centuries by the Turks, whom they hated (Lawrence of Arabia and all that). And, once we are forced to look to a timescale of millennia, the Jews come back into the picture as the earlier owners of the land whose country was taken over by people from other countries.

          The modern influx of Jews and the creation of a Jewish State is based on the never-reinterpreted-in-Christ Abrahamic Covenant, not the Mosaic one. It is therefore not to be conducted as the Mosaic one was conducted (genocide); but it is not being, propaganda notwithstanding.

          • Dreadnaught

            I agree with yout historical snapshot but when a group lays claim to real-estate by the will of their very own god, for me they loose the argument.and credibility.

          • Anton

            Yet if they had not maintained that religious faith then without question they would not have survived with a distinct cultural identity to lay claim to that land.

          • Does the UN recognise this “never-reinterpreted-in-Christ Abrahamic Covenant”? And, if so, how about the claims of Islam based on their Holy Book?

          • Dude

            The UN couldn’t flush a toilet and prevent numerous genocides. It is full of wacko dictatorial regimes which hate Israel and want Jews dead. That’s why most of the great powers ignore UN bullshit.

          • Jack’s point is we cannot run policy on the basis of contested interpretations of scripture. The Jews and the Muslims see these differently and the claims they make on Canaan. There is also a credible Christian argument that the promises made to Abraham were to the People of God and not to one specific tribal people. This is now those worldwide who recognise Jesus as the Christ. There is another that holds the promises were made specifically to the Jews and still hold for them. Israel is theirs by Divine ordinance. A good case can be made for both. Meanwhile, while God’s plan, whatever it might be, unfolds, the nation state of Israel needs to sort out its issues with the Palestinians on the basis of prudential judgements about what will and will not secure its security and sovereignty.

          • When terrorists stop trying to exterminate Jews maybe I will listen to your pontificating condescending nonsense.

          • Anton

            “There is also a credible Christian argument that the promises made to Abraham were to the People of God and not to one specific tribal people.”

            I dispute that. Go ahead – make that claim, Jack…

          • Well of course you dispute it.

            Jack cannot believe you have never come across protestant evangelical “Replacement Theology”.

          • Anton

            Go ahead – make that claim, Jack. If you can…

          • Why? You know it, Jack knows it.
            The actions of states cannot be based on the contested interpretations of the Abrahamic covenant. Do you dispute this position?

          • Anton

            States are led by people, and their motivations may be informed by many things including their religious beliefs. Lloyd George’s War Cabinet that drafted the Balfour Declaration was heavily influenced by evangelical Christianity and while there were political reasons for that declaration too it would have been inconceivable under Asquith and Lord Grey.

            Do you think that ancient Israel should not have based its actions on its belief in the Abrahamic covenant?

          • The Balfour Declaration has an unsavoury history.
            The modern secular state of Israel cannot be compared to the ancient People of God.

          • Anton

            What do you mean by stating that the Balfour Declaration “has an unsavoury history”, please? It is not clear whether you refer to before or after it was released, for a start.

          • Before and after ….

          • Anton

            By all means stay at home in autumn next year when I and many other Christians will be celebrating its 100th anniversary. But what do you mean by saying that the events leading up to it were unsavoury, please?

          • Go study its history and the double dealing and duplicity involved.

          • Anton

            Kindly refrain from assuming that I haven’t. You have presumably fallen for the lie that the Brits promised the Holy Land thrice over? We specifically reserved it out of both the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement with the French about carving up the area, and Henry McMahon’s letter of 24th October 1915 to Husain bin Ali encouraging the Arabs to rise up against the Turks in return for independence. It is you who should check your facts. Feel free to ask me for further details of these assertions if you are unable to find the details online for yourself.

          • Britain had previously promised the Arabs a state in Palestine in return for their fighting against the Germans. They then secretly offered a future State to the Jews in Palestine in order to gain Jewish support in America, Germany and Russia to finance the war.

            The secret and duplicitous Sykes–Picot Agreement divided many Arab territories into British- and French-administered areas and allowed for the internationalisation of Palestine. When Hussein learned of the agreement in December 1917, but was satisfied by two disingenuous telegrams from Sir Reginald Wingate, High Commissioner of Egypt, assuring him that the British government’s commitments to the Arabs were still valid and that the Sykes-Picot Agreement was not a formal treaty.

            Following the publication of the Declaration the British had dispatched Commander David George Hogarth to see Hussein in January 1918 bearing the message that the “political and economic freedom” of the Palestinian population was not in question.[30] Hogarth reported that Hussein “would not accept an independent Jewish State in Palestine, nor was I instructed to warn him that such a state was contemplated by Great Britain”.[31] Continuing Arab disquiet over Allied intentions also led during 1918 to the British Declaration to the Seven and the Anglo-French Declaration, the latter promising “the complete and final liberation of the peoples who have for so long been oppressed by the Turks, and the setting up of national governments and administrations deriving their authority from the free exercise of the initiative and choice of the indigenous populations.”[30][32]

            Lord Grey had been the Foreign Secretary during the McMahon-Hussein negotiations. Speaking in the House of Lords on 27 March 1923, he made it clear that he entertained serious doubts as to the validity of the British government’s interpretation of the pledges which he, as foreign secretary, had caused to be given to Hussein in 1915. He called for all of the secret engagements regarding Palestine to be made public.[33] Many of the relevant documents in the National Archives were later declassified and published.[34] Among them were the minutes of a Cabinet Eastern Committee meeting, chaired by Lord Curzon, which was held on 5 December 1918. Balfour was in attendance. The minutes revealed that in laying out the government’s position Curzon had explained that:

            Palestine was included in the areas as to which Great Britain pledged itself that they should be Arab and independent in the future.[35]

            (Wiki)

            Then there’s the hidden motives of the Declaration itself:

            The term “national home” in the Declaration was intentionally ambiguous.[60] For example, the phrase ‘national homeland’ had no legal value or precedent in international law,[61] so its meaning was thus unclear when compared to other terms such as ‘state’.[61] The choice of stating such a homeland would be found ‘in Palestine’ rather than ‘of Palestine’ was also no accident.[61]

            Explication of the wording has been sought in the correspondence leading to the final version of the declaration. The phrase “national home” was intentionally used instead of “state” because of opposition to the Zionist program within the British Cabinet.[61] Following discussion of the initial draft the Cabinet Secretary, Mark Sykes, met with the Zionist negotiators to clarify their aims. His official report back to the Cabinet categorically stated that the Zionists did not want “to set up a Jewish Republic or any other form of state in Palestine immediately”[62] but rather preferred some form of protectorate as provided in the Palestine Mandate. In approving the Balfour Declaration, Leopold Amery, one of the Secretaries to the British War Cabinet of 1917–18, testified under oath to the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry in January 1946 from his personal knowledge that:

            “The phrase “the establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish people” was intended and understood by all concerned to mean at the time of the Balfour Declaration that Palestine would ultimately become a “Jewish Commonwealth” or a “Jewish State”, if only Jews came and settled there in sufficient numbers.[63]”

            David Lloyd George, who was Prime Minister at the time of the Balfour Declaration, told the Palestine Royal Commission in 1937 that it was intended that Palestine may become a Jewish Commonwealth if and when Jews “had become a definite majority of the inhabitants”:

            The idea was, and this was the interpretation put upon it at the time, that a Jewish State was not to be set up immediately by the Peace Treaty without reference to the wishes of the majority of the inhabitants. On the other hand, it was contemplated that when the time arrived for according representative institutions to Palestine, if the Jews had meanwhile responded to the opportunity afforded them by the idea of a national home and had become a definite majority of the inhabitants, then Palestine would thus become a Jewish Commonwealth.[52]”

            Both the Zionist Organization and the British government devoted efforts to denying that a state was the intention over the following decades, including in Winston Churchill’s 1922 White Paper.[b] However, in private, many British officials agreed with the interpretation of the Zionists that a state would be established when a Jewish majority was achieved;[64] in particular, at a private meeting on 22 July 1922 at Balfour’s home, both Balfour and Lloyd-George admitted that an eventual Jewish state had always been their intention.[65][66]

            The initial draft of the declaration, contained in a letter sent by Rothschild to Balfour, referred to the principle “that Palestine should be reconstituted as the National Home of the Jewish people.”[67] In the final text, the word that was replaced with in to avoid committing the entirety of Palestine to this purpose. Similarly, the original drafts of Rothschild, Balfour and Milner did not include the commitment that nothing should be done which might prejudice the rights of the non-Jewish communities. These changes came about partly as the result of the urgings of Edwin Samuel Montagu, an influential anti-Zionist Jew and Secretary of State for India. Montagu, the only Jewish member of the British cabinet, voiced his opposition by declaring:

            “The policy of His Majesty’s Government is anti-Semitic in result and will prove a rallying ground for anti-Semites in every country of the world.[68]

            The draft was circulated and during October the government received replies from various representatives of the Jewish community. Lord Rothschild took exception to the new proviso on the basis that it presupposed the possibility of a danger to non-Zionists, which he denied.[69] At San Remo, as shown in the transcript of the San Remo meeting on the evening of 24 April, the French proposed adding to the savings clause so that it would save for non-Jewish communities their “political rights” as well as their civil and religious rights. The French proposal was rejected.

            (Wiki)

            And the consequences of this duplicity:

            The declaration had two indirect consequences, the emergence of a Jewish state and a chronic state of conflict between Arabs and Jews throughout the Middle East.[42]

            Starting in 1920, the Intercommunal conflict in Mandatory Palestine broke out, which widened into the regional Arab–Israeli conflict, primarily from 1948-73 but extending in a more limited manner to 2006, and finally became the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the ongoing local conflict which also began in 1948 and whose primary phase began following the 1964 foundation of the PLO.

            Jonathan Schneer’s 2010 study concluded that because the build-up to the declaration was characterized by “contradictions, deceptions, misinterpretations, and wishful thinking”, the declaration sowed dragon’s teeth and “produced a murderous harvest, and we go on harvesting even today.”[86][87] The foundational stone for modern Israel had been laid, but the prediction that this would lay the groundwork for harmonious Arab-Jewish cooperation proved to be wishful thinking.[88]

            The implementation of the declaration fed a disenchantment among the Arabs that alienated them from the British Mandatory Authorities.[42] Palestinian historian Rashid Khalidi has argued that following the Balfour Declaration there ensued “what amounts to a hundred years of war against the Palestinian people.”[89]

            (Wiki)

          • Anton

            Jack,

            I am not aware that Britain “promised the Arabs a State in Palestine in return for their fighting against the Germans”. I would very much welcome a reference for that statement. Nevertheless, the Arabs did almost no fighting against the Germans (the Arabs of Palestine certainly didn’t); mainly the Arabs tied down and fought the Turks. So any such promise that Britain did make was conditional on something that didn’t happen.

            In the secret Sykes-Picot agreement to carve up the postwar Middle East between Britain and France, Palestine was reserved for further consideration. So even if this agreement had been enacted, it involved no commitment by Britain regarding Palestine, and therefore no promise-breaking regarding Palestine. I do agree with you that this agreement was duplicitous in regard to Arabs in other parts of the Middle East. But in any case it was never enacted, because it was exposed to the world after the Russian communists found a copy in State files following the revolution and published it in order to embarrass France and Britain, who were then shamed into binning it.

            Next, did Britain break its word in the agreement between Henry McMahon, the British High Commissioner in Egypt, and Hussein bin Ali, a senior Arab leader who was, under the Turks, the Sherif or ruler of the Hejaz (which includes Mecca and Medina)? This agreement was to grant Arab independence in return for Arab uprising against the Turks. The Arabs did do that (Lawrence of Arabia etc.) But Palestine was deliberately kept out of the agreement by McMahon. The crucial letter of his to Hussein is dated 24th October 1915 and states that “portions of Syria lying to the west of the districts of Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo… must… be excepted”. That includes Palestine, but the word was not in common use among Arabs (NB!) and McMahon explained his phrasing a few years later in a letter of clarification to Sir John Shuckburgh of the British Colonial Office: “My reasons for restricting myself to specific mention of Damascus, Hama, Homs and Aleppo… were (1) these were places to which the Arabs attached vital importance and (2) that there was no place I could think of at the time of sufficient importance for purposes of definition, further south of the above. It was fully my intention to exclude Palestine as it was to exclude the more northern coastal tracts of Syria. I did not make use of the Jordan [river] to define the limits of the southern area because I thought it might possibly be considered desirable at some later stage of negotiations to endeavour to find some more suitable frontier line east of the Jordan…I have no recollection of ever having anything from the Sherif of Mecca… to make me suppose that he did not also understand Palestine to be excluded from independent Arabia.”

            In case you think that the latter statement is revisionism by McMahon, as some Arabs claim (beginning with George Antonius in his book “The Arab Awakening” and centring on the differing meaning of the word “vilayet” for “district” in Turkish and Arabic), notice that if Hussein and his son Faisal believed that Palestine had been allocated to them then they would have complained bitterly against the Balfour Declaration two years later. Yet, far from complaining, they specifically excluded Palestine (and Lebanon) from Arab national aspirations at the main post-war Peace Conference in Paris in 1919. Clearly they understood that Palestine was to be reserved for British administration.

            It remains to discuss Curzon’s statement. He had been confused into saying what he did by inconsistent memos written by Arnold Toynbee, later a historian but then a civil servant. The meaning of “vilayet”, and also Toynbee’s duplicity, are discussed in depth in the book “Palestine: A Twice Promised Land? The British, the Arabs and Zionism 1915-1920” by Isaiah Friedman, published in 2000. Years before, Friedman had even asked Toynbee to explain himself, but Toynbee never replied.

            So, no broken promises. If you disagree, please do not just put up more stuff from the internet. Please state the exact wording of which promise made when by which British representative to which Arab leader was broken, and the circumstances in which it was broken. Alternatively, please state which of the three non-promises above you take to be a breaking of British word to the Arabs regarding Palestine, and why.

