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SunGod

Why were Jews 'chosen people of god' ?

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This is all feelgood modern Judaism. I can't think of any cases in the Hebrew Bible where non-Jews were converted. Whenever the Israelites conquered people, they immediately killed their men, children and adult women and optionally enslaved their virgin females. The conquests of Joshua proudly declare that not a single person was left alive after he was done. Even in one case where a city chose to surrender (through trickery) and the Israelites didn't butcher them, the people were enslaved, not converted. Enslaved gentiles were far more useful to the Israelites than converted Jews.

There's one example that especially bugs me. When Rahab helps Joshua's spies in Jericho because she had heard of their wonderful god, they do the honor of not killing her after the city falls but there's nothing about them converting her to Judaism even though it sounded like that's exactly when she wanted.

Have I overlooked a case where the Chosen People converted pagans instead of just killing or enslaving them?

Jews don't proselytize. If anyone wants to convert to Judaism, they are welcome. Read the Book of Ruth.

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They may well be the chosen people of a god. But I rejected that particular god long, long ago. What a horrible god!!

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Jews don't proselytize. If anyone wants to convert to Judaism, they are welcome. Read the Book of Ruth.

Ruth was a Moabite, not a Jew. She married a Jew but remained a Moabite. She chose to stop worshiping Baal (if she ever did) but she was never converted to Judaism nor was anyone in the Book of Ruth unless I'm overlooking a major plot point here.

Oddly, intermarriage was clearly forbidden in chapter 34 of Exodus. Moses made it clear to everyone that if Jewish men started marrying pagan women, they'd turn away from the Lord and the faith of his Chosen People would dilute. There are Israelite/Moabite marriages all through the Book of Ruth yet God doesn't get p***ed like He did in the past.

No one even gets murdered in this Book -- they all die natural deaths! Does it even belong in the Bible? :D

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Part of the reason I became such a die hard supporter of Israel and the Jews - regardless their behaviors at times - is because I saw a very tiny small fraction of 1% of the human population on the planet hated with breathtaking vehemence down the centuries. Blamed for every imaginable woe of mankind. It continues to this day. Fewer than 8 million people in the State of Israel are seen as the primary problem facing the UN today - really?

My imperfect understanding of God's choice of Abraham centered on his faith and nothing more. He was in no other way remarkable except that he believed and acted upon those beliefs by doing what he perceived to be the will of God. If one discounts the idea of a god then the argument is moot of course. But a thinking person might look to history and ponder the survival of this family of people and their survival - including their language - over so many centuries and so much persecution. I think they were chosen to show that God expects faith and obedience. For every instance of wealth that has been accumulated there are at least two stories of torture, death and diaspora. I believe in God. I also believe His word and those who hate the Jew and heap slanders and lies on them - it will have consequences.

You left one key ingrediant, God expects justice! They were also chosen to show that God expects justice and if the Jews werent upholding and representing justice and being socially conscience they fell under judgment. "Make straight the way for the Lord." and again "Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley." and once more "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."

"And do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father'; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham."

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You left one key ingrediant, God expects justice! They were also chosen to show that God expects justice and if the Jews werent upholding and representing justice and being socially conscience they fell under judgment. "Make straight the way for the Lord." and again "Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley." and once more "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."

"And do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father'; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham."

And you, in your infinite wisdom, feel God is taking too long to exact justice? Tell me, Bug, where is the justice for them? Who is liable to repay THEM for the lost centuries, the thefts and murders, the persecution of never having a place safe from the hate? Are they less human? God, rest assured, will have His justice. But He has said in His word that He will also require it of everyone who has persecuted His chosen as well.

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You left one key ingrediant, God expects justice! They were also chosen to show that God expects justice and if the Jews werent upholding and representing justice and being socially conscience they fell under judgment.

I never got a consistent "justice" vibe from the Old Testament. In fact the concept of justice as a series of laws resulting in predictable punishments is hardly how I'd describe how things went. Sometimes God smote people for trivial things (like baking Aaron's son) and sometimes He shrugged off major infractions.

The concept of justice is contradicted constantly. Deuteronomy clearly says that children should not be held responsible for the sins of their fathers but God constantly massacres children with plagues. Even God's beloved David hands Saul's grandkids over to the Philistines for execution because their granddad was a jerk.

What God wanted more than anything was to show that He was the biggest kick-ass God in the universe and his Chosen People were going to be his public relations campaigners.

