You wouldn’t have thought there was an obvious connection between Middle East politics and the much-hyped new film Barbie. But there is, and I shall explain.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, on which I have frequently commented from a 2,500-mile safe distance, has now spilled over to my home city of Doncaster, where a firm engaged in exports to the Israeli Defence Force has been attacked by a balaclava-clad gang using hammers and red paint to make their point.
The so-called Doncaster Dismantlers targeted Thales and a second firm over their links to Israel’s military and surveillance drones which they say are being used against Palestinians in Gaza, according to protest group Palestine Action.
It is evidently not the first time Thales UK offices and factories have attracted the attention of pro-Palestinian activists, and they have responded by saying their exports policy is perfectly legal and ethical, adding that they are an integral part of the UK defence and security industry.
Unfortunately, the protest is grossly misinformed and is built on selective lies and propaganda designed to destroy the credibility and legitimacy of the Jewish state.
Rather than conducting a proper investigation into the truth of the matter, such protestors latch on like leeches to titbits of misleading information in order to back up their cause.
In the case of Gaza, drones are actually used to pinpoint the location of terrorists constantly bombarding neighbouring Israel’s civilian population with rocket fire, the intention being to protect innocent citizens on both sides.
The truth is out there. But it won’t slap you in the face. God says: “You will seek me and find me if you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
Protestors talk about ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere, whereas in fact a form of this took place in 2005 when Jews living in the enclave were forcibly removed under international pressure as a gesture of ‘land for peace’ which it never produced.
The people of Gaza themselves are fed up with the years of deception they have had to endure under Hamas whose ultimate aim is the ethnic cleansing of Jewish people. Trapped in the Strip, they are hearing the good news of Jesus through Arabic media evangelism and are responding in droves to its message. The reality is that Jewish followers of Jesus are reaching out to them, “tearing down generations of lies and replacing them with the truth of who Jesus is,” as one mission put it.
One of these believers says he wakes up in the morning “with a passion to bring the good news of Jesus to my Arab brothers… I know without a doubt that the Lord’s heart is for us to be united in Jesus as the one new man” (see Ephesians 2:14-16).
The ease with which people succumb to propaganda built around flimsy, often disconnected, claims came home to me last week when I watched Barbie.
Yes, the commentary is somewhat crude, with gruesome early images of dolls being smashed. And while there seemed on the surface a clear pro-feminist agenda, there was more than a hint of parodying many of the givens of the ‘new normal’.
Should women really aspire to being everything from looking cute and having babies to becoming President of the United States, thus exposing the ridiculous expectations of today’s generation?
Is there perhaps an acknowledgment even in Hollywood that there is a competing agenda gaining traction among a growing audience – a search for goodness, for gospel truth and for meaning – as indicated by the phenomenal success of other recent releases like the Sound of Freedom, The Chosen and The Jesus Revolution?
There were few references to transgenderism or same-sex relationships – or did I miss something? It seemed like a war of the (two) sexes. The pretend world of Barbie points out that neither she nor her boyfriend Ken have genitals. They are dolls, after all, but the movie ends with Barbie taking herself off to the see the gynaecologist!
There were a couple of hilarious scenes in which ‘Weird Barbie’ (who breaks the rules by not wanting to be stereotyped) tries to persuade the ‘perfect’ doll that she has two choices if she wishes to be part of the real world (or something like that). And on each occasion when Barbie chooses to be ‘real’, Weirdo tells her it’s not an option. You can be as diverse as you like, but you must conform!
It’s all too easy to accept second-hand versions of the truth. I might have been smugly content to dismiss Barbie as feminist propaganda, whereas I discovered there was much more to it.
If you want the truth about God, you must seek him with all your heart. Jesus said: “Ask and it will be given you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)
But this is no casual Google request; it’s a determined search for the truth about life that involves serious application, casting aside all distractions and focusing on the goal.
The Doncaster protestors couldn’t be bothered to research the whole story behind the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They are happy to allow a few distorted scenarios of the reality on the ground to inform their campaign and fuel their hatred of a people they probably know nothing about.
Israelis are engaged in a war on terrorism, not Palestinians. As Lance Lambert wrote shortly after the Yom Kippur War, if it wasn’t for the interference of outside forces, “Arab and Jew would probably live in peace.”
As for Barbie, it was in some sense a parodying of our shallowness in the West with our ‘anything goes’ philosophy, exposed for the emperor with no clothes it has become where no-one dares to laugh at our cultural nudity, where everything is right except the Judeo-Christian principles on which our civilization was built.
It was also refreshing that on at least two occasions, the great unspoken issue of death is confronted. All the ‘barbies’ fell immediately silent in profound shock and disgust at the mere mention of the word.
Perish the thought! You’d have us discussing the very meaning of life next.
Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon; Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com; To the Jew First, A Nation Reborn, and King of the Jews, all available from Christian Publications International.
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