Zionism as an active organized movement has been in existence only about a hundred years, although, since the dispersion in the year A.D. 70 the Jews made many efforts to regain their homeland. Although it is now an accomplished fact, their position there is very volatile. Without the favor of the United States it is very doubtful that they could remain. However, the promise of God is sure that they will never be removed again. Here is a statement in Genesis 48:4: “I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.” Also, Jeremiah 24:6,7: “I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.”
A HISTORICAL RECORD
The following is quoted from one commentator on this subject: “ZIONISM, a Jewish nationalist movement that has had as its goal the creation and support of a Jewish national state in Palestine, the ancient homeland of the Jews (Hebrew Eretz Yisra’el). Though Zionism originated in Eastern and Central Europe in the latter part of the 19th century, it is in many ways a continuation of the ancient and deep-felt nationalist attachment to the Jews and of the Jewish religion to Palestine, the promised land where one of the hills of ancient Jerusalem was called Zion.
“In the 16th and 17th centuries a number of ‘messiahs’ came forward to lead the Jews back to Palestine. The Haskala (‘Enlightenment’) movement of the late 18th century, however, urged Jews to assimilate into Western secular culture. In the early 19th century interest in a return of the Jews to Palestine was kept alive mostly by Christian millennarians. [We know the Bible Students under Pastor Russell were quite active in this respect.] Despite the Haskala Eastern European Jews did not assimilate and in reaction tsarist pogroms formed the Hoveve Zion (‘Lovers of Zion’) to promote the settlement of Jewish farmers and artisans in Palestine.
“A political turn was given to Zionism by Theodore Herzl, an Austrian journalist who regarded assimilation as most desirable, but in view of anti-Semitism, impossible to realize. Thus, he argued, if Jews were forced by external pressure to form a nation, they could lead a normal existence only through concentration in one territory. In 1897 Herzl convened the first Zionist Congress at Basel, Switzerland, which drew up the Basel program of the movement, stating that ‘Zionism strives to create for the Jewish people a home in Palestine secured by public law.’ The center of the movement was established in Vienna, where Herzl published the official weekly Die Velt (‘The World’). Zionist congresses met yearly until 1901 and then every two years. When the Ottoman government refused Herzl’s request for Palestine autonomy, he found support in Great Britain. In 1903 the British Government offered 6,000 square miles of uninhabited Uganda for settlement, but the Zionists held out for Palestine.
“With the death of Herzl in 1904, the leadership moved from Vienna to Cologne, then to Berlin. Prior to World War One Zionism represented only a minority of Jews, mostly from Russia, but led by Austrian and German Jews. It was, however, the only world-wide democratically organized part of Jewry; it developed an active propaganda through orators and pamphlets, created its own newspapers in many languages, and gave an impetus to what was called a ‘Jewish renaissance’ in letters and arts. The development of the Modern Hebrew language largely took place during this period.
“The failure of the Russian revolution of 1905 and the wave of pogroms and repressions that followed caused growing numbers of Russian Jewish youth to emigrate to Palestine as pioneer settlers. By 1914 there were about 90,000 Jews in Palestine; 13,000 settlers lived in 43 Jewish agricultural settlements, many of them supported by the French Jewish philanthropist Baron Edmond de Rothschild.
“With the outbreak of World War One political Zionism reasserted itself, with its leadership passing to Russian Jews living in England. Two such Zionists, Chaim Weizmann and Nahum Sokolow, were instrumental in obtaining the Balfour Declaration from Great Britain (November 2, 1917), which promised British support for the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine. When the declaration was included in Britain’s League of Nations mandate over Palestine (1911), Zionist hopes soared.
“In the following years the Zionists built up the Jewish urban and rural settlements in Palestine, perfecting autonomous organizations and solidifying Jewish cultural life and Hebrew education. In March 1915 the Jewish population in Palestine was officially estimated at 108,000 and had risen to about 238,000 (20 percent of the population) in 1933. Jewish immigration remained relatively small, however, until the rise of Hitlerism in Europe. [“I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them.” - Jer. 16:16] Nevertheless, the Arab population feared Palestine would eventually become a Jewish state and bitterly resisted Zionism and the British policy supporting it. Several Arab revolts, especially in 1929 and 1936-39, caused the British to devise schemes to reconcile the Arab and Zionists demands.
