Columnist is all wrong about Israel |

Columnist is all wrong about Israel

Michael Jordan Halbert

He is slyly condescending to Jews, commenting that, “With the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, non-secular Jews believe that ancient biblical prophecy has been fulfilled.” For Van Ens, a religious leader, to describe followers of the very same Bible he’s paid to believe and expound as “non-secular” is peculiar, to put it mildly. Would that make him a self-described non-secular musician?

Furthermore, when examining his one biblical quote, he failed to note that Herod was, in fact, non-Jewish.

Astoundingly for a Christian leader he also delegitimizes his own Bible by equating, without source citation, the Islamic legend of God giving Ishmael precisely the same land as his Bible awards to Isaac’s descendants in Genesis 15 and elsewhere. Does Van Ens, a faithful Christian, actually equivocate on the biblical proof? Does Islam’s invention, almost seven hundred years after Jesus and two millennia after the Torah (Old Testament), so compromise his true faith?

Other issues:

He says, “War usually settles nothing.” He’s wrong. Need I cite the American Revolution?

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He says, “Israel occupied settlements on the West Bank that Palestinians had populated for centuries.” Au contraire, the lands were chiefly desolate and sparsely settled. Check the records.

He says, according to Arafat, “when the illegal occupation ends, the terror will be toned down.” The lands of the West Bank were won when Jordan (over 60 percent Palestinian already!) attacked Israel in 1967 and lost this land in battle. Israel is in legal possession by any international, non-Islamic, standard. Furthermore, what’s “toned down” terror!? That’s why Israelis are rightfully terrorized and why there’s no peace in the Middle East.

Whether the current state of Israel is fulfilling a biblical messianic prophecy is a heated debate in religious circles, Jewish and Christian. Van Ens apparently thinks not. Fine. Radical Islam which despises Christianity as much as Judaism (but picks on Jews because it’s easier, they’re fewer in number and Israel’s closer) in its homicide attacks has no such uncertainty. It and its pan-Arab dictatorial confreres (i.e. Saddam Hussein) simply want all Israelis and most Jews to die a thousand deaths. Christians and particularly Great Satan Americans,

non-secular or not, are, in fact, the main agenda.

As for Bethlehem, he writes, “only a remnant of those Christians still resides around Bethlehem.” In fact, the following, coming from an Israeli source, The Ariel Centre For Policy Research (, might assist him in future if he can resist tarring Jews and Israel long enough to conduct proper research:


IMMIGRATION OF MOSLEMS. Arafat has Islamisized Bethlehem, since assuming control in 1995, by changing the municipal boundaries of Bethlehem and its twin towns, Beth Jallah and Beth Sakhur. He severely tipped demography there, by incorporating (into the 65,000 residents) additional 30,000 Moslems of three neighboring refugee camps, Dehaisheh, El-Ayda’ and El-Azeh, and added a few thousand Bedouins of the Ta’amrah tribe, located east of Bethlehem, encouraging Moslem migration and inducing Christian emigration/flight away from Bethlehem. The Christian population was reduced from a 60 percent majority in 1990 to a 20 percent minority in 2001 (23,000).

2. CHRISTIAN LEADERS LOBBIED AGAINST THE TRANSFER OF BETHLEHEM TO ARAFAT. The late Christian Mayor Elias Freij warned that it would result in Bethlehem becoming a town with churches, but no Christians.

3. RELIGIOUS CLEANSING, IN BETHLEHEM, BY ARAFAT/PLO. Slapping the face of Christians and defying tradition, in 1995 Arafat appointed a Moslem from Hebron, Muhammed Rashad A-Jabariand as of Bethlehem’s governor, and fired the city council (nine Christians and two Moslems), replacing them with a 50-50 council. The bureaucratic, security and political echelons have been cleansed of Christians. The PLO has seized control of the Church of Nativity and many others, violently evicting monks and nuns (July 5, 1997 (AP)).


Crowds chant: “After we do away with the Saturday People, we shall take care of the Sunday People,” during anti-Israel PLO/PA rallies. Moslems air loudly magnified sermons during Christian services, including the April 2000 pope’s address in Bethlehem. Moslem gunmen, shooting at south Jerusalem (Gilo), have always located their positions next to, or in, Christian homes, hotels, clubs and churches, strategically harming Christian businesses much more than the traditional Moslem income sources in the military clash with Israel.

Israel has always treated Christians and their sites with respect. The last seven years’ ethnic cleansing of West Bank Christians by the ruling Islamic Palestinian Authority under Homicide Bomber-in-Chief Yassir Arafat had nothing to do with Israel. But for the Israeli Army’s discipline and respect for Christians and their holy sites, the Church of the Nativity and its occupants, under Arafat’s command, with the tables turned, would have long ago been reduced to blood and rubble.

Michael Jordan Halbert

Toronto, Canada

I-70 cleanup effort

I can’t tell you how excited I was today to be a part of such a wonderful community of people who care about our environment. Through snow, sleet, rain, drizzle and sometimes biting wind, hundreds of volunteers braved the elements to pick up the litter from Vail to Dotsero.

Mother Nature couldn’t resist such persistence from so many dedicated crews!

The volunteer party at the Lazy J Ranch could not have been more enjoyable. Bob Moroney did it again. From the great bluegrass music of Haywire to the burgers, dogs and even veggie burgers, provided by Chef Dave and his team from Beaver Creek Mountain Dining, the afternoon was a wonderful celebration of the richness of our community.

Please take a moment to join me in thanking the leaders of the organizations who helped foot the bill for the Clean Up: Vail Resorts, KZYR, Vail and Eagle Rotary Clubs, Beaver Creek Resort Company, the towns of Vail, Avon, Eagle and Gypsum, Ace Hardware, ReMax, Alpine Bank, Great Adventure Sports, CDOT, BFI and First Banks. Make a phone call or just say thanks next time you do business with them.

I especially want to thank you, the team leaders and organizers, for being the core of such a successful effort. Your energy and enthusiasm made it work. We realize not everyone’s team was able to make it in the snow. (We understand it was downright impossible to dig through several inches of wet whiteness to find the litter in the eastern end of the valley!)

It is especially gratifying to be a part of something so wonderful, made possible by so many people working together for a common goal with a common attitude: Community Pride.

Caroline Bradford

Eagle River

Watershed Council

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