Many of you will never forget what you learn in this letter because I quote directly from mainstream Muslim news sources. You will read the words of Muslim authors eleven times. Though they don’t support the Jewish presence in the ancestral and biblical homeland, I support 100% of what these Arab Muslims say below!
In Asharq Alawsat, one of the Arabic world’s leading international news sources, author Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed wrote a surprising piece entitled, “How the Arabs Failed in Bethlehem.” In it, he castigated his Arab associates for their wholesale abandonment of their “Palestinian” Islamic brethren.
He noted the Arab indifference to the plight of other Arabs—first in Israel and then in the Arab world generally: “No one appears to be willing to consider Palestine…” More forcefully, he criticized the non-existent Arab brotherhood: “Helping the human being in his daily life is totally beyond Arab thinking.”
What?! “Helping… is totally beyond Arab thinking.” Amazing! This is Al-Rashed speaking—and in a major Islamic news outlet.
Had I said this, TV viewers would flood me with angry claims that I am “anti-Arab,” intolerant, belligerent, racist, “nothing but a Jew,” not only un-Christian but anti-Christian, and intentionally misrepresenting the good-natured religion of peace. I have endured these epithets before.
In late May 2008, Al Jazeera, a TV network and major media source, ran an article entitled “Arab States Ignore Iraq Debt Appeal. ”Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, said that “at the end of a special United Nations conference to discuss Iraqi debts, [there were] no firm commitments from Arab states to help ease the country’s debt burden.” Al Jazeera noted that “Baghdad owes at least $67 billion to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar” and that “Iraqi officials had asked Arab states to cancel billions of dollars it owes. Al-Maliki addressed nearly 100 international delegations at the UN meeting and said: ‘We call on our brothers, friends, and partners… to commit to supporting Iraq….’”
What was the result?
Lackluster responses from Arabs. The article went on to acknowledge that in the “Western nations, [and in] Japan… commercial creditors have cancelled $66 billion worth of debt over the past three years.”
Frankly, I have been shocked by the disregard that many in the religion of peace seem to have for each other. In the Iran-Iraq war, for example, religious leaders continually sent young boys walking in front of tanks to clear the way through minefields—signaling that expensive tanks matter more than little boys. The most recent confrontations show that allegedly heroic “freedom fighters” continue to place their headquarters in areas full of civilian women and children—further evidence that Arab life is cheap in their own estimation.
When one weighs the Arab indifference to life against the high price that America has paid in blood and dollars to purchase freedom for the victims of Saddam Hussein’s ruthlessness, of the Taliban’s cruelty, and of brazen disregard generally, the contrast is striking.
With all this in mind, it is good news to finally hear Islamic voices calling attention to Arab indifference and culpability. This could be the beginning of a positive trend. Trust me, Khaled abu Toameh’s piece in the recent Jerusalem Post under the title “Arabs Say: ‘No one is above the law in Israel’” is incredible—and one of the strangest, most unexpected articles ever.
The author begins, “The corruption case against [Israel’s] Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has earned Israel tremendous respect throughout the Arab world, where many have called on their leaders to benefit from Israel’s democratic system and independent judicial system.”
Arabs respect Israel and should benefit from its lead?! I didn’t see that one coming!
The Arab sentiments quoted in the article are profound. Here are a few:
Even some Arabs who describe themselves as “sworn enemies of the Zionist entity” have begun singing praise for Israel.
The corruption case against Olmert received wide coverage in the mainstream Arab media, prompting an outcry about the need for [similar] transparency and accountability in the Arab world.
“Show me one Arab or Islamic country where a prime minister or a senior government official was ever questioned for financial corruption or bribery,” challenged an Islamic reader identifying himself only as Majed.
Another [Arab] reader, Sami, commented: “The Israeli regime with all its defects is better than all the Arab ‘democracies’ and still changes ministers and governments every few years.”
A Saudi national named Abdel Karim urged his Arab brethren to stop criticizing Israel and learn something about its democracy. “Before we curse Israel, we must learn from the democratic and judicial system in Israel, where no one is above the law,” he wrote.
Mahmoud al-Bakili of Yemen posted the following response on one of the websites: “We want this kind of accountability and transparency in the Arab and Islamic world.”
“There is corruption in Israel and the Arab world,” wrote Abu Hadi from Iraq. “But the difference is that the Israelis hold their leaders accountable, while we the Arabs remain silent about corruption.”
