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Dear Friends of CJUI (Christians & Jews United for Israel), www.cjui.org/  

The following is the text of our incoming President Rev Fumio Taku's personal testimony and message he gave on "The legitimacy of two-state solutions for Israel and the Arab Palestinians". [From CJUI's August 25th meeting at Temple Emeth, Chestnut Hill, MA.]

Fumio shares (1) his early years in Japan and how he has come to love Israel as he became a Christian, (2) his life principles that guide his convictions and actions in support of Israel and Judeo-Christian values in America, and (3) reasons why he believes neither two-state solutions nor any curtailment of Jewish settlements in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria would succeed.
(Thomas Millington [left] pictured with Fumio Taku [right] in Israel)

 

Fumio Taku: Tonight we begin our 4th year of Christians and Jews working together in defense of Israel and in defense of our liberty and Judeo-Christian values here in America.  Under the capable leadership of May Long, CJUI has accomplished a lot in four years, and our membership and contacts have grown very fast.
 
We are often asked: "What is so unique about Christians and Jews United for Israel?"  Let's put it this way.  There are many Jewish organizations supporting Israel, and there are also many Christian organizations extending support to Israel.  However, CJUI is very unique, in that from its very inception, both Jews and Christians worked together to build it.  Here in New England, I am aware of only one other organization like this, and that is CJUI's sister organization in NH, the VISION NH group!! How many Jewish organizations do you know of whose incoming president is a Christian minister? Or how many Christian organizations do you know of, in our days, that were started by Jewish members of a local synagogue?  Now I had to insert, "in our days", because after all, the whole of biblical Christianity was started 2000 years ago by a group of Jews in Israel. This all brings us to our common roots - as we can see how CJUI is uniquely positioned to positively impact both our Jewish and Christian communities.  We unite to support Israel as the national homeland for Jewish people and to protect our freedoms against anti-Semitic and anti-Christian bigotries, lies, and acts of terrorism. 
 

 Tonight I want to talk to you about who I am, where I come from and what I believe about Israel. This is not a formal policy statement of CJUI, nor do I claim to speak for others in this organization.  With that disclaimer, I shall begin my talk tonight by highlighting an important advertisement campaign CJUI started two years ago. Its theme is, "The multicultural face of Zionism."  Here is one of our flyers that you can pick up at the back table. Zionism may be defined as "A policy or movement for establishing and protecting a national homeland for Jews in their biblical Land of Israel, and Jerusalem as her capital."  This statement defines one of our cardinal objectives; that is, to support Israel as the national homeland for Jews. And we, as "Zionist" Christians and Jews, take strong positions in defense of Israel, against any and all anti-Zionist voices - the voices that falsely accuse Israel and Jews with such slogans as: "Zionism is racism" or "Zionism is apartheid". Here in this flyer, you see people of different colors and national origins taking a stand in defense of Israel and Jewish people. 
 
Now, with that in mind, I want to share with you how I personally have come into this fold.  After all, I was born to Japanese parents in Japan, in 1949 and raised there through the 1950's and early sixties.  Through those early years in Japan, I had absolutely no contact with Israel or with Jews.  I do not ever recall meeting any person who identified himself or herself as a Jew.  I doubt that I even knew who is a Jew or where or what Israel is all about.  Perhaps, I was as far removed from Zionism as any person on earth in the 20th century could ever be.  I had no contact with anything Jewish, and very little to do with any Christians.
 
