A few weeks ago I walked into an airport bookstore and saw Jimmy Carter's
new book on Israel and the Palestinians. There has been quite a commotion
over this book. Carter used the word 'apartheid' to describe the potential
of Israeli policies - I feared the worst. What I found was a rehashing of
the same ideas as the "peace now" groups in Israel: Israel should pull back
from the "West Bank" and return to the 1967 U.N. accepted borders. Minor
adjustments could be made for security, including keeping some settlements.
This would entail trading some land on the Israel side of the old border
(the green line). Really, this is not much different than the Barak
negotiated plan offered to Arafat in 2000. Carter's book sadly has a tone
of blaming Israel for the present stalemate. I found it to be over the
top. Many factual errors were documented by reviewers such as Harvard
University's Alan Dershowitz.
For the sake of our readers, I think it is important to have a short and
solid statement of response. Messianic Jews are Biblical Zionists.
Zionism is the view that it is important for Jews to
return to the Land of Israel and that this is a just and right cause.
Biblical Zionists add that this land has been given to the Jewish people as
their homeland, which is a Scriptural teaching. There is a clear promise of a
returning to the Land repeated again and again throughout scriptures. The
question remains, where should followers of Yeshua stand, both Jew and Gentile?
Does God have a say?
Most justice commentators and policy makers today ignore
the most important point: God is the owner of the whole earth, He has the
right to allocate land as He sees fit. Eventually all land will be
allocated by God, but as a precursor to this just allocation, God challenges
the world to accept His allocation of one very small piece of property, a
property the size of New Jersey. Although former President Carter means well,
and does claim to be representing Christian values, his
unwillingness to embrace God's Word on this matter places him strictly within
the camp of secular humanism.
The most important thing for us as committed disciples of Yeshua is God's
will. This is always the first justice issue. Looking back on the
19th century, England was influenced by the Bible
and had embraced as their national destiny the role of restoring Israel as a
nation. God was allowed to speak. What a difference a century makes!
But what about Palestinian rights?
Some say that the Palestinians have been displaced from land they had
occupied for hundreds of years and this is unjust. It is
crucially important to break the deception of this argument. First, we
must ask at what point a people cease to have claim to their land? Let us say
that one nation displaces another and then occupies that land for ten years.
Can the former people who were displaced come back and justly retake their
land? Most would say yes. What about in fifty years? What about in five
hundred years? An absolute right is not given to keep possession of a land
that was obtained by expelling the original occupants, even many years after
the fact. Native Americans lost most of their land but now seek compensation
after hundreds of years. We think that such arguments are credible;
otherwise we would say that the occupation of the land by Europeans for
hundreds of years nullifies any claim. Justice issues cannot be solved by
this argument, especially since God has spoken on this issue.
In addition, most of Israeli land was not gained by
pushing Palestinians off their land. From the 1880's to 1948, the Jews
returned to a desolate land that was sparsely populated and purchased the
land for their settlements. State owned land passed from the Turkish Empire
to Britain and then to Israel. In the 1948 and 1967 wars, Israel did displace
some Palestinian occupants, but many of these were for security reasons.
On the basis of the justice issues, the U.N. voted to form the state of
Israel in 1948. For a brief period, the world entertained the just cause of
the Jewish people. The countries of the world had proven that they could
not be trusted with the protection of their Jewish minority. Therefore the
U.N. voted to give the Jews their own state on land they reclaimed from
desolation as well as land purchased from Arab owners who gladly sold the
land in exchange for the funds they received.
Two of the wars fought after this decision led to border changes, these were
in 1948 and 1967. Throughout history justice was played
out this way: the aggressor rightly loses land and is penalized if defeated
in war. This principle of historic justice is ignored by U.N.
resolutions. Aside from reference to God's promise, Israel has a justice
issue to have their own country in their own land. This is the most
outstanding claim of justice in history. This is a claim that should be
recognized by the whole world in the light of Jewish historical suffering.
In her classic study "From Time Immemorial," Joan Peters debunks the idea
that most Palestinians are from long term landed descendants. She uses
census figures from the Turkish Empire to show that the
majority of the Palestinians are recent 20th
century immigrants to the land.
The Palestinians do have one justice claim. It is the claim of the stranger
in the midst of Israel. They are to be treated generously and with justice.
However, this refers to a category of people who are willing to live in a land
they accept as having been given to the Jews by God. This is not referring
to a people that seek to destroy the Jewish State! The
big justice issues are all on the side of Israel (we could refer to them as
macro-justice issues). The Palestinians do have some micro-justice
issues as "strangers in the midst". The Arabs have property in the Middle
East that is so extensive that the justice issue is made even clearer.