Hani in Ramallah: “This is democracy at its best! Enough of dictatorship in the Arab world! Let’s learn from the Israeli example. Let’s benefit from Israel’s democracy.”
Rashid Bohairi in Kuwait: “I swear Israel is a state that will succeed. They are prosecuting their prime minister because of tens of thousands of dollars. What about the millions of dollars that Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority stole? How come the Palestinian people are still hungry?”
I culled these passages from articles that will appear in an upcoming Levitt Letter and will subsequently be available in our newsletter archives at www.levitt.com. The highlights are important for a few reasons.
First and foremost, they emphasize what we call “the power of the press.”
With the exception of Egypt, the Arab countries surrounding Israel were created when European powers withdrew from their holdings in the Middle East. In place of British, Italian, and French controls, totalitarian regimes emerged—both Islamic and secular-Arab. Neither offered “freedom of the press.” The result was that self-serving Arab nation-states contrived their own public images. With the advent of satellite television and the Internet, Arab citizens once isolated by locked borders are discovering that, though hindered by political forces, they are no longer captive to the “official” news sources. The influx of outside news enables awareness and critical self-reflection.
Moreover, they divulge a “grass roots” cry for telling the truth. Mass communication’s power to efficiently dispense the solid Bible teaching humbles me in the face of the assignment shouldered by Zola Levitt Ministries, a premiere, nationally syndicated ministry that broadcasts around the globe through television and the Internet. I am excited to work as a theologian and news commentator through media that have such incredible potential.
Ever-growing appreciation for “straight talk” in the broader culture resonates with me, as well.
Our new Ezekiel television series contains an appropriate and prophetic message for this moment. The Arabs’ comments about their desire for openness and truth inspire me to believe that God has providedan opening for you and me to scatter some of His seeds. If you agree, please help me ensure that many people experience Ezekiel’s wisdom.
Television is very much like God’s grace: both come to individuals for “free,” but in reality, someone has to pay the price for each one. When Believers invest in a church, they provide bene- fits to the dozens, hundreds, or thousands who meet there. Those who sow seeds into Zola Levitt Ministries sow into a church-house of millions. The Message is heard coast to coast and around the world: planet Earth is our sanctuary, and you are the active members.
In The International Jerusalem Post, Benny Morris wrote that in Israel’s Independence War of 1948, more than half of Israel’s pilots were Christians who supported Israel (Jihad 1948, May 2008, p. 15). That spirit of support still prevails, evidenced by your helping us fly the airwaves. Thanks in advance for the assistance.
Speaking of “flying,” we are taking off for Israel—as usual. Since our tours fill up rather quickly these days, let me suggest that if you want to come, pick up the phone and reserve your seat. All during 2008, Israel is celebrating its 60th year as a modern nation. On tours departing October 14 and 19, Sandra Levitt and I will take pilgrims to walk where Jesus walked. You can extend your travels and follow in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul to Greece and/or Petra. Call Abel at (214) 696-9760 during office hours or 1-800-WONDERS anytime. The experience of a lifetime awaits you.
While we’re on the subject of travel, remember that Sandra and I are happy to travel to most any church to teach on a variety of biblical topics. For an information kit on speaking engagements, please call (214) 696-8844.
P.S. Who would have believed that the Arab Press was reporting these things had we not seen it with our own eyes! I hope you’re as impressed by the trend as I am, and will pray that it continues.
It is good news to finally hear Islamic voices condemn Arab indifference and claim culpability, and cry out on a grass roots level for honesty and integrity.
“Here is my gift for July. Please continue harnessing the power of the Internet and satellite television to carry Bible teaching to those who hunger for God’s Truth.”
Zola offers irrefutable reasons why only the Jews are the Holy Land’s rightful owners. He also visited Ramallah and interviewed Hanan Ashrawi. Subsequent review sessions with two scholarly Christians unveil the fallacies in her assertions.
Beautiful and useful, this lovely Jewish calendar provides the dates of all the biblical feasts and sabbaths. Learn the names of the months, the Holy Days and all the rest through the English phonetics like in our monthly Hebrew Lesson in the Levitt Letter.
This book’s brand new look at Jerusalem’s past, present, and future will inspire you to praise God’s faithfulness and motivate you to pray for the peace of Jerusalem like never before.