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Isaiah Weeps: Jewish National Fund, GOD-TV erase Bedouin village to bring Jesus’ second coming.
(AL ARAQIB, Occupied Palestine) - After researching this post and watching the video transcribed below, I don’t know whether to cry or scream at the grievous injustices done to Israel’s Bedouin in the name of the Jewish people (the Jewish National Fund) and Christians the world over (GOD-TV).
The Israeli government is hoping the seventh time is the charm in their efforts to eradicate the Israeli Bedouin village of Al-Araqib. That’s how many times they’re destroyed it only to have its inhabitants return and rebuild it once more. In fact, the steadfastness of these indigenous residents of the Negev reminds me of the Biblical Prophets exhorting the Jews to cling to their Land no matter what evil befalls them.
Now, Israeli State thieves have come upon a new scam to make the destruction of the place more thorough and long-lasting. They’ve enlisted the Jewish National Fund, whose forests have already disappeared hundreds of former Israeli Palestinian villages uprooted during the Nakba. JNF together with the Israel Lands Administration which claims the Bedouin land on behalf of the State, brought their bulldozers to plant a new forest that will cover the ground on which Al-Araqib stands. As if that wasn’t shocking enough, JNF’s partner in this crimes is even more astonishing: the Christian Zionist evangelical GOD-TV.
Neve Gordon just wrote about this in The Nation and suggested I do further research and publish on this tragedy. I also commend the activism of the Negev Coexistence Forum, which is fighting the good fight on behalf of Al Araqib’s rightful residents.
Those who read this blog know I wrote several posts on the destruction of the village a few weeks ago by thousands of Israeli Border Police along with armored vehicles. The devastation of this place, which has been the residents’ home for generations, and going back much earlier than the creation of the State in 1948, is worse than a tragedy. It is truly an evil deed hatched by a nation calling itself a Jewish state, thus deprecating, even figuratively disappearing its non-Jewish citizens.
Now, Israel feels it needs to add a final exclamation point to its efforts to wipe out Al Araqib. It will no longer need to demolish the village every few weeks once a forest grows and subsumes any civilization that once existed there. It will be like the thick Central American jungle blotting out the Mayan ruins to the naked eye centuries after the magnificent cities were emptied of their inhabitants by flood, fire or other disaster.
Planting a forest on the site of a Palestinian Israeli village is a tried and true tactic used by the early Israeli state to eradicate remnants of Palestinian civilization lost to the Nakba, when 750,000 Israeli Palestinians were expelled just before and during what is commonly known as the War of Independence. Today’s Zionist JNF/ILA apparatchiks seem to think the same ploy will work in the Negev. But it won’t and can’t because the whole world (or least this blog and its readers) is watching. When the world watches evil unfold it cannot take hold as firmly and deeply. We know where evil lies and we can uproot it at a future time. We will not forget Al Araqib nor those who violently wiped away its existence. The evil they do will follow them; or at least we will.
If anyone needed evidence of the fact that the nationalists extremists running this Israeli government have made unholy alliance with Christian Zionist extremists, there can be no better example than this. This sign proudly erected a few hundred feet from where Al Araqib lies boasts not only that GOD-TV is partnering with the JNF is destroying a Bedouin community–it has the chutzpah to quote Isaiah. This brilliant prophet committed to justice and morality is being exploited to whitewash pure evil. It would make the man who proclaimed these words cry out in his anger and his shame:
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil.
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.
What do you mean by beating my people to pieces, and grinding the faces of the poor?
He looked for judgement, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.
When you see images of the young, green saplings planted by JNF juxtapose this image with the following news of the devastation the Israeli government wrought in 2004 on these same fields when they were planted and harvested by the native Bedouin:
…The authorities stepped up the pressure on the Araqib to leave by spraying powerful herbicides on their crops, making the young shoots shrivel and die in the following weeks. It was the third time the Araqib’s crops had been sprayed in the past two years by a government agency, the Israel Lands Authority.It seems the good Christian folk at GOD-TV don’t want just anyone making the desert bloom. They want only Jews to do so. Bedouin are the wrong sort of people for them.
If you read the GOD-TV site, you’ll find the convenient and miraculous discovery of an ancient Christian monastery in an internal Israeli settlement dubbed Givot Bar:
While clearing land as part of Israel’s project to reclaim the desert as suitable residential ground, a buried ‘world’ was unveiled. This historical gem has revealed buildings and artifacts from an ancient Christian community who lived in the Holy Land over 1500 years ago! This location is where some of the first Christian gathered to worship God. At Givot Bar in the Negev stands an old Farmhouse and Byzantine Church building – from as early as the 6th Century. Historical artifacts like an ancient wine-press and water cistern also point to a lifestyle of centuries gone by.
Such a “discovery” mirrors similar archaeological finds at digs in Silwan and other Arab communities which the far right settlement movement wishes to expel for political purposes to establish Jewish presence and supremacy. This is the use of history and archaeology to settle political disputes. Similary, Givot Bar is nothing more than an internal Israeli settlement meant to displace not Palestinians as in the West Bank, but indigenous Israeli Bedouin, citizens of the State of Israel.
