Bill Gates & Warren Buffet & Israel

Wow! =================================================

Sunday, April 17, 2011




Since writing "How can you defend Israel?
" last month, I've been deluged by comments.
Some have been supportive, others harshly critical. The latter warrant closer examination.

The harsh criticism falls into two basic categories.

One is over the top.

It ranges from denying Israel's very right to nationhood, to ascribing to Israel responsibility for every global malady, to peddling vague, or not so vague, anti-Semitic tropes. There's no point in dwelling at length on card-carrying members of these schools of thought. They're living on another planet.

  • Israel is a fact. That fact has been confirmed by the UN, which, in 1947, recommended the creation of a Jewish state. The UN admitted Israel to membership in 1949.
  •  The combination of ancient and modern links between Israel and the Jewish people is almost unprecedented in history. And Israel has contributed its share, and then some, to advancing humankind.

If there are those on a legitimacy kick, let them examine the credentials of some others in the region, created by Western mapmakers eager to protect their own interests and ensure friendly leaders in power.

Or let them consider the basis for legitimacy of many countries worldwide created by invasion, occupation, and conquest. Israel's case beats them by a mile.

And if there are people out there who don't like all Jews, frankly, it's their problem, not mine. Are there Jewish scoundrels? You bet. Are there Christian, Muslim, atheist, and agnostic scoundrels? No shortage. But are all members of any such community by definition scoundrels? Only if you're an out-and-out bigot.

The other group of harsh critics assails Israeli policies, but generally tries to stop short of overt anti-Zionism or anti-Semitism. But many of these relentless critics, at the slightest opportunity, robotically repeat claims about Israel that are not factually correct.

There are a couple of methodological threads that run through their analysis.
Related Article: Israel Calls

Confirmation Bias
The first is called confirmation bias. This is the habit of favoring information that confirms what you believe, whether it's true or not, and ignoring the rest.

While Israel engages in a full-throttled debate on policies and strategies, rights and wrongs, do Israel's fiercest critics do the same? Hardly.

Can the chorus of critics admit, for example, that the UN recommended the creation of two states - one Jewish, the other Arab - and that the Jews accepted the proposal, while the Arabs did not and launched a war?

Can they acknowledge that wars inevitably create refugee populations and lead to border adjustments in favor of the (attacked) victors?

Can they recognize that, when the West Bank and Gaza were in Arab hands until 1967, there was no move whatsoever toward Palestinian statehood?

Can they explain why Arafat launched a "second intifada" just as Israel and the U.S. were proposing a path-breaking two-state solution?

Or what the Hamas Charter says about the group's goals?

Or what armed-to-the-teeth Hezbollah thinks of Israel's right to exist?

Or how nuclear-weapons-aspiring Iran views Israel's future?

Or why President Abbas rejected Prime Minister Olmert's two-state plan, when the Palestinian chief negotiator himself admitted it would have given his side the equivalent of 100 percent of the West Bank?

Or why Palestinian leaders refuse to recognize the Western Wall or Rachel's Tomb as Jewish sites, while demanding recognition of Muslim holy sites?

Or why Israel is expected to have an Arab minority, but a state of Palestine is not expected to have any Jewish minority?

Can they admit that, when Arab leaders are prepared to pursue peace with Israel rather than wage war, the results have been treaties, as the experiences of Egypt and Jordan show?

And can they own up to the fact that when it comes to liberal and democratic values in the region, no country comes remotely close to Israel, whatever its flaws, in protecting these rights?

Apropos, how many other countries in the Middle East - or beyond - would have tried and convicted an ex-president? This was the case, just last week, with Moshe Katsav, sending the message that no one is above the law - in a process, it should be noted, presided over by an Israeli Arab justice.

And if the harsh critics can't acknowledge any of these points, what's the explanation? Does their antipathy for Israel - and resultant confirmation bias - blind them to anything that might puncture their airtight thinking?

Reverse Causality
Then there is the other malady. It's called reverse causality, or switching cause and effect.

Take the case of Gaza.

These critics focus only on Israel's alleged actions against Gaza, as if they were the cause of the problem. In reality, they are the opposite - the effect.

When Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, it gave local residents their first chance in history - I repeat, in history - to govern themselves.

Neighboring Israel had only one concern - security. It wanted to ensure that whatever emerged in Gaza would not endanger Israelis. In fact, the more prosperous, stable, and peaceful Gaza became, the better for everyone.

Tragically, Israel's worst fears were realized. Rather than focus on Gaza's construction, its leaders - Hamas since 2007 - preferred to contemplate Israel's destruction. Missiles and mortars came raining down on southern Israel. Israel's critics, though, were silent. Only when Israel could no longer tolerate the terror did the critics awaken - to focus on Israel's reaction, not Gaza's provocative action.

Yet, what would any other nation have done in Israel's position?
Just imagine terrorists in power in British Columbia - and Washington State's cities and towns being the regular targets of deadly projectiles. How long would it take for the U.S. to go in and try to put a stop to the terror attacks, and what kind of force would be used?

