Zion's Christian Soldiers?
By Stephen Sizer
A Critique by Ted Loy
Positively, Stephen Sizer is an Evangelical in the UK Anglican community who holds to the authority of Scripture. As a consequence, his support of the Second Coming of Christ is sound. Negatively, however, there are several assertions in his book which fall short.
First, I will show that the main assertion of Zion's Christian Soldiers? is lacking. That assertion is simply that there is no basis biblically or historically for the State of Israel to occupy the land where it is located - including Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. I will show the book's interpretation of God's promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is faulty.
The rest of Sizer's thesis falls if this is the case. Also, I will show that history is on the side of Israel - with 2000 years in the land before Islam and Palestinian nationalism ever existed.
Secondly, I will show that Stephen Sizer's portrayal of Christian Zionist leaders as "dangerous" is highly exaggerated. What he attributes negatively to Christian Zionism is far beyond its ability to perform in terms of Middle Eastern geopolitics and Israeli politics in particular. Also, his treatment of Christian Zionists, i.e. Christian supporters of the State of Israel, lacks the kind of Christian charity one would expect from an Evangelical brother in Christ.
Thirdly, I will show that the book is faulty in its unbalanced view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Every effort is made to portray the State of Israel as the aggressor and Palestinians as hapless victims. Injustices on the part of Israel are not fairly balanced with equally egregious injustices on the part of Palestinians. There are two sides to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Sizer portrays only one side. This seems to be in vogue these days! He has left out positive aspects of the State of Israel and negative aspects of Palestinian nationalism - which include a violent anti-Semitic past which existed long before 1948.
Fourthly, to go along with my third criticism, Sizer seems unwilling to admit the main threat to any peace between Israelis and Palestinians (and peace between Israel and the entire Arab world) is the nature and teaching of Islam - announced and actuated. This is not so-called Islamophobia but actual teachings and actions by Muslims and Muslim Palestinian nationalists in particular. Palestinian nationalism is fundamentally tied to its Islamic roots. His reluctance to recognize this fact is a major flaw in his book -- truly an "elephant in the room."
Fifthly, it is important to see how recent history since 1948 affects the entire Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Sometimes it seems as though Israel's detractors blame Israel for being in the land when they know very well it was a decision by the UN! They also blame Israel for displacing Palestinians and causing a refugee problem when it was the UN that declared the State of Israel to be an independent, sovereign nation which would naturally occupy lands claimed by Palestinians. Also, it's fascinating to note that those who constantly speak of injustices Israelis have perpetrated against Palestinians (of which there are many) never speak of much more massive injustice involved in the three major wars organized against Israel by surrounding Muslim nations (with the support of Muslim Palestinians) which would have annihilated the State of Israel. How just was that? These Muslim attacks caused many Palestinians to be refugees. Why aren't Palestinians blaming the refugee problem - at least in part - on these Muslim wars which were no fault of Israel's and which Israel did not initiate? Why? It's easier to blame Israel!
Palestinians are not the only party with refugees. Israel is basically a land of refugees most of which were not welcome in the lands from which they came. (Gilbert, Lela. "Anne Frank from Bagdad," Jerusalem Post. September 2, 2009) Sizer believes Israel ought to be open to all people: anyone ought to be able to settle in Israel. This is idealistic to say the least. There isn't enough room for that! Of all lands on earth, Israel is the only place on earth Jews can claim as a homeland. Sizer complains that Jewish immigrants ought not to have unique privileges. The question is this: where else do they have a Jewish national home? Was it not right and proper for the UN to grant a national Jewish homeland to a people who lost one-third of their total population in the Holocaust? The plight of Palestinians doesn't even come close to this! Of course 1948 caused Palestinians to be uprooted from their homes. This was inevitable, but the UN had to consider which people were more needy - Jews or Palestinians. They made their choice, and now Israel is blamed for having been given the land by the UN!
Sixthly, Sizer is quick to accuse Dispensationalists of using a grid to interpret Scripture - a frame of reference not found in the Bible itself. Unfortunately, Zion's Christian Soldiers? also uses a grid to interpret Scripture -- Reformed theology. This grid is not found in Scripture either. Both Dispensational and Reformed theologies are manmade. There is a kind of hermeneutical myopia at work here. Both theologies have many debatable points. Sizer is quick to point out the excesses of Dispensationalism (of which there are many), but he is blind to the excesses found in his own Reformed theology. This is another reason why Zion's Christian Soldiers? is quite unbalanced in its presentation.
Seventhly, it is important to emphasize there is persecution on both sides of the Security Fence (the Separation Wall to Palestinians). Jewish Christians face persecution especially from the Haredim (ultra-orthodox Jews), and Palestinian Christians face persecution both from the State of Israel and Muslim Palestinians. The declining population of Palestinian Christians stems from both. They are "between a rock and a hard place."
My summary will show that the book unfortunately falls into the trap of many studies. In his great zeal to heavily weight his book on the side of Reformed theology and the Palestinian cause, Sizer fails to recognize anything positive from Dispensationalists - and also fails to recognize anything positive from the Israeli point of view.
I will also show that any neutral observer is bound to see Israel as a bona fide "underdog" in the face of an Islamic juggernaut of 1.5 billion people around the world who do not want Israel to exist - and are willing to use force to make it so if necessary! Anyone with a sense of fairness would support a small country the size of Vermont with a population of only 7.5 million which stands up to Islamic bullying around the world.
The following critique will use the previous order suggested.
God's Promise of the Land
Sizer's thesis stands or falls at this point. Since he believes God's promises of the land, ha eretz, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants are always conditional --based on Israel's obedience or disobedience -- he concludes that Israel has no biblical right to the land since Israel has been repeatedly disobedient, (Sizer pp. 80, 82). He goes on to cite numerous biblical passages indicating the obvious: Israel lost residence in the land because it was disobedient! Granted! Here, however, Sizer makes a serious error: he thinks that disobedience and loss of residence means that God is no longer obligated to keep his covenant oath regarding Israel's continuing possession of the land. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Unfortunately, Sizer superficially treats God's all-important covenant promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants, Genesis 12:7; 13:14-17; 15:7-21; 17:6-8;
22:15-18; 24:7; 26:2-6; 28:3-4, 13-14; 35:9-12; 50:24. As each of these promise passages are studied, in no case are any of them found to be conditional. In fact, they are unconditional and unilateral -- backed by the solemn oath of God - His everlasting covenant to give to Abraham and his descendants possession of the land. Sizer makes quite an issue out of the fact that the land is the Lord's. No argument there. Because the land is the Lord's He can choose to give it to whomever He wishes! And it is clear from reading the above passages that God sovereignly chose to give the land to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants. Nothing could be more evident if the biblical text itself is to be taken to be authoritative - and not some manmade theological grid used by Sizer who condemns the above assertions as ultra-literal - i.e. not to be taken literally for what they state. This is a very convenient way to avoid the text.
