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Friday, May 12, 2017

Drugs, welfare and ideology - a policy doomed to fail

Drugs, welfare and ideology - a policy doomed to fail

Budget 2017 was released with much fanfare and back-slapping by the Federal Treasurer, Scott Morrison, who described it as a fair budget. Certainly, compared to the budgets that were released under the Prime Ministership of Tony Abbott and his feckless Treasurer Joe Hockey, this one was pretty tame. Some described it as a Labor-light budget because of its high taxing elements on the banks and the increase in the Medicare levy.

However, it still had the hallmarks of a Coalition budget with its attacks on students and the unemployed while providing businesses with a $65 billion tax cut(1). How much of this saving will be converted into jobs is debatable, considering the massive profits some companies are already making, but who aren't creating jobs anyway. University fees will rise by 7.5% and the repayment threshold for HECS will drop by around $11,000 to $42,000.

In relation to the unemployed, Morrison decided the big issue was drug use. The 2017 budget will introduce a two-year trial of random drug testing of 5000 recipients of Youth Allowance and Newstart. If someone fails the drug test, they will no longer receive cash payments, but instead be given the paternalistic cashless debit card. This card can only be used for certain purchases, like food.

Alex Wodak of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation stated that the unintended consequence of this, would be that users will move to other often more dangerous drugs that can't be detected through these tests. For instance, the tests will not detect cocaine and heroin, but will detect cannabis and speed. Wodak pointed out that the drug with the biggest social impact, alcohol, will not be tested. For those who fail the tests multiple times, they may be referred to treatment programs, however, existing programs are greatly underfunded(2). So the drug tests themselves will fail to fully address drug and alcohol issues, while potentially causing even more problems.

The United States already has drug testing of welfare recipients in some of its states. The results are startlingly dismal. A Think Progress survey of seven states spending more than one million on drug testing programs, found that welfare recipients were testing positive at a much lower rate than the general population. The results ranged from 0.002% to 8.3%, however, the national drug use rate is 9.3%. Of these states, all but one, had results less than 1%. (3)

Arizona's results were even more disturbing. Out of 87,000 welfare recipients tested, only ONE returned a positive result. With that person removed from welfare, the state of Arizona saved $560 out of its $200 million welfare program. (4) What an amazing return on investment.

Perhaps the reason for the lower rate of drug use in the unemployed, is because of the cost of drugs in the first place. If you want to stop drugs, create more unemployment and poverty. (That's a joke, Coalition ... not a challenge!).

So why would Morrison think Australia's results will have be any different to those in the US? What is he hoping to achieve? The tests might reveal evidence of drug use, but not the extent of it. The tests won't detect whether someone is a recreational user or an addict.

And so what if someone on welfare uses drugs? If they are an addict, yes, this should be treated (not punished), but taking their cash away isn't going to fix this. If anything they will turn to crime to get drugs. For those who are using recreationally, the chances are that this isn't impeding their ability to work. There are plenty of recreational users who still function well in their jobs, not turning up to work wasted. If the drug use isn't impeding their ability to work, then why test it? Morrison will argue that it is tax payers money so welfare recipients shouldn't be using drugs. Many would agree. But so what if they can budget enough to buy a small amount of herb, or if their mates give it to them. Is Morrison saying those on welfare can't have fun? Perhaps check people's welfare status before they waste tax-payers money at a theme park or the movies. Hell, they shouldn't even be eating McDonald's. Welfare recipients should be a dour lot, eating nothing but bread and broth. Is this what Morrison envisions of welfare?

Welfare is a safety net, which has a massive return on investment. It is one of the main factors that reduces crime. If people have no money, they will resort to crime in order to live. Welfare prevents this. One only has to see the levels of crime in America where they have far less effective welfare programs.

Interestingly, a number of federal politicians, including Labor's Sam Dastyari, Green's Sarah Hanson-Young and Independent Jackie Lambie, have argued that if welfare recipients are to be tested, then politicians should be too(5). After all, it's not like pollies haven't been caught using drugs.



Perhaps the most bizarre part of this policy is the testing of sewage to identify suburbs with high drug use(6). It doesn't take much to recognise the flaws in this. Poo doesn't come with a welfare card, so testing sewage will not indicate whether the owner of the poo had a job or not, nor will it help much that the poo is mixed in with other people's poo. Dare I say it? This is a shit policy.

The idea to drug test welfare recipients is nothing more than the Coalition's war on welfare, war on the poor. It panders to the right-wing who see welfare as a dirty word ... until they are without jobs ... while worshipping big business and the wealthy. It is an effort to placate the right-wing while the Coalition raises taxes that will have their greatest affect on the poor, such as the increase to the Medicare levy. While it is good for the Coalition to fully fund the NDIS (which Labor had already provided for in their budgets), they are expecting low paid workers to take on the burden. In the meantime, they will give tax cuts of $65 billion to big business and remove the deficit levy from high income earners, effectively providing a $16,000 a year tax cut to people earning more than a million dollars(7).

A few years ago, then Treasurer Joe Hockey declared that Australia was a nation of 'lifters and leaners'(8), effectively stating that those on welfare were leaners, while the uber-rich are lifters, even though they screw the poor to the wall through casualisation, not paying penalty rates and down-sizing. Hockey attempted to force people under 30 to wait six months before getting welfare payments. Not surprisingly, that was struck down by the Senate, however, the Coalition continues to punish welfare recipients rather than address the drivers of welfare, namely a casualised workforce, underemployment and unemployment.

Given the evidence demonstrating that welfare drug testing programs do not work, it is unlikely that the trial will proceed and if it does, it is even less likely, that it will continue beyond the trial phase.

The drug testing trial is another waste of tax-payers money by the Coalition to further their ideological demonisation of the poor.




References:

1. ABC News, Henry Belot, Federal budget 2017: Company tax cut to cost extra $15b per year, Scott Morrison reveals, 11 May 2017, http://www.abc.net.au/news/story-streams/federal-budget-2017/2017-05-11/company-tax-cut-to-cost-extra-$15b-per-year-morrison-reveals/8518642. Accessed 12 May 2017.

2. Huffpost Australia, Josh Butler, Here's How the Welfare Drug Tests Will Work, 10 May 2017, http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/05/10/heres-how-the-welfare-drug-tests-will-work_a_22078785/. Accessed 12 May 2017.

3. Think Progress, Bryce Covert, What 7 states discovered after spending more than $1 million drug testing welfare recipients, 26 February 2017, https://thinkprogress.org/what-7-states-discovered-after-spending-more-than-1-million-drug-testing-welfare-recipients-c346e0b4305d. Accessed 12 May 2017.

4. Mic.com, Gregory Krieg, Arizona Drug Tested Welfare Recipients - Here Are the Shocking Results, 22 July 2015, https://mic.com/articles/122607/arizona-drug-tested-welfare-recipients-here-are-the-shocking-results#.mR3FPpZRK. Accessed 12 May 2017.

5. Huffpost Australia, Josh Butler, People Say Politicians Should Be Drug Tested Too, 10 May 2017, http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/05/09/people-say-politicians-should-be-drug-tested-too_a_22078611/. Accessed 12 May 2017.

6. The Guardian, Paul Karp, Scott Morrison says sewage will be tested to find areas of high drug use for welfare trial, 11 May 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/may/11/scott-morrison-says-sewage-will-be-tested-to-find-areas-of-high-drug-use-for-welfare-trial. Accessed 12 May 2017.

7. Australian Financial Review, Joanna Mather, Keep deficit levy for 'millionaires': Labor, 26 March 2017, http://www.afr.com/news/politics/keep-deficit-levy-for-millionaires-labor-20170326-gv6oqw. Accessed 12 May 2017.

8. Sydney Morning Herald, Federal budget 2014 - full speech, 13 May 2014, http://www.smh.com.au/business/federal-budget/federal-budget-2014--full-speech-20140513-3887i.html. Accessed 12 May 2017.







Saturday, May 6, 2017

We stuffed up the world with Capitalism ... so hair of the dog and let's fix it with Capitalism! Oh, and blame Millennials for it all!



We f*cked the world with Capitalism ... so hair of the dog and let's fix it with Capitalism.

Oh, and it's all the fault of the Millennials (those formerly known as Gen Y), because if those selfish buggers didn't keep demanding mocha soy latte coffees the world would be a better place. If they didn't keep demanding that we reduce our carbon emissions, the world would be a better place. If they didn't keep demanding that we underemploy them, the world would be a better place. If they didn't demand university educations worth tens of thousands of dollars, the world would be a better place.

If they weren't so damn demanding!

After all, the Millennials are responsible for:

* casualisation of the workforce
* expensive university degrees
* 'academic inflation' which drives the demand for higher and higher educational requirements in jobs
* escalating house prices
* plateauing pay rates
* lack of respect for others
* war
* greed
* capitalism

Oops. That last dot point is an error ... isn't it? I mean, capitalism is good? Capitalism is the panacea of all the world's issues. So what if greed is the driving force of capitalism. Greed is good.

Actually ... it sure isn't the fault of the millennials that they entered a world that had been exploited and raped (economically and environmentally) by previous generations' pre-occupation with greed and wealth accumulation.

For years, human resource gurus have been saying that Gen Y is a mobile generation, that they only want temporary jobs so they can hop from one place to the next. Garbage. The reason Gen Y was chopping and changing between jobs was because of the greed of companies who decided it was cheaper and easier to put people on as temps or casuals. This meant that they could also be released without businesses having to be concerned with pesky industrial relations obligations, such as giving a minimum period of notice, paying out leave and so on. Gen Y did not cause that. They are the victims of that. Additionally, it isn't just this generation who move around for work. Remember, throughout the 20th century, people travelling the country for seasonal jobs, such as fruit picking, or moving to the 'big smoke' in search of work. People travelling from one job to the next is nothing new.