"Make straight the way for the Lord."

"Kick the asses of everyone who gets in my way."

and again "Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley."

That popular quote from Isaiah is just a continuation of the "make straight" quote and is more of God bragging about His gnarly powers than anything about justice.

and once more "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."

That's from the New Testament so I don't really know for sure what the parable meant.

"And do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father'; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham."

I admit the New Testament baffles me even more than the Old. :blush:

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"Kick the asses of everyone who gets in my way."

Ultimately, "the psychopath must have what he wants, no matter what the cost to those in his way."

http://www.anandainfo.com/cult_leaders.html

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Part of the reason I became such a die hard supporter of Israel and the Jews - regardless their behaviors at times - is because I saw a very tiny small fraction of 1% of the human population on the planet hated with breathtaking vehemence down the centuries. Blamed for every imaginable woe of mankind. It continues to this day. Fewer than 8 million people in the State of Israel are seen as the primary problem facing the UN today - really?

My imperfect understanding of God's choice of Abraham centered on his faith and nothing more. He was in no other way remarkable except that he believed and acted upon those beliefs by doing what he perceived to be the will of God. If one discounts the idea of a god then the argument is moot of course. But a thinking person might look to history and ponder the survival of this family of people and their survival - including their language - over so many centuries and so much persecution. I think they were chosen to show that God expects faith and obedience. For every instance of wealth that has been accumulated there are at least two stories of torture, death and diaspora. I believe in God. I also believe His word and those who hate the Jew and heap slanders and lies on them - it will have consequences.

Are you Jewish? If not, why not?

Say the Jewish are correct. Only they ascend to heaven. If you're not Jewish, you won't get in. On the other hand, if the Jewish are wrong about Jesus, and you are a devout follower of God (being Jewish), would God turn you away? You would be part of the "chosen people" and you spent a life devoted to him. Why would he turn you away? To me the win-win scenario if you believe in the god of Abraham would be to convert to Judaism.

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And you, in your infinite wisdom, feel God is taking too long to exact justice? Tell me, Bug, where is the justice for them? Who is liable to repay THEM for the lost centuries, the thefts and murders, the persecution of never having a place safe from the hate? Are they less human? God, rest assured, will have His justice. But He has said in His word that He will also require it of everyone who has persecuted His chosen as well.

So the Palestinians are to be held accountable for history? Is the whole world supposed to be on one giant guilt trip and pander to Israel, whether it is righteous or not, whether it is justified or not, whether it is legal under international law or not, whether it commits war crimes or not?

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Ruth was a Moabite, not a Jew. She married a Jew but remained a Moabite. She chose to stop worshiping Baal (if she ever did) but she was never converted to Judaism nor was anyone in the Book of Ruth unless I'm overlooking a major plot point here.

Oddly, intermarriage was clearly forbidden in chapter 34 of Exodus. Moses made it clear to everyone that if Jewish men started marrying pagan women, they'd turn away from the Lord and the faith of his Chosen People would dilute. There are Israelite/Moabite marriages all through the Book of Ruth yet God doesn't get p***ed like He did in the past.

No one even gets murdered in this Book -- they all die natural deaths! Does it even belong in the Bible? :D

(from JewFaq101)

About Matrilineal Descent

Many people have asked me why traditional Judaism uses matrilineal descent to determine Jewish status, when in all other things (tribal affiliation, priestly status, royalty, etc.) we use patrilineal descent.

The Torah does not specifically state anywhere that matrilineal descent should be used; however, there are several passages in the Torah where it is understood that the child of a Jewish woman and a non-Jewish man is a Jew, and several other passages where it is understood that the child of a non-Jewish woman and a Jewish man is not a Jew.

In Deuteronomy 7:1-5, in expressing the prohibition against intermarriage, G-d says "he [i.e., the non-Jewish male spouse] will cause your child to turn away from Me and they will worship the gods of others." No such concern is expressed about the child of a non-Jewish female spouse. From this, we infer that the child of a non-Jewish male spouse is Jewish (and can therefore be turned away from Judaism), but the child of a non-Jewish female spouse is not Jewish (and therefore turning away is not an issue).

Leviticus 24:10 speaks of the son of an Israelite woman and an Egyptian man as being "among the community of Israel" (i.e., a Jew).

On the other hand, in Ezra 10:2-3, the Jews returning to Israel vowed to put aside their non-Jewish wives and the children born to those wives. They could not have put aside those children if those children were Jews.