“Hitlerism and the large-scale extermination of European Jews caused them to seek refuge in Palestine and many others, especially in the United States, to embrace Zionism. As Arab-Zionist tensions grew, Britain submitted the Palestine problem first to Anglo-U.S. discussion for solution and later to the United Nations, which proposed on November 29, 1947, partition of the country into separate Arab and Jewish states and the internationalization of Jerusalem. The creation of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, brought about the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-49, with the result that Israel obtained more land than had been provided by the UN resolution. Thus 50 years after the first Zionist congress and 30 years after the Balfour Declaration, Zionism achieved its aim of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine.
“During the next two decades Zionist organizations in many countries continued to raise financial support for Israel and to encourage Jews to immigrate there.”
It is quite a coincidence that just fifty years after the first Zionist Congress the Jewish State was established. Our readers will recall the Jubilee cycle of the Law, which came every fifty years. That Jubilee proclaimed freedom for all slaves who wished to be free; and the establishment of a Jewish State did much the same for persecuted Jews in all parts of the world.
The same publication makes this comment about Mount Zion: “Zion, in the Old Testament, is the easternmost of the two hills of ancient Jerusalem, the site of the Jebusite city captured by David, King of Israel and Judah, in the 10th century B.C. (2 Samuel 5:6-9) and established as his royal capital. Some scholars believe that the name also belonged to the ‘stronghold of Zion’ taken by David (2 Samuel 5:7), which may have been the fortress of the city. The Jewish historian Josephus, in the first century A.D., identified Zion with the western hill of Jerusalem, where most of the city lay in his day. This incorrect identification of the site was retained until the late 19th or early 20th century when the site of Zion was identified as the eastern hill (modern Ophel). It was not included in the walls of the 16th-century fortifications and is still covered with fields and vineyards.”
Here we insert a few thoughts from 2 Samuel 5:6-9: At that time there was no heavy military artillery in Israel, which deceived the Jebusites into believing that their fortress was impregnable: they sneered at David, much the same as the moguls of Christendom attempted to belittle “that haberdasher.” But David and his men took the citadel, from which time Jerusalem was known as “The City of David.” The Jebusites in that picture were a type of the errorists here in the end of the Age, and David typed Pastor Russell. When he arrived on the scene shortly after 1870, the errorists were so firmly entrenched that their position seemed impregnable -eternal torment, the immortality of the soul, no opportunity for salvation after this life, evolution, etc. - all these, and many others, presented a most disheartening front to antitypical David. But he entered the fray in the strength of the Lord, as David had done; and he administered crushing defeats to the errorists, as David had done with Goliath, the Jebusites, et al.
As we contemplate these typical details, it is little wonder that the Jews have such a pronounced affinity to Mount Sinai, etc., because it was there that they received the foundation for their religion from God through Moses - the Law, the Tabernacle services, etc. When we contemplate all this, we can then appreciate the sentimental value of the entire Palestinian domain.
Continuing now with the quotation: “Zion appears in the Old Testament 152 times as a title of Jerusalem; over half of these occurrences appear in two books, the Book of Isaiah (46 times) and that of Psalms (38 times). It appears seven times in the New Testament, five times in quotations from the Old Testament. The name is overwhelmingly a poetic and prophetic designation and is infrequently used in ordinary prose. It usually has emotional and religious overtones, but it is not clear why the name Zion rather than the name Jerusalem should carry these overtones. [It is our understanding that the reason the Bible stresses Zion is because Zion is a type of the Glorified Christ that will “bless all the families of the earth” during the Kingdom reign - beginning with natural Israel first.]
“The city of Jerusalem is personified as a woman and addressed or spoken of as the ‘daughter of Zion,’ always in a context charged with feeling aroused by either of two ideas that stand in opposition to each other: the destruction of Jerusalem or its deliverance. After Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians in the Fall of 607 B.C., the Israelites could not forget Zion (Psalms 137), and, in the prophecy after the Babylonian Exile of the Jews, Zion is the scene of Yahweh’s messianic salvation. It is to Zion that exiles will be restored (Jer. 3:14), and there they will find Yahweh (Jer. 29:13). Bearing all these connotations, Zion came to mean the Jewish homeland, symbolic of Judaism or Jewish national aspirations (whence the name Zionism for the 19th-20th-century movement to establish a Jewish national centre of state in Palestine).
“While the name of Zion is rare in the New Testament, it has been very frequently used in Christian literature and hymns as a designation for the heavenly city or for the earthly city of Christian faith and fraternity.”
