Brog's Blog

June 7, 2010

History for Helen

Filed under: All Posts — brogsblog @ 2:36 pm

Since this blog was first posted this morning, Helen Thomas has announced that she is retiring from her role as a correspondent for the Hearst newspapers, effective immediately.

Towards the end of last week, a shocking video began circulating on the internet featuring that cranky veteran of the White House press corps, Helen Thomas. Ms. Thomas is known for being a tough questioner of American Presidents. She is also known for being exceptionally critical of Israel. Yet few were prepared for her latest outburst.

The video, originally filmed on May 27th, shows a reporter asking Thomas if she has “any comments about Israel.” She responds by saying, “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.” When asked to elaborate, she says of the Palestinians, “Remember these people are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not German and it’s not Polish.”

Asked what the Jews in Israel should do, Thomas says that they should “go home.” And when asked exactly where their home is, she replies: “Poland. Germany. And America and everywhere else.”

While Thomas’ comments were outrageous in their content and angry in their tone, they were hardly unique. This pernicious idea that Jews are outsiders who have stolen Arab land is widespread. In this version of history, the Western powers decided that after killing six million Jews they should give the survivors a state in Palestine as some sort of consolation prize. Overjoyed, a bunch of ethnic Europeans left their ancestral homes in Berlin and Warsaw and set sail for a strange and exotic new land where Jewish feet had never before tread.

Sadly, President Obama helped to promote this myth in his speech in Cairo back in June, 2009. There Obama noted that “the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.” He then proceeded to discuss the European anti-Semitism “which culminated in the Holocaust.” By completely ignoring the fact that the Jewish right to a homeland in Israel is rooted in a long and deep connection to that land, and by focusing only on the “tragic history” that convinced some Jews to exercise that right, our President seemed to be suggesting that Israel’s right to exist is rooted solely in the Holocaust.

Let me be clear. If the Jewish people had no connection to the Land of Israel, I could not in good conscience support the building of a Jewish state there. If the sole Jewish claim to the land was that Europeans had selected it as compensation for the Holocaust, I could not be a Zionist. If the Jews had as weak a claim to Israel as let’s say the pilgrims did to Massachusetts or the Australians to Australia or the New Zealanders to New Zealand, I would be an anti-Zionist of the first order.

I am a Zionist today because the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel is ancient, deep, unbroken, and unbreakable. I am a Zionist today because rarely in the course of human history has the bond between a people and a land been so strong and so profound and so central to that people’s very being. I am a Zionist today because Israel’s cause is just.

To assert the Jewish claim is not to deny that other people migrated to Israel over time – including large numbers who came after the Jews began their modern return — and have likewise developed a deep attachment to that land. To assert the Jewish claim is not to oppose mutual recognition between Israelis and Palestinians. On the contrary, most Israelis support the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel provided that this state would recognize Israel’s right to exist and renounce terrorism.

But precisely because so many now seek to deny it, asserting the Jewish claim has become essential to the cause of peace and mutual recognition. By denying the Jewish ties to the land, Israel’s enemies seek to reinforce the dangerous idea that the creation of Israel was a massive theft and injustice of historic proportions. This lie drives the very terrorism and rejectionism that has prevented peace in the Middle East ever since the day Israel was reborn. The only way Israel’s enemies can one day recognize and respect Jewish rights is if they are made aware of them.

So let’s review the bidding. This summary is as brief as it is general, but it suffices to make my point.

The Jewish people was born in the Land of Israel. It is in the land of Israel that the Jewish people lived out and wrote down the events of the Hebrew Bible. It is in the Land of Israel that the Jewish people lived out and wrote down the key events of the New Testament.

It is in the Land of Israel that the Jewish people lived as an independent nation for centuries. The only time in history that this small stretch of land was ever an independent entity – and not merely a backwater in someone else’s empire – was when Jews have ruled it centuries ago and again today. It is in the Land of Israel that the Jews lived for additional centuries as an autonomous region under the foreign rule of the Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans.

