TO THE JEWISH PEOPLE OF ISRAEL….
To the Jewish people of Israel I would like to say this:
During the seventies I spent five of the best years of my life in your country, mainly as a volunteer. For several seasons I worked on the excavations next to the Western Wall with Professor Binyamin Mazar, Meyer Ben-Dov and others. As well as that, I worked on three kibbutzim- Tsor'ah, Gezer and Sde Boker- milking sheep, doing practically everything one can do with a tractor, irrigation, fruit trees and pretty well everything else.
More recently, for four years I worked with a Christian organisation which actively helped with the aliyah from the former Soviet Union and, up until last year, worked in a christian guest house in the Old City of Jerusalem.
While here in Israel I have got to know the Israeli people- warts and all- and have developed a deep love and respect for you. I know that there are many decent people and many God-fearing people in this land and I have many fond memories of those I met and worked with.
We owe a great deal to the Jewish people. Most of the world's top scientists, for example, have been Jewish. Many of the top doctors and surgeons have been Jewish. Many of the top businessmen, bankers, lawyers, philosophers, intellectuals, inventors, philanthropists and other men of influence have been Jewish. The Jewish people have influenced us all out of all proportion to their numbers.
Mark Twain, for example, describing the Jews, wrote:
"If the statistics are correct, the Jews represent merely one percent (actually, more like 0.1 percent) of humanity - an irrelevant spark in the light of the Milky Way. Normally speaking, the Jews should hardly be heard of, and yet we heard and hear of them again and again. They can rival any people on earth in fame, and their significance in economy and trade are in no ratio to their population.
Their contribution to the list of great names in literature, natural science, art, music, finance, medicine and profound learning is just as amazing. They have done extremely well in this world - with their hands tied behind their backs. They could rightly be proud of themselves.
The Egyptians, Babylonians and Persians came into power, filled the earth with their glory, but perished. The Greeks and Romans followed, "made a lot of noise," and then disappeared. Other nations rose up, their torches burned for a while, and then they were extinguished, and today they sit in the twilight or have completely disappeared.
The Jews saw it all. They beat them all, and are today what they always were, showing no decay, no aging, no weakening, no decline of energy, no blunting of their wide-awake dynamic spirit. Everything is mortal except the Jew. All other powers perish but he remains. What is the mystery of his immortality? " (Mark Twain, 1899).
Winston Churchill once wrote this:
...We owe to the Jews in the Christian revelation a system of ethics which, even if it were entirely separated from the supernatural, would be incomparably the most precious possession of mankind, worth in fact the fruits of all other wisdom and learning put together. On that system and by that faith there has been built out of the wreck of the Roman Empire the whole of our existing civilization....
Re. Hon. WINSTON S. CHURCHILL, The Illustrated Sunday Herald, February 8th 1920
Recently I found this snippet about Israel on the internet:
The Middle East has been growing date palms for centuries. The average Israeli date trees are now yielding 400 pounds/year and are short enough to be harvested from the ground or a short ladder.
The cell phone was developed in Israel by Israelis working in the Israeli branch of Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel.
Most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel.
The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel.
Both the Pentium-4 microprocessor and the Centrino processor were entirely designed, developed and produced in Israel.
The Pentium microprocessor in your computer was most likely made in Israel.
Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.
Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the US in Israel.
The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger ICQ was developed in 1996 by four young Israelis.
Israel has the fourth largest air force in the world (after the U.S., Russia and China). In addition to a large variety of other aircraft, Israel's air force has an aerial arsenal of over 250 F-16's. This is the largest fleet of F-16 aircraft outside of the U. S.
Israel's $100 billion economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined.
Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.
According to industry officials, Israel designed the airline industry's most impenetrable flight security. US officials now look (finally) to Israel for advice on how to handle airborne security threats.
Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.
Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin - 109 per 10,000 people --as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.
In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world. In absolute terms, Israel has the largest number of startup companies than any other country in the world, except the U.S. (3,500 companies mostly in hi-tech).
With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and startups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world -- apart from the Silicon Valley, U. S.