Dr. Walter Kaiser Jr., well-known Old Testament scholar, gives us some excellent insight into the unilateral, unconditional covenant promise of the land to Israel by God. "So solemn was this covenant with its gift of the land that Genesis 15:7-21 depicted God alone moving between the halves of the sacrificial animals after sunset as 'a smoking furnace and a flaming torch.' (v. 17; all translations are the author's unless noted otherwise). Thus He obligated Himself and only Himself to fulfill the terms of this oath. Abraham was not asked or required likewise to obligate himself. The total burden for the delivery of the gift of the land fell on the divine Provider but not on the devotion of the patriarch." (see Kaiser in bibliography).
As a Reformed scholar, Sizer of all people should recognize the solemnity and everlasting permanence of God's sovereign covenant promises. God does not promise on oath and later somehow "unpromise." He does not give and later "ungive." Yet, Sizer cannot bring himself to see or comprehend what God promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants - the continual inheritance of ha eretz, the land of Israel! His entire thesis fails at this point. His denunciation of Israel as illegally occupying land which does not biblically belong to it is hollow in the light of God's sovereign promises to Israel.
Both Sizer and Berge (see Berge in bibliography) make the same error when they equate the Abrahamic covenant with the Mosaic covenant. Both Sizer and Berge enlarge on the supposed fact that Israel disobeyed the "covenant" and therefore lost the land. This is clearly a confusion of covenants. There is no dispute regarding the Old Testament record of Israel's unfaithfulness to the Mosaic covenant and its resultant exile from the land. Tying this covenant disobedience to a permanent loss of the land, ha eretz, is a confusion of biblical hermeneutics - the failure to distinguish between the two covenants. Nowhere in Scripture is the Abrahamic covenant spoken of as being abrogated. Nowhere does God say He will "unpromise" His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their descendants regarding a people and a land. The reason, of course, is that the Abrahamic covenant was unilateral and unconditional. The Mosaic covenant, however, was bilateral and conditional.
Moving to the testimony of history, generally speaking Jews dwelled in the land from 1400 BC to AD 600 (when the land was conquered by Muslim armies) - a full 2000 years before Islam and Palestinian nationalism ever existed, (although many Jews were scattered after AD 70). Jewish history also counts for something when speaking of land rights. This is why there is so much rewriting of history (revisionism) by many Muslims who assert that Jews never lived in the land and never built any temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. These are deceptions of desperation when actual facts are to the contrary. If Muslims were to admit Hebrew residence in the land for 2000 years before Islam ever existed, Islamic Palestinian nationalist claims would lose legitimacy in their insistence that the land belongs to Palestinians.
Stephen Sizer's Portrayal of Christian Zionists as "dangerous"
Sizer wastes no time to implicate Christian Zionists, i.e. Christian supporters of the State of Israel, in a kind of sinister international conspiracy. How American Evangelical Christians can pull off everything Sizer is pinning on them is breath-taking! With this quote he begins his book: "Why is there such a close relationship between the Christian Right, the American political establishment and the State of Israel? Why, after forty years, does Israel continue to occupy territory in Lebanon (the Sheba Farms), Syria (the Golan Heights) and Palestine (the West Bank), while Syria has been pressured to withdraw from Lebanon? Why is Israel allowed to retain nuclear weapons, while Iran is threatened with a pre-emptive attack for aspiring to obtain nuclear technology? And how have Britain and America become the focus of so much hate in the Arab world and the target for Islamic terrorism despite our commitment to the rule of international law, democracy and human rights? The answers to these questions remain inexplicable unless we factor in what is now probably and most influential and controversial movement amongst Christians today - Christian Zionism." (Sizer p. 10). Sizer's conspiracy theory stated above would make an interesting novel, but there is no way American Christian supporters of Israel could accomplish any of the above - even if they wanted to!
Let's examine a few of Sizer's questions. He asks why many in the Arab world hate Britain and the US - and why these countries have become the target of Islamic terrorism. Hasn't Sizer read the fatwa issued in 1998 by bin Laden and other Islamic clerics forming the "International Islamic Front for Holy War against Jews and Crusaders?" (By Crusaders, Muslim clerics include all Western nations and Christians in general who have supported the State of Israel.) "The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies, civilians, and the military, is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate al-Aksa Mosque from their grip and in order for their armies to move out of all lands of Islam, defeated, and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty Allah, and 'fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,' and 'fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah.' " Is Sizer really wanting to blame Christian Zionists for the above hateful and murderous fatwa? Apparently so. Stephen Sizer needs to look at the nature of Islam itself which is a territorial religion. (We will take a look at this a bit later.) Islam can never accept that one square centimeter of Palestine is occupied by the State of Israel. According to Islam, any land previously occupied by Islam is always Islamic and must be recovered at all costs. (Even Spain is considered Islamic because the Moors were there for about 800 years.)
Islam incriminates itself when the Koran quotes Allah in the following manner: "I, Allah, shall be with you. Give courage to the believers (Muslims). I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels (non-Muslims). Strike off their heads: strike off the very tips of their fingers...." (Sura 8:12, this sura having to do with the spoils of war). This sort of declaration is not unusual in the Koran. Are Christian Zionists to blame for the hate Muslims show toward the West and all non-Muslims? Hardly! Islam needs no outside encouragement to do that when their motivation comes straight from the Koran!!