After the Romans destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem in 70AD and sent the first wave of Jews into exile, Jews remained in the land. Even after the Romans crushed the Bar Kochba revolt in 135 AD and forced an even greater exile, Jews remained in the land. The Mishnah – a foundational text of Judaism – was written by Jews living in the Land of Israel in the third century. The Jerusalem Talmud – another bedrock text of Judaism – was written by Jews living in the Land of Israel in the fourth century. When the Persians invaded the Land of Israel in 614, they found hundreds of thousands of Jews living there willing to join them in the fight against the Byzantines. When the Arabs invaded the Land of Israel later that century, they found hundreds of thousands of Jews living there who could be taxed to support their regime.

Even those Jews living outside of the Land of Israel never forgot it. Three times a day every day, observant Jews face Jerusalem and pray for that city to be rebuilt and for the Jewish people to return to it. More importantly, repeatedly throughout the centuries, wave after wave of Jews were not satisfied by praying for their return. They decided to pack up and go. Yet these Jews often met with great hardship, persecution and violence upon their arrival.

Yehuda Halevy, one of the greatest poets in Jewish history, was living in Spain in the twelfth century when he famously lamented that “My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west.” Rather than continue pining, he decided to join his heart in Jerusalem. Legend has it that when he arrived in Jerusalem, he got down on his knees and thanked God that he had lived to see the holy city. Then an Arab horseman slew him where he prayed. Whether or not the story is true, such hostile receptions did indeed occur, and these cautionary tales discouraged many from making a similar journey.

Yet Jews nevertheless continued to return home. And Jewish communities continued to subsist in the Land of Israel despite the adverse conditions. Sometimes, these communities were even able to resume making contributions to Judaism and humanity. The Shulhan Aruch, the leading compilation of Jewish law, was written by a Jew living in the Land of Israel in the sixteenth century. In the late 1800’s – well before the Holocaust and the birth of modern Zionism – Jews comprised a majority of the population in the city of Jerusalem. And a majority of Israel’s Jews today are actually refugees from Arab countries and their descendants, not the Europeans of Ms. Thomas’ imagination.

It was because of this historic bond between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel that the British government committed itself to the creation of a national home for the Jewish people there in the 1917 Balfour Declaration. It was in recognition of this historic connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel that the League of Nations committed itself to the creation of a national home for the Jewish people there when it gave a mandate over Palestine to Britain in 1922.

It was in recognition of the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel as well as the presence in Palestine of hundreds of thousands of Jews who had already returned there prior to the Holocaust that the United Nations voted to create a Jewish state in Palestine in 1947. And it was in recognition of the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel that President Harry Truman recognized the Jewish state a mere eleven minutes after it had declared its independence in 1948.

In a public apology issued after the offensive video came to light, Helen Thomas noted of her intemperate remarks that “They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.”

Amen and amen. But until that day comes, the effort to deny the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel will serve only to encourage the rejection and terror that has prevented the mutual respect and tolerance that Thomas claims to seek. We must fight such lies whenever and wherever we hear them. And we must pray for the peace of Jerusalem like never before.

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59 Comments »

  1. God Bless Israel, and it’s people the Jews, God is the Almighty and most powerful, King of Kings, our creator and will not let Israel fall. If people would just read the Bible and go to church there wouldn’t be this kind of hate mongering for the State of Israel. Jesus Christ is a Jew and the happy news is that he is coming soon so beware all you atheis non-believers who don’t believe and have faith the day shall come. Peace

    Comment by Domingo Gomez Jr. — June 9, 2010 @ 11:31 pm

  2. Dismayed Im really not trying to be rude but if you truely believe all the stuff you say I really think you should consult with a local pastor, trusted family membor or if your a little more on the secular side a psychiatrist. You sound border line paranoid schitzo. If you believe all that mumbo jumbo you keep writing then you are a bit confused at best and down right looney. That is if you really believe what youre writing and not just trying to stick it to a bunch of christians.I would say your spiritual diagnosis would be demon possesed and in bad need of fasting and praying. It’s not the CIA controlling your mind it is evil spirits. Youve odviously played around with whichcraft the occult or some kind of kooky practice that has opened the door and allowed your self to really be misled.