THE JERUSALEM TOPOGRAPHY
As we have stated aforegoing, Zion types the Christ Company; and this is corroborated by Psalms 72:3: “The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.” We understand the “mountains” in this text to refer to Mount Moriah and Mount Zion; and the “little hills” to be Acra and Bezetha, all of which type the four elect classes, which will eventually “bring peace to the people.”
As stated, it is our understanding that Zion types the Christ Company, Moriah the Ancient Worthies, Acra the Great Company, and Bezetha the Youthful Worthies. The following is from the Bible Atlas on these four promontories in the City of Jerusalem: “Moriah, on the eastern side of the city, the place once occupied by the temple - 2,432 feet high.” It was here that Abraham prepared to offer Isaac as a sacrifice at God’s command. But the angel of the Lord stayed Abraham’s hand; and this is the record of it in Genesis 22:15-17: “The angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven [those of the human race who receive the spirit nature as a reward for their services during this “present evil world”], and as the sand which is upon the sea shore [those who inherit special earthly natures for their service during the reign of evil].”
Here is recorded the oathbound covenant emphasized by Paul in Hebrews 6:13: “When God made Promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself.”
“Mount Zion - the largest and highest - lies in the southwestern section. Its crown is 2,540 feet high.” It will be noted that Moriah is mentioned first, although it is not so lofty as Zion. This is in conformity with the type, because the Ancient Worthies - a lower class than the Christ Company - appeared on the scene first.
“Acra - a little northeast of Mount Zion, irregularly-shaped eminence. Now 2,490 feet high - but anciently higher, as its crest was cut down by the Maccabean princes in order to bring it nearer the level of the Temple Hill. On this may have stood the castle, or Millo (2 Sam. 5:9).
“Bezetha - a little west of north from Mount Moriah - separated from it by a slight depression. Only in the later age of New Testament history was it within the walls of the city. Its height is a little over 2,500 feet. These four mountains are all that are named as within the ancient walls.”
The above four elevations type the four elect classes that will dominate the Kingdom government and arrangements.
As stated aforegoing, the Jews have been established in Palestine; but that could be accomplished only after Jeremiah 16:18 had been fulfilled: “First I will recompense their iniquity and their sins double.” The Hebrew word rendered here “double” is mishneh, and signifies a second portion, a repetition. When we fold a sheet of paper exactly in the middle, then we have created a “mishneh,” the top part being an exact duplicate of the bottom half. Thus understood, the Prophet’s declaration is, that from the time of their being cast off from all favor until the time of their return to favor would be a repetition, or duplication in time, of their previous history, during which time they had enjoyed Divine favor.
Their favor extended from the death of Jacob in 1812 B.C., when Jacob’s twelve sons became the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel. And this favor extended to the year A.D. 33 - a period of 1845 years. Five days before His crucifixion Jesus had said to them, “Your house is left unto you desolate.” (Matt. 23:38) Thus, they were destined to have 1845 years of disfavor. When Masada fell to the Roman army in the year A.D. 73, the Jews were then dispersed among the nations of the Gentiles - persecuted and harassed, driven from city to city, with no home they could call their own. Thus, whereas they had been an agricultural nation during their time of favor, they were forced to become a company of businessmen. They could carry their money and valuables with them, which they could not do with land; and it has been a rarity over the years to see a Jewish farmer in the United States.
And, while the Jews could not understand this reversal of affairs, most Gentiles did not understand it either. The Catholics persecuted them even as much as they did the faithful saints; and even Martin Luther who protested the evils of the Catholic system, brilliant as he was, also held the Jews in contempt when his efforts toward them did not convert them to Christ: he said it was useless to waste more effort on them, since they had shown no change of heart or mind over the 1500 years past.
However, when their “double” was completed in 1878 we find some things that clearly mark return of favor to them. In that year the Berlin Congress of Nations was presided over by Disraeli - the first Jew ever to be Prime Minister of England; and he secured certain privileges for the Jews in Palestine that they had not enjoyed since they had been scattered among the nations. The land of Palestine had been dominated by the “terrible Turk”; but at that Congress in 1878 the condition of the Jews was ameliorated and it partially opened the door for others to locate there, with the privilege of holding real estate. Previously the Jew was just a dog, to be kicked, cuffed and abused by his Muslim ruler, was denied the most ordinary privileges of existence in a land sacred to him with memories of the past, and with promises touching the future.