Several people have written to me asking about King David: was he a Jew, given that one of his female ancestors, Ruth, was not a Jew? This conclusion is based on two faulty premises: first of all, Ruth was a Jew, and even if she wasn't, that would not affect David's status as a Jew. Ruth converted to Judaism before marrying Boaz and bearing Obed. See Ruth 1:16, where Ruth states her intention to convert. After Ruth converted, she was a Jew, and all of her children born after the conversion were Jewish as well. But even if Ruth were not Jewish at the time Obed was born, that would not affect King David's status as a Jew, because Ruth is an ancestor of David's father, not of David's mother, and David's Jewish status is determined by his mother.

Tracey R Rich

http://www.jewfaq.org/whoisjew.htm

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Because they are good marketing.

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YHW was worshipped amon the Midianites and southern Edomites.

It was his experience in the land of the midianites that led Moses to YHW

He met the head priest, and married his daughter.

Twas there he heard the voice in the burning bush.

previously Isrealites were polytheistic......

It wasnt until the exilic and Persian periods where monotheism took a hold....probably with exposure to Persian Zoroastrianism.

Their chosen-ness is a good example of 'collective narcissism'.

Edited by The Gremlin

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So the Palestinians are to be held accountable for history? Is the whole world supposed to be on one giant guilt trip and pander to Israel, whether it is righteous or not, whether it is justified or not, whether it is legal under international law or not, whether it commits war crimes or not?

Where do you see Palestinians singled out in this quote? It says "everyone". Try to keep modern political issues out of a discussion about ancient text.

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Where do you see Palestinians singled out in this quote? It says "everyone". Try to keep modern political issues out of a discussion about ancient text.

Well, because Palestinians are bearing the brunt thereof at the moment.. ;)

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We have to stop looking at this question thru our human eyes, and start looking at it thru God's eyes! The Lord said that the Jewish people are the apple of His eye. He is the Creator of all things, and we must take Him at His Word!

Genesis 12:2-3

"I will make you a great nation;

I will bless you

And make your name great;

And you shall be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,

And I will curse him who curses you;

And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Did you catch that? Whoever blesses Israel will be blessed, and whoever curses Israel will be cursed! The Jews are the ONLY people who were specifically given land by God Himself! Since that time, everyone has tried to take that land away from them. Jealously perhaps? The Palestinians have never "owned" the land of Israel! It has always belonged to the Jews! If you look at history, you will see that the Palestinian people were actually prisoners of war from surrounding countries, and those countries would not take back their own people. So who took them in and cared for them? You got it! The Jewish people! Now the Palestinian people have turned on the very people that took them in and cared for them in their time of need!

Here are some examples of how America was blessed for blessing Israel and cursed for cursing Israel.

On May 14, 1948 when Israel regained their own land in one day, (as was prophecied by Isaiah and Jeremiah) it took President Harry Truman less than 5 minutes to declare that America recognized Israel as a sovereign nation. America was still suffering from the great depression of the 30s and 40s. All of the sudden, America's economy turned around and the 50's were ushered in with abundance. We continued to support Israel.

Then in the 70's when President Jimmy Carter got into office, he was and is a well known anti-Semite. He went against Israel every chance he got. We were soon having major economic problems, huge mile long lines at the gas pump from a fuel shortage, and we had Americans being held hostage in Iran. The very day that Ronald Reagan took office, the first thing he did was to declare the America would support Israel without hestitation. That same day, Iran released the hostages unharmed, the fuel shortage was over, and the economy skyrocketed.

Then came George Bush Sr.

In 1991, George Bush Sr. sponsored the Madrid Peace conference to get Israel to give up their land, and immediately on that day, a storm hit the northeast Atlantic, and the storm was sending 30 foot waves into Bush's home in Maine.

August 24,1992, the Madrid conference started in Washington DC to push Israel to give up more land. On the very same day, Hurricane Andrew destroyed the states of Florida and Louisiana.

On January 15,1994, Bill Clinton was in Geneva calling on Israel to leave the Golan Heights. Within 24 hours, a major earthquake hit Northridge, California producing the most devastating earthquake in US history, and the second largest disaster in US history.

On August 24, 2005, the very day that the Jews were evicted from the Golan Heights, tropical storm 12 emerged in the Bahamas. Within 72 hours it was Hurricane Katrina, which became the worst disaster to hit North America in history!

Coincidence? I don’t think so!

