Since creating this blog about 18 months ago I have received a great deal of feedback and responses to my articles. Most of the responses are from supporters but I have had quite a number of people respond who are critics of my position.
Unfortunately, a significant number of those critics respond with verbal abuse and do not even make an attempt to make any sort of reasoned argument to support their allegations against me. I’m sure this sort of thing is common amongst all bloggers.
So recently I was pleasantly surprised to receive some criticism from someone who tried to make clear the reasons for the objections he had with my article about the validity of Jewish occupation of the Holy Land without repentance on the part of the Jewish people before the advent of the Messiah.
Michael Korn, who also goes by the name Menachem Mevashir, is an Israeli by birth and converted to Christianity from Orthodox Judaism. He recognises the brutality of Zionism, especially toward the Palestinian people. This is a welcome change from most supporters of Israel who are normally completely ignorant about Zionism and ignore their brutality to the Arabs of Palestine.
As such he has an interesting perspective and I decided to post my small discussion with him (with his permission) in order to get some thoughtful responses from others as well as myself. Below are the two emails he sent me explaining his objections.
Regarding your views below: https://craignielsen.wordpress.com/tag/gary-burge/
I invite you to read the following letter.
You fail to understand that Zionism was a movement created by the West, particularly the US and UK, and forced upon the Jews to serve as an imperial outpost for those nations.
You are missing the forest for the trees. And so far as your claim that one cannot have restoration without repentance, you also fail to perceive that the West did repent of its virulent anti Semitism that spawned Hitler’s policies in the first place. Even Pope Pius XII told Jules Isaac after WWII ended that God would compensate the Jews for their sufferings by restoring them to their ancient homeland.
Please broaden your horizons.
Thanks so much for your interesting comments. You make a very interesting point about Zionism being a non-Jewish invention. The idea has some merit for sure. I definitely think Zionism was to some extent “forced” upon Jewish people. The west has supported it for its own self interested reasons.
The point about repentance I don’t get at all.
Thanks for writing back.
I’m glad you responded, since my remark to you was much too cursory to understand properly. So let me try again.
What I meant about repentance is that although I understand your position that it seems absurd for Christians to support a Jewish State that has not really accepted Jesus as Savior (in seeming violation of Christian Theology!) — a perspective that I shared until recently — I think there are a number of mitigating factors. And I state these things as a former Orthodox Jew who converted to Christianity partly to escape the brutality of Israeli Zionism, in which I was a participant for many years.
One of the mitigating factors is that the Christian nations themselves saw fit, for a variety of reasons, some selfish and some altruistic, to compensate Jews for their suffering in the Holocaust with a restored homeland in the Middle East. Jesus said His followers would be princes over Israel, so if those followers saw fit (for whatever reasons) to mandate a renewed Jewish political entity in the Middle East, then that grants it credence (even though it seems unfair to the native Palestinian inhabitants).
This attitude came on the back of a long standing sentiment in especially English speaking countries to restore Jews to their homeland, as illustrated in the Victoria Clark book mentioned below.
Another factor is that, speaking as a former resident of Israel, in some ways Israelis serve as custodians and facilitators of Christian tourism to the Holy Land, which is a vital part of the Israeli economy. According to Jesus’ words that whoever would give even a glass of cold water to the least of His followers would be considered to have given it to Jesus, I think one can argue that Israeli hospitality to Christians (of course again for a mixed multitude of reasons) renders them favor in Christ’s eyes.
Israelis are in regular contact with global Christianity in the form of tourism and also indigenous holy sites, which are everywhere in that tiny country. They cannot easily escape awareness of Christianity. I myself was moved to convert after viewing the Jesus Film in perfect modern Hebrew. This film is the only Jesus depiction made entirely in the Holy Land, again with the approval of the Israeli authorities, and the fact that its influence is so huge (3 billion viewers worldwide) I believe also accrues merit to Israelis in Christ’s eyes.
I also believe that Israel plays an important role in subduing Islam. And although I deplore the cruelties of Israel towards the Palestinians, the fact is that Islam’s denial of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection is a terrible blasphemy. Jesus appears to be using two blasphemous faiths (Judaism and Islam) to subdue and humble each other. (Elsewhere I have written how Judaism and Islam are two sides of the same anti-Christ coin.)
Many Israelis, however, are secular, and only pay lip-service to rabbinical Judaism. They use rabbis for marriage, divorce, burial, circumcision, and bar mitzvahs. But apart from these major life cycle events, Israelis are extremely empty and hungry spiritually, and I believe unusually open to the Gospel. (Much more so than Jews in the Diaspora.)
I also think that Ezekiel’s Vision of the Dry Bones (chapter 37) alludes to the idea that God might reconstitute a nation in the flesh before He revitalizes them spiritually. The Holocaust brought world Jewry literally to the point of death, and it is entirely possible that God now sees fit to show them mercy in one last effort to bring them to the Cross. And the prelude to their conversion is their ingathering.
Only Christ can fathom the complexity of the operation He oversaw to reconstitute the Jewish homeland. The very organization (Nazism) that drove them out of Europe and made possible their Zionist State is the same organization that so traumatized them and makes them resent Christianity. It is a terrible conundrum for all parties and we can only hope that Supernatural Providence will prevail to open the eyes and hearts of all parties involved.
I am happy to read your thoughts about this vexing problem.