Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Word to the Wise

A response to the widening unrest across the Middle East

Events unfolding in Egypt on February 11th have been welcomed all over the world as they should be. The young, but leaderless, people of Egypt have demanded a true democratic form of government with all the freedoms that other nations, embracing this form of governance, enjoy. Having lived for thirty years under the heel of dictatorial rule they deserve it as do all the other peoples of the region.

However, once the euphoria of Mubarak’s departure has died down the real process in this regard will begin to unfold and it is not a given that real democracy will replace the fallen rule of the Mubarak regime. Waiting in the wings, as we all know, are jihadist Islamic groups that want to seize power and move the wider region toward their goal and dream of a new Caliphate!

The Muslim Brotherhood are shrewd operators and will not immediately seize power. They will, for western political consumption, assume an influential role, and indeed a strong one, in the emerging Egyptian government. Thereafter, by a process of stealth and intrigue, they will slowly usurp power and steer the nation toward sharia law. All the while they will pursue and encourage a hostile relationship toward Israel. It is to be noted that while it was young people that called for democracy and spearheaded the revolution it is not to be taken for granted that they are well disposed toward Israel.

If the banners in Revolution Square say anything it was that Israel is as hated as Mubarak was!

All of this has emboldened two groups:

First; the one that is looking for greater freedom in the Middle East in that young people all over the region in countries like Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Iran, the gulf states and elsewhere may attempt an Egyptian styled revolution. However, being without identifiable and proven leadership they will most likely win some concessions but in the end fail because these nations have watched and learned from what happened in Egypt and will no doubt use force immediately to put down a revolt.

The second group is the radical jihadist alliance, incorporating many factions but mainly Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaida, and of course the Muslim Brotherhood. These will ally themselves with Iran and already have and seek to take advantage of the present upheavals to strengthen and arm themselves and thereby prepare for war with Israel. They have already given notice of this! Truly the Middle East is on the brink of boiling over!

It is thus madness to expect Israel to push forward with a two state peace process and yet I hear the friends of Israel and even Israelis expressing this point of view. Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, is a weak ineffectual leader and his remaining sphere of influence could fall, at any time, to the hegemony and control of Hamas. For the so-called "friends of Israel" to get up, time and time again, to express support for a two state solution to the conflict is irresponsible. This politically correct game has to end and must end now! Maybe a few years ago it had a glimmer of hope but today it is not feasible by any stretch of the imagination and those who desire Israel’s best interests had better reassess their position.

The question then has to be asked,” In what way do we hope to stand by Israel?” If sanity is not brought to the table all our efforts at being an effective lobbying force on her behalf, in all forums, will fail and come to nothing. Events in the Middle East will “march on” without us.

In some respects the unfolding events in Egypt must then be seen in the light of what I call “The Turkish Principle.” Turkey, a long time ally of Israel, became more Islamic leaning as time went by. Erdogan, the present leader of that country, was once imprisoned for Islamic radicalism. His world-view was incompatible with being an ally of Israel and he thus needed an excuse to break this alliance and get out of it. The now infamous “Flotilla Incident” became his “legitimate” out and he used it to full advantage. Thereafter, and very quickly, he allied himself with Iran.

This principle is unfolding in the Lebanon and it will in Egypt, possibly Jordan and elsewhere. This then effectively “tightens the noose around” Israel and if she concedes more territory to a weak Holocaust denier like Mahmoud Abbas she will greatly endanger her security.

In the Middle East so far, as in Gaza, democratic elections consist of one man, one vote, one time! One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand the danger that Israel is in. Hamas is biding its time as all the events around it are serving its interests. A new government in Egypt will, most probably within a reasonable space of time, lift the blockade on Gaza for humanitarian reasons, of course, and arms from Iran will begin to flow again and the West Bank will be infiltrated and destabilized by radicals and probably already is!