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We have to stop looking at this question thru our human eyes, and start looking at it thru God's eyes! The Lord said that the Jewish people are the apple of His eye. He is the Creator of all things, and we must take Him at His Word!

Genesis 12:2-3

"I will make you a great nation;

I will bless you

And make your name great;

And you shall be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,

And I will curse him who curses you;

And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Did you catch that? Whoever blesses Israel will be blessed, and whoever curses Israel will be cursed! The Jews are the ONLY people who were specifically given land by God Himself! Since that time, everyone has tried to take that land away from them. Jealously perhaps? The Palestinians have never "owned" the land of Israel! It has always belonged to the Jews! If you look at history, you will see that the Palestinian people were actually prisoners of war from surrounding countries, and those countries would not take back their own people. So who took them in and cared for them? You got it! The Jewish people! Now the Palestinian people have turned on the very people that took them in and cared for them in their time of need!

Here are some examples of how America was blessed for blessing Israel and cursed for cursing Israel.

On May 14, 1948 when Israel regained their own land in one day, (as was prophecied by Isaiah and Jeremiah) it took President Harry Truman less than 5 minutes to declare that America recognized Israel as a sovereign nation. America was still suffering from the great depression of the 30s and 40s. All of the sudden, America's economy turned around and the 50's were ushered in with abundance. We continued to support Israel.

Then in the 70's when President Jimmy Carter got into office, he was and is a well known anti-Semite. He went against Israel every chance he got. We were soon having major economic problems, huge mile long lines at the gas pump from a fuel shortage, and we had Americans being held hostage in Iran. The very day that Ronald Reagan took office, the first thing he did was to declare the America would support Israel without hestitation. That same day, Iran released the hostages unharmed, the fuel shortage was over, and the economy skyrocketed.

Then came George Bush Sr.

In 1991, George Bush Sr. sponsored the Madrid Peace conference to get Israel to give up their land, and immediately on that day, a storm hit the northeast Atlantic, and the storm was sending 30 foot waves into Bush's home in Maine.

August 24,1992, the Madrid conference started in Washington DC to push Israel to give up more land. On the very same day, Hurricane Andrew destroyed the states of Florida and Louisiana.

On January 15,1994, Bill Clinton was in Geneva calling on Israel to leave the Golan Heights. Within 24 hours, a major earthquake hit Northridge, California producing the most devastating earthquake in US history, and the second largest disaster in US history.

On August 24, 2005, the very day that the Jews were evicted from the Golan Heights, tropical storm 12 emerged in the Bahamas. Within 72 hours it was Hurricane Katrina, which became the worst disaster to hit North America in history!

Coincidence? I don’t think so!

What a bunch of bull... Israel was a direct result of the oil shortages for American support of Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War when Israel's backs were against the ropes and America committed one of their largest and quickest airlift operations ever called Operation Nickel Grass. The OPEC warned against American intervention but America didnt heed it and the result was an oil embargo on American and the resultant 1973 oil crisis.

The Iran hostage crisis was a result of America and its decades long support of the Shah regime. After the Shah had been ousted a second time in 1979 and granted diplomatic immunity in fact the CIA were responsible for 1953 coup d'etat that restored the Shah to power against a nationalist democratically elected government. Iranians always resented the US for their direct support and intrevention in ousting Prime Minister Mosaddegh in 1953 and its years of support for the tyrannical rule of the Shah. Mosaddegh nationalized the Iranian oil industry and when the US and UK supported coup d'etat succeeded in overturning his regime, it brought back the foreign oil firms.

While the Shah was in exile, he required surgery for gallstones and insisted on treatment in the US. The Iranian government demand his extradition so they could basically try, convict, and hang their former ruler. His prolonged stay made the US extremely unpopular with the revolutionary movement in Iran and he was sent down to Panama instead for surgery even after the Iranian Ambassador delivered a 450 page extradition request to the US. The Shah would eventually die in exile in Egypt.

Ronald Reagan on January 19, 1981 signed the Algiers Accord https://en.wikipedia...Algiers_Accords

By this accord the 52 hostages were freed.

C'mon there are plenty of educated folks here that know their history.

Edited by Ambush Bug

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Because God wanted drama!

The Pentateuch is full of murder, betrayal, incest, rape, trickery, and God generally backing the most conniving characters like Jacob. God loved that stuff.