Israel is ranked #2 in the world for venture capital funds right behind the U. S.
Outside the United States and Canada, Israel has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies.
Israel has the highest average living standards in the Middle East.
The per capita income in 2000 was over $17,500, exceeding that of the UK.
On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech startups.
Twenty-four per cent of Israel's workforce holds university degrees, ranking third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland and 12 per cent hold advanced degrees.
Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.
In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews (Operation Solomon) at risk in Ethiopia, to safety in Israel.
When Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969, she became the world's second elected female leader in modern times.
When the U. S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya was bombed in 1998, Israeli rescue teams were on the scene within a day -- and saved three victims from the rubble.
Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship -- and the highest rate among women and among people over 55 - in the world.
Relative to its population, Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on earth. Immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom, and economic opportunity. (Hundreds of thousands from the former Soviet Union)
Israel was the first nation in the world to adopt the Kimberly process, an international standard that certifies diamonds as "conflict free."
Israel has the world's second highest per capita of new books.
Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees, made more remarkable because this was achieved in an area considered mainly desert.
Israel has more museums per capita than any other country.
Medicine... Israeli scientists developed the first fully computerized, no-radiation, diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer.
An Israeli company developed a computerized system for ensuring proper administration of medications, thus removing human error from medical treatment. Every year in U. S. hospitals 7,000 patients die from treatment mistakes.
Israel's Givun Imaging developed the first ingestible video camera, so small it fits inside a pill. Used to view the small intestine from the inside, cancer and digestive disorders.
Researchers in Israel developed a new device that directly helps the heart pump blood, an innovation with the potential to save lives among those with heart failure. The new device is synchronized with the camera helps doctors diagnose heart's mechanical operations through a sophisticated system of sensors.
Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 145 per 10,000, as opposed to 85 in the U. S., over 70 in Japan, and less than 60 in Germany. With over 25% of its work force employed in technical professions. Israel places first in this category as well.
A new acne treatment developed in Israel, the Clear Light device, produces a high-intensity, ultraviolet-light-free, narrow-band blue light that causes acne bacteria to self-destruct -- all without damaging surrounding skin or tissue.
An Israeli company was the first to develop and install a large-scale solar-powered and fully functional electricity generating plant, in southern California's Mojave desert.
All the above while engaged in regular wars with an implacable enemy that seeks its destruction, and an economy continuously under strain by having to spend more per capita on its own protection than any other county on earth.
ISRAEL (11/9/05, from an e-mail, unverified)
Finally, speaking as a Christian, practically every word of the Bible- one of the pillars of western society- was written by the people of Israel. Then, of course, the one we acknowledge as our Lord and Saviour had a Jewish mother. He grew up as a Jew in a Jewish society. Like it or lump it, Jesus was a Jew. Christianity- like it or lump it- was a Jewish invention. We all owe the Jewish people an enormous debt of gratitude. Gratitude, not hatred….
Having said all this, however- and I do mean every word- Israel is still predominantly a secular state. Most Israelis in fact, are just as secular and non-religious as most Britons or Europeans. Many of you are totally agnostic and many of you do not even believe in the existence of the God, who appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. Many of you are disillusioned with Zionism and you are flocking to places like India to look for answers. India is a fascinating country and it will provide a much-needed break after your Army service. You will see some stunning scenery, meet some wonderful people and come back with very pleasant memories but you will probably not find any real answers there.
If you are genuinely looking for answers, then I would strongly recommend that you think about this: either the God, who appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob exists or he doesn't exist.
If God does not exist, it follows that your entire history is a collection of myths. Every nation has its myths, legends and traditions. We British, for instance, have many legends and traditions. They are all very stirring and some of them might even be true. If God does not exist, it means that your legends are about as good as anybody else’s legends. No worse, but no better either.
If God does not exist, it follows that he did not choose the people of Israel;
It follows that he did not bring Joseph and the decendants of Jacob down into Egypt.
