One of the craziest things that ever came out of the mouth of Golda Meir was her comment, "There were no such things as Palestinians." And now Newt Gingrich has gone and said much the same thing in his bid for support from America's Evangelical Christians.
Both were obviously hoping to score Zionist points: intentionally implying that since there never has been a "Palestinian State" there can never be one in Palestine, clearing the way for an all-encompassing Israel. Obviously ignoring the fact that throughout the history of our world ethnic groups have sometimes become nations -- often against the wishes of those with power over them -- and the process continues peaceably today, most recently in the Sudan.
However Newt Gingrich's comment is trebly ignorant regarding God's Holy Land:
- It ignores the religious history those people living there truly share
- It ignores the productive peace that those three faith's faithful followers once found
- It ignores the promise of co-operative peace that exists when all three faith's revelations are examined together.
Palestine -- back when it was called Palestine -- was actually a pretty impressive place. Yes, there was some strife, there and everywhere -- does anybody else remember what the rest of the world was like, between the beginning WWI and the end of WWII? Honestly, compared to elsewhere, up until "Wolf" Jabotinsky and Muhammad al-Husseini began provoking Jews and Muslims together to violence -- for political rather than religious reasons -- it was by all reports a relatively great place to live regardless of your faith background: all reports that is except for the travelogue written by Alexander Keith where he coined the phrase, "A land without a people, for a people without a land."
The thing is, Keith was a "Restorationist," an early form of Christian Zionism that believed they needed to
- move the Jews back to Israel, and get them out of Europe where they weren't welcome
- make them Christians, willingly or not
- rebuild the temple and
- bring back the Christ.
And so he needed to ignore the people already living there: They didn't fit within his narrative.
And today, we ignore the perception-warping effects of Christian Zionism and the effects of their attempts to bring about the end of the world on American politics at our own peril; literally, because the so-called "happy ending" of many -- if not most -- Christian Zionists currently requires a version of Armageddon resulting in the eradication of all the world's Muslims, the death or conversion to Christianity of all the world's Jews, and a rather painful eternity for the rest of you.
Not a very happy ending at all, in my estimation.
Frankly, to me it seems pretty crazy: Christians have been working to speed that day now for 2,000 years, when, if they stopped for a minute to ask a Jew how to interpret the end-time prophecies of Daniel, they'd have found out we still have over 200 years to go!
Because you can't really understand Judaism, or Christianity or Islam without considering them together. And I think the best example of why is how the moon got to be the symbol of Islam in the first place, because it's found in the Jewish Torah. There it records that Joseph, the son of Israel and Rachel, had a dream in which 11 stars representing his brothers, the sun representing his father, and the moon representing his mother all bowed down to him.
And the reason why the moon was Rachel's symbol is that it has always been the symbol of the non-Jewish monotheistic proto-Palestinian tribes. Identified as either the Ishmaelites or the Midianites -- the tribe led by Jethro that Moses married in to -- their symbol was always the moon.
Now, that by itself disproves both Golda Meir and Newt Gingrich's claim, and gives Palestinians the same historical rights as Israelis, but there's more and better to come. Because if you know that simple fact, then instead of promising an early Armageddon, the John's Revelation at the end of the Christian Bible promises a happy ending for everyone.
Because there Israel is described as a woman clothed by the sun (Israel), crowned with the Jewish/Arab children of Israel/Rachel and Leah (Arab/Jewish unity), and supported by the moon (Islam).
And if Daniel's right we have at least 200 years to get there, almost as long as America's been around!
So Mr. Gingrich, if you're really the leader you claim to be, wouldn't it be better to stop letting the tail wag the dog and start leading? Judaism, Christianity and Islam all demand benevolence, justice and mercy for all and there's really no questioning that there's too little benevolence, justice or mercy in the Holy Land no matter how you slice it.
Rather than scoring cheap and easy points, stand up for the values that made America great, summed up in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
When they wrote it, didn't America's Founding Fathers believe those words should apply to everyone? And isn't that what made America great?
And doesn't that mean America should be standing up for those same rights for Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Christians and Muslims together, today?