If God had picked a bunch of clear-headed obedient people who followed his orders to the letter and gave him the love he constantly demanded by threatening them, what a boring story it would have been! Instead He picked a bunch of clueless idiots who constantly whined about everything, who acted like miracles happen on their own, and constantly wished out loud that they were still slaves in Egypt. God had a great time blasting them with fire, scaring them with earthquakes, killing them off with plagues, and effectively beating them like abused pets.

Even when they behaved themselves, God's trigger finger would get itchy and he'd flip out on trivial things. For example he wasted two of Aaron's sons with fire because they messed up the sacrifice procedure.

How do you know that was not a critical error, rather than a trivial one?

If i ask you to boil water, and you take it to a few degrees below boiling, is that critical? Not if you're making tea, perhaps, but if the water is to be used to sterilise a bandage, it could be the difference between life and death.

The ancient hebiru tied a rope to a priest when he entered the holiest part of the temple. Then, if god struck him down for making a mistake, he could be hauled out without endangering another person.

They took god's power literally and seriously. Perhaps they had learned to do so from experiences with him. To them, messing up a part of the service could have devastating results.

Whether that was all in their mind, or actually the case, is irrelevant. The punishment proscribed/described, for making a mistake reflected the seriousness of that error and its consequences on the people of the tribe.

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What a bunch of bull... Israel was a direct result of the oil shortages for American support of Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War when Israel's backs were against the ropes and America committed one of their largest and quickest airlift operations ever called Operation Nickel Grass. The OPEC warned against American intervention but America didnt heed it and the result was an oil embargo on American and the resultant 1973 oil crisis.

The Iran hostage crisis was a result of America and its decades long support of the Shah regime. After the Shah had been ousted a second time in 1979 and granted diplomatic immunity in fact the CIA were responsible for 1953 coup d'etat that restored the Shah to power against a nationalist democratically elected government. Iranians always resented the US for their direct support and intrevention in ousting Prime Minister Mosaddegh in 1953 and its years of support for the tyrannical rule of the Shah. Mosaddegh nationalized the Iranian oil industry and when the US and UK supported coup d'etat succeeded in overturning his regime, it brought back the foreign oil firms.

While the Shah was in exile, he required surgery for gallstones and insisted on treatment in the US. The Iranian government demand his extradition so they could basically try, convict, and hang their former ruler. His prolonged stay made the US extremely unpopular with the revolutionary movement in Iran and he was sent down to Panama instead for surgery even after the Iranian Ambassador delivered a 450 page extradition request to the US. The Shah would eventually die in exile in Egypt.

Ronald Reagan on January 19, 1981 signed the Algiers Accord https://en.wikipedia...Algiers_Accords

By this accord the 52 hostages were freed.

C'mon there are plenty of educated folks here that know their history.

I'm not refuting what happened with the Shah of Iran. But all of that happened as a direct result of how America was treating Israel at the time. You think that you are disputing me, but God's Word is very clear. You can choose to believe it or not, that is your choice.

By the way, your response in no way contradicts what I said. :)

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Weren't the Jews the chosen people of God because of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice Isaac?

Actually, the Jews were the chosen people of God because He would send a Messiah to the world thru the Jewish people.

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I'm not refuting what happened with the Shah of Iran. But all of that happened as a direct result of how America was treating Israel at the time. You think that you are disputing me, but God's Word is very clear. You can choose to believe it or not, that is your choice.

By the way, your response in no way contradicts what I said. :)

All you offered was superstitious mumbo-jumbo. ;)

I remember in South America a few years ago, the roof of a church collapsed in on its congregation during one of its services killing many of its members. Was that a judgment of God? Was that a curse from God? Answer me forthright since you can deliberate the will of God and who He has cursed and who He has blessed. Oh, great seer/seeress and prophet of doom.

Edited by Ambush Bug

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All you offered was superstitious mumbo-jumbo. ;)

I remember in South America a few years ago, the roof of a church collapsed in on its congregation during one of its services killing many of its members. Was that a judgment of God? Was that a curse from God? Answer me forthright since you can deliberate the will of God and who He has cursed and who He has blessed. Oh, great seer/seeress and prophet of doom.

You sure assume quite alot, and you know what happens when you assume, right? I never said I could deliberate the will of God, I said there were obvious corelations between my country obeying the Word of God, and disobeying the Word of God.

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You sure assume quite alot, and you know what happens when you assume, right? I never said I could deliberate the will of God, I said there were obvious corelations between my country obeying the Word of God, and disobeying the Word of God.

