Blog

“Be the Note”

“Be the Note”
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

“God picks up the reed-flute world and blows,
Each note is a need coming through one of us,
a passion, a longing-pain.
Remember the lips
where the wind-breath originated,
and let your note be clear.
Don’t try to end it.
Be your note.
I’ll show you how it’s enough.”

Jelaluddin Balkhi, “Rumi”

Time Flies: Faraway So Close

Time Flies: Faraway So Close
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

“Let me explain a couple of things. Time is short. That’s the first thing. For the weasel, Time is a weasel. For the hero, Time is heroic. If you’re gentle, your Time is gentle. If you’re in a hurry, Time flies. Time is a servant, if you are its master. Time is your god, if you are its dog. We are the creators of Time, the victims of Time, and the killers of Time. Time is timeless. That’s the second thing. You are the clock, Cassiel.” Emit Flesti, Wim Wenders, Faraway So Close

 
Berlin Dom, (Sept 2020)
Kodak Ekta 100

Abby of Hildegard Bingen, Detail “Burning Bush”

Abby of Hildegard Bingen, Detail “Burning Bush”
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

“And the messenger of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. Moses looked, and behold, the bush was burning, but it was not consumed.” Ex 3

We forget that the most important part of this passage is the strange reality that the fire did not consume the bush…

Religion, Bible, and Theology Scholars Collude with Israeli Apartheid

Religion Scholars Collude with Israeli Apartheid
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

“To me, this is one of the biggest ethical questions of our time.”

It’s time religion-biblical-theological organizations, churches, schools, seminaries, and so-called “anti-colonial” scholars in these fields reckon with the Palestinians and their outright devastation. It remains strange to me that religion-biblical-theological scholars carry the flag bravely into the fray in the name of justice–until the issue of the Palestinians. Hear those crickets? Yeah, I don’t even hear the crickets. What’s wrong–Bibi got your tongue?

It is no longer a debate, and everyone who remains in silence participates in the ethnic cleansing and genocide of an entire people and culture in 2021. Have you ever said to yourself, “My God, I wish I had been alive during the Holocaust! I would have done something?” No, you wouldn’t because you’re turning a blind eye now. Tenure? Never even been to Palestine? West Bank? Gaza? Went on some cutesy “Israel” trip orchestrated by masters of propaganda? Afraid of outright racists calling you a racist? Seriously? Afraid of being called “anti-semitic” because Israeli semites are colonizing Palestinian semites?

@SBL @AAR/SBL Southeast @AAR @ASOR

Portico Detail for the Museum MMK für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, DE (Mar 2021)

Portico Detail for the Museum MMK für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, DE (Mar 2021)
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
 
Mono Q2
 
I really love this entrance, and even though it is a B and W Mono, the portico itself is B and W Mono. How does one capture this? I chose to keep the “industrial” on the left and the “celestial” on the right. But notice that these are “stairs”–upside down stairs? Is there such a thing as upside down stairs? And could we even tread them? We need them badly, longingly, but we can only observe them–their simplicity, elegance, symmetry, their almost invisible, ignored presence. Such a view–my view of this portico for the last few years–has made me think of Jacob and his ladder, Mohammad and his fleet-footed horse and his flight into the darkness, Duchamp and his complex and multi-dimensional nude, and even Zeppelin’s decadent Stairway to Heaven. Yeah.
 
Maybe that’s one of our human problems we need to remedy but can’t. We must use our stairs within the bounds of gravity–except, except, in art, in our imaginations, in our creative eyes, in our minds, in our yearning to go beyond ourselves to right the world. Have you noticed that there are few places in this life with no bounds, places where we can soar without limits? This is Design. Art. Lascivious, ridiculous, laughable creativity. Upside down stairs? “Insanity,” some say.

“Gentlemen of the Road”

“Gentlemen of the Road”
Hauptwache, Frankfurt, DE (2021)
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

 

Gentlemen of the Road”
 
Hauptwache, Frankfurt, DE (2021)
Mono Q2
 
“As a general rule of biology, migratory species are less ‘aggressive’ than sedentary ones.
 
There is one obvious reason why this should be so. The migration itself, like the pilgrimage, is the hard journey: a ‘leveller’ on which the ‘fit’ survive and stragglers fall by the wayside.
 
The journey thus pre-empts the need for hierarchies and shows of dominance. The ‘dictators’ of the animal kingdom are those who live in an ambience of plenty. The anarchists, as always, are the ‘gentlemen of the road’.”
― Bruce Chatwin, The Songlines

“Station 13” Frankfurt Dom

“Station 13” Frankfurt Dom
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

 

Station 13″
Frankfurt Dom, Frankfurt, DE (Mar 2021)
Mono Q2
 
“Oh Mary of silence
You pick my heart with a smile
Oh sweet Mary
Come inside for a while
Help me get a hold on you
Or I will
I thought of myself beside you
Take me into your skin
 
Oh, sweet Mary of silence
Oh, sweet Mary of silence
 
We have a steady confusion
You’re looking at fear
It doesn’t seem like the first time
You walked out in a hurry.”
Mazzy Star

“The Way Through the Woods”: Frankfurt Dom

“The Way Through the Woods”
Frankfurt Dom, Frankfurt, DE (Mar 2021)
Mono Q2
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

 

The Way Through the Woods”
Frankfurt Dom, Frankfurt, DE (Mar 2021)
Mono Q2
 
“They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones …”
 
Rudyard Kipling, “The Way Through the Woods”

“The Widow, the Orphan, and the Foreigner”: God Cares for the Oppressed

This week we take on the controversial and subversive message of the ancient Hebrew prophets such as Jeremiah and Micah. Their message was disturbing and disruptive 2500 years ago, and their message continues to interrogate any and every religious or political impulse today. These ancient prophets offered an entirely different way of viewing life, religion, and God. We have to remember that they were social and political critics and not soothsayers divining the future. Think of Nathan and David here. Or Elijah and Ahab. What is true religion? What does it mean that God is holy, and Christians are called to be holy?
Unfortunately, many Western Christians think in the same ways as the ancient Judahites: religion is morality, not holiness; God is my comfort, not my disrupter. The Hebrew prophets will come along and preach a few simple messages. One is quite simple and yet almost never practiced. “The widow, the orphan, and the alien: God cares for the oppressed.” True religion is this: caring for those who cannot care for themselves–taking care of whoever “lives” in your world no matter their country, color, or creed. Morality in society is needed, but morality is not paramount. Never does the Bible say that God is “moral.” “More'”–a Latin word signifying the idea of building fences around to guard against. Morality easily slips into oppression and hatred for the other(s). It used to be moral to deny African-Americans their civil rights. Morality really stinks when it is used in arrogance and greed.
God is holy. Holiness means that Jews and Christians are set apart unto Yahweh. For what? Set apart not to defend our possessions and use others for more possessions–think Ahab and Naboth’s vineyard here–but set apart so that we can swing wide the gates of mercy and compassion. “Welcome, my friend, whoever you are.” Ignoring the poor, turning our eyes away from the desperate, looking down upon those who struggle, stealing other peoples’ lands–the list is endless. All these are travesties of injustice. God is vulnerable here in God’s holiness; we are most vulnerable here too. To be holy means to open our clinched fists and crossed arms–to open ourselves up to the suffering of others and, most importantly, their care and well-being. “God has told you, O human, what is beautiful. Now what does Yahweh “I-be-who-I-be” require of you but to do the right thing, to love kindness, and to walk in humility with your God?” (Micah 6:8 trans. mine) And check out

Michael Hudson’s prompt for this week’s question of the week. And you should have heard Sydney Bailey’s personal words as we wrapped class this last Tuesday.
“The Widow, the Orphan, and the Alien”: God Cares for the Oppressed
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Michael Martin Hudson
“The Widow, the Orphan, and the Alien”: God Cares for the Oppressed
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Michael Martin Hudson
“The Widow, the Orphan, and the Alien”: God Cares for the Oppressed
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Michael Martin Hudson
“The Widow, the Orphan, and the Alien”: God Cares for the Oppressed
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Michael Martin Hudson

Syrian Refugee Son, Beirut, Lebanon (Mar 2017)

Syrian Refugee Son, Beirut, Lebanon (Mar 2017)
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Syrian Refugee Son, Beirut, Lebanon (Mar 2017)
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
“The most miserable of the gods and the most divine of the miserable.” H Cixous, Stigmata
 
There are some faces who never leave me. Alone. I wake at night sometimes and see their spectres, but mostly, I see myself, my county, my world, in their eyes. What have we done? What are we doing? Why didn’t I give him more money? Where did I learn to reach out to desperation with a clinched fist? Who taught me that maybe he doesn’t “deserve” a “handout?” Why didn’t I get his information? I did try. His address was the streets. Where did I learn to bring poverty to poverty?

