“Where wast thou when I founded the earth? tell me now, if thou hast knowledge, who set the measures of it, if thou knowest? or who stretched a line upon it? On what are its rings fastened? and who is he that laid the corner-stone upon it?”
Founded The Earth
The Case for Christ
By David Limbaugh | April 21, 2017 | 10:17 AM EDT
As most of you doubtlessly know, Lee Strobel has a new movie out, "The Case for Christ," which is based on his blockbuster book with the same title. This movie is fabulous.
I began my search for Christ as a believer in God but not necessarily in the God of the Bible. But my friend Lee was even further from God. He was an outright atheist. This movie shows how Lee was on a mission to disprove Christianity's truth claims and bring his recently converted wife to her senses and ended up being slayed by the evidence.
Lee was an awarding-winning legal journalist at the Chicago Tribune and thought Christianity to be a myth, and he thought his wife, Leslie, was cheating on him by chasing after Christ. He was married to her, not some fictional being created by weak, needy people.
Frustrated, Lee shared his problem with certain colleagues and asked for their advice. He was beside himself as his wife sank deeper and deeper into this Christian vortex. His friends told him to be patient — that things would work out.
Lee decided to put his investigative skills to work and began his research, which included interviewing some of the most respected theologians to investigate their claims. But he also researched liberal scholarship and that of atheists and agnostics. He thought he could knock out this little task inside of a weekend but got more than he'd bargained for. He was shocked to discover that the conservative Christian scholars were thoughtful, intelligent people who were well aware of the skeptics' arguments against Christianity. He threw everything at them, challenging them, often provocatively — but respectfully.
Some two years — not two days — later, he found himself losing the battle because he had discovered that it would require more faith to maintain his atheism than to believe that Jesus was the Son of God. He had difficulty conceding defeat, but he finally decided that a good jury must render a verdict, and he surrendered to his intellectual honesty — and then to Jesus Christ.
His research led him to historical evidence and consideration of cosmology, physics, biochemistry, genetics and human consciousness.
What about the New Testament manuscripts? Surely, our existing copies, what few remain, are unreliable. To the contrary, he discovered that the manuscript evidence for Christianity is abundant. There are more copies of the New Testament than any other ancient document, including the classics whose authenticity we don't give a second thought. We have but a handful of copies of most ancient documents, compared with almost 6,000 copies of the New Testament. A notable exception is Homer's "Iliad," but the number of copies pales in comparison with those we possess of the New Testament.
Surely, there was a major time gap between the existing New Testament copies and the original writings. Here again, Lee's hopes were dashed.
What about the New Testament writers? Weren't they just self-serving zealots whose kooky view about Jesus happened to prevail over competing versions of the story? No. What is fiction is this idea that there were seriously competing versions of the story of Jesus during the first century that were vying for prominence. Moreover, the essential propositions of the Gospels were circulating in verbal form just years after Jesus' death. It wasn't until the second century that Gnosticism seriously reared its head, and even when it did, it was no competition for the Gospels.
Try as he might, Lee could not find a chink in Christianity's armor. He was drowning in the sea of evidence but still resisted. He kept hoping that he would achieve some breakthrough and get his beloved wife back. But it was not to happen.
He didn't have an earth-shattering epiphany. Rather, it was the cumulative weight of the evidence that tipped the scales for him. But the linchpin was the Resurrection. This makes sense, because it wasn't until the disciples encountered Jesus in his bodily form after his death that they finally gave their lives to him. At that point, they were transformed from cowardly skeptics to bold advocates for Christ who gave their lives to spread his good news.
It also makes sense because even the Apostle Paul tells us that if the Resurrection didn't occur, then Christians are to be pitied the most among people. They would die in their sins for a falsehood. But then, the Resurrection did occur, and because of it, we, too, can be resurrected to eternal life with Jesus Christ.
