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The Road to Nakba
Israel - Middle East
Friday, April 06, 2018
Alf Cengia

Traveling the Road to Nakba - what do we make of the Gaza protests?

When I was a kid my parents would watch the "Road" movies. These were light-hearted comedy romances (some claim they were satirical) starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour.  Examples of the title included: Road to Zanzibar; Road to Hong Kong; Road to Bali, and even Road to Utopia.

But the Road to Nakba isn't comedy-romance. It isn't satire. Neither is it a road to Utopia. It isn't a march to freedom, or a right to return from "stolen land." The road to Nakba isn't a peaceful march conducted by a peaceful people oppressed by a genocidal Israeli state.

What is Nakba? In a nutshell it's an historic "catastrophe." According to the Jewish Virtual Library:

The word “nakba” to describe the consequences of the 1948 War was coined by Dr. Constantin Zureiq, a Syrian historian who taught at the American University of Beirut. Writing in his 1948 book, The Meaning of the Disaster, Zureiq said, “The defeat of the Arabs in Palestine is not a small downfall – naksa … It is a catastrophe – nakba – in every sense of the word.”

Zureiq also wrote, “Seven Arab countries declare war on Zionism in Palestine….Seven countries go to war to abolish the partition and to defeat Zionism, and quickly leave the battle after losing much of the land of Palestine – and even the part that was given to the Arabs in the Partition Plan.”

At the heart of Nakba participants and its various supporters is hatred of the Jew - and hatred of Jewish self-determination as a sovereign country in the region commonly referred to as Palestine. In fact a Gatestone Institute bullet point sums it up so well I could stop this article right here:

The mass protests are aimed at forcing Israel to accept millions of Palestinian "refugees" as a first step towards turning Jews into a minority in their own country. The next step would be to kill or expel the Jews and replace Israel with an Islamic state. Did they expect the Israeli soldiers to greet them with flowers?

The road to Nakba is paved with blood.

Not just the allegedly indiscriminate blood spilled by the Israeli Defense Force, either. The Palestinian leaderships have always traded in the blood of their people for the sympathies of complicit anti-Zionist, anti-Jewish entities.

Both Hamas and the PA want bloodshed. They incite their peoples to violence against Jews and Israel, hoping for their deaths. This, while trusting in uncritical support from the single-minded United Nations, surrounding nations (Turkey, Iran, Jordan), and professing Christians!

Following a familiar pattern, Israel's response to the rocket attacks from Gaza in 2014 was predictably called disproportionate force. On the other hand the fact that Hamas fired rockets into Israel from civilian areas in Gaza was ignored as far as possible. Prejudice of the Jewish state trumps concern for a Palestinian people violated by its genocidal leaders.

I've mentioned Anglican anti-Zionist priest Stephen Sizer many times. He recently conducted a "peacemaker" lecture tour in Australia. An online magazine (featuring his anti-Zionism book) has him calling for Christians to be part of the solution in ending the Israel Palestine conflict. He affirms that Christians should pray for peace.

Who would argue with that?

Yet Sizer is no peacemaker. He's an activist who once raised the question of whether Israel was involved in 9-11. Sizer and his colleagues inflame by misinforming those who are unfamiliar with the true dynamics driving the Arab-Israeli conflict. Before he gets to the pious prayer part at the end, he's already poisoned the Zionist well.

It's the usual stuff by the usual suspects.

The mention of Gentiles becoming Jews in the Esther story betrays the intent to redefine Jewish ethnicity. Try applying the same thinking to indigenous people around the world. The "One People of God" anti-Zionist argument allows for an assortment of Gentile nations - just as long as there isn't a sovereign Jewish state.

Of course Sizer cherry picks his texts. The ones he doesn't like he ignores or re-engineers to his liking. I often mention him because his anti-Zionist activity is particularly blatant. Yet he represents a number of anti-Zionist Christians.

Palestinian violence is OK for many Christians because Palestinians are allegedly reacting to an oppressive Israeli state. Said another way, the violence against Israel is understandable in context of "Palestinian suffering." There's an irony to all this given the history of the term Nakba.

The road to Nakba is just another winding track (among many others) leading to a wider road - the road to Armageddon. And, No! - Christian Zionists haven't paved it - contrary to Stephen Sizer's sensationalistic book. We're not that good.

We live in interesting times.

Scoffers say the Christian-Fundamentalist-empowered Donald Trump exacerbated the Palestinian conflict by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Palestinian leaders will embrace any excuse to incite violence. The Fundies couldn't organize the collapse of Syria, or the rise of Iran and (arguably) Turkey - propped up by a Russian-Goggish Overlord. Leaving aside the sudden Chinese interest in all this!

A sovereign God did that.

Hosea 5:15 notes that affliction will spur Israel to seek God. We read in Zechariah 12 and 14 that God will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all peoples. Those who lift it will be injured. He will gather the nations against Israel, and then destroy them.

In Ezekiel 36:22-28 God reveals that He will restore Israel for His name's sake. God will do all this because He promised to. It will be for the sake of His glory.

The Nakba "march" and its sympathizers are symptoms of anti-Semitism of the scale which will ultimately have eschatological ramifications. Unfortunately, revisionists who insist God has finished with Israel will avoid connecting the dots.

Deliberate anti-Israel activists who stretch the truth also run the risk of incurring the negative aspect of Gen 12:3.

I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Gen 12:3

On the other hand we should be eagerly looking forward to Christ's appearing (1 John 3:2).

Keep looking up!

Further reading:

Mitri Raheb's Empire of Lies

The Mis-Education of a Young Evangelical

Palestinian Christian Theologians against Israel

About Alf Cengia

Last week: Son of God and Son of Man

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