The South and Palestine
t is more than a little bizarre to see the governor of a (nominally) Southern State saying and doing things like these:
But it was hard to beat the one liner by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has claimed the titled of “Israel’s governor” while also having his state issue license plates bearing the slogan “Florida Stands By Israel.” How about “Florida Stands By Americans” Ron? De Santis said “Hamas is a terrorist organization and Israel has the right to defend itself against terrorist attacks.” Indeed, the pithy line that “Israel has a right to defend itself” has been picked up far and wide in the U.S. Whether an unarmed Palestine has the same right apparently is not a matter of concern for many Americans.
Considering that the South endured five years of brutal, inhumane warfare at the hands of the Yankees, then another 12 years of occupation by them under similar conditions, and now the ongoing campaign by those same Yankees/globalists to vilify and stamp out what remains of Dixie’s venerable, centuries-old culture, one would think that Florida and her governor would be a little more cautious about giving their full, unconditional support to Israel in her dealings with the Palestinians. For in this instance, the Palestinians resemble the South in their under-dog fight against a superior military power:
– At the time of writing, the current Israeli assault on Gaza has killed at least 200 people, including 59 children and 35 women, while rockets fired from Gaza have killed 10 people in Israel, including 2 children.
– In 2014, 2,251 Palestinians and 72 Israelis (mostly soldiers invading Gaza) were killed, as U.S.-built F-16s dropped at least 5,000 bombs and missiles on Gaza and Israeli tanks and artillery fired 49,500 shells, mostly massive 6-inch shells from U.S.-built M-109 howitzers.
– In response to largely peaceful “March of Return” protests at the Israel-Gaza border in 2018, Israeli snipers killed 183 Palestinians and wounded over 6,100, including 122 that required amputations, 21 paralyzed by spinal cord injuries and 9 permanently blinded.
. . .
On the military front, since the creation of the Israeli state, the United States has provided $146 billion in foreign aid, nearly all of it military-related. It currently provides $3.8 billion per year in military aid to Israel.
In addition, the United States is the largest seller of weapons to Israel, whose military arsenal now includes 362 U.S.-built F-16 warplanes and 100 other U.S. military aircraft, including a growing fleet of the new F-35s; at least 45 Apache attack helicopters; 600 M-109 howitzers and 64 M270 rocket-launchers. At this very moment, Israel is using many of these U.S.-supplied weapons in its devastating bombardment of Gaza.
One of the most depressing things about the state of the modern South is the degree to which the false teaching of the Yankee Cyrus Scofield (born in Michigan), Dispensationalism, has been lapped up by Southerners like a hot, thirsty yard dawg on a blazing August afternoon and causes them to turn a blind eye to what has just been mentioned. It causes otherwise bright and astute Southrons to write things like this:
Israel is simply unlike any of the U.S.’s other allies in the world and there are many reasons Americans passionately love and support it. Those reasons include its ancient religious history and sacred role as the birthplace of Christianity and origin of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Its eternal significance is founded on its connection and proximity to Christ’s birth, death, resurrection, and ascension into Heaven. They also include God’s promise to Abraham that the Jews were His chosen people and that He would grant to Abraham and his descendants the land that is Israel today. Lastly, Israel has always been America’s strongest ally in the region and one of its strongest allies in the world.
But it is noteworthy that even many Evangelical Protestants, let alone Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and the Orthodox, are very forthright in their criticism of Dispensationalism:
In an editorial report of the Second General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of America, the Presbyterian Guardian of November 14, 1936, said of the Scofield notes : "They are heresy of a very terrible kind. Rather than that the Presbyterian Church of America should knowingly tolerate such heresy in its ministry or eldership or deaconate, it would surely seem better that it should be divided or dissolved." The same issue of this paper contained a letter by Professor Kuiper, with the statement that "the organizing principle of dispensationalism of the Scofield Bible is essentially heretical." Dr. Oswald T. Allis, writing in the Evangelical Quarterly (Edinburgh), says:
"But, despite these and other differences that might be mentioned, dispensationalism shares with higher criticism its fundamental error. It is divisive and holds a doctrine of Scripture which tends to be and is in many respects as distinctive of that high view of Scripture which its advocates assert, as it is disastrous to some of the doctrines most precious to the hearts of those that hold it."—January, 1936.
Besides this, folks who naively follow the Dispensationalist view and believe that ‘America’ (whatever that means nowadays) and Israel are the closest of allies fail to see that Israel often acts in ways that cause unnecessary harm and tension for the peoples of the States – e.g., the attempted sinking of the USS Liberty and the SolarWinds hack.
That Israel has an agenda of her own, separate from that of the States, is also rather clearly seen in its extremely aggressive lobbying of US politicians through groups like AIPAC. Likewise, if Israel and ‘Christian America’ had identical interests, the following actions since the creation of the modern state of Israel in 1948 would be unthinkable:
Christians in Jerusalem have gone from 50% of the population to under 4% (around 10,000);
Christians in all of Palestine have gone from 13-25% of the population to less than 2% (60,000 at most);
3,000 Christians have left Bethlehem since 2000;
the Ascension Church on the Mount of Olives was bulldozed by the Israelis in 1992;
1979 and 1995 witnessed the martyrdom of Christians at the hands Israeli Jews;
and in 2012 many Christian holy sites were attacked by the same (Saint Herman Calendar 2013: Orthodox Saints of Palestine, St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, pgs. 6 and 77).
Yet these facts and the continuing attacks on Christians in Israel speak for themselves.
To vocalize any opposition to the policies of the government of Israel often leads to the charge of anti-Semitism. But even large numbers of Jewish people voice this kind of criticism, so the fear of being falsely labeled an anti-Semite is not what it once was. And the potency of such a charge is particularly weak in the South, whose people have always been noted for their generous hospitality, which extends to the Jewish folks who live here.
Therefore, as the South becomes conscious of a difference of interests between herself and the Yankee Empire and begins to chart a course of her own in the world, she should not be afraid to criticize Israel and other overbearing governments that abuse their smaller, weaker neighbors. This, perhaps, could be part of an independent South’s role in geopolitics: Having suffered injustice from a stronger foe, she could rally support for other peoples suffering under similar circumstances, could act as a kind of shepherd for them, but without the smugness and violence of the Yanks.
Dixie needn’t execrate everything done by Israel nor excuse every action of the Palestinian people, but it would be terribly shameful if she were not able to see something of herself in their ongoing trials and struggles and come to their aid in some way. At the very least, she can place the one-sided ‘Southern States Stand with Israel’ vanity plates where they really belong: in the trash heap.