Through Lee's agonizing two-year quest, Leslie remained patient, loving and, most of all, busy in prayer, asking that Lee's resistance would give way to his rational faculties and to the Holy Spirit.
The moment he tells his wife is probably the climax of the movie — extremely touching, moving and real. And it was eminently gratifying to watch this on-screen.
I can't say enough good things about this highly realistic movie. It's not corny or preachy as, sadly, some Christian movies are. The actors portraying Lee and Leslie are real and convincing.
I would encourage every one of you — believers and nonbelievers — to go see this movie. You will witness the power of God touching the heart of a genuinely wonderful human being — Lee Strobel, who has since used his gifts to spread the Word like few other people I know. Bless Lee and Leslie Strobel for this tremendous film and for their work to spread the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
God’s Fingerprints are Everywhere
Posted: Apr 25, 2017 12:01 AM
In “A Big Bang in a Little Room,” Zeeya Merali describes the consensus among science’s biggest brains: “The notion that a god made our universe is several rungs on the wackiness ladder above the idea that it was made by aliens.” Nevertheless, Merali describes herself as both a believer in God and the holder of an Ivy League Ph.D. in theoretical physics, so she asks a good question: If God desired to send us a message, how would He do it?
Thirty-two years ago Carl Sagan’s novel “Contact” included speculation about finding a code in the digits of pi, which starts out 3.14159 and keeps going forever -- but no one’s found it. Others said God might encode a message within the human genome -- but that would be useful only for creatures on this planet. Merali suggests a message embedded in background radiation, so any sufficiently advanced creatures anywhere in the universe could perceive it. (Astronomers learn about distant galaxies and galaxy clusters by mapping tiny radiation wrinkles.)
The time to engrave such a message in the sky would be at the moment of creation, Merali writes: “Think of it like drawing a smiley face in marker on a balloon straight out of the package. Blow up the balloon and the picture stretches with the rubber. In the same way, as the cosmos rapidly inflated, its creator’s message would shine out across the whole sky.” She says no one has found such a message thus far, thus disappointing those who believe in God.
No such message? With respect for Merali, who writes charmingly, I think she’s wrong, for three reasons.
First, we live on a Goldilocks “just right” planet within a Goldilocks universe. The “RTB Design Compendium” at reasons.org lists nearly 1,500 features of the universe and Earth that must fall within narrow ranges to allow for the possibility of life, and then advanced life. For example: We need a particular composition of the Earth’s core and atmosphere, a particular Earth axis tilt and rotation speed, particular capillary action and surface tension, and so on.
We exist because of things most of us know nothing about: cosmic ray protons, intergalactic hydrogen gas clouds, molecular hydrogen formed by supernova eruptions, etc. If one loose definition of miracle is “a highly improbable or extraordinary event,” look at the likelihood of simple bacteria being able to survive anywhere in the universe apart from divine action: 1 chance in 10 followed by 556 zeros. What about the likelihood of advanced life? One chance in 10 followed by 1,054 zeros.
In February’s Super Bowl the New England Patriots trailed by 25 points with 17 minutes and 7 seconds left in the game. They managed to tie the game and win it in overtime: Headlines proclaimed “a miracle comeback.” But what if the Patriots had trailed by 8,216 points and needed to score one touchdown (plus two extra points) in every one of those 1,027 seconds left in the game? That gives us a sense of the unlikeliness of our existence purely through material causes -- and we’d have to multiply that physical improbability/impossibility by about a trillion. (That’s why some atheistic scientists grab on to the wacky multiverse theory.)
The second proof of God’s existence: 20th-century theodicy. Decisions by three atheists -- Mao, Stalin, and Hitler -- led to 100 million deaths. Some people say that shows a merciful God does not exist, but we should flip the surmise: Atheism kills, and we’ve seen since the 1930s what happens when we worship human gods. (Yes, some “Christians” have also murdered, in smaller quantities, but they also claimed godlike status.) God warns us throughout the Bible that sin has consequences: Should we consider Him a liar because He tells the truth?
