10 Key Messages for the Church





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Israel is the biblical, historical and ancestral homeland of the Jews – to deny this is to deny the truth of the Bible and to reject the facts of history.

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1. Israel is the biblical, historical and ancestral homeland of the Jews – to deny this is to deny the truth of the Bible and to reject the facts of history.

a) To reframe Jesus as a Palestinian is supporting a lie – he was a Jew and the Roman term “Palestine” came into existence well after Scripture had been written and canonized. .

b) To imply or support the notion that Israel is a modern day colonial occupation of the Land is to negate and deny the Old Testament or to imply that the Old Testament is a lie.

c) The promise that is the basis of the term is contained in several verses of Genesis in the Torah.

In Genesis 12:1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.”
In Genesis 12:7 The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring [or seed] I will give this land.”
In Genesis 15:7 He also said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.”
In Genesis 15:18-21 the boundary of the promised land is clarified in terms of the territory of various ancient peoples, as follows – On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates – the land of theKenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites,Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.

The verse is said to describe what are known as “borders of the Land” (Gevulot Ha-aretz).[1] In Jewish tradition, these borders define the maximum extent of the land promised to the descendants of Abraham through his son Isaac and grandson Jacob.[2]

The promise was confirmed to Jacob at Genesis 28:13, though the borders are still vague and is in terms of “the land on which you are lying”.

Other geographical borders are given in Exodus 23:31 which describe borders as marked by the Red Sea, the “Sea of the Philistines” i.e. the Mediterranean, and the “River,” (the Euphrates).

The promise is fulfilled at the end of the Exodus from Egypt. Deuteronomy says – See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land that the LORD swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.

It took a long time before the Israelites could subdue the Canaanite inhabitants of the land. The furthest extent of the Land of Israel was achieved during the time of the united Kingdom of Israel under David.[3][4] The actual land controlled by the Israelites has fluctuated considerably over time and at times the land has been under the control of various empires. However, under Jewish tradition, even when it is not in Jewish occupation, the land has not lost its status as the Promised Land.

d)    The Jews are the tribe of Judah (which incorporates the 12 tribe such as Benjamin and Levy) and includes the ancient lineage of the High Priests (the direct descendants of Moses and Aaron) is the essential composition of the “Jews” – there is no factual denying of this.

e) The Jews have much in common with the oppressed and persecuted of this world. Whether it be the Holocaust under the Germans, the Pogroms of Eastern Europe, the oppression of the Jews under Czarist Russia, the inquisition of Spain, living as Dhimmis in the Muslim world, blood libels and massacres of the Middle Ages – the Jews have known for 2000 years oppression, hate murder and torture.

f) Since the establishment of Israel the Jews have made offers for peace to the Palestinians and Arab world on no less that 5 definitive occasions – in most instances the response by the Palestinians and the Arab World has been a declaration of war aimed at the destruction and annihilation of the Jewish homeland:

g) 1948 Declaration of Independence – Israel accepted the vote by the UN recognising the UN Partition plan and declared its independence. The Arab world including 7 countries rejected both the vote of the UN and Israel’s declarations and their armies attacked Israel with the intent of destroying the fledgling state.

h) 1967 – Following the Six-Day War, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 242 which proposed a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The resolution was accepted by Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, but rejected by Syria until 1972-1973.

i) In 2000, US President Bill Clinton convened a peace summit between Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. The Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak offered the Palestinian leader approximately 95% of the West Bank and the entire Gaza Strip, if 69 Jewish settlements (which comprise 85% of the West Bank’s Jewish settlers) be ceded to Israel. Substantial parts of East Jerusalem were to be placed under Palestinian rule.  Borders, airspace, and water resources of the Palestinian state would have been left in Israeli hands. President Arafat rejected this offer and did not propose a counter-offer. Clinton blamed Arafat for the failure of the Camp David Summit. In the months following the summit Arafat personally launched and directed and new Intifada / war against the Jewish state in response.

j) 2006 – Unilateral withdrawal from Gaza resulted in the firing of 12,000 missiles into Israel.

k) 2009 former Prime Minister in the last months of his tenure made direct offers to the PA – no response was ever forthcoming.

l) Successive governments of Israel over the last 20 years – including the right wing governments have agreed to the formation of a Palestinian state living side by side with a Jewish state – through a negotiated process.

m) Hamas the second most prominent force (both politically and militarily) calls for the destruction and annihilation of the State of Israel, excerpts from their charter are:

2. Calls for the Destruction of Israel

Introduction: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).” [Page 1]

Article 6: “The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinguished Palestinian movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and whose way of life is Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine…” [Page 3]

Hamas ‘Prime Minister’ Ismail Haniyeh: “We will never, ever, ever recognize Israel!”
“The Hamas movement will lead Intifada after Intifada until we liberate Palestine – all of Palestine, Allah willing.”