Even more of a stretch is Sizer's insistence that a possible pre-emptive strike against Iran is somehow connected to the Christian Zionist conspiracy. What Sizer did not say is far more important than what he did say. Ahmadinejad has openly threatened Israel and America with extinction. His missiles have "death to Israel" and "death to the United States" painted on them - chants commonly heard in Iran. This is well-documented. (Yoong, Sean. "Ahmadinejad: Destroy Israel, End Crisis" Washington Post. Associated Press. August 3, 2006, also Alexander. "Ahmadinejad asserts that the US and Israel will be destroyed" www.stopahmadinejad.com January 28, 2007) What is Israel supposed to do when it is threatened with nuclear oblivion by Ahmadinejad? Simply wait for doomsday? After the Nazi Holocaust, Israel will not do that. Israel will defend itself. Ahmadinejad is definitely following in the train of World War II German National Socialism which handled the "Final Solution" in its own diabolical way.
For Sizer to make the kind of statements he does convinces me that he is obsessed with his Christian Zionist conspiracy theory. Otherwise he could not make such far-out accusations against his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Without a doubt, Sizer crosses the line of discretion when he speaks at Islamic gatherings exemplified by his trip to Iran during which time he excoriated Israel and Christians who support Israel. He was invited in 2007 as guest of the daughter of the late Ayatollah Khomeini. During his stay Sizer spoke at eight Iranian schools and was interviewed on Iranian media - all run by the Islamic dictatorship of Iranian mullahs. His Iranian audience was no doubt enthralled that an Anglican vicar would openly denounce Israel and any Christians supporting Israel - the so-called "dangerous" Christian Zionists. (See Tooley in bibliography) Iranian Muslims could not have done it better themselves! It is not difficult to imagine brisk sales for his Zion's Christian Soldiers? translated into Farsi!
Before Sizer closes his tome, he makes further harsh accusations against Christian Zionists which reflect the worst kind of guilt by association. "In its worst forms, Christian Zionism uses the Bible to justify racial superiority, land expropriation, home demolitions, population transfer, colonial settlements, the denial of international law and the dehumanization of Arabs. It fuels not only Islamophobia but also anti-Semitism and Islamist retaliation against Christians." (Sizer p. 162). How Christian Zionists sit in the seat of Israeli government to accomplish injustices against Palestinians Sizer does not explain. There is no way Sizer can pin Israeli political decisions on the influence of American Christian supporters of Israel. This is a prime example of guilt by association.
I challenge Sizer to produce any literature by any Christian Zionist which supports any of the above injustices on the basis of Bible passages.
This guilt by association mentality reminds me of Sizer's active part in the divestiture of Caterpillar stock by the Church of England to the tune of 3.3 million dollars. (See Tooley in bibliography) Why was Caterpillar singled out? Guilt by association. Caterpillar sales personnel had the audacity to sell heavy machinery to Israel! Believe it or not, Caterpillar is blamed by Sizer for the use of some of that machinery to destroy Palestinian homes -- when Caterpillar had absolutely nothing to do with that decision! This kind of wild conjecture proves that Sizer is obsessed and cannot reason clearly.
The above accusations Sizer perpetrates on his Christian brothers and sisters who take another view from his regarding Israel are quite uncharitable - to say the least -- I would even say unbiblical.
Sizer's Unbalanced View of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
The reader does not have to get far into Sizer's book to understand that he views the State of Israel as a terrible aggressor and Palestinian nationalists as hapless victims. Berge does the same thing in his book. (See Berge in bibliography) About one-half of Zion's Christian Soldiers? is left unwritten. That half of the book would have included many positive aspects of the State of Israel - aspects far superior to any Muslim country in their treatment of minorities (although Israel's treatment of minorities is far less than perfect). It would also document the violent anti-Semitic history of Palestinian nationalism -- even back to the British Mandate era. This kind of imbalance is inexcusable. A much more balanced book from the Christian point of view regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is edited by Calvin L Smith, The Jews, Modern Israel and the New Supercessionism. (Please see bibliography)
First, let's look at a few of the positive aspects of the State of Israel. Let's begin with Jerusalem - considered to be the capital of worldwide Jewry. In 2000 there were 158 churches and 73 mosques. (Jerusalem/Israel Tourism/PlanetWare.com) In the capital of worldwide Islam, Mecca (and the entire country of Saudi Arabia) there are zero churches and synagogues. This speaks volumes. It is the difference between Muslim dictatorship which exists in many Muslim countries and Israeli democracy (as imperfect as it may be). Sizer wants us to believe that Israel is terribly intolerant of minorities. Just the difference between Mecca and Jerusalem helps the neutral observer to see otherwise. Israel has allowed what Muslim Palestinian leadership never would have done if the situation had been reversed. Jerusalem would be a different place today! When Israel captured the Old City in 1967, it generously gave over to the Jordanian Wakf day-to-day administration of the Temple Mount - even though Jews held that territory 2000 years before Islam ever existed -- even though The Temple Mount is the most holy place for Jews - even though Jordan kept Jews from the Western Wall for almost 20 years until 1967! This is intolerance on the part of Israel? Just the opposite!
Within the total Israeli population at about 7.5 million, some 1.5 million are Arab-Israelis - which are about 80% Muslim. These are citizens of Israel - (although to be fair they do not share a proportionate slice of the economic pie with other citizens of Israel). I would challenge Sizer to indicate any one of the 55 Muslim countries in the world in which Jews make up 20% of the citizens in that country. Yet, throughout his book Sizer denounces Israel as racist - not allowing aliens to reside in the land. In so doing he cites Old Testament passages in which Israel is instructed to welcome the alien and the sojourner. Very conveniently, however, Sizer fails to mention that aliens in the land needed to follow Israeli religion! Israel does not demand this either of its Muslim or Christian minority.
Let me add something else positive about Israel which is anecdotal and personal. When I was in Jerusalem an Arab-Israeli cab driver shared with me the following unsolicited remarks. He said he would much rather live under Israeli rule than Palestinian rule. Further, this cab driver indicated his mother was receiving a pension from the Israeli government -- something he was sure would not be the case under Palestinian rule.