Der Himmel über Berlin: Kodak Ekta 100 (Oct 2020)

Der Himmel über Berlin
“Tell me of the men, women, and children who will look for me – me, their storyteller, their bard, their choirmaster – because they need me more than anything in the world.”
Kodak Ekta 100 (Oct 2020)
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Der Himmel über Berlin

“Tell me of the men, women, and children who will look for me – me, their storyteller, their bard, their choirmaster – because they need me more than anything in the world.”
Kodak Ekta 100 (Oct 2020)

Theme 4: Wisdom Literature: Living the Good Life

Theme 4: Living the Good Life
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Theme 4: Wisdom Literature: Living the Good Life. Bringing poetry to chaos, complaint to injustice. Answering questions that can’t be answered but must be asked. Having our own vine and fig tree. God is not a genie who removes the chaos and tragedies of life. Bringing beauty, justice, and relationship to an ugly world. We can be whole without being cured. Embracing the pain and the wounds. Felix culpa. Bles-sed wound.

Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice: God is One and Incomprehensible

This week we take on one of our most important themes essential to Christianity: God is One and Incomprehensible. This one rocks a few worlds. Yesterday in lecture we talked about Moses at the burning bush and learning the “name” of God which is not really a name. We learned that God is a verb–not a noun. Hayah. “I be who I be.” We learned that we can know God and understand certain things about God, but humans will never comprehend God. Go Latin on me here. Deus absconditus. Indeed. This begins in Judaism–it took a few centuries or 5. And this becomes foundational to Christianity also. And Michael Martin Hudson wrote another great Question of the Week prompt. And Sydney gave a great interpretation of our theme of the week and schooled these youngsters on proper formatting. This is King–we present professional papers and begin Freshman year. The older I get, the more I need smart, young translators.

Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Feb 16 2021
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Feb 16 2021
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice Feb 16 2021
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Question of the week 5_God is One and Incomprehensible: Michael Martin Hudson

Question of the Week #5
Michael Martin Hudson
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Question of the Week #5
Michael Martin Hudson
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

“Painting a True Christ”: Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life”

“Painting a True Christ”: Malick’s “A Hidden Life”
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

“The older man tells Franz – who has already been admonished that he has a duty to defend the fatherland (homeland) – that he makes his living painting pretty holy pictures for the culturally conditioned parishioners for whom God and country are synonymous. He says.

‘I paint their comfortable Christ with a halo over his head. We love him, that’s enough. Someday I’ll paint a true Christ.'”
I returned again to Malick’s “A Hidden Life” last night in a most beautiful way. Malick’s imagery mesmerizes me and stirs a nameless yearning in me. Almost every frame is a masterpiece in photography. I was struck more than usual by the conversation between Franz and the artist. Firstly, who has the courage to paint the “true Christ” and not the comfortable Christ, the beatific with requisite halo that so many so-called American Christians make in their own image? Secondly, who is willing to live the “true Christ” with all its suffering and shame and counter-narratives to this present world. Christ was a scandal–not a schoolboy.
“In one of his marvelous essays, “A Kind of Sharing,” John Berger, writing about painting, said,
‘The act of faith consisted of believing that the visible contained hidden secrets, that to study the visible was to learn something more than could be seen in a glance. Thus paintings were there to reveal a presence behind an appearance.’
This could be Malick’s motto, his faith. Or perhaps ‘to reveal a presence that is the appearance.’ The body is the soul. We are the world.”

Meet Our B and R Faculty: Dr. Amber Warhurst

Meet Our B and R Faculty: Dr. Amber Warhurst
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Meet Our B and R Faculty:
Dr. Amber Warhurst
“Hello! My name is Amber Warhurst and I am an online instructor for King University’s Bible and Religion Department. My job is amazing because I get to teach a subject I’m passionate about, while getting to know people online from all over the country who I would never get to meet otherwise. Although I’ve taught Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice dozens of times over the past seven years, I’m constantly surprised and delighted by the insights students have about the themes. The class combines Christian ideas, individual experiences, and current events, making for a unique experience every semester. My interest in biblical studies began when I was an undergraduate student, so I appreciate how formative the college years are in a person’s life. After college, I went on to get a M.A. in Biblical Languages from Regent College, Vancouver and a PhD in Hebrew Bible from University of St. Andrews, Scotland. I especially love reading the Bible in its original languages and exploring its literary artistry. In addition to Foundations, I also teach online Old Testament and Interpretation and Hebrew Wisdom Literature for King. When I’m not grading online assignments, I’m homeschooling my four children, skiing or hiking in the beautiful Wasatch mountains of Salt Lake City, wading through the endless stack of books on my nightstand, or working on house renovations to distract me from the piles of laundry and dishes. “
What can I say about Dr. Warhurst? Way too much. Our department would be terribly deficient without her. She’s been with us over a decade. She’s brilliant, the consummate professor, meticulous, and cares for her students. She also answers her emails on time every time (that says a lot about someone, doesn’t it? Our department policy is to answer all student emails within 24 hours–she does, of course–I digress). Thank you, Amber for being with us. We are grateful for your scholarship and your excellence.

Meet Our Students: Foundations Teaching Assistant: McKinley Wagner

Meet Our Students: Foundations Teaching Assistant:
Meet Our Students: Foundations Teaching Assistant: McKinley Wagner
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
McKinley Wagner
Freshman
“Hi, my name is McKinley Wagner, I’m a freshmen at King University, and I was born and raised in Nolensville, TN. I’m on the wrestling team here at King, and I am majoring in Nursing. I really enjoy watching football and other sports and playing sports with my friends in general. I really wanted to be a TA this semester because I enjoyed the way Hudson challenged my thinking, and I wanna help other students do the same thing. Out of all my classes last semester, this was my favorite because it made me think more abstractly everyday.”
We love having McKinley with us this semester. He brings his own style and passion to his work with our students. I loved having him in class last semester because he was constantly engaging and asking some of the tough questions. And I always enjoyed his marvelous cowboy hat 🙂 Thank you, McKinley for being on our TA team and helping your students get through some of these challenging ideas.

Meet Our B and R Faculty: Corey Feagins

Meet Our B and R Faculty: Corey Feagins
Meet Our B and R Faculty: Corey Feagins
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Meet Our B and R Faculty: Corey Feagins
“Greetings! My name is Corey Feagins and I’ve been teaching online at King University since 2016. True Northeast Tennessee is my home and where I strive to serve my community. Thankfully, I’ve had the opportunity to teach for our Religious Studies department and it has been one of my greatest honors. I bring many years of youth and pastoral ministry experience to the virtual classroom. Additionally, our online student populace makes teaching a fulfilling and inspiring adventure. I get the privilege of teaching our foundations course, which challenges students to take a deep dive on what it means to have a Christian worldview. I’ve been connected to King since 2013 and sincerely love being a part of the online community. In my spare time I enjoy disc golf, table tennis and spending precious time with my growing family.”
We are very fortunate to have Corey on our faculty. It is rare to have a professor who is knowledgeable and tech savvy. Corey knows technology and cares for his students. Thank you, Corey, for all you do for King and your students.

Fool’s Gold: Israeli Archaeologists and Jerusalem Post Spin Lies and Propaganda from Ancient Find

Fool’s Gold: Israeli Archaeologists and Jerusalem Post Spin Lies and Propaganda from Ancient Find
Fool’s Gold: Israeli Archaeologists and Jerusalem Post Spin Lies and Propaganda from Ancient Find
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

This is so bad, so ridiculous, and so wrong. Read all the wild conjectures, the unfounded presuppositions, and theo-political assumptions placed into this article and the discovery of an artifact of Iron Age material culture. How did David get in here? We can’t find any monumental buildings so now let’s say that David expressed his wealth not in palaces but purple robes even though this is in ancient Edom. This is more evidence that many Israeli archaeologists are unabashed apologists for theo-political agendas. There is not one shred of evidence connecting this purple dyed material to David and Solomon. And notice that it IS an archaeologist making this “connection” and not just the Jerusalem post–Sukenik. Maybe on his next paper he can explain how space aliens visited Jerusalem and helped David build his vast kingdom. I expect this from the Israel Antiquities Authority and Bar-Ilan University, but to see an individual from Tel Aviv University is surprising and yet not. This is the perfect example of “second wave” archaeology in the Southern Levant: “Flag and spade.” And here’s an idea–this is more proof that Phoenicia was deeply involved in the Southern Levant. Perhaps–and this is conjecture at this point but the evidence is piling up–this is more evidence for Phoenicia and not “Israel.”

Meet Our Students: Foundations Teaching Assistant: Rachel Keen

Meet Our Students: Foundations Teaching Assistant: Rachel Keen
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Meet Our Students: Foundations Teaching Assistant

Rachel Keen
“Hello! My name is Rachel Keen. I’m a freshman this year. I am from Lebanon,Virginia, and I am a commuter to King. I took “Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice” last fall and it was by far my favorite class. I love this class because it is so different from any other class I’ve taken. It makes you think for yourself. It is very interesting to learn about the Bible and the Christian religion as a whole. I am very excited to be a teaching assistant for Professor Hudson’s class this semester. I plan to major in History with a minor in Secondary Education with hopes of becoming a high school history teacher. My interest in teaching and love for helping others is what pushed me to be a TA for Hudson this semester. I also work at my local Food City as a front end manager, which I have learned is great for practicing people skills and time management. I am excited to meet all the new students and I hope they enjoy this class as much as I did last semester!”
Again, we are so fortunate to have Rachel join us this semester. She did a great job in class last semester, and she’s from one of the most beautiful places in America. Thank you, Rachel, for all you do for our students and King.

