Middle East Game Plan
"From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!"
Anti-Israel rallying cry
Just think... if only at some point the world's Arab countries had said "yes" to Israel (as some Arab leaders and early Zionists earnestly expected), instead of deranging themselves into enemies of God and man....
“They who bless Israel are blessed; they who curse Israel are cursed”
(Genesis 12:1, 49:9; Numbers 24:9)
What kinds of monsters… when the Jews could "make the desert bloom" and bring blessings with them, as they fled persecution and genocidal murder-campaigns, who on earth would wrap themselves in phony love for real estate that didn’t even belong to them… who would deliberately block the desperate fleeing Jews, and try to kill them? Especially when the local residents, mostly impoverished, illiterate wanderers and squatters, who knew it all along as "the Jews' Land," sincerely - after all the Jewish blood had soaked into it over centuries - believed it to be cursed? (Whenever the local residents could afford to, they moved away from it!)
Even now the Israel-haters’ rallying cry is, "This is no place for the Jews!" Despite the Jews' return to the Land of Israel, which isn't just some stray prophecy in the Bible but a principal, culminating promise, was - as any idiot could have seen - both desirable and inevitable. It does, after all, come from God.
Now we're engaged in a great war. Again. Even as the organized Jew-haters in Gaza - Hamas, the "Islamic Resistance Movement, an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, supported by the charming tyrants of Iran - keep firing rockets into "Green Line" Israel, along with the Hezbollah - "Party of Allah," which is even more a creature of Iran's tyrants - Jew-haters in the North.
Presently, the Red Cross (which Jews remember proved itself worse than useless for the Jews in the Holocaust) refuses to lift a finger for the mostly Jewish men, women and children taken hostage by Hamas on Shabbos Simchas Torah, October 7th. But it has stirred itself to damn Israel on behalf of Hamas' subjects in Gaza.
Their suffering is on Hamas, which is hiding, with its tortured Jewish hostages, among civilians. Which is another horrible war crime by Hamas. Still, their misery could be miraculously alleviated - if only Egypt had the will. Alas, Egypt doesn't. None of the Arab or Muslim countries does. Egypt doesn't "want to settle the Palestinian problem at our expense." They won't take in their own people - refugees, related to most of the rest of the people of Egypt by language, religion, customs and blood (lots of Al-Misris, "of Egypt," names in Gaza!) - fleeing from the Hamas war in Gaza, lest "Israel refuse to let them return to Gaza."
Get real. The Arab Nation is not land-poor. This atrocious, seemingly endless war against Israel is no little real estate dispute! This is a war waged by the adherents of savage and inferior religious beliefs - religious beliefs are simply ultimate beliefs, whether or not they stem from theological concepts - against the central people of human history, the Jews.
Of course the whole point of the Jews is that God created them here on Earth to show the human race - the remarkably ignorant, jealous, grasping, resentful, racist, xenophobic, deeply pagan human race, the blood-brethren of the Jews - better ways. So Isaiah, for instance, speaks of that job's challenges: the suffering servant of HaShem - God, Israel's redeemer, messiah and shield - against human beastliness (Isaiah 53).
For all the wealth the Arabs have invested in war and weaponry, first to abort nascent Israel and now to obliterate the – thank God - miraculous thriving country - that makes their countries look so pitiful, they could have re-settled all their people who didn't wish to live alongside Jews in luxury.
Including Gaza, Jerusalem, the Golan, and the whole "Palestinian Territories" (Judea and Samaria, or the "West Bank"), Israel is only about the size of New Jersey. The Arab oil sheiks could have BOUGHT New Jersey! And Delaware too! And still be rich beyond comprehension.
I flew from Cairo to Jordan a few months ago - and then across the Arabian Peninsula to the Persian Gulf. Vast territories are devastated. Ancient Rome ruined it, and all North Africa, vacuuming up all the apex predator animals, the lions, tigers, bears, etc., for fantastically cruel pagan "games." Week after week, over four centuries, every self-respecting Roman city heedlessly consumed. (Never mind the advent of Christianity: Roman paganism really only collapsed when the animal-supply did.) But we today shouldn’t let ancient paganism settle the issue. The ruined land needn't be kept ruined! Wise husbandry, millions of young Arabs who are dying for work, modern technology, and maybe just a little help from the Jews....
They who hate Israel don't need to live in Israel! Let them improve themselves by improving the Arab world.
