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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Jesus lives in the Holy Land. Maybe

The dream seemed so close to being realised:

"The Israeli government is planning to give up a large slice of land to American Christian evangelicals to build a biblical theme park by the Sea of Galilee where Jesus is said to have walked on water and fed 5,000 with five loaves and two fish.

"A consortium of Christian groups, led by the television evangelist Pat Robertson, is in negotiation with the Israeli ministry of tourism and a deal is expected in the coming months. The project is expected to bring up to 1 million extra tourists a year but an undeclared benefit will be the cementing of a political alliance between the Israeli rightwing and the American Christian right."

Now, however, radical Christian Zionists may have to wait for redemption:

"Israel has suspended contact with evangelist Pat Robertson for suggesting Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine punishment for withdrawing from the Gaza Strip - casting doubt on plans for a Christian tourism centre that would showcase the growing flow of money and influence from U.S. church groups."

The Lord is truly merciful.

31 Comments:

Blogger Shabadoo said...

I carry no brief for Pat Robertson, but why is it that you get offended by Christians settling in Israel, but are all for Palestinians/Arabs flooding the joint?

Thursday, January 12, 2006 10:09:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Of course it does. For many, though, it's a little too complex to understand that not all Arabs are Muslims. Many are indeed Christian.

Thursday, January 12, 2006 10:15:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Probably becasue Robertson gives Christians a bad name.

Doesn't the Palesitnian population also include Christians?

Thursday, January 12, 2006 10:16:00 am  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Some even were Jews, but they had to leave because of the less-than-enlightened governments in the region.

Same actually for many of the Christians (look at the Lebanese X'ians in Oz)...how would you like to be a Copt in Egypt or a Christian in Indonesia or Pakistan (granted not Arab countries)?

Thursday, January 12, 2006 10:25:00 am  
Blogger neoleftychick said...

AL

Yes, and won't the likes of Hanan Ashrawi and yourself thrive under the planned Hamas dimmitude!? Edward Said would have been OK as he was not a Palestinian.

Thursday, January 12, 2006 11:51:00 am  
Blogger Lisa said...

Ugh please let me puke. I'm just glad I've been able to get and see the Galilee lake area without having to be assaulted with the sight and sounds of an American theme park. Surely Israel has some kind of limit as to what it will allow to bring in tourist dollars!

Thursday, January 12, 2006 3:51:00 pm  
Blogger Ian Westmore said...

Shabadoo said...

why is it that you get offended by Christians settling in Israel, but are all for Palestinians/Arabs flooding the joint?.

Because its their land!

But I do think everyone is being so hard on Robertson. He is only stating what the majority American evangelicals, presumably GWB included, believe.

Thursday, January 12, 2006 4:08:00 pm  
Blogger neoleftychick said...

ian westmore

WHOSE "land?"

Thursday, January 12, 2006 6:18:00 pm  
Blogger Ian Westmore said...

Arabs

Thursday, January 12, 2006 6:56:00 pm  
Blogger Wilbourne said...

Antony usually gets narky when someone refers to Arabs as one contiguous grouping without distinctions. I bet that won't be the case here.

Israel will perservere as it always has, and the Ian Westmores of the world will complain about it in irrelevant circles as they always have.

Thursday, January 12, 2006 8:23:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Thursday, January 12, 2006 8:38:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

Why is it their land? The Arabs were evicted from it fair and square.

Population displacement - the story of humanity since day one. Live with it.

Thursday, January 12, 2006 8:39:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

James, where have you been?
Quick, call the Knesset, tell them your stuff. This will solve everything.

Thursday, January 12, 2006 8:47:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Yes bigger guns make you right.

Friday, January 13, 2006 1:01:00 am  
Blogger James Waterton said...

*sigh*

It's called dealing with reality, Orang.

Friday, January 13, 2006 1:22:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Cancer patients deal with reality James. Doesn't mean we should stop searching for a treatment.

Friday, January 13, 2006 5:34:00 am  
Blogger orang said...

aaah reality. To be surrounded by a billion muslims. Anytime you choose you can go out and kick their arse (thanks to the big guy standing behind you) And about 99.999% don't really like you. Where's that PR babe of George's?

Friday, January 13, 2006 6:43:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

She's busy perfecting the art of opening her mouth to change feet.

Friday, January 13, 2006 6:51:00 am  
Blogger neoleftychick said...

ian westmore

I didn't realise this. So those nich hotels and bars in Tel Aviv are owned by Keysar Trad and the women of Riyadh? How do they all share this Israeli property?

Idiot.

Friday, January 13, 2006 11:08:00 am  
Blogger Ian Westmore said...

I didn't realise this. So those nich hotels and bars in Tel Aviv are owned by Keysar Trad and the women of Riyadh? How do they all share this Israeli property?

It always amazes me how, given our history, any Australian (or American for that matter) could so happily accept that a people retain land rights even after an absence of 2-3,000 years and that those who've been there in the intervening period have none.

I'm a realist so accept that this is one Humpty Dumpty that can't be completely put back so Israel should have some land, perhaps up to the 1967 borders, but to believe, as you seem to, that Israel can take all the land it likes mystifies me.

Where are the limits? Abraham hailed from what is now Iraq, so are the Israelis entitled to it and the intervening Jordan, too?

And if you consider their claim so powerful, then how much greater do you believe the Aboriginal claim to whatever part of their land you occupy is? After all they were in some cases only dispossessed in the lifetime of the Howard government and have lived here 40-70 times longer than the Israelites occupied Judea?

Friday, January 13, 2006 3:00:00 pm  
Blogger neoleftychick said...

ian westmore

The aborigines already own land that is larger than France. But they are totally irrelevant to this debate.