It follows that he did not bring you up out of Egypt;
It follows that he did not bring you through the Red Sea;
It follows that he did not lead you down to Mount Sinai and that he did not make a covenant with you at the foot of that mountain;
It means that he did not lead you over the Jordan river to this land and that he did not give you this land.
It means that he has not been involved in bringing you back from exile after 2,000 years.
I mean, how could God have done all these things? He doesn’t exist, so how could he?
If God does not exist, then he is not fighting for you and you have exactly the same right to this land that any other nation would have- the right of the strongest.
If God does not exist, then you are left with simple mathematics- about 6 million Israeli Jews (with roughly 18 million Jews worldwide, including Israel) against about 200 million Moslem Arabs who are dedicated to your destruction- not to mention a total of about 1.3 billion Moslems in the world and practically every other nation against you as well! With those odds- if there is no God- who would you say is eventually going to win? You don't have to be a professor of mathematics to realise that Israel is eventually going to weaken and be destroyed. It is inevitable.
Your morale, in fact, is already beginning to weaken. You have been fighting the same war against the same enemy for generations. It doesn't matter how often you win or how decisively you win, the same hate-filled enemy is still there and you have to go on fighting them; your sons will have to go on fighting them and their sons will have to go on fighting them....and their sons....and their sons...No nation on earth could keep up its moral strength for generation after generation- as you have- for all these years, without finally caving in. It is inevitable that one day Israel will weaken and will be destroyed.....
.....If there is no God.
But the God who created this planet does exist; the God who appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob does exist. At rock bottom you know God exists.
Psalm 44:1 For the choir director; a maskil by Korah's descendants.
O God, we have heard it with our own ears. Our ancestors have told us about the miracle you performed in their day, in days long ago. By your power you forced nations out of the land, but you planted our ancestors there. You shattered many groups of people, but you set our ancestors free.
3. It was not with their swords that they took possession of the land. They did not gain victory with their own strength. It was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your presence that did it, because you were pleased with them.
4 You alone are my king, O God. You won those victories for Jacob. With you we can walk over our enemies. With your name we can trample those who attack us. I do not rely on my bow, and my sword will never save me. But you saved us from our enemies. You put to shame those who hate us. All day long we praise our God. We give thanks to you forever. Selah
The Jewish people could not have survived 2,000 years of persecution without God.
The newborn nation of Israel would not have survived 1948 without God. It would have lasted for about three weeks after its independence was declared- just as General Montgomery predicted in 1946!
Israel would not have won the 1967 war so decisively without God. (At the time I was in the British Army and was convinced you were going to lose and that there would be another holocaust- this time of the Jews in Israel.)
Israel would have been destroyed in the Yom Kippur War of 1973 without God. If, for example, you have read “Warrior” by Ariel Sharon, you will find that the Israeli generals spent almost as much time fighting one another as they did fighting the enemy. Anyone who was in that war (as I was as an innocent tourist, doing my best not to get blown to bits!) knows deep down that God was the one who won that war and not the Israelis.
No, the fact is that God does exist and you don't have to worry about the maths. He invented maths but he is not bound by it. He is fighting to keep Israel alive and he is going to win- whatever the odds.
This, of course, is very reassuring for you but it is not a blank cheque to live any way you like. Throughout the ages God has blessed his people when they obeyed him and has cursed them when they did not. He has the power to keep you in this land- whatever the odds against it- and he has the power to remove you- however powerful your defence forces are. It would, therefore, be very much in your interests to accept that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the God who created this planet and who called you out of Egypt, does exist; to accept that he did give you this land and that he did give you his way of life, outlined in the Tanakh. It would be very much in your interests to start reading your Tanakh very carefully from beginning to end and to obey this God and to live his way of life. If you do that, your life will be in the hands of God.
"There is only one important book on the subject (Zionism, the right of the Jewish people to live in their own land) the Bible, and I have studied it thoroughly. This is the cause of your survival. I count it as my privilege to help you fight your battle. To that purpose I want to devote my life...
...Whoever dares lift a hand against you and your enterprise should be fought against...I shall fight with you against any of these influences. But remember that it is your battle. My part, which I say I feel to be a privilege, is only to help you."