That is the exact point I am making .... "your correlations" .... and I gave you an example of disaster befallen a congregation of Christians during a worship service.... maybe it is you that is assuming quite alot and you know perfectly well what happens when you assume, right?

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Funny, for a scripturally ensured Chosen People, nobody has persecuted them more than Christianity.

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That is the exact point I am making .... "your correlations" .... and I gave you an example of disaster befallen a congregation of Christians during a worship service.... maybe it is you that is assuming quite alot and you know perfectly well what happens when you assume, right?

No Bug, you want me to tell you God's reasons for allowing something to happen, when I don't know the story, or God's reasons. Ambush Bug? Well, the name fits. I can tell you what I know about Scripture and my personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if you actually want to know. I can also tell you about the obvious signs that God's promises are absolutely true, if you actually want to know. But you seem to rather want to ambush me with your own impossible scenarios, and demand that I give you an answer. God is not a genie in a bottle, and neither am I. <_<

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No Bug, you want me to tell you God's reasons for allowing something to happen, when I don't know the story, or God's reasons. Ambush Bug? Well, the name fits. I can tell you what I know about Scripture and my personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if you actually want to know. I can also tell you about the obvious signs that God's promises are absolutely true, if you actually want to know. But you seem to rather want to ambush me with your own impossible scenarios, and demand that I give you an answer. God is not a genie in a bottle, and neither am I. <_<

And what is wrong with Israel ending their occupations of the Golan Heights and the West Bank? They dispossessed the native populations and literally turned several millions into refugees and internally displaced persons. People that inhabited that land for at least 16 centuries. The Arab Palestinians have Hebrew blood but also have Philistine and Canaanite blood too. Their history is longer than the Jews in the region.

Palestinians are ghettoized on 12% of their original land.

The West Bank is divided up into 70 isolated cantons with no physical movement between them without Israeli permission.

There are over 500 military check points where Palestinians have to wait hours to travel short distances. Israeli settlers travel on Israeli only super highways and face no restrictions.

This disposition is reminiscent of Apartheid in South Africa, which set aside 13% of the land as "Bantustan" homelands for black South Africans.

At the center of the occupation and the apartheid system in the West Bank are Israeli settlements. More than half million Israelis illegally and permanently live in 244 West Bank settlements. These settlements fragment Palestinian territory, bring thousands of Israeli soldiers, hundreds of check points and other restrictions to the Palestinian people.

mapfrangmentation.png

The map below shows how the West Bank is incorporated into Israel through a series of Israeli only roads. West Bank Palestinians are not allowed to use these roads and, in many cases, even cross them. These Israeli only roads create a way for Israelis to travel to and from the illegal settlements in the West Bank. They also create two systems, separate and unequal (apartheid), and fragment the West Bank.

isrealionlyroads.png

If the separation wall, sometimes called the annexation wall or apartheid wall, went along the Green Line (the internationally recognized boarder), it would be legal under international law. Unfortunately, it dips deep into the occupied West Bank, creating a no-man's land (seam zone) between the wall and the green line where tens of thousands of Palestinians live with little access to either Israel or the West Bank. They are often cut off from their families, jobs, school and health care.

West Bank Water Usage

  • Of the water available from West Bank aquifers, Israel uses 73%, West Bank Palestinians use 17%, and illegal Jewish settlers use 10%.
  • While 10-14% of Palestine’s GDP is agricultural, 90% of them must rely on rain-fed farming methods. Israel’s agriculture is only 3% of their GDP, but Israel irrigates more than 50% of its land.
  • Three million West Bank Palestinians use only 250 million cubic meters per year (83 cubic meters per Palestinian per year) while six million Israelis enjoy the use of 1,954 million cubic meters (333 cubic meters per Israeli per year), which means that each Israeli consumes as much water as four Palestinians. Israeli settlers are allocated 1,450 cubic meters of water per person per year.
  • Israel consumes the vast majority of the water from the Jordan River despite only 3% of the river falling within its pre-1967 borders. Israel now diverts one quarter of its total water consumption through its National Water Carrier from the Jordan River, whereas Palestinians have no access to it whatsoever due to Israeli closures.

“There is no reason for Palestinians to claim that just because they sit on lands, they have the rights to that water.”

– Mr. Katz-Oz, Israel’s negotiator on water issues [1]

International Law

  • Under international law it is illegal for Israel to expropriate the water of the Occupied Palestinian Territories for use by its own citizens, and doubly illegal to expropriate it for use by illegal Israeli settlers [2].
  • Also under international law, Israel owes Palestinians reparations for past and continuing use of water resources. This should include interest due to loss of earnings from farming.

