What Christians Don't
Know About Israel

From May Anon

Dear Jeff,I have been listening to your show for over 3 years now. I am from Saudi Arabia , and I highly respect you for your continual efforts to bring both sides of a story to your listening audience. I hope you will consider posting this story on your website. And also if it is possible I would love to hear the author on your show.
Thank you very much, and take care
What Christians Don't Know About Israel
By Grace Halsell Special Report May/June 1998, pages 112, 126
American Jews sympathetic to Israel dominate key positions in all areas of our government where decisions are made regarding the Middle East. This being the case, is there any hope of ever changing U.S. policy? President Bill Clinton as well as most members of Congress support Israel-and they know why. U.S. Jews sympathetic to Israel donate lavishly to their campaign coffers. .
The answer to achieving an even-handed Middle East policy might lie elsewhere-among those who support Israel but don't really know why. This group is the vast majority of Americans.. They are well-meaning, fair-minded Christians who feel bond ed to Israel-and Zionism-often from atavistic feelings, in some cases dating from childhood.
I am one of those. I grew up listening to stories of a mystical, allegorical, spiritual Israel. This was before a modern political entity with the same name appeared on our maps. I attended Sunday School and watched an instructor draw down window- type shades to show maps of the Holy Land. I imbibed stories of a Good and Chosen people who fought against their Bad "unChosen" enemies.
In my early 20s, I began traveling the world, earning my living as a writer. I came to the subject of the Middle East rather late in my career. I was sadly lacking in knowledge regarding the area. About all I knew was what I had learned in Sunday School.
And typical of many U.S. Christians, I somehow considered a modern state created in 1948 as a homeland for Jews persecuted under the Nazis as a replica of the spiritual, mystical Israel I heard about as a child. When in 1979 I initially went to Jerusalem, I planned to write about the three great monotheistic religions and leave out politics. "Not write about politics?" scoffed one Palestinian, smoking a waterpipe in the Old Walled City. "We eat politics, morning, noon and night!"
As I would learn, the politics is about land, and the co-claimants to that land: the indigenous Palestinians who have lived there for 2,000 years and the Jews who started arriving in large numbers after the Second World War. By living among Israeli Jews as well as Palestinian Christians and Muslims, I saw, heard, smelled, experienced the police state tactics Israelis use against Palestinians.
My research led to a book entitled Journey to Jerusalem. My journey not only was enlightening to me as regards Israel, but also I came to a deeper, and sadder, understanding of my own country. I say sadder understanding because I began to see that, in Mid dle East politics, we the people are not mak ing the decisions, but rather that supporters of Israel are doing so. And typical of most Americans, I tended to think the U.S. media was "free" to print news impartially.
"It shouldn't be published. It's anti-Israel."
In the late 1970s, when I first went to Jerusalem, I was unaware that editors could and would classify "news" depending on who was doing what to whom. On my initial visit to Israel-Palestine, I had interviewed dozens of young Palestinian men. About one in four related stories of torture.
Israeli police had come in the night, dragged them from their beds and placed hoods over their heads. Then in jails the Israelis had kept them in isolation, besieged them with loud, incessant noises, hung them upside down and had sadistically mutilated their genitals. I had not read such stories in the U.S. media. Wasn't it news? Obviously, I naively thought, U.S. editors simply didn't know it was happening.
On a trip to Washington, DC, I hand-delivered a letter to Frank Mankiewicz, then head of the public radio station WETA. I explained I had taped interviews with Palestinians who had been brutally tortured. And I'd make them available to him. I got no reply. I made several phone calls. Eventually I was put through to a public relations person, a Ms. Cohen, who said my letter had been lost. I wrote again. In time I began to realize what I hadn't known: had it been Jews who were strung up and tortured, it would be news. But interviews with tortured Arabs were "lost" at WETA.
