Selwa Doany2 was a slim 19-year old graduate of a English high school with a substantial Christian enrollment December of 1947, in the Mediterranean city of Haifa. She was scheduled for a University education, but was spending a year at home to help in her brother’s pharmacy business. Her father, who had passed away a few years before, had been a Christian missionary to Jews and an educator. Selwa’s mother also was dead so she and her brother lived with her uncle, who was also a missionary to the Muslims of Haifa — a large mission market. Christians comprised about 12% of Selwa’s neighbors, 8% were Jews, and most of the rest were Muslims. Haifa was a quiet and prosperous port city, and Selwa’s future was promising.
Selwa is now known as Emily, a sharp-witted widow with firm step and a mind that misses little and has forgotten few details of that terrible year in Palestine, 1947-1948. In a interview with We Hold These Truths, Emily described the shocking news she and her neighbors received in November 1947; the United Nations had partitioned Palestine, and with a stroke of the pen their Haifa had been given to the new State of Israel.
Emily described a day in December when an organized band of about 200 strangers, “Zionist Jews” appeared on her street. As if by signal, they began entering houses, five or 10 per house, evicting and ejecting the Arab residents, men, women, children and babies. In a matter of minutes Selwa’s ancestral home was occupied by strangers, and she and her family were residents of the hostile Zionist street.
“We were the lucky ones,” Emily told us, “we had friends, an English woman helped us.” Six months later they were able to gather about $1000.00, enough to buy deck passage for the three of them on a freighter to Lebanon. Emily recalls walking to the dock with the money sewed in her brother’s socks and wrapped around her waist under her clothes. The two men thought Selwa was the least likely to be attacked on the way to the docks. “Without that money we might have ended up in one of the resettlement camps,” she said, “and many are still there.”
What persuaded Selwa’s family to leave their home of hundreds of years? “The slaughter at Deir Yassin convinced us,” Emily told me. In a now well documented event on April 9, 1948, Israeli Irgum and Stern soldiers made an example of the Arab village by killing about 100 women and children and 150 men–many aged–and dumping the bodies down the town well. Some were mutilated, probably to heighten the terror. Emily said, “The news spread. We thought they would kill us all if we stayed. We left for Lebanon by sea; it was like a cattle boat with only room to stand” she added, “we knew the British would not protect us.”
Emily returned to Haifa 52 years later in the year 2000. She traveled to Palestine with an organization of Arab doctors, then hired a driver to take her north to Haifa to revisit what was once her home. Her cab was stopped three times and the driver questioned en route. Emily had an American passport and did not tell anyone she was Selwa. In Haifa, she told us, she left in dejection when she saw what was once her home. The memories remain, but she does not cry. In the safety of her tour group, Emily then visited an Arab “resettlement camp” near Jerusalem. There she saw, and gave money to, a woman who had spent her entire life in the camp, a permanently displaced person, never to be resettled.
Who is responsible for the theft of Selwa’s ancestral home, and who is responsible for those still trapped in the concrete jungle of refugee camps 52 years later? Millions of Judeo-Christians (including many evangelicals like Jerry Falwell and Sherry) believe that God demands that they bless Israel or else God will curse them. They take the current political
State of Israel to be the “Israel” of the Bible, and they support it with their words, acts, and tax dollars. They do so without regard to its abuses or perfidious acts of terror against others.
These acts go largely unrecognized because blinded shepherds believe they must cover for Israel’s crimes. Many connect their own earthly blessings to this practice of placing Israel first, even when the victims are Christians, like Selwa. The common Judeo-Christian excuse is that the people of the Middle East are Muslims, and thus, they believe, undeserving of their concern. But in Selwa’s Haifa, 10- 12% of those displaced were, like her, Arab Christians. As we shall see, the same is true of Bethlehem, Nazareth, and the occupied lands under siege today.
Let us now examine why American Christians have turned their backs on Arab Christians in the very land where Christianity began. We study the beliefs and practices of Judeo-Christians who are ten privately self-characterized as “dispensational.” It is also a living examination of this Christian’s views of unreasoning Christian inhumanity toward Arab Muslims, and Muslims in general.
Most national Bible study groups and fellowships announce guardedly to their students that they are “dispensationalist.” An increasing number avoid the label. Prosperity Gospel teachers and most TV evangelists are beginning to avoid the label. Nevertheless, most continue to preach that personal prosperity goes hand in hand with support for the prosperity of the state of Israel.