My parents were married in 1942 at a time when the military-led groups in Japan had taken full control over the government and plunged the nation into WWII, siding in alliance with Hitler's Nazi Germany.  By early 1945, the whole nation of Japan was experiencing constant air raids.  Death, destruction, and famine reigned. My oldest brother lived for only one week after birth due to my mother's malnutrition.  My parents were barely surviving through the nightly incendiary bombing raids over Tokyo.  On March 10, 1945, when more than 300 B-29 airplanes dropped 1,700 tons of napalm-laced firebombs, killing nearly 100,000 civilians that night alone, my parents decided the time had come for my mother to evacuate to a safer country side city, to her hometown, where my grandparents still lived.  Unknowingly, she was jumping out of one hell city to another, for the city to which she was moving was Hiroshima.  Five months later, on August 6, 1945, one atomic bomb, a very small one by today's standards, instantly vaporized the city center with an intense heat of nearly 1000 degrees.  One hundred and fifty thousand people died from that one bomb.  Thank God my mother survived.
 
I have heard, from my mother and other relatives, some horrible stories of what happened.  However, we hold no bitterness or hatred against America.  In fact, we are grateful that the U.S. brought life back to Japan and gave us the gift of liberty and freedom that perhaps the Japanese people never knew or enjoyed.  Truly, America liberated us from our own evil oppressors.  Even so, war is hell, and countless number of innocent people - men, women and children - died in that War.  I am certain that many of you here could tell us your own stories or perhaps relate the stories that you heard from your parents or relatives about what happened in Europe during the same War where 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, just because they were Jews!!  We could never, and must never forget that, nor allow anyone to ever deny the historicity of the Holocaust.
 
Unfortunately, in every generation, the world elevates men who are pure evil, murderous dictators. They have no mercy for others; they are driven only to deceive others, in order to build their own power base.  Given the opportunity, many of them would certainly not hesitate to drop nuclear bombs on Israel and on America to accomplish their diabolical goals.  History has shown us, again and again, that these evil dictators only understand power.  They are restrained only when they face forces stronger than they are or when they are utterly defeated.
 
Back to my life story.   In 1963, over 45 years ago, my life changed dramatically when I came to America, at 13, with my parents and my two brothers.  We came to America, the land of freedom and equal opportunities.  Five years later, in 1968, I met a wonderful woman, Elaine, and we were married in 1972.  Recently we celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary.  Because of her, instead of going back to Japan, I decided to stay here in America and to become an American citizen, and I am a very, very proud American.  This is a great nation and I very much cherish the US Constitution that protects our freedom and our Judeo-Christian values that made this nation a lighthouse for poor and oppressed people around the world.
 
In 1975, again through my wife Elaine's ardent prayers, God miraculously opened the heavens and touched my heart.  At that time, I gave my life over to Him, becoming a devoted Christian.  As a Christian, my entire life view was transformed.  Over the past 30 plus years, in my personal devotional time of prayer and studying of the Bible, my heart continued to grow in love for Israel. My life became more grounded in godly, biblical principles.  Daily, His grace and forgiveness chiseled away at my rough spots, and helped me to walk more closely with Him.  I purposely used the phrase, godly PRINCIPLES, because that is what my life is all about.  The reason I love and support Israel is not only because I lived in Israel for three years and made many wonderful friends and memories there.  Neither is it only because I am blessed with so many kind and wonderful Jewish friends in America, many of whom are here tonight.  No, that's just a part of the picture.  The most important, the most firm and the most immovable reason as to why I so love and support Israel, and stand together with my Jewish neighbors against any and all anti-Semitic lies and bigotries, is because of my personal faith in our God of Israel.  It is God who helps me to stand on His Principles.  And it is His Principles that guide my convictions and actions.  I find these principles in God's Holy Scriptures. 
 
It is true that when I visited Israel for the first time in 1987, I fell in love with the Land and its people.  I immediately felt that this was my home, my roots.  Now please don't misunderstand me, when I say, "Israel is my roots".  I am not stating that I want to reserve the Holy Land as home for Gentile Christians.  I am stating that I - like many millions of Bible-believing Christians in America- have put my faith in God, who loves Israel and who gave the Land to the Jews as their homeland.  For God and for us, the people of Israel and the Land of Israel are inseparable.  As a Christian, my faith rests on our God of Israel and His words.  My faith is rooted on God's promise to our Jewish father Abraham.  My faith is grafted into the faith of our Jewish Lord and Messiah, Jesus, whose first followers 2000 years ago were all Jews.
 