Or consider the security barrier.
It didn't exist for nearly 40 years. Then it was built by Israel in response to a wave of deadly attacks originating in the West Bank, with well over 1000 Israeli fatalities (more than 40,000 Americans in proportional terms). Even so, Israel made clear that such barriers cannot only be erected, but also moved and ultimately dismantled.

Yet the outcry of Israel's critics began not when Israelis were being killed in pizzerias, at Passover Seders, and on buses, but only when the barrier went up.
Another case of reverse causality - ignoring the cause entirely and focusing only on the effect, as if it were a stand-alone issue disconnected from anything else.
So, again, in answer to the question of my erstwhile British colleague, "How can you defend Israel?" I respond: Proudly.

In doing so, I am defending a liberal, democratic, and peace-seeking nation in a rough-and-tumble neighborhood, where liberalism, democracy, and peace are in woefully short supply.
-Contributed by AGB

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What Would HARRY DO? [Truman that is.]

April 02, 2010

Making Sense of Israel

As a downloadable pdf file W/pictures 

Welcome to the Policy Think Site:    
As Posted On The Out-Lawyer’s Blog:   The Human Conspiracy Blog:  All contents, unless otherwise indicated are --Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Jay B. GaskillPermission to publish, distribute or print all or part of this article - except for personal use - is needed.
Forwarded links are welcomed.Contact Jay B. Gaskill, attorney at law, via e mail 

Modern Israel was born in a new social compact formed between and among the WWII victors, with the strong support of President Harry Truman, using the United Nations as the anointing agency[1].  The driving forces were the lessons of the Holocaust and the forfeiture of moral standing by continental Europe and the Nazi-allied Islamists of the Middle East[2] who were complicit in mass murder. 

Because millions of Jews had no safe haven from Hitler during that grim human harvest, a new refuge state was created on a reduced portion of the lands that formerly constituted ancient Israel[3] and/or Judea[4].  There, it was contemplated, all Jews from anywhere in the world would always have a home.


Condemnation of the self defense actions of the Jewish state is all too often put in terms of international law.  But the arena of international relations remains a Darwinian venue where nation states vie for dominance by competing – and sometimes cooperating. All nations worthy of the name are sovereigns, the self-serving actions of which tend to be cloaked in a thin veneer of civilized norms. 

The notion of sovereignty necessarily includes the right to corporate self defense by the sovereign nation and, when the threat is real, all the pretensions of international law ring hollow.[5]  Even conquest has legal standing.[6]

When used polemically, the term “international law” often invokes a ghost regime, hovering between high expectations and a lesser reality, a set of norms asserted as “law” but honored more in the breach (usually dressed up as a legal exception).  At present there is no major nation state wherein purely international norms have the compulsion of ordinary, domestic law as we normally think of that term.  Imagine a neighborhood without police in which competing families, each with private security forces, occasionally, but not consistently, gang up to bring an errant family into line.

The force of international law at its best can be described as sets of overlapping networks of treaty agreements, protocols and arrangements, qualified by occasional instances of sovereign breakout.   Such breakouts, major and minor, are driven by the same kind of cost-benefit analysis that brought the breakout nation into a particular treaty arrangement in the first place.  Treaty breakouts by sovereign nations are normally handled with delicacy because when you call 911, no one comes.  So, when a treaty abrogation or breakout is not coupled with aggressive military force by the treaty-abrogating nation, the event rarely earns a military response.

International law is at its most robust in matters of internationalcommerce because the realities of global economics demand transactional predictability and regularity.  International commercial membership regimes tend to be stable because the benefits of inclusion and costs of exclusion tend to trump short term advantages attempted outside those norms. 


No sovereign state in the world came into being without its “displacement issues”.  Conquest, in one form or another, lies at the origin of every major nation state in the world.  This includes China, whose cultural uniformity and homogeneity hides a vast displacement and extermination of earlier peoples.  The great Polynesian ex-migration began when the peoples who now populate the Pacific Islands from Hawaii to New Zealand were driven out of mainland China to the island of Taiwan, then via canoe into the ocean[7].  Hardly a trace of their earlier culture remains on mainland China. 

No so for the Jews, who have a rich, well documented history to contend with.  The book is open:  Read the biblical accounts of their original settlements following the Egyptian captivity, rife as they were with ancient wars and struggles, then track their arrival in their true home in holy Jerusalem, their forcible repatriation in the Babylonian Captivity, their return to the home territory, their repression under the Roman dominion, followed by the Jewish Rebellion (the Jewish Wars of 64-66) leading to the first holocaust as documented by the Roman Jewish historian, Josephus[8].  Diaspora followed.  Finally, in modern history, Jews won their UN Sanctioned return following the second holocaust.  

If international politics seems sometimes to be a game of musical chairs, surely for the Jewish people of Israel, the music (having become a lament) must now stop.