Millennials are not the lazy bums that older generations portray them as. If those older generations stopped pursuing the almighty dollar for their own benefit, if they stopped reducing or casualising their workforces, then the jobs would be there. But you can't reduce jobs and then blame young people for not being able to find these non-existent jobs.

Academic inflation is also being driven by large organisations who have this idea that the higher educated one is, the better their contribution to the company. So back in the day, when the parents and grand-parents of the Millennials wanted a job, say to work in an office, all they needed was maybe a year 7 education. Then it was a year 10 education. Then year 12. Then some places asked for a Certificate III, IV or a Diploma. And then entry level administrative jobs required Bachelor's degrees. Now, the push is for Honours degrees or even Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diplomas for entry level jobs. For promotion? Masters. All to do jobs that back in the day required nothing more than basic literacy skills.

While a higher education is good, does it make people any more productive than years gone by? Probably not.

People argue that Millennials come out of university expecting to step into managerial jobs. Maybe some do, however, it is clear that for many, a uni education is only qualifying them for an entry level position if they're lucky.

The only ones who benefit from academic inflation are the universities and the businesses that run them. It's basic supply and demand. As the demand grows for higher education, the more upward pressure will be placed on the cost of degrees.

The problem with academic inflation is that people who can't afford the exorbitant costs of university, will struggle to either enter the workforce, or to remain relevant in the workforce. Employment is becoming a privilege for the rich.

Years ago, teachers only needed a diploma. Now the demand is that they must have a Bachelor's degree on entry, and if they are to remain in the education system they must upgrade to Masters ... all so they can teach a high school curriculum.

Some organisations, such as Price Waterhouse Coopers, Ernst and Young, and Penguin Random House have either ditched or relaxed degree requirements to counter this and to assist people in entering the workforce(1).

The biggest threat out of all this is that unemployment will rise for the ranks of those who have a secondary education, but not a tertiary one. An example of this is the Philippines, where even a job in McDonald's requires a bachelor's degree in hospitality or communication, all while there is massive unemployment and poverty among the unskilled. In Australia, the same job is often undertaken by teenagers who've been put through a management traineeship. A barista job in the Philippines requires a Bachelor of Science in Hotel & Restaurant Management. Is this where Australia is headed?(2)

But it's all the fault of the Millennials. So is the fact that they live at home with their parents well into their 20s or even 30s.

Why don't they just go out and buy a house, live on two minute noodles for a couple of years like their parents did and enjoy the thrill of owning their own house. Forget this crap about housing affordability, they are just being too picky ... but wait ...

Short of buying a house in a country town 150km away (where there are no jobs), they are likely to either face an exorbitant price for an existing house, or stare down the barrel of an over-size house in a new estate. The idea that Millennials want the biggest houses ignores the fact that many housing developments have covenants on them that demand large houses. This is not the fault of the Millennials.

Neither is it the fault of Millennials that their parents and grand-parents invested up big in order to make a huge capital return, driving up house prices so that those young 'uns coming through can't possibly earn enough to afford one ... particularly when they have graduated university while carrying a large debt for their education.

So what's the answer? Capitalism? Rampant consumerism? If people spend more money on unnecessary items it will improve the economy and magically, all of society's ills will be gone. Let's forget that it was unfettered capitalism that got us into this mess. Capitalism is often thought of as a system where people are rewarded by keeping the fruits of their labours. But explain that to people who are on minimum wage, working for companies whose excessive profits are earned from those labours but who don't share in those profits other than through their pittance of a wage.



Capitalism is a cleverly deceptive system that transfers wealth from the many to the rich few. This transfer is achieved by paying pitiful wages, not sharing profits, and getting people to part with their hard earned through clever consumer advertising, or through government tax cuts to the wealthy and big business. Capitalists have taken this and run with it, building in obsolescence and perceived obsolescence, so that consumers are either forced to replace items and feel they need to every time a new version comes out(3). (Apple I'm looking squarely at you).



The theory is that if we continue transferring wealth from the general population upwards to the most wealthy, then it will somehow trickle back down and make us all rich. Trickle down economics didn't work for Thatcher, Reagan, or George W. Bush, and it doesn't work in Australia.

Since the election of the Liberal and National Party coalition in Australia, the government has been attacking students and the poor as a means for fiscal repair. Those who earn the big bucks, and the big businesses who have clever tax minimisation strategies, are not contributing their fair share towards the budget bottom line because the government is living in a trickle-down fantasy land.

Here's a thought. What say we took the Robin Hood approach and share the wealth from the rich with the rest of society.

Instead, the government and business distract from their failures by blaming Labor, the Greens, the left-wing, the poor, the needy, students, Muslims, refugees, global terrorism, the CSIRO, scientists, Millennials.

Yet, ALL of the issues in society are caused by capitalism. It is capitalist greed that has been responsible for:

* unrestrained pillaging of natural resources in order to access fossil fuels for consumption and power, causing war and climate change
* unnecessary but perpetual and profitable wars and funding of 'insurgents' to fight whoever the 'evil' enemy is at the time, and which has resulted in global terrorism (that's right, Islam is not the cause of terrorism; it was caused by the US funding of the Mujaheddin gave rise to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, the 2003 invasion of Iraq gave rise to ISIS, not to mention western nations' exploitation and theft of land and resources in what are now developing countries going back centuries)
* unrestrained accumulation of wealth and assets, driving down housing affordability
* craving for larger and larger profits that has driven workforce reduction and casualisation.

But it's all the fault of Millennials.

Let's forget economics for a moment.

How about respect?

Time to unleash some old chestnuts?

Kids of today have no respect for their elders.

When I was a kid we'd have had our mouths washed out with soap if we spoke like that.

Often heard by people who've forgotten what little shits they were when they were younger.

Firstly, accusing the young of disrespect is nothing new. Two of my favourite quotes from waaayyy back in the day that show this is a generational whinging going back centuries for older people:

'We live in a decaying age. Young people no longer respect their parents.  They are rude and impatient.  They frequently inhabit taverns and have no self-control' - Inscription on 6,000 year old Egyptian tomb

'Our earth is degenerate in these latter days; bribery and corruption are common; children no longer obey their parents; every man wants to write a book, and the end of the world is evidently approaching' - Assyrian stone tablet, circa 2000-2800BC

And of course, in this day of instant gratification, it's the fault of Millennials. Not to mention the older generation's constant bemoaning of what the future holds in the hands of Millennials. But wait, waaayyy back in the day, young 'uns were impatient and the oldies feared the future as well:

'I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependant on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words ... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly disrespectful and impatient of restraint' - Hesiod, 8th century BC

Maybe what we need is some sympathy for older people, after all, it is in their constitution to blame young people:

 'The denunciation of the young is a necessary part of the hygiene of older people, and greatly assists in the circulation of their blood'. Logan Pearsall Smith 1865-1946

But I digress.

It is a sad reality that older people have taught the younger people how to behave. The older generations demand respect from people who they are constantly abusing and blaming. They speak horribly about migrants, refugees, Muslims, the left-wing, students, the poor. They demonise and disrespect most of society and then expect Millennials to treat them with respect.

When Millennials treat them the way they treat others, they get upset and bust out a, 'in my day ...'.

Come on oldies: pot / kettle.

We can't fix the economy by driving people into more debt, we can't increase employment by making it harder to find work or through job rationalisation, we can't address climate change and pollution by continuing to burn fossil fuels while continuing with massive rates of deforestation and land clearing, we can't address housing affordability by continuing to allow the accumulation of vast property portfolios, we can't stop terrorism while we continue to fund it and wage wars, we can't end hatred and intolerance by continuing to hate and attack others, and we can't blame Millennials for the things that previous generations caused.

People need to remember that they were once young and to remember what things were like for them. Was it easier to find work, buy a house, get an education (was there even a requirement for an education)?

Yes, Millennials do need to think of the future and respect others - as we all do. But to blame Millennials and not take responsibility for our own actions is disingenuous.

"He who would pass his declining years with honor and comfort, should when young, consider that he may one day become old, and when he is old, that he has once been young".  Joseph Addison, 1672-1719.

What the world needs is a sharing economy, not an accumulation economy. Rather than focusing on personal greed and circumstance as has been the wont of Gen X and Baby Boomers, we should be more outward focused and consider the circumstances of others, consider what is good for society as a whole and not just what is good for the individual.

In relation to the environment, land clearing has continued at unprecedented rates as the demand (consumerism) increases for housing estates, farming and wood products, such as paper and furniture. There are alternatives of course, like hemp and bamboo. Hemp is a natural product which does not leach the soil, is fast growing and easily replenished which means that it requires a fraction of the land that traditional farming produce does, such as cotton.

The government has been cutting budgets for education, health and employment. One of the reasons is that they claim that the debt incurred by spending on these essential factors is 'intergenerational theft', because it requires future generations to pay it back. Instead, it is the under-funding of these programs by the government that is going to rob current and future generations of opportunities for employment, training and health.

The real intergenerational theft has been from the greed and rampant consumerism of Gen X and Baby Boomers, the cost of which is now being borne by Millennials.

F*cked the world with capitalism? Hair of the dog is not the answer.


