Inside View Jan/Feb 2014

I often encourage people to advocate for Israel and speak up when others berate the Jewish state. Recently, a friend, Pastor Roger Truax, contacted me because of an anti-Israel article published in his denomination’s magazine. It presented a one-sided, pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel view. He wanted to respond but didn’t know where to begin.

I gave him a few resources, and he wrote a compelling response. I was so blessed when I read it that I want to share it with you. We edited it slightly to fit this space. Perhaps it will encourage you to speak up for Israel the next time you encounter anti-Israel bias.

I read with interest “What American Christians can learn from Palestinians” by John and Joyce Cassel in the May issue of Messenger. I know it was well intentioned, but we must remember there are two sides to any story. What is missing is Israel’s side. Many are not aware there are programs that I believe are designed to fill people with one side of the story and send them back to the U.S. to be ambassadors for the Palestinian-Arab cause: that is, make Israel the bad guy and present everything the Palestinian Arabs are doing as morally justified.

One can go to the Scriptures and make a case that Israel has a biblical right to the land under the covenant God made with Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob, but that does not answer the charge that Israel is a morally bankrupt nation that has no justifiable reason for its actions.

While Israel, like any other nation, is capable of making mistakes and does so at times, they do have the right to be a sovereign nation in the land promised to them by God—their ancestral, historic homeland. There is no other place on Earth where Israel has existed as a nation other than the Promised Land. Although, according to Jeremiah 31:31–37, Israel’s security is in God’s hands and the nation will not disappear unless the universe does, they do have a right to defend themselves from those who would seek to destroy their nation.

The article does not address why there are Palestinian refugees. While the Jews accepted the 1947–48 partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, all the neighboring Arab states rejected it and invaded Israel to annihilate it at birth.

Also missing is an explanation of how Israel’s occupation of the West Bank came about: In 1967, Israel’s neighbors sought to exterminate Israel—just as Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and most Palestinians and other Muslims in the Middle East wish to do today. Only because of that war, won by Israel, did Israel come to occupy the West Bank of Jordan.

Where is the mention of Palestinians honoring their numerous terrorists or of the anti-Semitic propaganda that saturates Middle Eastern media or the widespread Palestinian support for terrorism? (According to the just-released Pew Forum poll of Muslims, 40 percent of Palestinians support suicide terror.)

The article fails to acknowledge what happened in Gaza after the Israelis gave the whole of Gaza to the Palestinians: The Palestinians converted it into a terror state that regularly launches rockets into Israel to kill as many Israelis as possible.

Also, the article does not note, let alone condemn, the Muslim countries and organizations that seek to annihilate Israel, an existential threat that no other country or people in the world face.

If Israel was oppressive for building communities in the West Bank on land they have purchased from the Arabs, then, to be fair, we Americans are occupiers for living on land once belonging to the American Indians. If the call is for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank, then should we not walk away from our homes and towns and return to Europe, etc., from whence we came?

One other thought. West Bank is not the biblical term for the land. The Bible calls it Samaria and Judea. If we are people of biblical faith, then we should refer to the land as the Bible identifies it, rather than use the politically charged terminology used in the propaganda war by the enemies of Israel.

Perhaps the next time you encounter anti-Israel bias, you can do as Pastor Truax did and become an advocate for the truth.

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