As one example, Jerry Falwell believes God has blessed America because it has blessed Israel and Jewish people everywhere, as we pointed out in chapter I. The absurdity of his, and thousands of other statements like it, should be apparent to anyone with a fifth grade knowledge of American history, for the State of Israel did not exist until 1947–170 years after Americans won their freedom through their American Revolution. The original 1828 Webster’s dictionary written by committed Christian, Noah Webster, did not include the words “Israel or Israeli,” because the state did not then exist.
Contrary to Falwell’s belief that America has been blessed for its support of Israel, many people, including this writer, believe that the start of America’s decline from greatness began to accelerate at the very time that the State of Israel came into being, in the middle of the 20th century. It is utter nonsense to attribute American greatness to our leaders’ love affair with the State of Israel. To the contrary, many of the events that mar American greatness have occurred since our government became instrumental in making Israel a state–events which include the wars in Korea and Vietnam which killed millions of our men; the passage of Roe v. Wade and abortion-on-demand; the rise of the drug culture; AIDS; a loss of 90% of the purchasing power of the dollar; double-digit divorce rates; the mainstreaming of homosexuality and tolerance for homosexual teachers and preachers; students and teachers who cannot read; the degradation of television and Hollywood productions which poison and misdirect our children’s minds. It is much more logical for us to see a cause-and-effect relationship between America’s decline from greatness and our leaders fawning over the state of Israel.
Those who argue that financial well being and corporate blessing of our country depends upon support of the undeniably corrupt state of Israel ignore 50 years of tragic, deliberate and systematic Israeli terror against Palestine and elsewhere in the Middle East, including Iraq. They ignore the fact that the victims have been Arab Christians as well as Muslims. Judeo-Christians have no answer to the documented fact that their own kind are being persecuted in occupied Palestine at the hands of “the Chosen People.” Their way of handling this problem is to ignore it, or to claim it does not exist.
But it does exist. In November 2000 the much-respected Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) made an official fact-finding trip to occupied Palestine and wrote in their report: “To express our solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Palestine who are victims of a failed peace process and Israeli oppression.” The report went on to say, “There is use of massive force against unarmed protestors and completely innocent people, mainly women, the elderly, and children.” Further, “The majority of children who live in the affected areas suffer from trauma and psychological after-effects of the frequent shelling and army activity. In many areas, educational services have also been disrupted by curfews and the virtual state of siege of towns and cities.”
The YMCA spokesman concluded, “There are systematic and widespread human rights violations being perpetrated on the entire Palestinian population. These take the form of demolishing houses, shooting at ambulances and blocking their rapid passage to hospitals even when they are carrying severely wounded or sick patients, detention of people without charges, killing people without provocation, and placing entire villages and cities under a state of siege.” It is hard to imagine a prestigious Christian organization issuing a more damming report.
Destruction and death is nothing new to Palestinians. This has been going on for the entire five decades since Selwa escaped from Palestine. It has occurred in front of the eyes of the blinded shepherds and their followers, as they tour the Holy Land year after year, lauding the state of Israel.
Nor has all the criticism come from Christians organizations. The increasing criticism by compassionate Jewish writers demands, too, that someone listen. One of many examples is well-known Jewish author and journalist for the Village Voice, Robert L. Friedman, who describes the abuse of Palestinians in blood red shades in his vivid Zealots for Zion: Inside Israel’s West Bank Settlements, written in 1992. The author is sickened by the carnage against the Palestinian population, which he points out is also costing the American taxpayers billions in military aid. Almost 10 years ago Friedman described the torture of detainees and the official “bone breaking policy” of the Israelis. Almost 10 years ago Friedman documented that, “more than 1000 Palestinian have been killed and 119,000 seriously injured, 120,000 trees uprooted, 2500 houses destroyed, and 14,000 Palestinians held.” And that is only in the five years from 1987 to 1992. It does not include what happened to Selwa’s family, or what is happening as we write this sad account.
How many of the millions of tourists to the Holy Land are being told this? Our celebrity leaders remain mute about these disturbingly unholy facts because they claim to be responding literally to God’s promise to “bless those who bless thee (Abraham) and curse those who curse thee.” In fact, they take the verses figuratively, imputing God’s blessing to a present-day political state that only they have falsely construed to be the Biblical Israel.