References

1. The Conversation, Joshua Krook, Degrees of separation: companies shed degree requirements to promote merit over qualifications, 18 April 2017, http://theconversation.com/degrees-of-separation-companies-shed-degree-requirements-to-promote-merit-over-qualifications-76150. Accessed 6 May 2017.

2. Refer to the below screen-grabs from the websites listed, taken on 8 May 2017.

3. Story of Stuff, Annie Leonard, Louis Fox, Jonah Sachs, The Story of Stuff, December 2007, http://storyofstuff.org/.




www.mcdonalds.com.ph/content/page/careers



https://jobs.laimoon.com/job/192660




Saturday, April 29, 2017

Anzac Day - a time of jingoes, drongos & remembrance

Anzac Day - a time of jingoes, drongos & remembrance

You'd think that the national day of commemorating those who served their country would be one of unity. But in Australia, Anzac Day has somehow morphed into a brazen display of nationalism that is increasingly empowering racists, bigots and jingoists.

Certainly many people who attend Anzac Day ceremonies do so to truly commemorate those who've served and to appreciate the freedoms that Australia enjoys as a result of the sacrifice of the few for the benefit of the many.

Considering that Anzac Day is a day of remembrance, it seems bizarre that so many got so upset about one tweet from an ABC employee. The tweet was not sent while she was at work. The ABC smartly decided there was no case to answer. She hadn't milked the public purse in order to send the tweet.

The employee in question is Yassmin Abdel-Mageid, member of the Council for Multi-cultural Australia, 2015 Queensland Australian of the Year and founder of Youth Without Borders (Australia). Her tweet was:

'LEST. WE. FORGET. (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine ...)






Within moments of it being posted, the howls of the offended could be heard reverberating around the nation. Yassmin promptly deleted the tweet and apologised. Contrast this with right-wing commentators who, when advised their work is offensive or even inaccurate, refuse to apologise, but instead stand on their digs and claim their freedom of speech is under attack.

The tweet though played into the hands of bigots because not only is Yassmin a Muslim, she also works for the ABC which is under constant attack from conservatives who see the national broadcaster as a socialist mouthpiece. These conservatives believe they are the defenders of free speech, yet want to shut down any dissenting opinion or fact that might be expressed on the ABC.

The hypocrisy of people being offended by Yassmin's tweet could not be clearer. It was only a few weeks ago that Australia's right-wing government pushed for changes to Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act to remove the words 'insult, offend and humiliate' as grounds for racial discrimination. (For more detail on this refer to my article 'Freedom of Speech - A Two Edged Sword' which was published less than three weeks ago).

For years, people were vehemently defending the rights of cartoonists Bill Leak and Larry Pickering to publish vile and offensive anti-Islamic and racist works that humoured bigots Australia-wide. Yet those who argued so voraciously against 18C for the right to insult and offend others were the most vocal when their sensitive souls were insulted and offended by Yassmin's tweet. Not surprisingly, the racism that underpins much of the Anzac Day orgy of nationalism, focused on Yassmin's race and religion, with many telling her to go back to where she came from. Some grubs even suggested that she should be raped, because in their bitter and twisted minds nothing honours the memory of dead soldiers like a good, old-fashioned raping.

Yassmin's tweet did not attack diggers, it did not disparage the memory of the Anzacs, if anything it augmented the memory with current conflicts which Australia is either involved or has had military involvement in. The Navy has been used as a political pawn in 'defence' of Australia's borders by being unleashed on asylum seekers, Australia fought in Palestine and was part of the campaign that gave Britain the mandate to control Palestine for 30 or so years and subsequently resulted in the illegal creation of Israel. Now Australia is involved in Syria, part of whose problem is a result of the disastrous overthrow of Saddam Hussein, which Australia eagerly participated in even though the reasons for the second Gulf War were based on lies and brought ISIS to fruition.

Perpetually-outraged defender of white Australia, Herald-Sun columnist, Andrew Bolt described Yassmin as a 'smart-alec ABC presenter' and then went on to directly attack ... wait for it ... DIGGERS. Where was the outrage? Yassmin's tweet did not attack diggers. Yet Bolt directly attacked the RSL for allowing indigenous diggers to march under an indigenous flag and for daring to allow 'Welcome to Country' speeches at Anzac commemorations(1). Bolt and his ilk would prefer a return to the old days when indigenous people were not specifically recognised for their service, or where any recognition was low-key so as to not upset the sensibilities of the white nationalists.

Oh ... the white nationalists ... nice segue into just what some of these people stand for. April is a big month for the neo-Nazi element of the nationalists. As we all know, Anzac Day is on 25 April. However, 20 April is the birthday of the man who set the benchmark in genocidal megalomania, Adolf Hitler.

The neo-Nazis who like to drape themselves in the Aussie flag while claiming to honour the memory of Australia's fallen soldiers, also celebrate the birthday of the man who many of our soldiers died fighting against. Some even wanted to hang a picture of Adolf Hitler in every school classroom and have all students read Mein Kampf(2). Surely this is an unacceptable display of treachery and hypocrisy.To claim that our soldiers died fighting for our freedom, while celebrating the birth of one of the world's worst despots who opposed those same freedoms is dumb-founding. Where is the outrage from the perpetually outraged rabid right who are constantly questioning the values and loyalties of migrants, Muslims and the left, but giving these perfidious drongos a free pass?

Only a week before, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull vapidly released new citizenship tests and tried (but failed dismally) to articulate some ethereal Australian Values that the LNP dreamed up(3). Surely Aussie Values do not include draping oneself in the Australian flag while celebrating arguably our biggest enemy and claiming to be a patriot. Just sayin'.

But these neo-Nazis aren't just fringe dwellers, they've gone relatively main-stream. One (possibly more) of their ilk was embraced and endorsed by Pauline Hanson as a candidate for One Nation, a party that is currently polling at 23% in Queensland. The candidate, Mark Ellis, would still be standing for One Nation if a photo hadn't emerged of him saluting a swastika that he had mowed into his lawn(4). Methinks the Diggers would be rolling in their graves at how their memories are being used to fuel racism and hate-crimes against Muslims and refugees.

And lies.

Labor MP ... and Muslim ... Anne Aly was accused of refusing to lay a wreath on Anzac Day. It was a fabrication, a lie, spread by wannabe politician Kim Vuga and those on the right who feel that Muslims are fair game regardless of whether they are born and bred Australian or 'integrated' into Australian society or contributing to the community. The attack on Anne Aly was a disgraceful abuse of the memory of the Anzacs by racist fools who have no respect for the diggers they claim to be honouring. For the record, Aly did lay a wreath at an Anzac memorial(5). She also stated on Channel 10's The Project on 28 April 2017, that Kim Vuga rang to apologise for spreading the lie. It's a pity that people are so gleefully willing to demonise Muslims that they don't fact check such pejorative rumours before spreading them.

Anzac Day is a solemn commemoration in which people should take pause and contemplate the sacrifices many Australians have made, some in the defence of freedom, some in the expansion of British empire (as in World War I) and some in defence of American empire (as in Korea, Vietnam and Iraq). Not all the wars that Australia has participated in were necessary or were defending our liberties. However, in all of them, men and women fought and died in service to this country and its allies.

The horrors and brutality of war, fascism and despots should not be forgotten. Many of those who are still experiencing these horrors first hand, comprise the 60 million or so refugees around the world. A tiny fraction of these have fled to Australia seeking asylum. They do not deserve to be demonised or traumatised because of political ideology as those are who still languish on Manus Island and Nauru. If any day is the day to not only contemplate our liberties, but also consider how we can assist those who are fleeing conflict, it is Anzac Day. This is a day about inclusion, not exclusion, about welcoming, not denying. It is about not forgetting that it was every day men and women, Christian, Jew, Muslim, atheist, indigenous and migrants who fought for this land. Why use this day to spread hate, fear and nationalist supremacy.

Defence analyst and former Army officer, James Brown, discusses in detail the 'cult of remembrance' around Anzac Day in his 2014 book Anzac's Long Shadow - The Cost of Our National Obsession, and how this has made it difficult to comment on the truth of the disastrous and imperialistic Gallipoli invasion, and further, to even criticise the Defence Force at all.

There is nothing patriotic in sending our troops to fight unnecessary wars based on lies and hegemony. There is nothing patriotic in demonising people of other races and religions. And there certainly is nothing patriotic in traumatising, abusing and denying the human rights of those fleeing war and despots. These are not the memories of Anzac Day, these are not the 'values' that Australian soldiers fought and died for.

Lest We Forget.

References

1. The Herald Sun, Andrew Bolt, Anzac Day betrayed. Hijacked by tribalists. 27 April 2017. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/anzac-day-betrayed-hijacked-by-tribalists/news-story/6e6329eb130004f5a159505cf2ebeabc. Accessed 28 April 2017.

2. The Age, Michael Blachelard, Luke McMahon, Blair Cottrell, rising anti-Islam movement leader, wanted Hitler in ever classroom, 17 October 2015, http://www.theage.com.au/national/blair-cottrell-leader-of-aussie-patriots-upf-wanted-hitler-in-the-classroom-20151016-gkbbvz. Accessed 28 April 2017.

3. ABC News, Michelle Grattan, Grattan on Friday: Malcolm Turnbull forges 'values' into political weaponry, 21 April 2017, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-21/turnbull-forges-values-into-political-weaponry-michelle-grattan/8461282. Accessed 28 April 2017.

4. Independent. Will Worley, Australian far-right candidate quits after photo emerges of him saluting swastika carved into his lawn, 26 April 2017, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/mark-ellis-australia-far-right-queensland-nazi-swastika-photo-candidate-cut-lawn-state-election-quit-a7702786.html. Accessed 28 April 2017.

