Does Dispensationalism mock human rights? Does it blindly support aggression against Palestinian Christians, Arab Muslims and Jews? Tim Weber writes that Dispensationalism emerged in the 1870’s having originated about four decades earlier (1830’s) in England in the teachings of John Nelson Darby. (Road to Armageddon, p. 13). Weber notes that the center of Dispensationalism is the belief that Jews would have to reestablish their own state in the Holy Land, (Palestine) before any endtimes events could occur.
This theological argument fit nicely with the Zionists Jews’ belief that because of persecution, they deserved special treatment and could therefore be safe only in their own land. Further, it likewise is consistent with America’s general commitment to national self determination.
Early evangelicals began to dabble in date setting. William Miller, a Baptist preacher from Vermont began teaching historicist premillennialism. He calculated Christ would return October 22, 1844. Instead of witnessing a great appearing of the Lord, they suffered their “Great Disappointment.” Ellen G. White explained Jesus’ coming did not occur because the Millerites worshiped on Sunday versus Saturday. Thus, the Seventh-day Advents Church emerged.
Charles Taze Russell taught that Christ returned to the earth invisibly in 1874 and would set up his kingdom in 1914 (apparently calculating the 40 years interim as the terminal generation) Instead, we got World War I, -some trade off! Yet, they too believed Christ’s coming was imminent and under Rutherford, taught doctrines of separatism from world politics, commerce and religion.
Dispensationalism and Modern Zionism
Dispensationalists seized opportunity with the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948 as a precursor to the second coming of Christ. Several popular proponents taught that within 40 years of that event, Christ would come and set up his kingdom on earth. That time has come and gone. 1988 was a bad year for Dispensational prophecies and so has been every year thereafter. People are growing more despondent by the day as their hopes fail in non-fulfillment.
But how would the Jews reestablish their own state in the Holy Land when at the time it was occupied by 700,000 Palestinians who made up about 95 percent of the population? Perhaps we could ask the Native American Indians? According to Alan Hart, Jews then in Palestine numbered about 60,000 and constituted 7 percent of the population. (Zionism, the Real Enemy of the Jews, Volume One, the False Messiah, p. 83). Can you spell catastrophe?
Hart adds, the Balfour Declaration effectively considered 700,000 Palestinians as non-existent, omitting the term “Arab” or “Arabs” in the document reducing the 93 percent Arab population to “existing non-Jewish communities.” This set the stage for the current Palestinian holocaust. How do you remove the majority population from their land? You craft a bogus document and pass it as law.
“The British government, as author of the Balfour Declaration, possessed no sovereignty or dominion in Palestine enabling it to make a valid promise of any rights, whatever their nature and extent, in favour of the Jews of the world. It is immaterial whether these rights were meant to be territorial, political or cultural. On the date that the Balfour Declaration was made, Palestine formed part of Turkey, and neither its territory nor its people were under the jurisdiction of the British Government. The Declaration was void on the basis of the principle that a donor cannot give away what does not belong to him.” Henry Cattan, Palestine and International Law, quoted in Alan Hart, Zionism the Real Enemy of the Jews… p. 82.
According to Hart, “The Balfour Declaration had no legal authority to dispose of Palestine, and obfuscated the fact that its existing populati0n was overwhelmingly Arab-a clear harbinger of future strife.”
Dispensationalism therefore supports the foundational deceptions on which Zionism rests.
The founding father of Israel’s army, Vladimir Jabotinsky, a Russian Jew, born in Odessa in 1880 wrote “The Iron Wall,” of which the following is one paragraph.
If you wish to colonize a land in which people are already living, you must provide a garrison for that land, or find some rich man or benefactor who will provide a garrison on your behalf. Or else? Or else, give up your colonization, for without an armed force which will render physically impossible any attempt to destroy or prevent this colonization, colonization is impossible-not difficult, not dangerous but IMPOSSIBLE! Zionism is a colonizing adventure and therefore it stands or it falls by the question of armed force. It is important to speak Hebrew but, unfortunately, it is even more important to be able to shoot–or else I am through with playing at colonization.”Ibid, p. 121 Thus Zionism is not about Jesus Christ, his second coming, Christianity or even the millennium, but simply another colonizing imperialist endeavor.