Scripture and Prophecy
Hebrew Revelation has a lot to say about current events. Some obvious Teachings: You, Israel, shall not make any covenant with co-claimants of the Land of Israel (Exodus 23:32) nor try to carve it up for them in any kind of deal. If you fail to rid the land of such co-claimants, they shall be "pins in your eyes and thorns in your sides and they shall vex you, and I shall do to you what I would have done to them” (Numbers 33:55-6).
“If you fail to follow through with these, My instructions, I shall punish you with "a non-nation; I shall provoke you with a vile nation" (Deuteronomy 32:21). How will this work? With Israel's enemies worldwide banding together, "they shall try to erase the very name of Israel" (Psalms 82:5).
Some few of Israel's enemies are aware of these prophecies.
Then there’s Amalek, a strange phenomenon, the Anti-Israel. "Remember Amalek," Scripture insists. "Don't forget Amalek,” "War to blot out Amalek" (Deuteronomy 25:17,19).
Amalek, the anti-Israel, is the spirit that delights in smashing Jewry whenever it falters, targeting the Jews' "weaklings," the stragglers, pregnant, infirm, children and newborns, at the worst moments, and torturing and massacring them - the spirit of Nazis and pogroms (Exodus 17:8-16).
Amalek is fantastically pathological, diabolical and cosmic. Not every enemy of the Jews has anything to do with Amalek. But Hamas, in our time, like the Nazis and Inquisitors and pogromists and any number of pagan mobs before them, are classic Amalek.
The Passover Haggadah brings this up, right near the start of every Pesach seder, regarding the Divine promise of an actual future for Israel: "that promise has been the support of our ancestors and ourselves, for not only one has risen up against us, but in every generation some have arisen against us to annihilate us." Actually, that’s just part of being Jewish. (You know that you're dealing with powerful prophecy when what was undeniably true long ago, when these words were first written, continues to resonate, "in every generation.)
Amalek, the spirit, is passionately jealous of Israel – its watchword is, "the Jews aren't so holy." It insists that Amalek itself, be it mostly Germans, at any point in history, or Cossacks, Catholics, Arabs, or whatever, should replace Israel. As today, for instance, we have the chief symbol of Palestinianism, ubiquitous in every "Palestinian" office, home or government display: Al Quds ("the holy"), the Shrine of the Rock, Al-Aksa, in Jerusalem - the Golden Mosque, they call it - celebrating Islam's triumph over the Jews' religion, their shrine built atop the ruins of Israel's ancient Temple.
Hamas understands that symbolism, and so does the rest of Islam. Islam replaces Judaism - end of story.
Hamas today is proudly calling this latest pogrom “the Al-Aksa Uprising.”
General Scriptural Principles
Of course the great linchpin rule of the Torah, the heart of the Hebrew Revolution (and, indeed, of every decent legal system - which follows from the utterly sublime universal revelation that every person exists "in God's image" (Genesis 1:27) - is "one law shall there be for you and the stranger" (Exodus 12:49, Leviticus 24:22, Numbers 15:16). And, even beyond that, Jews are commanded, "You shall love the stranger" (Leviticus 19:34, Deuteronomy 10:19). (Meaning, operationally: always try to treat him or her as you'd want to be treated yourself.)
Israel has been wrestling with how to deal with the so-called Palestinians; these precepts get cited a lot by those want them treated better. But, obviously, "one law" and "love the stranger" remain subject to the law of survival, which is integral to all Divine Law: "if one comes to kill you, kill her (or him) first" (Talmud, Berachos 58a).
It should go without saying that no one should ever be treated unjustly, or oppressively, in personal matters. Even a heinous enemy, in court proceedings, deserves the same fair treatment - the same equal, honest procedural rights and protection - as your brother. However, outside of court proceedings, in the context of a desperate struggle for a country, obviously - not to mention the survival of the cause of Israel, and the ultimate survival and well-being of the Jewish people - policy may legitimately apply different regulations to different groups. It’s just that simple. The Torah is not a suicide pact.
Laws for Noahides
Obviously, the universal moral laws that apply to all mankind apply here. Israel is bound by the commandments, statutes, laws and ordinances of Torah, including the Seven Commandments of the First (or Rainbow) Covenant, the universal covenant. The Gentiles involved - not just the so-called Palestinians but all non-Jews in the Land of Israel - are bound by the basic moral strictures that apply to all mankind, the "don't steal," "don't murder," "don't rape" kinds of laws (the Universal Laws) that make civilization possible. The Torah characterizes these as the Seven Noachide Commandments. They should be at the root of every national, or Noachide, code of law - secular law, enacted by Noachide legislators - aimed at keeping the peace and doing justice wherever there are people.