5.The Sydney Morning Herald, Heather McNeill, 'Offensive and disgusting': MP Anne Aly responds to Anzac Day snub claims, 28 April 2017, http://www.smh.com.au/wa-news/offensive-and-disgusting-senator-anne-aly-responds-to-anzac-day-snub-claims-20170427-gvtzw5.html. Accessed 28 April 2017.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Challenging Zionism - the illogical foundation of Christian Zionism and the illegality and idolatry of Israel.


Challenging Zionism - the illogical foundation of Christian Zionism and the illegality and idolatry of Israel.


There are many things that have hijacked modern Christianity: money (prosperity doctrine), power (the Tea Party and their ilk for political power and control of government), capitalism (the expansionist colonialism of churches establishing their own franchises across the globe) ... and Zionism, the unfettered, unquestioning idolatry of modern Israel.

Yet, Zionism is a perversion of Christianity.

The very basis of Christianity is that God established a new covenant with mankind. Way back in the Old Testament, people were required to make a blood sacrifice to God in order to be forgiven for their sins. People kept sinning because funnily enough, people are fallible. As a result, God decreed that there was not one righteous person on the planet, that all had sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3). To rectify this, God established a new covenant in which he would send his son, Jesus, to be the blood sacrifice on behalf of all mankind. The biblical verse that best explains this is John 3:16, 'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever should believe on Him, will not perish but have everlasting life'.

Hebrews 8:7-12, covers the new covenant in detail, with verse 13 summing it up with, 'In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away'.

In other words, the old covenant is gone and the new one fulfilled. Yet, Zionism is very much rooted in the Old Testament, the old covenant.

What is the point of God sacrificing his only begotten son, Jesus Christ in order to establish a new church of born again Jews and Gentiles as fulfilment of prophecy if He then re-establishes the old religious order of Judaism which rejected Jesus, as a fulfilment of prophecy?

There's conflicting issues with biblical prophecies if Zionism is truly of God. On the one hand, we have Christ crucified to save the world, and on the other hand, Israel re-established to save the Jews. One of these is not like the other.

Zionism is a perversion of the Bible.

Zionism deliberately ignores the New Testament, ignores the teachings of Christ. It justifies genocide. It justifies hatred and fear of Muslims. And it completely eliminates the purpose of the entire New Testament.

Zionism is based on Old Testament teachings in which Abraham was given the 'promised land', which just so happens to roughly be where Israel is today. However, it also ignores the New Testament which states that those who believe in Jesus Christ are heirs to the promises of Abraham and that the promises applied to all of Abraham's heirs, which just so happens to include Muslims.

According to both Jewish and Islamic tradition, Muslims were descended from Abraham's son, Ishmael, while Jews and Christians were descended from his son, Isaac.

Zionists seem to forget that Ishmael was also blessed of God and inherited a promise, as stated in Genesis 17:20:

And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation

In addition, although Genesis 17:21 states that God will establish the covenant with Isaac, this included a caveat, namely that if the Jews strayed, then they would be banished from the promised land. Deuteronomy 11:16-17:

Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, lest the Lord’s anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce, and you perish quickly from the good land which the Lord is giving you.

Zionists will often argue against the legitimacy, and for that matter, the very existence of Palestine, while ignoring the clear promise and blessing given to Muslims through Ishmael.

Origins of Zionism

Firstly, what is Zionism? It is the belief that Jews have a God-given right to the Holy Land based on scriptures such as Genesis 16:18, 'In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates'.

Zionism is the idea that God promised to restore the ancient nation of Israel. For Christians this contradicts the very raison d'etre for God sending His only begotten Son. Jesus was sent to establish a new church and a new covenant. So why would God now forget about the purpose that Jesus was sent, in order to return to the old ways?

One would think that Zionism is an ancient movement, given the above scripture, however, Zionism was initially created as a political movement in response to the persecution and pogroms that had befallen Jews prior to the 20th century. Modern Zionism is a relatively new idea. It originated in the 19th century as an idea of establishing a Jewish homeland as an answer to the so-called 'Jewish Question'. This 'question' was an ongoing discussion about how to handle Jews in Europe. It debated issues such as their legal and social status.

In 1862, an associate of Karl Marx, named Moses Hess declared that Jews should establish a socialist state in Palestine. In 1870 the Hovevei Zion (Lovers of Zion), began founding settlements in Palestine.

In 1897 Theodore Herzl established the World Zionist Organisation. Its premise was to identify a homeland for the Jewish diaspora. At first the WZO did not declare Palestine to be their homeland. Instead, they looked around the globe for a land that was suitable. Herzl was initially happy with either Argentina or Uganda, but Eastern European Jews refused to support any option other than Palestine(1).

As this shows, the WZO's location for the diaspora had little to do with scripture. Once Palestine was chosen, scripture became a means to an end; it was used to justify the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine, rather than a Jewish state being necessary for the Zionist organisation's power base.

Criticism of Israel

There is the superstitious belief that criticising Israel will incur the wrath of God, after all, Genesis 12:3 states, 'I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse who curse you'. There are two things wrong with this:

1. criticism does not equate to cursing
2. the scripture was directed at Abraham, not the Jewish people.

It is not cursing someone to call out their crimes. What would have been the point of Leviticus, the book of law, if charging someone with a crime was considered a curse?

This superstition has also been used to counter criticism of Zionism. Again, this is another example of scripture being misappropriated in order to support the Zionist agenda.

Throughout the bible, the Jews were constantly in trouble for replacing God with idols. Zionism has created an idol of Israel while allowing no dissent. In addition to the misapplication of Genesis 12:8, criticism of Israel is labelled as anti-Semitic.

Anti-Semitism is a catch-all that ignores so many other factors. Firstly, many of the inhabitants of Israel are Caucasian, not Middle Eastern. This will be addressed in more detail later. While Judaism is a Semitic religion, so is Islam and Christianity. It is not anti-Semitic to call out Israel for committing crimes. Is it racist to charge someone of colour with a crime? Is it anti-Semitic to accuse someone from a Semitic religion, such as a Muslim or a Christian, of a crime? Of course not.

It is not anti-Semitic to bring to light crimes committed by Jews, Muslims or Christians.

Additionally, anti-Zionism is not anti-Judaism or anti-Semitism. Opposing Zionism is not an attack on the Jewish faith. Criticism of Israel is not an attack on the Jewish faith and is not anti-Semitic.

In a more sinister development, this allegation of anti-Semitism has extended to any criticism of Israel's extra-judicial killings of Palestinian civilians(2), including children(3), Israel's war-crimes in which it uses illegal weaponry(4) such as flechette shells(5), white phosphorous(6) or DIME (Dense Inert Metal Explosives)(7), its use of human shields(8), its illegal detention, interrogation and torture of civilians, including children(9), and on it goes(10). Yet, criticising these Israeli crimes is anti-Semitic according to Zionists.

Of course, if any other country committed these crimes against a largely defenceless population, then it would be called a crime against humanity. The United States has invaded countries and overthrown despots for less.

It would be anti-Semitic to attack Jewish people because of their religion. It is not Judaism that is in question when it comes to criticism of modern Israel and Zionism. What is in question are the crimes of Israel and Zionism which are often hidden behind a cloak of religion in order to make claims of anti-Semitism against critics.

Zionists have used, or perhaps, misused and abused, history in order to justify the modern state of Israel and its war-crimes in Palestine. While Zionists had long been eyeing Palestine as the site for Israel, when World War 2 ended, the terrible abuses of the holocaust and the guilt felt by all nations was used to hasten the establishment of Israel. While this is understandable, even today there are some who reference the holocaust to justify Israel's crimes against humanity. This in itself is an insult to the memory of the millions who suffered or died in the holocaust(11).

Christian Zionism is also usually accompanied with strong opposition to Palestine, and more broadly, Islam. Islamophobia is the new anti-Semitism and is being used to justify genocide and ethnic cleansing in Palestine, as well as bombings, invasions or occupations by the United States and its allies in many Muslim nations, including Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Libya and so on. These are countries who have posed little threat to the USA, yet who the USA has seen fit to interfere with, subjugate and kill thousands of people. American leaders are predominantly Christian. Interesting, that they accuse Islam of being a religion of violence, when Christians have waged more wars and killed more people than Muslims have.

Modern Israel established on a Zionist lie

Modern Israel was founded on a lie. It is the lie that states 'a land without a people, for people without a land'.

The lie predates the holocaust. It was first used by a Christian Zionist named William Eugene Blackstone in the mid-19th century. It was picked up by Jewish Zionists in the 1890s and has since been used to justify the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestine. After all, how can a non-existent people be ethnically cleansed or displaced.

The 'land without a people', was Palestine. This lie tries to claim Palestine was terra nullius. It's a blatant lie. Palestine was a land that had been inhabited continuously by millions of people for thousands of years. The 'people without a land' referred to the Jewish diaspora which claims they were dispersed from the holy land thousands of years ago. However, these people had a land. It was their own European nations. Many were Austrian, Polish, Romanian and so on. Those nations were their lands.

The cofounder of the World Zionist Organisation, Max Nordau, was disgusted by the Zionist lie when he discovered that it was not a 'land without people', after he visited Palestine and found it had a population of 700,000(1). In response, he declared to his fellow WZO cofounder, Theodore Herzl, 'But we are committing a grave injustice'.