Meet Our Students: Foundations Teaching Assistant: Hannah Harosky

Meet our Students: Teaching Assistant
Hannah Harosky
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Meet Our Students: Foundations Teaching Assistant
Hannah Harosky
Sophomore
“Hello! My name is Hannah Harosky and I am a sophomore here at King University. I am from Bristol, VA and I am on the Women’s Soccer team. I am double majoring in Criminal Justice and Political Science/History with an undecided minor. I am planning on attending Law School following college, in hopes of becoming a Criminal Attorney. Here at King I am the President of the Political Science Club, Sophomore representative for the Student Government, and a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. During my free time I enjoy spending time with my friends/family, hiking, and traveling. I actually had the privilege of traveling to Israel with Dr. Hudson last year and was able to see the Bible come to life right before my eyes. It was incredible! This will be my third semester serving as a TA for this course. I took Foundations of Christian Thought and Practice my first semester here at King and fell in love with the course because it offers students a safe environment to learn about Christianity as a whole, develop their own Christian worldview, and grow in their faith.”
Hannah is one of the reasons I still love teaching and especially teaching at King. As she said, this is her 3rd semester as a teaching assistant, and she is fantastic with her students. Compassion and brilliance–what else could one want? Thank you, Hannah, for all you do.

“Portrait in Red and Black” by Dr. Shafik Radwan

“Portrait in Red and Black” by Dr. Shafik Radwan
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Dr. Shafik Radwan’s new work “Portrait in Red and Black” now graces the entrance to our German home.
يزين العمل الجديد للدكتور شفيق رضوان “بورتريه باللونين الأحمر والأسود” مدخل منزلنا الألماني.

“My Future Daughter and Her Red Moon” by Ms. Asma Ghanem

Asma Ghanem, “My Future Daughter and Her Red Moon”
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Asma Ghanem, “My Future Daughter and Her Red Moon”
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Ms. Asma Ghanem’s lovely work “My Future Daughter and Her Red Moon” now grace our dining room in Germany.
إن العمل الرائع للسيدة أسماء غانم “ابنتي المستقبل والقمر الأحمر” يزين غرفة الطعام لدينا الآن في ألمانيا.

What Biden’s Warmongering Will Actually Look Like by Caitlyn Johnstone

What Biden’s Warmongering Will Actually Look Like

Written by Caitlyn Johnstone, Jan 24, 2021

What Biden’s Actual Warmongering Will Look Like
Caitlyn Johnstone
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
This is a must read for every American. Yes, I am thrilled to see the Biden-Harris team lead our nation and even more relieved that we have removed Trump. BUT we cannot forget Biden’s warmongering history–he voted for the Iraq invasion and supported Obama’s arming of jihadists in Syria as a few examples. I think Johnstone hits the nail on the head as to what “war” will look like in the future under Democratic leadership, and she destroys the myth pushed by D Trump Jr that Trump never started a war. More than ever we must be vigilant as to what is happening with the American war machine. And notice that much of our aggressiveness is on behalf of Israel and Saudi Arabia. Why? Aren’t you tired of sending our own children to devastate countries and areas and come back maimed or not come back at all? Aren’t you tired of killing other human beings and decimating other peoples’ livelihood all in the name of Idiocracy and in service to another country?
Since we’re under lockdown, take the time to watch Generation Kill, a somewhat nonfictional series covering the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Outside of Malick’s The Thin Red Line, it’s probably the truest war film out there. Look what we did to Iraqi children, women, men, and even animals in “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” “Iraqi Freedom”? What a cynical, sinister name for war crimes and atrocities. Generation Kill exposes the idiocy of Bush, Cheney, Biden, Clinton, Mattis and military leadership while simultaneously showing us what we did to our own American kids who went to fight for “freedom” and “democracy.”
Ok, I’m done. Please take the time to read this. We must watch Biden-Harris every single day and call them out.
“Trump supporters who claim to oppose war missed this completely throughout the entirety of his presidency, confining the concept of “war” solely to its most blatant iterations in order to feel like their president was a peacemaker instead of a warmonger. One of the few positive developments that could potentially arise from the Biden administration is helping such people to recognize acts of violence like starvation sanctions as war, since they will be opposing Biden and that is how this new administration will be manifesting much of its murderousness.”

Ugarit (Ras Shamra) Jan 2017

Beautifully crafted stone work from Ugarit (Ras Shamra), Syria. Middle to Late Bronze. This great city was destroyed sometime around 1200 BCE. We still don’t know who sacked the city. Best guess is the “Greeks” on the move during this turbulent time in the Mediterranean. Almost nothing in the Southern Levant even comes close to this kind of stonework at that period of time.
Ugarit (Jan 2017)
Marilyn Borst, Nuhad Tomeh, and Salam Hanna made it possible for us to visit a site I never thought I would visit in my lifetime. Thank you.
Ugarit (Ras Shamra)
Jan 2017
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Ugarit (Ras Shamra)
Jan 2017
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Ugarit (Ras Shamra)
Jan 2017
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder

Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny, Appearing on Daily Show

On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder
Daily Show
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
“Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.”
― Timothy Snyder,

 

This is apartheid: The Israeli regime promotes and perpetuates Jewish supremacy between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River

This is apartheid: The Israeli regime promotes and perpetuates Jewish supremacy between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River

Israel is Apartheid, B’Tselem
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Published by B’Tselem, Jan 12, 2021

More than 14 million people, roughly half of them Jews and the other half Palestinians, live between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea under a single rule. The common perception in public, political, legal and media discourse is that two separate regimes operate side by side in this area, separated by the Green Line. One regime, inside the borders of the sovereign State of Israel, is a permanent democracy with a population of about nine million, all Israeli citizens. The other regime, in the territories Israel took over in 1967, whose final status is supposed to be determined in future negotiations, is a temporary military occupation imposed on some five million Palestinian subjects.

Over time, the distinction between the two regimes has grown divorced from reality. This state of affairs has existed for more than 50 years – twice as long as the State of Israel existed without it. Hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers now reside in permanent settlements east of the Green Line, living as though they were west of it. East Jerusalem has been officially annexed to Israel’s sovereign territory, and the West Bank has been annexed in practice. Most importantly, the distinction obfuscates the fact that the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is organized under a single principle: advancing and cementing the supremacy of one group – Jews – over another – Palestinians. All this leads to the conclusion that these are not two parallel regimes that simply happen to uphold the same principle. There is one regime governing the entire area and the people living in it, based on a single organizing principle.

When B’Tselem was founded in 1989, we limited our mandate to the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip, and refrained from addressing human rights inside the State of Israel established in 1948 or from taking a comprehensive approach to the entire area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Yet the situation has changed. The regime’s organizing principle has gained visibility in recent years, as evidenced by the Basic Law: Israel – the Nation State of the Jewish People passed in 2018, or open talk of formally annexing parts of the West Bank in 2020. Taken together with the facts described above, this means that what happens in the Occupied Territories can no longer be treated as separate from the reality in the entire area under Israel’s control. The terms we have used in recent years to describe the situation – such as “prolonged occupation” or a “one-state reality” – are no longer adequate. To continue effectively fighting human rights violations, it is essential to examine and define the regime that governs the entire area.

This paper analyzes how the Israeli regime works to advance its goals in the entire area under its control. We do not provide a historical review or an evaluation of the Palestinian and Jewish national movements, or of the former South Africa regime. While these are important questions, they are beyond the purview of a human rights organization. Rather, this document presents the principles that guide the regime, demonstrates how it implements them and points to the conclusion that emerges from all of this as to how the regime should be defined and what that means for human rights.

Apartheid Minisite

Divide, separate, rule

Map

In the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, the Israeli regime implements laws, practices and state violence designed to cement the supremacy of one group – Jews – over another – Palestinians. A key method in pursuing this goal is engineering space differently for each group.

Jewish citizens live as though the entire area were a single space (excluding the Gaza Strip). The Green Line means next to nothing for them: whether they live west of it, within Israel’s sovereign territory, or east of it, in settlements not formally annexed to Israel, is irrelevant to their rights or status.