3. Calls for Jihad

Article 13: “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad.” [Page 7]

Article 15: “In face of the Jews’ usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.” [Page 8]

Article 15: “The Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine is an Individual Duty: ” “The day that enemies usurp part of Moslem land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Moslem. In face of the Jews’ usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.” [Page 8]

Article 3: “The basic structure of the Islamic Resistance Movement consists of Moslems who have given their allegiance to Allah whom they truly worship, – “I have created the jinn and humans only for the purpose of worshipping” – who know their duty towards themselves, their families and country. In all that, they fear Allah and raise the banner of Jihad in the face of the oppressors, so that they would rid the land and the people of their uncleanliness, vileness and evils. ” [Page 3]

4. Rejection of Peace Negotiations

Article 32: “Leaving the circle of struggle with Zionism is high treason” [Page 18]
Article 11: “The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. [Page 5]

Article 13: “Now and then the call goes out for the convening of an international conference to look for ways of solving the (Palestinian) question…. These conferences are only ways of setting the infidels in the land of the Moslems as arbitrators.” [Page 7]

5. Anti-Semitism and Conspiracy Theories

Article 7: “The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”” [Page 4]

Article 32: “The Zionist plan is limitless. After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.” [Page 17]

Article 20: “In their Nazi treatment, the Jews made no exception for women or children. Their policy of striking fear in the heart is meant for all. They attack people where their breadwinning is concerned, extorting their money and threatening their honour.” [Page 11]

Article 32: “Peoples should augment by further steps on their part; Islamic groupings all over the Arab world should also do the same, since all of these are the best-equipped for the future role in the fight with the warmongering Jews.” [Page 18]

Article 22: “For a long time, the enemies have been planning, skillfully and with precision, for the achievement of what they have attained. They took into consideration the causes affecting the current of events. They strived to amass great and substantive material wealth which they devoted to the realisation of their dream. With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there.  You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources.” [Page 12]

Article 28: “The Zionist invasion is a vicious invasion. It does not refrain from resorting to all methods, using all evil and contemptible ways to achieve its end. It relies greatly in its infiltration and espionage operations on the secret organizations it gave rise to, such as the Freemasons, The Rotary and Lions clubs, and other sabotage groups. All these organizations, whether secret or open, work in the interest of Zionism and according to its instructions. They aim at undermining societies, destroying values, corrupting consciences, deteriorating character and annihilating Islam. It is behind the drug trade and alcoholism in all its kinds so as to facilitate its control and expansion. ” [Page 15]

Introduction: “Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious.” [Page 2]

“The battle with the Jews will surely come… the decisive Moslem victory is coming without a doubt, and the prophet spoke about in more than one Hadith. And the day of resurrection will not come without the victory of the believers [the Moslems] over the descendants of the monkeys and pigs [the Jews] and with their annihilation.” (Official P.A. newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 18, 2001)

6. The Conflict with Israel as a Religious Struggle

Article 1: “The Movement’s programme is Islam” [Page 2]

Article 15: “It is necessary to instill in the minds of the Moslem generations that the Palestinian problem is a religious problem, and should be dealt with on this basis.” [Page 8]

“The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Moslem Brotherhood in Palestine. Moslem Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times.” [[Page 2]

Article 11: Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgment Day. This being so, who could claim to have the right to represent Moslem generations till Judgement Day? ” [Page 5]

The same theme is echoed by preachers at the mosques, as broadcast on Palestinian TV (July 28, 2000):”All of the agreements entered into [with Israel] are temporary, until the decree comes from Allah and until the destiny from Allah is realized.”

By singling out Israel as the culprit in the conflict and not ensuring a balanced or fair view of the conflict only adds to polarising and alienating the parties and preventing them from negotiating a peaceful settlement – for 70 years the Arab states have influenced and limited the Palestinians from constructively engaging in a process of reconciliation – the results have hurt the Palestinians fundamentally – not Israel.


• By supporting and abetting the BDS campaign parties are perpetuating the same cycle that is counterproductive and harms the Palestinians more than anyone.

• BDS of today is no different from what was being driven 30 or 40 years ago in calling for boycotts and embargoes of Israel or implying “Zionism is Racism”.

• What has it got the Palestinians?

7. The Church and Israel

a) Freedom of Christianity in Israel (and all religions):

Israel has no entrenched constitution, but freedom of religion is anchored in law.   While the Basic Laws of Israel that serve in place of a constitution define the country as a “Jewish state,” these Basic Laws, coupled with Knesset statutes, decisions of the Supreme Court of Israel, and various elements of the common law current in Israel, also protect free practice of religion in the country.[3][4] Legal accommodation of the non-Jewish communities follows the pattern and practice of the Ottoman and British administrations with some important modifications. Israeli law officially recognizes five religions, all belonging to the Abrahamic family of religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Druzeism and the Bahá’í Faith. Furthermore, the law formally recognizes ten separate sects of Christianity: the Roman, Armenian, Maronite, Greek, Syria, and Chaldean Catholic Churches; the Eastern Orthodox Greek Orthodox Church; the Oriental Orthodox Syria Orthodox Church; the Armenian Apostolic Church; and Anglicanism.[5] Members of unrecognized religions are free to practice their religion.[3]

b) Growth of Christian population in Israel.

Numbering just 34 000 people in 1949, Israel’s Christian community is now 163 000-strong, and is expected to reach 187 000 by the end of this decade.

c) Freedom of access to all Holy sites.