Many Zionists argue that Palestine has never existed as a nation, therefore this justifies Israel's ethnic cleansing of the area. Palestine certainly has been an occupied land for centuries, but this doesn't mean the people or the land didn't exist.

Palestine referenced throughout history

The origins of Palestine and Israel go back to similar points in antiquity.

Inscriptions during the reign of Rameses II, around mid-12th century BCE, referred to a sea-people, who included the Peleset, believed to be the ancestors of Palestine. The Peleset, better known as the Philistines occupied Canaan. The first reference to Israel in history is in a monument to Pharaoh Merneptah in 1207BCE, which shows a tribe known as Israel invading Canaan, decimating the tribes there.  A few years later, the Israelites took the remaining portion of Canaan. Ancient Israel got their first King in 1000 BCE with the appointment of King Saul. Sigmund Freud speculated in his work, Origins of Religion, that the two tribes warring against each other in the land of Canaan, namely Israel and Judah were in fact the Hebrews and the Philistines(12).

Contrary to Zionist propaganda, Palestine existed for thousands of years and has been referenced throughout history:
  • Prior to 1948, currency and passports were issued in the nationality of 'Palestine'. 
  • In World War II, war in the Middle East was known as the Palestine Campaign and the British military issued a General Service Palestine Campaign Medal . 
  • In World War I, war in the Middle East was known as the 'Palestine Campaign' and the British military issued a General Service Medal with Palestine clasp. 
  •  In 1798-1799, Napoleon undertook his 'Palestine campaign' and was defeated. 
  • The Crusaders fought in and at one stage ruled Palestine. 
  • The bible refers to Palestine. 
  • Jewish scripture, the Tanakh, refers to Philistines
  • The ancient Greeks referred to it as Palaistine.
  • Ancient Egyptians referred to the area as Peleset.
Zionists are not only ethnically cleansing the land, but trying to ethnically cleanse history of Palestine.

They'll argue that the population in Palestine has increased, therefore there is no genocide. Apparently it's ok to murder thousands of people as long as the birth rate keeps pace with it.

Modern Israel founded by Europeans not Middle Eastern Jews

Zionism's great claim is that the creation of Israel in 1948 has re-established a homeland for diaspora Jews. Modern leaders, such as Benjamin Netanyahu propagate this by inviting Jewish people from all over the world to settle in Israel, albeit much of those in the illegal settlements that continue Israel's colonisation of Palestine.

However, the idea of the diaspora is largely based on the idea of Jews being scattered across the globe following exile by the Romans. This is contrary to historical record. For a start, the Romans never exiled an entire people group(13), particularly considering that would have dramatically affected their taxation income, produce and economy in general. No, the Zionists who created modern Israel were European Jews whose ancestors originated in Central Asia and not the Middle East.

The Khazars were a semi-nomadic people who controlled a large pivotal area on the silk roads in Central Asia, spanning the area from Eastern Europe and the Byzantine Empire, Turkey, Crimea and northern Caucasus. For centuries, the Khazars profited significantly from trade between the Europe, the Kievan Rus (slavic tribes from whom Russians and Ukrainians are descended), the Middle East, Persia and Asia. Much of the trade along the silk roads had to pass through Khazaria.

The silk roads weren't just a route for produce. They were also a melting pot of multiculturalism, as ideas, religions, customs, language and education were adopted or infused into the various people groups who travelled along these routes.

Significantly, the Khazars had taken notice of a number of the major religions traversing through their territory, namely Islam, Christianity and Judaism. After discussions with representatives of all three religions, the Khazars converted to Judaism. How this came about was explained by the Khazars leader (the khagan) in response to a letter from the noted Jewish scholar, Hasdai Ibn Shaprut, who was based in Cordoba, Spain and had heard rumour of the Khazar conversion. The khagan explained that one of his predecessors had invited delegations from Christianity, Islam and Judaism to explain which religion the Khazars should convert to. To help his decision, the ruler 'had asked the Christians whether Islam or Judaism was the better faith; when they replied that the former was certainly worse than the latter, he asked the Muslims whether Christianity or Judaism was preferable. When they lambasted Christianity and also replied that Judaism was the less bad of the two, the Khazar ruler announced that he had reached a conclusion: both had admitted the 'religion of the Israelites is better', he declared, so 'trusting in the mercies of God and the power of the Almighty, I choose the religion of Israel, that is the religion of Abraham'.(14)

Zionists discount the conversion of the Khazars, claiming that Judaism is not a proselytising religion, however the bible itself talks of Jewish proselytes in Matthew 23:15: 'Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves'.

The Khazar ruler demanded that his people also adopt Judaism. From here, the religion spread into the Rus and northern Europe. It is from these people, that the European Jews were descended. It is not from a Middle Eastern diaspora.

Zionists however, used the myth of diaspora to justify the establishment of modern Israel. Within a couple of years of its creation, Israel passed the Law of Return, which gives Jews across the globe, the right to live in Israel and be granted Israeli citizenship. Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, stated 'This is not a Jewish state only because most of its inhabitants are Jews. It is a state for the Jews wherever they may be, and for any Jew who wishes to be here'(15).

More recently, some scientists have used DNA testing to confirm European Jews (Ashkenazi Jews) as being descended from the Middle East. However, Dr Eran Elhaik, and Israeli-born geneticist, has refuted this and identified that the Ashkenazi Jews were descended from the Khazars(16).

Zionists had argued that the Ashkenazi Jews were the descendants of Middle Eastern Jews who had fled the Middle Eastern during the Islamic conquests of the 7th Century. However, this is contrary to the historical record as well. Muslim Armies generally didn't go out and massacre civilian populations. They fought any military which opposed them, but once they'd conquered an area the residents were allowed to live in peace and practice their religion and culture. Neither did the Islamic conquerors exile Jewish populations(17). The only catch for non-Muslims was that they were required to pay a tax called Jizya. Funnily enough, there were those who saw a tax break in converting to Islam so as to avoid paying Jizya. This was particularly the case for Christians and Jews who saw little difference between their religious practices and those of Islam. So many non-Muslims, converted to Islam that the tax system had to be overhauled to remain viable(18).

While Zionists argue about the Law of 'Return', and claim that Israel was their ancestral home 3,500 years ago, it should be kept in mind that many of the people in Palestine trace their lineage to Jewish or Christian ancestors. If anything, it gives greater credence to the Palestinian claim for the land than that of European Jews whose ancestry is traced to Central Asia.

Ancient Israel and the exiles

Back in the day, God made a covenant with Abraham and out of this we saw the ancient kingdom of Israel which united the two smaller kingdoms of Israel and Judah. According to the bible, this united Israel lasted from 1020 to 930 BCE and was ruled by Kings Saul, David and Solomon respectively. Under Solomon's son, Rehoboam, the kingdom was again split into two: Israel in the north and Judah in the south. This 'new' kingdom of Israel rose to prominence by the 9th century BCE and was conquered in 722BCE by the neo-Assyrian Empire. Judah rose to prominence in the 8th century BCE, enjoying prosperity until its destruction in 586BCE by the Babylonian Empire.

Since then, the land was ruled by a variety of foreign invaders and for the most part was known as Palestine, an incarnation of its original name. Because of the lack of self-governance, Zionists argue that Palestine has never been its own nation and therefore there is no such thing as a Palestinian. Yet, there has not been a Jewish 'nation' since at least 586BCE and Israel has not existed since 722BCE. This argument also ignores the fact that prior to Jewish settlement, the land was known as Philistine and was, funnily enough, inhabited and ruled by Philistines.

Even with foreign empires ruling Palestine, there was of course, a large Jewish presence there. During these times, there were a number of exiles in which Jews were forced to leave their homeland. None of these exiles resulted in the complete removal of Jews from the holy land. In 597BCE, following the Babylonian invasion of the holy land, some Jews were exiled to Egypt and Babylon, meaning that many of the exiles remained within the empire and the levant. Most Jews remained in the land and by 538BCE, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar allowed the exiles to return.

The next exile occurred in 70AD following the Judaen Revolt against the Roman Empire, which culminated in the destruction of the Second Temple, the deaths of many and the enslavement of much of the population. Some of the rebels were captured and forced to participate in Rome's gladiatorial games, but for the most part the Jews remained in the land of Judea. Rome exiled a number of Jews associated with the uprising, but they did not exile the entire population(13).

From 132CE to 135CE, Shimon Bar Kokhba, led another revolt in Judea. This ended badly for the Jews, with about 580,000 being killed and more than 1,000 towns or villages destroyed. The fall-out included Emperor Hadrian renaming Judea as Syria Palaestina, banning Jews from entering Jerusalem except for specific events. The Jews suffered significant losses in Judea and were effectively exiled from the city of Jerusalem, some survivors were sold into slavery, while others relocated to Galilee. However, they remained in significant numbers within the general vicinity. While some argue this was the beginning of the diaspora, as with earlier exiles, the majority were still within the levant, in fact, most were still within Palestine, with only Jerusalem being out of bounds. Rome did not exile the entire population. After all, like any government, they needed tax payers so why would they exile their tax base?

The Promise to Abraham

Christ came to preach to the Jews, but they rejected him. From there, the message was given to the Gentiles and the promises of Abraham were also given to the Gentiles. Galatians 3:29: 'And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise'.

What promise?

There were a few promises, one of which was the land of Canaan in Genesis 17:8, 'Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God'. Zionists believe that this promise to Abraham has been fulfilled in modern state of Israel, which conveniently is roughly where ancient Canaan was. The problem with this is that the modern state of Israel is a Jewish state, yet Galatians 3:29 is clear that this promise was passed onto Christians.