Where Palestinians live, on the other hand, is crucial. The Israeli regime has divided the area into several units that it defines and governs differently, according Palestinians different rights in each. This division is relevant to Palestinians only. The geographic space, which is contiguous for Jews, is a fragmented mosaic for Palestinians:

  • Palestinians who live on land defined in 1948 as Israeli sovereign territory (sometimes called Arab-Israelis) are Israeli citizens and make up 17% of the state’s citizenry. While this status affords them many rights, they do not enjoy the same rights as Jewish citizens by either law or practice – as detailed further in this paper.
  • Roughly 350,000 Palestinians live in East Jerusalem, which consists of some 70,000 dunams [1 dunam = 1,000 square meters] that Israel annexed to its sovereign territory in 1967. They are defined as permanent residents of Israel a status that allows them to live and work in Israel without needing special permits, to receive social benefits and health insurance, and to vote in municipal elections. Yet permanent residency, unlike citizenship, may be revoked at any time, at the complete discretion of the Minister of the Interior. In certain circumstances, it can also expire.
  • Although Israel never formally annexed the West Bank, it treats the territory as its own. More than 2.6 million Palestinian subjects live in the West Bank, in dozens of disconnected enclaves, under rigid military rule and without political rights. In about 40% of the territory, Israel has transferred some civilian powers to the Palestinian Authority (PA). However, the PA is still subordinate to Israel and can only exercise its limited powers with Israel’s consent.
  • The Gaza Strip is home to about two million Palestinians, also denied political rights. In 2005, Israel withdrew its forces from the Gaza Strip, dismantled the settlements it built there and abdicated any responsibility for the fate of the Palestinian population. After the Hamas takeover in 2007, Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip that is still in place. Throughout all of these years, Israel has continued to control nearly every aspect of life in Gaza from outside.

Israel accords Palestinians a different package of rights in every one of these units – all of which are inferior compared to the rights afforded to Jewish citizens. The goal of Jewish supremacy is advanced differently in every unit, and the resulting forms of injustice differ: the lived experience of Palestinians in blockaded Gaza is unlike that of Palestinian subjects in the West Bank, permanent residents in East Jerusalem or Palestinian citizens within sovereign Israeli territory. Yet these are variations on the fact that all Palestinians living under Israeli rule are treated as inferior in rights and status to Jews who live in the very same area.

Detailed below are four major methods the Israeli regime uses to advance Jewish supremacy. Two are implemented similarly throughout the entire area: restricting migration by non-Jews and taking over Palestinian land to build Jewish-only communities, while relegating Palestinians to small enclaves. The other two are implemented primarily in the Occupied Territories: draconian restrictions on the movement of non-citizen Palestinians and denial of their political rights. Control over these aspects of life lies entirely in Israel’s hands: in the entire area, Israel has sole power over the population registry, land allocation, voter rolls and the right (or denial thereof) to travel within, enter or exit any part of the area.

A. Immigration – for Jews only:

Immigration

Any Jew in the world and his or her children, grandchildren and spouses are entitled to immigrate to Israel at any time and receive Israeli citizenship, with all of its associated rights. They receive this status even if they choose to live in a West Bank settlement not formally annexed to Israel’s sovereign territory.

In contrast, non-Jews have no right to legal status in Israeli-controlled areas. Granting status is at the almost complete discretion of officials – the Minister of the Interior (within sovereign Israel) or the military commander (in the Occupied Territories). Despite this official distinction, the organizing principle remains the same: Palestinians living in other countries cannot immigrate to the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, even if they, their parents or their grandparents were born and lived there. The only way Palestinians can immigrate to areas controlled by Israel is by marrying a Palestinian who already lives there – as citizen, resident or subject – as well as meeting a series of conditions and receiving Israeli approval..

Israel not only hampers Palestinian immigration but also impedes Palestinian relocation between the units, if the move – in the perception of the regime – would upgrade their status. For instance, Palestinian citizens of Israel or residents of East Jerusalem can easily relocate to the West Bank (although they risk their rights and status in doing so). Palestinians in the Occupied Territories cannot obtain Israeli citizenship and relocate to Israeli sovereign territory, except for in very rare instances, which depend on the approval of Israeli officials.

Israel’s policy on family unification illustrates this principle. For years, the regime has placed numerous obstacles before families in which each spouse lives in a different geographical unit. Over time, this has impeded and often prevented Palestinians marrying a Palestinian in another unit from acquiring status in that unit. As a result of this policy, tens of thousands of families have been unable to live together. When one spouse is a resident of the Gaza Strip , Israel allows the family to live there together, but if the other spouse is a resident of the West Bank, Israel demands they relocate permanently to Gaza. In 2003, the Knesset passed a Temporary Order (still in force) banning the issuance of Israeli citizenship or permanent residency to Palestinians from the Occupied Territories who marry Israelis – unlike citizens of other countries. In exceptional cases approved by the Minister of the Interior, Palestinians from the West Bank who marry Israelis may be granted status in Israel – yet it is only temporary and does not entitle them to social benefits.

Roadblock

Israel also undermines the right of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories – including East Jerusalem – to continue living where they were born. Since 1967, Israel has revoked the status of some 250,000 Palestinians in the West Bank (East Jerusalem included) and the Gaza Strip, in some cases on the grounds they had lived abroad for more than three years. This includes thousands of East Jerusalem residents who moved mere miles east of their homes to parts of the West Bank that are not officially annexed. All these individuals were robbed of the right to return to their homes and families, where they were born and raised.

B. Taking over land for Jews while crowding Palestinians in enclaves:

Map

Israel practices a policy of “Judaizing” the area, based on the mindset that land is a resource meant almost exclusively to benefit the Jewish public. Land is used to develop and expand existing Jewish communities and build new ones, while Palestinians are dispossessed and corralled into small, crowded enclaves. This policy has been practiced with respect to land within sovereign Israeli territory since 1948 and applied to Palestinians in the Occupied Territories since 1967. In 2018, the underlying principle was entrenched in Basic Law: Israel – the Nation State of the Jewish People, which stipulates that “the State considers the development of Jewish settlements a national value and will take action to encourage and promote the establishment and reinforcment of such settlements.”

Inside its sovereign territory, Israel has enacted discriminatory laws, most notably the Absentee Property Law , allowing it to expropriate vast tracts of Palestinian-owned land, including millions of dunams in communities whose residents were expelled or fled in 1948 and were barred from returning. Israel has also significantly reduced the areas designated for Palestinian local councils and communities, which now have access to less than 3% of the country’s total area. Most of the designated land is already saturated with construction. As a result, more than 90% of land in Israel’s sovereign territory is now under state control.

Israel has used this land to build hundreds of communities for Jewish citizens – yet not a single one for Palestinian citizens. The exception is a handful of towns and villages built to concentrate the Bedouin population , which has been stripped of most of its proprietary rights. Most of the land on which Bedouins used to live has been expropriated and registered as state land. Many Bedouin communities have been defined as ‘unrecognized’ and their residents as ‘invaders.’ On land historically occupied by Bedouins, Israel has built Jewish-only communities.

The Israeli regime severely restricts construction and development in the little remaining land in Palestinian communities within its sovereign territory. It also refrains from preparing master plans that reflect the population’s needs, and keeps these communities’ areas of jurisdiction virtually unchanged despite population growth. The result is small, crowded enclaves where residents have no choice but to build without permits .

Israel has also passed a law allowing communities with admission committees, numbering hundreds throughout the country, to reject Palestinian applicants on grounds of “cultural incompatibility.” This effectively prevents Palestinian citizens from living in communities designated for Jews. Officially, any Israeli citizen can live in any of the country’s cities ; in practice, only 10% of Palestinian citizens do. Even then, they are usually relegated to separate neighborhoods due to lack of educational, religious and other services, the prohibitive cost of purchasing a home in other parts of the city, or discriminatory practices in land and home sales.

The regime has used the same organizing principle in the West Bank since 1967 (including East Jerusalem). Hundreds of thousands of dunams, including farmland and pastureland, have been taken from Palestinian subjects on various pretexts and used, among other things, to establish and expand settlements, including residential neighborhoods, farmland and industrial zones. All settlements are closed military zones that Palestinians are forbidden from entering without a permit. So far, Israel has established more than 280 settlements in the West Bank (East Jerusalem included), which are now home to more than 600,000 Jews. More land has been taken to build hundreds of kilometers of bypass roads for settlers.

Planning and building

Israel has instituted a separate planning system for Palestinians in the West Bank, chiefly designed to prevent construction and development. Large swathes of land are unavailable for construction, having been declared state land, a firing zone, a nature reserve or a national park. The authorities also refrain from drafting adequate master plans reflecting the present and future needs of Palestinian communities in what little land has been spared. The separate planning system centers on demolishing structures built without permits – here, too, for lack of choice. All this has trapped Palestinians in dozens of densely-populated enclaves, with development outside them – whether for residential or public use, including infrastructure – almost completely banned.

C. Restriction of Palestinians’ freedom of movement

Freedom of movement

Israel allows its Jewish and Palestinian citizens and residents to travel freely throughout the area. Exceptions are the prohibition on entering the Gaza Strip, which it defines “hostile territory,” and the (mostly formal) prohibition on entering areas ostensibly under PA responsibility (Area A). In rare cases, Palestinian citizens or residents are permitted to enter Gaza.

Israeli citizens can also leave and reenter the country at any time. In contrast, residents of East Jerusalem do not hold Israeli passports and lengthy absence can result in revocation of status.