Only someone completely ignorant of the events on the ground will advocate a two state solution to the Israeli/Palestinian impasse’. The Middle East is changing rapidly and until the “fog has cleared” the oft quoted cliché’ of two democratic states living side-by-side in peace and security should be abandoned. It is an idea that now has no significance and those who “peddle” it in the name of being true friends of Israel should drop it.

It is also high time that the fear of God should take hold of us. Israel’s modern day restoration has happened against the tide of history because it enjoys biblical significance and God’s favor. The God of the Bible watches over Israel day and night and is deeply involved in her well being. Indeed He warns the world not to divide the land He bequeathed to Israel. To disregard this great purpose and warning of God is foolishness as we are dealing with His ancient people who have faced this exact type of conflict time and time again in their long journey spanning some four thousand years. Israel is the vehicle of world redemption and has given birth to a moral code that has made much of the world great and she has birthed and gifted to the world the greatest and most loved Man that ever lived.

We who claim to love her and stand by her should be careful, yes very careful, lest we find ourselves in conflict with the God of Heaven!

Malcolm Hedding

Monday, January 31, 2011

Crisis in the Middle East

Egypt, but for brief moments in history, has always been a great antagonist of the people of Israel. This saga really began some 1700 years before Christ when Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, was wrongly accused and left to rot in an Egyptian jail. If it were not for God’s supernatural deliverance he would have perished there! His rise to power was phenomenal as was his leadership skills. He not only saved Egypt from starvation but he delivered his family and the known world as well and thereby guaranteed the existence of the Jewish people and the Messianic line of descent. If it were not for God’s supernatural deliverance Israel would have perished!

As time went by a Pharaoh arose “who knew not Joseph” and literally enslaved the Jewish people, murdered their babies and threatened the nation with extinction. God went before them and provided a deliverer in the person of Moses. He brought Israel out of Egypt with great signs and wonders by his hands. If it were not for God’s supernatural deliverance Israel would have perished!

When the children of Israel got to the Red Sea the Egyptians had them cornered. There was nowhere to go and so, once again, by a miracle, in response to Moses outstretched arm, the sea parted and Israel escaped unharmed on dry land. If it were not for God’s supernatural deliverance Israel would have perished at the hands of the Egyptians!

Throughout history, up until the present day, Egypt has resolutely set itself against the purpose of God concerning the Jews and has tried, time and time again, to destroy them. In 1967 the now famous Six Day War of June broke out. Abdul Nasser of Egypt, with overwhelming military strength and backed by Russia, sought again to destroy Israel and the Jewish people. Once again a miracle of God happened and Nasser’s army was not just defeated but it was humiliated by the Israeli Defense Force, as were the other Arab armies that attacked Israel. Israel’s victory was breathtaking and stunning. Actually, if it were not for God’s supernatural deliverance she would have perished!

The same was true of 1973 when, emboldened by Russia, again, and by various allies in the Middle East, Egypt attacked Israel on its holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur. (The great Day of Atonement) The surprise factor was complete and devastating. Even some of Golda Meir’s Generals and advisors thought that the “game was over.” But they were wrong. Israel snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and survived. If it were not for God’s supernatural deliverance Israel would have perished!

Since 1978 and the Camp David Accords peace has characterized the relationship between Israel and Egypt. Ambassadors have been exchanged and even tourism has flourished between the two countries, albeit mainly because Israelis have gone to visit Egypt! This peace, though shaking the Arab world, broadened out in time, to include Jordan. Sadly though, both nations are not ruled democratically thus leaving room for discontent and anger to arise and boil over. They are dictatorships and thus requiring a heavy hand to suppress resistance and opposition. This in turn breeds radicals and these have mushroomed in the form of the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups opposed to the regime. The “main street” is filled with anger. Mubarak’s relationship with Israel has been fully exploited thereby turning him into a traitor for some and gathering public sentiment against him.