The nation states and non-state actors (AKA, terrorists) who are arrayed against Israel as regional enemies are followers of a single religious ideology – militant Islam.  The specifically territorial arguments and claims of militant Islam are all colored by the fact that their territorial claims, too, rest on antecedent conquests. 

The “we own the land” territorial arguments ring a bit false.  There is as yet, and never has been, an actual nation of Palestine[9]. Neighboring Jordan is not one of Israel’s blood enemies.  The historical territorial arguments made by Israel’s regional enemies are arguments of convenience designed to mask the real difficulty:  As a Jewish state embedded in the heart of a cohort of failing, oil-supported Muslim states, Israel is an affront on a much more fundamental, religious and cultural level. 

I can well imagine that, had the Jews chosen to settle in Antarctica, its enemies would be talking about Penguin exploitation and oppression.  

It is impossible to make sense of Israel and its plight without takingreligion into account – which exposes a deep irony when you notice that many of the original Zionist leaders were secular socialists. 

I tend to look at religious issues through a universal lens.  My own scholarship has persuaded me that Judaism and Christianity are essentially two versions of the same Torah-based religion.  My theological reflections and scholarship have persuaded me that there is no exclusive path to grace or salvation or communion with the eternal Being (or “Beingness” as my Buddhist friends might say).  All religious modalities and perspectives that share life affirmation and a deep respect for reason and intelligence operate as numinous windows, if you will, into the divine conscience.  The test, if there is a test, is in the actual individual behaviors of the believer.  As that famous first century rabbuni[10] said, “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they?” Matthew 7:16. There is more to say, naturally, but a metaphysical exercise is outside the scope of this piece. 

With that qualification, I find the following points relevant to the “Israeli question” and collectively, I find them compelling.

  • The Torah is special.  It emerged as a revelation to the Jewish patriarch, Moses, roughly thirty five hundred years ago.  Among its most universally accessible components are the “prime directives” of the divine moral law, the commandments that we Christians sometimes call the Decalogue.  Though their enumeration varies[11], few civilized communities can quarrel with their injunctions against murder, theft, adultery, oath-breaking, false witness, and coveting that which is not yours, and affirmatively honoring one’s parents and the divine source of the moral law.  The idea of a transcendent origin for this particular set of core moral injunctions, their durability, utility and force is one of those universal gifts on which fruitful civilized human life has been founded.  This is true whether or not the divine source is acknowledged or ignored.
  • The brute fact of social existence is that moral rules are essential for human survival and that to anchor them solely in “custom” is woefully insufficient, as the moral disintegration in pre-Nazi Germany so graphically demonstrated.  The Torah in some form is essential to human civilization.

  • The Jewish understanding of being a “chosen” people has been a burden and a paradox, poorly understood at best.  I choose the simplest and most direct understanding.  The Jewish people were handed a profound moral technology of divine origin in the midst of a rampantly pagan, hostile, amoral milieu, and they were charged as a people with the solemn obligation to faithfully keep this knowledge intact for the benefit of all humanity.  They held the Torah for the rest of us.  The resulting “clannishness”, misunderstood outside and within, has been a social irritant long endured.
·        The Christian notion of “fulfilling” the Torah has been even more poorly understood and misapplied.[12]  But Modern Judaism and Christianity have converged in a tolerant religious humanism, the roots of which trace back to both Hillel the Elder and to Jesus. More in my long footnote.[13] 
·        My point in the footnote analysis is that modern Christian and Jewish religious forms of worship and doctrine now tend towards humanistic tolerance in the larger context of core moral principles and civil order, particularly when compared with, say, the Saudi Arabian iteration of Islam.  This has become a grave threat as seen through the lens of Islamist fundamentalism.·        I must note with admiration that our friends, the Buddhists, do not engage in religiously motivated wars. ·         To state the obvious: Jews do not, in contrast with Christians, rely much on conversion, and do not typically engage inproselytization.  Religious freedom is intact inside Israel.  That admirable condition does not hold within the Islamist realm. You can be sure that Israel’s territorial issues are a matter of raw survival.
·        Islam, in it present dominant form, is a throwback to the practice of forcible conversion, a medieval practice that modern Christians have thankfully rejected.
And this, sadly, is the heart of the religious animus against Israel. The Jewish refuge nation is the humanist West sited close at hand and irritatingly successful, a state inserted in the midst of Islam, organized around the “people of the book” who have not accepted Mohammed, and worse, the “chosen” people who seem to be thriving in spite of their apostasy.  

Israel is hated within radical Islam because of its modernity and because Israel’s material and cultural progress are perceived as cultural and religious threats to Islamic stability.  

If we were to somehow situate a representative chunk of urban southern California on some empty desert in the Middle East (incorporated, say, as the Republic of Gomorrah), the hatred and envy of Islamists would be even more intense.