Israel routinely restricts the movement of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and generally forbids them from moving between the units. Palestinians from the West Bank who wish to enter Israel, East Jerusalem or the Gaza Strip must apply to the Israeli authorities. In the Gaza Strip, which has been blockaded since 2007, the entire population is imprisoned as Israel forbids almost any movement in or out – except in rare cases it defines humanitarian. Palestinians who wish to leave Gaza or Palestinians from other units who wish to enter it must also submit a special application for a permit to the Israeli authorities. The permits are issued sparingly and can only be obtained through a strict, arbitrary mechanism, or permit regime , which lacks transparency and clear rules. Israel treats every permit issued to a Palestinian as an act of grace rather than the fulfillment of a vested right.

In the West Bank, Israel controls all the routes between the Palestinian enclaves. This allows the military to set up flying checkpoints, close off access points to villages, block roads and stop passage through checkpoints at will. Furthermore, Israel built the Separation Barrier within the West Bank and designated Palestinian land, including farmland, trapped between the barrier and the Green Line as “the seam zone .” Palestinians in the West Bank are barred from entering this zone, subject to the same permit regime.

No flights

Palestinians in the Occupied Territories also need Israeli permission to go abroad. As a rule, Israel does not allow them to use Ben Gurion International Airport, which lies inside its sovereign territory. Palestinians from the West Bank must fly through Jordan’s international airport – but can only do so if Israel allows them to cross the border into Jordan. Every year, Israel denies thousands of requests to cross this border, with no explanation. Palestinians from Gaza must go through Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing – provided it is open, the Egyptian authorities let them through, and they can undertake the long journey through Egyptian territory. In rare exceptions, Israel allows Gazans to travel through its sovereign territory in an escorted shuttle, in order to reach the West Bank and from there continue to Jordan and on to their destination.

D. Denial of Palestinians’ right to political participation

Voting

Like their Jewish counterparts, Palestinian citizens of Israel can take political action to further their interests, including voting and running for office. They can elect representatives, establish parties or join existing ones. That said, Palestinian elected officials are continually vilified – a sentiment propagated by key political figures – and the right of Palestinian citizens to political participation is under constant attack .

The roughly five million Palestinians who live in the Occupied Territories cannot participate in the political system that governs their lives and determines their futures. Theoretically, most Palestinians are eligible to vote in the PA elections. Yet as the PA’s powers are limited, even if elections were held regularly (the last were in 2006), the Israeli regime would still rule Palestinians’ lives, as it retains major aspects of governance in the Occupied Territories. This includes control over immigration, the population registry, planning and land policies, water, communication infrastructure, import and export, and military control over land, sea and air space.

In East Jerusalem, Palestinians are caught between a rock and a hard place. As permanent residents of Israel, they can vote in municipal elections but not for parliament. On the other hand, Israel makes it difficult for them to participate in PA elections.

Political participation encompasses more than voting or running for office. Israel also denies Palestinians political rights such as freedom of speech and freedom of association. These rights enable individuals to critique regimes, protest policies, form associations to advance their ideas and generally work to promote social and political change.

Demonstrations

A slew of legislation, such as the boycott law and the Nakba law, has limited Israelis’ freedom to criticize policies relating to Palestinians throughout the area. Palestinians in the Occupied Territories face even harsher restrictions : they are not allowed to demonstrate; many associations have been banned; and almost any political statement is considered incitement. These restrictions are assiduously enforced by the military courts, which have imprisoned hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and are a key mechanism upholding the occupation. In East Jerusalem, Israel works to prevent any social, cultural or political activity associated in any way with the PA.

The division of space also hampers a unified Palestinian struggle against Israeli policy. The variation in laws, procedures and rights among the geographical units and the draconian movement restrictions have separated the Palestinians into distinct groups. This fragmentation not only helps Israel promote Jewish supremacy, but also thwarts criticism and resistance.

No to apartheid: That is our struggle

No to ApartheidThe Israeli regime, which controls all the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, seeks to advance and cement Jewish supremacy throughout the entire area. To that end, it has divided the area into several units, each with a different set of rights for Palestinians – always inferior to the rights of Jews. As part of this policy, Palestinians are denied many rights, including the right to self-determination.

This policy is advanced in several ways. Israel demographically engineers the space through laws and orders that allow any Jew in the world or their relatives to obtain Israeli citizenship, but almost completely deny Palestinians this possibility. It has physically engineered the entire area by taking over of millions of dunams of land and establishing Jewish-only communities, while driving Palestinians into small enclaves. Movement is engineered through restrictions on Palestinian subjects, and political engineering excludes millions of Palestinians from participating in the processes that determine their lives and futures while holding them under military occupation.

A regime that uses laws, practices and organized violence to cement the supremacy of one group over another is an apartheid regime. Israeli apartheid, which promotes the supremacy of Jews over Palestinians, was not born in one day or of a single speech. It is a process that has gradually grown more institutionalized and explicit, with mechanisms introduced over time in law and practice to promote Jewish supremacy. These accumulated measures, their pervasiveness in legislation and political practice, and the public and judicial support they receive – all form the basis for our conclusion that the bar for labeling the Israeli regime as apartheid has been met.

If this regime has developed over many years, why release this paper in 2021? What has changed? Recent years have seen a rise in the motivation and willingness of Israeli officials and institutions to enshrine Jewish supremacy in law and openly state their intentions. The enactment of Basic Law: Israel – the Nation State of the Jewish People and the declared plan to formally annex parts of the West Bank have shattered the façade Israel worked for years to maintain.

The Nation State basic law, enacted in 2018, enshrines the Jewish people’s right to self-determination to the exclusion of all others. It establishes that distinguishing Jews in Israel (and throughout the world) from non-Jews is fundamental and legitimate. Based on this distinction, the law permits institutionalized discrimination in favor of Jews in settlement, housing, land development, citizenship, language and culture. It is true that the Israeli regime largely followed these principles before. Yet Jewish supremacy has now been enshrined in basic law, making it a binding constitutional principle – unlike ordinary law or practices by authorities, which can be challenged. This signals to all state institutions that they not only can, but must, promote Jewish supremacy in the entire area under Israeli control.

Israel’s plan to formally annex parts of the West Bank also bridges the gap between the official status of the Occupied Territories, which is accompanied by empty rhetoric about negotiation of its future, and the fact that Israel actually annexed most of the West Bank long ago. Israel did not follow through on its declarations of formal annexation after July 2020, and various officials have released contradicting statements regarding the plan since. Regardless of how and when Israel advances formal annexation of one kind or another, its intention to achieve permanent control over the entire area has already been openly declared by the state’s highest officials.

The Israeli regime’s rationale, and the measures used to implement it, are reminiscent of the South African regime that sought to preserve the supremacy of white citizens, in part through partitioning the population into classes and sub-classes and ascribing different rights to each. There are, of course, differences between the regimes. For instance, the division in South Africa was based on race and skin color, while in Israel it is based on nationality and ethnicity. Segregation in South Africa was also manifested in public space, in the form of a policed, formal, public separation between people based on skin color – a degree of visibility that Israel usually avoids. Yet in public discourse and in international law, apartheid does not mean an exact copy of the former South African regime. No regime will ever be identical. ‘Apartheid’ has long been an independent term, entrenched in international conventions, referring to a regime’s organizing principle: systematically promoting the dominance of one group over another and working to cement it.

The Israeli regime does not have to declare itself an apartheid regime to be defined as such, nor is it relevant that representatives of the state broadly proclaim it a democracy. What defines apartheid is not statements but practice. While South Africa declared itself an apartheid regime in 1948, it is unreasonable to expect other states to follow suit given the historical repercussions. The response of most countries to South Africa’s apartheid is likelier to deter countries from admitting to implementing a similar regime. It is also clear that what was possible in 1948 is no longer possible today, both legally and in terms of public opinion.

As painful as it may be to look reality in the eye, it is more painful to live under a boot. The harsh reality described here may deteriorate further if new practices are introduced – with or without accompanying legislation. Nevertheless, people created this regime and people can make it worse – or work to replace it. That hope is the driving force behind this position paper. How can people fight injustice if it is unnamed? Apartheid is the organizing principle, yet recognizing this does not mean giving up. On the contrary: it is a call for change.

Fighting for a future based on human rights, liberty and justice is especially crucial now. There are various political paths to a just future here, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, but all of us must first choose to say no to apartheid.

Syrian Widow Seeking Refuge in Zadieh, Syria

Syrian Widow Seeks Refuge in Zadieh, Syria
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Syrian widow seeking refuge in the Presbyterian Church in Zadieh, Syria (Jan 2017)
This small and beautiful church in the mountains east of Tartous was taking in as many refugees as it could and providing them sanctuary. The pastor died a few months after our departure from a heart attack. Obviously, we can see the trauma on her face and in her eyes.

