The Miracle of Israel (Episode 2)

EPISODE 2: Creating Israel

This week (April 21) on Shabbat Night Live, most understand that Israel was created in 1948. But what led up to that is a complicated, messy situation after World War I.

Al McCarn sheds light on the head-spinning details of how Israel became a country, where the name Palestine came from, and why Israel’s eventual founding could only come about by the grace of YeHoVaH.

Watch the episode — included on this blog post.

While you watch, consider the questions below. The timeline for each discussion topic in the video is noted on each question. Post your answers in the comments section and let’s get some discussion going!

  1. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 16:00) How does the prophecy in Jeremiah 31:5-8 give resonance to the vineyard as an emblem of divine providence, as well as an extended metaphor for the affirmation of devotion that continues through the ministry of Yeshua? How has this image suffered over the centuries from oversimplification as a mere figure of speech that has been derived from the agrarian milieu of Hebrew culture?
  2. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 20:00) Similarly, how does this passage in its prophetic context serve to illuminate the pioneering spirit that has been exemplified by the settlers of modern Israel? How does the csheds light on how liché that immigrant Jews “made the desert bloom again” actually understate the sophistication of agrarian, urban, and commercial innovation in this small but vital and intractably resilient nation?
  3. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 24:00) How is the pervasive contempt toward history demonstrated by ignorance over the Dreyfus Affair? Why has this watershed case been virtually erased from the annals of post-Enlightenment history by educators, despite its resonance with the ensuing events of the 20th Century?  Is it justifiable to view the failure to recognize this figure as a precursor to the Zionist movement as an antecedent of the horrific anti-Semitism of the subsequent decades? 
  4. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 28:00) Similarly, how has the figure of Theodor Herzl been largely ignored by Western educators as the father of political Zionism? In light of the arguable overemphasis on the Holocaust as the sole justification for modern Israel, how might the brevity and commercial accessibility of Der Judenstaat lead to its rediscovery as a seminal tract for contemporary readers regarding the continuity between scripture and the Jewish state?
  5. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 32:00) Latter-day historians such as Modris Eksteins have examined the fragility of the European imperial alliances whose collapse led to the Great War. How has the enduring analysis of this global trauma failed to account for its fortuitous initiation of an eventual Jewish homeland amid an immense international reflex away from the empire to the democratic republic as a national paradigm?
  6. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 36:00) Aside from its relevance to the outbreak of a second world war, why has the Treaty of Versailles become an object of ridicule for many followers of 20th century history? How do lingering controversies over its equivocal provisions and prolonged negotiations serve to illustrate the admonishment in Numbers 30:2 about adhering to the terms of an agreement for today’s students of scripture?
  7. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 40:00) Similarly, how does the presumption of the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 that an Arab kingdom would dominate the Middle East demonstrate the limitations of negotiating international relationships by absentee politicians?  How does the indifference here toward the prophetic element in the Zionist reflex continue to inform and prolong the notion of Jewish invasion in mid-20th-century Palestine?
  8. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 44:00) How has Woodrow Wilson’s advocacy for national sovereignty become viewed in retrospect as a well-intentioned but ill-informed policy that failed to consider the complexities of the developing world outside of Europe and the United States? How has this resulted in the fallacy of major nations arbitrarily arranging national boundaries without concern for ancient rivalries or tribal alliances?
  9. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 48:00) As has been discussed elsewhere in this forum, the notion of the Palestinians as a demarcated, sovereign people has been questioned and even discredited by many since the founding of Israel in 1948. What is the likelihood of this perspective becoming accepted throughout Western nations in the near future?  What arguable revisions of opinion on this matter have occurred within the Arab League over the past decade?
  10. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 52:00) Similarly, how have the elements of commerce and military skill been overlooked by many Westerners as pretexts for the modern Jewish presence in Palestine? How does the service with distinction in World War II by many Jews and the increasing purchase of land from the Arabs by Jewish settlers demonstrate the justification of Zionism in light of the haphazard and self-serving administrators of the British mandate?

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