From Bill Sutter’s Desk Jan/Feb 2012
The world is filled with travesties of justice, and among the worst is the demonization of Israel. Yet Israel wants peace, and almost all its neighbors want Israel’s destruction.
Our recent Up to Jerusalem experience included a visit to Metulla on Israel’s Lebanon border. From 1978 to 2000, goods and workers flowed freely between Israel and the Lebanese Christians who populated southern Lebanon. The border, popularly known then as the Good Fence, reflected the mutually beneficial interaction and genuine friendship that once existed. Today, with Hezbollah controlling vast areas on the Lebanese side, the Good Fence is but a memory.
From nearby Kibbutz Misgav Am, we were briefed on the security situation in the North by Ariyeh Bar-Yaakov, a leader responsible for kibbutz security. Looking out over the Hezbollah-controlled communities of southern Lebanon, we were struck by the extreme hatred of Israel spawned by a terrorist organization that casts itself as the “Party of God” while calling for Israel’s destruction. Not lost on our trip participants was the cruel irony of nearby UN “peace-keeping” troops that came primarily from Indonesia, a Muslim country with no diplomatic relations with Israel.
Ariyeh Bar-Yaakov’s parting words to us were a fitting testimony to God’s marvelous, even miraculous, preservation of Israel and the Jewish people. “Do come back,” he told us. “We’ll be here.”
Later that day we visited Israel’s northeastern perimeter where, across the border, we could see a Syrian flag flying. Another hostile neighbor. And another UN installation, this one in Syria, representing meaningless “monitoring” in the midst of a state-sponsored military buildup. In fact, Iranian rockets were being placed strategically throughout Syria.
Looking to the north, our excellent Israeli guide, Miriam Feinberg Vamosh, pointed to an area known as Majdal Shams near the slopes of Mount Hermon. There Syrian “Day of Rage” activists in 2011 tried to penetrate Israel’s border to deflect attention from Syrian President Bashar Assad’s brutal oppression of his own people.
Traveling farther south, we viewed the mountains of Israel’s eastern neighbor, Jordan, thankful for the peace and reasonable level of neighborliness that exists between these two Middle Eastern countries.
Although we did not visit Israel’s long border with Egypt in the south, we were briefed on the deteriorating situation in Egypt where violent Islamists, encouraged by the Muslim Brotherhood, are slaughtering Coptic Christians and causing them to flee in record numbers. The terrorists are working hard to destabilize Egypt’s vast Sinai Peninsula, while consolidating their positions and initiating terror attacks into Israel from the border.
Israelis with whom we spoke oppose unilateral Palestinian statehood. They understand that creating a Palestinian state in the heart of the Jewish state, without the Palestinians making real peace with Israel, will guarantee another Middle Eastern terrorist entity. All too fresh in their minds are the lessons of Hamas’s takeover of Gaza, which resulted in more rocket attacks against Israel’s southern communities.
Israelis everywhere expressed their great appreciation for our support as Americans and Canadians. This appreciation, however, did not extend to President Barack Obama, whom most Israelis view as unsympathetic toward their security and overly sympathetic toward their enemies. Likewise, we heard concerns about the U.S. State Department equating Israel’s attempts to defend itself with the violence of its enemies.
As terrorist organizations ratchet up their attacks on Israel and the nations of the world increase their pressure on the Jewish state, we as Bible-believing, Christian supporters of Israel must stand firm. We must reject the crimes of Israel’s enemies and rest in the knowledge that God will deal with them:
Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: “Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion” (Ps. 2:1–6).