            The motivation for the Balfour Declaration is not simple. There are many factors and nobody knows – or can know how powerfully each weighed on the final decision, even with the relevant Cabinet minutes available. Lloyd George gave some reasons in his memoirs written much later but those were likely to be self-serving. The Middle East was a major theatre of war, and it became clear that the Ottoman Empire would crumble. Britain, to protect its interests in the Suez Canal, would need to occupy Palestine as a buffer zone. The British were also aware that a pipeline from the oilfields of Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean would be an important strategic asset. (This was built after the war, and terminated at Haifa.) Britain also wanted diplomatic pretexts to keep the French, who had their own forces in the Middle East, out of Palestine, and was further aware of the influential Jewish community – including financiers – in Germany. A motivation for occupying Palestine that did not appear purely selfish would certainly suit the British. On the other hand many members of Lloyd George’s War Cabinet had firm evangelical backgrounds, and it is scarcely plausible that a non-religious Cabinet would make such a statement.

            As for the consequences of the Balfour Declaration, they have been and are still being discussed elsewhere on this thread. But Schneer bases the statement you quote on false premises.

          • Read the article Jack used. The citations and evidence are all in it.

            Jack actually meant the Arabs fighting the Ottoman Turks – the German allies.

            The Sykes-Picot agreement demonstrated duplicitous intent. As you say, it was binned because the Russians exposed it for what it was.

            And you seriously expect that convoluted statement by McMahon to carry weight? It’s veracity is disproved by Commander Hogarth’s visit to Hussein in January 1918 with the message that the “political and economic freedom” of the Palestinian population was not in question. Hogarth reported that Hussein “would not accept an independent Jewish State in Palestine, nor was I instructed to warn him that such a state was contemplated by Great Britain.” Mental reservation, or what?

            Continuing Arab disquiet over this led during 1918 to the Anglo-French Declaration, promising “the complete and final liberation of the peoples who have for so long been oppressed by the Turks, and the setting up of national governments and administrations deriving their authority from the free exercise of the initiative and choice of the indigenous populations.”

            Lord Grey, Foreign Secretary during the McMahon-Hussein negotiations, made it clear to the House of Lords that he entertained serious doubts as to the validity of the British government’s interpretation of the pledges which he, as foreign secretary, had given to Hussein in 1915. A Cabinet Eastern Committee meeting, chaired by Lord Curzon, which was held on 5 December 1918 and at which Balfour was in attendance, confirmed: Palestine was included in the areas as to which Great Britain pledged itself that they should be Arab and independent in the future.” Curzon was “confused” is your answer to this Cabinet Committee minute? Presumably, Lord Grey was too. Did he lie to the House of Lords?

            As for motives, agreed they were many and varied. They always are. However, whatever the motives, the dealings were essentially double-dealings and “agreements” and the Declaration were deliberately ambiguous in order to hide the end-game – a Jewish State of Israel.

            Leopold Amery, one of the Secretaries to the British War Cabinet of 1917–18, testified under oath to the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry in January 1946 from his personal knowledge that:

            “The phrase “the establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish people” was intended and understood by all concerned to mean at the time of the Balfour Declaration that Palestine would ultimately become a “Jewish Commonwealth” or a “Jewish State”, if only Jews came and settled there in sufficient numbers.” Was he self serving too in giving this evidence under oath? Or perhaps just a bit “confused”?

            David Lloyd George, who was Prime Minister at the time of the Balfour Declaration, told the Palestine Royal Commission in 1937 that it was intended that Palestine may become a Jewish Commonwealth if and when Jews “had become a definite majority of the inhabitants.” Lloyd George said, in the Report’s words:

            “In this critical situation it was believed that Jewish sympathy or the reverse would make a substantial difference one way or the other to the Allied cause. In particular Jewish sympathy would confirm the support of American Jewry, and would make it more difficult for Germany to reduce her military commitments and improve her economic position on the eastern front… The Zionist leaders gave us a definite promise that, if the Allies committed themselves to giving facilities for the establishment of a national home for the Jews in Palestine, they would do their best to rally Jewish sentiment and support throughout the world to the Allied cause. They kept their word.”

            (One can imagine what Hitler made of this revelation.)

            His Memoirs, published in 1939, provide further clarity:

            “The Balfour Declaration represented the convinced policy of all parties in our country and also in America, but the launching of it in 1917 was due, as I have said, to propagandist reasons…. The Zionist Movement was exceptionally strong in Russia and America…. It was believed, also, that such a declaration would have a potent influence upon world Jewry outside Russia, and secure for the Entente the aid of Jewish financial interests. In America, their aid in this respect would have a special value when the Allies had almost exhausted the gold and marketable securities available for American purchases. Such were the chief considerations which, in 1917, impelled the British Government towards making a contract with Jewry.”

            When he made this statement he was he lying? Self serving? Or confused?

            The history of the wording of the Declaration supports the accuracy of the statements by Amery and Lloyd George and a desire to mask its true intentions – i.e. a Jewish State in Palestine, in return for support in the war effort and to have a friendly nation towards the West, serving its geostrategic interests in that region. As recorded by Richard Meinertzhagen, in his Middle East Diary, 1917-1956, at a private meeting on 22 July 1922 at Balfour’s home, “L.G. and A.J.B both said that by the Declaration they always meant an eventual Jewish State.”

          • Anton

            Read the article Jack used. The citations and evidence are all in it.

            You gave no web address.

            Jack actually meant the Arabs fighting the Ottoman Turks – the German allies.

            In that case your statement that “Britain had previously promised the Arabs a state in Palestine in return for their fighting against the Germans” is untrue. As I explained, when McMahon offered the prime leader of the Arabs independence in Arab lands in return for an Arab uprising up against the Turks, he excepted Palestine.

            And you seriously expect that convoluted statement by McMahon to carry weight? It’s veracity is disproved by Commander Hogarth’s visit to Hussein in January 1918 with the message that the “political and economic freedom” of the Palestinian population was not in question. Hogarth reported that Hussein “would not accept an independent Jewish State in Palestine, nor was I instructed to warn him that such a state was contemplated by Great Britain.”

            Think for yourself and use original sources instead of quoting biased ones. What counts is what McMahon, the man authorised by Whitehall, said to Hussain the leader of the Arabs when making the deal. As follows: “portions of Syria lying to the west of the districts of Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo… must… be excepted”. Go look at a map; the Holy Land is to the south of these towns but all parts of it are west of them and it was part of Syria at the time. Had McMahon added Jerusalem to his letter to Hussein then he would have been failing to reserve the land running east of Jerusalem to the Jordan River, which was obviously part of Palestine. I find McMahon’s explanation for his choice of reference points convincing, you don’t, but that difference between us is irrelevant. Simply look at a map and read the words. Palestine is excluded. If Hussein had thought otherwise, why did he not loudly accuse the British of double dealing in regard to Palestine at the 1919 peace conference?

            I do not agree that the British foresaw – and systematically kept from the Arabs – the possibility of a Jewish State wholly independent of London. The British of the time were imperialists running an Empire, they had just won the greatest war in history, they had no cause to suppose that the Empire would come to an end, and they wanted oversight of Palestine because of the oil pipeline that terminated at Haifa and to guard the Suez Canal which was the short way to Imperial India. Clearly the most they foresaw was a satellite State dominated by Jews but taking its orders from London if push came to shove. Hogarth would have taken this view, but he was entitled to tell Hussein that he (Hussein) had never been promised any control over Palestine. And, as Balfour, San Remo and the League of Nations Mandate all affirmed, the Arabs of Palestine would suffer no harm to their civil and religious rights. As for their political rights as Arabs, London had never promised them those and they had had none under the Ottomans; that neither deteriorated nor improved. Any Arab who preferred to be under Arab rule was free to move to the other 99% of Arab lands in the Middle East; alternatively he could stay and share in the economic development of Palestine and get richer than his neighbours in Arab-run lands. In the 1930s many Arabs even migrated illegally into Palestine because they saw it booming; did you know that? The British Governor of the Sinai, C.S. Jarvis, passed comment to the effect that: “This illegal Arab immigration was not only going on from Sinai, but also from Transjordan and Syria, and it was very difficult to make out a case for the misery of the Arabs if at the same time their compatriots from adjoining states could not be kept from going in to share that misery” (United Empire magazine vol. 28 pp. 632-3; 1937). As for the Jews, they now had a homeland, just like all other peoples – the one they had been given by God long before, moreover.

            I have explained Curzon’s confusion, due to disingenuousness by Arnold Toynbee who briefed him. I have no idea why Lord Grey was grumbling but it makes no difference; the deal was cut between Hussein and McMahon and Palestine was excluded from it as I have shown. That is the promise we made to the Arabs and they knew it.

            Yes, Lloyd George’s memoirs were highly self-serving. If you read Barbara Tuchman’s book “Bible and Sword” about Anglo-Jewish relations she is scathing about his reasons. There were multiple reaons for the Balfour Declaration, as I have said, and trying to assert that one dominated all the others is futile.

          • We’ll leave it there.
            The historical records, speeches to Parliament, answers to questions under oath, Cabinet Committee meetings, and memoirs, all tell a different story to the one your peddling. The Arabs were deliberately misled about Britain’s hidden intention to create a Jewish State by stealth.

          • Anton

            Yes, we’ll leave it there, with you failing to respond to the detailed points and questions in my previous comment and defaulting to generalist propagandising.

            Britain in 1919 never thought that the Empire would end. It foresaw a Jewish-dominated State taking orders from London. It was not upfront at telling the Arabs that, but no word was broken because Palestine was always reserved out of British pacts with the Arabs.

            It is very easy to talk about injustices to Arabs but never consider the position of the Jews. Why do you do that?

          • Cressida de Nova

            Jack is the grandson of a Rabbi ,understands Judaism better than most,and is not anti semitic. The Catholic Church regards Judaism as closely related (elder brother) to their own beliefs.

          • If you read the discussion I can’t see that Jack is being called out as an anti Semite….

          • Anton

            Then let Jack get off his backside and use his supposedly superior knowledge to make his case. As it is, he wants me to summarise the case opposite to my own views and then knock it down while he sits on his backside watching. That’s like convincing a man to punch himself in a boxing ring and I’m not going to fall for it.

          • Anton

            You are asking me to write down a case against my views and then knock it down while you sit there watching and doing no intellectual work whatsoever. You must be joking. You are the one asserting here that such a case can be made. So make it here – if you can.

          • There’s a chap up towards the top of this thread eager to engage you in discussion on this subject. Why would Jack want to get embroiled in what is essentially a protestant argument?

          • Anton

            Jack’s motivation is a matter for Jack. But you asserted that such a case could be made, yet when I ask you to make it you repeatedly refuse and deflect and say that others can make it.

            Maybe you see problems in their argument? Maybe you are lazy? Whatever the reason, it’s fine by me if you want to behave like this in front of His Grace’s readers.

          • Just couldn’t be bothered given it would all speculative. As the Catholic Church says, the role of Israel and the Jewish people is a deep mystery known only to God and has yet to be fully revealed.

            We know there will always be Jews, until they convert, and we know the Holy Land is special. The Jewish faith and the hope of peaceful residency in Jerusalem and Canaan go hand in hand. We also know the People of God is no longer restricted to one nation but is now worldwide. Christians are the descendants of Abraham and inherit the promises through faith.
            How this all hangs together and will unfold is about interpreting scripture and, as you know, Jack really isn’t into applying cryptic prophecies to modern situations. Well, not without an authoritative interpreter one can rely on as authentic.

          • Anton

            Fair enough. The way forward is via the scriptures and, when Christians disagree about what the scriptures are saying, to continue to discuss it in charity. I have no criticism of anybody who prefers to sit out such discussions, but I do think they should not criticise the process. That is somewhat negative.

          • What’s wrong is not the speculation but basing one’s attitude – and therefore one’s political opinions and support – towards the middle east on such speculation.

          • Anton

            Not so. The principle is no different from Christian politicians arguing for laws based on biblical positions. It’s exactly what Aquinas did.

          • The moral laws revealed in scripture and through reason are a whole different ballgame to contested interpretations of the applicability of prophecies and ancient promises of God to Jewish Patriarchs.

          • Anton

            The question is whether a politician’s personal understanding of scripture should influence politics is identical. Why do you want to argue an exception to the answer Yes when the subject is international relations with Israel?

          • Please do not attempt to infer anti-Semitism lies behind my position. Jack would argue against using contested prophecy and uncertain scriptural Covenants to guide our dealings with any nation. Our guide should always be justice, fairness and honest dealings with others.

          • Anton

            No inference can be drawn from an unpremised question, Jack. The fact is that we disagree about certain parts of scripture, but a man of faith who finds himself in politics must in conscience let his actions be determined in part by his faith, must he not? You might wish to grumble that some actions of this sort are based on a different view of scripture from your own view. I’d probably do the same. But to insist that in certain circumstances a Christian politician “should not” act on his conscience, as informed by his understanding of the scriptures, raises the question of why. What are your criteria for when a Christian politician should and should not do so?

          • And if his conscience is malformed and in following it he knowingly and deliberately acts unjustly towards one group and shows favour to another? Is this what God wants? The criteria to follow is to be loving and just towards all. Plus, a Christian would show openness and honesty in his dealings with parties – not hide his true motives and deliberately deceive.

            After all, Caiaphas followed his conscience in condemning Christ.

          • Anton

            You are avoiding my question. A man of faith who finds himself in politics must in conscience let his actions be determined in part by his faith, must he not? If not, what are your criteria for when a Christian politician should and should not do so?