Why is it that Israel is extremely wary of Palestinians both within and outside the country in neighboring Muslim nations? History is the answer. The father of Palestinian nationalism was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Hussaini (various spellings can be found due to transliteration from Arabic to English). Accounts of his life can be found in many books, for example those by Elpelec and Schechtman (please see bibliography) The Grand Mufti was central to disturbances during the British Mandate in which many Jews were killed - most notably in 1929 when there were many murders of Jews in Hebron and other parts of Palestine. (Elpeleg pp. 21-22)
The Grand Mufti's hatred of Jews is most notorious because of his residence in Berlin from 1941 to 1945 as a guest of Hitler to coordinate anti-Jewish propaganda, the raising of Muslim Nazi troops and the blocking of Jewish escape routes from Nazi-controlled areas. On March 1, 1944, the Mufti issued this call to Arabs on Berlin radio: "No one ever thought that 140,000,000 Americans would become tools in Jewish hands.... How would the Americans dare to judaize Palestine while the Arabs are still alive?.... The wicked American intentions toward the Arabs are now clear, and there remains no doubts that they are endeavoring to establish a Jewish empire in the Arab world. More than 400,000,000 Arabs oppose this criminal American movement.... Arabs! Rise as one and fight for your sacred rights. Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history, and religion. This saves your honor. God is with you." (Schechtman pp, 150-1)
At the Nuremberg Trials, Eichmann's deputy Dieter Wisliceny (subsequently executed as a war criminal) testified: "The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and had been a collaborator and advisor of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of this plan.... He was one of Eichmann's best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures. I heard him say, accompanied by Eichmann, he had visited incognito the gas chamber of Auschwitz."
His nephew, Mohammed Abdel-Raouf Arafat As Qudwa al-Husseini (Yasser Arafat, former leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization) looked to the Grand Mufti as his hero and mentor. ("Who was the Grand Mufti, Haj Muhammed Amin al-Husseini" British Mandate/GrandMufti.www.palestinefacts.org) Knowing this history of Palestinian nationalism leaves blood on the hands of its leaders today. Israeli leaders are well-aware of this and have reason to be extremely wary of Palestinian nationalism.
Sizer would have us believe Palestinians are innocent victims of Israeli aggression. This completely overlooks the dark history of Palestinian nationalism and the influence of Muslim leaders like the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem on continuing Palestinian hostility toward Israel and Jews in general - something Sizer would like to pin on Christian Zionists. Believe it or not!
What about Palestinian Muslim organizations today? Every one of them is urging Palestinians to wage jihad against Israel - Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade, the Islamic Movement, etc. In the face of these declarations of war against Israel, somehow Sizer would still have us believe these Palestinian Muslim organizations and their followers are innocent victims. All the while they are receiving arms and support from Muslim terrorist countries like Syria and Iran to wage war against Israel.
Israel cannot be expected to treat warring enemies kindly! Palestinian Islamic jihadism is the result of Christian Zionists' support of Israel? Hardly!
It's interesting that both Sizer and Burge like to speak much of peace and justice. Who is not for peace and justice? The problem is this: in the face of active jihad against Israel, both stated and actuated on the part of Muslim Palestinian organizations, not once does Sizer or Berge direct their peace and justice movement against Muslim Palestinian organizations -- only against Israel. This reflects an inexplicable and obvious bias.
Thousands of rockets rained on Israel from Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas-held Gaza.
(There is no other country in the world that would have waited seven years after receiving thousands of rockets from Gaza since 2001 to finally retaliate. Retaliation would have come within days after the first rocket attack. Yet, it is popular to blame Israel for the retaliation.) In spite of this, Sizer tells us the Palestinians are innocent victims - even as Palestinians also are sending suicide bombers into Israel - bombers including women and children. Do you get the feeling Sizer is only telling half of the story? No one can deny there has been unjust treatment of Palestinians by Israel, but to paint such a one-sided picture of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle is unacceptable and dishonest.
If you want to know something about a movement, find out what is being taught to children belonging to that movement. Palestinian Media Watch (www.pmw.org) is a valuable source to find out what Muslim Palestinian nationalist leaders are teaching their people. The following is an example: "A popular Hamas children's program that usually gives advice to youngsters, such as instructing them to listen to their parents, aired a call for the 'slaughter' of Jews in Israel late last month, according to Palestinian Media Watch. "All Jews must be 'erased from our land, ' Nassur, a stuffed bear who hosts the weekly program, Tomorrow's Pioneers, on Hamas Al-Aksa television, explained to a child who called in to a September 22 show. "We want to slaughter them, Saraa, so they will be expelled from our land...we'll have to [do it] by slaughter." Nan Jacques Zilberdik, an analyst at Palestinian Median Watch, which translated the program and regular monitors Palestinian media, said Tomorrow's Pioneers, which comes out of the Gaza Strip is available via satellite around the world. The program often blends pragmatic advice with hate, she said. "Generally the program also transmits good messages to kids like drinking milk or asking parents permission to do something, but we also find these very problematic messages like the call to kill Jews," she said. Furthermore, Zilberdik said that in her organization's broader monitoring of Palestinian media, no objections to or repudiation of hatred-inciting messages being included in children's programming had been found." ("Hamas children's TV program again calls for the 'slaughter' of Jews" www.jpost.com October 4, 2009) Sizer is not going to reveal this sort of shameful Palestinian child abuse. Where in "intolerant, racist" Israel do we find this sort of thing? Sizer will have to tell us.
It is well-documented that Muslim Palestinian leadership exalts martyrdom for Palestinian children. (One is reminded of Emperor worship during World War II Japan --a religion which included suicide kamikaze warfare.) In line with Muslim teaching, the surest way to paradise is to die for Allah in the process of jihad; as a consequence, suicide bombing is glorified to the highest level. The greatest calling in life is to be a shahid (a martyr - a human bomb). This and much more is documented in a lengthy article found in the Harvard Israel Review (Weiner, Justus Reid. "Palestinian Children and the New Cult of Martyrdom." Harvard Israel Review. 2003) Does Sizer really believe these inhumane practices of Muslim Palestinian leadership are the result of Christian Zionism? If he does, he's way off base!
Why do we not learn from Sizer this most grievous injustice of all - the most hideous act of child abuse - lulling children into being suicide bombers with the lie that this will be their ticket to paradise? Why? It is because these facts do not fit into Sizer's constant theme to pin all injustices in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Israel and Christian Zionists. Sizer practices what I would call "selective accusations of injustice." Injustice is only injustice if it is Israeli injustice. (Berge does the same thing.)
This is why I say Sizer's book is only half-written. He totally ignores the incitement to kill Jews broadcast on Palestinian media and preached in Palestinian mosques. He totally ignores the incitement to kill Jews encouraged by Muslim Palestinian nationalist organizations. If he were to tell the whole truth it would not help his portrayal of Palestinians as totally innocent victims of Israeli aggression.
