Although signatories include many presidents and other persons of prominence in “Christian” universities, magazines, and organizations e.g., Northwest University, Bethel University, Wheaton College, Fuller Theological Seminary, Denver Seminary, Christianity Today, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, World Hope International, World Relief, Evangelical Covenant Church, Vineyard USA, World Vision…, the Open Letter suggests a surprising lack of familiarity with what it describes as “the full teaching of the Scriptures”:
The Open Letter in alleging “violence and injustice” to Israel, ascribes baseless charges to the nation that still follows the commands of Leviticus 19:33-34:
And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.“If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat….” (Proverbs 25:21). These are not empty words. Unlike Islamic nations who use the Palestinians as expendable pawns, Israel is committed to give to those in hunger. When Gaza crossings were closed by terrorist attack, or when Hamas refused to allow life-giving supplies to their own, or when Palestinians failed to cooperate in humanitarian efforts, Israel alone shouldered the burden. Recently the IDF even investigated the viability of coastal air and sea drops of emergency provisions. One particularly effective Israeli food delivery system has been a 220-meter long conveyor belt circumventing the key Karni Crossing.
“… and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink” (Proverbs 25:21). When Palestinians recently fled from Gaza into the desert, IDF soldiers reportedly opened their tanks and tossed them water bottles.
“Thou shalt love him as thyself” is the motto Israeli doctors follow without partiality as they treat both the Palestinian terrorist and his victims. However, some have understandable qualms: "I don't mind servicing wounded Palestinian patients because that's what we were taught to do, but it does bother me when the television news reports detail how many Jews were killed in an attack and the Palestinian patients break into cheers."
The Open Letter urges political expedience i.e., utilizing the current administrations “time it has left in office” to “bring peace to Jerusalem.” However, the counsel of kings and rulers [and presidents] have yet to bring peace to the City of Peace.
Succeeding centuries have proven Immanuel Kant’s Perpetual Peace, a philosophical treatise of the protocols of peace, an exercise in futility. The international Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907 failed to preempt the First World War. And the Holocaust is a menacing reminder of the abrogation of the League of Nations’ legacy: la Der des Ders (the war to end all wars).
“Political expediency” is the antithesis of His ways. Ways the Open Letter fails to mention. However, the Lord does mention those who trust in the political to do what only He can do:
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion… (Psalms 2:1-6).
The Open Letter, in capriciously affirming Palestinian parity with Israel, spurns “the oath” the Lord God “had sworn” regarding His choice of Israel as “a special people,” “a holy people,” “above all people”:
For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers… (Deuteronomy 7:6-8).
The Open Letter states: “Historical honesty (sic) compels us to recognize that both Israelis and Palestinians have legitimate rights stretching back for millennia to the lands of Israel/Palestine.” Apparently these evangelical “Christian” leaders adhere to “another” gospel. Scripture affirms ONLY the right of Israel to the disputed land:
He said unto him [Abram], I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. … to thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates (Genesis 15:18).
The LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God. … And I will give unto thee and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God (Genesis 17:1-8).
… I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee [Jacob] will I give it, and to thy seed (Genesis 28:13).
The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me (Leviticus 25:23).
For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again [turn back] the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it (Jeremiah 30:3).
Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: And they shall be my people, and I will be their God… And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul (Jeremiah 32:37-41).
… Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel (Ezekiel 11:17).
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel. … And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever (Ezekiel 37:21-25).
Saith the LORD … I will bring again [turn back] the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God (Amos 9:13-15).
Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD. … And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation (Zechariah 2:10-13).
… and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. … Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified (Isaiah 60:16-21).
He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for aneverlasting covenant: Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance (Psalms 105:8-11).
Although the Open Letter purports to “embrace the biblical promise to Abraham: ‘I will bless those who bless you.’ (Genesis 12:3)”, it negates the same “biblical promise” accorded Israel (Jacob), and later to the nation of that name:
Let people serve thee [Jacob], and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee (Genesis 27:29).
He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee [Israel], and cursed is he that curseth thee (Numbers 24:9).
There is a “Day” coming when the Open Letter will be weighed in the balance: Did it bless Israel? Did it curse Israel? In that “Day” the signatories of the Open Letter will receive their “reward.”
In a July 27th Open Letter to President Bush, prominent “evangelical” signatories requested to meet with the President to “personally convey… support and discuss other ways” of effecting a “two-state solution.” However, those familiar with the logistics of Middle Eastern affairs would suggest a more suitable epitaph: the “Final Solution.”
1 Letter to President Bush from Evangelical Leaders (New York Times, 29 July 2007) http://www.mediaforfreedom.com/ReadArticle.asp?ArticleID=3213