Meeting the Bishop of Mosul, Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf

Bishop of Mosul, Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

 

I was in Damascus, Syria in Jan 2017 four days with a group of people. We were fortunate to have an audience with the Archbishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church centered in Damascus. As the archbishop started the meeting, he stopped in mid-sentence remembering something important. He told us that the Bishop of Mosul, Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, was staying in the church/monastery for one more night–he was staying there while Iraq and Syria were being ravaged by Islamic radicals. Mosul, ancient Nineveh, was viciously attacked by ISIL (Da’esh), and the bishop, after staying as long as he could in Mosul, sought refuge in Damascus in the headquarters of his church and under the protection of Assad’s forces. You can see his video below from 3 Nov 2014 where he states what is happening to Mosul and the Christians there. The title of the video is “The Bishop of Mosul is Weeping.” The Archbishop told us that Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf was leaving the next day to return to Mosul and rebuild his church and the Christian communities. The Archbishop dispatched an assistant to ask the Bishop of Mosul to join us for a moment. Little did I know who he was or how significant he is to Middle Eastern Christianity. He joined us and as soon as he walked in, his presence was overwhelming and generous. Just by looking at him you could tell that he had transformed his unspeakable sufferings into something beautiful. I also thought he looked exactly like some of my Harley riding friends back home. I actually looked at his hand to see if he wore a biker ring. I know, I should be more mature than this. He sat down while we were being served hot tea by the young priests. One priest offered him tea, he looked around before taking, and noticed that one of our group had been missed. I had noticed this but didn’t want to speak out of turn. The Bishop of Mosul stopped and asked the young priest to serve the one of us who did not have tea. Then he took his tea. He did not speak disparagingly of America, but he asked with true confusion why Americans were so intent on destroying his country, his church, his Christian brothers and sisters? Why would the “Christian” American president destroy a country, kill over 600,000 Iraqis, and then leave an opening for ISIS? Why would the American president be so intent on destroying Christian churches and Christian communities, some as old as 1500 years? Later, I was able to talk with him and shake his hand. No doubt, he is one of the greatest humans I have met.

“Balthazar” by Shogh-Ian

“Balthazar” by Shogh-Ian
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

 

And since it’s Share-Your-Art-Friday–is that a thing?, I received this piece 2 weeks ago from my favorite Armenian artist, Shogh-Ian. She’s a young artist doing unique and astonishing work.

Portrait in Red and Black by Dr. Shafik Radwan (2011)

Dr. Shafik Radwan
Portrait in Red and Black
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Dr. Shafik Radwan
Portrait in Red and Black
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

 

I was able to purchase another piece of art from one of the greatest working artists in the world, Dr. Shafik Radwan, again through Zawyeh Gallery. This is the fifth Radwan we now own and present.

My Future Daughter and Her Red Moon (2011) by Ms. Asma Ghanem

Asma Ghanem
My Future Daughter and Her Red Moon
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Asma Ghanem
My Future Daughter and Her Red Moon
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

 

 

I fell in love with this immediately, for many reasons, but one major one being my own perspective and studies. I see in this painting 4,000 years of Syro-Palestinian-Phoenician with a little bit of Mesopotamian thrown in. This is rooted in a subterranean and beautiful shared past. What an amazing fusion of contemporary and ancient. I’m not trying to over-read your work–this is one element that triggered my responses. Impressive, indeed.

King University Foundations Teaching Assistants

King University Foundations TAs
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
King University Foundations TAs
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
King University Foundations TAs
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

King University Foundations TAs
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
King University Foundations TAs
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
King University Foundations TAs
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
King University Foundations TAs
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
King University Foundations TAs
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
King University Foundations TAs
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
King University Foundations TAs
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Save us the hollow call for unity, Franklin Graham: Opinion in Charlotte Observer

Save us the hollow call for unity, Franklin Graham

Charlotte Observer

UPDATED JANUARY 11, 2021 11:45 AM

Last Thursday, one day after the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, Franklin Graham had a message for Americans.

“The division in our country is as great as any time since the Civil War,” he tweeted. “I am calling on Christians to unite our hearts together in prayer for President-elect @JoeBiden and Vice President-elect @KamalaHarris, and for the leadership in both parties.”

It was the kind of statement this country needs to hear, a call for reconciliation that you’d expect from a faith leader. Except just two weeks before, this leader’s arms were folded, not open. “Many people believe the presidential election was stolen from @realDonaldTrump,” Graham tweeted on December 28, “and if conservatives lose control of the Senate, there is nothing to stop the radical agenda of the left.”

Earlier in December, Graham echoed the same election lies that fueled the Capitol invaders. “When he says this election was rigged or stolen,” Graham said of the president, “I tend to believe him.”

Unite our hearts? Save it, Rev. Graham.

Get ready for the big walk back, America. Get ready for the agitators to now call for peace. Get ready for the same people who played along when the president stoked a nationwide fury now wanting to calm everyone down.

Like Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who said after last week’s siege: “We must come together and put this anger and division behind us. We must, and I am confident we will, have a peaceful and orderly transition of power.”

This is the same Ted Cruz who, as the mob was forming in Washington, encouraged “peace” and “order” by declaring: “We are gathered at a time when democracy is in crisis.” It’s the same Cruz who the week before shouted at a Georgia rally that “We will defend our constitution” and “We will not go quietly into the night.”

All for election fraud that didn’t exist.

This costume change, brazen as it is, is hardly surprising. For years, Republicans and conservative leaders have told Americans that what they see isn’t actually true, that Donald Trump’s unhinged tweets and intemperate attacks are merely the products of media and Democrats picking on him. Just as guilty, although slightly less hypocritical, are the Republicans who chose to be silent about the president and Charlottesville, the president and “shithole” countries, the president telling Proud Boys to stand back and stand by.

Many of these same Republicans, including members of Congress from North Carolina, added their names to an amicus brief supporting a Texas lawsuit that falsely claims the 2020 presidential election was tainted with fraud and should be overturned. They nodded or looked the other way as Trump’s election claims got more bizarre, his efforts more desperate, his language more incendiary.

Only when Trump being Trump resulted in five deaths and a ransacked Capitol did some rediscover their principles and their spines. But even now, Republicans are arguing against a second impeachment of the president, on the grounds that it would inflame his supporters.

Never mind the hypocrisy of calling for calm shortly after you’ve been yelling “fire.” This also is blame avoidance — not only for the president, but those who bowed and cowed in all the moments that led up to this latest, most horrifying one.

Unity? Yes, we need to move toward it. But to get there, we need those responsible for Wednesday, including Donald Trump, to be held accountable. We need the leaders and the party that enabled him to take responsibility and earn the country’s confidence and trust again.

A good start would be to admit what is plainly true, that the 2020 election was not stolen from the president.

Until then, save us the hollow words of reconciliation.

That includes you, Rev. Graham. You’ve long had an affinity for telling folks — whether they’re Girl Scouts or a gay presidential candidate or a bank that dares put a lesbian couple in a commercial — how their behavior is leading to the decline of America. You’ve especially liked singling out individuals and groups to repent and be accountable for their sins.

We won’t be so presumptuous to declare what’s a sin or who needs to repent. We don’t even think you’re wrong in suggesting that Americans need to find a path and a peace they can share. But before you start calling for everyone to come together, it might help if you came clean about what tore us apart.

FYI Trump’s Latest Yemen Move Is Far Worse Than The Capitol Riot

FYI Trump’s Latest Yemen Move Is Far Worse Than The Capitol Riot

Written by Caitlin Johnstone, Jan 12, 2021 caitlinjohnstone.com

While the Capitol riot is being hysterically compared to Pearl Harbor and Kristallnacht by the political/media class, the Trump administration has done something far, far worse that is receiving far, far less attention.

The US State Department has officially announced its intention to designate Yemen’s Houthis as a terrorist group, as many had previously warned. Humanitarian organizations have been condemning the move as it will make it more difficult to provide aid to a population that is already being brutalized by the worst mass atrocity in the entire world, a Saudi-led atrocity which could not occur without the help of the western power alliance.

We are already seeing some effects of this designation.

Yemen Solidarity Council@YSCouncil

We are ceasing all operations in the United States for the time being, as well as putting a temporary halt to our intended plans for humanitarian fundraising.

Let it be known that the Trump Administration just criminalized foreign humanitarian aid to .

View image on Twitter

Antiwar‘s Dave DeCamp reports the following:

The terror designation will hamper the efforts of international charities that deliver food to Houthi-controlled areas, where 70 percent of Yemen’s population lives and malnutrition is the most widespread.

Aid agencies fear their work in north Yemen will now be criminalized since the Houthis are the authority they have to deal with and make transactions with. US terror designations open up sanctions on any individuals or entities that do business with those Washington brands as terrorists.

Pompeo said exemptions would be made for humanitarian goods. But any additional roadblocks for aid agencies will cause more suffering in Yemen since the situation is so dire. “Even with exemptions, the operation will be compromised,” said Janti Soeripto, the president of Save the Children, according to AP News.

The United Nations conservatively estimates that some 233,000 Yemenis have been killed in the war between the Houthis and the US-backed Saudi-led coalition, mostly from what it calls “indirect causes”. Those indirect causes would be disease and starvation resulting from what UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calls “the worst famine the world has seen for decades”.

When people hear the word “famine” they usually think of mass hunger caused by droughts or other naturally occurring phenomena, but in reality the starvation deaths we are seeing in Yemen (a huge percentage of which are children under the age of five) are caused by something that is no more natural than the starvation deaths you’d see in a medieval siege. They are the result of the Saudi coalition’s use of blockades and its deliberate targeting of farms, fishing boats, marketplaces, food storage sites, and cholera treatment centers with airstrikes aimed at making the Houthi-controlled parts of Yemen so weak and miserable that they break.