    Comment by Jon — June 10, 2010 @ 3:32 am

  3. Jon and Dorothy; There will come a day you won’t be able to say any of that. Remember, Christ Himself, way back then warned of false prophets so if HE warned about it all that time ago what do you think happened to many of HIS original teachings. I read my Bible everyday. But then I suppose you all believe George Bush is a Christian and that it was for our good that he signed the Patriot Act into law and it was okay to torture human beings because hey! We know that always leads to the truth. I suggest you read your Bible and not assume you know as much as you think you do. HE says, As it was in the days of Noah so shall it be at the second coming of Christ. How was it in those days? Read it, it is there. I suppose you also think that when HE speaks of fiery chariots that you are looking for horses hooked to wagons. I suppose you do not know that it says the Sons of God came unto the daughters of men and took wives as they chose; before and after the flood. Read it,it is there. Daniel 2:43 “And they will mingle themselves with the seeds of men.” I know exactly what I lived through and what I have seen and what I suffered and I don’t give too much credence to your ignorance. You believe all they tell you and that is why so many are left desolate and without a voice. It is also why our world is dying because death and doom is the cry of the church. FATHER said, the power of life and death is in the tongue. He also said HE gave us the authority over all powers and principalities of darkness yet darkness persists. HE gave us the victory yet it is nowhere in sight and why? As HE told me it is because HIS people underestimates their enemy. How true that is. It is almost laughable that you all think you are reading GOD’S word just as it was written in the beginning. I am used to the ridicule. One day you will look back and know that I am telling the truth. “Blessed are you when men shall revile you, and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad; for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you.” I’ll bet you believe the whole Garden scene was Eve taking a bite out of an apple also. Ezekiel speaking of wheels within wheels, what do you think that is telling you? Or Psalms 68:17 The chariots of GOD are twenty thousand, even thousands upon thousands. The LORD is among them as HE was in Sinai, in the Holy Place. Stay in your box if you insist I let my Heavenly FATHER out of it quite some time ago. HE told me it would be hard. HE also told me that if ‘they’ meaning folks like you didn’t praise HIM for anything else that you should praise HIM that HE did not place my shoes on your feet. Stay blessed; I am. I know all about fasting and warfare, far beyond anything you have ever seen I can assure you. I am not paranoid I am in my FATHER’S hands and mighty they are.

    Comment by Dismayed by ignorance — June 10, 2010 @ 9:34 am

  4. First of ignorance the persecutions I have seen is all of you comments calling everyone on here ignorant when your bableing are the only example of blatent ingnorance I have seen thus far.The following expose your flaws.
    1. You claim that the Bible is false “bibles read today have been raped and pilaged” yet you just now said you read it daily and this is why youre the only one that has the “truth.”
    2.You state that Paul was not the 13th Apostle and that all of us “foolish” people probably consider him one. Well that may be true if there were 12 apostles but I think your confused with the twelve DECIPLES. The apostle Paul is considered an APOSTLE not DECIPLE!But thanks for your attempted correction to your percieved ignorance in the church.
    3. You state that Jesus is not a Jew “he was raised in Galilee, he was born of the tribe of Judah, yal should do some research” at this statement I almost changed MY name to dismayed by ignorance.The word Jew is derived from the term “Judahite” meaning A MEMBER OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH! or a citizine of the kingdom of judah. He was born in bethleham in the kingdom of Judea.So by your argument against him being a jew, your own lack of research and ignorance actually made the case for why he IS a jew.
    Your right false teachers and prophets come in all shapes and sizes, I would almost place you in that category if your teachings werent so odviously skewed that not even a five year old would buy into them. And by the way your not wowing any one by talking about fallen angles having sons with humans i learned that when I waseight years old in sunday school. And the forbidden fruit wasn’t an apple like youv’e stumbled accrossed some great secret that the rest of us are blind to. PLEASE!!! thats day one stuff Ingnorance.I think you were really spot on in one portion of your corespondance on here and that is in the choosing of your name. We are all dismayed by your ignorance. “claiming to be wise, but they are fools”