Today, the most violent and deadly attacks against Israel - and the USA - are coming from Islamic terrorists. They, too, act out of their own principles and religious fervor, as erroneous and misguided as they may be.  One's principles guide his convictions and convictions lead to uncompromising actions. The Islamic terrorists are ready and willing to kill innocent lives because of their false principles and convictions.  In the end, we find that the battle that rages is between their set of principles and ours.  As our God spoke to Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness, "Now I lay before you life and death, so choose life."  We Christians and Jews are choosing God's principles of life; and the Islamic terrorists are choosing false principles of death and destruction.
 
Before I conclude tonight's talk with my specific comments on the matter of Jewish Settlements and Two-State Solutions, here is one of many Bible verses that speak to my core principles.  In the Book of Prophet Zechariah, Chapter 2, verses 10 to 12, we read the account of the Israelites, back from Babylon, now rebuilding the Temple of God in Jerusalem, some 2,500 years ago. God inspired Zechariah to speak these words of promise and encouragement to the people of Israel:   "Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst, declares the LORD. Many nations will join themselves to the LORD in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you. The LORD will possess Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem."  In this passage, 'daughter of Zion' refers to the Jewish people to whom a time of joy and gladness is coming.  The 'many nations who join themselves to the Lord and become His people' refers to the Gentile believers in the God of Israel.  Next, God promises that Israel and the city of Jerusalem are inseparable when He says 'The Lord will possess Judah as His portion in the LAND and choose Jerusalem'.  So these verses confirm that: (1) God promises coming peace and joy to the people of Israel, and (2) many Gentiles will join themselves to the God of Israel and He will become their God as well - that is we bible-believing Christians, and finally that (3) God will once again secure the Land and Jerusalem for the Jews.  There are many, many other verses that uniformly lead to the same conclusions.
 
Thus, God's Word clearly and firmly states that Israel is to be a national homeland for Jews.  This is God's Zionism.  But, one may ask, "Isn't this claim that Israel is for Jews a form of racism?  To answer this accusation, let me use Japan as an example.  The Japanese islands have been, and will always be, the national home for the Japanese people.  Americans, or other non-Japanese people, may visit Japan and even live there, but, that doesn't make Japan a national homeland for the United Nations.  Japan is what Japan is - a national homeland for Japanese.   This is a statement of fact.  This is not racism.  Likewise, the biblical land of Israel was and is the national home for the Jewish people. There is nothing racist about it.  The slogan, "Zionism is racism", is a dangerous lie.
 
But, you may be asking, how do our faith and convictions line up with today's reality of politics and diplomacies, specifically in regards to the Land of Israel as a national homeland for the Jews?  We hear constant demands made by Arab states, Islamic terror groups, European statesmen, the UN, and, even by some of our own US presidents and Congressional leaders, against Israel's rights to grow their own Jewish settlements.  The Obama administration went so far as to state that the West Bank and the Southeast portion of Jerusalem are territories "occupied" by Israel, and that all the "illegal" development of Jewish settlements therein must be immediately stopped.  Also, earlier this month, the Fatah leaders meeting in Bethlehem demanded that Israel withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines and to accept the "return" of millions of foreign-born, hostile Arabs.  Saudi Arabia demanded in 2002 that Israel return, to the Arab Palestinians, all the land back to the line of pre-1967-Six-Day War.  That would include the Old City in Jerusalem as well as several residential neighborhoods of Jerusalem, home to over 300,000 Jews!  This Saudi 2002 initiative has been supported by many Arab leaders. Unfortunately, it seems that the Obama Administration is also in favor of this initiative. 
 