          • No, Jack is not avoiding your question. As he commented:
            The criteria to follow is to be loving and just towards all. God will secure His purposes without the need for evil. A Christian would show openness and honesty in his dealings with all parties – not hide his true motives and deliberately deceive.

          • Anton

            I’m content at this point for readers to review this subthread and decide for themselves.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack’s point is we cannot run policy on the basis of contested interpretations of scripture.

            Who is “we”?

          • Us …

          • Anton

            Consider yourself lucky it’s not the Inquisition asking you these questions.

          • carl jacobs

            OK. A little more specificity might be helpful …

          • People …

          • Pubcrawler

            “nation state of Israel needs to sort out its issues with the Palestinians”

            Yes, and for that for happen the Palestinian Arabs need to sort out their issues with the very existence of a State of Israel. They’ve been duplicitous at best since 1948, I wouldn’t hold your breath if I were you.

          • bluedog

            With Saudi Arabia as president of the UN Human Rights Commission the whole thing has descended into pure farce. Presumably they are there to enforce Wahhabism globally.

          • Anton

            I don’t care about the UN or the Quran and I don’t see why you should either.

          • carl jacobs

            The UN doesn’t determine policy, Jack. In fact, it would be better for everyone if the UNGA didn’t actually publish anything. It doesn’t say anything important, and what it does say is frequently embarrassing.

            Does the UNSC recognize this Covenant? No, but the US will make sure the UNSC doesn’t do anything foolish about Israel. And that is enough.

          • Royinsouthwest

            The Anglo-Saxons came over from Germany after the Jews had been expelled from Israel by the Romans. Could the English reclaim the part of Germany their remote ancestors came from?

          • bluedog

            Preferably not. There was a recent survey of British DNA, possibly with German backing, that appeared to legitimise a reverse claim, namely that the British were in effect, Germans. Brexit make have popped that particular Teutonic thought-bubble.

          • Pubcrawler

            We don’t need to because (for the time being) we have a homeland of our own in which we can (soon, again) govern our own affairs.

          • dannybhoy

            I have a modern interpretation of the Old Testament, (Tenach). It’s very readable, and I am presently in the Kethuvim section (the Writings). Just finished Daniel and Ezra and now into Nehemiah. Nehemiah is a great account of the rebuilding and resettlement of Jerusalem,
            Chapter 9 especially tells about the repentance and re-dedication of the people to the Only True God.
            Anyway my point is that the Arabs are mentioned in chapter 4…

            Historically it’s not all that long ago that these things happened.
            The Exodus from Egypt around 1446BC
            David made king around 1010BC
            Around 722BC Israel is led into captivity and other peoples are brought into Samaria
            Around 597BC the kingdom of Judah was taken and Jerusalem razed to the ground
            Around 444BC Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem.

            (Islam was founded in 622AD)
            So there is the Biblical account of God’s dealings with the Jews, and no renouncement of their claim to the land anywhere.
            I think the modern parcelling up of the Middle East and the Balfour Declaration of 1917 is a clear example of God’s sovereignty and His divine timeline for human history. Our country was the major power and Christianity was the dominant influence. There were godly and Christian men who recognised the Biblical and prophetic significance of their actions.
            (Tongue in cheek)
            Something I find strange is how those here who recently so ardently argued for God’s sovereignty/mictomanagement over human affairs, somehow can’t accept that the return of the Jews to Palestine after ww2 and the subsequent establishment of the State of Israel has anything to do with Him?
            I would have thought this would have served as a prime example….

        • carl jacobs

          And when was “their land” taken over by “people from other countries”?

          • Dreadnaught

            More to the point who the hell are ‘They’ having never esisted as a nation before the ‘ 67 War.

          • Royinsouthwest

            The Americans never existed as a nation before 1776. Do you think the United States should be handed back to the “Native Americans” or “Red Indians” as they were called when I was a kid.

          • Pubcrawler

            When I was a child I used to think that, yes. But then it dawned on me that we’d have to have all the Yanks back over here, and I quickly went off the idea.

            But then Europeans have no ancestral links to that land, unlike Jews in Israel.

          • Dreadnaught

            No – handed back to the British.

          • carl jacobs

            As an aside, I have upvoted this comment four times now because Disqus seems to drop my upvote for no apparent reason. Has anyone else noticed this behavior?

          • Royinsouthwest

            Where did the Israelis or their parents or grand parents come from?

          • carl jacobs

            They came from Europe to an uninhabited backwater that was then a League of Nations Mandate. They did not come with guns, but with tools. They bought land and developed it. They did not invade and expel the inhabitants. Arab fear was induced by the prospect Israeli industry. Arabs feared the land would lose its dominant Muslim character. That is why they rejected Israel. That is why they started what became the War of Independence.

            There was no Palestine in 1947. There had never been a Palestine in the Ottoman Empire. There was the Mandate and the UN partition. It was the Arabs who rejected that partition. It was the Arabs who started a war they thought would end in pillage and rape and slaughter. Too bad for them they were wrong.

          • Anton

            Yes you are right, but you must get the fine detail correct when you debate with enemies rather than friends. The Palestine Post was a Jewish newspaper in the 1930s.

          • Anton

            Yes you are right, but you must get the fine detail correct when you debate with enemies rather than friends. The Palestine Post was a Jewish newspaper in the 1930s.

          • carl jacobs

            OK, but the point I was making is that the idea of Arab Palestine is a very modern idea that emerged as a reaction to the formation of Israel. If there had never been an Israeli, what we call Palestine would be part of Jordan.

          • Anton

            Yes indeed.

          • Pubcrawler

            A lot of them were there already, as they had been for millennia. Others came from Muslim lands because they were thrown out after 1948. And some came from Europe.

            Now, where did the ancestors of the Palestinian Arabs come from? The soil?

        • Dude

          I agree. The Romans . Dam bugggers.

          • Pubcrawler

            They’d bugger anything, them Romans. Have you read any Catullus?

      • dannybhoy

        Hamas has a charter -a bucket list if you like, and the destruction of Israel is right at the top of that list….

        • Dude

          The antisemitic Hamas charter calls for the extermination of all Jews. They are a clear and present danger to the children of Israel and need to be given a through thrashing.

          • dannybhoy

            I agree Shmu’el, but Jews and Israel are losing the support and confidence of the majority, and most people can’t be bothered to research the arguments regarding the founding of Israel, or else they are browbeaten or intimidated by the Anti Israel/Zionist lobby.
            We used to see programmes about Israel, the land and the people; but now the UK msm ignores it -because it’s safer to ignore it. So Jewish and Christian leaders need to be getting together for mutual support and dissemination of the truth.

          • Tell that to happy Happy Jack. Dude you mean well and I welcome people of good will such as yourself .

          • dannybhoy

            Thank’s Shmu’el. Love and greetings to the rest of the family.

      • Royinsouthwest

        In my comment I defended the Israelis from the criticisms made by the exhibition in the Methodist church which were bad enough even without the comments of the bigot who signed the visitors book. Even so I have been criticised by people like yourself and Anton who evidently regard the Arabs as a species who have no rights at all. Those who say the Arabs should either leave Israel or simply accept living in a Jewish state, as opposed to a secular state with a very large proportion of Jews, are expecting the Arabs to make sacrifices that Americans, Britons, French people, Germans etc. would never dream of making.

        • carl jacobs

          Can you explain how your Secular state would work? Because I can’t. Until the Palestinians accept that the ultimate solution to the problem is not “Kill all the Jews!” there is no possibility of this Secular state you envision.

          There is a lesson for the Arabs in this conflict. The lesson is “Don’t start a war of annihilation and then lose it “. I have no sympathy for them. Until they learn to submit, they can live with a boot on their throat.

        • bluedog

          There do not appear to be any exact parallels between the Israel-Palestinian situation and other fairly recent instances that may be broadly similar. These examples would be the occupation and domination of the Americas by Europeans, as well as Australia, New Zealand and at one point, southern Africa. The distinguishing feature of the Israeli-Palestine dispute is that there was unquestionably an earlier Jewish state extant in those lands as well as unbroken Jewish settlement thereof. Both demographics can therefore claim Aboriginal, or First Nation status, although the Jewish claim appears to be much stronger in that the Palestinians seem to be a later arrival.

          Whoever the Jews are today in an ethnic sense, and you seem to be trying to paint them as Europeans, their religious and cultural affiliation to the land that is now Israel cannot be denied. It is a remarkable feature of Jewish history that this is so. Inferring that the Jews today are really Europeans is just another way of delegitimising the state of Israel.

        • Anton

          Kindly quote to me verbatim where I said words equivalent to my “regard[ing] the Arabs as a species who have no rights at all” or withdraw the claim and apologise.

    • David

      Quite !
      The liberal-left is carefully choosy about which injustices to champion and which to ignore. For such Churches their claimed sense of “Christian” charity and care, is only ever applied through the lens of political correctness; a Marxist creed which tells them which victim groups should be paraded, and which ignored. Jesus did not discriminate, politically, between groups in this way, but dealt with the world as it presented itself to him.

  • chefofsinners

    Hear that whirring noise? ‘Tis the Wesley brothers doing 4000 rpm in their graves.

    Or perhaps frantically scribbling amendments to their hymns:

    Come thou disrespected Jesus
    Born to make thy people flee
    From our Zionism release us
    Let us find arrest in Thee

    Israel’s strengh and consolation,
    What is this Zionist crap…? La la la

  • chefofsinners

    May I be the first to congratulate comrade Corbyn on his victory and say that I have always fully supported him despite having called him an unelectable pea-brained communist total disaster for the party who must be stopped at all costs.

  • Anton

    Not that I intend to be more than a spectator on who-is-Linus’-incarnation-today discussions, but someone calling himself by that name has just posted in French on the preceding thread.

  • dannybhoy

    No Church should be anti Israel or criticise its actions in such a way that it gives legitimacy to those who hate the State of Israel or Jews in general.
    And unfortunately that is what is happening, and those Churches will find themselves joined to those who are at war with God and His purposes for our world.
    Romans 11>
    “25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers:[d] a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
    “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
    27 “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
    28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.
    29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

    The Jews are still here because they are God’s Covenant people according to the original Covenant. Most do not recognise the truth of Jeremiah 31> and so continue in unbelief as Paul makes clear..

    “31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

    And as Jesus in the flesh was a Jew who came to His own, and St Paul was a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, we Christians should support them, respect them and share our faith whenever possible.
    Our Lord Jesus is indeed coming back to this world, and He will be returning to a Jerusalem in the hands of the Jewish people and an Israel inhabited by Israelis…

    • Danny, I agree no church should be anti-Israel. I am not sure that churches should be pro-Israel. Churches, in so far as they comment on international matters at all, should be for righteousness and oppose injustice.

      I am reading with interest Anton and Carl’s comments. I normally find myself on the same page but this time I’m not so sure. I’m not sure whether their support for Israel’s present legitimacy in Palestine is based on NearEast politics of the last 70 or so years or a biblical right of divine covenant. The political history of 70 years I can understand but of a biblical a priori right I am much less convinced.

      Israel is presently apostate (rejects Messiah) and has no right to the land until the nation repents and says of Christ, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,’. Even then, I am not sure that the land they inherit as a rest upon national conversion is the strip of land we call Palestine. Rather, it seems that the land they inherit (along with all gentile believers) is a new heavens and new earth. The converted nation will belong not to the present Jerusalem (which is in bondage) but to the Jerusalem above, the New Jerusalem, the eschatological City of God.

      • carl jacobs

        Just to be clear, I do not believe the present state of Israel has any eschatological significance. Neither do I think it has any connection to the Biblical state of Israel.

        • Thanks Carl

        • dannybhoy

          Well you’re wrong then, aren’t you.
          You people can’t argue for God’s sovereignty in human affairs and then disregard something as momentous as the re-birth of the nation of Israel. And it doesn’t MATTER how it came about: the fact is that ‘Israel Is real’ as a popular t-shirt once said.
          If as many of you state that God has it all planned out, and we’re just going through the re-runs, why can’t you accept what the Scriptures teach?
          Acts 1>
          “6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
          7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
          8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
          9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
          10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes,
          11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

          Ask yourself where they were, and why our Lord came in the first place.
          Couple it with the first six verses of Paul’s letter to Romans 11, Also Zechariah 14

          Matthew 15>
          “21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon.(that’s present day Lebanon incidentally)
          22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.[e]

          • carl jacobs

            Is there a temple? No. Is there a priesthood? No? Can the priesthood be re-established? Not without divine intervention. And why would God do that since we already have a perfect high priest? Israel ceased to exist when the Romans destroyed the Temple. It had served its purpose to bring forth the Messiah. That physical kingdom is gone forever.

            What is in the Middle East today? A state of Jews called Israel. But that state is not the descendent of the state destroyed by Rome. It does not point to the Messiah for it rejects the Messiah and knows not God. The Judaism of today is not the Judaism of 2000 years ago. It is a false religion that serves a false god. It is not the bearer of Covenant promises. Israel is just a state – like Belgium or Thailand. Nothing more.

            So what then of the Jews? They like the Gentiles are called into one Church – all of them redeemed in accordance with the Abrahamic Covenant. For God does not forget His covenant promises. And we are all now one in Christ Jesus.

          • dannybhoy

            No not yet is there a temple or a priesthood. But rest assured the Jewish people know who are Cohenim and who are Levites. They kept records you see..
            Will there be a third temple?
            I suspect so. There are preparations for one. Rabbi Saul makes it clear that the Jews are in a state of unbelief. They(as a whole) rejected the Messiah, we as a few accepted Him. The Church, the Bride of Christ is made up of both Jews and Gentiles.
            Also it is an insult to God’s Covenant people to say that,
            “The Judaism of today is not the Judaism of 2000 years ago. It is a false religion that serves a false god. It is not the bearer of Covenant promises. Israel is just a state – like Belgium or Thailand. Nothing more.”
            Where do you think our Jewish brethren came from? Are they not the descendants of ancient Israel, no matter how much unbelief or rejection of their faith they manifest?
            Without apology I reprint here Nehemiah 9..

