Answering “the Bible Answer Man”

By Joseph Farah
‚ © ‚  2007 ‚
Posted: May 23, 2007

Hank Hanegraaff, also known as “the Bible Answer Man,” may know more about theology than me.

He may have memorized more Scripture than me.

He may have a deeper understanding of some Bible passages than me.

But he sure doesn’t know much about the Middle East.

Therefore, today, I am going to address some issues being raised by “the Bible Answer Man” ” “ especially insofar as they apply to the suicidal policies he is advocating with regard to this explosive area of the world.

In a new novel he has written with fiction writer Sigmund Brouwer, “Fuse of Armageddon,” he makes the amazingly false case that America’s support of Israel causes, at least in part, terrorism directed against Americans.

It is fitting that such a preposterous and wholly unsupportable thesis could only be marketed to the American people as a work of fiction ” “ because that’s what it is.

“Much of American Middle East policy is influenced by a huge voting bloc of evangelicals who are taught not to question Israel’s divine right to the land,” says Hanegraaff. “God is not pro-Jew. He is pro-justice. He is not pro-Palestinian. He is pro-peace. Only a gospel of peace and justice is potent enough to break the stranglehold of anti-Semitism and racism fueled in part by bad theology.”

Now let’s deal with this statement. Let’s talk about justice and peace.

Who is it in the Middle East that genuinely wants peace? Who is it in the Middle East that genuinely works toward justice?

There is only one nation in the Middle East that has bent over backward for peace to the point of being counterproductive and risking its own survival. That nation is Israel.

There is only one nation in the Middle East that has worked for justice ” “ offering Arabs and all other people civil and human rights. That nation is Israel.

As an Arab-American who had the opportunity to serve as a Middle East correspondent and study the region over the last 30 years, I think I can make that statement without any equivocation or hesitation.

For instance, in Israel Arabs participate fully in the political process. They vote. They elect representatives to the Knesset. They publish newspapers ” “ more newspapers, by the way, than are published in most Arab countries and published without fear of censorship or reprisal for the opinions they express. They are free to practice their religions, which is not always the case in Arab countries.

In other words, Arabs in Israel have more freedom than in any Arab country.

On the other hand, what is the Jewish experience in Hanegraaff’s fantasy-land of ” Palestine”?

Quite simply, Jews are not welcome to live there. That’s why we recently witnessed the wholesale forced removal of Jews from Gaza and are seeing similar moves in Judea and Samaria, the historic and biblical names of the lands on the West Bank.

No Jews are allowed in the Palestinian Authority. Precious few Christians are welcome there, either, as demonstrated by the mass exodus of Hanegraaff’s spiritual brothers and sisters from towns like Bethlehem and Nazareth. Christian Arabs lived happily and prosperously in these lands while they were under the control of Israel and before, while under the control of the British and for hundreds of years prior during the Ottoman Empire.

The idea that Israel and the Jews are perpetrating injustice against the Arabs in their midst stands the very word on its head.

But the most outrageous allegation from Hanegraaff and Brouwer is that America’s support of Israel has provided justification for Islamo-fascists to terrorize America.

“An entirely new lost generation of Palestinian children are (sic) growing up with a hatred for Americans that will fuel more terrorism when they become adults,” says Brouwer. “By assisting them now instead of ignoring them, we can help break the cycle.”

It’s a lie from the pit of hell.

In fact, if it were true, there would be no Islamo-fascist terrorism against the U.S., because the very policy being advocated here ” “ the promotion of an independent Palestinian state ” “ is exactly the policy America has been following for the last 18 years.

Since President George H.W. Bush’s term in office, it has been America’s foreign policy to move toward the establishment of such a state. The only thing that has hampered the objective is the inability of Israel and the U.S. to find any reasonable people with whom to negotiate such a goal.

U.S. taxpayers have poured billions of dollars into this initiative ” “ trying to create a state of Palestine where none has ever existed previously in the history of the world.

And all the while, despite this largesse, support for the U.S., justice and peace in the region has only decreased.

What Hanegraaff and Brouwer are saying and writing is dangerous. It is untrue. It defies history. It defies logic. It defies common sense. And it makes both Americans and all of the people of the Middle East less safe and less free.

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