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Israel divides conservatives, too

The War of Israel against Gaza divides more than leftists. It divides conservatives, and along theological lines.

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Yesterday, CNAV covered the passage of the Israel aid bill by Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), Speaker of the House. In addition, CNAV covered the stark divisions among Democrats – and American Jews – regarding the justice of Israel’s very existence. (For that is definitely at stake here, as more and more commentators are willing to acknowledge.) But, as CNAV said yesterday, the right is also dividing itself on whether or not to support Israel even morally. It has become fashionable, with an increasing number of conservatives, to say that Israel cannot justify its conduct of the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, or even its continued existence. Therefore nothing will serve except full evacuation of Israel and the surrender of its land to the Arabs. This is to say that no one, particularly no conservative, can make that moral case.

Who else voted against the Israel aid bill?

First, CNAV can now name the two Republicans who voted against Speaker Johnson’s bill. One of them was Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). She voted no, not because she doesn’t believe in Israel’s right to exist, but because she considers the U.S.-Mexican border of far greater importance and urgency. Rep. Greene made her statement in a post on X earlier today.

The other was Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.). He announced on October 30 that he would vote against any such bill, for one simple reason: the money.

He voted against Speaker Johnson’s earlier resolution expressing support for Israel, for the same reasion:

For the record, the American-Israel Political Action Committee did accuse Massie of questioning the “dual loyalties” of Americans who support Israel. To be fair, that was a total non sequitur. Rep. Massie never said one word about “dual loyalty,” or about the nominal dual-citizenship status of Jews worldwide.


After the Israel aid bill vote, he posted nothing to X. CNAV knows how he voted by consulting the record for House Roll Call 577, from the House Clerk’s office.

Each of these Representatives explains his (or her) vote as a decision on competing principles. That’s perfectly understandable. In short, they raise valid arguments, but not necessarily winning arguments.

In sharp contrast, Lauren Witzke, whose opinions CNAV otherwise respects, carelessly defends a Biblical doctrine that literally went down with the Titanic.

Misinterpretation of evidence

Consider this post, embedding a video of an interview with Alan Dershowitz:

Now consider the points in the second paragraph, one by one:

  1. “The last election in Gaza was 17 years ago.” And who calls elections? Can any tyrants really keep such a grip on their people without their complicity? CNAV has commented before on HAMAS’ willing executioners. That Gaza “civilians” tolerate this and not demand new elections, is evidence for complicity.
  2. “Half the population wasn’t even born yet.” But by all accounts, they still cheer on the organization that governs them, and embrace its ideology.
  3. “HAMAS was supported and propped up by the Israeli Government, so that they were able to treat Gaza as a ‘hostile state.’” CNAV will discuss that in further detail below.

Witzke herself adduces no evidence, nor has she ever adduced evidence, to suggest that, much less to show it incontrovertibly. But someone else did, in reply to her post. So let’s examine it:

First, consider the source: Ha’aretz. That’s like quoting The New York Times on conditions inside the former Soviet Union, back when that name applied.

Second, consider the principal actor: Ehud Olmert. If his government was allowing hard currency to flow into Gaza, that would be in service of one of two goals:

  1. Avoiding any more criticism from the outside world, and
  2. Serving a leftist goal, not a rightist one.

A confused government policy

If allowing money to flow in through currency exchanges was a real issue, why didn’t Israel cut off electricity and water a long time before the present war? In short, those archives prove nothing except the confusion of foreign policy that has plagued the Jewish State since the end of the Third Arab-Israeli War.

But what about Netanyahu saying that bolstering HAMAS was part of their strategy? All that post shows is a quote. CNAV has reason to doubt its accuracy – and even if it is accurate, we don’t have the tone of voice. Binyamin Netanyahu could as easily have been speaking in sarcasm – and very likely was.

Lauren Witzke, on her profile, still has pinned her post accusing Netanyahu of ordering the Israel Defense Forces to stand down for seven hours.