    Comment by Jon — June 10, 2010 @ 11:56 pm

  5. By the way I could go on and on showing where you are way of in your “research” and your supposed “enlightenment” by the “Father.” My advice to you would be to test all spirits claiming to be spirits of light, teaching you false doctrine that don’t line up with the word. from some of your writing I take it you put some weight behind the word, you do try to quote scripture alot so I hope some parts of the Bible that havnt been “raped and pillaged” you accept. Its good that you have a hunger for knowledge, but you need to seek wisdom as well. and maybe do a little more research before trying to accuse a group of people of being ignorant on subjects that you clearly have no clue what your talking about. I am only 29 and I am a veteran of spiritual warfare I was born raised, eat drink and sleep the kingdom of God( by the way thats not a pretty little place up in the sky with streets of Gold). So don’t take your condisending tone with me when it comes to matters of the spirit because i recognize the deceiving spirits you speek and MY LORD has power over them.

    Comment by Jon — June 11, 2010 @ 12:11 am

  6. Jerusalem for any Bible following Christian in not negotiable. Period.

    Comment by AN PADMARAJ — June 11, 2010 @ 10:04 pm

  7. Jon; And each and every one here that has belittled my knowledge as I must make one correction Jesus was Nazarene. I do not need to argue with nor is my desire, but please do not think I am ignorant because I have been led outside of the box of 66 books and 1566 pgs. of what you all feel is the totality of FATHER. It does not begin to touch the tip of the iceberg. Call what I have shared to be rambling and of some evil spirit it is not for me to judge you. I am not in your hands nor are you in mine. But one day and not too far in the distance I am afraid things are going to look much different to all of you. As for that warfare you speak of and your knowledge of it, believe me just as I have said, few ever see it the way I have. I am not ignorant to my FATHER or JESUS I know them both well and I know the enemy of humankind far better than I like to admit. It has been a battle and as usual I know why Christ made HIMSELF so very tangible because if I were to have to count on HIS people per-say I would have had no hope. Since I was a little girl I have seen and felt and touched those things most can only dream of touching. The flip side to that coin is Satan and the whole host of hell came in on me a little girl like a flood. Trying all my life to destroy me or better yet kill me. So don’t think I have no knowledge because I lived it and I don’t care what any man or woman has to say. You would do good to explore ancient history it is where it all began, not after men greedy for power and wealth began to take the true teachings and twist them to serve them instead of the people. Maybe you should read the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Maybe you should look into the Illuminati. You see I know who and what I am. Sad most people go through their lives never really knowing. So I am okay with your taunts and so on. It is when HE sees how I am ignored and hurt and mocked and laughed at that HE is so good to come and sit with me. If the whole world turned from me that is all I could not bear to lose; HIS presence. So let me share a little something with you and the rest of you Christians out there. It is a revelation given me back in 2008. I dreamed I was coming to the end of a book I was trying to write. By the way I can’t tell you how many ‘good people’ I asked to help me but none came to the calling and so HE came many times to help. In this dream I was holding the pen above the paper but HIS spirit guided what was written. JESUS IS COMING! I got up the next day went to school and pondered all day that dream. I got home and asked HIM, “Jesus when are you coming?” “Only the FATHER knows that, Rebekah.” I was just learning HIS word and as always I asked HIM to open me up to where it was HE wanted me to read. He opened me to the book of Jeremiah chapter 1 and I began to read and once I started I could not stop, I had never read any whole book, but I knew HE was with me waiting for me to finish and there was something HE wanted me to see. You see HE knows my heart and HE knew what I would see. What was that? It was again and again I saw FATHER’S desire for mercy. If only HIS people would turn back to HIM. Notice HE said, HIS people. I knew HE awaited my questions you see like I said HE knows our hearts. So I began talking to HIM about my life (I