The process of getting my book Journey to Jerusalem published also was a learning experience. Bill Griffin, who signed a contract with me on behalf of MacMillan Publishing Company, was a former Roman Cath olic priest. He assured me that no one other than himself would edit the book. As I researched the book, making several trips to Israel and Palestine, I met frequently with Griffin, showing him sample chapters.. "Terrific," he said of my material.
The day the book was scheduled to be published, I went to visit MacMillan's. Checking in at a reception desk, I spotted Griffin across a room, cleaning out his desk. His secretary Margie came to greet me. In tears, she whispered for me to meet her in the ladies room. When we were alone, she confided, "He 's been fired." She indicated it was because he had signed a contract for a book that was sympathetic to Palestinians. Griffin, she said, had no time to see me.
Later, I met with another MacMillan official, William Curry. "I was told to take your manuscript to the Israeli Embassy, to let them read it for mistakes," he told me. "They were not pleased. They asked me, 'You are not going to publish this book, are you?' I asked, 'Were there mistakes?' 'Not mistakes as such. But it shouldn't be published. It's anti-Israel.'"
Somehow, despite obstacles to prevent it, the presses had started rolling. After its publication in 1980, I was invited to speak in a number of churches. Christians generally reacted with disbelief. Back then, there was little or no coverage of Israeli land confiscation, demolition of Palestinian homes, wan ton arrests and torture of Palestinian civilians.
The Same Question
Speaking of these injustices, I invariably heard the same question, "How come I didn't know this?" Or someone might ask, "But I haven't read about that in my newspaper." To these church audiences, I related my own learning experience, that of seeing hordes of U.S. correspondents covering a relatively tiny state. I pointed out that I had not seen so many reporters in world capitals such as Beijing, Moscow, London, Tokyo, Paris. Why, I asked, did a small state with a 1980 population of only four million warrant more reporters than China, with a billion people?
I also linked this query with my findings that The New York Times , The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post-and most of our nation's print media-are owned and/or controlled by Jews supportive of Israel. It was for this reason, I deduced, that they sent so many reporters to cover Is rael-and to do so largely from the Israeli point of view.
My learning experiences also included coming to realize how easily I could lose a Jewish friend if I criticized the Jewish state. I could with impunity criticize France, England, Russia, even the United States. And any aspect of life in America. But not the Jewish state. I lost more Jewish friends than one after the publication of Journey to Jerusalem-all sad losses for me and one, perhaps, saddest of all.
In the 1960s and 1970s, before going to the Middle East, I had written about the plight of blacks in a book entitled Soul Sister, and the plight of American Indians in a book entitled Bessie Yellowhair, and the problems endured by undocumented workers crossing from Mexico in The Illegals. These books had come to the attention of the "mother" of The New York Times, Mrs. Arthur Hays Sulzberger.
Her father had started the newspaper, then her husband ran it, and in the years that I knew her, her son was the publisher. She invited me to her fashionable apartment on Fifth Avenue for lunches and dinner parties. And, on many occasions, I was a weekend guest at her Greenwich, Conn. home.
She was liberal-minded and praised my efforts to speak for the underdog, even going so far in one letter to say, "You are the most remarkable woman I ever knew." I had little concept that from being buoyed so high I could be dropped so suddenly when I discovered-from her point of view-the "wrong" underdog.
As it happened, I was a weekend guest in her spacious Connecticut home when she read bound galleys of Journey to Jerusalem. As I was leaving, she handed the galleys back with a saddened look: "My dear, have you forgotten the Holocaust?" She felt that what happened in Nazi Germany to Jews several decades earlier should silence any criticism of the Jewish state. She could focus on a holocaust of Jews while negating a modern day holocaust of Palestinians.
I realized, quite painfully, that our friendship was ending. Iphigene Sulzberger had not only invited me to her home to meet her famous friends but, also at her suggestion, The Times had requested articles. I wrote op-ed articles on various subjects including American blacks, American Indians as well as undocumented workers. Since Mrs. Sulzberger and other Jewish officials at the Times highly praised my efforts to help these groups of oppressed peoples, the dichotomy became apparent: most "liberal" U.S. Jews stand on the side of all poor and oppressed peoples save one-the Palestinians.
