The Moralisers’ Quest for Status

Sir: I thank Christopher Jolliffe for his article “The Left and Those They Love to Exploit” (November 2023). I found it helpful because it brought together a lot of things in the now general neo-Marxist assault on our civilisation. New to me was his introduction of Spandrell’s “Biological Leninism”, which informs his clear and chilling description of Leninism. Neither author deals much with the causes of the increased number of Leninist manipulators. I am inclined to think it is insecurity and status anxiety among the newly over-large upper middle class in Western countries.

I deplore the glut of high-income moralisers besetting us, and suspect most Quadrant readers do too. The multi-channel didactic ideological clamour must have some cause, and Spandrell reminds his readers of the importance of status to people.

Philip O’Brien


God’s Promise to Israel

Sir: Quadrant is to be congratulated for the firm support it has given to Israel both before and since October 7. It is also to be congratulated for allowing varied opinions in the comments on its website—even when those opinions directly contradict its articles and are abhorrent to many, including myself. Quadrant has stood for Israel and for free speech—not an easy thing to manage.

However, a crucial aspect of the situation has been almost completely missing both from Quadrant articles and from the on-line comments to them. We can discuss and debate for the next five years the history of the founding of Israel, the history of the “occupied territories” and those who inhabit them, the wars the Arabs have waged against Israel, and the constant attacks Israel has faced from Gaza. All of this is important, but the most important thing to understand is that God gave the land of Israel to the Jews.

The Lord promised the land to Abraham and his descendants forever in Genesis 13:14–17 and again in Genesis 17:7–8. In Genesis 17:19–21, God said that His covenant—which included the promise of the land—would be with Abraham’s son Isaac (the ancestor of the Jews), not Ishmael (the ancestor of the Arabs). God told Isaac’s son Jacob (whose name He changed to Israel) that the land would belong to him and his family after him (Genesis 35:12). Jacob’s twelve sons became the founders of the tribes of Israel.

Several hundred years later, God brought the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery into the Promised Land; had Israel remained faithful to Him, she would have dwelt in peace and safety forever. Due to their sin, the Jews were eventually taken into captivity; but Israel’s sin, while it brought judgment, could never change God’s love for the nation or His eternal promises to her. The last twenty-six chapters of Isaiah—written during a time when God was warning Israel of coming punishment for her sin—make that abundantly clear. The books of prophecy speak again and again of a time of peace and prosperity that will yet come to the Israelites in their land—a time when the whole world will be blessed because of the reign of the Messiah in Jerusalem. Revelation 19:11–20:6 tell us of that yet-to-come time, when Jesus will defeat Satan and set up His kingdom.

I realise that not all Quadrant readers believe the Bible. To those who know that it is God’s Word, however, there should be no question as to who has the right to all of Israel. This, of course, does not mean that Israel can do no wrong; the Bible is very clear on that, also. But the Jews are God’s chosen people, and the land of Israel (with borders actually extending beyond what Israel now controls) belongs to the Jews because the Creator gave it to them. No matter how many times Israel has been conquered, and even if she is conquered again, the promises of God will yet be fulfilled.

So, too, will this part of the promise to Abraham: “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee” (Genesis 12:3). As individuals and as a nation, we would do well to remember that. (This promise is no doubt part of the explanation for the miserable condition of those in Gaza.) For those who love God, though, this admonition should not be necessary; we should love Israel because God does.

As to those who, on the streets or at their keyboards, have rejoiced at the events of October 7—read the book of Obadiah. See what the Lord thinks of those who rejoice at, or aid in, attacks on His people.

Rebekah Meredith


3 thoughts on “The Moralisers’ Quest for Status

  • Michael Waugh says:

    I believe the Bible, Rebekah, or, at least believe in it, i.e. its wisdom and inspiration. I am not convinced everything in it can be taken literally. But it certainly makes it clear that both spiritually and historically Israel is the homeland of the Jews and has been so for thousands of years. To assert that the Jews are “colonisers” reveals absurd ignorance. Both the Biblical story and the Quran reveal that Hagar and Ismail are of the land of Arabia, not Israel. Why Arabs, or some of them, believe that they should own all of the near East and north Africa, and that those indigenous to Israel ( and other areas) have no entitlement to any part, however small, to that enormous area, and have so asserted since the Ottoman Empire fell, is a mystery. Except it’s not a mystery, is it, it’s the ancient anti-Jew hatred, it’s Nazism in modern form. I daresay we , Jew and Gentile, will have to contend with evil until the end of time, and in the meantime pray for Israel’s triumph over it.

  • NickLindsley says:

    I’m rather disappointed in Quadrant. It seems to be backing Israel to the hilt, focusing on Oct 7 as if that sums up the whole sorry saga. No mention of the dispossession of an entire people, no mention of the conditions the Arabs have had to endure. It seems to just repeat the Israeli narrative and blame everything on Hamas just as the PLO were blamed previously. And absolutely no mention of 9,000 children killed in the last three months. Obviously not worth writing about except, perhaps, to blame it on the Palestinians themselves. What has happened to Quadrant?

