When Christians hear the name “Judaism,” we think of Old Testament Judaism that ended with the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD. What does Judaism look like now? Join Andy, Chris, and Steve as they discuss part 2 of Encountering Judaism.
What’s Making News?
There has been an unveiling ceremony of a satanic statue in Detroit. Here is an article from The Telegraph.
Nelson’s Illustrated Guide to Religions by James Beverley
Excerpt from the Book on the Jewish-Palestinian Conflict:
1. The Dominant Jewish Position
“The founding of the State of Israel is a moral and historical fact. Given the hatred of the Jews throughout history, and in the face of the Holocaust, the Jewish people had every right to recreate their homeland. This great victory for the world Jewish community occurred on May 15, 1948. For the first time in two thousand years we are home.
“Tragically, the Arab world chose not to accept the proposal of the United Nations to have two separate states in Palestine. Instead, Arabs chose to fight Israel in 1948, and have done so ever since. The Arab world wants Israel destroyed. Four of the wars since Independence in 1948 involved attacks on Israel by Arabs, including Palestinians. Our invasion of Lebanon was a necessary measure to wipe out terrorist bases in that country. “Israel’s aggression against the Palestinians is about legitimate self-defense. We cannot be at peace with a people who hate us, who want us destroyed. The world must not give nation status to a terrorist people. Decades of racist hatred toward the Jew and toward Israel, a hatred Islamic militants throughout the world fuel, has corrupted the Palestinian mind. “The events of September 11 have sadly brought to America what Israel has faced for years: terrorists’ wanton, hate-fueled killing of innocent people. We are grateful for the help of the United States in defending Israel’s freedom. You have been our strongest ally in our fight for survival. Together we will stand strong against the forces that seek to destroy us.
“We hope, of course, that Palestinians will stop their hate of Israel, affirm our right to nationhood, and cease their terrorist activities against Jews in Israel and throughout the world. We are ready to negotiate at any time, providing that he and other Palestinians lay down their rocks and their bombs. Their continued war on Israel shows their obsession with our nation’s destruction. We will not be moved.”
2. The Moderate Jewish Position
“The birth of Israel is a joy to all Jews. It is a miracle from God, who brought us back to our land. But with this incredible gift comes enormous moral and spiritual responsibility. We cannot allow the forces of anti-Semitism to blind us to commitment to the ideals that have been our beacon of light through the centuries as a people with no land.
“There is much in the birth of Israel that stains our purity. From the start, and through the last century, we gave no serious moral thought to the rights and needs of the Arabs who were already here when we started to come home. Menachim Begin, who later became Prime Minister, even engaged in terrorist acts against the British in the mid-1940s. We secretly conspired against Arabs even as we publicly said we wanted Palestinians to have their own state. “While there is no excuse for the Arab attacks on our nation, there is also no justification for what we have done to the Palestinians. Our invasion of Lebanon in 1982 was an unjust attack on another nation. The Palestinians have a right to their own country. We must overcome our own bigotry and hatred. We have often assaulted Palestinians the way Nazi Germany assaulted us. How can this be?
“We are becoming a terrorist nation against the Palestinians. Our secret defense forces have blown up Palestinian militia headquarters. We have destroyed Palestinian homes. We have razed entire villages. Our soldiers have engaged in torture of Palestinians. We have our hired assassins. We have our own zealots who match Islamic terrorists word for word, deed for deed. We must stop.”
3. The Extreme Palestinian Position
“Palestine has been a home of Arabs for hundreds of years. We lost our native land through Zionist aggression. We refused the United Nations partition of our land because it was our land. The British dominated us by force and they left us to the Zionist Jew to do the same. The Jewish pig stole our country from us.
“The Jews throughout the twentieth century attacked us. We engaged in jihad against them on four occasions because it is our duty to cleanse the earth of their filth. We will not stop until the Jews are forced into the ocean. The American fascists support Israel because Jews run America. The Jew runs the economies of the world, including those of Britain, Germany, and Japan. “The Jews use the lie of the Holocaust to create sympathy for their cause. Hitler opposed the Jew for the same reason we do: The Jewish vermin will poison and destroy everything in its path. The Jews have even published their plans to run the world. Their leaders met and reported their attempted conquest in their Protocols of the Elders of Zion. “The attack on the World Trade Center is probably a Zionist plot, cooked up by the American CIA in bed with the Israeli Mossad. If it is the work of Osama bin Laden, well, American Jewry is getting what it deserves. Either way, it is really the fault of the Jew. Jews were told to stay home from the World Trade Center on that day. They will never stop oppressing us because they have always stood against Allah and his true followers.
“The Jewish leaders of Israel are racist dogs. They assault our holy places. They humiliate us at all their checkpoints. They burn down our villages and raid our lands. They kill our leaders, rape our women, maim our children, and torture our soldiers. They cut off our water supplies, keep us from work, shut down our schools, and grind us into poverty. Allah will inflict upon them the fires of eternal hell.”
4. The Moderate Palestinian Position
“It is a historical fact that we were here long before the Jews arrived in 1882. We have a moral right to nationhood. However, our path to freedom demands that we recognize the nation of Israel. Whether we like it or not, Israel is here to stay. We must stop our hatred of Jews and our talk of wiping Israel off the map. We made a terrible error when we refused the U.N. offer of statehood in 1947.
“We have engaged in brutal acts against innocent Israelis. Every terrorist act has dulled the growing spirit in Israel to grant us our own country. We have been our own worst enemies. We will not gain the international support we need until we stop our quest for blood. Osama bin Laden has hurt our cause and has brought great shame to Islam. We must not follow in his path.
“We have been racists against Israel. We have used the language of Hitler against the Jews. We have trusted anti-Semitic lies about Jews, including the bizarre theory that the Holocaust never happened. We stereotype Jews much like the rest of the world draws stereotypes of us. We will never learn to get along until we stop our bigotry and our hate. The throwing of stones must stop. Our bombing must stop.
“Following the way of Allah means we must be people of peace. Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him) taught us that war is to be used only as a last resort. Many Jews of good will (People of the Book) know that we deserve our own land. It is time for us to deal in good faith with Jewish leaders. The tragic events of September 11 show us that terror just breeds more terror. For the sake of our children, all children, let us return to the table of peace.”