In other words, the US and its allies have been helping Saudi Arabia deliberately kill children and other civilians on mass scale in order to achieve a political goal. Which would of course be a perfect example of any standard definition of terrorism. The unfathomably savage and bloodthirsty US empire designating the Houthis as a terrorist organization is the least funny joke that has ever been told

The Trump administration has just designated Yemen’s Houthis as a terrorist organization while facilitating the worst mass atrocity on this planet in the Saudi-led assault on Yemen. Here’s an article I wrote about this depraved move last month:https://caityjohnstone.medium.com/we-are-the-terrorists-e86c1c4483fb 

We Are The Terrorists

The Trump administration is reportedly close to moving the Houthi rebels in Yemen onto its official list of designated terrorist…

caityjohnstone.medium.com

This move is quantifiably far, far worse than anything Trump could possibly have done to incite the Capitol riot, as it will kill far, far more people, yet the mass media fixate on one news story while virtually ignoring the other. This is because the Capitol riot story feeds into partisan narratives and manufactures consent for authoritarian domestic terrorism laws, while the Yemen story highlights the depravity of US imperialism. The plutocrat-owned media does not exist to give you a truthful representation of the world, it exists to keep the wheels of the empire rolling along.

There’s a weird taboo against saying some things are worse than other things, especially when it involves things the mass media tell us are of cataclysmic significance. People shriek “Why are you minimizing the Capitol raid??” and “Why are you comparing them! It’s not a pissing contest!” This is stupid. All things are not equal to other things, and figuring out the ways in which news coverage is disproportionate and not reflective of reality is a very important part of making sense of the world.

So now Americans are being fed a steady diet of narratives about the threat Trump’s radicalized base poses to people of color, while ignoring the fact that Trump is currently implementing policies which facilitate the butchery of people of color. Only difference is the latter is hidden behind geographical remoteness, and is far more egregious.

Americans Only Care About America. Their Rulers Only Care About World Domination.

“The story of Kanye and Kim’s divorce is going to generate more news media views than the entirety of the Yemen war since it began.”https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/americans-only-care-about-america 

Americans Only Care About America. Their Rulers Only Care About World Domination.

It matters that the mass media do not cover news stories with an accurate degree of proportion. It matters that they keep the public’s gaze diverted from the horrors of empire while radically distorting their sense of reality. This isn’t some idle “contrarian take”. This matters.

In the last couple of centuries we’ve progressed all the way from expecting our leaders to murder brown-skinned people while saying racist things to expecting our leaders to murder brown-skinned people while condemning racism. The murder hasn’t changed, and the racism hasn’t really changed either. All that’s changed is the norms of how it is put into practice.

This matters.

Traveling through Turkey with my Kurdish driver, Yusuf

Yusuf in Göbekli Tepe
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Yusuf, my beautiful Kurdish driver who watched over me and took me to Göbekli Tepe in 2015 and would occasionally serenade me with his songs. Around lunchtime one day he abruptly turned off the road and headed into I don’t know what. I thought this was it–my kidnapping. Nope. It was my lunch. He knew this great little place–tent–with the most fab food. We were the only ones there, and he continued to educate me and tell me stories. I can’t verify this or absolutely agree with it, but, in the main, Kurdish people are the finest people on this earth. And the photo is one of the monumental pieces from Göbekli Tepe now the oldest known “temple”. 9,000 BCE. This finding, still in excavation, pushed hunter-gathering culture back 2 millennia–think about that. Because of Göbekli Tepe we now have to rewrite human history. I just had to go see it for myself.

Göbekli Tepe
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Trump’s evangelicals were complicit in the desecration of our democracy by Michael Gerson

Trump’s evangelicals were complicit in the desecration of our democracy

Written by Michael Gerson, Washington Post, Jan 7, 2021

Trump’s evangelicals were complicit in the desecration of our democracy: WAPO

The practical effects of the fascist occupation of the U.S. Capitol building were quickly undone. The symbols it left behind are indelible.

A Confederate flag waved in triumph in the halls of a building never taken by Jefferson Davis. Guns drawn to protect the floor of the House of Representatives from violent attack. A cloddish barbarian in the presiding officer’s chair. The desecration of democracy under the banner “Jesus Saves.”

This post-apocalyptic vision of chaos and national humiliation was the direct and intended consequence of a president’s incitement. It was made possible by quislings such as Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who turned a ceremony of continuity into a rallying cry for hatred and treason. In the aftermath, Republican legislators who still don’t support President Trump’s immediate removal from office by constitutional means are guilty of continuing complicity.

Capitol Police were unable to stop a breach of the Capitol. Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig and a former Senate Sergeant at Arms describe the events. 

All this leaves President-elect Joe Biden in a difficult position. Prudence would advise two weeks of patience and then an upbeat attempt to turn the national page. Justice would dictate arresting, trying and imprisoning President Trump for sedition at the soonest possible moment.

As of now, I am in the justice camp. The only way to restore boundaries of law and decency is to enforce them.

The coming weeks will see a gradually arriving reckoning. Political leaders who sought access and influence over the past four years through a political alliance with insurrectionists and domestic terrorists are responsible for unleashing insurrectionists and domestic terrorists. This is true of some Federalist Society conservatives, who cared only about judicial appointments. It is true of some economic conservatives, focused only on tax and regulatory policy. And it is true, above all, of Trump evangelicals, who sought to recover lost social influence through the cynical embrace of corrupt power.

I come back to this group repeatedly, not only because I share an evangelical background and resent those who dishonor it, but because the overwhelming support of evangelicals is the single largest reason that Trump possesses power in the first place. It was their malignant approach to politics that forced our country into its current nightmare. As white nationalists, conspiracy theorists, misogynists, anarchists, criminals and terrorists took hold of the Republican Party, many evangelicals blessed it under the banner “Jesus Saves.”

Jesus had something to say about political deals with the devil: “Get behind me, Satan!” My point is less theological: The political and religious costs of a tight evangelical alliance with violent bigots and crackpots were easily foreseen. I and many others foresaw and foresaw until our fingers ached at the keyboard. Yet Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell Jr., Robert Jeffress and the others either shut their eyes or shared in Trumpian hatreds. “There has never been anyone,” said Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, “who has defended us and who has fought for us, who we have loved more than Donald J. Trump. No one!”

“We didn’t vote for him to be our pastor or our husband,” explained Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America. “We voted for him to be our bodyguard.” But what if the bodyguard you hired turns out to be a brutish, bigoted, narcissistic, authoritarian thug who wants to burn down any democratic institution he can’t control? Perhaps the moral character of political bodyguards actually matters. Perhaps evangelicals should not be hiring bodyguards in the first place, but rather supporting moral leaders who seek the common good.

The damage is now done. And it is not my purpose to pick through the ruins of destroyed reputations. It is tempting to call unforgivable the equation of Christian truth with malice, cruelty, deception, bigotry and sedition. But that statement is itself contradicted by Christian truth, which places no one beyond forgiveness and affirms that everyone needs grace in different ways. There is a perfectly good set of Christian tools to deal with situations such as these: remorse, repentance, forgiveness, reformation.

The collapse of one disastrous form of Christian social engagement should be an opportunity for the emergence of a more faithful one. And here there are plenty of potent, hopeful Christian principles lying around unused by most evangelicals: A consistent and comprehensive concern for the weak and vulnerable in our society, including the poor, immigrants and refugees. A passion for racial reconciliation and criminal justice reform, rooted in the nonnegotiable demands of human dignity. A deep commitment to public and global health, reflecting the priorities of Christ’s healing ministry. An embrace of political civility as a civilizing norm. A commitment to the liberty of other people’s religions, not just our own. An insistence on public honesty and a belief in the transforming power of unarmed truth.

What would America be like if these had been the priorities of evangelical Christians over the past four years — or over the past four decades? It would mean something very different, in that world, to raise the banner “Jesus Saves.”

Was Khirbet Qeiyafa a Judahite City? The Case against It by Nadav Na’aman

Was Khirbet Qeiyafa a Judahite City? The Case against It by Nadav Na’aman

This is an older article (2017), but it just came up on my feed elsewhere. If you are interested in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, especially Judahite history, and you are somewhat acquainted with the current argument between theo-political archaeologists like Garfinkel and Faust and historical archaeologists like Na’aman then you should read this. Make no mistake that many theo-political archaeologists are reading strong, unfounded assumptions into their interpretations of places in Palestine and Israel. For me, Na’aman, though hewing to the written text too strongly, is right up there with archaeologists like Gunnar Lehmann, Ayelet Gilboa, Tallay Ornan, and Raphael Greenberg. During and after the disappearance of Samaria (aka Israel) (not the city itself–the inhabitants) in 721 BCE, the Judahite kingdom comes to the fore in the 8th century BCE.
These are a few of my photos of Qeiyafa from July 2012.
Khirbet Qeiyafa
Don Michael Hudson, PhD (July 2012)
Khirbet Qeiyafa
Don Michael Hudson, PhD (July 2012)
Khirbet Qeiyafa
Don Michael Hudson, PhD (July 2012)

Israeli Soldier Defending Himself Against an Old Arabic Lady

You support…wait, what? Colonization, apartheid, racism, murders, torture, jailing children, checkpoints, land theft, home demolition, unrelenting oppression, unjustified and ongoing imprisonment, and disgusting misogyny? And it’s not even their land? Oh, ok. At least we’re clear now.
By the way, do you know the true way to recognize who the terrorists are?
They’re the ones with the weapons. Always.