  • Rebekah Meredith says:


    Since October 7, 2023, many authors and commentators have stated important facts about the Jews, the Palestinians and Hamas, and the current conflict. For the Christian, however, the most important question is, “What does the Bible say?” Widely-differing opinions on Israel exist in the religious world. Nevertheless, I believe that the Bible teaches that the people called Hebrews, Israelites, or Jews are God’s people, and that He gave the land of Israel to them.

    This has nothing to do with salvation, which is the same for Jew or Gentile—a free gift of God’s grace through “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Salvation was never received through birth or by good works—whether of the Mosaic Law, baptism, or anything else. This is also not an issue of standing in a church, in which “ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” The nation of Israel is a different entity from the family of God or His churches.

    In the book of Genesis, God promised to make “an everlasting covenant” with Abraham and his descendants, which included giving them “all the land of Canaan [modern-day Israel], for an everlasting possession.” God said that this covenant would be with Abraham’s son Isaac and his descendants, not Ishmael—the progenitor of the Arabs. Later, God changed the name of Isaac’s son Jacob to Israel; the promises extended to him. “And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.” These promises were not part of the Law, but given centuries earlier.

    The New Testament teaches that all who are saved are Abraham’s spiritual seed, having a shared faith; but it never speaks of Christians as being the seed of Isaac or Jacob. The promise of the covenant and the land is to the physical seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

    Repeated rebellion by the Israelites did not change this. Several hundred years after Jacob, God brought “the children of Israel” (the descendants of Jacob) from Egypt, where they had been slaves, to the edge of Canaan. Because God’s people refused to believe that He could defeat the Canaanites, He sent them into the wilderness until that generation (except for two who did believe) had died. Possession of the future land of Israel was postponed, but the Jews’ ownership of it did not change.

    After settling in their land, the Israelites many times turned away from God and followed the filthy, idolatrous religion of their neighbours. God punished them, eventually allowing them to be taken captive into foreign countries; but the prophets that condemned the Jews’ sin also assured them of God’s abiding love. The Israelites’ possession of the land was postponed, but their ownership did not change.

    As God had promised, the Jews were eventually able to return to Israel, though it was now governed by one Gentile power after another. Jewish control of the land was postponed, but their ownership did not change.

    When Jesus came, the nation, overall, rejected Him as the promised Messiah. For this, Israel was judged through the Romans. They sacked Jerusalem in A.D. 70, and in 135 they drove most of the Jews out of Israel. For the better part of two millennia, the Israelites wandered from country to country, never safe against persecution and pogroms. Their control of the land of Israel was certainly postponed, but their ownership of it had not changed.

    In 1948, Israel again became an independent nation. Are the Jews, though, still God’s chosen people? Does their land belong to them, biblically, or was it simply handed to them by man?

    God identifies Himself with Israel over two hundred times in terms such as “Lord God of Israel,” “God of Israel,” and “Holy One of Israel.” He calls Israel “My people,” “My son,” and even “My glory.” Though He knew that Israel would reject Jesus Christ, God spoke of them in this personal way.

    On the Day of Pentecost, Peter said, “Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.” In the same sermon in which he rebuked the Israelites for having had Jesus—the highest fulfilment of this promise—killed, Peter called them the children of the covenant.

    In his address to the Jewish leaders, Stephen said that God had brought Abraham
    Meredith “into this land, wherein ye now dwell…. He promised that He would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him.” Later, Stephen rebuked his audience as “the betrayers and murderers” of Jesus; yet he still said that the land of Israel belonged to the Jews.

    Paul explained in the book of Romans that the Israelites have been set aside for a time. Today, God is mostly using Gentiles to evangelise the world because the Jews tried to gain salvation by works instead of accepting Christ by faith. However, “God hath not cast away His people.” At some time in the future, “All Israel shall be saved.” As Zechariah said, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And…they shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him.”

    According to Romans 11, the restoration of Israel will bring even greater spiritual blessings to the Gentiles than those we now enjoy. The prophetic books speak of the future earthly kingdom of the Messiah, when the Jews will be fully gathered into their land and men will come from all nations to worship Jesus in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 37:21-23, Zechariah 8:22-23, and many others). True global peace and stability will finally exist—not through the work of any human organisation, but through the righteous rule of Christ.

    Revelation calls Jesus “the Lion of the tribe of Juda”—identifying Him with the Israelite tribe which was His human family. From the first book of the Bible to the last, Israel is important to God.

    Salvation is free to all; all men can be in God’s family. But the Bible is clear: the Jews remain God’s people; they will yet return to Him; and the land of Israel belongs to them.

    “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the
    Meredith son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15-16).

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