Yesterday, in an interview on a U.S. cable network, Newt Gringrich, a Republican Presidential candidate, said that the Palestinian people are “invented”. This, of course, raised an outcry from Palestinian Arab political, religioius, and intellectual leaders.
After all the claims by Palestinians delegitimizing Israel’s right to exist, the Islamic repudiation of any Jewish history connected to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and the denial even by many (if not most) Palestinian Arab Christians of God’s everlasting covenants connected with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob and their posterity . . . it is the utmost hypocrisy for them to call “despicable” and “very racist” the remarks made by Gringrich regarding their identity and history.
Israel and the Jewish people have a long recorded history written in the whole of the Bible, and also in extra-Biblical sources. The Israeli people from the beginning has never been about a “pure race or bloodline”: there has always been mixture, yet with a clear sense of belonging to and identity with this particular people and nation. This has been so in religion and peoplehood, for Israel’s existence comes from YHVH God Himself.
I know many Palestinian evangelical believers in Yeshua as Lord and Messiah, yet who do not know where they come from or who they are — other than to say that they are Palestinian Arabs, because their families were born in Palestine — a name given to the Land of Israel by the Romans after the final Jewish revolt in 132 AD, a name which derives from the Philistia (Philistines), and which means ‘invaders’ in the Hebrew Holy Spirit-inspired Scriptures.
These brothers in Messiah/Christ admit to not agreeing that they are necessarily Semites (from Noah’s son, Shem), which would mean that they are not then sons of Abraham. They do not accept necessarily that they are sons of Ishmael — which of course they would not be if not sons of Abraham. They do not accept any lineage with Esau/Edom. They do not know who they are, but accept being a mixed race (which the word ‘Arab’ actually implies — ‘mixture’), and want us Israeli Jewish believers to be confused as to who we are, too, since we are also mixed through intermarriage with Gentiles. (Again, Biblically, there has always been mixture within Israel, yet still an identifiable nation with detailed genealogies over centuries and thousands of years, one of the proofs as to who Jesus Christ is in the flesh.)
Apart from the Biblical record in the Old and the New Testaments, there will always be ‘inventions’ and confusion if we ignore the truth, and for those who do believe in Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God, the Bible is supposed to our primary source for information, and the Scriptures are written for us living at the end of the age.
Judaism and the Jewish people also attempt to revise and re-write history with respect to the truth of who Yeshua/Jesus is and of His resurrection. Islam and Muslims in their holy book, the Koran, have re-written history connected with the name of the true God, with Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac, with Jesus being the Son of God the Father, with His virgin birth and His death and resurrection. Christians have gone beyond what is written in showing hostility toward the Jewish people and God’s faithfulness to restore them to favor in the Land of Israel which He promised long ago to be an everlasting possession, but not a “Jews only” state. Even Jewish believers in Yeshua are not without inventions, not willing to accept many truths which the Holy Spirit has taught the predominantly Gentile church over the last 2000 years.
Stereotypes such as all Jews are Christ killers; or all Christians are anti-Semites; or all Muslims are terrorists are not helpful when true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ are taught to speak the truth in righteousness and in love. Most inventions of the mind or of lying spirits are an effort to give dignity and significance to ourselves or to our nation or our religious beliefs, especially when we think God or history writing has been “unbalanced”. Just as the serpent beguiled Eve to think that she would be like God through disobeying Him, so is it foolish human pride seeking to find purpose and value through any thing other than the truth of the God who created us, spoke concerning callings and destinies of many peoples, and loves us to give us living hope of glory through repentance from our unbelief and rebellion towards faith in Him and His Word.
In this season when the birth of the King of the Jews and the Savior of the world is traditionally celebrated — especially by believers who can worship God in Spirit and truth — let us remember that Jesus died asking the Father to forgive us, especially for being ignorant of all that we have done and still do against Yehovah, and against His Anointed One. He is coming again, and will bring righteous judgment against all who oppose Him and those upon whom is His goodwill.