The Main Threat to Peace between Israelis and Palestinians - Islam Itself
Palestinian nationalism cannot be understood without its seamless connection with Islam -- its teachings and its history. This is why there can be no peace with Israel - simply because of the Islamic conviction that Israel occupies Muslim land. Unless Israel is removed according to prevailing Islamic teaching, there can be no peace. It doesn't matter where in the Islamic world one may travel, there is unanimous agreement that Israel is occupying Muslim land - a situation which cannot remain. This conviction is especially true for Palestinian Muslim leadership. Israel understands this truth about Islam. I'm not sure Sizer or Berge understand the fundamental cause for Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- Islam itself.
What I find interesting in both Sizer's and Berge's works is the avoidance of saying anything negative about Islam -- and how it is shaping the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. To set the record straight, I will quote directly from the Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement -- also known as Hamas -- founded in 1988. Hamas is now in control of Gaza and its 1.5 million Palestinians (including perhaps 2000 to 3000 Christians -- the rest Muslims). In 2006 Hamas gained the majority of seats in the Palestinian Parliament. (Wilson, Scott. "Hamas Sweeps Palestinian Elections, Complicating Peace Efforts in Mideast," Washington Post. January 27, 2006. Although there are many other Muslim Palestinian nationalist organizations, Hamas is seen as most influential among the 1.4 million West Bank and East Jerusalem Palestinians. By quoting from the Hamas charter, there can be no doubt that Islam is determining the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
"The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinguished Palestinian movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and whose way of life is Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine," (Article 6)
"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." (Preamble)
"Palestine is an Islamic land.... Since this is the case, the liberation of Palestine is an individual duty for every Muslim wherever he may be." (Article 13)
"The day the enemies usurp part of Muslim land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Muslem. In the face of the Jews' usurpation, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised." (Article 15)
Still influential as a Muslim Palestinian nationalist movement is the Palestine Liberation Organization formed in 1968 -- mistakenly thought to be more moderate. Contrary to popular opinion, the original PLO charter remains the same. ("Israel 1991 to Present, PLO Charter." www.palestinefacts.org) The following is a quote from one of the many articles:
"The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab viewpoint, is a national (qawmi) duty and it attempts to repel the Zionist and imperialist aggression against the Arab homeland, and aims at the elimination of Zionism in Palestine. Absolute responsibility for this falls upon the Arab nation -- peoples and governments -- with the Arab people of Palestine in the vanguard. Accordingly, the Arab nation must mobilize all its military, human, moral, and spiritual capabilities to participate actively with the Palestinian people in the liberation of Palestine. It must, particularly in the phase of the armed Palestinian revolution, offer and furnish the Palestinian people with all possible help, and material and human support, and make available to them the means and opportunities that will enable them to continue to carry out their leading role in the armed revolution, until they liberate their homeland. (Article 15)
Then there is Hezbollah located in Lebanon and supported by Iran. It is significant that Hezbollah now is an influential party within the Lebanese Parliament. By now the reader can guess the content of its charter! The following is from a section regarding the destruction of Israel:
"Our primary assumption in our fight against Israel states that the Zionist entity is aggressive from its inception, and built on lands wrested from their owners, at the expense of the rights of the Muslim people. Therefore our struggle will end only when this entity is obliterated. We recognize no treaty with it, no cease fire, and no peace agreements, whether separate of consolidated."
In light of the above, Berge has the temerity to state: "... the conflict in Israel/Palestine is not between Judaism and Islam." (Berge, p. 190) Perhaps Berge and Sizer need a refresher course on Muslim Palestinian nationalist charters!
Most Muslims view the world in two ways. Either the land in question is dar al-harb (the land of war) or dar al-islam (the land of Islamic law). It is instructive to note that lands which come under Islamic domination tend to move toward the institution of sharia law - the complete domination of all life under Islamic rule -- something happening all over the world where Muslims have gained a majority. This is logical since the motherland of Islam, Saudi Arabia is governed by sharia law. There is no doubt that Muslims around the world are moving toward the more hardline wahhabi-type Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia. This has been accelerated by Saudi oil money which has built thousands of madrassas (Koran schools) and mosques around the world promoting this type of hateful, intolerant Islam. It must be remembered that Osama bin-Ladin and al-Qaeda came out of wahhabi Sunni Islam in Saudi Arabia. The majority of 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia.
Sizer is worried about the abuse of human rights by Israel in its treatment of Palestinians. He needs to be worried about his own United Kingdom and the abuse of human rights back home by sharia courts - which among other things discriminate against women. With the large influx of Muslims and the proliferation of mosques, there are areas in the UK where sharia courts are operating. While Sizer spends his time denouncing Israel for its human rights abuses against Palestinians, he needs to get to work in his own UK where Muslim converts to Christianity are being abused by Muslims who apply sharia law to those who dare to leave their Islamic faith. "Some 3,000 Christians in the UK are in danger because they have chosen to convert from Islam. Some are being actively harassed and persecuted, but many church leaders seem more interested in defending their attackers than in standing up for the rights of the converts. Nissar Hussain, a Christian from Bradford, has suffered three years of harassment, amounting effectively to persecution, from the local Muslims in his neighbourhood. His car has been torched and rammed, bricks have been thrown through his window on many occasions, there have been threats to burn the house down, and much else besides. Mr. Hussain and his wife were originally Muslims, and this is the reason for the treatment they are getting." ("British Converts From Islam: Christian Leaders Must Speak Out" jmm.aaa.net March 10, 2005)
One would hope that Sizer would take up the cause of defending Muslim converts to Christianity in the UK who have been persecuted by Muslims believing they must apply sharia law. As of yet - not one word from Sizer - and I doubt you will ever hear one. It seems that human rights are more important for Muslim Palestinians in Israel than they are for Muslim converts to Christianity in the UK. (This is not to exclude the small minority of Christian Palestinians in Israel. I will bring this up later.)
Recent History Which Affects the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Since 1948
Sizer stumbles into a bit of a Freudian slip when he speaks of the land of the State of Israel as being "conquered" in 1948. He knows very well the land was not conquered then but turned over to Israel by the UN. Sizer may have been reflecting conversations he has had with Palestinians who speak of May 14, 1948, as al-Naqba, the "catastrophe." You almost get the impression that it was the State of Israel that caused al-Naqba rather than the UN! Frankly, I'm surprised the 9/11 terrorists did not fly their planes into the United Nations building since their anger and hate has to do with the existence of Israel situated on what they believe to be Muslim land!