How handily these liberal Jewish opinion-molders tend to diminish the Palestinians, to make them invisible, or to categorize them all as "terrorists."
Interestingly, Iphigene Sulzberger had talked to me a great deal about her father, Adolph S. Ochs. She told me that he was not one of the early Zionists. He had not favored the creation of a Jewish state.
Yet, increasingly, American Jews have fallen victim to Zionism, a nationalistic movement that passes for many as a religion. While the ethical instructions of all great religions-including the teachings of Moses, Muhammad and Christ-stress that all human beings are equal, militant Zionists take the position that the killing of a non-Jew does not count.
Over five decades now, Zionists have killed Palestinians with impunity. And in the 1996 shelling of a U.N. base in Qana, Lebanon, the Israelis killed more than 100 civilians sheltered there. As an Israeli journalist, Arieh Shavit, explains of the massacre, "We believe with absolute certitude that right now, with the White House in our hands, the Senate in our hands and The New York Times in our hands, the lives of others do not count the same way as our own."
Israelis today, explains the anti-Zionist Jew Israel Shahak, "are not basing their religion on the ethics of justice. They do not accept the Old Testament as it is written. Rather, religious Jews turn to the Talmud. For them, the Talmudic Jewish laws become 'the Bible.' And the Talmud teaches that a Jew can kill a non-Jew with impunity."
In the teachings of Christ, there was a break from such Talmudic teachings. He sought to heal the wounded, to comfort the downtrodden.
The danger, of course, for U.S. Christians is that having made an icon of Israel, we fall into a trap of condoning whatever Israel does-even wanton murder-as orchestrated by God.
Yet, I am not alone in suggesting that the churches in the United States represent the last major organized support for Palestinian rights. This imperative is due in part to our historic links to the Land of Christ and in part to the moral issues involved with having our tax dollars fund Israeli-government-approved violations of human rights.
While Israel and its dedicated U.S. Jewish supporters know they have the president and most of Congress in their hands, they worry about grassroots America-the well-meaning Christians who care for justice. Thus far, most Christians were unaware of what it was they didn't know about Israel. They were indoctrinated by U.S. supporters of Israel in their own country and when they traveled to the Land of Christ most all did so under Israeli sponsorship. That being the case, it was unlikely a Christian ever met a Palestinian or learned what caused the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
This is gradually changing, however. And this change disturbs the Israelis. As an example, delegates attending a Christian Sa beel conference in Bethlehem earlier this year said they were harassed by Israeli security at the Tel Aviv airport.
"They asked us," said one delegate, "'Why did you use a Palestinian travel agency? Why didn't you use an Israeli agency?'" The interrogation was so extensive and hostile that Sabeel leaders called a special session to brief the delegates on how to handle the harassment. Obviously, said one delegate, "The Israelis have a policy to discourage us from visiting the Holy Land except under their sponsorship. They don't want Christians to start learning all they have never known about Israel." ___
Washington, DC-based writer Grace Halsell is the author of 14 books, including Journey to Jerusalem and Prophecy and Politics. ___
From Judy Goldberg
Dear Mr. Rense,
As a Jew and an Israeli, I spent six months writing a book about Israel at the request of a British publisher whom shall remain nameless. After completing the book, the publisher received 'one telephone call' and refused to publish my book, see me, or evenpay compensation for my lost time. My book included ONLY material quoted directly from the Jewish Israeli Press, but, 'someone' in Israel obviously did not want the book to be published.
Tonight, I read the enclosed article in the Washington Report, which mirrored exactly my painful experience. This article was written from a Christian point of view, by the excellent journalist Grace Halsell. Your website has become world-renowned for its unsurpassed journalistic integrity, I hope that you will continue to post very informative articles like this one. As a Jew and an Israeli, I would like to confirm that everything that she wrote is correct to the best of my knowledge and represents a true reflection of reality in the Middle East.
Yours Sincerely,
Judy Goldberg