About the same time the door was reopened to them in Palestine, a fierce persecution arose in Rumania and Galicia, and especially in Russia. While conditions there have eased somewhat over the years, they still are not a free people in those countries; and large numbers of them have returned to their beloved homeland. But even this must be regarded a return of favor to them because it is forcing many of them to return to Palestine. And with customary Jewish ambition, they are developing the country in a very remarkable manner. The fruits and vegetables they produce are among the finest in the world, and the country is developing a look of prosperity.
The question properly arises, If favor was due to return to them in 1878, why do we not see some evidence of it? We must bear in mind that there are other Scriptures that must be fulfilled also, one of which is Luke 21:24: “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” The times of the Gentiles did not expire until 1914, at which time their eviction began; but the eviction process is still going on, requiring much more time than had been calculated before 1914 arrived. And even at that time no Truth person expected the time to be so extended.
As the Jewish nation passed completely into oblivion in the years A.D. 70-73, and the Gentile nations became more prominent, the situation has been just the reverse since 1914. Now, the Gentiles are getting into deeper trouble all the time, whereas the Jews have been steadily improving, so that in 1948 they were recognized and accepted as a nation - not by all nations, but by some of the most prominent ones, such as the United States, Great Britain, etc. It should be recognized that it took 36½ years from A.D. 33 to dislodge them from Jerusalem, and it was exactly 36½ years from 1878 to 1914 when the Gentile eviction began. It was in the Fall of 1917 that the Turks were dislodged from Jerusalem, and the Jews have been making progress ever since; but we should consider that their present difficulties - whatever they may be – are nothing more than what is common to all nations at this time: although their “double” is finished, they will suffer in the “great tribulation” the same as others. Isaiah 63:4 describes this situation: “The day of vengeance is in mine heart.” So the Jews have their individual sins the same as the rest of the nations. The day of vengeance has not yet accomplished its purpose, nor will it do so for some years yet, but the “sure word of prophecy” is our strong assurance that it will be finished “in due time.”
When Jesus was stating His prophecy concerning these matters, none of the “wicked” understood; even the Apostles, who had been with Jesus, only vaguely understood. Even after Pentecost, when they were enlightened by the Holy Spirit, they did not understand as clearly as we now do. And our knowledge on this subject will increase as the months pass by.
Here we do well to consider the overall situation: Ishmael was half brother to Isaac, both having Abraham as their father; but Ishmael was fourteen years older than Isaac. In Genesis 21:9-14 is recorded the strife that arose between Ishmael and Isaac, as a result of which Abraham expelled Ishmael and his mother Hagar from his house. That was about 4,000 years ago; and there has been intense hatred between the Arabs and the Jews ever since. Therefore, we need not expect any quick solution to this feud. It is more likely to increase in the immediate future. Just recently, in the spring of 1979, eighteen Arab nations have openly and harshly condemned Egypt for attempting reconciliation with Israel; and we may safely assume that this step was taken by Egypt only because of economic necessity. They will receive about five billion American dollars, which they could not easily refuse. There is no air conditioning in Egypt; no screens on the windows; and their economy is in wretched condition. Dire necessity prodded Egypt to enter negotiations with Israel - prompted, of course, by United States money.
THE BARREN FIG TREE
In Mark 11:12-25 is recorded Jesus cursing the barren fig tree; and we accept this as a picture of Israel in its time of favor, then its double of disfavor. Jesus referred to this matter in Mark 13:28,29: “When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near.” Thus, when we see the barren fig tree (the Jewish nation) begin to revive, then we may conclude that the promised Kingdom is at our very door. Certainly, the “barren fig tree” has made considerable progress since 1878; and especially so since 1948.
On the previous day Jesus had said to the Jewish nation, “Ye shall see me no more until that day.” And thus he spake of the fig tree which should be blighted until the end of the Age; but, when that tree would begin to put forth its leaves, we may know the Kingdom is at the door - a new dispensation is sprouting, indicating life, hope, promise amongst the Jews, as well as among enlightened Christians.