Why don’t we wake up every morning and realize our existence is miraculous? Maybe because so much noise surrounds us. But here’s a third reason to believe in God: I’ve met some men in their 20s whose thinking as teens was so destructive that it looked as if they would soon be dead, imprisoned, or traitorous. I was one of them. But “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end” -- and the Bible tells me so.
God has sent a message, not in background radiation but in our existence, our history, and in what should be our daily reading.
South Africa on its knees: over a million people are descending on Bloemfontein for massive prayer gathering
By Brent Lindeque on April 21, 2017@Brent Lindeque
Over 1.7 million South Africans have started descending on Bloemfontein for the massive prayer gathering taking place this weekend.
In the biggest recorded prayer gathering in Africa, with over 1,7 million tickets given away already, South Africans are taking to their knees this weekend to pray for our country. Apparently the tickets were only to allocate parking, which means that there may very well be over 3 million people attending.
Concerned citizens of all races, colours, cultures and religious denominations have already started descending on the free event near Bloemfontein.
“After 22 April, South Africa will be a changed country,” says Angus Buchan.
He is referring to the “It’s time” gathering that will take place on a farm 4 km outside Bloemfontein and is expected to draw a crowd of over a million South Africans.
All indications are that this will be the largest day of prayer in the history of South Africa.
“The day of prayer is intended for all South Africans of all genders, races and denominations who are concerned about the malice, hatred, violence, murder and corruption in the country,” says Buchan.
He says it is time to stop pointing fingers, disparaging and insulting, and to acknowledge that we are all to blame in some or other way and should embrace one another in Christ.
“It’s time to suit the action to the word. We declare war on the disregard for human life and unkindness. On 22 April, we will be drawing a line in the sand.”
The seed for the gathering was planted when a WhatsApp video did the rounds with a desperate outcry for Buchan or any other spiritual leader in South Africa to intervene and arrange such an event. When Buchan replied by posting a video on social media, he received 1,8 million responses within hours.
Meanwhile, preparations on the farm outside Bloemfontein to accommodate a million people are under way.
It will be a day event from 10:00 to 16:00 on Saturday 22 April. Mr. Buchan is expected to address the gathering from 12:00 onwards. Only toilet facilities will be provided. All those attending must be self-sufficient with their own food and water.
Tent and caravan stands will however be provided on neighbouring farms for people who wish to arrive the previous day. Thousands are expected to be accommodated in the guesthouses and on the guest farms in the Bloemfontein area.
Buchan appeals: “22 April will be a day much talked about by generations to come. Be part of the future and come and join us in prayer.”
The Forgotten American Missionaries of Pyongyang
In the decades before World War II, U.S. Christians created a “Jerusalem of the East.”
BY ROBERT KIM
APRIL 25, 2017
It may be difficult to imagine from the perspective of the 21st century, but the North Korean capital city of Pyongyang once had at its center a community of Americans—Christian missionaries who lived there from 1895 to 1942.
This long-lost mission, almost unknown even to Korea experts on both sides of the Pacific, was part of a pre-Second World War American Christian presence in Korea that achieved its greatest success in Pyongyang. The current capital was then the home of the largest Christian community in Korea and the center of the Presbyterian Church in Asia.
Major cities throughout Korea had Protestant missions from the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches during the first four decades of the 20th Century. Christians received official permission from the king of Korea to spread their religion in 1884, and by the turn of the century, American, Canadian and Australian Presbyterians and American Methodists had opened missions from Pusan in the south to the Yalu River in the north. American Presbyterians opened a mission in Pyongyang (spelled “Pyengyang” in English then) in 1895, which all nationalities and Protestant denominations in Korea joined. Their work made Pyongyang and its surrounding region the most heavily Christian area of Korea, and the city became the hub for Presbyterian mission activity throughout Asia, including in China. The success of Christianity in the city led to it being called the “Jerusalem of the East” in the missionary community.