Another problem with this promise being hijacked by Israel, is that the promise is ALL of Abraham's descendants. It is generally accepted that Abraham is the father of Jews, Muslims and Christians. Therefore, even if we were to apply this promise, the land of Canaan belongs as much to Muslims as it does to Jews as it does to Christians. So how can Zionists justify the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestine in order to claim the land for Jews only?

One of the bible's key chapters that Zionists believe prophesies the fate of Palestine is Joel 3 which bangs on about Israel being surrounded by its foes who are summarily defeated. Awesome. Nothing like a little scripture to justify genocide.

Joel 3:4 specifically refers to Palestine:

Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head.

This is a scripture about revenge against Palestine, Tyre, Zidon doing wrong to Israel, BUT what about when Israel does wrong to Palestine?

Verse 21, the very last verse in Joel 3, declares:

For I will acquit them of the guilt of bloodshed, whom I had not acquitted; for the Lord dwells in Zion.

Verse 21 speaks of the shame of sin. Isaiah 1:15 explains the reference to the blood:

And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

Joel 3:21 is pointing to the coming of Christ the Messiah and the spilling of Christ's blood to cleanse the people of their sin and shame. Unfortunately, the Messiah was rejected by his own people and hence the promises of Abraham and being the 'chosen' people, was passed on to those who did accept the message of Christ. Awkward.

If Joel 3 is prophesying anything, it is ultimately the acceptance by Jews of Christ as the Messiah.

Other Old Testament scriptures talk of destroying nations that come against Israel, such as Zechariah 12:9:

And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

Considering the number of nations that vote against Israel and who pass UN resolutions criticising Israel, then there is going to be some serious bloodshed if God is going to destroy them all.

And then there is Jeremiah 12:14:

Thus saith the Lord against all mine evil neighbours, that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit; Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them.

This one is a little awkward for Israel, because God himself gave their inheritance away to those who followed Jesus Christ, as stated above in Galatians 3:29. However, that was only after the Jews rejected Christ. Way back in the day, say around Jeremiah 31:31-34 there was promise of a new covenant:

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Of course the covenant was that of the New Testament and the sending of God's only begotten son, 'that whosoever believeth in him, shall be saved'. As it turned out, the Jews of the day did not believe on him but instead had him crucified, which is a powerful rejection of the Covenant by the Jews.

Far from the Jews being solely the chosen people, Romans 11 clearly states that God's chosen people includes any person, Jew or Gentile, who accepts Christ. Romans 11 refers to the Jews as being the 'cultivated olive tree' and the Gentiles being the 'wild olive tree'. It goes on to state how branches of the 'cultivated olive trees' will be cut off in order to graft branches from the 'wild olive trees' in. This contradicts any reason for the establishment of a Jewish-only Israel being a fulfilment of prophecy. How can Christians possibly accept Israel being established in the name of Old Testament Zionism. It is in defiance of the New Testament. Romans 11 doesn't say that Israel will be rebuilt as a physical nation, but saved and expanded as a spiritual nation through the salvation of the Gentiles.

Throughout the bible, particularly the prophecies and the New Testament, the references to Israel are of a spiritual nature, not a physical one. The expansion of God's people to include the gentiles who accept Christ, clearly shows that the spiritual Israel is not a physical state, but a spiritual state. Romans 2:29 states:

For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.

In 2010, the Vatican stated that the Jews were no longer the 'chosen people' and that biblical scripture cannot be used to justify building settlements on Palestinian land. Greek-Melchite Archbishop Cyrille Salim Butros went on to state: 'The concept of the promised land cannot be used as a base for the justification of the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of Palestinians. The justification of Israel's occupation of the land of Palestine cannot be based on the scriptures'. (19)

The New Testament is very clear about the spiritual manifestation of the Kingdom, not the physical one. Any prophecy on the re-establishment of Israel is a figurative one about the reconciliation of the spiritual person with God.

Earlier we saw how Zionists often use Genesis 12:3 to scare people into thinking God will curse them for any criticism of Israel. The other part of this verse is conveniently ignored by Zionists. It goes on to say, 'And in you all the families of the Earth shall be blessed'. All the families of the Earth, not just the Jewish families.

This is verified in Galatians 3:8 which says 'and the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” '.

The promises to Abraham were never meant to be exclusively for the Jews. They foreshadowed the coming of Christ, who went on to issue the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19, 'Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit'.

The bible tells us that 'Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through Him'. So why are so many Christians putting their faith and swearing their allegiance to Israel, a nation that rejects Christ as its Lord and Saviour?

Even supposing that modern Israel is a fulfilment of scripture and that Palestinians are foreigners in the land, the bible is clear on how to deal with them. The Israelites were meant to share their land with the foreigners who lived in it and treat them as though they were Israelites. If modern Israel is a fulfilment of scripture then that means that Zionists need to apply scripture to Israel's occupation of Palestine. Ezekial 47:22-23 states, 'It shall be that you will divide it by lot as an inheritance for yourselves, and for the strangers who dwell among you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as native-born among the children of Israel; they shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall be that in whatever tribe the stranger dwells, there you shall give him his inheritance,” says the Lord God'.

A new religion

Jesus did not come to reaffirm Judaism, He came to preach a new way. He proclaimed His church, or ekklesia, as the 'called-out ones'. They were the chosen ones called out to preach His message throughout the world. His church was one of singular purpose, comprised of those formerly known as Jews and Gentiles.

In Galations 3:28, Paul stated that 'There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus'.

That is the new religion.

Christian Zionism is heresy. It is anathema to the teachings of Jesus. Jewish Zionism is understandable because Jewish scripture didn't accept the new way preached by Christ. But for Christians to support Zionism is a complete contradiction of and refusal to accept the New Testament.

Jesus is the Messiah, the King of the Jews, Israel's true King. Matthew 16:18 states that Peter is the rock on which Christ builds His new church. It doesn't say that he will re-establish a Jewish temple. In fact, the bible goes on to state that we are his temple. It is in us that God resides, not in the temples.

In Matthew 27:50-51, as Jesus dies, the temple curtain or veil is rent in two.

'And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split  and the tombs broke open'.

The curtain traditionally separated ordinary people from the holiest of holies, from the presence of God, in which only priests were allowed to enter. The tearing in two of the curtain signified the end of the old Jewish religion and ushered in an era in which anyone could enter the presence of the Lord and build a personal relationship with God through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Why then do Christian Zionists vehemently adore a return to the old way? Why do they idolise modern Israel whose religion rejects the deity of Christ.

Ephesians 5:25-27 clearly states the importance of this new church established by Christ, so why do some Christians so passionately support the old 'temple':

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

Christ sanctified the church. Without Christ the church is not sanctified. A nationalistic Jewish nation is not a sanctified church.

Romans 9:6 - 8But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.”

Romans 9 goes on further to discredit the notion of God restablising the Kingdom of Israel by declaring that Israel had rejected the message of Christ:

Romans 9:30-33What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

Those who are living by the law do not have the promise of Abraham; they are living within a physical limitation of their interpretation of God, not within an infinite spiritual experience. Zionism is a physical or worldly expression of a misrepresentation of God's word, it isn't a spiritual manifestation of God's word or love.

Romans 4:13 states It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.

There is nothing righteous in ethnically cleansing Palestine.

The bible refers to Israel as being both physical and spiritual. The coming of Christ was not for the reestablishment of the old, physical nation of Israel. It was to establish a new order, a new covenant with the world in which Jews and Gentiles had membership of a spiritual kingdom of God.

1 Peter 2:9-10 however, has its own take on a similar claim, but this refers to the people of God:

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

Romans 11:26-27 states that 'and so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins'.

This verse is quite clear that Israel will be saved by Jesus, so why would God reinstate an unsaved Israel? Why would a Christ-less Israel be re-established. That is not the fulfilment of prophecy. Jesus and His salvation is the fulfilment of prophecy. To argue that Israel has been re-established in order to be saved ignores the many warnings in the bible of the blessings being removed from Israel if they disobey God. How much more disobedient can they get than crucifying the Son of God?

Christian Zionists not only believe that modern Israel is a fulfilment of scripture, but that it is blessed of God. So are they saying that Jesus was sent to establish a new covenant with the Jews, but God is going to establish the Old Covenant 2,000 years later through Israel, and bless Israel even though his 'chosen' people not only rejected Christ but crucified him. They rejected Christ's new covenant, so why are Christians idolising the old order as represented by modern Israel.

1 John 2:23 speaks of those who reject Christ as not being with God, so why would God bless modern Israel? 'Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also'.

Christ only ever preached to the Jews. He didn't go out into all the world - that privilege was reserved for his disciples after the crucifixion. This shows how significant the Jews were to God's plan and how much of a chance they were given to accept Christ. They rejected His message and crucified Him, yet today's Christians are refusing to evangelise the Jews of modern Israel, to the point of turning it into a sacred cow, an idol, one in which no criticism is allowed and which Israel is placed on a pedestal. Whatever happened to the message of the Messiah? While many Jews continue to reject that message and see Christianity as a heresy, Christians are ignoring the New Testament message in favour of restoring a pre-Christ kingdom which ignores Christ and would crucify him again.

End times prophecies

Psalm 102 is often used as a justification for the creation of modern Israel, but again, this ignores a number of key factors in it, specifically the verses 16-22.