This is emphasized by the progress of Zionism, giving hope and faith to the Jews respecting their beloved homeland and the Divine promises relating thereto. Note here Isaiah 60:1,2: “Arise and shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee… the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.” And further, the 40th Chapter of Isaiah points significantly to recent years. Verse 2 has direct bearing upon our subject: “She hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”
In the 37th Chapter of Ezekiel is described the “valley of dry bones,” which is a description of Israel during her double of disfavor - just as does the dead fig tree. “These bones are the whole house of Israel.” (v. 11) Then verse 21: “Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen… and will bring them into their own land.” However, during their double of disfavor the Jews are well represented by Ishmael, who was cast off, during which time the Jewish hopes of God’s favor had almost died; but Zionism has revived the prophetic promises. The Jews will shortly receive great blessings in their established homeland; and the promise is sure that they will never again be cast out of there - although they are having their present difficulties; and will have yet more, culminating in Jacob’s last Trouble, at the end of which they “will look upon Him whom they pierced, and mourn because of it.” (Zech. 12:10)
AFTER THE DISPERSION
It is probably impossible for us to fully evaluate the terrible distress of the Jews after they were evicted from Jerusalem. The worst of agonies seized them; and being the type of people that they were, they would not accept their situation in a calm manner. Thus, they tried every trick in the book to regain Palestine. They tried to buy it - after their fortunes began to rise; but first of all they tried to retake it by force. But before any of that they resorted to rebellion again. Of course, the Romans were strong enough to handle that; and to be sure it would not happen again, they scattered the Jews throughout the empire. The name Judea was eliminated from all maps - after which the land was known as Syria Palestina, so selected because the Philistines were the most detested enemies of the Jews at the time they came into Palestine from Egypt. And Palestine became more and more a dead and barren wilderness.
It was invaded in A.D. 636 by the Arabs; by the crusaders in 1099; by the Tartars in 1244; and by the Turks in 1517. But it still remained with them a homeland tied to prophecy, vision and hope. It remained so for the homeless Jews. Three times a day in the many countries of their exile they prayed, “Sound the great horn for our freedom; lift up the banner, to gather our exiles from the four corners of the earth to our homeland.” But it was to be a long wait - almost 2,000 years - before the ancient dream would become reality.
SHIMON BAR KOKBA
With such intense avidity for the beloved homeland, they would become an easy prey for swindlers, and for some leaders as aroused as they were. Perhaps the outstanding leader of this latter class was Bar Kokba. The Talmud represents him as a man of great strength, autocratic and irascible; and this seems to be borne out by some of his own letters that were found at Wadi Murabast in 1952, and in the Bar Kokba Cave near the Dead Sea in 1960-61, which confirm this description of their harsh tones.
In A.D. 132 he organized a half million Jews in his attempt to regain Palestine from the Romans. But the Romans were not easily intimidated in those days. They came with a superior force in numbers and military skill; and many Jewish soldiers and civilians were killed; and the Jews were finally defeated in a last stand at Betar, a fortified hill not far from Jerusalem. This time the Romans made sure that rebellion would not break out again. Almost all surviving Jews were scattered throughout the empire.
Bar Kokba’s birth name was Simeon Bar Kosibe; then dubbed Bar Kokba, i.e., “the sun of a Star.” He was then proclaimed Messiah by the leading Pharisee of the period Rabbi Akiva. Most of the people in Judea (though not in Galilee) followed Bar Kokba. The war lasted about four years (A.D. 132-35); and ended with the destruction of the rebellion forces, and the expulsion of the Jewish population from most of Judea. It was also followed by a religious persecution, which did not, however, last very long. Bar Kokba was killed in the last great battle in A.D. 135.
About A.D. 140 the surviving members of the Sanhedrin met at Usha in Galilee and voted a supreme national authority. They elected Simeon Bem Gamalaliel II as patriarch, and he succeeded in dominating the Sanhedrin. During the 132-35 rebellion Bar Kokba had attracted to himself Eleazar the priest; and for more than three years he divided Rome; but the Romans led by Julius Severus forced him to withdraw to the stronghold of Betar, at which place he was killed.
During his leadership Bar Kokba took the title of Prince of Israel; and struck coins in his name and in the name of Priest Eleazar. After the fall of Betar, the remainder of his followers took refuge in the desert by the Dead Sea. In 1960 the Israeli archaeologist Y. Yakim discovered dispatches by Bar Kokba in a bundle of papyri in a cave in the desert. From these he appears to have been a dominating commander, prompt to enforce obedience.
The Jews terrible “double” of disfavor is now a matter of history, and what a double it has been! When they had yelled, “Crucify him, crucify him; his blood be upon us, and upon our children,” God had taken them at their word; and we may rejoice with them now that those agonizing years are in the past, and with better things ahead as we look forward to the blessings they will receive in the Kingdom when they “look upon Him whom they pierced, and shall mourn because of it.”