The Pyongyang mission had an array of religious, educational and medical institutions that served the city and its Christian community. They included Union Christian Hospital, Union Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and Union Christian College, the latter the first four-year college in Korea, founded in 1905.
The American community of Pyongyang numbered over 200 for most of the 1910s through the 1930s. It included clergymen, professors, medical doctors, and instructors and administrators at the seminary, college, and medical school. Women were active in the work of the mission as leaders of educational and job training programs for women and as teachers and administrators in the school for American and other foreign students. Children numbered over 100 for most of this time, including students at the American school sent by American, British, Canadian, Australian, and other foreign families in China and Japan.
American missionaries’ residences on the hill and a church field day on the current site of Kim Il Sung Square, 1921. PRESBYTERIAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY
They lived and worked on the same ground where today the signature landmarks of the North Korean regime stand. The most familiar site in modern Pyongyang, Kim Il Sung Square—known to countless news viewers as the site of North Korean military parades, and to thousands of tourists as a place to take selfies—used to be the site of the residences of American missionaries and of church events.
Ukip candidate standing against Andy Burnham in mayoral election is a bible-burning Orthodox Jewish rabbi
Shneur Odze reacted with fury when he found a religious tract in his synagogue
It purported to be a Jewish bible and was put there during Passover
Mr Odze took the book out into the street and set fire to it
A Ukip spokesman said: ‘While we understand the act, it was ill-advised to put a picture of it on social media’
By Glen Owen Political Correspondent For The Mail On Sunday
PUBLISHED: 02:00, 16 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:13, 16 April 2017
An Orthodox Jewish rabbi who is standing for Ukip in a mayoral election has apologised for burning a ‘bible’ and posting the pictures on social media.
Shneur Odze, who is standing against former Health Secretary Andy Burnham in Manchester, reacted with fury last Sunday when he found a religious tract in his synagogue which purported to be a Jewish bible.
To compound the provocation, it was put there during Passover, the holiest time of the Jewish calendar.
Mr Odze took the book – which he believes was placed there by a proselytising religious sect – out into the street and set fire to it, pictured
Mr Odze took the book – which he believes was placed there by a proselytising religious sect – out into the street and set fire to it.
He then put pictures of the event on Twitter under the comment: ‘Grateful to whoever put a missionary bible amongst our synagogue’s books. Was wondering what I’d burn my Chametz [food forbidden at Passover] with.’
He has since removed the images from Twitter.
Last night Mr Odze explained that his actions were in line with Orthodox tradition because it was a Hebrew new testament purporting to be a Jewish bible, produced by ‘an extreme proselytising Christian sect of former Jews trying to convert practising Jews to a belief in Christ as the prophesied Messiah.’
Jewish teaching forbids one from ‘putting a rock in the path of a blind man’ – or fraudulently passing something off.
But as to give the book away ‘would be to compound the fraud’, and to throw it away would be to ‘disrespect what is still a religious tract’, he said his only option was to burn it.
Mr Odze said: ‘It was no more a bible than a Beano wrapped in the cover of The Mail on Sunday is a newspaper, but I accept that it was unwise to post the pictures.’
A Ukip spokesman said: ‘While we understand the act, it was ill-advised to put a picture of it on social media which was also provocative and likely to be misunderstood.’
Mr Odze, who faces an uphill battle to beat favourite Mr Burnham in the race to become the first Manchester mayor in next month’s election, is a confidant of both former Ukip leader Nigel Farage and his successor Paul Nuttall.
The 33-year-old former Tory councillor admits he was unsure about switching to Ukip, expecting it to be the ‘BNP in blazers’, but now believes it is the only party able to challenge Labour in the North.
A nurse escorted a tired, anxious young man to the bedside of an elderly man. “Your son is here,” she whispered to the patient. She had to repeat the words several times before the patient’s eyes opened. He was heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack and he dimly saw the young man standing outside the oxygen tent.