Getting Rid of Bottled Roaches – The Ethnic Cleaning of Palestine in 1948!
Derogatory comments are made of Palestinians. The heart of these comments strikes at the very issue of human rights. Do they have a right to exist? In essence, by their enemies, they are considered a “non-people.” For example, in their book, The Israel Lobby, and U.S. Foreign Policy, John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, record the following:
“Menachem Begin once said that “Palestinians are beasts walking on two legs.” The former IDF Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan referred to them as “drugged roaches in a bottle” and also said a good Arab is a dead Arab.” Another former chief of staff, Moshe Ya’alon referred to the Palestinian threat as like a “cancer” on which he was performing “chemotherapy.”
To acknowledge the Palestinians as a people is to acknowledge their right to their land and their own government, i.e. their own self-governed state. However, if they are but brute beasts and “drugged roaches” then their life has no value. They did not exist.” Consider the doctrine addressed by Frederick Douglas stating that negroes had no rights that whites were bound to respect.
A very limited statement of the argument for impartial suffrage, and for including the negro in the body politic, would require more space than can be reasonably asked here. It is supported by reasons as broad as the nature of man, and as numerous as the wants of society. Man is the only government-making animal in the world. His right to a participation in the production and operation of government is an inference from his nature, as direct and self-evident as is his right to acquire property or education. It is no less a crime against the manhood of a man, to declare that he shall not share in the making and directing of the government under which he lives, than to say that he shall not acquire property and education. The fundamental and unanswerable argument in favor of the enfranchisement of the negro is found in the undisputed fact of his manhood. He is a man, and by every fact and argument by which any man can sustain his right to vote, the negro can sustain his right equally. It is plain that, if the right belongs to any, it belongs to all. The doctrine that some men have no rights that others are bound to respect, is a doctrine which we must banish as we have banished slavery, from which it emanated. If black men have no rights in the eyes of white men, of course the whites can have none in the eyes of the blacks. The result is a war of races, and the annihilation of all proper human relations.” Douglass, Frederick. “An Appeal to Congress for Impartial Suffrage.” Atlantic Monthly 19 (Jan. 1867): 112-117
Golda Meir, Zionism first female prime minister reportedly said, “There is no such thing as a Palestinian. It was not as though there was a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them.” In all fairness, “Mother Israel” passed along a message which was not to be delivered until after her death saying. “She told me to tell you [Hart] that as soon as those words left her mouth, she knew they were the silliest damn thing she ever said.”
Hart interprets thusly, “Put another way, she was acknoweleging the difference between on the one hand, Israel’s propaganda–the myth Zionism had created to fool the world and comfort itself–and on the other hand, what she knew to be true. In effect and posthumously Mother Israel was admitting that the creation o the Zionist state had required the doing of an injustice to the Palestinians, and that Israel was living a lie.” Ibid, p. 61-62.
The right to dispossess people of their land and their rights is ultimately the annihilation of all proper human relations. It is inhumane.
David Ben-Gurion remarked, in June 1937,” Were I an Arab, I would rebel even more vigorously, bitterly and desperately against the immigration that will one day turn Palestine and all its Arab residents over to Jewish rule.”
Woodrow Wilson in his Fourteen Points speech to Congress, put forth the thesis that all peoples have a right to self-determination. In 1977 President Carter addressed the UN announcing the United States‘ commitment to continue the struggle for human rights and to deal with its “own national inadequacies.” The United States’ treatment of its Indian population is one of the “national human rights inadequacies” to which Carter referred.
The strongest international affirmation of the principle of self-determination is found in the first article of both the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: “All peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of the right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
The right of self-determination is the most important right sought by indigenous peoples. Self-determination allows a group to determine its own future by determining its own form of government, laws, and policies.
Note how similar the U.S. policies toward Native American Indians resemble those of Zionist Israel toward Palestinians.