            “The People of Israel Confess Their Sin
            9 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads. 2 And the Israelites separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day; for another quarter of it they made confession and worshipped the Lord their God. 4 On the stairs of the Levites stood Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani; and they cried with a loud voice to the Lord their God. 5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Stand up and bless the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.

            6 [a] “You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you. 7 You are the Lord, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham. 8 You found his heart faithful before you, and made with him the covenant to give to his offspring the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite. And you have kept your promise, for you are righteous.

            9 “And you saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and heard their cry at the Red Sea, 10 and performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for you knew that they acted arrogantly against our fathers. And you made a name for yourself, as it is to this day. 11 And you divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on dry land, and you cast their pursuers into the depths, as a stone into mighty waters. 12 By a pillar of cloud you led them in the day, and by a pillar of fire in the night to light for them the way in which they should go. 13 You came down on Mount Sinai and spoke with them from heaven and gave them right rules and true laws, good statutes and commandments, 14 and you made known to them your holy Sabbath and commanded them commandments and statutes and a law by Moses your servant. 15 You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger and brought water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and you told them to go in to possess the land that you had sworn to give them.

            16 “But they and our fathers acted presumptuously and stiffened their neck and did not obey your commandments. 17 They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them. 18 Even when they had made for themselves a golden[b] calf and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt’, and had committed great blasphemies, 19 you in your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud to lead them in the way did not depart from them by day, nor the pillar of fire by night to light for them the way by which they should go. 20 You gave your good Spirit to instruct them and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst. 21 For forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell.

            22 “And you gave them kingdoms and peoples and allotted to them every corner. So they took possession of the land of Sihon king of Heshbon and the land of Og king of Bashan. 23 You multiplied their children as the stars of heaven, and you brought them into the land that you had told their fathers to enter and possess. 24 So the descendants went in and possessed the land, and you subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hand, with their kings and the peoples of the land, that they might do with them as they would. 25 And they captured fortified cities and a rich land, and took possession of houses full of all good things, cisterns already hewn, vineyards, olive orchards and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate and were filled and became fat and delighted themselves in your great goodness.

            26 “Nevertheless, they were disobedient and rebelled against you and cast your law behind their back and killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you, and they committed great blasphemies. 27 Therefore you gave them into the hand of their enemies, who made them suffer. And in the time of their suffering they cried out to you and you heard them from heaven, and according to your great mercies you gave them saviours who saved them from the hand of their enemies. 28 But after they had rest they did evil again before you, and you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they had dominion over them. Yet when they turned and cried to you, you heard from heaven, and many times you delivered them according to your mercies. 29 And you warned them in order to turn them back to your law. Yet they acted presumptuously and did not obey your commandments, but sinned against your rules, which if a person does them, he shall live by them, and they turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck and would not obey. 30 For many years you bore with them and warned them by your Spirit through your prophets. Yet they would not give ear. Therefore you gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands. 31 Nevertheless, in your great mercies you did not make an end of them or forsake them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.

            32 “Now, therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love, let not all the hardship seem little to you that has come upon us, upon our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until this day. 33 Yet you have been righteous in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly. 34 Our kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers have not kept your law or paid attention to your commandments and your warnings that you gave them. 35 Even in their own kingdom, and amid your great goodness that you gave them, and in the large and rich land that you set before them, they did not serve you or turn from their wicked works. 36 Behold, we are slaves this day; in the land that you gave to our fathers to enjoy its fruit and its good gifts, behold, we are slaves. 37 And its rich yield goes to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins. They rule over our bodies and over our livestock as they please, and we are in great distress.

            38 [c] “Because of all this we make a firm covenant in writing; on the sealed document are the names of[d] our princes, our Levites, and our priests.

          • It’s the idea of a reconstituted priesthood, temple, offerings that I find most difficult to swallow. I was brought up in a dispensationalism that taught this. I embraced it myself for man years but eventually the force of the NTs teaching seemed to me to render this impossible. We are told clearly in Hebrews that the whole levitical system has passed away with the covenant of law to which it belonged. The OC is fulfilled and superseded by a a superior covenant, the new covenant. This covenant does not have earthly priests, holy places etc but heavenly ones. We live in new covenant days. To go back to the law is to go back to immaturity. Zion is not an earthly city but a heavenly one (one belonging to the age to come) to which by faith believers, Jew and gentile belong presently. It is this city and country that Abraham anticipated. The land is not Palestine but a new heavens and new earth. Hebrews seems to me to be compelling here. As does Galatians 3,4. 2 cor 3 is also germane. Ephesians 2. The people of God, the little flock of Messiah, are not two peoples, Gentile nd Jews, but one flock with one shepherd (Jn 10), one new man in Christ (Eph 2). To be sure God intends to save many Gentiles and the nation of Israel. At the present he is saving largely Gentiles and when he has completed their salvation he will save Israel as a nation but both when saved are part of one body, one new man, the church in which there is neither Jew nor gentile for these old world distinctions are removed forever in the new eschatological community.

            I ask where in the NT are we encouraged to see Israel and the believing nations future in terms of Palestine and a reconstituted Judaism. Indeed, as I’ve tried to demonstrate, is not the opposite the case.

          • dannybhoy

            Good stuff John, and I enjoy the exchanges because it helps us both to think about what we really believe. I think there is academic theology and there is living theology, where we can feel secure enough and free enough to discuss the Scriptures (as the devout Jews still do … :0)
            The greatest influence in my life was from the Open Brethren who established Gospel Halls. They placed great emphasis on knowing the Scriptures, and whilst perhaps not right in all issues, nevertheless they stood for a Biblical Gospel.
            The re-birth of Israel was a part of their teachings and that we are rooted in the olive stock which is Christ Jesus..
            “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.” Isaiah 11.
            The Church has not replaced Israel but rather has come early into the New Israel, the Bride of Christ. So the two things have run side by side for the last 2000 years.
            “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,” Ros 11:25
            And yes, the old Mosaic priestly system with its sacrifices and ifferings has passed away. But not as far as devoutJews are concerned. They continue in blindness and seeking to return to that old Covenant.
            But that can’t happen because the Meshiach has come: no more sacrifices!

            But just as I think the times of the Gentiles (the years of grace) are coming to an end, so I believe God’s end-time programme concerning Israel will kick in.
            Israel was never a nation of devout Jews. There was always a part who turned away to other gods, always. But I think God will continue protecting Israel and more will return to Him, whether as devout Jews or as Messianic Jews. God looks in the heart and I believe He hears the prayers of devout Jews too. He always has…

      • Anton

        Read the prophecy of Ezekiel (36:24-26) of a return without commitment to God followed by spiritual cleansing. Today’s Jews have returned to the Holy Land holding mainly secular beliefs (whereas the return from Babylon was led by the godly), and the number of Jewish congregations in the Holy Land who follow Jesus is increasing. To what else can this prophecy refer?

        • dannybhoy

          Right on. Nowhere does prophecy say that the Jews would return a holy and believing people, only that God would gather them in from wherever they had been scattered. Personally I can’t see how anyone could expect them to be anything other than they are after 2000 years of persecution topped off by the Holocaust…
          Would any of us feel inclined to worship Him?

        • Anton, I’m not sure that Ezekiel 36 assumes a return to the land prior to a renewed heart. Ezekiel 36 is surely built on Deut 30 which is the foundational text regarding Israel’s blessing. There it is when the people return to the Lord that they are restored to the land. That was the pattern in the past with a remnant as you point out. It seems to me to be the expectation for the future. BUT, I am not dogmatic about this and open to persuasion.

          • dannybhoy

            Zechariah 14.
            There are two threads of salvation in Scripture.
            God’s universal offer of salvation John 3:16, but the Bible acknowledges not all will respond.
            God’s Covenant with the nation of Israel. Never rescinded by God. He also says through the prophet Jeremiah that the days will come when He will make a new Covenant.. which we believe is what we now enjoy, salvation through Christ Jesus. The Jewish people will not all be saved because like us goyyim not all will embrace His Son and His salvation. But there is no doubt that the Jewish people, both devout and unbelieving will be involved in the end times…

      • dannybhoy

        I have a modern interpretation of the Old Testament, (Tenach). It’s very readable, and I am presently in the Kethuvim section (the Writings). Just finished Daniel and Ezra and now into Nehemiah. Nehemiah is a great account of the rebuilding and resettlement of Jerusalem,
        Chapter 9 especially tells about the repentance and re-dedication of the people to the Only True God.
        Anyway my point is that the Arabs are mentioned in chapter 4…

        Historically it’s not all that long ago that these things happened.
        The Exodus from Egypt around 1446BC
        David made king around 1010BC
        Around 722BC Israel is led into captivity and other peoples are brought into Samaria
        Around 597BC the kingdom of Judah was taken and Jerusalem razed to the ground
        Around 444BC Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem.

        (Islam was founded in 622AD)
        So there is the Biblical account of God’s dealings with the Jews, and no renouncement of their claim to the land anywhere.
        I think the modern parcelling up of the Middle East and the Balfour Declaration of 1917 is a clear example of God’s sovereignty and His divine timeline for human history. Our country was the major power and Christianity was the dominant influence. There were godly and Christian men who recognised the Biblical and prophetic significance of their actions.
        (Tongue in cheek)
        Something I find strange is how those here who recently so ardently argued for God’s sovereignty/micromanagement over human affairs, somehow can’t accept that the return of the Jews to Palestine after ww2 and the subsequent establishment of the State of Israel has anything to do with Him?
        I would have thought this would have served as a prime example….

        • Danny,

          I have no doubt that the return of Israel to Palestine is as a result of God’s sovereignty in human affairs. What I am questioning is that this is a fulfilment of prophecy.

          Didn’t see your comment on sovereignty. Please repost and I’ll respond. Not that my understanding of sovereignty is a flag I feel I must wave.

          John

          • dannybhoy

            Well John, a good Messianic balanced book on prophecy might help on understanding why people see it as a fulfilment of prophecy. For me it is evident that the Jewish people and Israel will play a pivotal prophetic role in the end times. There is no rescinding of God’s Covenant with the people of Israel, and of course as Rabbi Saul says in Romans, “Salvation is of the Jews..”

          • Can only give a short response just now. Firstly, the basic principle I use for understanding the OT is through the perspective of the writers of the NT; they lay down the prism for understanding.

            I take it that the covenants of the OT find their fulfilment in Christ. In him the NC has arrived. All who are in him are recipients of this covenant. They are the covenant people, the Israel of God. Jesus established the eschatological community, the new Israel, in choosing the twelve.

            This does not negate the promises to Israel. They will come (as a nation) into the new covenant blessings, not at his first coming but at his second. Then Israel will believe (either just before his coming or perhaps at his coming). Romans 11.

            I’ll try to respond later.

          • dannybhoy

            I agree with all that you have written John. One little point; when we talk about the writers of the NT, essentially that would be Rabbi Saul or Paul as we know him. He was a Pharisee and probably well aware of the various strands of Jewish thought at the time. Peter, James and the writer of Hebrews add to it, but in essence it is St Paul who provides so much of our understanding.

            But In Jewish history there were rabbis and learned men who had already concluded that Messiah would be born, where He would be born, that He would be God in human form, that He would die for the sins of the people (the Passover Lamb), and that He would establish an everlasting kingdom.
            Some rabbis thought there must be two Messiahs; one who would be the suffering servant and die for their sins in order to usher in the New Covenant; the other one who would be the conquering King ruling over all the earth… from the Vatican. No sorry, Lambeth Palace. Or rather Jerusalem. Remeber that the Jews regard Jerusalem as the centre of the Earth.
            We mustn’t make the mistake of thinking the Jews didn’t know their own Scriptures. There were some rabbis who became convinced that Jesus was in fact the Messiah and became followers, and of course there are many more Jews who have embraced the salvation that is in Jesus Christ.
            Salvation is of the Jews!
            The other thing is that the Bible talks about two Israels, the earthly and the heavenly. Anyone born a Jew has access to God’s Covenant promises, but not all Jews will embrace this. In fact in this respect they are no different to unbelieving Goyyim, and hence we see a secular Israel and Jews who like some of the Children of Israel embrace atheism or other other gods..
            The heavenly Israel consists of both Jews and Gentiles who have found salvation in Christ Jesus the Messiah, and become the Bride of Christ.
            Alleluia!
            Thus St Paul says in Romans chapter 11>

            “17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root[c] of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant towards the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.”

          • I agree there were various rabbinical understandings not all wide off the mark. Yet it is the NT apostles to whom the Spirit would reveal in greater detail that which Jesus began to reveal before the cross and more fully after his resurrection. To the, principally Paul, is revealed ‘the mystery’ not fully revealed or fully clear in the OT. This mystery is faith union with a risen Christ and all its implications.

            I agree too with the two Israel’s – ethnic and spiritual (a subset of ethnic Israel). You have focussed (as your inclination is) on Israel’s/the human part in the drama… israels responsibility to believe and failure to do so. This is mainly Romans 10. However, Romans 9 focuses on an even more fundamental component in the history of Israel and faith and that is God’s part in the drama. It has priority. Paul says essentially there is a spiritual Israel and an Israel hardened in unbelief because of God’s choice; he has mercy on whom he will have mercy and hardens whom he wills. Roms 9.

          • dannybhoy

            Again we find ourselves in 90% agreement, except that I and others would argue that God’s hardening is not in terms of selection, but ‘choice.’ So within those periods of grace the Holy Spirit will work to draw as many into the Kingdom as possible, “Impel them to come in.”
            Once God the Holy Spirit ceases His work (My Spirit will not always strive with men), then it is too late: The door is shut, (Seek ye the Lord while He may be found/Today is the acceptable day of salvation/ the five foolish virgins..
            This is God’s grace at work John, and this is God’s sovereignty. His purposes will be accomplished, and one day the end time plan will be set in motion.