I have tried in this essay to avoid entering the thicket of Israel-related policy issues.  But all Americans have inherited a special national perspective about Israel’s security issues.  Israel’s birth in 1948 took place with our blessing after we shed blood to end the Nazi horrors, the craven French collaboration and, in the bargain, uncovered the horrors of the Nazi death camps.  We cannot reasonably expect the sovereign Jewish refuge nation now to commit suicide, whether in tiny increments or all at once, just because its enemies won’t leave it alone.  We cannot expect Israel to passively endure bombs and missiles exploding on Israeli soil, killing their children, when we in their place would never, never do so. 

We cannot turn our backs if Israel needs our help to avoid a nuclear holocaust.  We did not fight and win WW II with a measured and proportionate military response and by betraying our allies.  Should we stand by idly while Israel’s enemies push her into the sea or acquire the terrible power to blast her and the Jewish people into fused ash? 

I am a long time fan of the redoubtable Harry Truman, a man with more integrity and courage in his left arm than the entire cohort of leftists who have temporarily debased the Democratic Party.  As our president demonizes Israel and distances the USA from her; as his administration seems to temporize while Iran runs its own Manhattan Project, I have a single question for the left:  

What would Harry do?  

Jay B Gaskill
Attorney at Law

[3]               Note how modern Israel has shrunk:
[4]               Comparing ancient Judea:
[5]               As a political science student, I was and remain strongly influenced by the realist school best expressed by Hans Morgenthau in his classic text, Politics Among the Nations – still in print, though posthumously, see -- -
[6]               Conquest ripens into sovereignty, but is limited - in principle, if not fact by the modern rejection of wars of aggression - .
[7]               A point clearly made in Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond.  See -,_Germs,_and_Steel.
[8]               Josephus’ History is a monumental read.  A quick overview:
[9]               An informative and accurate Wiki  discussion:
[10]             See Jesus the Jew and other books on the same theme by the Oxford Jewish scholar, Geza Vermes -├ęza_Vermes .
[12]               A better view: Jesus was “chosen” as the divine vehicle to bring Torah to the gentiles.
[13]          Hillel the Elder (110 BCE to 10 CE) the revered Jewish sage who lived in Jerusalem under King Herod, is quoted in the Babylonian Talmud:  Hillel was approached by a man who offered to convert to Judaism if Hillel could recite the entire Torah, standing on one foot.  (as if asking for the Cliff Notes version of the Pentateuch).  Standing on one foot, Hillel said this: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary. Go now and study it.  Roughly twenty years later Jesus of Nazareth was challenged to identify the “greatest commandment in the law”. Jesus replied – “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’” (stating the Shema).  “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (citing Leviticus).  “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Hillel and Jesus represent the same trend, capturing the essence of the Torah by identifying its core moral principles.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Judaism & Christianity; Two Peas, Different Pods

[There are Jews who are worried about Messianic Jews, Messianiacs of one description or another. This was written to them.]
There are two kinds of Jewish..
  1. Ethnic Jews
  2. Religiously Jewish
Jews and Christians came from the same root. We worship the same God; Muslims do not. Allah was a moon god, chosen by Mohammed from among over 3oo Arabian gods.

The main difference between Christians and Jews is that you believe the Messiah has yet to come and we believe he has come and will come again.

The principles of Judaism are the basic principles of Christianity. Some of you - religious Jews observe the Torah; Christians observe the main Principles of the Torah whether so-called Messianic or not.

"Matthew 22:35-40 (NIV) 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Do you believe Jeremiah 31?
Within it are these verses 31 "The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, " declares the LORD. 33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Question: What IS the NEW covenant?

Do you agree with all sects of Judaism? If you do not, then could you not say equally that the things you DISAGREE WITH are 'lies'?

Would you say that this is a good description of the MAIN sects of Judaism? Main Sects of Judaism

Is this a fairly accurate portrayal of Judaic sects? Judaic Sects

Were not the Zealots and Sicarii sects of Jewish believers? How about the Isunians, Karaites, Ananites, or the Malikites; and the Mishawites, Pharisees, Sadducees or Essenes, or Sabbatians, Beta Israelites or Kaballists? We will say nothing of Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and Humanistic.

In fact Christianity was considered to be a sect of Judaism until about the 4th century 300 something. I do not think Christians should go backward and become partly Jewish, but are not some of the sects of Judaism "partly" Jewish in their beliefs? The principles of Christianity are the same as the principles of Judaism. The rituals are different. One cannot say that of Islam for those who used that misguided comparison. We don't worship a different God, we just think the Messiah has come.

If you think about and study the various sects of Judaism, you may find that there is AS MUCH difference between Jews as between Jews and Christians. We who call ourselves true evangelical Christians love our Jewish heritage, we give credit to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for preserving the principles of God given to Abraham. We also love Jewish people and respect their race as the people from where our faith came. We just listen to the teachings of a Rabbi different than yours, but who is to say that all of the Jews reading this are of the same Rabbinical belief?

