Brog's Blog

March 22, 2011

History on Repeat

Filed under: All Posts — brogsblog @ 6:33 pm
The victims of the Fogel family of blessed memory

The victims of the Fogel family of blessed memory

By now, we’ve all heard what happened in the community of Itamar last week. It even feels as if we somehow know the Fogel family, both the living and the dead. We are part of a community in mourning for a family that has suffered more than the human heart should be able to take. We marvel at the surviving children. How do they stand? How do they speak?

Another leading story out of Israel this week is, thankfully, of a much lighter nature. Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin made her first visit to the Jewish State.

While these two events seem utterly unrelated, they are not. They are actually connected in a way that sheds light on Israel’s history, Israel’s suffering and Israel’s hope. It turns out that this isn’t the first time that a Palin has arrived in Israel in the aftermath of an atrocity.

It’s impossible to place a starting date on the violence against Jews in their ancient land. But there is a broad consensus that modern Arab “political” violence against Jews began with the Nabi Musa riots of 1920. During a three-day period that April, Arabs rampaging in Jerusalem’s Old City killed five Jews and injured an additional 211. A majority of the casualties were women, children and old men.

Jerusalem’s new British rulers appointed a committee of inquiry to investigate the riots. This committee quickly came to be known by the name of its senor member – Major General P.C. Palin. The Palin Committee’s findings were later summarized in a document known as the Palin Report.

The Palin Report is stunning in its moral cowardice. In searching for the cause of these violent attacks against defenseless Jews, the Palin Report shamelessly blames the victims. In particular, the report concludes that, “The Zionists … by their impatience, indiscretion and attempts to force the hands of the Administration, are largely responsible for the present crisis.”

Sarah Palin, accompanied by Likud party Knesset member Danny Danon, listens to Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz as he describes the Western Wall tunnels in Israel. Photograph: Danny Danon Office/EPA

Sarah Palin, accompanied by Likud party Knesset member Danny Danon, listens to Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz as he describes the Western Wall tunnels in Israel. Photograph: Danny Danon Office/EPA

Something here sounds eerily familiar. Yes, the Jews did seek to “force the hand” of the British Administration to fulfill its obligations under the Balfour Declaration and the imminent British Mandate — namely to allow Jewish immigration, Jewish construction and, ironically, Jewish self-defense. The Arabs responded by attacking and murdering Jewish civilians. Yet while the violence is condemned, the real blame is placed upon the exercise of these Zionist fundamentals.

Thus the arrival in Israel of a new and very different Palin this week provided an instructive contrast. As far as I know, Sarah Palin has no family ties to the British Palin who preceded her so many decades ago. But she does bear an ideological relationship to him. Happily, that relationship is one of diametrical opposition.

One need not agree with Governor Palin’s policies to appreciate her very different approach to the Jewish State. Palin wore a Star of David while touring the country.  She prayed at the Western Wall and folded a note into its ancient crevices. And when some recent controversies were raised, her only comment was to ask Israelis why they are “apologizing all the time.”

Israelis apologize so much, Governor Palin, because for decades individuals like General Palin have blamed them for the very act of living in their ancient land. They have been guilty for wanting to build a Jewish State and permit Jews to immigrate to it. They have been guilty, in other words, of the crime of Zionism.

I don’t believe that Israel is perfect. I don’t believe that Israel is blameless. But I do believe that there are times when Israel and her supporters do exhibit the psychological scars inflicted by Palins past. The impulse to apologize for what is natural for all other peoples in all other lands lives on. And this impulse continues to be encouraged and nurtured by a hostile world.

There is heartbreak in the fact that the bloodshed continues. But there is hope in the fact that Sarah Palin is not a lone voice, but representative of millions of Americans who recognize the fundamental justice of the Zionist project. This is a starting point from which a far more healthy conversation about war, land and peace can begin.

If I could tell the surviving Fogel children one thing, it would be this: this time, a large constituency will fight to ensure that you are not blamed for your suffering and your loss. And in an unjust world, this is progress.