          • Aquinas reconciles freedom with predestination by saying that God’s love is so powerful that he not only gets what he wants but he also gets it in the way that he wants. Not only is everything done that God wills to be done, but it is also done in the way he wants it to be done. It happens without freedom in the case of natural things like falling rain and freely in the case of human choices. A power a little less than total may get what it wants without getting it in the way that it wants it. But omnipotence gets both. And the way omnipotence wants human acts done is freely.

            Jack thinks you have a narrow and wrong view of predestination, God’s sovereignty and man’s free will. You would do well to research the ideas of Molinism, named after the Jesuit theologian Luis de Molina. He reconciles the providence of God with human free will.

            Here’s a neat summary of the main ideas and they avoid the pitfalls of Open Theology and Moral Command theology.

            http://www.ewtn.com/library/Theology/MOSTSOLV.HTM

          • dannybhoy

            ” It happens without freedom in the case of natural things like falling rain and freely in the case of human choices.”
            That sentence I don’t have a problem with. My problem is that as I said before some strands of theology lead to a form of fatalism. i.e. God’s got it all worked out, so I need do nothing. It takes away a sense of dynamism and urgency.
            I don’t really see where my view of predestination is any more narrow or wrong than yours Jack, and I think I will continue to be guided by our Lord’s observation “By their fruits shall ye know them.”
            The Christian faith is a relational one first and foremost, and whilst the study of theology appeals to some, it is not essential in understanding the basics of the Gospel. Jesus spoke so that we all might understand Him, from the smallest to the greatest. Theology is only useful if it leads us closer to God rather than other theologians… ;0)

          • dannybhoy

            Here’s the first little chunk from your link..
            PREDESTINATION

            Definition of Terms:

            “Predestination means an arrangement of Divine Providence to see to it that someone gets either, 1) heaven or 2) full membership in the Church. We specify full membership because there is also a lesser degree, a substantial membership which can suffice for final salvation.
            From the beginning, the two kinds have usually been telescoped, i. e., no distinction was made. Thus the parable of the banquet has been understood to refer to both final salvation and to full membership in the Church. This is regrettable, for the two are different in themselves, different in the principles on which God makes His decisions.

            Reprobation is the unfavorable decision, to let someone go to final ruin.”

            and so on. Now if this kind of stuff floats your boat, great. Personally it rather reminds me of ‘lawyerspeak’…..

            Cf John 3:16 or Revelation 3:20 or even Romans 10:9+10.

          • Theology tends towards a precise definition of language and terms. Did you trouble to read the rest? You claim to be an adherent of moral command theology. Do you understand it and the way it diminishes God’s sovereignty?

          • dannybhoy

            I said I was greatly influenced by the Moral Government of God teaching, and that whilst I don’t accept all of it I do accept some. Plus some other bits and pieces from other more mainstream thinking. A real picker and chooser me Jack. How I ever make it through my prayer times and church commitments is a mystery…

          • dannybhoy

            And some theology tends towards Nazism Jack.
            Case in point Martin Heidegger…
            “Heidegger’s family was of lower middle class origin. His mother came from a peasant background and his father was an artisan. He was a promising student and won a scholarship to attend secondary school in Konstanz. There he attended a preparatory school for the novitiate. The school was established by the Catholic Church hierarchy as a bastion of conservatism against the growing influence of liberalism and Protestantism in the region. Nevertheless some of the secular faculty of the school held decisively democratic and progressive ideals. Their lectures were among the most popular at the school. We do not know exactly how these progressive ideas were received by the young Heidegger. We do know that at an early and formative period he was already confronted by the interplay of ideas that were battling for supremacy in his part of Germany. We also know that by the time Heidegger received his baccalaureate degree, he had rejected the vocation of priest in favor of that of scholar. He also became heavily involved in the partisan and cultural struggles of his time. By the time he was in his early twenties, he was a leader in a student movement that embraced the ideals of right-wing Catholic populism.
            https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2000/04/heid-a03.html

            The point is Jack relying on intellectuals does not necessarily lead you closer to God…

          • What has Heidegger got to do with the writings of Luis de Molina?

          • dannybhoy

            Heidegger was regarded as a theologian wasn’t he, and what I am pointing out is that intellectual prowess does not necessarily lead to Godliness.

          • Well, that’s a given and hardly relevant to the topic in hand.

          • dannybhoy

            Well it is Jack. Most folks do not understand the finer points of theology, and perhaps just maybe that’s why Jesus spoke in parables. Your Molina stuhf would mean nothing to most of us because we just want to live life not analyse and dissect it.

          • And yet you claim to have been saved by a very doubtful theology.

          • dannybhoy

            Whaaaat?!
            No Jack, God saved me.
            He drew me to repentance by the witness of Christians, the saintliness of Christians and the prayers of Christians. All working together through the Holy Spirit to face me up with my sinfulness and rebellion.
            The thinking about theological issues came much later..
            Had it been theology first I’d have had it. It’s relational Jack, not intellectual.. ;0)

          • Jack knows that. He was quoting your earlier comment:

            “What set me free (I think!) was whilst in YWAM, hearing teaching on the Moral Government of God.”
            It’s you who has been raising the question of human free will and God’s sovereignty and, in my understanding of scripture, getting it wrong by accepting free will by diminishing God.

          • dannybhoy

            Set me free in my thinking on God’s sovereignty, free will and predestination. I had questions on those issues before I joined YWAM, but they didn’t bother me that much that I doubted my salvation etc. Everyone who reflects on these issues must find their own understanding based on Scripture that satisfies their integrity and intellect: which is what theologians do. However it is quite possible to turn theology into an intellectual exercise of scoring points and continual sniping. This in my view achieves nothing.

          • Some questions are – perhaps? – best left alone. And yet, the interplay between God’s sovereignty, human free will and the nature of predestination is central in considering God’s salvation plan, and lies at the back of many, if not all, theological differences between the Christian denominations.

          • dannybhoy

            Agreed, but there are no solutions that satisfy all of us either intellectually or emotionally. And I doubt very much we will have a solution to it this side of Eternity.
            As I said to John Thomson below, there is indisputable evidence for the two major views, that’s undeniable.
            But we don’t really know what predestination means, we don’t really know what God means by His sovereignty in human affairs. It’s all conjecture by our best brains, and the explanations can become so convoluted that you may need a degree just to understand the sub headings..
            So I came to choose those verses and passages that point towards our freewill and God’s restraint in ruling our affairs.I choose to follow the passages that point to His love for mankind, shown in Jesus Christ, His continual call for us to repent and turn to Him. This view too is Scriptural and it satisfies my intellect.

          • Read the link by William Most about Molina that Jack posted. It’s very good. It’s a third view. This is a solid article too:

            http://www.bilynskyj.com/papers/freewill.htm

          • dannybhoy

            Well you’ll be pleased to know that I have printed this one off for my resources file. I have never heard of this article before, and obviously I haven’t read all of it, having stopped at the end of the article on Luther and Erasmus..
            What I would already take issue with is where Luther says..
            “Thus the discussion of free will is anything but inexpedient or superfluous. It is absolutely crucial to maintain that salvation is the work of God alone; the notion of free will threatens that crucial point.”
            Alternatively we could say that God provided salvation and it’s for man to choose. No contribution by man, only acquiescence or rejection.(Although I must admit that in the case of my own conversion there was no way I could consider rejection after God so clearly showing me my sinfulness.)

            ” This is a decidedly Pauline way of looking at the issue. At the fall, humanity became enslaved to Satan and is powerless to obtain its own release. Moreover, the effects of the fall are such that human beings are totally incapable of any good action. Thus Luther maintains that apart from grace there exists no capacity in a human being to turn or apply oneself to that which “leads to salvation.” “Free will,” if it has any significance at all, applies only to the one who has experienced grace.[17]”

            But we know that there were saints in the Old Testament, we know that Enoch walked with God, that David knew God and knew that he was a sinner, and understood grace and forgiveness.

            E. Gordon Rupp points out that Luther, by his own admission, scarcely deals with the latter part of Erasmus’ work.[18] But Luther does deal, in his own way, with the argument which I have said is the heart of Erasmus’ case. Luther focuses on Erasmus’ interpretation of Ecclesiasticus l5:14-17 as a text where God presents human beings with a choice to obey His commands or not. The text says, “If thou wilt observe the commandments . . ., they shall preserve thee.” But Luther says that the inference to the existence of some capacity to actually keep the commandments is a faulty one. He enters upon a typical diatribe against reason,[19] but what is actually happening is that he is applying his understanding of the Law to the passage in question.”

            The same thing here. In both the Old and New Testaments it is shown that there were righteous men according to the Law. Not that they were without sin, but that they obeyed the Law inwardly as well as outwardly.
            So thanks for this Jack, but I hope you will recognise the hoops that are jumped through in these arguments.
            I will read it all later, but I think my idea that the two views whilst equally valid yet apparently irreconcilable, can be held in tension; whilst centering in on the practical aspects of salvation and sanctification is erm….. easier. ;0)

          • “Thus the discussion of free will is anything but inexpedient or superfluous. It is absolutely crucial to maintain that salvation is the work of God alone; the notion of free will threatens that crucial point.”

            Luther was both right and wrong.

            The William Most solution:

            There is no time in God, but one thing may be logically before another. There are three logical points in His decisions on predestination:

            1) God wills all men to be saved. This is explicit in 1 Tim 2: 4, and since to love is to will good to another for the other’s sake, this is the same as saying God loves us. To deny that, as Bañez did is a horrendous error, it denies the love of God. How strong this love is can be seen by the obstacle it overcame in the work of opening eternal happiness to us: the death of Christ on the cross.

            2) God looks to see who resists His grace gravely and persistently, so persistently that the person throws away the only thing that could save him. With regrets, God decrees to let such persons go: reprobation because of and in view of grave and persistent resistance to grace.

            3) All others not discarded in step two are positively predestined, but not because of merits, which are not at all in view yet, nor even because of the lack of such resistance, but because in step 1, God wanted to predestine them, and they are not stopping Him. This is predestination without merits.

            This is the article by William Most:

            http://www.ewtn.com/library/Theology/MOSTSOLV.HTM

          • dannybhoy

            “There is no time in God, but one thing may be logically before another.”
            Didn’t Jesus in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily experience Time? Day and night and tiredness?
            Therefore we can be confident that within the Godhead there is an experience of time, and I am quite content to accept that when God came down to check out the sinfulness of Sodom and Gomorrah, He decided that He would suspend His attribute of Omniscience in His dealings with Abraham..
            Genesis 18>
            “17 The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have chosen[f] him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” 20 Then the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether[g] according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”

            Jack my friend. you are an intellectual. You love this stuff! You understand it and you enjoy the thrust and counter-thrust of argument.
            Nothing wrong with that of course, but I’m not that kind of man. I’m average intelligence, and intellectually lazy. What I can do if so inclined is find a flaw in an argument or hypothesis, and if still interested -or feeling mischievous – I can develop it further..

          • But you haven’t found a flaw.

            Jesus was both God and man and He is now in eternity as our Risen Saviour. Again, God didn’t “come” to check out the sinfulness of Sodom and Gomorrah. That’s the authors making God’s intervention understandable. He knew the situation would develop before its people were created. Same with Abraham. Although he was acting in true freedom and faith, God knew his responses. Indeed, it was He who enabled them.
            Read the whole article.

          • ‘The main point being though imv that humans reproduce and have babies without God’s direct involvement on each birth.’

            No. He is still involved in each birth. Indeed he is intimately involved in every moment of our lives for in him we live and move and have our being.

            ‘But is this all a result of divine planning, or (as I see it) the consequence of the Fall,’

            This is a false dichotomy. It is both. It is not an either or. We thank God not only for healthy babies but for the unhealthy ones. We thank him for different reasons but we still thank him. We thank him for everything for all things work together for the good of those who are called according to his purpose as you point out.

            Far from finding God’s hand in everything leads to depression it leads to freedom from depression. It anables me to see that what happens in life is not the result of the vagaries of chance or an impersonal set adrift ‘nature,’ but at every point is meaningful and intentional and for my blessing how ever hard this may be to see. Faith believes God is in control for my good even in the darkest and most desperate of situations. This is what gives peace ultimately.

            Job’s troubles were only a theological problem to him because he believed (rightly) that they came from the Lord. Yes, The Lord had given Satan permission to attack, but it wasn’t Satan that Job held responsible, it was God. Why had God done these dreadful things to him.

            He is never told. His only answer is to see that he is not God and cannot counsel God. God is the Creator and Job is a creature. When Job sees the majesty of God he recognises ow foolish he was to question. He still has no answers. He learns to live without answers and by simple faith in a God he can trust. The same ought to apply to us.

          • dannybhoy

            “Faith believes God is in control for my good even in the darkest and most desperate of situations. This is what gives peace ultimately.”

            Absolutely! I believe that too. I just don’t think that everything that happens is determined by God. Rather I think He allows free will, He allows men to do evil, He allows the forces of evil to influence men and lead some deeper into darkness
            (The whole earth lies in the power of the evil one/ ” For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[a] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.)
            But He remains sovereign, and no matter what men do He can bring good from it.
            To me that’s a wonderful concept. It means I can reconcile the bitter fruits of freewill with the sovereignty of God who will inevitably triumph and be proved to be justified in all His doings.

            I think we actually agree but on parallel lines…

          • TropicalAnglican

            Would Isaiah 66: 7-8 help:
            v. 7. Before she was in labour she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she was delivered of a son.
            v. 8. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment? For as soon as Zion was in labour she brought forth her sons.