Do YOU have differences? WE need to work together to spread the truth of God. WE need to make others aware of the false ideas that Islamists feed to their subjugated people, the Muslims, and give to the world. THEY are the danger! I wouldn't worry about what you call "lies", I would probably call it "differences". Does everyone have to agree in all the little rituals, beliefs, rabbinical teachings to be Jewish?

Do you have to have a Jewish mother and a Jewish father, 100% Jewish to be considered Jewish? Jews were chosen by God. True Christians recognize that and are the best friends of the state of Israel. We SHOULD NOT be fighting among ourselves. There is a whole pile of "crap" lies out there much more serious than the Messianic one you are worried about. In fact I dare say that there are some of you, who have Jewish blood running in their veins that are much less "Jewish" than others? Perhaps even than me that has none.

Who said, put 2 Jews in a room and you have 3 opinions? I am sure it was a Jewish person. I don't mean this as disrespectful, but put a Christian in that room and you may end up with 5 opinions! (:-)

However true Christians MUST recognize as I do that our "rabbi" who we believe was the promised Messiah was Jewish. I often say that I work for a Jewish carpenter. We also love the fact that we can trace our principles back to Abraham and even to Adam and Eve. We are different in rituals and some beliefs, but the bedrock is the same.

[I am not a Messianic Jew nor a Messianic Christian or a Judaic Messianic or a Judaic Christian, but I must recognize and give credit to my roots and the principles passed on through the courageous man Abraham who had NO book, no rituals to go by but just believed that God was talking to him. My question. Do you believe God is talking to you? I know he talks to me. ]
Your friend and a friend of Israel forever, Charles

PostScript: Pray for Muslims who are deliberately deceived by their leaders into believing lies. THEY are "occupied" by the beliefs that they have been taught from a child.
See Questions for Islam


My comments to Anders Branderud who seems to believe he has a "new revelation". It would not be helpful to publish his comment so I just took the parts that needed discussion.

Written to Anders Branderud his complete comments are not included since they do not add anything to the discussion below.]

Perhaps we misunderstand each other. However there are a few points which are somewhat confusing. By the book of Moses, are you referring to the Torah? And of course the Messiah followed the Book of Moses or the Torah as he WAS Jewish. I believe it was predicted that he would fulfill many prophecies. He could not do that if he wasn't fully Jewish.  

I being gentile am not required to follow it although many of the principles are the same, the details are not.  

Anders: "in order to follow the Messiah today one is required to do ones utmost to practise the directives of the “books of Moses” [note 2]."  

It is your right to disagree with Paul or any part of the Bible. However in so doing, you depart from the teachings of the original apostles and in fact Yeshua himself.  

Paul says in 1 Timothy when warning Against False Teachers of the Law

3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work—which is by faith. 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm. 8We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.  

As Paul says eloquently "the law is NOT made for the righteous" Anyone can dispute the Bible but if they do they dispute what was agreed upon by the followers of Yeshua from the earliest times.  

Anders: "Neither Ribi Yehoshua nor his followers started Christianity. They didn’t teach the “gospel”. They didn’t follow the ”NT”. [note 2] His followers never claimed that he was an “incarnated man-g*d” and they prayed only to the Creator."  

I must ask Anders, were you there?

Then obviously you disagree with the New Testament. And that is okay if you are Jewish or want to go back to the Jewish beliefs. You make definitive statements which disagree with the teachings of Christianity from the earliest times and from the teachings of over 500, 000, 000 Christians today.  

Doesn't it seem rather arrogant to claim contrary knowledge to what was written by the disciples, the earliest Christians, and all those millions today as well as all the millions from the past? 

The most intelligent and spiritual minds of the ages did not receive this further revelation. 

Why do you think you are so special that God would give it to you? Why do you think that you have a revelation which is contrary to all of orthodox Christianity? 

"Jesus" was thought to be arrogant when he espoused a new way but then again He WAS the son of God. I am sure you do not claim to be that do you?  

Of course they did not follow the NT because THEY WERE the NT.

The practices they developed came because many gentiles were becoming followers of Yeshua and they decided it was not right that they should have to practise Jewish rites since they were not Jewish.  

Jesus himself indicated many times when talking to the pharisees that something new was occurring because the old way as perceived by the religious in his day were misunderstanding what God wanted.  

Perhaps you might check in regards to The World of the Torah and other appropriate articles on John's site.  

Yeshua said these kinds of things which have always indicated to Christians that he was starting something NEW. 

Oh yes the intent of the old law is there but NOT the trappings which is where the Jews of the day were confused. Paul continued his teaching with further explanations.  

There are some brief passages to show you what I mean.  

A New Thing 
-you can't put new wine into old wineskins -Heb. 8:6
- new and better covenant 
-Rom 7:12 - ... its perfection was powerless to help the sinner and bring him to her to righteousness  
-Mathew 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20, 1Cor 11:25, Heb. 9:15 go on to explain the New Covenant.  