The question we need to ask is: What legal rights do the Palestinians really have to demand that the land be "returned" to them in order that they may "re-establish" their own nationhood?  As we believe firmly in God's promise for the Jews for the Land, we know there must be a sound and justifiable answer to these demands. To address this question regarding the matter of "returning the land" back to the Palestinians, we need to turn to the Fourth Geneva Convention, which sets forth conventional law accepted by today's global communities in resolving inter-national territorial conflicts.  In other words, any pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian claims must abide by terms of this Convention.  While some Pro-Palestinian groups may falsely insist that the Fourth Geneva Convention requires Israel to return the "occupied territories" back to the Arab Palestinians, and that all the Jewish settlements there are "illegal", we know that these claims are false and irrelevant.  Here is why:  The 4th Geneva Convention provides territorial rights to existing or pre-existing nations.  This is what the Convention terms "High Contracting Parties" or any sovereign states capable of signing and executing international treaties.(*)  But the fact is that Arab Palestine as a nation over the contested "occupied" territories never once existed.   Simply stated, how can Israel return the "occupied territories" back to an Arab Palestinian nation, when such a nation never existed nor ever had any independent international standing?
 
Let us use Japan as an example again.  In 1945, when the USA invaded Japan and took full control, Japan became an occupied territory of America.  Four years later, after the USA helped Japan set-up a new constitution and working government systems, the territory was given back to a "new" Japan.  That's how an international convention would work.  Japan was a sovereign nation, defeated, and was once again re-established as a reconstructed nation.  But, this would not apply to Arab Palestinians who never had a sovereign nation.  On the other hand, the Jewish rights to Israel were established since the time of King David 3000 years ago, if not earlier biblical periods, when Israel existed as a sovereign nation.  When the Romans expelled the Jews, their ownership of the Land did not get nullified.  Subsequently, this area (now called Israel) had been occupied by many empires, the last of which was the Ottoman Turks. Throughout those centuries, there never once existed any independent Arab Palestinian nation in the land.  When the Turks were defeated in WWI, the British promised the Jewish Zionists that they could establish a "national home" in this Land. This was known as the Palestine Mandate.
 
On Nov 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 181 that called for the establishment of "Independent Arab and Jewish states".  You might say that this was the very first attempt at creating a "Two-State Solution," dividing up the Land into two portions: one for the Jews and one for the Arabs.  The Jews immediately formed their own national government body, and then declared its independence on May 14, 1948.  However, the Arabs in Judea and Samaria made no attempt to create any independent state of their own.  By their own action, Arab Palestinians abrogated their rights to statehood.  In 1950, Jordan filled the vacuum and annexed the entire West Bank.  But, in 1988, King Hussein of Jordan unilaterally renounced all claims to the West Bank, releasing legal ownership to Israel. So, under the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel has no obligation to "return the occupied territories" to either Arab Palestine, which never existed as a nation, or to Jordan, which officially renounced its claim to the territories in 1988.  Let's face it, even Chairman Arafat who led the PLO and Palestinian Authority wasn't born in the Land nor a resident of the Land.  He was born in Egypt.
 
The above matter of legal ownership notwithstanding, many continue to insist that the only way for Israel to attain peace is through a negotiated peace settlement with Arab Palestinians.  My question is: With whom?  Which Palestinian group?  Which Palestinian leader?   We all know that a truly lasting peace requires two parties each respecting the other party's rights to liberty, freedom and security.  With Hamas and Fatah, we have absolutely no possibility of ever achieving lasting peace!  Their mode of governance diametrically opposes our understanding of democracy and justice that we enjoy in Israel and America.
 
Let me again turn to a Bible verse.  From the Book of Hosea, Chapter 2, verse 19. We read:  "I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion."  This passage speaks of a marriage between Our Lord and His people.  We are to be united as one.  And in our union, we are to be like Him, both individually and as a nation.  What He laid out here in this verse is the foundation of our core Judeo-Christian values, as it describes who our God is:1) He is One who upholds JUSTICE, 2) RIGHTEOUSNESS and 3) COMPASSION.  And likewise, both America and Israel uphold these foundational Judeo-Christian values of Justice, righteousness and compassion.
 