          • dannybhoy

            Well said Totally…

          • That’s an interesting text TA. But I’m not inclined to apply it to the creation of the state of Israel in the 1940s. My reason remains that I think we must see the endtime nation as a spiritual birth bringing spiritual blessings. This seems to be the context of Isa 65,66.

            The immediately ensuing verses say,

            10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her,
            all you who love her;
            rejoice greatly with her,
            all you who mourn over her.
            11 For you will nurse and be satisfied
            at her comforting breasts;
            you will drink deeply
            and delight in her overflowing abundance.”
            12 For this is what the Lord says:
            “I will extend peace to her like a river,
            and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream;
            you will nurse and be carried on her arm
            and dandled on her knees.
            13 As a mother comforts her child,
            so will I comfort you;
            and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”
            14 When you see this, your heart will rejoice
            and you will flourish like grass;
            the hand of the Lord will be made known to his servants,

            It’s worth comparing this text with Isa 26.

            18 We were with child, we writhed in labor,
            but we gave birth to wind.
            We have not brought salvation to the earth,
            and the people of the world have not come to life.
            19 But your dead will live, Lord;
            their bodies will rise—
            let those who dwell in the dust
            wake up and shout for joy—
            your dew is like the dew of the morning;
            the earth will give birth to her dead.

            Isa 26 points to Israel’s failure to bring God’s salvation to the world largely because of her own sinfulness. But the promise is of a future day when the Israel shall ‘live’ and in her renewal there shall be ‘life’ for the world. This seems to be what Paul refers to in Romans 11:11-16. It seems to be what Isa 65 describes too.

          • Anton

            John,

            You are asking whether the modern State of Israel is prophesied in scripture or an accident of history. There are various prophecies of return from exile, all portrayed positively. Many refer to the return from Babylon, but some cannot.

            Zechariah (8:7-8) promises a future return in a prophecy given after the return from Babylon. (Ezra 5:1 & 6:14 state that Zechariah is prophesying in Jerusalem – not from a place of exile – and Zechariah 1:1 tells us that he was speaking after the exile.)

            Amos (9:13-15) speaks of a permanent return, which the return from Babylon proved not to be. (Amos’ immediately preceding verses are quoted in Acts 15:13-18 as beginning to come true with Jesus.) The Jews lost all self-governance after the failed uprisings of AD66-73 (in which the Temple and Jerusalem were destroyed) and AD132-5 (the bar-Kochba revolt).

            A second return is prophesied by Isaiah (11:11-12), assembling the people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth (not just Babylon). This matches the present return.

            So does the prophecy of Ezekiel (36:24-26) of a return without commitment to God followed by spiritual cleansing. Today’s Jews have returned to the Holy Land holding mainly secular beliefs (whereas the return from Babylon was led by the godly), and the number of Jewish congregations in the Holy Land who follow Jesus is increasing.

            The return from Babylon is not consistent with any of these prophecies from Zechariah, Amos, Isaiah and Ezekiel, but the modern return is consistent with all of them. Many other passages fall into place if the modern return is looked for in the Bible. For example, Moses warned of the exile of a Jewish kingdom in Deuteronomy 28:36, and an exile to all parts of the earth in Deuteronomy 28:64. Because the end of the kingdom led to a local exile, and because the post-apostolic dispersal was not the end of a kingdom, these are distinct events.

          • It is certainly not an easy matter to discern the precise fulfilment of many of these prophecies. So I have read your comments with interest and will reflect on them. Zechariah is a particularly difficult book to interpret and placing many of its details in a time frame is very hard.

            Part of the problem is that the OT tends to view the day of salvation as one conflated event whereas we now know that it covers a vast span of time from the first coming of Christ to and beyond his second coming. Isa 11 seems to demonstrate this,

            10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. 11 In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving
            remnant of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the Mediterranean.
            12 He will raise a banner for the nations
            and gather the exiles of Israel;
            he will assemble the scattered people of Judah
            from the four quarters of the earth.

            ‘That Day’ was described immediately previously as the day when the Spirit filled Davidic King would arrive in salvation and in judgement. It encompasses the incarnation and the final blessedness of a time when nature is in perfect harmony.

            It involves in the text cited the salvation of the Gentiles (banner for nations ….nations rally to him) and of the Jews (ch 12). Romans 15:12 sees Isa 11:10 fulfilled in the present salvation of the Gentiles. It is possible that the establishing of the Jewish State refers to the return from exile. However, I ask, if it is a return to a present Palestine that is intended. It may be but there are questions. For example:

            It is clear that there is unity in the nation (11:13) and that Israel’s enemies are overthrown (11:13,14). The return envisages a reenactment of the Red Sea crossing in the Euphrates as the people return from Assyria. How literally has all this to be fulfilled? It certainly had no literal fulfilment in 1948 etc.

            Is not the rallying point in the chapters, for both gentile and Jew, the Lord. He is the banner. In ch 12 they sing a victory song of salvation for the lord’s deliverance. A song of praise is always the response of faith to the victory the lord has accomplished. Yet present Israel has no such salvation.

            And when Israel does as a nation repent, when all Israel is saved, what salvation blessings will they thank God for? Will it be that he restored them in the 1940s to Palestine? I doubt it. They will sing the same salvation song that we sing. They will praise him that they have been redeemed from sin. They will rejoice that they are part of the heavenly Jerusalem. Just as the nations rallying to the banner of the Davidic King does not mean the Gentiles travelling to Palestine but believing the gospel and confessing Christ as Lord are we not intended to interpret the return of Jews as a return from spiritual exile into the blessings of new covenant salvation including all the blessings which the promised land will bring.

            Of course, this is the big question. What is eschatological ‘land’? Is it Palestine on an unredeemed earth? I think it is much bigger than this. Everything in the old order, including the old covenant was but a type, a model, of ‘the land’. Eden and the first creation are but a type of the new creation just as Adam was a type of Christ. The first pointed to the second but the second is always more glorious. The first creation is, like Adam, of the earth and earthly. The second, like Christ is from heaven and energised by a different principle; it is spiritually suffused and sustained (1cor 15).

            Just as Eden is a model or picture of the eschatological land so too is Canaan. Canaan or Palestine was never really the true land. It was but a faint picture of it. Abraham saw this when he looked beyond the land in which he travelled as a nomad to a heavenly country, a heavenly city. God has a rest that he will bring his people into but it was not Eden, nor was it Palestine. The rest remains future. It is a new heavens and new earth.

            This is the Land that the eschatological people of God, the true Israel, long for. It seems to me all promises of this inheritance of land is understood in the NT in this way.

            In one sense, of course, by faith we enter the land presently. Ephesians describes the church as seated in the heavenlies enjoying the blessings that are found there. The heavenlies is the NT counterpart to the earthly inheritance of Canaan with all its blessings. Now the blessings are not material but spiritual and enjoyed by faith. In fact we enjoy this sphere ‘in Christ’. By faith we enter into the joys of our heavenly inheritance and rest now. But as with all aspects of this ‘now but not yet’ kingdom there is a future aspect, as I say, this takes us beyond the present creation which groans in birthpains anticipating the glorious regeneration of all things in a new heavens and new earth where the old order has passed away.

            Is there any place in this picture, which I submit is biblical, for a return to an old creation Palestine of a people who are unbelieving. Is this in any sense a redemption.

            Finally, the question is, just how literally are many of the prophecies in the poetic and apocalyptic passages of Scripture to be interpreted? When the NT cites fulfilment of these does it always do so in a literal way?

            Again, although this is written presenting a perspective I do so with some diffidence for in this area I recognise it is all too possible I have it wrong. I feel I am right in the big picture but unsure whether I must factor in some kind of millennial kingdom and if so what it involves.

          • Anton

            John,

            I also think that many of the ambiguous prophecies that could fit either the return from Babylon, or the present return, fit the latter better. But that won’t convince anybody, so I generally stick to the ones that can’t fit the return from Babylon (as in my preceding post).

            As to how to interpret them: a prophecy must mean not less than a man of faith listening to the prophet at the time would take it to mean. It might have a larger fulfilment too, but it must mean not less than that. Otherwise God would be swindling his faithful. Perish that thought! And this principle is enough, together with the prophecies I quoted, to foresee the present return.

        • Anton

          I too think it’s a prime example. I don’t recall your comment about God’s sovereignty but if you repost it as a reply to a comment of mine then I’ll gladly respond. Incidentally the Arabs regard themselves as descendants of Ishmael (I’m not disagreeing!) and so are in the Bible from very early on.

          • dannybhoy

            Oops, that repost was for John Thomson..

  • Merchantman

    I used to say- ‘you don’t see any Methodists going around as suicide bombers do you?’

    • carl jacobs

      And you still don’t. But now they seek to understand suicide bombers as a manifestation of Israeli oppression. You see, when a Palestinian blows up an Israeli school bus, the Israelis are really to blame for it.

  • PessimisticPurple

    Never understood the Protestant mania for giving Israel a free pass. I suppose it’s the same mentality I witnessed last year in the visitor’s book in the historic Lanercost church in Cumbria, prior to the EU referendum. You’ll appreciate my somewhat bitter humour when I came across an entry reading “it’s OUR heritage, not the bloody EU’s”

    “OUR heritage”? History starts at an arbitrary point, the point that most favourably reinforces one’s prejudice. The beauty of an English church is a mirror of the true Christianity which was only born – apparently – 1500 years after Christ, and it has – apparently – nothing to do with the Catholics who actually built Lanercost. In the same way, Israel is an ordinary country just like any other, which never attacked the indigenous population of Palestine, never overran a people who had done them no harm or injury, never dispossessed them, and never stole their houses, land or farms.

    Wilful, self-serving blindness is actually something which has to be practiced, and Protestantism is the perfect training ground.

    • Yes. Let’s get the inquisition back together. The band hadn’t been so good without Torquemda. Will pope Frank allow it?

    • len

      Anti Semitism is alive and well and still lives in sections of the church apparently.

    • Anton

      Culturally speaking I feel both English and European but the EU is about continental POLITICS and I am not going to take lessons from the French or the Germans about how to run things in view of their own histories. Yes it is our heritage, not the EU’s. As for who attacked whom in the Holy Land, the UN partition plan was accepted by the General Assembly on 29th November 1947 upon gaining more than 2/3 of votes cast and became UN Resolution 181. The USA and the Soviet Union both voted in favour of it. The Jewish Agency in Palestine accepted the proposed partition and its terms. Arab national governments rejected them and were hostile to the details and the principle of partition. Following the vote the sporadic violence between the two communities escalated into civil war. The Secretary-General of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, after stating in a newspaper interview weeks before the UN vote that he hoped the Jews would not force war, went on that any hostilities against them would be “a war of extermination, a momentous massacre.” Tell me, did the Jews or the Arabs force war? Moreover Jamal Husseini, the Palestinian Arab leader, candidly told the UN Security Council during the fighting: “The representative of the Jewish Agency told us yesterday that they were not the attackers, that the Arabs had begun the fighting. We did not deny this. We told the whole world that we were going to fight” (16th April 1948).

    • Pubcrawler

      “indigenous population of Palestine”

      And who are they, then? Arabs? (There’s a clue in the name, by the way.)

    • Ivan M

      These checkpoints that the Israelis are running serve multiple purposes. Security is often the main concern, but along with that it is to harass the Arabs with multiple disabilities in order that they pack up and leave. By this means the Israelis slice and dice the Palestinian lands, making it inaccessible, setting up settler roads and a hundred other procedural games in order to make life increasingly intolerable. The bonus is that when the Arabs do respond with violence, they are largely ineffectual.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Lanercost belongs to Christians. Protestantism was an attempt to return to true Christianity by stripping away the accumulation of tradition, superstition and self-interest (e.g. the sale of indulgences) that the Catholic hierarchy had been guilty of promoting for centuries. Like most reform movements, Protestantism was only partly successful in its aims. Similarly the Catholics were partly successful in cleaning up the abuses that they had permitted before the Reformation.

  • Mike Stallard

    The Wesley Brothers were splendid people with guts, dedication and – success! And the hymns that came out were marvellous too. A rash of Chapels broke out all over the country.
    We have one Chapel in our village – recently pulled down when the roof fell in after years of disuse. The Nonconformist (Methodist) graveyard in the town centre is a forest now. The Chapels are mainly as closed as the Churches. In the next door village, the Chapel has been turned into a garage and is now up for sale.

    • Pubcrawler

      It is said that the Labour Party in its origin owed more to Methodism than to Marx. It is, or curse, more complicated than that, but with the apparent decline of Methodism, whither the Labour Party? Hmm, let’s have a look…

      Oh dear. (suppresses hysterical laughter)

      • TropicalAnglican

        “of course”, please…

        • Pubcrawler

          Corrected, thank you. Fat thumbs, tiny keys.

      • CliveM

        Tsk, tsk, you should never mock the dying.

  • len

    Israel is hated without reason this is because God has/is worked His Purposes through the Jewish people,Without the Jewish people there would be no salvation .’You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews’.(John 4:22)

    All through history the Jews have been persecuted simply because they are Jews.The Church has had a hand in this persecution claiming’ the Church’ had replaced the Jews as ‘Gods chosen people’ which is totally wrong and unscriptural.The fact that the Jews have kept their culture through centuries of persecution and having been scattered throughout the world but have kept that culture and regained(part) of their land is an incredible achievement and that fact alone proves God is behind them.

    Islam also lays claim to being ‘God`s chosen and have’ re written’ scripture in an attempt to’ prove this’.

    Gods Will will be carried out despite all who oppose it.
    ‘On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves’. (Zechariah 12:3)

  • Albert

    What manner of “principled impartiality” singles out the State of Israel?