From Stanley Price

What Israel Doesn't Know About Christians!

We operate under a supernatural edict which tells us all Israel will be saved in the last days -- that they will recognize Y'shua as their true Messiah, as Daniel 9:24 perfectly predicted his first coming. Yes, Israel must be held to moral scrutiny. Yes, Israel is accountable... but this is the ancient land given to the jews and it will remain in jewish hands until the Messiah returns -- and then it will be in the singular hand of the King of Jews and prince of peace, Y'shua. He will judge Israel for her unrighteousness, for her persecution of sojourners and foreigners... just as he will judge all nations in righteousness. Christians will always support Israel because we believe her future in righteousness and justice will come to pass... it does not mean Christians are blind to the atrocities sinful Israel may commit along the way, nor that they should not be punished. But it is clear that the goal of the world, and Satan, is to see an end to the jewish state. That is simply ridiculous and will never be. It's nothing new that jews play the "victim" card every chance they get to maintain power... as do blacks, as do every people who can find a sympathetic audience. This isn't some mass jewish conspiracy, it's the nature of culture and civilization -- when a people have been a scapegoat and survive, they naturally tend to become as ugly as their oppressors in their desire to maintain freedom.

"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins." Romans 11:25/Paul
From Michael Horn
Dear Jeff,
In addition to sending you info on Billy Meier, the validity of which you will (in my opinion) come to recognize in time, I have to commend you on your courage in posting articles critical of Israel where it is justly deserved. Though of Jewish background I was not raised in a religious or zealously pro-Israel home and didn't think of myself as one religion or another until the neighborhood bullies reminded me that, at least in their eyes, I was very Jewish. On more than one occasion, when I was older, I answered the less than friendly inquiry, "Are you Jewish?", with. "I am if you're an anti-Semite."
In any event, the articles you post raise important points although one of the links to a group in Idaho seems to be that of a hate group. I am in the process of trying to determine, however, if the dreadful, hateful of non-Jews info they post that they claim is in the Talmud is actually there. I have a bad feeling that it probably is.
A final note, Meier and his alleged Plejarans were accused of being anti-Semitic because, as far back as the mid-70's, he published significant and intense info on the hidden evil machinations of the Israeli government. They also said, in a prophetic note, that once Israel and the Vatican entered into some kind of an alliance the world would edge closer to a third world war, soemthing they also linked to the rise of fundamentalism, especially Muslim. I do recall that, a few years ago, there was an announcement of some official alliance between the Vatican and Israel and that really caught my attention.
All the best,
Michael Horn
From mauricio pineda
I am a first generation immigrant from el salvador. like most Central America refugees, i flew from a war-ravaged country and am keenly aware of the injustices those with money and power perpetuate against those who have no money and no power, those whose rights are systematically denied as a matter of policy.
Since i arrived in the USA in 1980, I have read newspaper reports of Palestinian terrorists, Palestinian suicidal bombers, Palestinian stone throwers, Palestinian knife attacks on settlers, etc, etc.
The reports are usually contrasted with Israeli civilian victims, Israeli children victims, Israeli settler victims, etc...
It has become obvious to me, that Middle East news reports are somewhat "filtered" through the media in order to shape the hearts and the minds of ordinary people. I am now certain that I have been a target of information manipulation. The goal is clear, to keep tax-dollar contributors from learning the truth about the oppressive nature of the STATE of Israel - not the people of Israel.
I now fear loosing good relationships with Jewish friends of mine whom I never spoken my mind about my feelings towards Palestinians. I imagine it something like a political 'coming out of the closet' sort of thing.
They feel free to speak their minds about the warring parties in my country, no problem. But I cannot do the same. This is exactly what's happening.
I fail to understand how or why the very people who were once considered a 'sub-human' race, are now treating another race with the same contempt and hatred.
Certainly, I am not saying the Palestinians have not done some of the the acts they have been accused of doing. But the news reports have been lop-sided and/or simply feed us outlandish lies. It reminds me of the news coverage during the conflict in my country: "Bad guerrilas supported by Cuba vs good soldiers supported by the USA."
Your show is one of the few platforms in existance where a balance of sorts can be achieved.
Please have Grace Halsell as a guest in your show. I need to hear the alternative sources, and I believe your wider audience deserves the same.
Mauricio Pineda
From Kris Harman
Hi Jeff,
I am writing in regard to some comments made by Michael Horn who responded to the article "What Christians Don't Know About Israel". On reading his comments, I was immediately struck by the bizarre reverse logic that this writer has used. He refers to one of your links that accesses an internet site revealing "dreadful, hateful of non-Jews info" which he claims to "have a bad feeling" is "probably" in the Talmud. One might have thought that any such evil utterings would stand condemned. However, rather than condemning such evilness, Michael Horn has instead chosen to condemn as being a "hate group" those who have courageously exposed such evil for all to see. Surely this is a prime example of "shooting the messenger because you don't like the message"?
Kind Regards,
Kris Harman


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