CNAV has already debunked that claim. But today she serves up this one:


“Just a land grab”? That’s the language of the enemy. But what are those “‘biblical’ excuses” she decries? Maybe a review of the Bible, from Genesis through Revelation. But, though she has offered no scholarship to countervail the plain text of the Bible, others have. Like Greg Reese, who wants Christians to lay claim to the title, not the land, of Israel, through a declaration similar to the Pittsburgh Platform of Reform Judaism. Which reads in relevant part:

We consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religious community, and therefore expect neither a return to Palestine, nor a sacrificial worship under the sons of Aaron, nor the restoration of any of the laws concerning the Jewish state.

Is God really through with ethnic Israel?

That is what Lauren Witzke and Greg Reese, like Harold Camping before them, would have their readers/listeners believe. Nor are they alone, by any means. The essence of covenantal theology is that God transferred the blessings of the Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants from ethnic Israel to the Church.

Really? A plot of land “from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates”? (Incidentally the “river of Egypt” in view is the Wadi al-Arish, close to and intersecting the Camp David Treaty Line. It is not the Nile.) How could any land avail a Christian, especially a Gentile Christian? Yet God repeatedly promises that, if His Chosen People will repent of their sins, He will restore them to that land. In fact the land area in the photograph Lauren Witzke quotes is very close to the land area over which Kings David and Solomon once held sway.

It ill befits a Christian to ignore any part of the Bible, merely because it complicates diplomatic relations. Of course, the prophet Zechariah predicted that the city of Jerusalem would become an immovable object. Anyone who tries to remove it, will fall. (Zechariah 12:3.)

Nor can we ignore Genesis 12:3. “I will bless them / Who bless thee, / And anyone who curses thee / I will curse.” It couldn’t be any clearer.


What would happen if…

But what would happen if the world followed the advice of the covenantal theologians (and “Jewish Voice for Peace”)? What do they advise? Unconditional surrender and full evacuation of the Land of Israel, that’s what. And then what?

After the “Palestinian State” finished demolishing every antiquity except Muslim antiquities, and scoured the land of all evidence of any habitation but their own, they would set about plotting the next step in their timetable of world conquest. As Darrell L. Castle pointedly observes, Islam grows, not through gentle persuasion, but through conquest. (Or, as he so eloquently calls it, “violent conversion.”) That’s why a Muslim mob invaded an airport, not in the Holy Land, but in Russia, looking for Jews to kill as they stepped off an airliner.

Nor should anyone trust what a Muslim says, about land claims or promises of peace. The doctrine of taquiyya specifically says it is OK to lie, so long as the lie benefits the faith. But today the Muslims don’t feel the need to lie.

From the river to the sea, / Palestine shall be free!

They mean what they say. And they mean this, too: “First Saturday, then Sunday!”

How can covenantal theology be correct?

It cannot be. For, contrary to the truth claims of some covenantalists, Revelation does describe, if not paradise on Earth, then certainly true peace – the absence of war. The world has not known that since the Passion and Resurrection.


“Peace” is a condition in which no civilian pays attention to military casualties that do not achieve page one, lead story prominence, unless said civilian is a relative of one of the casualties. But … there has [n]ever been a time in history when “peace” meant that there was no fighting going on… Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers (1959)

St. John of Jerusalem confidently predicted 1000 years when there would indeed be no fighting going on – anywhere. The angels would imprison the devil for that time – and after that, “loose [him] a little season.” (Revelation 20:3.) When has such a time passed? Never.

CNAV repeats: the triumphalism of covenantal theology borders on apostasy, blasphemy and heresy. What’s more, it went down with the Titanic on April 14, 1912. “Not even God can sink this ship!” boasted a dock hand in Liverpool. Oh, really? Christians took note – and abandoned covenantal theology and anything that smacked of triumphalism.

Do we need another dose? Let us hope not. Let us hope instead that the last real leader America had – a leader on a par with the mighty Shoftim, from Joshua to Samuel – will return.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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