The New Covenant is placed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit as indicated in Jer. 31:33, 2Cor. 3:17 and 3:18. A more thorough discussion of this is found at Compare the Covenants  

I do not expect this to convert you but if you believe in honestly evaluating those who disagree with you, then some good may arise.  

May God endue you with HIS knowledge and end your confusion.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Out of Hamas

Israel at 60

5/7/2008 12:00:00 AM

Jerusalem, ho!

John Ough, National Post

Published: 5/7/2008 12:00:00 AM

When Israel was born in 1948, the government of Iraq decided things looked safe enough to go to war. A small war. And I was there to watch it happen. Protected from the newborn Zionist enemy to the west by an expanse of wild, roadless desert, the Iraqis looked around for closer, more convenient, foes to fight. They found them behind the commercial counters of Iraq's financial institutions, administration offices and other places of business -- the harmless, peaceful, Jewish business clerks who kept the wheels of Iraq's national commerce turning in efficient fashion.

read more

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

From LSD to Ph.D. - The Michael L. Brown story

I was reading some articles by Michael L. Brown and found them very fascinating. This book "Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus", is a book I am putting on my list of the next to purchase.

Check out this link.

From LSD to Ph.D.
My personal testimony

“I’m, burning in hell! I’m, burning in hell!”

It was 1:30 in the morning, the first week of September, 1971. I was only sixteen years old, but already I had earned the nicknames “Drug Bear” and “Iron Man.” I could do greater quantities of drugs than any of my friends -- and live to brag about it! Whether I was shooting heroin or using hallucenogenics like LSD and mescaline, taking megadoses of drugs had become my lifestyle. But this time I went too far. I took enough mescaline for thirty people, and my friends put me on a bus alone, sending me home to fend for myself. They thought it was a big joke! Actually it was a matter of life and death.

I became delirious on the bus and got off too soon, more than a mile from my family’s home on Long Island, New York. As I walked slowly towards the house, I thought the journey would never end. I became disoriented and got lost just two blocks from home. I sat down on the ground in mental torment, feeling like I had entered a maze from which I could never get out. I thought I had died and gone to hell.

Then, at that late hour of the night, a friend of my parents came by, walking his dog. He looked at me with shock as I screamed, “I’m burning in hell!” I was shocked too. “Why is he walking his dog in hell?” I wondered.

As soon as he walked away, I made a decision: “I’m going to jump in front of the next car that comes by. I can’t take it any longer.” I was losing my mind.

Within minutes, a car came racing around the corner. I jumped into the road directly in front of the car and threw my hands in the air. The car came to a screeching halt just inches from my body. It was my parents! The man with the dog had gone to my house and, deeply shaken, told them what he had seen. They came looking for me. They were ready to stop at that very corner. If it had been any other car I would have been killed.

But what was I doing there anyway, stoned out of my head? How did a nice Jewish boy like me get so messed up? And why was I thinking about hell? Let me tell you the story. I think you’ll be interested to hear what happened!

I was born in New York City in 1955. My father was the senior lawyer in the New York Supreme Court, and he and my mother were as happily married as any couple that I have ever known. My upbringing was typical of many New York, Conservative Jewish children. We moved to Long Island, I did well in school, I played lots of sports, and, like all my friends, I basically stayed out of trouble. But something changed. It all began innocently enough . . .

When I was eight years old I started to play drums. There was no question that I had ability. In fact by the time I was fifteen I had played on a studio album. But my favorite music was rock, and after my Bar Mitzvah in 1968, I got interested in playing in a band. I wanted to be a rock drummer, and all my role models were known for their heavy drug use, rebellion, and flagrant immorality. I wanted to be like them!

In 1969, at the age of fourteen, when I was asked if I wanted to try smoking pot, I was only too happy to oblige. Soon I tried smoking hash too. But neither one had any effect on me. So I tried harder drugs until I started using ups, downs, and LSD. “But I’ll never do anything worse than that,” I thought. Yet I was deceived. Soon I starting using speed, then I started shooting speed. (Of course, I had been sure I would never put a needle in my arm!). Then, I got the opportunity to try heroin. I loved it! I was fifteen years old.

By the time I was sixteen, my grades began to go down in school, and drugs, rock music, and filthy living were my daily portion. For fun, my friends and I even broke into some homes and a doctor’s office. We experimented with the drugs we found and almost killed ourselves. But after all, we were cool! We were doing “our thing.” And one day we would be famous rock stars!

Less than one year later, I was living for God and telling people about Jesus, the Messiah and Lord of both Gentile and Jew. Today, I have traveled around the world preaching and teaching. I have had the privilege of speaking on university campuses (including Harvard and Yale), written books and articles that have been translated into more than a dozen languages, debated and dialogued with rabbis on radio and TV, and earned a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University, lectured as a visiting professor at leading theological institutes, and served as president of two Bible colleges. The Creator of the universe is now my Father, Jesus the Messiah is my best and closest Friend, I live my life free of anxiety and fear, and the peace and joy of God renew me every day.