Cook notes that the Al Araqib destruction is part of a larger government effort to consolidate Bedouin in large central population centers so that Jewish settlements can take their place:
A government plan, personally approved a year ago by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and backed by $200 million, [will] force the rural Bedouin off their lands and into a handful of urban reservations the state is building for them.
This phenomenon provides proof that the Israeli Occupation isn’t the only injustice perpetrated by the State, but that Israel citizens too suffer. The expulsion of the Bedouin is a contemporary iteration of the Nakba meant to reinforce the supremacy of Israel’s Jewish citizens.
Who has the JNF made common cause with? GOD-TV, a group which in 2009 gave JNF $500,000 for this forest (IRS 990 pdf) as preparation for Jesus’ return. This is precisely how the project is described in the group’s IRS 990 form:
“The grant to the Jewish National Fund was to plant trees in Israel, to participate in dressing the Holy Land for the return of Jesus.”
In other words, world Jewry is embracing a group which is aiding evangelical radicals in their goal of bringing about the Second Coming of Jesus. Is this why we collected coins in our blue JNF pushkes in Hebrew school lo those many years ago?
Now, let’s read excerpts of the transcript of the following video that GOD-TV’s owner-host Rory Alec (legal name, Rory A. Stephen) made on the site of Al Araqib, all the while never mentioning a word about this eradicated Bedouin village on whose lands he stood:
[Camera pans over hills of Al Araqib as Rory Alec comes into view. Superimposed on his image is a full-frame Israeli flag waving as he addresses the camera]
Everyone who gives a red cent to this outfit should know that it is displacing the legitimate, indigenous inhabitants of this land, the Bedouin. And lest donors not care, let’s point out to the Internal Revenue Service that GOD-TV’s 501c3 entity, the Angel Christian Television Trust, Inc., gives the heksher of the U.S. government to these evangelical fanatic efforts to root out Israeli inhabitants of this land. That means that once again the Obama administration is allowing U.S. non profits to undermine express U.S. policy toward Israel through supporting the violent supplanting of Israel’s inhabitants by a forest. Speaking about donations, Angel Christian TV’s 2009 990 notes that Rory and his wife Wendy earned approximately $450,000 that year. Flogging Jesus in the Holy Land is nice work if you can get it.
Lest this transcript hasn’t shocked you enough, let’s tell you a bit more about GOD-TV and its fanatical bedfellows. Some of the most popular stars of this evangelical media enterprise are Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, and Kenneth Copeland, founders of the Prosperity Gospel movement, who in 2007 were under investigation by Sen. Charles Grassley for using their non-profit status to “shield their lavish lifestyle.”
According to Rachel Tabachnick, one of the closest students of evangelical theology, GOD-TV embraces not just Dispensationalist theology, which is a more quiescent form of evangelism, but a far more aggressive and radical evangelism:
God TV does feature Dispensationalists, but the network also promotes another more aggressive and more virulent End Times theology that is becoming dominant in Christian Zionist activism. This is what is sometimes known as “End Times warriors.” This is NOT Dispensationalism – it is worse. Dispensationalism is passive to some extent because believers have to wait for the “Rapture”…for the End Times horrors to begin…In the End Times theology to which I was referring, there is no waiting for the Rapture and humans have the mandate to advance the End Times.
God TV televised the revival of Todd Bentley held in Florida in the summer of 2008 which included kicking and head butting severely-ill people to expel the demons during faith healing ceremonies. Bentley claimed that the revival was healing people from all over the world as well as reviving dead people. He is a heavily-tattooed former sex offender who has been embraced by the “apostles” as having special powers.
God TV televises “The Call” events of Lou Engle. These are virulently anti-abortion and anti-gay but also stress proselytizing Israeli Jews.
Rory Alec’s wife, Wendy Alec, calls herself a “Prophet Evangelist.” She writes a Christian fantasy series called the Chronicle of Brothers, which chronicles Lucifer’s fall from heaven and his campaign to contaminate the DNA of humanity. It is heavily influenced by New World Order “theology” and conspiracy theories, which can be read in this passage which takes place on September 10, 2001 in front of the Council of the 13 Illuminati led by the Jesuit priest, Lorcan De Molay, who is contemplating the horrors of the following day:
“He surveyed the men seated before him. The Council of Thirteen, the highest orders of the Committee of 300, the Black Nobility of Venice. The Supreme Mother Council of the of the thirty-third-degree masons of the Scottish Rite.He scanned the faces of the chairman of the Club of Rome, the Federal Reserve, the Bilderberger Group, the International Monetary Fund, the Bohemian Grove, the Lucius Trust, his gaze finally resting on the Frater Superior and Grand Tribunal of the Ordo Templi Orienti.The Grand Masters of the Illuminati.The secret Illuminati who controlled the American government.Who controlled every government of the Eastern and Western world.Who in turn were controlled by him.Lorcan De Molay.”
When the Jewish National Fund and Israeli government lie down with dogs like this is there any doubt they’ll get up with fleas??? You make your bed, you lie in it.
Thank you to Rachel Tabachnik for helping transcribe the video and her research on GOD-TV.
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