For the Lord shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory. He shall regard the prayer of the destitute, And shall not despise their prayer. This will be written for the generation to come, That a people yet to be created may praise the Lord. For He looked down from the height of His sanctuary; From heaven the Lord viewed the earth, To hear the groaning of the prisoner, To release those appointed to death, To declare the name of the Lord in Zion, And His praise in Jerusalem, When the peoples are gathered together, And the kingdoms, to serve the Lord


Yes, the verse talks about the building up of Zion and Jerusalem, but this verse was written hundreds of years before Christ. Jerusalem was eventually restored and then the temple sacked in 70AD. Even if this verse points to an re-establishment of Israel, verse 18 talks about a 'generation to come. That a people yet to be created may praise the Lord'. This is speaking of Christians mentioned in 1 Peter 2:10 (who once were not a people but are now the people of God) , if it is an end-time prophecy, then for Christians it is not speaking of the re-establishment of a Jewish kingdom, but a Christian one, so why do Christians worship modern Israel?

And then there's Luke 21 which is full of all sorts of prophecies about Jerusalem. Now, there is a slight hiccup with Luke 21 as an end-times guide, namely verse 32 which states that 'this generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled'. 2,000 years later, that generation passed away long ago so how can modern Israel be a fulfilment of that prophecy.

Another slight problem with this chapter is one that is used to explain the diaspora, namely Luke 21:20-24. In summary, verse 20 states 'But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near'. It goes on to tell everyone to head for the hills. Verse 24 then states 'And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled'.

The fulfilment of the Gentiles relates to their salvation. As mentioned previously, Christ was the fulfilment of biblical prophecy in which Jews and Gentiles would have salvation. This means that Christians are the fulfilment of biblical prophecy. It again goes against the idea of re-establishing Jerusalem or Israel as a Jewish state.

Elevating Israel above the Kingdom of God

Zionism is not scriptural either in the bible or the Torah. Additionally, the Torah requires Jews to live in peace with their neighbours and treat people well(20), yet Israel violently occupies Palestinian land and often vilifies Palestinians and Arabs.

Zionism has successfully duped most of Christianity not only into believing that the establishment of a Jewish state in 1948 is scriptural, but has also led many Christians to defend or deny Israeli war-crimes, demonise Palestinians and most disturbingly, justify or ignore the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

John 4:22 is used to justify supporting Israel. It states that 'salvation is of the Jews'. However, this is merely acknowledging the history of Christianity. The verse before clearly states that there is a time coming in which there will be no further worship in Jerusalem: ' ... the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father'. If we will no longer worship in Jerusalem, how can Zionists justify the 20th century establishment of Israel in order to return it to the centre of Jewish worship.

Zionism elevates Israel, the Kingdom of the Jews, above the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God dwells in us, it does not dwell in Jerusalem.

At the time when Jesus was preaching to the Jews about salvation only being available through him, they were hung up on their own liberation from Rome and having their own kingdom. Yet Christ was clear that the Kingdom was not going to be an earthly one but a spiritual one as stated in Luke 17:20-21:

Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

The New Testament resounds with scripture contradicting the re-establishment of a nationalistic Jewish homeland.

Believing that the creation of Israel is a fulfilment of scripture is akin to Abraham deciding that God needed a little helping hand in the fulfilment of his promise in Genesis 12. This was when God had promised Abraham that he would father a great nation even though his wife, Sarai, was barren. Sarai and Abraham decided that to fulfil the prophecy he would need to sleep with their slave girl, Hagar. As a result, she gave birth to Ishmael. God wasn't too thrilled about Abraham and Sarai trusting in their own logic rather than in God's ability, and rebuked Abraham for his impatience and lack of faith. Israel is the same. Zionists have taken what they consider to be God's promises and have decided He needs a hand. So they've created the state of Israel in their own strength rather than in the strength of God, which explains their willingness to use lies (land without people for people without land), demonisation and delegitimisation of Palestinians, and of course to use violence, to ethnically cleanse the land of Palestine, not to mention propaganda to ethnically cleanse history of the existence of the land of Palestine and its people. If Israel was truly created by God, it wouldn't have come with such violence and deceit.


The violent roots of modern Israel

It wasn't God that created Israel, it was terrorism(21).

Having said that, not all Jews were Zionist and many protested against the idea of Jews being a separate race or that they should be treated differently or exclusively. For them, this was no different to what anti-Semites had been saying in Europe for centuries. For instance, the President of the Anglo-Jewish Association, Claude Montefiore, considered it 'intensely obnoxious' and an 'invention' that Jews constituted a separate nationality. Further, one of Britain's Jewish MPs, Edwin Montagu was distressed by the Zionist belief that Jews be 'invested with certain special rights in excess of those enjoyed by the rest of the population'.(22)

In his book, State of Terror: How terrorism created Israel, Thomas Suarez provides the following two quotes, which underscore the very problem with Zionism and the pervading sense of superiority that Zionists have over others:

- [The democratic principle] does not take into account the fact that there is a fundamental qualitative difference between Jew and Arab - Chaim Weizmann.

- The fundamental difficulty over Palestine was that the Jews refused to admit that the Arabs were their equals. - Ernest Bevin.

In the years prior to Israel's establishment, Zionist terrorists, in particular Hagana (formed 1920), Irgun (formed 1931) and the Stern Gang (formed 1940), committed numerous violent acts, including shootings and bombings that killed dozens of people. In one instance, a teenage Jewish girl disguised as an Arab was arrested, just as she placed a basket with a time-bomb in a crowded market. These groups did not hesitate to kill anyone who opposed them, resulting in most of the victims of their assassinations being Jewish (Assassinations being targeted rather than indiscriminate attacks). In 1939, David Ben-Gurion, the man who would become the first Prime Minister of Israel, encouraged Jews in Palestine to go on a rampage that killed 38 Palestinians and injured 44(23).


Zionist collusion with Hitler and Mussolini

The Stern Gang, also known as Lehi, sought an alliance with Hitler in 1940. Lehi sent a delegate, Nathan Yellin-Mor, to Germany to encourage the Nazis to attack British forces in Palestine. On the creation of Israel, Yellin-Mor became a member of the first Knesset. Lehi also established an alliance with the Italian Fascists through the Jerusalem Agreement (1940) and passed intelligence to them during the war to help overthrow the British in Palestine. The ultimate purpose of the Stern Gang's collaboration with the Fascists was to use 'all the means in its power to liquidate the Jewish Diaspora'. In other words, Zionists were using anti-Semites destroy Jewish communities in Europe in order to forcibly transfer their populations to a Zionist state in Palestine. In addition, Chaim Weizmann of the Zionist Organisation, met with Benito Mussolini to gain leverage against the British.(23).

Interesting then, that Zionists try to make a big deal of the Grand Mufti of Palestine, Haj Amin al-Husseini collaborating with the Nazis, when the Zionists were also collaborating with Hitler's Nazis and Mussolini's Fascists.


Zionist rejection of a Palestinian state

In 1939, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain presented the White Paper 1939 which called for the establishment of a Jewish state within an INDEPENDENT Palestinian state. It limited Jewish immigration and provided guidelines around the purchase of land from the Palestinian Arabs. The Arab Higher Committee (under the leadership of Husayn ibn Ali - a Palestinian Arab who can trace his lineage to a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad) accepted the White Paper. The Zionists did not. The White Paper, had it been the blueprint for the future of the Levant, would have seen an independent Palestinian state established. This of course was unacceptable to Zionists, as it still is to this day. The idea of a two-state solution is anathema to Zionists.

Zionists are happy to refer to United Nations Resolution 181 as legitimising the creation of Israel. However, Resolution 181 recommended that a Jewish state be created in Palestine ... as long as the Arab occupants were in agreement and an Arab state was also be created. It is a myth, that the United Nations created Israel(24). The state itself was created by the Jewish Agency which misused Resolution 181 and forcibly took over Palestine, displacing hundreds of thousands of people.

The war that followed Israel's creation in 1948, resulted in significant loss of land for the Palestinians, deaths of thousands, depopulation of around 400 villages and the displacement of 750,000 Palestinians. It was genocide. It was ethnic cleansing. It was the Nakba. So how can Christians defend Israel's actions as being blessed by God? Some Christians mock Islam for claiming to be the religion of peace, yet Christianity has provided material and spiritual support for Israel's genocide and ethnic cleansing in Palestine. Zionists are killing in the name of God.

Israel's Right to Exist?

If Israel has a right to exist, then so does Palestine.

However, modern Israel was created through the illegal displacement of the existing inhabitants of Palestine. The following gif shows the creeping colonisation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine:

From: Humanity for Palestine



Zionists will claim that Israel's right to exist is written in the holy scriptures. They are using the scripture to justify killing in the name of God; justifying genocide in the name of God; justifying ethnic cleansing in the name of God.

Ironically, these same people will accuse Palestinians of killing in the name of God, claiming that it is evidence of the inherent violence of Islam. This suits their Islamophobic narrative; their vilification of Islam while ignoring the inherent violence in Zionism that has killed and displaced so many people. Palestinians are not fighting in the name of Allah, they are fighting to defend their land from a violent and illegal invasion.




Israel claims that its enemies want to drive it into the sea, yet the evidence is pretty clear that Israel is trying to drive Palestinians into the figurative sea. Israel continues building illegal settlements which violate the Fourth Geneva Convention(25) and numerous UN resolutions in order to drive the Palestinians out of the land.

United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution 22/29(26) states:


Considering that the transfer by the occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies constitutes a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and relevant provisions of customary law, including those codified in Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949,


It goes on to state:


Affirming that the Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law and constitute very serious violations of international humanitarian law and of the human rights of the Palestinian people therein, and undermine international efforts aimed at invigorating the peace process and realizing the two-State solution

Israel claims that it isn't an occupation because the land was not under sovereign rule. However, even Israel's High Court ruled that 'Israel holds the area in belligerent occupation'(27).