“Well,” you might say, “you were just messed up. You were looking for something. You needed to change.”

To be perfectly truthful, I was messed up, and I was looking for something -- but it was not God! And I absolutely did not want to change. I had found my lifestyle, and I loved it! I enjoyed using drugs. I enjoyed my music. I enjoyed fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. What I was looking for was more sinful pleasure and more musical excellence, leading to more recognition as a rock drummer.

As for Jesus, he was no more important to me than Muhammad or any other foreign religious figure. After all, I was Jewish! And, I thought, if there really is a God, He knows that, deep down, I have a good heart. If there is a heaven, He’ll surely accept me. In spite of my lying, my drugs, my drinking, my pride, my rebellion, my stealing, my immorality, my filthy mouth and mind, I thought that I really was a pretty good person. Little did I know then that the Bible said: “All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but it is the LORD who weighs the hearts.” And, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” Human nature always tries to justify itself!

During the spring of 1971, my two best friends (and members of my band) began attending a little gospel-preaching church. Why? Because they liked two girls who went there! And why did the girls go? Because their uncle was the pastor and their father was praying for them. Then, in August, I went to the church too. Why? Because I wanted to pull my friends out! They were beginning to change, and I didn’t like that. They weren’t partying the way they used to. I had to stop them before it was too late. You can guess what happened. I lost the fight! The love of the people began to break down my stubborn pride, and, totally unknown to me, their prayers began to have an impact. Something started to get under my skin! I actually began to feel guilty about the filthy things I was doing.

Amazingly enough, until that time, I had never experienced the slightest remorse for stealing money from my own father, or putting my parents through all kinds of grief because of my drug use, or double-crossing my best friends, or viciously cutting down anyone I didn’t like with my sharp, cruel sharp tongue. Now, something was happening. When I couldn’t sleep at night after pumping myself up with methadrine or swallowing several tabs of amphetamine-laced LSD, I started to feel uncomfortable with my lifestyle, seeing myself as more of a jerk than a cool teenager, and I began to dread those long night hours, alone with a feeling of being unclean, alone with my sin.

Of course, at that time, I had no idea that this was something called “conviction,” a wonderful process through which God shows us just how sick we really are – in order to make us whole. And I made no connection between this sudden change in my attitude and the prayers of these sincere Christians. Instead, I made a decision: I won’t use any drugs that keep me up at night! And I stayed away from the church for the next three months.

When I finally returned there in November, something completely unexpected happened to me. It was not what I was anticipating! For the first time in my life I believed that Jesus died for me (in other words, He paid the penalty that I deserved, He died in my place) and that He rose from the dead.

This did not strike me as especially good news! How can I say that? Simple. It was one thing for my friends to truly put their faith in Jesus. After all, one was Methodist and the other was Russian Orthodox. Even though they were only Christian in name, becoming a Christian in truth didn’t seem to me like such a big religious jump. I thought the different Christian religions were close enough!

But for me, a Jew (even a non-religious Jew), how could I believe in Jesus? (Please remember: At that time, I didn’t realize that his Hebrew name was Yeshua and that his mother’s Hebrew name was Miriam, or that “Christ” meant “Messiah,” or that he came into the world to save his Jewish people, or that he lived and died as a faithful Jew.) For me, Jesus was only for the Gentiles. (Again, you have to excuse my ignorance!)

But there was a much bigger problem I faced: Following Jesus and getting into a right relationship with God meant I had to turn away from my sins. I didn’t want to do that! There was too much pleasure in my sin. And how could I be a famous rock drummer and a good, clean church-goer at the same time? Plus, I was too proud to admit that I could be wrong. (Some people would rather die than admit they are wrong.) I was as stubborn as they come. And how I loved to argue. (After all, I was the son of an excellent lawyer!) Yet somehow, God’s goodness and patience overcame my stubbornness, my pride, my sinful habits, and my religious misunderstandings. By the end of 1971 I was a new man! The heavenly Father intervened in my affairs, making me to know that I was guilty in his sight, exposing the corruption of my heart, and showing me a new and better way.

What does all this have to do with you? Let me explain. You see, I was not a sinner because I was shooting heroin. I was shooting heroin because I was a sinner. Sin takes on many forms. But in God’s sight, all of us are sinners. In other words, all of us stand guilty in the light of His standards and laws. And, deep down, most of recognize His laws are right. Yet we still break them. Why? Because by nature we are a fallen race. No one had to teach us to lie, to lust, to be selfish, to hate, to hold a grudge, to deceive, to cheat, to be greedy, to envy. These things came naturally to us -- even to the best of us!

According to the Scriptures, the first and greatest commandment is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” Instead, we find time for business, or pleasure, or family, or friends, or sports, or entertainment, or relaxation, or hobbies, or education, or whatever else is important to us. But God is not that important to us! He is certainly not the one around whom our lives revolve. If He were, we would find more time and energy for Him. He is supposed to come first.