He reached out his hand and the young man tightly wrapped his fingers around it, squeezing a message of encouragement. The nurse brought a chair next to the bedside. All through the night the young man sat holding the old man’s hand, and offering gentle words of hope. The dying man said nothing as he held tightly to his son.
As dawn approached, the patient died. The young man placed on the bed the lifeless hand he had been holding, and then he went to notify the nurse.
While the nurse did what was necessary, the young man waited. When she had finished her task, the nurse began to say words of sympathy to the young man.
But he interrupted her. “Who was that man?” He asked.
The startled nurse replied, “I thought he was your father.”
“No, he was not my father,” he answered. “I never saw him before in my life.”
“Then why didn’t you say something when I took you to him?” asked the nurse.
He replied, “I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn’t here. When I realized he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, I knew how much he needed me.”
Pope calls European migrant centers ‘concentration camps,’ urges EU to open doors
Published 23, April 2017
Pope Francis has compared conditions in overcrowded facilities, used to house asylum seekers, to those that were in concentration camps of the Nazi German era. He reprimanded Europe for turning back on the plight of migrants by sealing borders with a refugee deal.
The Pope was leading a prayer service for martyrs who fell victim to Nazism, terrorism and totalitarian regimes across the world, when he shared athe story of a Muslim refugee from a Middle Eastern country he met during a visit to a detention camp in Lesbos last year.
The man said his Christian wife suffered for her faith, as the terrorists slit her throat after she refused to throw her crucifix on the floor.
The asylum seeker and his three children were forced to flee the village and eventually made it to the Greek island of Lesbos, where they were resettled to a prison-like detention facility, visited by the Pope.
Calling the slain woman “another crown” among the modern martyrs, Francis used the occasion to decry the squalid conditions in migrant reception centers where people fleeing persecution and war found themselves to be locked and waiting for months while their applications are being processed by overstretched officials.
“I don’t know if he managed to leave that concentration camp, because refugee camps, many of them, are of concentration [type] because of the great number of people left there inside them,” the Pope said, as he was delivering a Liturgy of the World from the Basilica of St. Bartholomew in Rome on Saturday.
The remark has promptly drawn criticism from the American Jewish Committee (ACJ), one of the leading Jewish advocacy organization in the world, with its head, David Harris, urging the Pope to “reconsider” what he described as a “regrettable choice of words.”
While saying that awareness should be raised about the difficulties migrants face in Europe, he argued that likening the shelters they live in to concentration camp is an unwarranted exaggeration.
“The Nazis and their allies erected and used concentration camps for slave labor and the extermination of millions of people during World War II. There is no comparison to the magnitude of that tragedy,” he said, as cited by Reuters.
While the Pope’s comparison of Greek refugee facilities to concentration camps may seem to be a stretch, it is not the first time such allusions have been used. The now-closed Idomeni camp that housed 8,000 people in a Greek village on the northern border with Macedonia, was once labeled a “modern Dachau” by Greek Interior Minister Panagiotis Kouroumplis.
Following his trip to Lesbos in April last year, the Pope took twelve Syrian asylum seekers, including six children, back to Rome. The symbolic gesture, which, he argued, was of a purely humanitarian nature and did not carry any political subtext came just a month after a breakthrough migrant deal was reached between Turkey and the EU.
The deal, which was highly praised at the time, made it far more difficult for Syrian refugees, stuck in migrant camps at Greek detention centers, to cross into mainland Europe, as Turkey pledged to take back all the rejected asylum applicants that came to Greece from Turkey in return for multi-billion aid, visa-free travel for Turkish citizens in the Schengen area and acceleration of Turkey’s EU accession talks.
The Pope also appeared to take aim at the deal, arguing that its implementation has resulted in disregard to humanitarian principles, saying “it seems international agreements are more important than human rights.”