Israeli Actions

  • Israel does not allow new wells to be drilled by Palestinians and has confiscated many wells for Israeli use. Israel sets quotas on how much water can be drawn by Palestinians from existing wells.

settler-water.jpg

Israeli settlers have no restrictions on water use.

  • When supplies of water are low in the summer months, the Israeli water company Mekorot closes the valves which supply Palestinian towns and villages so as not to affect Israeli supplies. This means that illegal Israeli settlers can have their swimming pools topped up and lawns watered while Palestinians living next to them, on whose land the settlements are situated, do not have enough water for drinking and cooking.
  • Israel often sells the water it steals from the West Bank back to the Palestinians at inflated prices.
  • During the war of 1967, 140 Palestinian wells in the Jordan Valley were destroyed to divert water through Israel’s National Water Carrier. Palestinians were allowed to dig only 13 wells between 1967 and 1996, less than the number of wells which dried up during the same period due to Israel’s refusal to deepen or rehabilitate existing wells.
  • The Gaza strip relies predominately on wells that are being increasingly infiltrated by salty sea water because Israel is over-pumping the groundwater. UN scientists estimate that Gaza will have no drinkable water within fifteen years.

Settlers

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The main spring in the Palestinian village of Yanoun suffers damages and contamination inflicted by illegal Israeli settlers.

  • In Madama village 50km north of Jerusalem settlers from Yizhar settlement have repeatedly vandalized the villager’s only source of water. They have poured concrete into it, vandalized the connecting pipes and even dropped disposable diapers and other hazardous waste into the springs. Three villagers have been attacked by settlers while trying to repair the water source [3].
  • Constant settler attacks on the community of Yanoun, Nablus governorate, located next to the Itamar settlement, peaked in October 2002 when masked settlers charged into the village with dogs and caused significant damage to the water network, several roof tanks, and the local spring, which is considered to be the main source of water for the community. The main line supplying water to the community from the main spring, as well as the pump, reservoir, fittings and valves were all damaged by settlers. Residents of the community were forced to buy water from tankers from the neighboring community. Tanker access was very difficult due to Israeli closures and checkpoints as well as settler threats and terror which included shootings, beatings, and harassment [4].

Water and the Wall

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This water reservoir, located in the village of Attil, Tulkarem district, is isolated by the Wall from the community it serves. It is in the area between the Wall and the Green Line, which Israel is attempting to annex in violation of the Road Map and of international law.

  • Many of the most important underground wellsprings in the West Bank are located just to the east of the Green Line dividing Israel from Palestine. Israel has built the Wall not only to annex land but also to annex many of these wells in order to divert water to Israel and illegal West Bank settlements.
  • The Wall is not only an Apartheid Wall, but also a water wall. Some of the largest Israeli settlements (such as Ariel and Qedumin) are built over the Western mountain aquifer, directly in the middle of the northern West Bank agricultural districts, and this is exactly where the wall cuts deepest into Palestinian territory to surround and annex this vital water source.
  • The building of the Wall has caused the village of Falamya in Qalqiliya district to lose its main source of water. In Jayyous, a village near Falamya, all of its seven water wells have been annexed or destroyed by the Apartheid Wall.
  • In the West Bank, around 50 groundwater wells and over 200 cisterns have been destroyed or isolated from their owners by the Wall. This water was used for domestic and agricultural needs by over 122,000 people. To build the Wall, 25 wells and cisterns and 35,000 meters of water pipes have also been destroyed [5].
  • In 2003, the losses incurred by Palestinian farmers due to the Wall diverting water resources has been 2,200 tons of olive oil, 50,000 tons of fruit, and 100,000 tons of vegetables [6].
  • The Wall is obstructing many water run-off flows in the Qalqiliya region that normally divert water to prevent flooding. During heavy rains in February 2005, Israeli soldiers refused to open drainage pipes in Qalqiliya, which led to heavy flood damage to crops and homes there. The Wall also caused severe flooding in Zububa and other villages.

Under the conditions brought about by the siege imposed by Israeli occupation forces, civilians in the occupied territories are suffering from lack of access to necessary resources for the maintenance of their daily needs and basic health. We have reached a state of emergency in the water sector in the Occupied Territories. We must call for an immediate end to the siege upon the water sector.

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