    This is the key point, and it needs to be repeated over and over to these people. Of course you can disagree with Israeli policy without being anti-Semitic. Just as you can disagree with British foreign policy without being anti-British. But it is the singling out of Israel in the midst of so other stuff, that must, by any standards, be regarded as worse, that opens the suspicion (and perhaps confirms that suspicion) of anti-semitism.

    • PessimisticPurple

      The state of Israel was created as, an to this day militantly remains, an avowedly sectarian state, the so-called “state of the Jewish people”. Not the state of its citizens, 20%of whom (we are reportedly told) are not Jewish, but the state of one single religious group. And what makes it different is the fact that the west created it as such and is keeping it in existence as such from second to second with massive injections of mostly American money. The west did not create China, and China won’t collapse in about two days flat if the west doesn’t support it. Israel will, therefore its sins are at our door. Gore Vidal once made an analogy: suppose the U.S. created and funded a Catholic army to attack Italy and re-establish the Papal States. That would be no different to what America has done in Palestine, so why aren’t you demanding that this happen?

      • bluedog

        An anachronistic analogy which fails in the face of the initial re-establishment of Jewish settlements in the Holy Land when under Ottoman dominion. Should Turkey not be be blamed, if you are seeking to apportion blame, as successor state to the Ottoman Empire?

      • carl jacobs

        Did you actually just cite Gore Vidal?

      • Anton

        “Massive injections of mostly American money” is highly misleading. Since 2007 Israel has received approximately 1% of Israel’s GDP pa from the USA and much of that money has to go back to the US defence industry.

      • Ivan M

        The Jews as a constituent people of the Ottoman Empire are entitled by right of justice to their own homeland. It is the same right by which Arabs can claim twenty odd counties. Zionism is the nationalism of (some) Jews. They succeeded where the Palestinians failed, mainly as the Palestinians whored themselves to every passing trend, Arab Nationalism, Non-Aligned grifting, and Soviet interests, instead of concentrating on obtaining their nation. The Arabs had nineteen years from 1948 to 1967 to establish a Palestinian state in territory that they controlled but preferred instead to use the Palestinian problem for their own ends.

      • Albert

        Not the state of its citizens, 20%of whom (we are repeatedly told) are not Jewish, but the state of one single religious group.

        Israel is a secular state and not a confessional one. Zionism is more like nationalism – it was opposed by more conservative Jews in the 19th Century. Now I don’t know whether Israel should have been created, but it has been, and it seems wrong to me to let the Israelis be driven into the sea. Do you disagree?

        The only reason Israel might be driven into the sea is because Israel has a lot of enemies. It seems to me that your argument is, because lots of people want to drive Israel into the sea (in contrast with say, China), therefore, the West is wrong to support Israel. I just don’t follow that. Stopping that happening is not a sin, letting it happen would be.

        Gore Vidal once made an analogy: suppose the U.S. created and funded a Catholic army to attack Italy and re-establish the Papal States. That would be no different to what America has done in Palestine, so why aren’t you demanding that this happen?

        I think the comparison is so poor it is hard to know where to begin. Why do you think the comparison even begins to work? In any case, as I have said, I’m not sure if Israel should have been created, but we are where we are, and singling out Israel from all other countries, simply because she has a lot of enemies and needs support does not exactly look noble.

        • PessimisticPurple

          I’m sorry, Albert, but your usual impeccable reasoning just crashed through the floor because of personal bias, possibly a hangover from your Protestant days, eschatology and all that heretical stuff. I didn’t say Israel is a confessional state, but it certainly is a racist one. It actually calls itself “the Jewish state”, and nobody calls it on this, even in a world where people get sent to “sensitivity training” for using the generic male form where the gender is unknown. But hey, special rules for special people.

          There were only ever two possibilities for Israel, and neither is going to happen. The first was the two state solution. That can’t happen anymore because the Israelis have stolen all the land. This is something it’s apologists simply refuse to address. They’ve stolen EVERYTHING and now they want to revert to normal international relationships, and never mind about what happened beforehand, we’ll just forget that. And apparently, a lot of people are cool with that.

          The second possibility, the only one left, is the one state solution. But that would mean full citizenship for the indigenous population, and since they’re almost as numerous as the settlers, no more “Jewish state”. Now, is it your position that these people and their descendants should forever be held in subject status in order to preserve “the Jewish state”?

          As to the Papal States analogy, I think you find it perfectly applicable, but it makes you very uncomfortable. If a country which hadn’t existed for two thousand years can be re-established by military force based on a religious claim, why shouldn’t one which only went out of existence 150 years ago?

          • dannybhoy

            “But hey, special rules for special people.”
            Amen!
            “They’ve stolen EVERYTHING”
            They stole nothing. There were Jews farming bought land in the late 1800s. As things got worse in Europe more Jews made their way to the then Palestine and more settlements were established. Then the State was legitimately founded in 1948. There is just so much authenticated history out there, but some choose not to accept it.
            I would suggest out of a misplaced sense of pity and support for the underdog, or a dislike of the Jews, or a dislike of anyone who manages to overcome adversity.
            The Jews tend to keep themselves separate, but is that a sin?
            Only in a multiculti, Yuman Rights kind of a way..

          • Albert

            This point is well made, dannybhoy. Purple accuses me of personal bias, possibly a hangover from your Protestant days, eschatology and all that heretical stuff (something I’m not entirely sure I understand). If there is any sense in which I engage in special pleading on behalf of Israel (and others can judge that), my psychological motivation would be the persecution of our Jewish elders brothers and sisters and the desire to say “Never again!”

          • Anton

            The point about which you and Purple might have agreed, but didn’t get round to saying, is that Israel is calling itself both a democratic State and a Jewish State, and that these two descriptions are in potential conflict. To date demographics have meant it could call itself both, but one day it might have to choose.

          • dannybhoy

            Conflicted because they have returned in unbelief and they do want to be a modern State. Most Israelis don’t want a return to a theocracy, If we too are going to argue that all of that sacrificial stuff is over, why would we see a problem in Israelis not wanting that either? They want to be Jewish in a democratic state.

          • Anton

            Sure they do, but the Arabs don’t.

          • dannybhoy

            Which is why we have to accept that the Palestinians have a right to be aggrieved. Bearing in mind that although not a sovereign State the inhabitants of Palestine had been living there for quite some time…
            Personally I don’t believe there is a political solution. All the time greater Islam hates the Jews and sees them as inferiors (like us Christians), and Hamas has sworn to completely destroy Israel, there is no basis for mutual trust and cooperation. Militant Islam likes warfare and see a Jewish State as an affront to the faith.
            I spent five years in Israel. I never got the impression that Israelis wanted anything else but peace and security. Not to say there weren’t those who hated the Palestinians, but they were a minority. Most I ever met wanted peace.

          • Anton

            The Arabs living in the Holy Land have a choice of living under Jewish rule in a modern State that with cooperation can bring them a high standard of living, or of moving to one of the many Arab states nearby and enjoying the benefits of despotism or ISIS. Those in Gaza or the West Bank know what the rule of Hamas and Arafat have been like.

          • dannybhoy

            Albert I have been arguing with anti Zionists for years,and at the very heart of it is I believe a strong dislike of the Jews, Anything that they can find to bolster that dislike they will seize upon. There is no true discussion on the issue because their stance is driven by emotion first, rather than intellect. That’s all there is to it. At the worst I would say that there is a satanic force that hates God’s Chosen people from whom Salvation would emerge.
            If you love Jesus you will at the very least recognise that the Jews have suffered terribly at the hands of Christian Europe; especially Hitler’s Germany. And if you do recognise that you will then understand what motivates the Jews’ search for peace and security.
            It’s fine to criticise Israeli policies and actions. Where necessary we should: but as friends and supporters rather than Jew haters..

          • Albert

            It’s very tragic, I think. This bit is key:

            If you love Jesus you will at the very least recognise that the Jews have suffered terribly at the hands of Christian Europe; especially Hitler’s Germany. And if you do recognise that you will then understand what motivates the Jews’ search for peace and security.
            It’s fine to criticise Israeli policies and actions. Where necessary we should: but as friends and supporters rather than Jew haters..

          • Albert

            I didn’t say Israel is a confessional state, but it certainly is a racist one.

            Apologies if I misunderstood you, but what you said was: Not the state of its citizens, 20%of whom (we are repeatedly told) are not Jewish, but the state of one single religious group. Now that sounds like a confessional state (“single religious group”) and the reference to ethnic minorities didn’t sound like a racist state.

            It actually calls itself “the Jewish state”, and nobody calls it on this

            But couldn’t we speak without embarrassment of the French state, the German state or the British state?

            As for your next two paragraphs, the fact that I want to defend Israel has nothing to do with the present policies of that country. It has to do with wanting to defend the people there. TBH, I don’t think I know enough about what is going on there, and many of the problems seem sadly intractable to me.

            Now, is it your position that these people and their descendants should forever be held in subject status in order to preserve “the Jewish state”?

            No.

            As to the Papal States analogy, I think you find it perfectly applicable, but it makes you very uncomfortable. If a country which hadn’t existed for two thousand years can be re-established by military force based on a religious claim, why shouldn’t one which only went out of existence 150 years ago?

            It’s not so much that I find it uncomfortable, it is that I find it surreal. Firstly, I never said I defended the creation of Israel, I said I would defend Israel now that it exists. Secondly, the Jews were a people without a homeland. If the US sent an army in to re-conquer the papal states who are the people who would be given a homeland? The Pope? He has the Vatican. Italian Catholics? They have Italy. Who then? Much as I might have a romantic view of the papal states and the idea of living in a Catholic theocracy, I’m not sure it is right for the political order to be swallowed up by the clergy, and I’m not sure that it is right for the clergy to be absorbed by political order. So it wouldn’t even serve me – despite the fact that I might (tongue in cheek) be called a Catholic nationalist!

            Now underneath all this then is the point Dr C made originally: What manner of “principled impartiality” singles out the State of Israel? Sure, there are things that I would change in Israel, but I still do not see why Israel is singled out. Even the fact that we support Israel hardly makes Israel unusual.

          • PessimisticPurple

            The French, German and British states do not call themselves respectively the Catholic, Lutheran or Anglican states and – the Legal position of the Church of England not withstanding – they do not systematically discriminate against those not of these communities. And I have to say, claiming you defend Israel without defending its creation is a distinction without difference and merely another way of saying exactly what I have previously accused Israel’s apologists of doing – expecting the murderous, thieving creation of this entity to go unaddressed now that the Israelis have got what they want.

            And of course the re-establishment of the Papal States would benefit someone – there are millions of Catholics around the world who would immigrate to a Catholic state. And if the indigenous population objected to giving up their homes and land, why, they must be haters, right?

            Any way you argue this, Albert, it’s special pleading.

          • Albert

            The French, German and British states do not call themselves respectively the Catholic, Lutheran or Anglican states

            This is becoming very confusing. You said Israel was not a confessional state.

            they do not systematically discriminate against those not of these communities

            If Israel discriminates against minorities, then that is wrong. But lots of countries do. The issue here is not whether Israel is blameworthy for her behaviour, but whether she is uniquely blameworthy. It strikes me that she isn’t and therefore I worry about people who wish to single her out.

            And I have to say, claiming you defend Israel without defending its creation is a distinction without difference and merely another way of saying exactly what I have previously accused Israel’s apologists of doing – expecting the murderous, thieving creation of this entity to go unaddressed now that the Israelis have got what they want.

            So because I might disapprove of the creation of the Polish corridor in 1919, therefore, I am bound to support Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939? Because I disapprove of the way Parliament grabbed power in the Civil War, therefore I am bound to disapprove of Parliament exercising that power now? Because I disapprove of the way that Henry VIII stole from the Catholic Church, therefore I am entitled to pillage Anglican churches in England?

            And of course the re-establishment of the Papal States would benefit someone – there are millions of Catholics around the world who would immigrate to a Catholic state.

            They do not represent a distinct and oppressed people. The cases are not alike

            Any way you argue this, Albert, it’s special pleading.

            It’s not special pleading. The cases are not similar and the arguments you use expose their fallacies when we apply their principles in other cases. Thus it is you that is engaged in special pleading. Remember: the issue here is not whether I will defend every Israeli policy (obviously I won’t). The issue is why Israel should be singled out for special condemnation. There is only one reason that should happen: because Israel is especially bad, and that I do not concede and you have not demonstrated.

          • bluedog

            A good post with which there is much to agree apart from this lacuna, ‘Because I disapprove of the way that Henry VIII stole from the Catholic Church’.

          • Albert

            Thank you. I don’t think the people who built those churches would have thought they were giving to the state. And I think Anglicans are as likely as Catholics to bewail the damage done to priceless artwork.

          • bluedog

            That’s the point. There was never any intent to deny a Christian people access to the infrastructure of worship, quite the reverse. Certainly in the last fifty years or so much effort has gone into rediscovering the treasures that may lie under whitewash applied in a less ecumenical era.

          • Albert

            There was never any intent to deny a Christian people access to the infrastructure of worship, quite the reverse

            In saying a building exists only for some sense of access to the infrastructure of worship, you have already alienated the property from those who built/contributed to it. They wanted the buildings for Catholic Mass, not whatever the monarch thought worship should be about. There never was a time when the monarch was the Head of the Church on earth, so Henry VIII was simply stealing.

            In the end, you have a situation in which people were dispossessed of what was either theirs or held by them in trust. This is true whether we speak of bishops like St John Fisher or of monks who had their monasteries taken and then sold off to the wealthy as property (not exactly making worship accessible). Killing those who resisted this was also not an example of making the infrastructure of worship available.

            Stealing is not to be found in the intention to which one places property, but in the intention and action of depriving people of what belongs to them.

          • bluedog

            Oh dear. We’ve been down this path before. Wasn’t it the case that the Church estate represented 10% of English GDP, all of which was syphoned off to Rome and never seen again. It’s not as though Rome was ploughing money back into England. Nationalising the Church was an entirely reasonable proposition and England was not alone in doing so. See AEP’s article in the Daily Telegraph on the precise topic.