Encouraging Europe and Italy, in particular, to welcome more refugees instead of devising new means of how to obstruct their arrival, the Pope argued that Italy is nearing its demise by rejecting asylum applicants given the country’s low birth rate.
“We live in a civilization that is not having children, but also closes its door to migrants: this is called suicide,” he said.
Pope Francis, who is known as an outspoken advocate for refugee rights, has on numerous occasions spoken about the duty of the European nations to provide “a responsible and dignified welcome” to those escaping hardships of war and persecution, while berating the populist anti-refugee rhetoric that is gaining foothold in Europe.
“Europe finds new hope when she refuses to yield to fear or close herself off in false forms of security. Quite the contrary, her history has been greatly determined by encounters with other peoples and cultures; hers is, and always has been, a dynamic and multicultural identity,” the pontiff said in March, addressing the heads of 27 EU member states as they were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1957 Treaty of Rome.
A biotech company has been given permission to try to resurrect the clinically dead
By: Greg White
Date: May 10, 2016
An unprecedented trial conducted by a U.S. biotechnology company is attempting to resurrect the clinically dead.
Bioquark Inc. has been granted permission to recruit 20 patients who have been declared clinically dead due to traumatic brain injury. The researchers will try to bring certain parts of the central nervous system back to life through a combination of innovative therapies, including injecting peptides into the spinal cord daily, injecting stem cells into the brain twice a week, transcranial laser therapy and nerve stimulation techniques.
Participants in the trial will be certified dead and kept “alive” with life support. Brain death is defined as the complete and irreversible loss of brain function. Brain dead patients are unable to breathe because their brain stem is nonfunctional, which is responsible for the rhythms of life like heartbeat and respiration.
Breathing new life into dead cells
A brain dead patient may be hooked up to a ventilator. The loss of brain stem function is regarded as permanent. However, recent studies have suggested some electrical activity and blood flow persists even after brain cell death, but not long enough to allow the entire body to function. By deploying these techniques and methods, the researchers hope to improve the patients’ pulse, blood oxygen saturation, blood pressure and respiration.
Over the course of several months, participants in the study will be monitored using brain imaging equipment to detect signs of regeneration, especially in the upper spinal cord. The researchers hypothesize brain stem cells may be able to transform from a mature state to an immature state.
Although breathing new life into dead cells may sound like science fiction, it is a process that can be found in nature. Salamanders, for instance, are able to regrow entire limbs, and the infamous immortal jelly fish is the only species in the world that can actually age backwards.
According to Dr. Ira Pastor, the CEO of Bioquark Inc., “This represents the first trial of its kind and another step towards the eventual reversal of death in our lifetime.
“We just received approval for our first 20 subjects and we hope to start recruiting patients immediately [in] from this first site – we are working with the hospital now to identify families where there may be a religious or medical barrier to organ donation.
“To undertake such a complex initiative, we are combining biologic regenerative medicine tools with other existing medical devices typically used for stimulation of the central nervous system, in patients with other severe disorders of consciousness.
“We hope to see results within the first two to three months.”
The quest for immortality
It’s much too early to declare whether resurrecting the dead is clinically possible. If the researchers are able to get the participants’ brain’ functioning again, however, it will be a major stepping stone in the quest for immortality.
“It is a long-term vision of ours that a full recovery in such patients is a possibility, although that is not the focus of this first study – but it is a bridge to that eventuality,” Pastor told the Telegraph.
Adding to these remarks, Sergei Paylian, founder and president of Bioquark Inc., noted:
“Through our study, we will gain unique insights into the state of human brain death, which will have important connections to future therapeutic development for other severe disorders of consciousness, such as coma, and the vegetative and minimally conscious states, as well as a range of degenerative CNS conditions, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.”
Palestinians Fume After UK Gov’t Rules Out Apology For Jewish Homeland Declaration
By Patrick Goodenough | April 26, 2017 | 4:44 AM EDT
(CNSNews.com) – A Palestinian campaign to secure an official British apology for the 100-year-old Balfour Declaration has hit a wall, with Prime Minister Theresa May’s government saying it has no intention to do so.