Israel has always been committed to providing equal access for people of all faiths to religious sites under its jurisdiction. This has been apparent since the founding of the Jewish state: From 1948 to the 1967 Six Day War, Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan. While Israel safeguarded religious sites within Jerusalem and kept access to them open, Jordan desecrated many Jewish holy sites and severely restricted Christians’ and Jews’ access to these locations. Jews were unable to access the Western Wall, were not allowed past the seventh step leading up to the Cave of the Patriarchs, and were no longer allowed to pray at Rachel’s Tomb.

On the heels of the 1967 Six-Day War, when Jerusalem was reunited under Israeli control, Israeli leaders adopted the Protection of Holy Places Law, which guarantees that “The Holy Places shall be protected from desecration and any other violation and from anything likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the different religions to the places sacred to them or their feelings with regard to those places.”
in contrast, Arab leaders and governments have often tightly restricted access to holy sites under their control, and looked the other way while Muslim mobs desecrated both

Jewish and Christian holy sites. In 2000, after the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) withdrew protection from Joseph’s Tomb, located in Samaria — the disputed West Bank — Palestinian mobs ransacked the structure, destroying everything within it.

After the First Intifada, Bethlehem was placed under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority (P.A.), while Israel retained control of Rachel’s Tomb, located within this historic city.

After constant Arab attacks, in 1996 Israel was forced to build a fortress around the tomb that includes two guard towers, three-foot-thick concrete walls, and barbed wire. Arab rioters and gunmen were a constant threat during this construction project.

d) Political freedom of Christians in the Muslim world.

Anti-Christian persecution is primarily taking place in Muslim majority countries. Historically, this is a fairly new phenomenon. Christian and other minority religions have always been to some extent discriminated against under Islam. Their legal position in society may have been at a lower level, but so long as they “knew their place”, they were at least left alone. What is happening now is that they are being systematically hounded out of the lands they have occupied for many centuries, indeed from a time preceding the emergence of Islam.

Just from the rapidly declining numbers of Christians in Muslim majority states it should be obvious that something is very wrong. According to a US Department of State report on religious freedom, there are now just 85 000 Christians in Turkey, down from 2 million. In Lebanon, where they once constituted a majority, they now make up no more than one-third of the population. Once as much as half the population in Syria, they now constitute perhaps 4%. In Jordan, they make up 2%, when they were once close to one in five
Especially ironical is how the US-led invasion of Iraq, rather than benefiting the Christian population, has had exactly the opposite effect. Once kept in check by the Saddam regime, hard-core Islamists have now been left free to persecute their Christian neighbours and have done so relentlessly. The massacre of 37 worshipers at Baghdad’s Sayyidat al-Najat Syrian Catholic Christian Church in October last year was just one of multiple incidents of anti-Christian violence in Iraq. That the law officially strongly opposes such acts makes little difference. In practice few are arrested, let alone punished, for attacks on religious minorities, even those involving murder. The impact of this undeclared reign of terror has been dramatic, with the Christian population — 1.4 million strong at the time of the 2003 Coalition invasion — dropping 50% in less than a decade.

For Egypt’s embattled Coptic Christian minority, the Arab Spring in their country has been a disaster. One of the worst cases of violence against them took place only last month, where the military killed dozens of Christians (inter alia, video evidence shows armoured-vehicles running over civilians) protesting the destruction of their churches. The response of Western governments has been one of studied apathy. Indeed, it has been alleged that US President Barack Obama’s top Muslim adviser blocks Middle Eastern Christians’ access to the White House. Earlier this year, the mainly Christian Southern Sudan was allowed to break away to form its own independent state. Prior to this, however, and for many years, hundreds of thousands of Sudanese Christians had been massacred, ethnically cleansed in massive numbers or (literally) enslaved.
Anti-Christian persecution is happening in the Palestinian territories as well. In Gaza, assaults, fire bombings, seizures of homes and businesses and death threats against Christians happen continually and usually with impunity. Today, barely 3 000 Christians remain there. The West Bank’s Christian population likewise has dropped sharply, even in Bethlehem, Christianity’s birthplace.  What is now happening to Arab Christians has already happened to Jews in those countries. In the 20 years following the establishment of Israel, the North African and Middle Eastern Jewish communities left en masse after being subjected to systematic, usually state-orchestrated persecution. Well over 95% of those communities and their descendants now live elsewhere. It was one of the 20th century’s forgotten enforced exoduses, and now it is happening all the time to Christians, likewise without eliciting much comment from the world at large.

There is only one Middle Eastern country where the number of Christians has grown since World War II, and that country, of course is Israel. Numbering just 34 000 people in 1949, its Christian community is now 163 000-strong, and is expected to reach 187 000 by the end of this decade. Are Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, his fellow liberation theologians and sundry liberal Protestant churches aware of all this, I wonder, and does the plight of Christians subjected to an increasingly aggressive and intolerant Islam bother them at all? Given how it is Israel they wish to boycott and not countries that tolerate and even orchestrate anti-Christian persecution, the answer is apparently “no”.
That’s the Middle East for you. Just when you think things couldn’t get any more bizarre, they do.