Now this anger against the regime has erupted and threatens to engulf Jordan and possibly even the Lebanon. Even though the opposition to Mubarak’s government is driven, to some degree, by a more secular component of society, it does increasingly include the Muslim Brotherhood whose leaders were in league with Bin Laden when he attacked New York on 9/11. Sadly, all the reports coming out of Egypt confirm our worse fears and that is, that many demonstrators are filled with rage against Israel and therefore, on this question, they agree with the goals and vision of the Muslim Brotherhood. They in turn are in league with Iran and together desire the total destruction of Israel.

It is now a matter of time before President Mubarak falls from power and he will be replaced with populist leaders and a regime that, more than likely, will be more democratic but undoubtedly more hostile to Israel. With the passing of time we could see the Egyptian Embassy closed in Tel Aviv and Egypt returning to its age old position of hostility and antagonism. This in turn means that Israel will truly be encircled by a state sponsored terror network that will have the means to engulf it. If it were not for God’s supernatural deliverance Israel will perish!

Though biblical scholars are pondering what all this upheaval means, it is true that the God we serve “watches over Israel day and night”. However, the Prophet Ezekiel envisages a day that has yet to arrive, when an alliance of Middle East nations will attempt, one last time, to destroy Israel and remove the Jews finally and forever from the land of promise. (See Ezekiel 36-39) Egypt will be among them! In Ezekiel’s time nation states were not so well defined as we have them today and so thus, when the Prophet speaks of Ethiopia, Put and Libya he is talking about the whole region of Northern Africa. This region, in concert with many other nations, will swoop down upon Israel to destroy her. Israel will be overwhelmed and helpless! But the God of Israel will step in again and deliver her by amazing judgments that will leave the world astonished. If it were not for God’s supernatural deliverance Israel will perish!

All this is to say pray, yes as never before because the picture rapidly developing in the Middle East today is approximating more and more to the picture painted by Ezekiel and indeed the other Prophets including Daniel and Zechariah. At the very least the stage is being set and those who know their God will see it and “do exploits.” But, it will take commitment and determination because following after the heart of God will always cost everything. Prayer, Paul reminds us, is hard work. (Colossians 4:12)

Actually, if it were not for God’s supernatural deliverance we would all perish because Jesus said, “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy and to escape these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36) Makes one think doesn’t it?

However, this is not the end of the story. Egypt is destined for glory! She gave shelter to the Christ child and thus preserved his life. (Matthew 2:13-15) She historically attacked the Messianic line but in the end gave protection to the Messiah. God has not forgotten this and thus, in the end, in the Messianic age, she will be united gloriously with Israel and Assyria and become a highway of blessing! (Isaiah 19:18-25) If it were not for the grace of God we would all perish!

Malcolm Hedding

The Signs of the Times

Jesus warned that, just prior to His return, cataclysmic upheavals would take place in the world that would defy human explanation and strike fear into the hearts of men. In just the last few weeks our eyes have witnessed a rampaging fire in the Carmel heights of Israel, snow storms in Europe and the USA never witnessed before, rain storms and flooding in Australia on a scale that boggles the mind and the weird death of thousands upon thousands of fish and birds in the USA and South America.

When one adds to this picture the wholesale murder of Christians throughout the Muslim world and in Africa plus the rise of anti-Semitism and the hatred of Israel in all international spheres then the words of Jesus become more important and most worthy of our careful consideration. No wonder He said that we are to watch and pray and, more important still, be ready for His sudden appearing.

Nations buckling under huge mountains of debt coupled with nuclear proliferation add to the dangers of an unstable global situation not to mention the wars that continue to rage in Iraq and Afghanistan. Anxiety levels are increasing everywhere! World leaders are void of real answers and their political theories have proved to be bankrupt. No wonder they are now openly calling for a one world government, a new global currency and human controls never imagined or seen before. As things get worse the masses, longing for safety, will join this call thinking that their only way out of the present distress will be totalitarianism with its promise of peace and order.

Freedom, as we know it, will become a thing of the past and a brave new one world order will arise totally transforming the present social, political and economic order. All of this will be hailed as progress and another step forward in humankind’s evolutionary development!