Hamas, beyond violating the Noachide Commandments against murder, rape and torture, the characteristic practices of Israel's Amalek-inspired enemies in the Land of Israel, defy the Seven Commandments' prohibition against idolatry - literally, "strange worship" - and blasphemy.
The crime: trying to honor the object of your worship by doing awful things that no deity worth worshiping would ever countenance, that, in fact, any idiot knows or should know is horrible - like contemporary Islamic warriors' characteristic practice of deliberately terrorizing, murdering, and oppressing their fellow men, for instance, "for the glory of Allah." It’s beyond odious. It makes even the idea of religion look bad. It defames and discredits even the idea of God.
A society's failure to punish those who do these sorts of things - who violate those two universal commandments, in this case - means violating the universal commandment of din, or Laws. This is the anti-anarchy Commandment, or Justice Commandment, that requires every society to do whatever's necessary to prevent injustice and oppression. The Law against Anarchy is the Seven Law system’s pro-government Commandment, requiring people to join together to protect people's rights in property - and to be safe in their own skin, and protect even the stranger from oppression - by establishing systems of laws, police and courts and, where necessary, armies.
Nobody would give Hamas, Hezbollah or Fatah - or indeed, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Saudi Arabia or Iran, for example, passing grades in any of these things.
Noachides in the Land of Israel
Eretz Yisroel, the Land of Israel, has been Divinely designated as the homeland of the Jewish Nation. To deny that is to deny Torah, including plain black-letter Scripture. A Noachide or non-Jew who wishes to visit or live in the land is welcome to do so subject to the approval of the Jewish government. He or she would normally be entitled to stay in the land, as a welcome long-term resident, so long as, 1) he or she upholds the basic laws of civilization, the Seven Noachide Commandments, and, 2) recognizes - and, if local authority requires it, formally acknowledges - that Eretz Yisroel, the Land of Israel, belongs to the People of Israel - that it's Jewish, in other words, as people naturally recognize that France, for instance, is French, or China, Chinese.
Some non-Jews want tighter relations with the Jews and within Israel than that. They want to be accounted as righteous Noachides. That's a whole other level of holiness. A righteous Noachide - a righteous Gentile - must be able to sincerely, comprehensively bless Israel. This requires a considerable amount of information and education: in order to bless, one must know what he or she is blessing!
A Muslim who accepts the Qur'an's message that Mohamed's teachings supersede those of Moses and his Jewish successors, or that Allah hates Jews, or that Allah - who is supposed to be HaShem Himself, the One Eternal God - denies people free-will, punishing evil-doers for doing evil even when Allah MAKES them do evil: that person can't sincerely bless Israel.
A Christian who accepts the Christian message that Jebus, or Jesus, is a semi-divine messiah, who can do things for you that HaShem won’t or can't, an immortal redeemer figure - when HaShem Himself is, practically speaking, Israel's sole Messiah, and Redeemer, the only Being worth considering - can't sincerely bless Israel. Both the Muslim and the Christian believe that Israel's Torah, including Israel's conception of God, are fundamentally wrong.
Godly Worshipfulness – Techniques
Follow-up From Last Month
In the last issue I asked people to describe some of the things they do, as Noachides - non-Jews/Gentiles - to worship God. Several answers came in. When it comes to ritual, people are all over the map. They light one candle, or two, or more, to commemorate and celebrate the Sabbath, or don't observe it outwardly in any respect. They pray regularly, or rarely; they say grace before or after meals or not at all; they do or don't eat ham, and shrimp....
I got to thinking about how hard life can be for Noachides... then it occurred to me, what if seeking Noachides try visiting the Jewish People's reform temples and Conservative Movement synagogues, their shuls...? And, maybe, take those places back, at least a little bit, for Torah and God Almighty? Let them know that one serves the God of Abraham but need to pray in English, and want to know better styles and forms of prayer. When one can't plunge into the enormous, soul-draining, full-time commitment of converting to Judaism, of changing one’s very ethnicity, and family identity.... Maybe try a little "Judaism Lite"?
Lots of the Conservative and Reform clergy will welcome dialogue. And, by the way, this is where Orthodox Jews and their yeshivas and young students and rabbis can possibly assist, by being there for the B'nei Noach as they join in communion with the learned clergy and congregations of Conservative and Reform.
Noachides should generally make an effort to associate with Jewish People, for mutual enlightenment, despite all differences in religion and politics.
|By Michael Dallen
Detroit, October 18, 2023