Sizer's book is replete with injustices perpetrated by the State of Israel against the Palestinians. I have no doubt that these have happened. (Burge does the same thing.) Noticeably absent, however, is the most egregious injustice of all, the intention of Israel's Muslim enemy neighbors (including Palestinians) in three major wars to push this fledgling nation into the sea -- to do away with it completely. Sizer and Burge speak of land-grabbing by Israelis in Palestinian territories as being unjust. This is small potatoes compared to the most massive land grab of all -- the intended "grab" of the entire State of Israel by its Muslim enemies in 1948, 1967 and 1973! Sizer and Burge never speak of this at all! It does not fit into their portrayal of Israel as the aggressor.
I would like to dwell on the 1967 Six-Day War because it affects the present conflict so much. Please keep in mind that Egypt, Syria and Jordan were intent on carving up Israel for themselves. This is well-documented. This was to be a once-for-all elimination of the State of Israel. Although Israel made a pre-emptive strike, it was clear what the intentions of their enemies were when troops massed at Israel's borders. This was a defensive war Israel had to win or be annihilated. In the light of that truth, territories gained - the Sinai, Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan were fair game. In defense of their nation Israelis shed their blood, and their nation was saved. Consequently, Israel has no obligation to give back any territory to Palestinians -- or to their neighbors who made war on them. As it turned out, however, some land was given back.
Let's imagine for a moment that Egypt, Syria and Jordan had won the war. Do you think for one second they would have given back to Israel any of the land they would have conquered? Not one square centimeter! You can be sure of that! Yet, the whole world wants Israel to give back land it gained in the Six-Day War. As it is, the Sinai was returned to Egypt because Egypt was willing to make peace with Israel in 1979. (Egypt is still thought to be traitorous by the majority of Muslims who also view Jordan in the same way for making peace with Israel in 1997.) Jordan, for its part, wants less and less to do with Palestinians who have the majority Jordanian population. (Jordanians don't forget their civil war with Palestinians in 1970-71). Gaza was returned to Palestinians in 2005 - Hamas (related to the Muslim Brotherhood) gaining power in 2006. Since 2001 Palestinians in Gaza have fired 8,500+ rockets and mortars into Israel as an act of war - 5,700+ since Israel withdrew in 2005. ("LFI Background Briefing: Rockets fired from Gaza." Labour Friends of Israel. January 2009) If anyone ever had the illusion that giving land to Palestinians would work toward peace, the Gaza experience for Israelis has banished that pipedream forever. As for the Golan, Syrian is still technically at war with Israel over this key piece of real estate which has extremely important military advantage.
In short, it would be foolish for Israel to give back the West Bank or the Golan only to return to indefensible borders. Three major wars initiated by Muslim neighbors comprise a hard lesson to learn, and Israel has had to learn the value of defensible borders the hard way. Israel knows it is only a matter of time for Hamas to control the West Bank as they did Gaza. This cannot be allowed to happen after Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza. Sadly, the Islamic Movement in northern Israel is also gaining strength - a radical Muslim organization with the same hateful jihad philosophy.
Sizer, Burge and others who see only the Palestinian side just don't have any comprehension as to what it must be like to be objects of Muslim jihad from every direction. Or is it that they don't want to comprehend? This is most likely the case. Is it any wonder Israelis are suspicious of and mistreat Palestinians? What are they to do when jihad has been declared against them by Muslim Palestinian leaders who represent the majority of the Palestinian people? (There is more on this later in the paper.) War is never a pleasant thing for either side, but if war is what Muslim Palestinian jihadists want --and what they bring on themselves - then that is what they will have with Israel! And innocent people on both sides will suffer. To blame Israel only for the conflict is unconscionable.
Sizer's Reformed Theology and the Christian Zionist's Dispensational Theology
Human constructs have long been imposed on Scripture. William Tyndale was appalled by the way human tradition in the Roman Catholic Church was foisted on the Bible, so he dedicated his life to translating the Scriptures and printing them in English so that the common person could read and interpret the Word for himself/herself - without the overlay of ecclesiastical tradition. Theologies are ways in which the Bible is thought to be understood according to traditional constructs. Sizer admits his construct is Reformed theology (Calvinism), and he takes to task another construct called Dispensational theology in his book. Although he would never admit it, there are excesses in his theology as well as in Dispensational theology. (Sizer does a good job in pointing out excesses in Dispensationalism without recognizing some of his own - a kind of theological myopia.)
In simple terms, Reformed theology (at least Sizer's brand of it) cannot accept any future Israeli return to the land after 516 BC. God has no future program for Israel. (Sizer pp. 93, 169) Therefore, even though biblical prophecy makes it quite clear there will be such a return and there will be such a program, Sizer's Reformed theology will not accept it a priori. (This reminds me a bit of liberal theology which a priori rejects any predictive prophecy or anything supernatural in Scripture.) Dispensationalism cannot accept any combination of Israel and the Church. They must be kept separate in biblical interpretation a priori -- even though Scripture passages teach otherwise.
Reformed theologians go to the other extreme, however, and speak of Israel and the Church as one in the same. "The church of Jesus Christ, or the Israel of God, includes both the Old Testament saints as well as the New Testament saints." (Sizer p. 152) In other words, it could be said that Israel is the Church, and the Church is Israel.
Whatever theological position is taken, Romans 11 always comes up. Sizer includes a rather lengthy addendum by John Stott on the subject (pp. 164- 72). Interestingly enough Sizer disagrees with Stott - a fellow Evangelical who he obviously admires as an Anglican Calvinist theologian. In his book Sizer gives us four options as to what "all Israel" might mean in Romans 11:26: "1. all physical descendants of Abraham and Sarah living and resurrected when Jesus returns? 2. the remnant of Jews who believe in Jesus? 3. all descendants of Abraham and Sarah alive when God brings a national revival or Jesus returns? 4. all Jews and Gentiles together who believe in Jesus?" (Sizer p, 97) Sizer lists several theologians who accept the third option - including John Stott, Steve Moyer and Leon Morris. (Sizer p. 59) Backing the fourth option Sizer invokes John Calvin and Palmer Robinson (Sizer p. 60) "That Israel now represents those who trust in Christ, both Jews and Gentiles is made more explicit in Paul's letter to the Galatians." (Sizer p.61)
So, let's try to understand Romans 11:25-26 according to Sizer: "I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written;...." For "Israel" in the above text we will need to substitute, "both Jews and Gentiles (the Church)." In other words "all Israel, i.e. both Jews and Gentiles (the Church) will be saved. Maybe I'm missing something, but isn't the Church saved already? When Sizer's Reformed grid is laid over the text, the meaning is obscured. For John Stott, Steve Moyer and Leon Morris, their choice of option three makes much better sense.