The Bible indicates that there will be a great return to
the land of Israel before Israel comes to faith in Yeshua. We see this
in Ezekiel 36 and 37 as well as Matthew 23:37-39. Only after this return will
Israel be filled with the Spirit. Until then, there will be ups and downs.
Why does the world oppose Israel?
So why is the world so against Israel? Among the Arabs, the issue is not
really empathy for Palestinians. The Arabs prove they are more than willing
to murder each other in Iraq, the West Bank and Gaza. The issue is spiritual.
It is the pride that the land was under
Moslem government and therefore should always so remain.
The loss of Jerusalem strikes at the heart of the pride
of Islam: that is, Islam has superseded Judaism and Christianity. The
rest of the world wants to have peace by appeasing the Muslim world. This is
sheer foolishness. They fail to realize that Islam's intentions for world
conquest cannot be appeased. All the nations seek a world order that excludes
the God of the Bible, who is the God of Israel. But God will not allow this.
Israel, even in her unbelief challenges this view, but will fulfill that role
completely when she comes into her fullness of faith through Yeshua
By Daniel Juster
Dan Juster leads the overall ministry Tikkun International.
to Tikkun International.
Let us know what you think - why not comment to this article.
The authors of these articles are often involved in intense ministry
and are thus unable to respond to most comments. As is normal with
print and online magazines, Tikkun reserves the right to publish only
those comments we feel are edifying in tone and content.
14:12 30Jan07 Nancy Carman -
Very well done. Often I'm not as articulate in my position as I would like to
be. This is an excellent resource statement. Thank you.
14:14 30Jan07 James E. Dykes -
Thankyou for your well thought out article. I was edified by the remarks about
how the land was pretty much desolate. As a goy who believes in Yeshua, I also
believe the land of Israel is for Israel. As you said God is the one who made
this decision and created this land. So He can deploy it as He pleases. If the
stranger living in the land respects Israel then they should be treated
graciously. If they seek to destroy the people of Israel, they are enemies of
Israel and of the God of Israel. We pray that the Roadmap will fail. We pray
that Israel will possess the West Bank and Judea as their God given right. May
the evangelical Christians of the nations fight for the right of Israel to
possess all of their God given land! We love messianic Jews in Israel and pray
that God will expand their influence throughout Israel and provide the
resources to reach out to all the citizens of Israel.
15:20 30Jan07 Sandralina -
It's most refreshing seeing your spiritual insight and agree with all your
comments with the exception of former President Carter. In my personal view he's
lost his credibility as an American and his spirtual eyes are all fogged up. He
can't see the deception his mind's drifting in. His words are expressions of
his thoughts and it's down right anti-Israel and Anti-Israel. Maybe I'm the one
that's wrong, but that's the way I see it.
17:29 30Jan07 Helen Charest -
After reading your article, I am MORE CONVINCED that we need to be FASTING AND
PRAYING for the KINGDOM OF OUR GOD TO COME and be MANIFEST here in the earth
... HIS RIGHTEOUNESS, HIS SHALOM AND HIS JOY ... in the RUACH HAKODESH! We
intercessors are privileged to spiritually SEE the "bigger picture" as we read
articles such as this! We also have a more defined target for our prayers and
intercession ... to see our God's END TIME PLANS accomplished!!!
22:54 30Jan07 Sue Blake -
You have written an excellent article and your fairness towards Ex-President
Jimmy Carter is admirable. He is a sad example of a leader and his words and
feelings towards Israel are disgusting. He needs to find a rocking chair and
get in it and keep his mouth closed. I find it hard to believe he can call
himself a Christian with views such as this.
01:32 31Jan07 Perry M. Dalton -
The article has really clarified much for me. I somewhat understood the issues
but your article really helped. I have often wondered does anybody care about
what God thinks? I found myself in agreement with the other comments and
responses to the article. I heard you speak at "Starting the Year Off Right". I
felt re-fired and refreshed by your presentation and especially the grafting
together of Jews and gentiles symbolism displayed. I am a retired United
Methodist Pastor who is feeling that in these latter years I need to make my
prayers and energy count for Israel. I will be praying for you and the peace of
09:07 31Jan07 Pamela -
Alas, Jimmy Carter is mistaken ... like all the rest of those who think as he
does; and who either have no clue what the Word of God has to say pertaining to
Israel, who don't believe what it says, or simply don't care. It matters not
what anyone thinks. The Word of God is the last word on the subject. I don't
fear for Israel anymore, because I KNOW the plans God has for Israel. I
believe Israel will continue to be persecuted until Yeshua returns; but I know
God isn't going to allow Israel to be destroyed. Satan hates Israel, because
God LOVES Israel; therefore, the world will continue its assault on God's
people. Muslims, secular humanists, and the Jimmy Carter's of the world can
say, think and believe whatever they want. God is much greater than ALL of
them, and all anyone has to do is read the end of the story ... Israel wins.