Naturally, giving leadership to this new globalist regime will be a dynamic, benevolent and “wise” leader such as the world has never seen but certainly longed for. Absolute obedience will be given to him by universal decree and those who fail to surrender and obey him will be removed from society under the charge of being enemies of the global order. Celebrations will everywhere abound and a new one world religious system will be established. The Bible, once the world’s most loved and read book will be banned!

With every passing day this picture is emerging with frightening clarity and what was once only written about by “whistle blowers” is now openly being stated and published without shame. Economic pressure, natural upheavals, wars, nuclear threats coupled with fear and anxiety have enabled the globalists to “show their hand” with increasing brazenness. The followers of Jesus; die everywhere across the Middle East and North Africa, are mocked in nations that once called themselves Christian and are accused of being bigots in many others. Jesus is the problem!

Nevertheless, is it not amazing that His words in Matthew 24 have been fulfilled with pin-point accuracy. He is hated only because He tells the truth and thereby unmasks the wickedness of the human heart. He himself declared that His people would be hated by all peoples because they bare His glorious name. What did He do to these peoples to arouse such hatred and rejection? The answer is simple; He loved them and gave His life for them!

In the end the “signs of the times” will prove to be the only “road map” worth following. The coming new world order will only bring humankind closer to utter destruction. Indeed, Jesus said, “Unless those days be shortened no flesh will be left on the earth.” A serious read of the signs of the end ,as recorded in Matthew 24, will go a long way to reassuring the heart and to reminding it of the things that really matter and which are worthy of standing up for.

Malcolm Hedding

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holy Convocations

Two recent church convocations have come to conclusions that are unbiblical but widely believed in Christian circles. The first was the special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Catholic Bishops. Speaking of Israel’s place among the nations they concluded that, “the Abrahamic Covenant has been annulled.” By doing this they can remove Israel’s divine right to the land of Canaan and to Jerusalem. Naturally, if this be true, then Israel enjoys no biblical significance, her modern day restoration is an accident of history and she takes her place amongst the nations of the earth like any other. God has no more purpose for her than He does for Zambia or Switzerland!

The second convocation was that of the Lausanne Conference of Evangelicals that gathered in Cape Town. They agreed entirely with the Bishops of Rome in that their conference statement noted that, ".....we strongly believe that the separate and privileged place given to Jewish people today or to the modern Israeli state in certain forms of dispensationalism or Christian Zionism, should be challenged, inasmuch as they deny the essential oneness of the people of God in Christ.”

Once again, simply put, this means that for these evangelicals Israel’s modern day restoration enjoys no biblical significance whatsoever. Christians can and should ignore it and move on to more important spiritual things. The Catholic Bishops were at least honest in that they recognized that to hold their position on Israel they have to define the “battle ground.” That is, they must declare the Abrahamic Covenant entirely obsolete and abolished by God Himself. There is just one problem for them in this regard and that is that scripture nowhere says it. It is an argument from silence!

In fact, if anything, the New Testament scriptures everywhere affirm the ongoing efficacy of this covenant even going so far as to declare that it cannot be annulled (Galatians3:17), that it constitutes an example to believers of God’s truthfulness and unswerving faithfulness (Hebrews6:13-20) and that the finished work of Jesus on the cross was to make good its promises (Galatians3:9; 13-14;). Indeed, if we are Christ’s we are “Abraham’s children according to the promise (covenant).” (Galatians3:29)

Moreover, I know of no Christian Zionist who affords a privileged place to Jews or Israel. If anything, the call of God over the Jewish people was never a “privileged place” but a place of servant hood, suffering and rejection for the sake of the world! As a gentile believer in Christ Jesus I would not want their role in history, but truly I have been eternally enriched by it because “salvation is of the Jews”, “we share in their spiritual things” and from them “Christ came who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.”