David Brog is the executive director of Christians United for Israel and author of a new book, In Defense of Faith: The Judeo-Christian Idea and the Struggle for Humanity.  You can follow David on Facebook by clicking here and on Twitter by clicking here.

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16 Comments »

  1. What is heartbreaking is the lack of the US Government’s, under this current administration, support for Israel. I know for a fact that the American people, Bible reading followers of Yeshua, are in total support of Israel and it’s people!

    Psalm 122:6

    Comment by Rob Kaleta Sr. — March 22, 2011 @ 7:49 pm

  2. Thank you,David, for expressing Christian care for the Isreaelis that ought to lie deep in the heart of every seriously Christian individual.
    You have spoken for my heart as I felt the “kinship” in reading your article. May God bless and inspire every child of His to love and support these His Chosen People, and may He also reveal to His Chosen People, Isaiah’s “lamb”. The LORD be with you!

    Comment by Philip deVries — March 22, 2011 @ 7:56 pm

  3. Thank you for putting it so well and speaking up in boldness for those of us who feel so helpless. I am weeping as I write this. “Well done thou good and faithful servant”.

    Comment by Joan Hicks — March 22, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

  4. As a british citizen I dissociate myself from my dead compatriot and the attitudes which he expressed. He wrote his report at the time of the greatest physical extent of the British Empire.Al Hussaini became the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem with the blessing of Samuel[not the biblical one] around the same time. An instance of an influential british jew shooting his compatriots in the foot. Ninety years later that Empire is gone and any regional influence for good that it may have had has gone with it. I hope the USA does not follow in its footsteps but the signs are not good.

    Comment by andrew hilliard — March 22, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

  5. Count me as a voice with Sarah in support of Israel. Thanks for the article, I also feel a kinship with you and what you wrote.

    Comment by Stan Feldsine — March 23, 2011 @ 1:17 am

  6. I too would say I stand with the people of Israel. My heart is there and I pray for Jerusalem to know the true Peace that they have longed for for years. This is a crazy upside down world we are living in. I have to think of Isaiah 20. I pray for wisdom and strength and for courageous leaders and that they would rely fully on God. May God bless his people!

    Comment by Cameron Denlinger — March 23, 2011 @ 2:22 am

  7. I AM GLAD SARAH PALIN WENT TO ISRAEL. I STAND IN FULL SUPPORT WITH ISRAEL. MY HEART HURTS FOR THE LOSS OF THE FAMILY. I PRAY THE LORD WILL PROTECT THE JEWISH PEOPLE. IF I COULD HAVE FOLLOWED SARAH AROUND IN HER SHOW OF SUPPORT I WOULD HAVE. I DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY AT THIS TIME TO GO TO ISRAEL JUST TO SAY …..I LOVE YOU AND WIPE AWAY SOMEONES TEARS. I WOULD IF I COULD!!!!!!!!!!!!I KNOW I AM A UNKNOWN VOICE BUT GOD KNOWS MY VOICE. GOD HEARS MY PRAYERS AND YOURS’ I AM A CHRISTIAN AND I HAVE JEWISH GENETIC ANCESTRY THROUGH MY MOM. I PRAY SOMEDAY I CAN MAKE IT TO ISRAELS GREAT LAND. I HAVE SUCH A DESIRE TO GO THERE. YOU HAVE MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS. GOOD JOB TO SARAH PALIN. POST MY COMMENTS ANY WHERE YOU WANT.

    Comment by JUDY MOORE — March 23, 2011 @ 3:11 am

  8. Thank you for your insightful and heartfelt article. Someday the world will figure out why it is afflicted with a totally irrational historic periodic kneejerk reaction against Israel and the Jewish People, as if it were a virus infection for which a permanent cure is yet to found. This phenomenon only points me to the belief and faith in G-d Who uses His People as the test of faith, an instrument which G-d gives individuals and nations to use as a criterion that makes clear the free choice between good and evil.