All believers win. Unbelievers, and all those who seek to destroy Israel, will
themselves be destroyed. God is faithful, and His Word is true.
14:26 31Jan07 Mary C. White -
Extremely well done, Dan. HaShem has blessed you with wisdom and insight few
have and I am always blessed to hear you speak or read your writings.
19:11 31Jan07 Pelham Gross -
Bell-ringing clear. Leaves us all without an anti-land leg to stand on. Readers
truly open to God's kingdom justice being established in the world will greatly
appreciate this same grace-filled and scholarly clarity in your book DUE
PROCESS, dealing with JUSTICE IN THE BODY OF BELIEVERS. Bless you brother for
20:41 07Feb07 Carmen A. Fulmer-Mudry -
Thank you so much for this article. I didn't realize that the land had been
purchased from the Arabs. I knew they had no right to the land, I didn't know
why. If you sell something, it's sold. If you start a war and lose, it's lost.
17:42 12Feb07 John Randall Peacher -
Excellent article Brother Juster. Right to the point. It is interesting that
the main controversy outside of the spiritual realm is oil from the Mid east.
It seems that God Himself has made the West so dependent on this product that
it is the key to last day prophecies. Were it not for the West's dependance on
this product would we even be concerned about Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, et al?
His Land for His people, though they be the smallest of tribes! Right in the
middle of this mess. Just like His people (believers in Yeshua) right in the
middle of a planet under judgement! What a contrast, and what a great victory
for His Kingdom when complete! Praise God!
21:06 12Feb07 Anna Glen -
As a born-again Christian, I am truly humbled by God's everlating love for his
people - his first love the Jews and us Gentile by adoption. My eyes were
opened by Keith Intrater book, From Iraq to Armageddon, which led me to this
site. I have prayed deeply since for my brothers and sisters in Christ in
Israel and Palestine since. I totally agree with you, Dan, "Israel is a God
given covenant and right to his people". May the Lord Jesus bless you one and
all, and keep you steady and bold in his work, Amen.
07:17 16Feb07 R. C. Rochte -
I whole-heartedly agree with Dr. Juster. Messianics - whether Jewish or
believng Gentiles - who rightly apprehend the Scripture are properly Biblical
Zionists. Carter wasn't a very good president, and he unfortunately isn't a
very good theologian, either.
22:17 21Feb07 Linford Detweiler -
Wow. I think the most shocking thing about your essay was this: your statement
that Biblically, the American Indian may still have a claim to their lands
which were seized by force with the blessing of the founding fathers of
America. Are we really willing to make restitution as Christians here in our
American homeland for the sins of our founding fathers? Fascinating and radical
indeed! Thank you for your thoughts.
17:06 23Feb07 Deborah A. Smith -
I wasn't surprised with Jimmy Carter's book. It is the flavor of the liberal
Christianity that will be eventually incorporated into the one world government
that is coming closer than ever before. We must be ready. Messianic Jews and
Christians that do not believe in Replacement Theology are going to be in the
minority. But, we have God on our side and God and the minority equals Victory.
It is going to be a fight of faith, to hold onto unpopular views and beliefs
that are going to be laughed at and actually hated. But with the Spirit of God
we shall prevail ... like Israel and the name she represents. I shall continue
my prayers for all of Israel and for the nations to have their eyes opened and
hearts renewed with the love of Yeshua. After all, He prayed the Father to give
Him the nations. I believe God will answer the prayers of His Beloved Son to
the jot and tittle. Praise His Holy Name. My prayer for you is to continue in
your ministry in strength and that the enemy of your soul will not have
anything 'in' you or 'on' you.
22:30 01Nov07 Sue Blake -
Excellent article and very well put. Maybe what is happening below will bring
the rest of the American Jews home.
Do you know that Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have been asked to attend the
Annapolis Summit here in the US ... Every Jew and every Zionist Christian
should loudly complain and insist this be stopped. Folks, we need to let our
voices be heard, Dan did and we do too.