What the hell is all your babbling about Abraham? It is totally irrelevant.

Now listen up and learn:

1. The Arabs rejected the 1947 UN Partition. Israel did not.

2. A civil war had been brewing in Palestine for decades ever since the al-Husseini-led massacre of 60 civilain Jews in Hebron in 1928;

3. During WW2, the Palestinian Arabs supported Hitler, were responsible for ensuring the capture of fleeing Jews who then went to the gas chambers, and fought alongside Rommel's Nazi army as it moved across northern Africa into Egypt.

Now, what SHOULD have happened is ALL the Arabs should have been kicked out of Palestine immediately. After all, the Russians kicked 15 million Germans out Czechslovakia (the Sudentland), there were also massive population transfers between Pakistan and India and between Greece and Turkey in 1922, which involved over 1 million Greeks being given the boot. And yet the Palestinains think they DESERVE a state!

4. The Arabs continued attacking and killing Jews after the Partitition decision was made. Civil War was inevitable. Israel won. No, it wasn't pretty. Yes, the Jews fought with no holds barred. Can you blame them?

5. The day after Israel declared independence (formally recognised by the UN one year later) 7 Arab armies attacked Israel. One of those armies, Jordan, did NOT invade Israel. BUT it did steal the West Bank. There was not a peep about an independent Palestinian state during the 20 years that Jordan held the West Bank.

6. Israel won the 1948 War. Winners of wars started by others get to keep any land they gain. That's the world is. You'd better to learn to live with it.

I hope this helps.

Friday, January 13, 2006 3:12:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

ian. ian, ian,ian,ian.......You are comparing apples to apples. For one thing aborigines are "not like us". How many are mentioned in the bible?... how many movies about exodus have they made? -none. .I rest my case.

Friday, January 13, 2006 3:16:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

Well done neo.

"6. Israel won the 1948 War. Winners of wars started by others get to keep any land they gain. That's the world is. You'd better to learn to live with it."
You omitted the "so there" at the end of the paragraph. Otherwise A+.

Just to finish off the list, and to cover your arse about "winners of wars started by others" don't forget Israel also won the 1967 war but they started that one. However, this is where the lawyers came up with that magic word, "Pre-emptive". The arabs were on the verge of attacking so Israel defended itself by attacking 1st.( and wiped out every arab airforce on the ground in the 1st few nanoseconds of the "war". waaahhhhaaaaa!!)
Now causus belli - what was that one - oh yes the invasion of the Suez..but that's another story and the US made them leave that one-prob'ly because they were in it with the French and the Brits...actually Israel's done a fair bit of neo-imperialist type stuff ..arabs sure hate imperialism have you noticed.....just thinking out loud ..

Friday, January 13, 2006 3:33:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

I don't occupy any part of the "Aboriginals' land". They were displaced, as they displaced populations before them. The semi-ownership of native title notwithstanding, the Aboriginals own only what they have since bought, as well as collective ownership of government land, shared with all other Australians.

Orang : I don't know...a lot of Muslim Arabs seem rather taken with imperialism. From the birth of islam where it was spread by the sword to today's fanatics talking about international caliphates...some fairly strong imperialist themes running through Arabian Muslim society, wouldn't you say?

Friday, January 13, 2006 5:58:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Friday, January 13, 2006 6:03:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

Addamo - true. The point is, wallowing in denial isn't going to solve anything.

By Ian Westmore saying "it's the Arabs' land" is not searching for a cure. It's allowing the cancer to spread.

Friday, January 13, 2006 6:03:00 pm  
Blogger Ian Westmore said...

By Ian Westmore saying "it's the Arabs' land" is not searching for a cure. It's allowing the cancer to spread.

What is spreading the cancer is allowing ever more and more land to be stolen with everyone pretending not to notice.

Pat Robertson publicly stated what both fundamentalist Christians and the Zionists want, though for different reasons, an Israel extending over most of the Levant, maybe more. As I asked earlier, where is the line in the sand? The Jordan border? Iraq's western border? Turkey's southern one?

Friday, January 13, 2006 6:49:00 pm  
Blogger Ian Westmore said...

Winners of wars started by others get to keep any land they gain. That's the world is. You'd better to learn to live with it.

Given our penchant for starting them, this is a dangerous principle to be promoting, especially if the balance of power changes in our part of the world, as seems possible, whereas the law probably will be.

It also runs counter to international law. Yeah, I know Mad King George I has decreed this no longer applies, except when he decides it does, but not even he will be around forever.

Friday, January 13, 2006 6:58:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

Or even Outer Mongolia, Ian?

Friday, January 13, 2006 7:05:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

I hear that those cunning Israelis have some designs on Greenland, even!

You know why - green is the colour of Islam - better shut that place down!

Friday, January 13, 2006 7:06:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

James Waterton said...
"Orang : I don't know...a lot of Muslim Arabs seem rather taken with imperialism. From the birth of islam where it was spread by the sword to today's fanatics talking about international caliphates...some fairly strong imperialist themes running through Arabian Muslim society, wouldn't you say? "

Today's fanatics are - fanatics.
The Imperialism I referred to is the one that ruled the Arab's ME up until early to mid 20th century. Coincidently with the creation of Israel was the arabs'independence from British and French rule amongst others. Coincidently many see the recent adventures by the US as Imperialism

What you are alluding to I believe that historically this is the way it has always been, one "tribe" took over another's territory if it could. Survival of the fittest seems a good way to define it.
However, we in the 20th - 21st century have evolved to where the weak have some legal protection. For instance why did we get all hot and bothered about Indonesia invading East Timor?

Friday, January 13, 2006 7:36:00 pm  

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