To understand this, we must again turn to the Bible and examine the verses Judeo Christians claim to be following, and also the one which they pretend does not exist. Strangely, the passage most ignored by the blind shepherds is the powerful promise God made to this same Abram in the entire chapter of Genesis 17, perhaps the most detailed of all of God’s promises. It states in part, “I will multiply thee exceedingly” … “for an everlasting covenant to thee to be God to thee and thy generations after thee” … “and as for Ishmael, I have heard thee and have blessed him, and have made him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly.”
Here God clearly tells Abraham that his children will be the founders of many tribes, and that all the world will be blessed through him: “I have made thee the father of many nations.” God confers a blessing on all Abraham’s heirs, specifically including the one named Ishmael. The context of this foretells the coming of Jesus Christ through his adopted father, Joseph, from the lineage of Abraham. We know of no Christian who has ever denied that God’s supreme gift to mankind through Abraham is Jesus, the Messiah for all men. It is not the political state of Israel..
What Christian would deny this covenant, for it is the promise upon which Christianity is built. But the verse, clear and simple as it is, presents an unsolvable dilemma to the Judeo-Christians. For how can Judeo-Christians justify the actions of the present-day Israelis in stealing the Arabs’ land and killing its people, if God, in fact, was on record as blessing the Arabs, too? But all parties, even most Rabbis, agree that if Jews are the offspring of Jacob, then the Arabs are the offspring of Ishmael. And God surely did bless the Arabs too. How then can the Judeo-Christian justify killing the brothers and sisters, the sons of Ishmael, who were also blessed by the same God? The answer is that they cannot explain or justify this, and so they simply ignore all or parts of Chapter 17.
Let us state here for the record, We Hold These Truths is not in the genealogy business. God has not charged us with the responsibility of knowing whose lineage is whose after 3000 years. We doubt that there is one Jew, Arab, Englishman or any of our readers who can trace a single ancestor back 25 generations, to say nothing of 100 or more generations to get back to Abraham. But both the present Israelis and the Judeo Christians insist on playing the genealogy game to establish ownership of Selwa’s family home in Haifa, and property that had belonged to her family, for generations. Abraham appears to have blessed both of the tribes who contended for her house, and Chapter 17 of Genesis surely does not give a street mob the right to take it from Selwa.
Israeliophilia is dependent upon ignoring entire chapters of the Bible and selectively reading others. Thus Sherry and the Judeo-Christian leaders dodge the whole 17th chapter of Genesis, while citing many other verses that do not mention Abraham’s many nations and Ishmael’s troublesome blessing. Sherry, too, ignores Chapter 17, while citing five other chapters in Genesis and six additional Old Testaments quotes. (see Appendix A: Letter From Sherry)
Judeo-Christians manipulate the words in the Bible to apologize for the
persecution of the Palestinian Arabs and the theft of Selwa’s home by “the Chosen People.” Judeo-Christians cannot and do not make their case based on any one discourse, statement or verse found anywhere in the Bible. Instead they make their argument by spinning a complex concoction, scriptural extracts from bits and pieces taken from here and there. As we have shown, they confuse or leave out entire chapters when these do not serve their purpose. They assume a confused God who can not be taken literally.
In contrast, Christianity assumes an omnipotent God. For God to be omnipotent, every statement must be intelligent and stand on its own merit. The scripture does not tell us we cannot depend upon Genesis 12 to stand upon its own merit. Nor does God say that he is baiting us with half-truths and expects us to look elsewhere to make sense of what he said. Humans, like Nostradamus, wrote in riddles, but our God did not. Each of God’s statements must be taken for what it says. Who can deny that the God was capable of speaking his mind clearly enough that its meaning would survive even through 3000 years of man’s ignorance and corruption?
Judeo-Christians including Sherry and Jerry Falwell make God out to be incapable of clear expression. They blaspheme God by allying him with a politically corrupt political Israel. The seventh commandment states, “Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. The lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”
Who then is responsible for stealing Selwa’s home 52 years ago? We may not know the individuals, but we do know some who are responsible for covering up for the acts. Each of us, to the extent we have followed the pharisaic3 teaching of Judeo-Christianity, are guilty. The New Testament Christian culture and attendant freedoms that drew many of our Forefathers to these shores can be restored, but not without treating the virus that has corrupted it from within its own body. Next, we will examined some pharisaic distortions in Sherry quotes from the New Testament.
A pdf file of the original Right To The Point journal published in Oct., 2001, featuring “Sherry’s War Is available at: http://whtt.podbean.com/mf/web/h6pe9v/0110RTTPJournal-SherrysWar.pdf