The European powers and the early United States government originally dealt with the Indian nations through the treaty process as international sovereigns. By 1831, though, tribes were no longer regarded as international sovereigns and were characterized by Chief Justice John Marshall as “domestic dependent nations.” American Indian Policy in the Twentieth Century, p. 42-43, edited by Vine DeLoria, Jr. Compare “existing non-Jewish communities” [Indigenous Arabs –Palestinian Christians, Muslims and Jews] (with “domestic dependent nations” (American Indians)
A comment from Ilan Pappe’s book, “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” is appropriate.
“It is the present writer’s view that ethnic cleansing is a well-defined policy of a particular group of persons to systematically eliminate another group from a given territory on the basis of religious, ethnic or national origin.Such a policy involves violence and is very often connected with military operations. It is to be achieved by all possible means, from discrimination to extermination, and entails violations of human rights and international humanitarian law…Most ethnic cleansing methods are grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and 1977 Additional Protocols. Drazen Petrovic, ‘Ethnic Cleansing – An Attempt at Methodology’, European Journal of International Law, 5/3 (1994), pp. 342-60.
(Ethnic cleansing is regarding today under international law as a crime against humanity.)
“The importance of a territorial land base to Indian society cannot be overemphasized. For most indigenous societies the land is a unifying force –the land represents a home, a livelihood, a religion. As white settlements grew, reservations signified safety against an encroaching and alien culture.
Two articles of the ILO convention speak directly to the rights of indigenous peoples to retain their native lands and to necessary compensation in the event of their removal:
The right of the population, collective or individual…over the lands [they] have traditionally occupied shall be recognized. (Articles 11)
The populations concerned shall not be removed without their free consent…except in accordance with national laws…for reasons relating to national security, or in the interest of national economic development or of the health of said population.
When in such case removal…is necessary as an exceptional measure, they shall be provided with lands of quality at least equal to lands previously occupied by them. (Article 12). Ibid, pp. 49-50.
Compare the statement from Jabotinsky’s “The Iron Wall:”
“We cannot give any compensation for Palestine, neither to the Palestinians nor to other Arabs. Therefore, a voluntary agreement is inconceivable. All colonization, even the most restricted, must continue in defiance of the will of the native population. Therefore, it can continue and develop only under the shield of force which comprises an Iron Wall which the local population can never break through. This is our Arab policy. To formulate it any other way would be hypocrisy.” Alan Hart, Zionism the Real Enemy of the Jews, Volume One, the False Messiah, p. 121. Thus, combat is preferred policy versus compensation.
The right to develop and preserve one’s culture is stated most clearly in two international documents. The UNESCO Declaration of the Principles of International Cultural Cooperation (1966), Article 1 states that:
- Each culture has a dignity and value which must be preserved.
- Every people has the right and the duty to develop its culture.
- In their rich variety and diversity, and in the reciprocal influences they exert on one another, all cultures for part of the common heritage belonging to all mankind.
Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides that: “In those states in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, or to use their own languages.” Ibid. p. 53.
Interestingly, “The Basic Law on Human Dignity and Liberty, which approximates the U.S. Bill of Rights contained language that promised equality for all Israelis: “All are equal before the law, and there shall be no discrimination on the grounds of gender, religion, nationality, race, ethnic group, country of origin or any other irrelevant factor. Ultimately a Knesset committee removed that clause from the final version that became law in 1992.”
These and similar reasoning’s are why Mearsheimer and Walt conclude that a good case can be made that current U.S. policy conflicts with basic American values and that if the United States were to choose sides on the basis of moral considerations alone, it would back the Palestinians, not Israel. This can only mean that Dispensationalism and its unconditional backing of Zionism “in the name of Jesus” supports immoral policies and violates basic human rights. The doctrine is Biblically unsound and fallacious at its core.
Church and state are separate in the United States, and the religious opinions of any group are not supposed to determine the country’s foreign policy. It is also an odd reading of Christian ethics to support the powerful Israeli state in its mistreatment of dispossessed Palestinians and its suppression of their rights.
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