am not ignorant to what it has been) my sons, my grandchildren, all the babies and the dreams so many of them have for their lives. Then I began asking HIM questions. “FATHER did You not create this world for us?” “Yes, Rebekah I did.” “Did You not say the power of life and death is in the tongue? If so, why does the church speak so much death and doom on it? If we can speak that why can’t we just as well speak life and healing on it? Did You not in casting the demons from the man at the tombs place them in the swine and cast them into the abyss and did You not say that we would do even greater exploits than You did while You walked among men? Did You not give us victory over all the powers and principalities of darkness (Satan included)?” “Yes, Rebekah I did.” “Why don’t we have it?” “My people underestimate their enemy.” “FATHER am I wrong I don’t pray for Your coming?” If you have ever had your whole being captured with HIS it is hard to tell someone what it feels like to be lifted and guided by HIS spirit. HE took me to Amos 5:18 not just the page but the very verse HE wanted me to see. A book I had never read and I read; “Woe! unto the man who prays for the day of the LORD! For what manner of day will it be for him? Does he not know the Day of the LORD is darkness and in there is no light?” From there I was led to Ezekiel 22:29&30. Never had been in that book either. In short HE was looking for one to stand in the gap for the land that HE should not destroy it. But could find none. I said, ” O, LORD I would stand in the gap but I am not righteous.” “Rebekah, your righteousness is of ME.” “LORD, I feel as if the church is my biggest opposition.” You see I had just stopped attending one because I heard the mocking and laughing behind my back. They didn’t believe what I tried telling them I either. The things I have seen and suffered all my life. Brother you have no idea! “Rebekah the church was my biggest opposition.” “Yes, I said but You are Jesus, You are the Son of GOD.” “Yes, and you Rebekah are HIS daughter.” So if you want to know I know exactly who I am. I am one lone solitary woman the world does not know who does not boast of any self knowledge or worth but I cry everyday for HIS mercy and that HE will help us save the world HE created for us. I know what is coming, I know what is and has always been a part of our world and I know how you are so many deceived. And while you all are so stubborn and knowledgeable people, many are left to suffer. You can tell me all day everyday those underground places don’t exist and I would tell you each and every day they do! I will lift my voice for those I know are left to hideous unimaginable atrocities while you all scream it is not true. Because one thing I do know is where I have been. It is all out there to learn of and yet the most powerful force on earth is becoming the most defeated, because you all have stopped seeking. What will you people do when the giants are walking through your cities and devouring your children and all those around you? It is in your Bible! You have been taught to ignore it. So go on and think whatever flips your switch about me I know what I know I was not spared! Turn off those T.V.s and stop thinking your leaders give a crap about you they don’t! They haven’t for a long long time! Just as the truth you think you know fully you don’t!

    Comment by Dismayed by ignorance — June 13, 2010 @ 7:04 pm

  8. I am dismayed by the unreadability of your posts!
    I can understand wanting to get things down quickly in an effort to make sure you don’t forget something, but–have you tried reading it, maybe w/ the eyes of someone who doesn’t know what you are trying to say? Spelling, grammar, clarity–these things make it possible to communicate what you are really trying to say & be understood! You need to read & correct before you “send” it if you want to really be taken seriously.
    I agree–Jerusalem, for any Bible following Christian, is not negotiable. Period. And I agree w/ your blog, Brog. Thank you for putting together so much information in such a small package!

    Comment by Sue M. — June 15, 2010 @ 8:44 am

  9. God bless you and your kind. The truth is liberating but to some it causes pain and so they write against you. I am a Jewish citizen of Israel and I salute you and your efforts. You are worthy of much praise. I believe that you will be ultimately rewarded for your actions. God bless and countless thanks from Israel.We are grateful.

    Comment by Jonathan Sacho — June 16, 2010 @ 8:27 pm


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