We are experiencing the poisonous effects of a lying culture because the God of heaven and earth is not recognised in public life
By Charles Gardner
The Islamic doctrine of ‘taqiyya’ is back in the news.
Taqiyya is basically a theological concept that permits lying if it furthers the Muslim cause. It is effectively about saying one thing and meaning another, a recipe for certain breakdown in communication and trust and it has been used as an excuse for deceptive negotiations in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Without recognising the God of heaven and earth to whom MPs and witnesses are making promises, it all becomes rather meaningless
Now the Gatestone Institute has reminded us (9 June 2023) that Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei used it to explain the regime’s decision to accept the 2015 nuclear deal with the West.
The 2015 agreement, made in exchange for the lifting of sanctions, was designed to ensure that Iran’s nuclear programme would be exclusively peaceful. Not surprisingly, Israel has been highly sceptical of the intentions of a regime which has repeatedly threatened to wipe the Jewish state off the map.
But God has clearly commanded us not to give false witness against our neighbour (Exodus 20:16) and lying is not restricted to the fanatical ayatollahs. It has, tragically, become part of Western culture where private and public conduct was originally regulated by the principles of the Ten Commandments.
That is why lying to Parliament and perjury in court are still considered heinous crimes. But without recognising the God of heaven and earth to whom MPs and witnesses are making promises, it all becomes rather meaningless – especially when truth is widely regarded as relative, which simply leaves an open field for lies and propaganda.
So it is hardly surprising that undermining our biblical foundations leads to the collapse of a stable society, where some are even unsure of their gender. The very floor of the British Parliament is inscribed in Latin with the words of Psalm 127: “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain.”
A pack of lies sent six million Jews to their brutal deaths in the concentration camps and the same poisonous format is now being targeted at a new generation of God’s chosen people
Its foundations have in recent years shown signs of literally crumbling as law after ungodly law is passed.
Witness also Amnesty International’s latest denunciation of Israel as an apartheid state engaged in a war crime “replete with hyperbole, distortions and outright lies,” according to Rachel O’Donoghue of Honest Reporting.
As for the BBC, who carried Amnesty’s statement as gospel truth, journalist Melanie Phillips said on 18 June: “It [the BBC] fails to report most attacks on Israelis while, at the same time, unforgivably presenting Israeli military actions to stop these attacks as if Israel were the aggressor and the Palestinians its hapless victims.”
It was less than 100 years ago that the BBC founders committed themselves to promoting everything that is true, right, pure and lovely – in the words of St Paul (Philippians 4:8) – but they have since exchanged such noble aspirations for profanity, debauchery and downright lies.
Jesus referred to the devil as the “father of lies, a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language…” (John 8:44)
Jesus, however, embodies the truth, and those who follow him should be challenging our lying culture as, by God’s grace, I was able to do over exaggerated expense claims in the newspaper industry many years ago. It had not been my intention, but my genuine though comparatively measly claims showed up my colleagues for their dishonesty.
This might seem small fry by comparison with dodgy international diplomacy, but the principle is the same. Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels famously boasted: “A lie told once remains a lie, but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.”
It was a pack of lies that sent six million Jews to their brutal deaths in the concentration camps, and the same poisonous format is now being targeted at a new generation of God’s chosen people.
“It was never meant to go that far,” a sexual assault defendant (a girl who disguised herself as a boy) admitted in a note to her victim (as reported by the Daily Mail on 17 June 2023): “…It was just lie after lie; I couldn’t see a way out.
Or as Walter Scott poetically put it:
“Oh what a tangled web we weave,
when at first we set out to deceive.”
But in accusing others of lying, as has happened in the British Parliament of late, we must beware of the trap of hypocrisy which avoids examining our own hearts and motives. For the Lord desires “truth in the inner parts” (Psalm 51:6).
And if you wish to live this way, seek the one who said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
BBC drops another bombshell
The BBC has apologised after one of their presenters suggested that Israel was “happy to kill children”.
In an astonishing interview with former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett about the IDF’s defensive military operation in Jenin, Anjana Gadgil pointed out that 16 to 18-year-olds were among those killed.