Israel isn't serious about peace, even though it portrays itself as the victim, as the only serious contender for peace while claiming Palestine is opposed to any peace settlement.

If Israel was serious about peace it would end the occupation and remove the illegal settlements. It removed settlements from Gaza in 2005, but had built a wall around it so the 1.8 million residents became inmates in the world's largest open air prison. Israel then increased the settlements in the West Bank. It isn't Palestine that opposes peace, but Israel.

When the UN admitted Palestine as a non-voting member, the Zionists were up in arms. If they truly care about peace, why would they oppose the recognition of Palestine? Recognising Israel is one thing, but opposing the recognition of Palestine demonstrates the animosity that Zionists have towards it.

Israel claims it is a democracy, yet Palestinians do not have the same voting rights as Israelis. If Israel truly is a democracy, then maybe one day we will see a Palestinian leading the Knesset. Yeah sure ... like that will ever happen.

Israel is an ethnocracy, not a democracy. It is ruled by one ethnic group and there is no chance that another ethnic group will govern Israel(28). In fact, considering the walls and barriers that Israel has constructed to segregate Palestinians from Jews, as well as the separate roads for Israeli and Palestinian use, Israel is more of an apartheid state than a democratic one.

The establishment of Modern Israel was a European land-grab that had been in the planning for decades, and which opportunistically used the holocaust and scripture to justify it. The holocaust was terrible, but it was over by 1945 and other nations were assisting with refugee resettlement post-war, not to mention the ability to settle back into European countries which were at peace in the three years preceding 1948. Part of the justification for the establishment of Israel is the slogan, 'Never again', declaring that the Holocaust will never happen again because Israel is the safe haven for Jews the world over. However, even Holocaust survivors have condemned the invocation of Holocaust guilt to justify killing and displacing Palestinians(29).

Regardless of prophecy, there is no justification for ethnic cleansing and killing in the name of God.

If Zionists worshipped God in spirit and in truth, they would look at the scriptures holistically and take into account the spiritual nature of the New Testament, as well as the words of Christ in Matthew 22:35-39 which sums up the entire law in two commandments:

Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. 
And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”


Zionism was a land-grab deceitfully done in the name of God in order to manipulate Jews and Christians into unquestioning fealty to the state of Israel.

Legitimising an illegal occupation that kills in the name of God is not Christian.

Idolising a state that was created illegally in contravention of a UN Resolution is not Christian.

Genocide, ethnic cleansing, lying and idolising do not constitute love; the basic tenets of Christianity.


References

1. Information Clearing House, Hanna Braun, 'A basic history of Zionism and is relation to Judaism', September 2001, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4549.htm. Accessed 14 April 2017.

2. Al Jazeera, Megan O'Toole, 'Strong evidence' of Israeli war crimes in Gaza, 29 July 2015, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/07/evidence-israeli-war-crimes-gaza-interactive-15072810-150728133534137.html. Accessed 14 April 2017.

3. ABC News, Israeli security forces 'killed 25 Palestinian children' in three months, UNICEF says, 15 May 2016, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-15/25-palestinian-children-killed-in-3-months-unicef/7415256. Accessed 14 April 2016.

4. Middle East Monitor, Military Expert: Israel is using 3 internationally banned weapons in Gaza, 4 August 2014, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20140804-military-expert-israel-is-using-3-internationally-banned-weapons-in-gaza/. Accessed 14 April 2017.

5. The Guardian, Harriet Sherwood, Israel using flechette shells in Gaza, 20 July 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/20/israel-using-flechette-shells-in-gaza. Accessed 14 April 2017.

6. Human Rights Watch, Israel: White Phosphorous Use Evidence of War Crimes, 25 March 2009, https://www.hrw.org/news/2009/03/25/israel-white-phosphorus-use-evidence-war-crimes. Accessed 14 April 2017.

7. The Independent, Raymond Whitaker, 'Tungsten bombs' leave Israel's victims with mystery wounds, 18 January 2009, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/tungsten-bombs-leave-israels-victims-with-mystery-wounds-1418910.html. Accessed 14 April 2017.

8. The Electronic Intifada, Rania Khalek, Israeli army uses Gaza children as human shields, 11 August 2014, https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/israeli-army-uses-gaza-children-human-shields. Accessed 14 April 2017.

9. Haaretz, UN: Palestinian Children Tortured, Used as Human Shields by Israel, 20 June 2013, http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.530993. Accessed 14 April 2017.

10. Amnesty International, Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories 2016/17,  https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/middle-east-and-north-africa/israel-and-occupied-palestinian-territories/report-israel-and-occupied-palestinian-territories/. Accessed 14 April 2017.

11. Norman G. Finkelstein, 'Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History', Verso 2008, updated edition.

12. Ian Carroll, 2012. In the Beginning, 'Israel / Palestine - a 4000 Year History'. 1st Edition. Adenuf Publications.

13. Shlomo Sand, Pages 130-143, Chapter 3, The Invention of the Exile - Proselytism and Conversion, 'The Invention of the Jewish People', First Edition (English), Verso, 2009.

14. Peter Frankopan, 2016, Chapter 6 - The Road of Furs, The Silk Roads - A New History of the World. Bloomsbury

15. Shlomo Sand, Page 287, Chapter 5, The Distinction: Identity politics in Israel, 'The Invention of the Jewish People', First Edition (English), Verso, 2009.

16. Oxford Academic, Genome Biology and Evolution, Danielle Venton, Highlight: Out of Khazaria - Evidence for "Jewish Genome" lacking, 16 January 2013, http://gbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/5/1/75.full. Accessed 14 April 2017.

17. Shlomo Sand, Page 180, Chapter 3, The Invention of the Exile - Proselytism and Conversion, 'The Invention of the Jewish People', First Edition (English), Verso, 2009.

18. ibid, Page 181.

19. Reuters, Vatican synod ends with criticism of Israel, 23 October 2010, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-vatican-mideast-idUSTRE69M18F20101023. Accessed 14 April 2017.

20. Neturei Karta International, Jews Against Zionism, Rabbi Dovid Weiss, The Torah Demands Justice for the Palestinians, 1 June 2001, http://www.nkusa.org/activities/speeches/nyc060101.cfm. Accessed 11 April 2017.

21. Thomas Suarez, 2016. State of Terror. 1st Edition. Skyscraper Publications.

22. Ibid, Chapter 2, Zionism and the British Mandate to 1938.

23. Ibid, Chapter 3, While the War Raged, 1939 - 1944.

24. Foreign Policy Journal, Jeremy R. Hammond, The Myth o the U.N. Creation of Israel, 26 October 2010, https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/10/26/the-myth-of-the-u-n-creation-of-israel/. Accessed 11 April 2017.

25. The Jerusalem Post, Daniel Steiman, The settlements are illegal under international law, 29 December 2013, http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/The-settlements-are-illegal-under-international-law-336507. Accessed 10 April 2017.

26. United Nations Human Rights Council, 22nd session of the Human Rights Council: Resolutions, decisions and President’s statements, Resolution 22/29 adopted 22 March 2013, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session22/Pages/ResDecStat.aspx. Accessed 10 April 2017.

27. BBC News, The Geneva Convention, 19 December 2009, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1682640.stm. Accessed 10 April 2017.

28. Middle East Monitor, Asa Winstanley, Israel is not a democracy, 13 February 2015, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20150213-israel-is-not-a-democracy/. 11 April 2017.

29. Alternet, Katie Halper, 6 Holocaust Survivors Who Fight Against Israel's Treatment of Palestinians, 6 August 2014, http://www.alternet.org/world/6-holocaust-survivors-who-fight-against-israels-treatment-palestinians. Accessed 11 April 2017.



Recommended reading

Miko Peled, 2016, The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine. 2nd Edition. Just World Books.

Norman G. Finkelstein, 2008. Beyond Chutzpah - On the misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History. 1st ed. London: Verso.

Ilan Pappe, 2007. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Reprint Edition. Oneworld Publications.

Ilan Pappe, 2014. The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge. 1 Edition. Verso

Craig Nielsen, 2010. Israel Palestine - A Christian Response to the Conflict. Digital Print Australia.

Anna Baltzer, 2007. Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories [Updated & Revised]. Edition. Routledge.

Avigail Abarbanel, 2012. Beyond Tribal Loyalties: Personal Stories of Jewish Peace Activists. 1st Unabridged Edition. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Shlomo Sand, 2010. The Invention of the Jewish People. 1st Edition. Verso.

Shlomo Sand, 2012. The Invention of the Land of Israel: From Holy Land to Homeland. 1 Edition. Verso

Noam Chomsky, 2004. Middle East Illusions: Including Peace in the Middle East? Reflections on Justice and Nationhood. 1st Edition. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Noam Chomsky, 2015. Gaza in Crisis. 1st edition. Penguin Books.

Noam Chomsky, 1999. The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians. Updated Edition. Pluto Press.

Naim Ateek, Cedar Duaybis, Maurine Tobin (editors), 2005. Challenging Christian Zionism: Theology, Politics and the Israel-Palestine Conflict. Melisende UK Ltd.

This subject is also covered in the following article:

Ranting Panda, Repenting of the Palestinian Pogrom, 18 December 2012, http://thepandarant.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/repenting-of-palestinian-pogrom.html.



Individual GIF frames

The below are the individual frames of the Humanity for Palestine GIF, for hard-copy prints.












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