King University Bible and Religion Spring 2021

We start our Spring semester two weeks from today. I am excited to get back to it. Bring on the vaccine! This is my 41st year teaching in higher education, and I love it more than ever. Teaching at King also makes all the difference in the world for me, and I am extremely proud of my school and our department. Here are some photos of promos from the near past.

King University Bible and Religion
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
King University Bible and Religion
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
King University Bible and Religion
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

SW Virginia Higher Education College for Older Adults: “What’s Going on in the Middle East”?

SW Virginia Higher Education College for Adults
“What’s Going on in the Middle East?”

I will be doing a lecture series for the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center and the College for Older Adults via Zoom:

THURSDAYS
Jan. 14 – Feb. 18, 2021
10:00 am
____ What’s Going on in the Middle East? KING UNIVERSITY LECTURESHIP SERIES. As usual, more than we can imagine. Why are we (Americans) bombing Yemen? What’s behind the “Deal of the Century” for Israel and Palestine? What’s happening now in Syria, and where is Russia in all this? Why do some members of both Democrat and Republican administrations want to damage Iran permanently? What’s in it for us? What’s going on in Lebanon and why does Hezbollah remain in the news? Join me as we tackle some of these tough issues we see or read in our daily news. But, just as we have done in the past, let’s look below and beyond the mainstream media. Our class will be imminently relevant and help us understand our worlds better. Instructor, Don Michael Hudson, Ph.D. (among many other degrees and fellowships), Chair of the Department of Religion and Bible at King University.
You can follow this link to get more information and register for this event: https://www.swcenter.edu/coa/

Ancient Ugaritic (Ras Shamra) Entrance

Ancient Ugarit (Ras Shamra)
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Ancient Ugarit, Ras Shamra, outside current Latakia, Syria
(Jan 2017)
This is the view of the (or an) entrance to the city pre-1200. Nothing of this beauty or scale existed in the Levant–especially the So Levant with the possible exception of ‘Asqalon–but that was Canaanite, of course.
“The foundations of the Bronze Age city Ugarit were divided into quarters. In the north-east quarter of the walled enclosure, the remains of three significant religious buildings were discovered, including two temples (of the gods Baal Hadad and Dagon) and a building referred to as the library or the high priest’s house. Within these structures atop the acropolis numerous invaluable mythological texts were found. These texts have provided the basis for understanding of the Canaanite mythological world and religion. The Baal cycle represents Baal Hadad’s destruction of Yam (the god of chaos and the sea), demonstrating the relationship of Canaanite chaoskampf with those of Mesopotamia and the Aegean: a warrior god rises up as the hero of the new pantheon to defeat chaos and bring order.” Plagiarised from Wikipedia
Much of Israelite–but especially Judahite–Iron 2A-Hellenistic religion(s), anti-religion(s) are derivative of Ugaritic “culture” or what is represented by Ugaritic culture. In other words, major portions of the HB are directly or inversely transmuting No. Levantine culture, i.e. hatred of Baal and Asherah. Once again, I speculate that the OT/HB is a clash of Northern/Southern (Phoenician-Syrio-Egyptian) cultures and the war between fertility and desert religious worldviews.
But the good news in all this is I finally saw Ugarit in Jan 2017–I never thought I would see this site.

Jonathan Pollard: Israel spy greeted by Netanyahu after flying to Tel Aviv

Jonathan Pollard: Israel Spies Against America

 

Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard greeted by Netanyahu on arrival in Israel on a private jet belonging to Sheldon Adelson, Donald Trump’s principal donor. Pollard is being celebrated as an Israeli hero. It is a picture that spawns many expletives and questions, most notably “Why is it that the people that hold the United States in such contempt are the recipients of billions of dollars in direct ‘aid’ every year plus trade and co-production agreements that amount to much more? How did the American people come to be screwed so badly and openly by their so-called elected representatives on behalf of a foreign country that has brought us nothing but grief?” by Philip Giraldi

“On This Earth”: Tell el-Farah North, Palestine

Tell el-Farah North, Palestine
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Tell el-Farah North (Ancient Tirzah) near Nablus, Palestine

(Dec 2016)
“We have on this earth what makes life worth living: the final days of September, a woman
keeping her apricots ripe after forty, the hour of sunlight in prison, a cloud reflecting a swarm
of creatures, the peoples’ applause for those who face death with a smile,
a tyrant’s fear of songs.”
On This Earth, Mahmoud Darwish

Christmas Flowers

We’ve been going to the Wiesbaden market for almost 3 years now, and we keep passing the most incredible flower/evergreen stand. And they sell these 3 feet tall I don’t know what they are flowers. I finally broke down and bought 3 of them. They bloomed today–magnificent.

Wiesbaden Flowers
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Wiesbaden Flowers
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Chora Church, Istanbul, Turkey

Chora Church, Istanbul, Turkey
Chora Church, Istanbul, Turkey (Mar 2015)
My favorite church in all the world. “Chora”–church beyond the walls, church out in the fields, church on the edge, church out in the “emptiness.”
“The original, 4th-century monastery containing the church, was outside Constantinople’s city walls. Literally translated, the church’s full name was the Church of the Holy Saviour in the Country (Greek ἡ Ἐκκλησία τοῦ Ἁγίου Σωτῆρος ἐν τῇ Χώρᾳ, hē Ekklēsia tou Hagiou Sōtēros en tēi Chōrāi). It is therefore sometimes incorrectly referred to as “Saint Saviour”. However, “The Church of the Holy Redeemer in the Fields” would be a more natural rendering of the name in English. The last part of the Greek name, Chora, referring to its location originally outside of the walls, became the shortened name of the church. The name must have carried symbolic meaning, as the mosaics in the narthex describe Christ as the Land of the Living (ἡ Χώρα τῶν ζώντων, hē Chōra tōn zōntōn) and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as the Container of the Uncontainable (ἡ Χώρα τοῦ Ἀχωρήτου, hē Chōra tou Achōrētou).”
Totally plagiarised from Wikipedia.

The Price of Purple: Archaeologists have found new evidence of a robust dye industry that endured on the Mediterranean coast for millennia

The Price of Purple: Archaeologists have found new evidence of a robust dye industry that endured on the Mediterranean coast for millennia

Archaeology Magazine, Nov/Dec 2020

Written by Sara Toth Stub/Photo by Michael Eisenberg

“Elgavish (first excavator of Tel Shikmona 1960’s) collected thousands of artifacts. These include the stained pottery, weaving and spinning equipment, carved figurines, and hundreds of storage vessels. He portrayed the site as a residential Israelite city that flourished in the tenth century B.C. After sorting through the artifacts and documents, however, Shalvi and Gilboa view it differently, seeing Tel Shikmona not as a city but as an industrial site focused on the dye industry, especially between the tenth and sixth centuries B.C. Further, they believe that defining the site as exclusively Israelite does not reflect the region’s complexity. Some archaeological layers also contain evidence of the Phoenicians, whose coastal territories lay to the north of the Israelites’ settlements.”

From “the tenth to the sixth centuries B.C.” this was Phoenician–not Israelite even though it was predictably determined to be “exclusively Israelite” by Elgavish. Once again here is archaeology determined by theo-political presuppositions and not evidence. Good to see that Shalvi and Gilboa are sticking with the evidence at hand. Perhaps we are finally moving into what I call the third wave of archaeology in this area of the world. Smart, scientific scholars have abandoned “biblical” archaeology (first) and finally beginning to expose “Israeli” archaeology (second) with all its flaws, hidden assumptions, and theo-political agendas. Good scholars are turning to the Syro-Palestinian wave (third) wherein we follow the evidence no matter where it leads, truly understand the magnitude of the complexities of those transitional periods, and utilize informed, scientific ethnographies of the citizens of the plains and hills, villages and cities. I suspect, as the evidence continues to comes forward, that we will find a significant presence and impress of Phoenician culture on this formerly so-called “Israelite” culture(s) leading all the way to Tel Dan and Samaria to name two. This article is one more example. Sadly, though, the writer of this article is still stuck in the second wave. “North of the Israelite settlements”? What are these? Where are these? During what time periods? What defines an Israelite settlement? If the time period is 10th-6th centuries BCE, then how can anyone say with seriousness “north of the Israelite settlements”?

The Holy Spirit: God at Work in the World by William Simerly

“William Simerly has attended King University since the Spring of 2019 obtaining a B.S. in Religious Studies. In addition to his course work, William is currently the Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries at St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church in Knoxville, TN. William is a postulant for the priesthood in the Episcopal Church and will begin hi