His messages of peace and love for his fellow men are needed so desperately today. Some of his methods for creating a sense of ownership and hope is to build schools and community centers - much like Greg Mortensen. I saw a lot of similaries in their approach to long-standing problems. It was frustrating to read what happened to his family and many other Palestinians and realize that their story is rarely told in the news. It is so one-sided in favor of the Jews. He proves that there are always 2 sides to a story and his people have suffered tremendously.
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With the amount of emotional trauma he endured because of this event, to criticize this best-selling book would seem hard-hearted, especially toward a fellow Christian and his ministry. Whether or not you have read this book, there is much information about the history of this crisis in the Middle East. Chacour describes his life in the land, which includes the Zionist occupation prior to , as well as the post struggles. He refers to the land as Palestine, not Israel.
As Christians, we need to understand the root of that word, Palestine. In fear or complacence, the Jews disobeyed God on that directive, and hence, this struggle continues today. Does that mean that God hates the Palestinians?
There are many unfulfilled biblical prophecies concerning Israel. The Jews were uprooted from the land previously, by the Assyrians and Babylonians, but a remnant returned, which was a small number according to the Book of Ezra. In AD 70, just as Jesus prophesied, the Romans uprooted the Jews in the diaspora, and sent the survivors to the four corners of the world.
This made sense in many ways as Israel was no longer Israel. But then in , a miracle occurred. Israel once again became Israel! Some Bible scholars saw their egregious error, understanding that God meant what He said and said what He meant.
Just because Israel was not populated by Jews did not take away the land deed God had granted them. Other scholars, though, were so rigid in their belief that they were unwilling to change that belief, holding tightly to promises not made to them! But the bicycle has your name on it. No matter how badly I want that bicycle, my desire for it does not make it mine!
I can grab the bike and go for a ride, but chances are good that my father is going to let me know it is your bike! Sadly, it is the belief of most Christian denominations today.
Notice how many times in the Bible that God forgave the Jews. An ongoing cycle occurred: the Jews would disobey, God would punish them, the Jews would repent and return to Him, God would bless the Jews and they would live in peace, and then the cycle would begin again when the Jews disobeyed Him again. This is grace, getting something we have not earned. God continued to love them, continued to forgive them and made promises for their future. God loves us the same way, but His promises to us do not include that Promised Land, but instead, a promised eternal home.
In fact, by studying the Old Testament, we see many promises of earthly blessings to the Jews, His chosen people. But to the New Testament Christian, instead, we see promises of heavenly blessings and earthly trials! Another subject to understand when looking at Israel is the difference between a promise of land and a promise of the usage of that land. The best analogy I have heard of this difference involves a new car that a father buys for his year-old son.
He tells his son that if the son gets a speeding ticket, the car will be locked up. No surprise, the son gets a ticket, and the father locks the car in the garage for a time. The son does not lose ownership of the car, as the title is still in his name, but the son certainly loses usage of the car.
That is exactly what God did with the Jews and Israel. There are at least biblical references to God giving this land to the Jews. It begins in Genesis But usage of the land was conditional. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. God said: I will multiply your descendants exceedingly I will make your descendants a great nation I will give your descendants all the land east of Canaan I will give your descendants the personality of a wild donkey Your descendants will have a war-like spirit.
Their hands will be against everyone God has honored that covenant! Today, there are million Arabs and around 13 million Jews.
The Arabs have 5. Israel, on the other hand, has 10, square miles, about the size of Maryland. The Arabs have 22 countries. Instead, the land of Israel is the only Jewish land. God did not promise to give the Arabs Canaan, but instead, the land east of Canaan and that is exactly what occurred see Genesis The media certainly sides with the Palestinians. I wonder if that same media would desire for us to give the land of the United States back to the Indians and the Mexicans?
Certainly, we were not the first people to inhabit the United States, but we dwell in it now, by might or by right! Rather than listening to the words of CNN, I think it is probably best to listen to the words of God concerning that land!
Instead, Palestinians identified as Syrians. This was the War of Independence in Six months after signing the Oslo Accord, Arafat gave a speech in Johannesburg, South Africa, saying this was a phase to give the Palestinians time to retake Jerusalem. Arafat repeated that speech at other times around the world. But as soon as Mohammed had the numbers militarily, he slaughtered the entire Quraysh tribe. Similarly, this was the plan of Arafat, and had been for years, as Arabs wanted the complete destruction of Israel.
