How long does it take Americans to turn into “Palestinians?” By that I mean under what circumstances do free people somehow become marauding killers determined to rob and murder their neighbors?
That thought struck me a few days into the hurricane. There in New Orleans, a city with which I’m familiar, having played in the New Orleans Symphony in the 60s, I was watching virtual Palestinian terrorists at their bloody work. All that had happened was the lack of food and water and adequate policing. Maybe every country has their terrorists somewhere under the surface.
I was pondering these things when one of our Levitt Letter editors, Alan, emailed me with exactly the same thought. To me it was sort of a sign that it was to be our subject for this newsletter. Both Alan and I were struck by the very short time it took to reduce citizens in a democracy to the equal of Islamic murderers.
As we were composing this letter, one of our gifted missionaries, Robert, approached us to say that he felt led to go to New Orleans and witness. He had a brother on the ground there and wanted desperately to assist him. And so, days before Franklin Graham and his well-funded workers appeared on Fox News, “our man in New Orleans” was there in the thick of it handing out money in small bills, which we had provided, and sharing the Good News of salvation. We are also sending shipments of this ministry’s teaching materials. Robert is staying at his parents’ home, which is only thirty minutes from our newest “hands-on” witnessing territory.
(Thank you again for your generous giving to our To the Jew First Fund. We thought assistance in New Orleans was an appropriate use of some of those gifts, and we are very grateful to you that we can provide care like this for the Kingdom. In the last Levitt Letter, I praised the folks who had given to our Good News from a Far Country Fund and acknowledged how their gifts kept our prime guides and drivers at their posts for our upcoming tours. I cannot thank you enough. Those of you going to Israel will appreciate our top level of teaching and hospitality, and those giving to our missionaries will know that in the Kingdom to come, you will encounter forgiven and saved victims of unfortunate New Orleans. If I know Robert, some of those gunmen will be among them.)
Now that Israel’s tourism industry has surged, our guides and drivers there are once again prospering and no longer need our assistance. Consequently, we have modified the Good News Fund to serve as a general benevolence fund. In particular, when some of our long-term volunteers get behind the eight ball, we may feel led to lend a hand. This fund has stayed sufficiently replenished, so please do not mistake this update for an appeal.
Our To the Jew First Fund is also in good shape. That is part of the reason we saw fit to augment Robert’s efforts in Louisiana—in addition to his going with zero pay and, thanks to his parents’ hospitality, needing no expenses for room and board. Many of our supporters gravitate toward designating contributions to our ministry’s peripheral outreaches, but where we need the most assistance is our General Fund, from which we pay for TV production and airtime plus newsletter printing and postage. Making designated gifts is fulfilling (and often God’s will), but this ministry’s General Fund is its motor, and that’s where we need you to provide the most fuel.
In the next few paragraphs, I want to give you Alan’s thoughts about the “Palestinian” situation in our own streets. We’ll include Robert’s report in the upcoming newsletter. Alan emailed the following to me.
The Terrorists of the Mississippi
As I watched the tragic scenes of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I could not help but be reminded of the so-called “Palestinian” people. (As you know, no such ethnic group exists. “Palestinians” are simply Arabs who occupy land that is Biblically and historically Jewish. They are squatters and trespassers, whose real homeland, obviously, is Arabia.)
In any event, the evacuees from Katrina, Americans all, who were temporarily stranded in flooded New Orleans, can be divided into three primary groups, two of which bring to mind the Palestinians. Some of those poor souls are honest, decent, gainfully employed, God-fearing people who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. These folks do not remind me of the Palestinians in any way. But the other two categories consist of (1) America’s seemingly permanent underclass of the poor, the unskilled, the undereducated, and the unemployable and (2) thugs. These last two categories fit the Palestinians to a tee.