Captain Orde Wingate, known to the Jews as "Ha-Yadid" (the Friend) talking to a Jewish military commander in the late 1930's.
You all know the old Israeli joke about Israel having two choices- ein brera (no choice) and ein brera klal (absolutely no choice). This now gives you a third choice. Think about it.
Deuteronomy 30:1 "I have now given you a choice between a blessing and a curse. When all these things have happened to you, and you are living among the nations where the LORD your God has scattered you, you will remember the choice I gave you.
2. If you and your descendants will turn back to the LORD and with all your heart obey his commands that I am giving you today, then the LORD your God will have mercy on you. He will bring you back from the nations where he has scattered you, and he will make you prosperous again. Even if you are scattered to the farthest corners of the earth, the LORD your God will gather you together and bring you back, so that you may again take possession of the land where your ancestors once lived. And he will make you more prosperous and more numerous than your ancestors ever were.
6. The LORD your God will give you and your descendants obedient hearts, so that you will love him with all your heart, and you will continue to live in that land.
7. He will turn all these curses against your enemies, who hated you and oppressed you, and you will again obey him and keep all his commands that I am giving you today. The LORD will make you prosperous in all that you do; you will have many children and a lot of livestock, and your fields will produce abundant crops. He will be as glad to make you prosperous as he was to make your ancestors prosperous, but you will have to obey him and keep all his laws that are written in this book of his teachings. You will have to turn to him with all your heart.
11. "The command that I am giving you today is not too difficult or beyond your reach. It is not up in the sky. You do not have to ask, 'Who will go up and bring it down for us, so that we can hear it and obey it?' Nor is it on the other side of the ocean. You do not have to ask, 'Who will go across the ocean and bring it to us, so that we may hear it and obey it?' No, it is here with you. You know it and can quote it, so now obey it.
15. "Today I am giving you a choice between good and evil, between life and death.
16. If you obey the commands of the LORD your God, which I give you today, if you love him, obey him, and keep all his laws, then you will prosper and become a nation of many people. The LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are about to occupy.
17. But if you disobey and refuse to listen, and are led away to worship other gods, you will be destroyed---I warn you here and now. You will not live long in that land across the Jordan that you are about to occupy.
19. I am now giving you the choice between life and death, between God's blessing and God's curse, and I call heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Choose life.
20. Love the LORD your God, obey him and be faithful to him, and then you and your descendants will live long in the land that he promised to give your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."
(And this quote from Isaiah.)
Isaiah 1:18 The LORD says, "Now, let's settle the matter. You are stained red with sin, but I will wash you as clean as snow. Although your stains are deep red, you will be as white as wool. If you will only obey me, you will eat the good things the land produces. But if you defy me, you are doomed to die. I, the LORD, have spoken."
(And how about this passage from Ezekiel.)
Ezekiel 18:31. "Change the way you think and act. Turn away from all the rebellious things that you have done so that you will not fall into sin. Stop all the rebellious things that you are doing. Get yourselves new hearts and new spirits.
Why do you want to die, nation of Israel? I don't want anyone to die," declares the Almighty LORD. "Change the way you think and act!"
(And this one from Deuteronomy)
Deuteronomy 4:5 "I have taught you all the laws, as the LORD my God told me to do. Obey them in the land that you are about to invade and occupy. Obey them faithfully, and this will show the people of other nations how wise you are. When they hear of all these laws, they will say, 'What wisdom and understanding this great nation has! No other nation, no matter how great, has a God who is so near when they need him as the LORD our God is to us. He answers us whenever we call for help. No other nation, no matter how great, has laws so just as those that I have taught you today.
(And now please read this one….Even if You forget all the other scriptures, do yourselves a favour and remember this one!)
Proverbs 16:7 When a person's ways are pleasing to the LORD (YHVH), he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
God is God and He can tell the Spirit of Islam, “Enough already!” any time he wants and that Spirit (and it is a Spirit) will no choice but to obey. If you Israeli people turn back to your God- the God, who brought you out of Egypt; the God who gave you this land in the first place- then you can forget the mathematics. The future is yours.
