Palestine before the Palestinians by Olivier Jack Melnick


…until the early 60s, Palestine was always synonymous with Israel and/or Holy Land. Arabs in neighboring countries never called themselves Palestinians but rather Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanian, Egyptians, etc. Most Arabs in the early 1900s would have argued that Palestinian Arabs were simply Syrians.

Recently, an interesting new piece of evidence in favor of Jewish Palestine was found in the most unlikely of places. Some will argue that it is just anecdotal and that it certainly doesn’t prove anything, but I would beg to differ.

Complete article here:



Qanta Ahmed

In the west I think we need to understand that, despite the anti-west rhetoric spewed by spokesmen from ISIS,  Islamism has so far proven to be more of  danger to middle-eastern Moslems than to us.

For every American or European journalist and aid-worker butchered by ISIS, tens of thousands of Moslems (as well as Christians) in Syria and Iraq have also been brutally killed. So the apparant lack of condemnation of ISIS from western Moslems seems significant. [On the other hand, is the western media reporting when Moslems are condemning them?*]

Last Saturday I saw an interesting interview with Dr Qanta Ahmed, a Moslem woman who IS speaking out about the dangers of “Islamism”.



It was refreshing to hear a Moslem willing to speak against the atrocities being committed in the name of Islam and the danger that Islamism presents not only to western interests but to Moslems as well.

During the interview I think she politely put Andrew O’Keefe, the Aussie interviewer, “in his place” (though I’m sure he didn’t realise it) when he tried to compare/equate Islamic extremism (ISIS, Hamas etc) to other religious extremism in the world – also inferring that extremists in the US Bible Belt are no less dangerous than ISIS.

Andrew O’Keefe: I think the debate here in Australia is centred around Islam but meanwhile, in Burma, we have Buddhists running riot against Muslims trying to attempt a genocide there.

We have Hindu nationalism going crazy in parts of India.

The southern states of America, even now, there is an extreme fundamentalist Christianity that has sought to stamp out Judaism and other forms of religious, it’s any religious tradition.


Qanta Ahmed: Your point is well taken, any belief system can be galvanised into grounds for persecution but Islamism is extraordinary.

It’s over 100 years old that steals and borrows language from one of the world’s most populated religion, 1.62 billion Moslems.

So that has a power and scale that few ideologies can lend themselves.


There are Islamist governments that are in power and Iran, also in other countries which have wielded enormous influence.

So it’s much bigger than some of those things you’ve mentioned.

I have previously heard O’Keefe trying to minimise the dangers of Islamists by refering to the dangers presented by all religions. And it seems at times that some media sources can go the extra mile to downplay any Islamic responsibility regarding the rise of Islamism*. A trend not gone unnoticed by Dr Ahmed, who wrote last year:

Expressing concern, executive editor Chris Fields of The Blaze recent wrote “American journalists bend over backward to treat Muslims in a positive way, even to ludicrous extremes. As a result, terrorists are often called “militants”—even when they are on U.S. government terror watch lists. And any open criticism of radical Islam has typically been treated as “Islamophobia.”

He later draws a contrast with the much more critical portrayal of Christians in the media. His argument is long overdue, though most members of the press are too uncomfortable to consider engaging in this debate.


(It’s nice to see her make reference to claims of the all too common negative portrayal of Christians in the media.)

It is also refreshing to hear a Moslem speaking of Israel’s right to exist, especially when so many other voices, even “Christian” opinion has been so opposed to Israel, especially in recent months when Israel responded militarily to Hamas rocket attacks.

Dr Ahmed had this to say in an article from early 2013 (showing the persistency of the Hamas campaign against Israel, and the little value Hamas continues to place on the lives of the Palestinian people in Gaza).

Hamas is never sated – each year it devours ever more Palestinians, regardless of age or gender. If Israelis lose fewer citizens than the Palestinians in these conflicts it is for the same reason Israel exchanges more prisoners for each captive soldier: quite simply Israel values human life more than does Hamas, which relishes ground operations taking place among densely populate civilian areas.

Full article here:




I want to draw attention the the two statments above marked with *. Why does the media seem to have this attitude?



When scripture is silent… man creates tradition.

Two or three weeks ago I found myself banned from a blog that I’ve been following for a long time and on which I’ve regularly commented.

The blog owner seems not to have liked what I said about Sabbath observance in comments on his blog. The specific issue is one I addressed here after my banning:


He continued his discussion of the Sabbath in a recent posts, writing:

How does one observe the Shabbat? The traditional answer in Hebrew Roots is that we simply do what the Torah tells us to do, but there are problems with this explanation. We have to wrestle with the reality that the Bible doesn’t specifically define exactly how one spends their time and what behaviors one engages or avoids on the Sabbath.

And this brief except again highlights the issue that led to my banning and it has little to do with the Sabbath observance and a lot to do with the observing of tradition.