What a beautiful picture we have of Israel in Romans 11. In Romans 11:1 the plain statement is made: "Did God reject his people? By no means!" (Please compare v. 11.)
The text goes on to show how God has not rejected his people Israel. Paul by inspiration of the Spirit portrays believing Israel as the enduring stump of an Olive tree - made that way by unbelieving Israel - whose branches have been cut off. This stump, then, receives wild olive branches, believing Gentiles, who continue to benefit from the nourishing sap of believing Israel (the olive tree stump). Thus we have a wonderful portrayal of what the Church is like - believing Israel (as part of the Church) nourishing the entire Church in its faith and growth.
Contrary to Sizer, Israel and the Church do not become the same thing - i.e. indistinguishable. Though the Church is understood as one entity - it is made up of both Jewish and Gentile believers who do not lose their identity as such! Sizer is fond of quoting Colossians 3:11; Galatians 3:28: "Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Sythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all." (Sizer p. 65) He quotes this, of course, to try to prove there can be no distinction in the Church between Jew and Gentile since they are all one in Christ. This September 2009 I had an interesting conversation with Dr. Walter Kaiser Jr. in which we talked about this very thing. I don't remember the exact words, but the conversation went something like this: Dr. Kaiser asked me, "Are you male or female?" I appropriately answered that I am male. "Are you one in Christ with your wife in the Church?" "Yes." "Then can you see how distinctions can be preserved in the Church even though believers are all one in Christ - Jews or Gentiles, slave or free, male or female?"
This is the way we need to understand Romans 11:26. In the end times there is not one program God has for Gentiles and another for Jews as Dispensationalists insist. There can be no separation within the oneness in Christ we have in the Church. There can be, however, a distinction within the Church since there will be a large ingathering of Jews into the Church in the end times -- something Stott accepts but Sizer rejects. God can and will do something special for Jews within the context of His Church! Unfortunately, Sizer's theology will not allow him to accept the fact that something very special will happen to Israel in the end times.
As stated previously, Sizer's theology also will not allow him to accept any escatalogical biblical teaching which places Israel in the land. A good example of this is his handling of the Olivet Discourse found in Matthew 24:1-35; Mark 13:1-37; Luke 21:5-38. The magic wand of Reformed theology is very useful in Sizer's hands to eliminate anything future about Jesus' teaching - the classic preterist view. (p. 146).
Let's take a look at Jesus' teaching regarding the Great Tribulation which Sizer denies.
"For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now - and never to be equaled again." Matthew 24:21. To avoid the obvious meaning of this text - a distress unequalled from the beginning of the world and never to be equaled again -- Sizer needs to employ a rather mysterious sophistry. Jesus left no other option. Either his words are accepted or they are rejected. If the following prophecy of Christ found in the Olivet Discourse does not predict the future, then I don't know what does: "At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." Matthew 24:27
The main problem with Sizer's rejection of anything future in the Olivet Discourse is simply this: his theology will not allow him to accept that Israel could be in the land in the end times - even though the text plainly indicates that is true.
One more text in this regard is 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. I will show that this passage must refer to a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem and must refer to the eschatological fact that Israel is in the land - an idea totally odious to Sizer. This is true because his theology will not allow him consider the possibility of Israel in the land after 516 BC - regardless of what the biblical text may teach. (Sizer p, 93) Following on this, Sizer's theology will not allow him to consider a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem. Regarding this he makes some rather strong statements: "The problem with all this speculation about a future temple in Jerusalem is simply this - from a Christian perspective, it is heresy." (Sizer p. 124) He says this because the Church is the temple of the living God, cf. Ephesians 2:21, 1 Corinthians 6:16. No argument there. To say the Church is the temple of the living God, however, in no way rules out rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem. One does not cancel the other.
Sizer goes a bit further: "In fact, it was never God's intention that a temple be built in the first place." (Sizer p, 125) This is rather strange since David stated God told him: "... Solomon your son is the one who will build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father." 1 Chronicles 28:6. (Please see also I Kings 5:5.) Again, it appears that Sizer is overlaying Scripture with his own ideas.
He continues, "... we have seen that there is in fact not a single verse in the entire New Testament which predicts that a Jewish temple will ever be rebuilt...." (Sizer p, 129)
Instead of a single verse, how about the twelve verses found in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12?
For Sizer to use his theological steam roller on this passage is unconscionable! First, any Bible student knows that 1 and 2 Thessalonians lay the groundwork for a marvelous study of the Second Coming of Christ. This is the context of 2 Thessalonians 2 - which Sizer unbelievably cannot accept as having anything to do with the future. Paul begins by saying: "Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, ..." This is not future? Then he says "...that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God." 2 Thessalonians 3-4. This is not future? The plain teaching of this passage states the man of lawlessness will be revealed before the Second Coming of Christ. This cannot be relegated to some past event because the context clearly involves the Second Coming of Christ.
Now, the key point in all of this. Where does the one who takes the place of Christ (the Antichrist) take his seat - proclaiming himself to be God? It is none other than God's Temple. Where is God's Temple? There is only one place the Temple has ever been built - on the Temple Mount! According to this passage, this is an event yet to take place in the future - whether or not Sizer accepts it!
There is no doubt that Sizer's theology has robbed him of much biblical teaching. I have no doubt regarding his understanding of the Gospel, but there is so much Scripture he has unnecessarily disregarded.