    Comment by Joel — March 23, 2011 @ 5:30 am

  9. “But there is hope in the fact that Sarah Palin is not a lone voice,”
    I’m Catholic and I support the Jews. Religion has little to do with it. Jews don’t go about killing people for money ( think we do ). Our military is in place to “make money with war” at least that’s what I see. Obama is on the side of muslims and is weakening our country just as he is trying to weaken Israel. Thanks for helping Gov. Palin, I want you in our new government. I didn’t say One World Government, we are replacing Obama and will never be subjugated by any OWO no matter how much money backs him.

    Comment by Don Jusko — March 23, 2011 @ 8:30 am

  10. IT BETTER TO SUFFFER WITH THE PEOPLE OF GOD THAN TO PROSPER WITH GOD’S ENEMIES.I STAND FOR THE DEFENSE OF ISRAEL AND ALL JEWS.

    Comment by AMOS MBUGUA NGIGE — March 23, 2011 @ 10:36 am

  11. Thank you for your words… I receive the Jerusalem Post weekly and I truly cannot read without anger and frustration some of the articles that are written in the ‘IN BREIF’ columns!

    I am frustrated with P.M Netanyahu & the Knesset who continually ‘kow tow’ to America & the ;Palesinians’ in the peace for land saga… wake up Israel… ‘it aint gonna happen!’… we who have Yeshua and the God of Israel have read the end of the Book… Never-the-less…. we humans live in hope and we believers continue to pray for Israel and the peace of Jerusalem

    Comment by Linda Der-Kevorkian — March 23, 2011 @ 10:48 am

  12. Thank you David and Pr. Hagee for all you are doing for peace of the people of Isreal. One wonders why the world especially the leaders are so blind to the Israel fact. Just let us not get tired of praying for Israel because that is what God requires us to do and He will do the rest. If I love God, then I should be able to love what He loves and that is Israel. There is divine hope for the people chosen of God and it will come to pass. Our prayers are not in vain. God bless all people who love Israel. Amen

    Comment by Jovia — March 23, 2011 @ 11:17 am

  13. First, you are correct, the first acts of terrorism in the land that is now Israel, was perpetrated by Jewish terrorists. 100 people were killed in the 1948 bombing of the King David Hotel by extremist Jews, and order by Menachem Begin, later to become P.M. of Israel. It was not the 2M Palestinians that were deposed from their homes to create the Jewish state that first showed the power of the bomb.

    Second, what does this have to do with the Fogel family?? While it is a huge tragedy to have a family killed, it was not an Arab that killed them! Police are seeking a Malaysian former employee who was disgruntled over not being paid for work performed.

    If you are going to carry the label of Christian, than adhere to the principles of Jesus, which do not include incitement, misinformation and deceit.

    Then again, I am responding on a blog that has idiotic comments in abundance, like Obama supports the Arabs, even after he just bombed Libya…

    Comment by Mark D. — March 23, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

  14. LIVE AND LET LIVE!! CAN’T WE JUST ALL GET ALONG????

    Comment by Anonymous — March 23, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

  15. I was so happy to hear tht former Governor Sarah Palin went to Israel in support of Israel. God bless her! I know there are many Americans that have a heart for Israel and pray for her people. I love the Jewish people and pray for peace. They have suffered so much! I live in Alaska, Sarah’s hometown Wasilla. I belileve that God is using her. Thanks for letting me share.~ M. Sager

    Comment by Madeline Sager — March 23, 2011 @ 8:38 pm

  16. Sarah Palin, with her questionable intelligent, lack of knowledge in the US and World history, poor insight into current&world affair and questionable integrity (ditching Alaska governorship to become a media sensation), I am not sure her support of Israel is saying much.
    I really haven’t seen too many insightful/intelligent/articulate/educated/knowledgeable/passionate Republicans out there. Their ideology is old school/backward/non progressive/oppressive/sexist/racist and that makes their support of anything meaningless.

    Comment by emily — March 30, 2011 @ 5:45 am


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