I find he misses the point entirely, that the Sabbath wasn’t meant to be a burden but a blessing – it was about resting and NOT doing.

It was NOT about creating new rules, regulations and practices to fill the absence of BIBLICAL instruction. If scripture is silent, don’t complicate things or create difficulties by adding to scripture.


Worldwide Reach.

I’m amazed to see how widely my blog has been seen. The map below shows which parts of the world it has reached.

Most of North and South America – apart from a couple  of countries in South America;  a large section of Asia, with a few in Central Asia missing.  Africa has the most “white patches” to show they’ve provided no visitors here – and then to the north, Greenland remains unvisited.

Sadly Antarctica isn’t included on the map, so I’ll never know if someone there pays a visit.




The Jews Rejected Jesus (?)


The Fascinating History of the First Jewish Believers, by Ron Cantor

How big was the early Jewish church and what happened to them?

What was the response of “tradtional” Judaism when faced with the increasing numbers of  Jews believing in Jesus?  

Excerpt from “The Fascinating History of the First Jewish Believers”, by Ron Cantor.

We know from Scripture that the Messianic Community in Jerusalem was thriving in the first decades after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem. When Paul comes back to Jerusalem to greet the apostles, they report to him:

 On hearing it, they praised God; but they also said to him, “You see, brother, how many tens of thousands of believers there are among the Judeans, and they are all zealous for the Torah.” (Acts 21:20 CJB)

 There are two interesting points worth noting. First, they are Torah-honoring Jewish believers. This does not mean that they necessarily followed all the traditions of Pharisaical Judaism, but that they suddenly found deep meaning in the commands and feasts that they previously only kept out of religious guilt or soulish zeal. This is reported to Paul as a good thing. There is no hint that they are moving away from Torah or their Jewishness, but closer.

For the rest of the article see part 1 here:


Link to part two is provided at the end of part 1.


Does Your Fridge Light Offend God?

lightI learned the other day that opening the fridge on the Sabbath can cause problems. It’s because of the refrigerator light. Apparently it’s related to Sabbath prohibitions associated with electrical switches. As far as I can determine it has something to do with the Sabbath day commandment against lighting a fire in a person’s home (Exod 35). Engaging a switch to complete an electrical circuit is apparently equated with lighting a fire in modern Jewish tradition.

Of course there are ways and means of getting around the fridge light problem, such as removing the light globe. Or maybe an easier way is using that indispensable product with 1001 uses: duct tape. A small strip can be used to hold down the switch, so that it remains in the closed-door position, thereby ensuring the light remains unilluminated.

So, what’s so important about this information and why do I mention it?

Firstly, I have nothing against Jews maintaining their own traditions, whether for religious or cultural reasons. I also have no objection to Messianic Jews continuing those traditions after they come to faith in their Messiah Jesus. It’s not up to a gentile like me to insist they have to abandon their cultural ways and adopt a “Christian” way of life, just as there is no need for any other cultural group to abandon non-sinful aspects of their lifestyles. And apart from the inconvenience to those personally involved, avoiding electrical switches on the Sabbath does no one any harm.


1) It is believed and promoted that the prohibition is a directive FROM God.
2) It is believed and promoted that observing the prohibition is doing something FOR God
3) It is believed and promoted that the practice PLEASES God.
4) It is believed and promoted that failure to comply with the practice is sinful and DISPLEASES God.

While the specific example of the fridge light may seem minor, it needs to be recognised that the association of light switches with fire starting is a REINTERPRETATION of scripture, and not an actual directive from scripture. And many problems arise when scripture is liberally re-interpreted to mean something other than what is actually written.

Adding extra conditions to Sabbath observance effectively CHANGES the significance and purpose of the Sabbath. In some cases, those conditions actually contravene the Sabbath, where observing man’s tradition DECREASES the rest from work that the Sabbath was supposed to provide. (I’ve heard of people climbing several flights of stairs rather than take the elevator, due to the same view of using electric switches.)

A choice to observe the Sabbath BIBLICALLY can lead to difficulties for some because scripture doesn’t go into great detail about how it should be done. There aren’t long lists of directions and procedures to follow. The instruction that IS given can more or less be condensed to two main aspects: 1) rest from work and 2) devote the day to God. But for some reason man DOES love to create, follow and enforce religious procedure and ritual.

The significance of a day of rest from work can be found by looking at WHEN the command to observe the Sabbath was first given, and TO WHOM that command was given. The following reference gives a clue:

“Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.” (Deuteronomy 5:15)

The Sabbath was given to Israel – a nation brought out of a life of slavery where there was no respite from work. The Sabbath was given to bless them with freedom from work for one day out of seven. It was not intended that they should be slaves to the Sabbath, and especially NOT slaves to man-made traditions that would increase work. This is what Jesus meant when He spoke of the Sabbath being made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
The Sabbath was intended to be a blessing, not a burden.

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