Zechariah 4:1. The angel who explained the visions woke me from what seemed like sleep. Then he asked, "What do you see?"
"A solid gold lampstand with an oil container above it," I answered. "On the stand are seven lamps, each with seven flames. One olive tree is on the right side and another on the left of the oil container. But, sir, what do these mean?"
Then he asked, "Don't you know?"
"No sir," I replied.
So the angel explained that it was the following message of the LORD to Zerubbabel: I am the LORD All-Powerful. So don't depend on your own (military) power or strength, but on my Spirit.
(Incidentally, this seven-branched Menorah has now become one the most recognisable symbols of Israel. In 1948, after the birth of the new State of Israel, the British Parliament gave them a gift of the Menorah, which now stands next to the Knesset- the Israeli Government building. Under this Menorah are the words, “Not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit.”
We did a lot of things wrong in our Mandate but we did get one thing right. No nation has shown more courage and endurance against impossible odds than you have. You are an inspiration to the entire world but, if you continue to try to do it all by yourselves you will eventually fall. You need to stop relying totally on your own efforts and your own courage and you need to look to God and ask him for His help and guidance.
In closing, I would like to quote from the King of England’s Christmas Broadcast of 1939. Britain had declared war on Germany three months beforehand and morale was very low.
Bear in mind that the world had just been through the Great War- arguably the most appalling slaughter in human history and there were many thousands in their forties- a few even in their late thirties- who had fought in it. Multiple millions on both sides had been blown to bits for what amounted to nothing. On the British side, about half the aristocracy- the best, bravest half- had died. The best and bravest of the farming stock and the best and the bravest of the working classes had died in the mud. Not only that, but the professional soldiers and sailors who had made up the pre-war fighting forces had almost all perished. Practically every member of the British government of that time had either fought in that war himself, or had close relatives who had fought in it. All of them had brothers, fathers, sons, uncles and close friends who had died in that "War to end all wars".
Let us look at some of the figures, which were in King George’s mind and in the minds of practically everyone in Britain- and the rest of the civilized world:
The British Empire had lost almost 1,000,000 men;
France had lost 1,300,000 men;
The USA had lost 115,000 men;
Russia had lost 1,700,000 men;
2,000,000 German troops had been killed;
A total of nearly 10,000,000 servicemen had been killed in that war.
On top of that, 20,000,000 people had died of the influenza- double the number killed in action!
A total of 30,000,000 people had died as a direct result of that war- over half the present population of Britain!
Many decent men and women had devoted their lives to making sure there would never be another war and, three months before that 1939 Christmas broadcast, despite all their best efforts, they found that they were at war again. Most people in Britain and- indeed- throughout the world were totally sick at heart.
King George VI ended his broadcast with these words:
“A new year is at hand. We cannot tell what it will bring. If it brings peace, how thankful we shall be. If it brings continued struggle we shall remain undaunted. In the meantime I feel that we may all find a message of encouragement in the lines which, in my closing words, I should like to say to you:
‘I said to the man, who stood at the Gate of the Year, “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied, “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be better than light, and safer than a known way.”’
IS ISLAM A RELIGION OF PEACE?
IS ISLAM A PEACEFUL FAITH?
WHO STARTED THE WAR IN 1947?
WHY DID THE ARABS LEAVE ISRAEL?
HOW MANY ARABS FLED?
ARAB HELP FOR THEIR REFUGEES.
Let’s put things into context
A comparison with refugees worldwide
WHAT IF THE JEWS LOST ANY WAR?
Dear Prime Minister
TO THE BRITISH PEOPLE
Three very brave Arabs
A Palestinian speaks out
Joseph Farah speaks
We must stop blaming Israel
Do Palestinians really want peace?
What do the Palestinians really think about Israel?
TO THE MOSLEM ARABS
Israel’s best defence
TO THE JEWISH PEOPLE IN ISRAEL
HOW WILL IT ALL END?