          • Albert

            I saw that article and thought that part of it was very unconvincing – although the idea that England became poorer afterwards was certainly interesting.

            It seems to me that this is about property rights. An unjust tax (if that’s what it was) does not justify alienation of property. These are two different things.

          • Anton

            Quite true, but I doubt they thought they were giving to the Pope either.

            Neither side viewed it as a matter of artwork at the time.

          • Albert

            Agreed, on both points, but I don’t think they thought they were making buildings for a Church which is not (from their perspective) Catholic.

          • PessimisticPurple

            Are we going round in circles here? I’ve already told you why the Israeli problem is especially sensitive in the west, but at the risk of repeating myself, it’s because the west didn’t create and isn’t propping up the likes of China or North Korea. The crimes of these countries – whether or not they are worse than Israel’s – are not on our heads. Obviously, you’re choosing to ignore that, presumably because it doesn’t fit your bias.

            As to Israel being a refuge for persecuted Jews, relatively few of the Jews who actually created it WERE persecuted. They were mostly westerners who just WANTED Palestine, so they took it. Yes, there were a lot of Russian Jews, mostly the stupid ones who couldn’t get to America, but they were just used as cannon fodder by their western co-religionists. However, even if the state of Israel WAS set up for genuine reasons, what right gave them the just authority to attack, overrun, murder, and steal from a people who had done them no harm? The only possible answer is special pleading, and it simply staggers me that you can deny that in view of your statements elsewhere in this thread regarding the suppression of Catholicism under Henry VIII and the desecration and plunder of the monasteries. How can you possibly differentiate the two morally?

            And by the way, it does tend to go unreported because, as every journalist knows, Catholics are evil and deserve all they get, but many Catholics ARE being persecuted around the world, not least in those areas where Islam rules, and many of them COULD actually use a refuge country. So with that in mind, I repeat, why should the west not arm, equip and train a Catholic army to attack Italy – a country which certainly never did Catholics any harm – to re-establish the Papal States, and if it did, how would that be in the slightest degree different to what the west did for Israel?

          • Albert

            I’ve already told you why the Israeli problem is especially sensitive in the west, but at the risk of repeating myself, it’s because the west didn’t create and isn’t propping up the likes of China or North Korea.

            I’ve already said you can criticise the West for the creation of Israel (although the matter is complicated). The principle reason why the West isn’t propping up China or North Korea is that no one is threatening them. Thus, your argument appears to be that one can criticise Israel (but not China or N Korea) because Israel is threatened. I’m afraid I think that’s horrible.

            The only possible answer is special pleading, and it simply staggers me that you can deny that in view of your statements elsewhere in this thread regarding the suppression of Catholicism under Henry VIII and the desecration and plunder of the monasteries. How can you possibly differentiate the two morally?

            Obviously, I condemn those kinds of actions, but it is staggering to me that you cannot see the difference. Henry VIII was an aggressor. Where Israel behaves poorly, that is because of the very precarious situation in which she finds herself.

            Catholics are evil and deserve all they get, but many Catholics ARE being persecuted around the world, not least in those areas where Islam rules, and many of them COULD actually use a refuge country

            Obviously, I know this, but the difference is that Catholics do no represent an ethnic of national group (that’s what I meant by “people”).

            with that in mind, I repeat, why should the west not arm, equip and train a Catholic army to attack Italy – a country which certainly never did Catholics any harm – to re-establish the Papal States, and if it did, how would that be in the slightest degree different to what the west did for Israel?

            The cases are therefore not alike, Catholics are not an ethnic or national group, and they do not already live in Italy, except insofar as they are Italian, not the subjects of another state. Those Catholics in Italy seem quite happy being Italian, not members of the Papal States.

          • PessimisticPurple

            So, it’s your position that if Catholics WERE an ethnic or national group, then it would be permissible to attack Italy, steal the land of the indigenous population and plant settlers on it? You’re really going to have to explain this one, Albert, and I’d be intrigued to see how you do it without special pleading.

          • Albert

            How many times do I have to point this out? I have not defended the creation of Israel. I might not defend the creation of many nations on the map of Africa which were formerly colonies and therefore have bizarre and unhelpful boundaries. But that does not mean I think that they cannot defend themselves against terrorists, or that the West is wrong to prop up those countries. Life is messy. Things that were done decades and centuries ago cannot always be easily undone.

          • PessimisticPurple

            So, in other words, what I said earlier – the Israeli attitude that you take what you want and once you’ve got it, well, never mind, we’ll just forget about what’s happened to get you here and carry on like we’re a normal entity – is ok with you. Glad we cleared that one up.

          • Albert

            I’m afraid that if you think that is what I have said you have not read what I have said. It seems that you have got cross over this and have resorted to insults which are neither consistent with the evidence nor worthy of you.

          • bluedog

            ‘There were only ever two possibilities for Israel, and neither is going to happen. ‘

            Actually there has always been a third possibility, the idea of a modern Louisiana Purchase. Setting aside that Israel acquired the West Bank lands following a failed Arab attempt at the extermination of the Jews, an equitable solution would be continuing land purchases on the West Bank by Israel. Fair exchange between a willing buyer and a willing seller is no robbery. One can envisage a situation in which the Palestinians are progressively paid out and resettled amongst their Muslim brethren. And why not? The entire settlement that followed the First World War was based on the principle that peoples of common culture, ethnicity and religion would naturally live together in peace. All European states extant today follow that principle, and in the case of Greece and Turkey, follow treaty mandated population exchanges. Why shouldn’t the Israeli-Palestinian dispute be resolved the same way?

            It has only been since WW2 that the ideology of multiculturalism has been applied in such a way that the resolution of conflicts in this manner has become halal. Where Islam is concerned we in the West are learning some very important lessons very quickly and at great cost. The choice is simple, you either have multiculturalism and acute social friction or you have social cohesion and harmony, but you cannot have both where the counter-party is Muslim. The Israeli-Palestinian dispute is the social laboratory in which this point is proved.

      • bockerglory

        The “West” also created Saudi Arabia and even has a bigger arms trade with Saudi.

        • Anton

          It is too bad that the Brits did not back Hussein bin Ali against ibn Saud, but kept out.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Wise words indeed from Lord Carey. This is a deeply shameful thing. I agree that the Methodists are ignoring the countless atrocities committed by countries like North Korea and Islamic states in order to focus on liberal left’s obsession with Israel. They are hypocrites of course. If the UK had the kind of security problems that Israel has then I am sure they would be glad to see checkpoints, walls, and military patrols. BTW, there is another good article on this same topic by Rev Jules Gomes on Conservative Woman…

    http://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/rev-jules-gomes-founded-by-a-zionist-now-marxist-methodists-savage-israel/

  • wisestreligion

    At first glance I thought the comment illustrated in the visitors book in the picture above “disgusting filthy animals and need to be burned alive” looked a little bit like a Hate Crime. However, the signatory appears to be a Muslim, so maybe it is alright.

  • Obviously, there are some scriptural interpretations that are not contested, having been settled by the Magisterium. The precise role of Israel and the applicability of the promises made by God to Abraham, are not settled.

    Besides, you said all Jack wanted to say:

    “Just to be clear, I do not believe the present state of Israel has any eschatological significance. Neither do I think it has any connection to the Biblical state of Israel.”

  • chefofsinners

    A Methodist arrives at the gates of heaven. Checkpoint Peter.
    Peter says ‘I’ve got something in my book about burning.,.’

  • preacher

    It’s hard to understand who thought up this idea, it is ill conceived, ignorant & in light of the situation in the Middle East ( Especially Syria ) & other States about as helpful as pouring petrol on a kitchen fire.
    Significantly, we voted to leave the E.U to protect the right of admittance to this country & to re-establish our own border controls. This was a stitch in time to protect us from following the slide into oblivion that the rest of the E.U is now facing because of it’s open doors policy.
    Just one comment in a book, but it shows the folly of treading carelessly in a minefield or throwing stones in a glasshouse.

  • IanCad

    I have only just now read the statement from the Methodist Church as to why they are boycotting Israel.
    Seems to me that a small country of eight million souls surrounded by hostile nations totaling several hundred millions hardly needs additional hostility from a major Christian denomination. The Methodists, like it or not, are giving the green light to those who would destroy, and destroy utterly, the only country in the region which offers liberty and equity to its people.

    • Anton

      Methodism won’t be major for much longer if it behaves like that.

  • preacher

    I’m sure that not All Methodists believe or support this error made by one church or maybe just a single member with apparent charismatic appeal or authority. We must be careful not to divide the body of Christian believers over the folly of the few, or even the one ! Hopefully the lesson will be learned & those responsible will repent & receive forgiveness. Our enemy delights in causing schism & knows well how to use our pride to separate us, then he will attack the weak ones & wound & destroy their testimony.

    • ZX10

      And if they will not repent and demand in the face of the churches weakness even more, what will the ‘ forgive and live with it ‘ brigade do then ?

      • preacher

        The response is up to the individual to decide. No Church or Church leader has the authority or right to demand obedience when it contradicts either the scriptures or the conscience of the individual members of a group of believers.
        Methodism was born out of the refusal to conform to the leadership of the then Anglican Church by John & Charles Wesley – one hopes that those who still bare the name of this group will be strong & independent enough to speak out as their founders did against the originators of this falsehood.

  • len

    ‘The church’ or at least a portion of it is sliding into apostasy.Church leaders can no longer be trusted to uphold the word of God and are upholding humanist doctrine instead. Sad to see this happening but not too surprising as the Bible says this will happen.

  • Redrose82

    I was brought up a Methodist and still consider myself to be so albeit a lapsed one.The lapse came with the antics of Dr Soper, then leader of the church and this is the sort of posturing that would have met with his approval. In my advanced years and having a wide circle of family, friends and acquaintances I find myself frequently attending churches for such as weddings, christenings and most frequently, funerals. I have to say that the churches I feel most at home in are Methodist and my experience of the people who still regularly attend such is that they would be likely to view with disfavour what went on at the Hinde Street church.

    • dannybhoy

      What churches desperately need is humble and devout men and women who are unafraid to speak up for their faith.

  • I belonged to Open Brethren most of my life.

  • Questions of sovereignty have been the focus of controversy over the centuries. I have many good godly friends whose position is similar to yours and have great respect for them even though I disagree to some degree. What I will concede is that sometimes God’s sovereignty is exercised by his permission. He allows certain events and behaviours. Even Satan only acts by permission and this permission is heavily prescribed by God. E.g. Job. But even here, where action is by permission, God’s sovereign involvement is clear. This is why Job attributes the calamities that befall him to God.

    The same event may have behind it both Satan and God. Where the believer is concerned Satan’s intention is to destroy while God’s intention is to bless. Paul’s thorn in the flesh is an example.

    • dannybhoy

      Is to me?
      Actually I miss the sincerity and godliness I saw in that generation of Gospel Hallers. Genuine men and women who lived out their faith,
      Did you ever hear of Alfred Schultes, a German Christian, a contemporary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
      I believe. He was a lovely man.
      Anyway, so you know the Brethren doctrines then. What set me free (I think!) was whilst in YWAM, hearing teaching on the Moral Government of God.
      Not that I accept all of it, but it was that teaching plus Roger Forster’s God’s Strategy in Human History, plus Francis Schaeffer that moulded my views on how God interacts with us in space and time.

      • There was a lot of sincerity. Sometimes mixed with a dose of legalism but I often comment on the level of godliness which in many ways has exceeded mine and that of my generation.

        I began to read non Brethren readers like Packer, Stott and M L Jones. Like you I read Schaeffer. I’ve read a bit of Forster too. But these were my big influences in youth. In middle age and beyond people like Don Carson and John Piper have been significant. My reading, as you can guess, has been mainly but not exclusively of a Reformed flavour. I have by no means despised Brethren writers. Some can stand up with the best of the past and the present.

        • dannybhoy

          “Sometimes mixed with a dose of legalism”
          This is true, there were examples of legalism etc. but overall these folk were devout practical evangelical Christians.
          If there was one near us I would become a member, because I know that most have their hearts in the right place. I loved the breaking of bread on a Sunday morning.

          • Brethren Breaking of Bread is one of its distinctive and best services.

          • chefofsinners

            You find people influenced by the Open Brethren right across evangelical Christianity. Usually in positions of leadership or just working their socks off. A generation has left its gospel halls, shared its learning and godliness, and become massively influential as a result, to the benefit of us all. Like a seed falling to the ground and dying, it has brought forth much fruit.

          • dannybhoy

            What a lovely tribute. I’m not sure why they died out; perhaps the influence of the charismatic movement? I must say that in my Christian life I have met few who have the same grounding in the Gospel and knowledge of the Scriptures that Open Brethren folk do/did. Certainly it has been that stability that helped me find my way through some of the more excitable and far out teachings that have come our way in recent years..

    • dannybhoy

      God does not play games. He doesn’t pretend to be one thing and then another. If we cannot trust God to be who He says He is in all His holiness, then we truly are in the twilight zone..

      • I agree. But I’m not sure where my comment suggests a God who is playing games.

        • dannybhoy

          I am perhaps mixing your statement with some other recent comments. My point is that either we know where we are with God or we come out with rubbish
          like God is operating on different levels/planes/ thinking so that using such thinking we can pretend that we can explain it all…
          I think there are passages that point to predestination and selection, and there also passages which point to freedom of choice, God wanting as many as possible to embrace salvation, wanting man to repent and turn away from his sins.
          So whilst accepting the pointers to predestination I come down on the other side emphasising freewill and working together with God in sharing the Gospel.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Excellent conclusion to the article. I would add that I have doubts bout the people putting such things on actually being Christians anyway.