To assert then that, since Jesus’ coming, the Abrahamic Covenant has been abolished is quite frankly theological ineptitude! The scriptures nowhere support this theory. In fact, if accepted, these convocations are guilty of the very theological position that they claim to be against! That is, they are guilty of being dispensationalists because they endorse the movement of one plan of God to another throughout history. This is classic dispensationalism! We reject dispensationalism in all its forms because there has only and forever been one plan of God for the salvation of the whole world (Revelation13:8). This plan was unveiled and promised in the Abrahamic Covenant which, according to Paul was the first and foundational proclamation of the Gospel (Galatians3:8) The fact that this saving initiative also promised land as an everlasting possession to the Jewish people (Genesis17:8-9) has always “stuck in the throat” of many people and groups. (Nehemiah2:19-20; 4:1-3; 6:1-2)

The fact is all nations are blessed and saved by faith in the finished work of Jesus because of the peculiar servant role that Israel has played out on their behalf. A calling that Paul admits is irrevocable! (Romans11:29) For this role or call to be removed the Abrahamic Covenant has to be removed but, if that ever happens and it will not, God’s decision to save the world also has to be removed! It is worthy of note that, years after Israel’s rejection of Jesus Messianic credentials, the writer of the book of Hebrews holds up the Abrahamic Covenant to wavering believers as an example of God’s faithfulness to his word, character and promises.

The Lausanne Conference and the Catholic Bishops are not only guilty of dispensationalism but of also casting doubt over the character of God. They have thereby disqualified themselves from participating in one of the most remarkable acts of God in history and have failed to “rightly divide” the word of God. One wonders whether the pressure of being politically correct has caused them to do this?

It needs to be borne in mind that the position held by Christian Zionists today was also held by great Christian leaders throughout history including the Wesley’s, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Bishop Ryle of Liverpool, Sir Isaac Newton, the early church leaders as reflected by the documents of the early church and many thousands more.

That we are and all should be concerned about issues of justice and righteousness in the Middle East and elsewhere is a given. We should be committed to the “whole counsel of God” and are. However, I want to know why these church convocations have abandoned the people of South Sudan where two million Christians, in the last decade and more, were killed at the hands of Muslims and why they have said and done nothing about the “forgotten war” in central Africa that has thus far claimed the lives of four million people? Obviously righteousness and justice for them is a matter of “special selection.” Or, are these people left without hope because they are African?

Rev. Malcolm Hedding

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Ongoing Madness

The word most heard now or mentioned in publications concerning Israel is, “Isolation”. The now infamous Flotilla incident, which had more to do with an anti-Israel agenda than with humanitarian aid for the beleaguered residents of Gaza, has empowered the anti-Israel left and enabled them to make increased calls for Israel to be isolated. The enemies of Israel have used this incident to further broaden out their attack against Israel at every level. They are sadly supported by much of the global press and the ever vocal radical political left. As a consequence, labour unions, in many parts of the world, are refusing to off load ships with Israeli products on them and historical Christian Church Movements such as Presbyterians, Anglicans and Lutherans are intensifying their calls for disinvestment in Israel.

This “attack” is so widespread, sustained and sadly effective that the “average Joe” everywhere is buying into it or, because of pressure and intimidation, giving into it. The result is that organizations, like the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and others, that stand with Israel are being branded as misguided and viewed as suspect.

This is the climate in which we now operate. In short there is a sustained campaign to delegitimize and dismantle Israel and those who defend her are targeted in the same way. However, we are not moved or persuaded by public opinion but by the Word of the living God. We are thus convinced that Israel’s modern day restoration is not a political coincidence but rather evidence of God’s faithfulness to His word and promise made to Abraham some 4000 years ago. We will stand firm in our support of Israel and her right to exist in and enjoy the land that God forever gave her. (Genesis17:7-8) This includes proclaiming that Jerusalem is and should remain the undivided eternal capital of the Jewish people. Israel’s claims in this regard are beyond dispute.