Bennett countered by saying that all the victims were terrorists engaged in gun battles with Israeli troops, to which Gadgil responded: “Terrorists, but children. The Israeli forces are happy to kill children.”
They were in fact armed teenagers, with the politician challenging the presenter: “If there’s a 17-year-old terrorist firing at your family, what is he?”
Bennett maintained that while Israel targets terrorists, the latter target civilians. But Gadgil insisted that because the United Nations describes them as children, there could be no argument with that.
Despite repeated criticism from watchdogs, the BBC continues to display shocking bias in its coverage of Israel.
“The BBC fails to report most attacks on Israelis while, at the same time, unforgivably presenting Israeli military actions to stop these attacks as if Israel were the aggressor and the Palestinians its hapless victims”
‘Absurd’ UN roles for Iran
The election of Iran to important new roles at the United Nations – membership of a disarmament committee and sharing the vice-presidency of the General Assembly – has been described as ‘absurd’ by US Ambassador Robert Wood, citing Tehran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, its support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and exporting violence and weaponry to neighbouring countries.
China signs ‘strategic partnership’ with Palestinian Authority
China said on 14 June that it has established a “strategic partnership” with the Palestinian Authority (PA). This came during a visit to Beijing by PA President Mahmoud Abbas who, like China’s President Xi Jinping, has managed to remain in office far beyond his original term.
The announcement marks another step in China’s campaign to gain political and economic influence in the Middle East, where it is competing for influence with the United States.
Rabbi sues CNN
British-Israeli Rabbi Leo Dee, whose wife and two daughters were murdered by Palestinian terrorists, has said he intends to file a $1.3 billion lawsuit against cable news giant CNN for describing the attack as a ‘shootout’. He also demanded the Guardian fire the cartoonist accused of fostering anti-semitism with his offensive caricature of departing BBC chairman Richard Sharp. The former north London rabbi refused to accept cartoonist Martin Rowson’s apology.
Apartheid own goal
In reaching the semi-finals of the Under-20 World Cup with a shock 3-2 win over favourites Brazil, Israel has at the same time knocked accusations of apartheid for six! For their three goal-scorers were Hamza Shibli (a Bedouin Israeli), Anan Khalaili (an Arab Israeli) and Dor Turgeman (a Jewish Israeli).
Tragedy linked with Titanic
Stockton Rush, the pilot of the Titan submersible that tragically imploded en route to explore the Titanic shipwreck, was married to a descendant of a Jewish couple who were among the wealthiest people to die aboard the ocean liner that sank in 1912.
Rush’s wife Wendy is the great-great granddaughter of retail giant Isidor Straus and his wife Ida. Isidor co-owned Macy’s department store and was married to Ida for four decades.
The serious matter of dividing the Land
Christian television personality Pat Robertson, who has died aged 93 after a lifetime of sterling service to broadcasting biblical truth, is also remembered for his forthright comments on the premature demise of Israeli Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Ariel Sharon.
He knew them both, and once prayed with Sharon. Rabin negotiated the 1993 Oslo Accords, a peace treaty with implacable opponents who wanted to take over their land, and Sharon bowed to international pressure by withdrawing from Gaza in 2005. Rabin was assassinated in 1995 and Sharon suffered a protracted eight-year coma following a stroke before passing away in January 2014.
Robertson said of Sharon: “He was dividing God’s land, and I would say woe unto any Prime Minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU, the United Nations or the USA. For God said, ‘This land belongs to me; you better leave it alone’” (See Joel 3:2).
The Parliamentary Bill aimed at preventing local councils from boycotting Israel is now well on its way to becoming law, having passed its Second Reading. Christians United for Israel wish to thank all those who encouraged their MPs to support the Bill.
Not a Labour of love
Labour MP Rosie Duffield has bravely outlined the anti-Jewish hatred within her party in a House of Commons speech, describing what colleagues went through during the Corbyn years and afterwards.
Muslim olive branch
A first-ever official invitation of the kind from a Muslim country was extended to Knesset (Israeli parliament) Speaker Amir Ohana by the Moroccan House of Representatives.
- The South Pacific island country of Fiji has announced that its first embassy in Israel will open next year.
- Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has revealed how his father, whom he later discovered was Jewish, forbade him to befriend a Jewish boy.