In Part Two we will elaborate more on Zionism and how it has affected the Jewish people since her “Double” is completed. But for now we will close with an encouraging message from God’s Word: “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins… The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” (Isa. 40:1-5)
(Brother John J. Hoefle, Reprint 423, July 1991)
AN ARAB DEFENDS ISRAEL
Terrorism feeds on fear and intimidation, which is why few Arabs dare to stand up and speak the truth. Lebanese Christian Brigitte Gabrielle is the exception. The following text is taken from her remarks at Duke University’s “Counter-Terrorism Speak Out.”
“I’m proud to stand here today as a Lebanese speaking for Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. As someone who was raised in an Arab country, I want to give you a glimpse into the heart of the Arab world.
“In 1975, when the Moslems declared holy war on Christians, they went from town to town, massacring people. From the age 10 to 17, I lived in an underground bomb shelter, without electricity, eating grass to survive and crawling under sniper bullets to get water from a spring for my elderly parents.
“It was Israel that came to help the Christians in Lebanon. When my mother was wounded by a grenade thrown by a Moslem, she was taken to an Israeli hospital for treatment.
“When we entered the emergency room, I was shocked to see hundreds of wounded - Moslems, Palestinians, Christian Lebanese and Israeli soldiers - lying on the floor. The doctors treated everyone according to the severity of their injury. They treated my mother before an Israeli soldier lying next to her. They didn’t care about religion or political beliefs. They only saw people in need.
“For the first time in my life, I became aware of human kindness that our culture would never show our enemies. I had heard about Israeli values, people capable of loving their enemies, even in the worst moments.
“The 22 days in that hospital changed my life, the way I believed information, the way I listen to the radio or to television. I realized I’d been sold a lie by my government about the Jews and Israel that was so far from reality. I knew that if I were a Jewish girl in an Arab hospital, I’d be lynched to joyful shouts of Allahu Akhar (Allah is great).
“Once upon a time, there was a special place in the lowest depths of hell for anyone who would murder a child. Now, the intentional murder of Israeli children is legitimized as Palestinian armed struggle. But once such behavior is legitimized against Israel, it’s legitimized everywhere in the world, constrained by nothing more than the subjective belief of people who would wrap themselves in dynamite and nails for the purpose of killing children in the name of god.
“Because the Palestinians have been encouraged to believe that murdering innocent Israeli civilians is a legitimate tactic for advancing their cause, the whole world now suffers from a plague of terrorism, from Nairobi to New York, from Moscow to Madrid, from Bali to Beslan.
“They blame suicide bombing on the ‘desperation of occupation.’ Let me tell you the truth. The first major terror bombing committed by Arabs against the Jewish state occurred 10 weeks before Israel even became independent. On Sunday morning, February 22, 1948, in anticipation of Israel’s independence, a triple truck bomb was detonated by Arab terrorists on Ben Yehuda Street in what was then the Jewish part of Jerusalem. Fifty-four people were killed, and hundreds wounded.
“Arab terrorism is not caused by the desperation of occupation, but by THE VERY THOUGHT of a Jewish state.
“So many times in the past 100 years, citizens have stood by and done nothing, allowing evil to prevail. As America stood up and defeated communism, it’s time now to stand up against the terror of religious bigotry and intolerance. It’s time for everyone to support and defend the state of Israel, which is the front line of the war against terrorism.”
(Israel Today, January 2005)
LETTER OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Epiphany Bible Students:
May I say how much I appreciate reading the article “When Christ is King - What Then?” in the December 1, 2004 Epiphany Bible Students Association. The most appreciated and understanding part of the article is on the page regarding Jer. 31:34.
I just received from a friend of mine the latest publication from the WT Bible and Tract Society article “Draw Close To Jehovah.” No scriptures were cited in the publication such as John 14:6 or John 6:44. How can we get close to God with not going through Jesus.
I reason that they, Jehovah’s Witnesses have no understanding of Jer. 31:34. They are completely oblivious to these truths and the New Covenant God will make with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
From 1952 to 1976 I was a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was disfellowshipped in 1977 because of studying and teaching others of the writings of Pastor Russell.
During the years as a JW I never once read in their publication anything regarding Jer. 31:34.
May I thank you in advance for reading my letter. I remain your brother in Christ.