However, the delegitimizing campaign against Israel has brought together radical Muslims and radical leftists in the western democracies. These are very strange bedfellows as Islam’s well documented abuse of women, honour killings, execution of those from its ranks who convert to other religions, and agenda to introduce Sharia Law wherever it gets a foothold are blatant contradictions of the left’s thinking and very public positions. So, why would “the left” turn a blind eye or tolerate such blatant contradictions of their philosophical world-view? The answer is simple; they unite with radical Islam in their hated of Israel and desire to see her removed from the Middle East.

So, what could be at the root of this mad hatred? Only one thing, anti-Semitism! The hatred of things Jewish is an old deadly malady of the human heart that is so intense that it will unite the most unlikely groups and people. This is a disease of choice. It is not a sickness but a deliberate decision to persecute, hound and destroy Jews. It involves people of all stations of life and thus is not a respecter of persons. The new target of those filled with this hatred is the “corporate Jew” or Israel. By this means they disavow ant-Semitism and affirm that their attack against Israel is legitimate because of political concerns. This is the big lie! These people hate all things Jewish, they propagate the age old lies of the Protocols of the Elders Zion and buy into anything that denies the Holocaust and they will not stop until they have achieved their goals.

Their narrative denies history, twists the truth and even denies any Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Nevertheless, the liberal left marches hand-in-hand with them! Meanwhile, smelling weakness in the American Administration, Ahmadinejad of Iran has stepped up his war against the Jews by prompting Hezbollah into armed conflict with Israel on her northern border and, on the web, he has initiated a new project that by the use of cartoons denies the Holocaust. The message is clear; the Jews were never exterminated by anybody but now they deserve it! When will the madness stop and who will step up to oppose it?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Shame on the World

The International condemnation of Israel over the interception of the Turkish ship the Mavi Malmara is clearly a case of, “don’t confuse me with facts because my mind is already made up.” Any fair minded person, after viewing the video footage, will concede that Israeli Commandos were definitely not boarding a ship of peaceful activists intent on bringing love and aid to the citizens of Gaza. On the contrary they were well armed individuals with every intention of inflicting bodily harm on the boarding Israeli soldiers who boarded brandishing paint ball guns! It has since emerged that a good number of these so called activists were in fact Islamic jihadists fully prepared to sacrifice their lives for this misguided adventure.

They in fact left statements to this effect with their families and friends and then, as they saw it, went off to wage war against Israel in the real expectation of dying and ascending immediately to paradise! Israel’s interception of the ship in question and indeed of the whole flotilla was perfectly legal given that ships of this nature have been used over the past months and years to attempt to ferry arms to Hamas and Hezbollah. The former has been branded a terrorist organization by the international community and the on going blockade of Gaza is in fact an international operation supported by Egypt and the USA.

Once again the radical left, mainly in Europe, and Muslims extremists have linked hands in order to recklessly stage a publicity stunt that had little to do with delivering aid to Gaza. Not only did this misguided adventure cost lives but it has exposed the anti-Semitic agenda of those who gave themselves to it. The rush of states like Turkey and the wider world, including the United Nations, to judge and condemn Israel before the real facts came out was little short of pathetic. Once again blind arrogance and hatred triumphed over reason.

Israel did what was right and indeed what every self respecting democracy would do in defense of its civilians and sovereignty. The failure then of the Western Democracies to stand up in defense of a more measured approach based on all the facts is evidence of the degree to which they have given in to the radical voices of hatred in their countries. Appeasement of these voices is a highway to disaster and it is slowly but surely eroding the freedoms that were won, especially in Europe, some sixty years ago, by the spilling of much blood. The winds of change are indeed blowing but if the West is not careful it will reap the whirlwind!

The Prime Minister of Israel was thus right when he accused the international community of double standards and of losing its way in terms of understanding the difference between good and evil. This hypocrisy is no more evident than in the attack by North Korea against a South Korean frigate which resulted in the death of forty-five South Korean sailors. Where was the condemnation, protests and outrage at this clear act of unprovoked aggression? No, all of this has been reserved for Israel who is locked in a life and death struggle with an opponent in Gaza that unashamedly calls for and works for her total destruction. An opponent that, without shame, has launched some 10,000 missiles at the Israeli civilian population in recent years.