What about the second commandment? Both Moses and Jesus taught that the next great commandment was, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We have failed here too! Think of all the murderers, and rapists, and drug pushers, and child abusers, and warlords, and crime bosses, and thieves -- the list goes on and on. It is clear that they have not loved their neighbors as themselves. But let’s not be so quick to condemn. You can get a speeding ticket for going 100 miles per hour in a 40 mph zone, or you can get a ticket for going 70 in that same zone. Either way, you’re guilty. And you can drown in 20 feet of water just as easily as you can drown in the ocean. Either way, you’re dead.

It’s the same with God’s laws. Maybe you haven’t killed someone. But have you hated them? Then you’re guilty of not loving your neighbor as yourself! Maybe you haven’t committed adultery with that good looking spouse of your friend or boss. But if you’re burning with lust for them, then you’ve committed adultery in your heart. In the sight of God, you’re guilty! And the penalty for those guilty of breaking God’s laws is death.

“In that case,” you say, “we’re in trouble! Everyone is guilty.” Exactly. That’s why God sent His Son into the world. Although we didn’t deserve it, and although it is more than we could ever ask for or imagine, God did something incredible. The Bible says He loved this world so much -- and that means He loved you -- that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

Jesus died for you! Instead of you and I having to pay for our sins (and it would be perfectly fair if God required us to pay up), Jesus paid for our sins. Instead of you and I having to suffer the death penalty, Jesus suffered it for us. That’s what He meant when He said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” He also said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for His sheep.”

And that’s what the Jewish prophet Isaiah meant when he wrote about the Messiah’s death hundreds of years in advance:

He was pierced because of our rebellious deeds, He was crushed for our sins; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and at the cost of His wounds there is healing for us. All of us like sheep have gone astray, but the LORD has laid on Him (Jesus!) the sins of us all.

Is this making sense to you now? Do you understand why Jesus died on the cross? He carried your sins so that you don’t have to carry them any more!

Turn back to God and ask Him to forgive you. Acknowledge your guilt and say, “God, have mercy on me! I turn away from my sins.” Ask Him to cleanse you and wash you through the blood that Jesus shed. Put your faith in the Son of God. He died for you and rose from the dead. Believe in Him and submit to Him as your Lord. You will never be the same! And you will never have a regret.

What He did for me – in a unique and personal way – He can do for you. He died so you could live. He became guilty so you could go free. He came down to earth so that one day you could go to heaven. But if you refuse Him, the door will be shut. You will die in your guilt, without excuse. Almighty God will say to you, “Depart from Me into eternal fire!” Then it will be too late!

That’s why I took the time to tell you my story. It can become your story too! You can experience the greatest love the world has ever seen. Through Jesus, you can know the God who made you. Then you will truly live -- in this world, and in the world to come. Serving God is worth it all!

Dr. Michael L. Brown
ICN Ministries
PO Box 1446
Harrisburg, NC 28075
704-782-3760 (Phone); 704-782-3832 (Fax)

Conflict! The Power of Propaganda

What is the cause of the CONFLICT in Israel?

Is the Conflict Between Religions?

Is it a Land Conflict?

Jewish Right To Israel

Historical Mandate for Palestine

Why No Peace?

Why is there seemingly no peace in the Middle East?

Watch the video "I am Israel"


There are probably multiple answers. However the most fundamental is that Hamas, Hesbollah and other "Muslim" groups have always stated and NEVER RENOUNCED that they intend to drive the Jews and Israel's into the sea. Until asa group they CHANGE THAT MISSION, then there can be no peace.

If someone told you that and never changed their mind, how would you feel? Would you just shrug it off? Would you also shrug off the rockets falling on your schools, residents, towns and cities AFTER so-called peace accords have just been signed?

The stories about Israel taking "Palestianian" land is a sad joke. The name "Palestine" was given to the much larger territory including modern-day Israel, by Great Britain.

See Israel and Palestine: A Brief History which has some inadvertent spelling errors but seems quite accurate.

Briefly the Israeli's do not attack "Palestinian" areas until months or years of unprovoked illegal attacks on Israeli citizens both Arab and Jewish. Then they withdraw until provoked again.

Israel allows Arabs and/or Muslims, Christians and Jews to worship freely, have access to their places of worship [which did not happen when Jerusalem was controlled by Muslims]. They allow Arabs to vote and have most benefits of the modern state of Israel.

Until Palestinians back up their written peace treaties by laying down their arms and using the millions of dollars they receive from countries all over the world to build a country for themselves instead of attacking the state of Israel, no peace can exist.

Israel is a democracy and allows freedom of movement and religion.

Escape from Hamas Parts 1- 6

Reading the Bible: "Love Your Enemy" Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

War on Gaza or Israel?

Cool Facts About Israel 2 - ABSOLUTELY AMAZING

New version. New music. We could all learn from Israel instead of hating it because of ignorance of the facts.

I am Israel

Cool Facts About Israel