Look at the PLO website. The map of the Middle East does not even show Israel! This slow assault began with the Phase Plan of , written by Mahmoud Abbas during the reign of Arafat. This plan acknowledged that because the Arabs had no chance in defeating Israel militarily after all, Israel is one of the few nations with nuclear capability , instead, they would attempt to win on another battleground, in stages.
This would begin by encouraging diplomatic pressure on Israel through the United States, the Vatican, Europe and the United Nations, to return some land to the Arabs.
This pressure would continue, attempting to acquire a little more land each time, and continue until the Arabs had enough land to launch a final strike, and defeat Israel. In , after the events of Nazi Germany, public opinion sided with the Jews, but now, we can see that this Phase Plan has had an effect, as most seem to side with the Palestinians. Arabs created this Palestinian claim on the land just after the 6-Day War of , and it is nothing more than propaganda and trickery to achieve their goals.
For example, think of their claim of Jerusalem as a holy city. The verse states that Muslims have a responsibility to return a land to Allah if that land has been conquered and lost. As this peace process continued during the tenure of U. President Bill Clinton, it came to a crossroads at Camp David in Arafat declined, went home and launched the Intifada.
This event revealed so much. First of all, most Jews today are secular humanists. They are more Jewish by culture than Jewish by religion.
Many are atheists or agnostic, ritually, knowing exactly how to worship the God they do not believe in! Most Jews believe that if they treat an enemy humanely, the enemy will treat them the same way. Yet, Moslems see this as weakness. Yet it makes it perfectly clear that the Arabs want all, not some, of the land of Israel.
That view is strongly anti-semitic, pro-Palestinian. This most prevalent view criticizes every Jewish attempt at defending themselves and their land. If nationals from Mexico were lobbing rockets into San Diego on a daily basis, how many think that the United States would not retaliate? This worldview should not surprise any Christian, as we know who has been granted dominion over this earth for a time—Satan! Satan hates the Jews. He hates them because he knows that the Bible states that someday, a great remnant of Jews will come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.
It is easy to see how Elias Chacour, even as a Christian, may have a different point of view. After all, his family lost their homes, regardless of their Christian beliefs, when the Jews returned to the land in Chacour explains that his family were Melkite Christians. Frankly, that was not a term I was familiar with, but Chacour said that Melkite Christians began in the first century, and were the peacemakers when a gnostic sect entered Christianity.
Two points to ponder here. First, who were the kings in first-century Israel? Is Chacour referring to the Roman rulers, who were not Christians?
There certainly were no Jewish kings there at the time. We share the same father, Abraham, and the same God. Another huge difference between the two is how to obtain forgiveness. As Christians, we simply ask God for that forgiveness. It is a gift He gives freely. But for Moslems, one mistake can cancel the good already done, as salvation must be earned through rituals and deeds. Interestingly, Chacour seems to side with his Arabic brothers, the descendants of Ishmael, rather than siding with his Christian brothers.
Only 2. Melkites, according to Wikipedia, are a sect of Catholicism. As a Catholic, it is probable that Chacour prays to the same God as other Christians, but to believe that Christians and Muslims pray to the same God is to believe that the teachings of Christianity and Islam are similar, or the same.
Blood Brothers – Elias Chacour
What is so striking to me is the absence of a balanced view of the Israeli Palestinian conflict in what we Americans have been told over the last several decades by our government and the press. What most Americans do not know is that in the late 40s the Israeli zionists forced the Palestinians off of the land on which they and their ancestors had lived for hundreds of years, thus setting off the division and conflict that we live with today. No wonder Palestinian militants are blowing themselves up. They want their land back. It is hard to write about this subject without being drawn to take a angry stand on one side or the other. I myself am disgusted and feel betrayed by my own culture that has left the Palestinian story so untold. Everything we read and hear has to to with framing them all as terrorists.
He attended a boarding school in Haifa and then a high school in Nazareth. He studied theology at St. Sulpice Seminary in Paris. He later studied Bible and Talmud as well as Aramaic and Syriac at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem , becoming the first Arab to gain a higher degree there.