It’s become popular to bash Israel and “play games” with totalitarian regimes in the Middle East including that of Gaza but in the end the truth of what really happened on the Mavi Malmara will and is being revealed for all to see. That is, to those who are not blinded by minds that are already made up! And by the way, in case you were wondering and average of 150 trucks pass from Israel into Gaza every day bringing much needed help to the people there.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Israel and Apartheid

Day by day the anti-Israel alliance, and sadly in collaboration with major church movements mainly from the historical Protestant world, is seeking to make the Apartheid State accusation leveled at Israel stick. There is more to this than meets the eye in that the real intention behind labeling Israel an Apartheid State is to remove altogether the Jewish State. The Apartheid State of South Africa was rightfully dismantled in the late nineteen eighties and early nineties. It was first discredited, then delegitimized and finally dismantled to the joy of the world and the enslaved black majority who had lived under and endured its brutality.

However, to describe Israel in these terms is, quite frankly, immoral and wicked and yet on the university campuses of the Western World this is becoming the popular thing to do. Radical leftist academics and politicians are teaming up with Islamic elements to pursue this goal. They want to equate Israel with the original apartheid state and thus demand that the world do as it did to South Africa; dismantle it! Most of these people know absolutely nothing about Apartheid but the word is extremely powerful since it conjures up notions of hatred, discrimination, brutality, racism and prejudice.

It is quite astonishing to witness how a lie told often enough can eventually be accepted as truth! Most of these people have no knowledge of the “inner workings” of the apartheid regime and couldn’t even tell you the basic facts about it. It’s just a very powerful weapon to use when discharging their hatred of Israel.

Essentially apartheid was a totalitarian system of governance, not unlike those of the Arab world today, where a minority population subjugated and enslaved the overwhelmingly black population. It was ideologically driven and was obsessed with racial superiority. The superior white population could not mingle with or even sit on a bench with the inferior black peoples. Even the education system was “dumbed down” for black people because they were mentally inferior and could not cope with the high levels of learning that whites could embrace. The towns and cities were “white by night” as all “blacks”, as they were called, had to be removed to their shanty towns that served as cheap labour ghettos for the nation. The black people could not vote, own property or even move freely in their own country.

Various instruments of state were used to ruthlessly apply the system of total and complete segregation and these included the police, the military and the judiciary system. In short, it was Aryanism in a new form!

There is absolutely nothing equivalent to this in the dispute that rages between the Palestinians and Israel today. Arabs, Jews, Christians and Palestinians share the same shopping malls, benches, hospitals, theatres, and in many cases, suburbs. The educational institutions do not have a “dumbed down” Arab/Palestinian curriculum and the privilege of voting is given to all. Israel has Arab Members of Knesset and Jews, Arabs and Palestinians often work together on construction sites, in businesses and in hotels etc. Most important of all is the fact that Israel is a democratic state, (not a perfect one), with democratic institutions and is not governed by a totalitarian minority!

It is also important to remember that there never was a Palestinian State in the region as even Jews were called, and registered as, Palestinian in 1948! The British government held mandate over the country and accepted the right of Jews to have a state of their own in what was their ancient homeland. Even the United Nations accepted and voted for this right. When Israel implemented this decision by declaring its existence she was immediately attacked by no less than five Arab countries!

This brings into focus the real nature of this conflict. That is, it has very little to do with politics or peace agreements but everything to do with theology! By this I mean a radical jihadist theology that considers the whole land of Israel and not just the West Bank part of the house of Islam. This theology dictates that all this land must be returned to this house by peaceful, political or violent jihad. So, when the Palestinians had everything they say they want now from 1948 to 1967 they neither protested against the illegal Jordanian occupation of the region nor even remotely demanded a state of their own. They did however found the PLO in 1964 charged with the distinct mandate of destroying the State of Israel. They subsequently launched a terror campaign to prove it and throughout the Oslo peace initiative era refused to remove the infamous “destruction clauses” from their charter!