“We are proud of our role in creating the State of Israel,” the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a written response to a petition calling on the government “to openly apologize to the Palestinian people for issuing the Balfour Declaration.”
In the context of the time, the FCO said, “establishing a homeland for the Jewish people in the land to which they had such strong historical and religious ties was the right and moral thing to do, particularly against the background of centuries of persecution.”
In response, Palestinian envoy in London Manuel Hassassian reaffirmed plans by Palestinian Authority (P.A.) chairman Mahmoud Abbas to sue Britain in an international court, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported Tuesday.
Hassassian said the legal action would only not go ahead if Britain backs down, apologizes to Palestinians for the 1917 declaration and recognizes the “state of Palestine.”
The lawsuit plan was first raised by P.A. delegates at an Arab League meeting in Mauritania last July. At a Palestinian solidarity event at the U.N. four months later, Abbas letter by Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour voiced government support for the creation of a Jewish homeland in the area known as Palestine – then a part of the disintegrating Ottoman Empire, but soon to be entrusted as a mandate to Britain by the League of Nations.
In 1948, the State of Israel was declared in the area in line with a U.N. General Assembly resolution, and the British mandate ended. Palestinian Arab leaders rejected the U.N. “partition plan” and, rather than establish an Arab state alongside Israel, joined five Arab armies in what the head of the Arab League described as “a war of annihilation” against the Jewish state.
The British government has invited Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to attend events commemorating the Balfour Declaration centenary in November this year.
The “Balfour apology campaign” was spearheaded in Britain by the Palestinian Return Center (PRC), a U.N.-recognized non-governmental organization which denies Israeli accusations of having ties to the terrorist group Hamas.
As of Wednesday, its petition on a U.K. government website had obtained a little more than 13,500 signatures – far below the 100,000 required by a May 3 deadline for the House of Commons to debate the issue.
The PRC-led campaign reacted sharply to the government’s response to its petition, calling it “humiliating, arrogant and emphasizing the British government unconditional endorsement to the brutality of the Israeli governments against the Palestinian people.”
The campaign described as “alarming” the reference in the government statement to the Jews’ “strong historical and religious ties” to the land in question, saying that would “only fuel the conflict as it gives religious motivation for the creation of Israel.”
After the P.A. raised the Balfour issue at the Arab League meeting in Mauritania, then-Israeli foreign ministry director-general Dore Gold said the initiative “demonstrates yet again the continuing refusal of the Palestinian side to recognize the legitimate and indigenous connection of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland.”
Gold argued that the Balfour Declaration had not created the historical rights of the Jews to their homeland, but rather “recognized pre-existing rights that the Jewish people never conceded.”
Many Jews argue those rights go back thousands of years, pointing to profuse historical and archeological evidence – and to the Jewish and Christian scriptures.
Addressing the U.N. General Assembly last September, Netanyahu suggested that if the Palestinians plan to sue Britain over the Balfour Declaration they could go back even further in history.
“The Palestinians may just as well sue Iran for the Cyrus Declaration, which enabled the Jews to rebuild our Temple in Jerusalem 2,500 years ago,” he said. “Come to think of it, why not a Palestinian class action suit against Abraham for buying that plot of land in Hebron where the fathers and mothers of the Jewish people were buried 4,000 years ago?”
In similar vein, Jonathan Feldstein, an Israeli non-profit professional living in Efrat, south of Jerusalem, offered another proposal in response to Abbas’ initiative launch.
“If the Palestinians are preparing to sue the U.K.,” he commented in a Facebook post, “they may as well sue God, because it’s not the U.K. that gave us the Land.”
next week...keep on believing.
art wonderful in righteousness. Hearken to us, O God our Saviour; the
hope of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are on the sea