RATTAN’S RUMBLE: Israel, Palestine – and Armageddon!

A protest against the blatant pro-Israel policies of Canada’s Conservative government and the reluctance of federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to criticize Israel.
A protest against the blatant pro-Israel policies of Canada’s Conservative government and the reluctance of federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to criticize Israel. Photo by Chandra Bodalia

I have written about the Israeli-Palestinian issue quite often over the years, criticizing Israel for blatantly denying the Palestinians their own sovereign state and for shamelessly encouraging Israeli settlements on Palestinian territories in violation of international law, and criticizing Hamas for its terrorist tactics that have given Israel the opportunity time and time again to retaliate out of all proportion.

Of course, as I have written in the past, the Palestinians, too, must recognize Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign state – and the United States and the European nations must guarantee that.

Indeed, after Europe and the Christian churches failed to prevent the horrendous Holocaust, they do have a moral obligation to ensure the safety of the state of Israel.

But what has got to stop is this ridiculous situation where Palestinians have literally been IMPRISONED in their own land by Israel.

Hamas finds that as a good excuse to attack Israel – and more and more people think that they are justified to do so, especially in view of how Israel has slaughtered innocent civilians under one pretext or the other.

The highly respected Economist magazine of London noted: “Having created a huge open-air prison in Gaza, Israel remains committed to a blockade that contains Hamas—but also ensures that ever more Palestinians grow up angry. On the West Bank, Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has gone backwards: he has said that Israel cannot relinquish security control of the West Bank for fear of Islamist attack. That implies an intention to consolidate the occupation, thus withdrawing all hope from Palestinian moderates. The West Bank would be likely to explode too, then, while the demographic clock ticked on.”

The BBC reported that more than 1,800 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 67 Israelis, mainly soldiers, have died in the present conflict and that the UN says more than 1,300 were civilians, and more than 400 were children.

Indeed, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has slammed Israel for shelling UN compounds, which are supposed to be safe zones. That in itself exposes the unbelievable arrogance of Israel.

Ban noted: “In the most recent case of shelling on a UN facility, the Israelis were informed of the coordinates 33 times. Attacks against UN premises, along with other suspected breaches of international law, must be swiftly investigated.”

The Washington Post noted: “Both Israel and Hamas went into the fight seeking to change the underlying dynamics of a situation that has produced three rounds of combat in less than six years while crippling the Gazan economy. But after 29 days of fighting that claimed nearly 2,000 lives, it is far from clear that either side has succeeded.”


MOST people in the world just can’t understand why powerful lobbies in the United States and some other western countries are so crazy about the state of Israel.

This is what I have written about it before:


TWO vital factors in this issue are the staggering power of the Jewish lobby in the U.S. and the Christian fundamentalists’ obsession with the idea of Armageddon (end of the world) being connected with the land of Israel and Jerusalem.

A few years ago, the internationally respected magazine The Economist of London wrote about how the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) brought more than 6,000 activists to Washington for its annual policy conference and how the four most powerful people on Capitol Hill (from the House and the Senate) as well as then-Vice President Dick Cheney addressed them.

The article noted: “The lobbyists had every reason to feel proud of their work. Congress has more Jewish members than ever before: 30 in the House and a remarkable 13 in the Senate. … Both parties are competing with each other to be the “soundest” on Israel.”

[A report in November 2012 stated: “The next Congress will have 10 Jews in the Senate and 22 in the House of Representatives, a decline from the 112th Congress.”]

The religious angle is very well brought out in the book, “A History on the End of the World” (2006) by Jonathan Kirsch, a famous American writer of national bestsellers on religious matters who is also an adjunct professor on the faculty of New York University – discusses the last book of the Bible – REVELATION, from which the famous concept of ARMAGEDDON comes. (Incidentally, I am a Christian and I consider myself an expert on the Bible.)

The book contains many deep observations especially about how different fundamentalist Christian groups view Revelation and Armageddon and how even presidents have been influenced by it – which can be very scary.

Kirsch’s well documented book states in one place: “Christian Zionists, in fact, tend to regard the prospect of peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours as an obstacle to the second coming of Jesus Christ and, therefore, the work of the Devil. Peaceful coexistence between Arab and Jews, as they see it, would only hold back the hands on “Israel’s prophecy clock” by postponing the fateful day when Israel is restored to its expansive biblical boundaries and the Jewish people return en masse to their homeland.”

One of the ironies highlighted in the book: “Still, at least some Jewish observers are willing to comment on the strange bedfellowship of fundamentalist Christians and Jews. “This is a grim comedy of mutual condescension,” Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of the New Republic, told the New York Times. “The evangelical Christians condescend to the Jews by offering their support before they convert or kill them. And the conservative Jews condescend to Christians by accepting their support while believing that their eschatology is nonsense. This is a fine example of the political exploitation of religion.””

To put it more simply to those not familiar with Christianity, these fundamentalist or evangelical Christians believe that all Jews will finally become Christians and those who do not convert will die when Jesus comes again to Jerusalem!

Wily Israeli politicians fully exploit these beliefs while privately mocking them.