- The largest-ever official delegation from the House of Lords visited Israel in June for a four-day relationship-building visit. The cross-party group of 20 peers included former Conservative Party leader Michael Howard.
- A German-founded organisation, March of the Nations, brought more than 1500 people together from over 30 nations to Jerusalem to mark the Jewish state’s 75th anniversary in May. Among the marchers supporting Israel were numerous descendants of Nazi criminals.
Some think Israel is on a precipice, in danger of sliding into an abyss. That is not what the Hebrew prophets tell us
Threats, threats, and yet more threats.
Comment by Robin Benson
From a human perspective, that seems to be what Israel and the Jewish people face these days. That does not mean that there are no good things happening in the Promised Land. There are – on a weekly, if not daily basis – wonderful discoveries in medicine, science, computer technologies, and so many other areas that will mean life-changing improvements for much of humanity. These advances prove once again that there is so much more than just spiritual blessing flowing from the final part of God’s covenantal promise to Abraham so many millennia ago: “…and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3b, ESV).
Challenging this reality is ongoing civil unrest that is now verging on full-blown anarchy on the streets of many cities, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, as well as both inside and outside Ben Gurion International Airport.
Nineteen terrorists died, but contrary to the BBC’s typically misleading report, the IDF did not kill children
The anti-government coalition protests, which began in January this year, have not stopped. If anything, they have only intensified. Disparate groups, ranging from pro-LGBTQ+ campaigners through to those who support the so-called ‘Two-State Solution’ (which, in reality, equates with the destruction of the Jewish State), have banded together in one common cause: and it is not against judicial reform. It is to bring down the current, properly elected Israeli government and see Prime Minister Netanyahu permanently removed from power.
As Israel seems to be ripping itself apart from within, her enemies look on with glee, as they perceive (rightly or wrongly) that the Jewish State is at one of its weakest moments since its reconstitution just over 75 years ago. They see Israeli at loggerheads with Israeli. They see hundreds of military personnel refusing to turn up for necessary training and duty.
They see former prime ministers openly fomenting rebellion against their own government and senior military leaders refusing to implement government policy, while Israeli police allow life-threatening protests and destruction of property and the economy, all in the name of their idol: “democracy”.
In the midst of all this civil unrest, Israel recently reached the point where the escalating terror attacks from Islamic hotbeds in Judea and Samaria (the so-called “Occupied West Bank”) could no longer be tolerated. Around 2,000 IDF soldiers, supported by military vehicles and air cover, went into Jenin, also known as the Palestinian Arab “Martyr’s capital”.
The area has become a mini-Gaza, funded, supplied with weapons, and directed by the terrorist regime in Iran
During the 48 hours of ‘Operation Bayit V’Gan’ (you have to wonder what right spark in the upper echelons of the IDF dreamed up that one: ‘Operation Home and Garden’?) the IDF located three terrorist command and control ‘war rooms’, six explosive manufacturing facilities, an underground tunnel network – part of it accessed under a mosque – along with at least eight weapon storage sites, and many IEDs (improvised explosive devices) intended for use against Israel’s military personnel. The IDF also arrested over 100 wanted terror suspects, although too many more escaped. Nineteen terrorists died, but contrary to the BBC’s typically misleading report, the IDF did not kill children.
In terms of the lack of collateral damage and minimal loss of life, this operation was a significant success. However, it was only necessary because, due to the policies of the previous government and to IDF support for those policies, the area has become a mini-Gaza, funded, supplied with weapons, and directed by the terrorist regime in Iran. Back in September 2021, in conjunction with then Defence Minister Benny Gantz, the IDF’s Central Command head, Major General Yehuda Fuchs, ordered a five month moratorium on IDF operations in Jenin, in the interests of “strengthening the Palestinian Authority.”
Operation Home and Garden is the net result and will probably be the first of several similar IDF operations as Iran gains an ever-increasing amount of influence and control over all the terrorist factions in Judea, Samaria, and even in some Arab communities in Israel itself.
Some think Israel is on a precipice, in danger of sliding into an abyss. That is not what the Hebrew prophets tell us. The God of Israel has other plans for his land and his people.
But that does not mean it will be a smooth ride to get to that long-awaited time. So, we watch and pray.