Persecution of Fellow Believers on Both Sides of the Security Fence
West of the Security Fence (Separation Wall to Palestinians) Jewish (Messianic) Christians (perhaps 10,000) face persecution - especially from the Haredim, i.e. ultra-orthodox Jews. (Derfner, Larry. "Watch Out Missionaries!" Jerusalem Post. July 2, 2009) East of the Security Fence Christian Palestinians face persecution from both the State of Israel and Muslim Palestinians. They are truly "between a rock and a hard place." Sizer and Berge have given us ample information regarding persecution from Israelis, but they have not seen fit to give us any information about Palestinian Christians who also face persecution from Muslim Palestinians. At any rate, the Palestinian Christian population in the West Bank and East Jerusalem continues to dwindle mostly due to emigration (to perhaps 20,000). Total Palestinian Christian population in Israel is thought to be about 120,000. (Berge, p. 205) As you might have guessed, Sizer places the onus of blame for a shrinking Christian Palestinian population on Christian Zionists! Who else! (Sizer p. 7) The conspiracy continues!
An interesting study of the subject was made by Justus Reid Weimer in his book, Human Rights of Christians in Palestinian Society. Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Jerusalem. 2005. Here are some words from an interview with Weimer. (Glazov, Jamie. "Persecuting the Holy Land's Christians." FrontPageMagazine.com December 26, 2005) "As long as the constitution of the PA reflects the principles of Sharia law, it seems as though the emergence of religious tolerance will remain highly unlikely. As long as the PA continues to shirk its agreed-upon commitments to uphold the principles of religious freedom, the Palestinian Christians will continue to suffer."
If this is true for West Bank communities, it is much more the case for Christians facing hardship in Gaza where their buildings have been burned and some have been killed by Palestinian Muslims. (al-Mughrabi, Nidal. "Prominent Palestinian Christian Killed in Gaza." www.reuters.com October 7, 2007)
As believers we should grieve for the persecution of Christians on both sides of the Security Fence -- and pray for these brothers and sisters in Christ. Also, we should pray for the salvation of both Jews and Muslims on both sides of the Security Fence. This ought to be our main concern.
Hopefully I have been able to show that Sizer's conspiracy theory regarding Christian Zionists and their supposed influence would make an interesting novel but has no basis in fact. Also, hopefully I have been able to show that Sizer has written the truth - but only half of it. He has painted Israel black and at the same time white-washed Muslim Palestinian nationalist leadership. Sizer knows there are two sides to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but he unexplainably presents only the Palestinian side. This is not honest nor is it good writing.
Hopefully I have been able to show that Sizer's theology leaves a great deal to be desired when compared with Scripture itself. Scripture should always influence theology rather than the other way around.
Most regrettable is Sizer's treatment of his fellow Christian brothers and sisters who disagree with him regarding Israel. In the process he seems to show more sympathy toward Muslims than he does to his fellow Christians!
Most importantly regarding the land, ha eretz, I hope I have been able to show that Sizer confuses covenants. He is of the impression that the Mosaic covenant, bilateral and conditional, is that which determines lasting possession of the land by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants. He is of the impression that the Abrahamic covenant which determines lasting possession of the land is also bilateral and conditional -- when in fact it is unilateral and unconditional. This lack of understanding causes serious problems with the foundational thesis of his book. Israel lost residence in the land various times because the Mosaic covenant was broken, but it never lost lasting possession of the land because the Abrahamic covenant could not be broken since God himself was the guarantor.
Sizer believes Christian Zionism is the "elephant in the room." (Sizer p. 19) In this belief he is mistaken. The real "elephant in the room" is his apparent total unawareness of the chief cause of Israeli-Palestinian conflict - the teachings and practice of Islam. This is a totalitarian ideology which will never be satisfied until Israel is no more. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot be understood unless this main fact is taken into consideration. Of course, Muslims are quick to deny anything negative about themselves, but that is to be expected since their religion condones anything including lying (taqiyya) that will further their agenda of world domination.
Suppose someone from space could drop in on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the closely related Israeli-Muslim conflict - with no prior knowledge. What would that individual see? A tiny nation of 7.5 million people about the size of Vermont standing up to 1.5 billion Muslims around the world - who believe it exists on Muslim land which must be recovered at all costs -- including violence. Suppose this person from space was able to learn that Israel was formed by decision of the UN in 1948 -- but has itself been blamed for its own existence by the 1.5 billion Muslims who want it to vanish. There is no doubt this person from space would immediately support the State of Israel (even with all its faults) in the face of monstrous Islamic bullying. Sizer has been so obsessed with his Christian Zionist conspiracy and Israeli mistreatment of Palestinians that he cannot see the big picture. He can't see the forest for the trees. It's as simple as that.
Let me close with the following profound quote from Karl Barth, the eminent Christian theologian: "In fact, if the question of a proof of God is raised, one need merely point to this simple historical fact. For in the person of the Jew there stands a witness before our eyes, the witness of God's covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and in that way with us all. Even one who does not understand Holy Scripture can see this reminder. And don't you see, the remarkable theological importance, the extraordinary spiritual and sacred significance of the National Socialism (Nazism) that now lies behind us is that right from its roots it was anti-Semitic, that in this movement it was realized with a simple demonic clarity, that the enemy is the Jew. Yes, the enemy in this matter had to be the Jew. In this Jewish nation there really lives to this day the extraordinariness of the revelation of God." (Smith, see bibliography, a quote from Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline, pp. 75-76)
"Kill the Jews!" - the same demonic message - this time not from Berlin Radio but from Hamas TV - this time not from the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, father of Palestinian nationalism, but from his spiritual and physical heirs - this time not from the religion of Nazism but from the religion of Islam by means of the same demonic source - and this time, the same Providential people will live on after this threat, too, is gone.
Berge, Gary M. Whose Land? Whose Promise? Pilgrim Press: Cleveland, OH. 2003
Elpeleg, Zvi. The Grand Mufti. Frank Cass: London. 1993
Kaiser, Walter C. Jr. "The Promised Land: A Biblical-Historical View." Bibliotheca Sacra Volume 138:552. Dallas Theological Seminary. October, 1981
Schechtman, Joseph B. The Mufti and the Fuehrer. Thomas Yoseloff: New York. 1965
Sizer, Stephen. Zion's Christian Soldiers? InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, IL. 2007
Smith, Calvin L. ed. The Jews, Modern Israel and the New Supercessionism. King's Divinity Press: Lampeter, UK. 2009
Tooley, Mark D. "Anglican Priest Attacks Christian Support for Israel," FrontPageMagazine.com March 27, 2009