Our US Constitution and the court system insure JUSTICE for ALL citizens regardless of one's gender, race, national origin, or faith.  And likewise, justice is meted out to all citizens in Israel.  We could never say the same about all the Arab nations in the Middle East, regarding their treatment of women, non-Muslims (Jews and Christians), and other minorities.  Under Hamas and Fatah, there exist no legal protection for any opposing or minority persons.  One can easily be found dead at any time for being a suspected "friend or spy of Israel".
 
Next, RIGHTEOUSNESS.  There are things in the sight of God that are absolutely right and moral, one of which is the valuing every human LIFE.  In America and Israel, we do everything possible to protect and save every innocent life.  Can we say the same about Hamas or Fatah?  No, never.  They honor suicide bombers as their heroes.  How about a daughter, like 17 year old Rifka Bary from Ohio, who abandoned her Muslim faith, was beaten by her father and then ran away in fear of being killed by him in what he would justify as an 'honor killing'?  For them, life is cheap and some lives are cheaper than others.
 
And finally, MERCY, COMPASSION, and KINDNESS.  America is a nation of big heart.  We give charitable gifts to the poor among us and to the oppressed around the world.  Israel is the same.  When a natural disaster strikes at some remote corners of the world, Israeli rescue teams are one of the first, if not the first, to be there helping the injured and afflicted.  When one is sick in Israel, he or she is never denied medical care or put at the end of the line because he is not a Jew or that he is part of the "enemy's camp".  There are no preferential treatments of one race, nationality, or faith over others in the Israeli hospitals.  Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanese Arab, experienced this phenomenon, leading her later to become an ardent supporter of Israel.
 
Justice, righteousness, and mercy - these are our core Judeo-Christian values that bind America and Israel together, and set us apart from Arab nations and Islamic terrorists of the world.  As to Hamas, Fatah, or Hezbollah?   None of their leaders uphold these good and peaceful values.  In reality, they are nothing more than "a refugee-camp-turned-death-camp" dictators, for their slogans are always the same: "Death to Israel", Death to America", and to their own shame, "Death to their own people!!"  No Palestinian leaders today uphold JUSTICE, RIGHTEOUSNESS and MERCY as their core values.  Instead, they lie, they terrorize, they destroy, and they murder.  Their unruly government system will never sustain peace with Israel, let alone any peace within its own borders.  Their continual fighting amongst themselves only proves my point.
 
In summary, I believe we need to carefully evaluate our own core values and principles, and compare them against that of Islamic terrorists. There are no moral or legal equivalencies.  We must (1) take a firm stand in support of Israel's right to a national homeland, (2) emphasize that Israel is the only democratic nation in the Middle East worthy of our true partnership, (3) denounce all the false claims made by Hamas, Hezbollah and other Islamic terror groups that they "want peace with Israel".  (No, they have only one goal, i.e., to wipe Israel off the map) (4) denounce Arab states' support of Islamic terrorists, acts of violence, and their on-going human rights violations against Jews, Christians, women, and their own Arab nationals whom they accuse as "spies of Israel",  and (5) be cautious of any "Land for Peace" negotiations with today's Palestinian leaders, none of whom is worthy of our partnership.  To be our partner of peace, they must recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish nation, stop the shelling of Israel, stop suicide bombers, and stop terrorizing their own people. They must be ready to institute law and order for their own people, execute justice for all, and denounce any and all forms of human rights violations against women and against non-Muslims.  Then and only then should Israel be ready to proceed to a negotiation table.

Thank you for your time.

Note (*):  The Fourth Geneva Convention: Part I, Article 2 of the Fourth Geneva Convention specifically states: "In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace-time, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them... The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance."

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