The same jihadist theology drives Hamas, the Alaksa Brigade, Hezbollah, Ahmadinejad of Iran and all the rest. This has absolutely nothing to do with Apartheid! The state of Israel enjoys a Jewish majority; it is democratic and has demonstrated a willingness to make painful concessions in order to make peace with its neighbors. In all cases it alone paid the real price by giving up land. It even withdrew from Gaza to demonstrate its sincerity in seeking a peaceful resolution to the conflict with the Palestinians. The trauma that the withdrawal brought to the people of Gaza and the wider nation was played out for the entire world to see on the international media. It was not good enough! So, the result was the, “same old, same old”. That is, within a short space of time ten thousand missiles, fired from the vacated territory, rained down on Israel’s civilians in the southern part of the nation. The world said and did very little but Israel is, of course, an apartheid state!

Over the years, and in response to one of the most ambitious peace initiatives in Israel’s short history called Oslo 1, 2, and 3, the Palestinians have opted for violence. This is called “Intifada.” Wave upon wave of suicide bombers attacked Israel from the porous boundary line between the nation and the West Bank. Men, women and children were indiscriminately murdered in buses, restaurants, hotels and shopping malls. To protect herself from these murdering intruders Israel built a barrier fence, which, in some more dangerous areas, becomes a wall. It is not built to segregate people or discriminate against them but to protect its citizens from attack. In this connection it has been highly successful though even Israel admits that it is regrettable. But, what would any other self respecting democratic state do? Nevertheless, the Apartheid accusers love to use the wall to further their accusation.

To presume, after all that Israel has been through in her sixty-two years of statehood, that Israel has no legitimate security concerns is madness. The Palestinians have time and again demonstrated that their strategy has not changed since 1964. In Johannesburg in 1994, after shaking the hand of Yitzhak Rabin on the lawns of the White House near the end of 1993, Yasser Arafat declared as much. Palestinian Media Watch has also repeatedly drawn attention to this fact. The liberal left and their fellow travelers conveniently ignore this fact. No sir, Apartheid is not the issue, the destruction of Israel is. Just this past week, the Syrian based Hamas leader stood shoulder to shoulder with Ahmadinejad of Iran and together they boasted that very soon Israel, in its entirety, would vanish from the map of the world. Theirs is a holy war but for the liberal left it is Apartheid and the truth is their radical positions have made them allies!

This same radical left group espouse democracy but in practice denies it. They will not allow Israeli academics, leaders or politicians to exercise their democratic right to free speech. Their intolerance knows no boundaries as they threaten and trash meetings in educational institutions in western countries that supposedly are there to educate within the context of democratic values. This is exactly what the apartheid thugs of the South African regime did. They violently brought public meetings to an end if anyone opposed their view of the world. They were scared to death that someone might just have a more truthful and compelling argument to theirs. The democratic rights they claim for themselves they deny others.

For sure the Palestinians have suffered and still do but to place the blame entirely at Israel’s door for this is folly. Their failed and corrupt leadership, missed opportunities and willingness to support conflict is also a crucial component in their suffering. Israel is no Apartheid state. She is a democratic state living under the constant threat of annihilation and thus seeking to balance her need to find a lasting peace with her neighbors with that of her security. Her regional experience has taught her that her security and very existence is the number one issue. After all, in all the so called peace plans presented to the region, she is expected to do all the giving with only verbal guarantees of security given by her interlockers. These have never amounted to much!

The truth is the Apartheid accusation is just another smokescreen in the war against Israel! I should know it because I grew up in Apartheid South Africa.

Malcolm Hedding.

Watch this interview of Malcolm dismantling the myth of Israeli Apartheid:

For more on the life and struggle of Malcolm against Apartheid, read this article from Jerusalem Post Christian Edition entitled "Still Fighting Apartheid" by Lela Gilbert.