The permanent Palestinian underclass (i.e. 99% of the population) is a product of demagogues—in this case a combination of Arab dictators and international politicians. The Arab dictators know that diverting the minds of their masses away from the despotism under which they live is key to staying in power. And what could be a better diversion than keeping the Palestinians in perpetual destitution and blaming the already-hated Jews for their plight? By keeping the “Arab street” in a mindset against the “Jewish oppressors” of their “Muslim brothers,” these tyrants distract their citizenry from recognizing their true oppressors. The officials who rule the U.N. (along with the Arab and other Muslim dictators) have different goals in mind but purposely employ the same means of neglecting the Palestinians. Their goal is simply to destroy Israel.
How have the powers that be kept the Palestinians in poverty? By misusing the funds of the United Nations. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) began operating on May 1, 1950 as a source of temporary assistance to the several hundred thousand Arabs displaced by the 1948 Arab invasion of Israel. Currently, UNRWA is the main provider of basic “services”: education (including the teaching of anti-Semitism), health, welfare, aiding and abetting terrorists, etc. (According to Arab writer Said Abourish, “For twenty years, they didn’t have a single death” in the largest UNRWA refugee camp. Translation: All of the dead were buried surreptitiously so as to keep them on the welfare rolls.)
This welfare state has a network of offices in New York, Geneva, Cairo, Amman, and Gaza, and a staff of thousands who prosper while the people they supposedly help live in relative squalor (unless you compare them to the underclasses in other Arab nations). The $10-billion UNRWA employee pension fund ensures that its bureaucrats will retire in comfort. Is it any wonder that the Palestinians are hostile?
To add insult to injury, the American taxpayer covers a large portion of UNRWA’s expenses. The Palestinians are the only group of people in the world with an entire agency of the United Nations dedicated exclusively to them. Of course much of the Arab world is afflicted with poverty, adversity and despair.
The final category of Katrina evacuees, the thugs, worsened a terrible situation. They went on a rampage of lawlessness that included shooting at medical helicopters and rescue boats. Why were such people free to roam the streets of New Orleans in the first place? For the same reason that their Palestinian Arab counterparts (Muslim terrorists) roam free in Gaza and the West Bank: a breakdown of the moral fabric of society brought about and cultivated by the powers that be.
With regard to the United States, I mean the secular officials who hold senior positions in many national institutions and organizations. When leading figures in the “establishment” show no moral understanding themselves and exhibit a mixture of disdain and contempt for Biblical morals, the message is received by young people loudly and clearly—anything goes.
And so, for one brief shameful moment, we had our own homegrown American-born-and-bred terrorism on the Mississippi.
In Israel, tourism is improving to the degree that it is already time to book for our Spring Tour, which I will lead personally. Unfortunately, as some of you know, we had to close two of our November tour options due to lack of airplane space. So RSVP now for our 10-Day Deluxe Israel Tour (March 19–30) and the 14-Day Grand Israel/Petra Tour (March 19–April 2). For your tour info folder, please call Tony at (214) 696-9760 during regular business hours or 1-800-WONDERS (800-966-3377) anytime.
You may also wish to join my wife, Sandra, and me during New Year’s weekend at The Holy Land Experience in Orlando, December 30–January 1. Among the many fascinating replicas at The Holy Land Experience, our group will carefully study a model of Jerusalem from the time of Jesus. This makes a great visual as I teach about the 4000-year history of the City of God—the only eternal city! Ask Tony for details at (214) 696-9760 during the workweek or anytime at 1-800-WONDERS (800-966-3377).
My recovery continues at an accelerating rate. I am walking thirty minutes per day, as ordered by my heart surgeon, and my physical therapist has been quite a good coach. The main trooper in this project, however, has been my ever-patient and kind wife, Sandra. She cares for me as if she holds this ministry’s welfare in her two hands, serving humbly and submissively as we all are called to do in service unto our Lord.
Thank you for staying tuned and keeping me in your prayers, which I still request.
Please continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
P.S. I began taping new television programs on September 9, only six weeks after surgery. Praise the Lord — I am BACK in the trenches, and I love it!