Israel: Forever a Fact
On the cusp of a national election, the air is filled with promises. But when the election cycle ends and the ballots are tallied, we learn which promises have a shot at being kept and which do not.
The volatile political climate now afflicting the United States profoundly affects the future of the republic. It is imperative we have honest candidates who follow through on honest promises for the good of the country.
Entwined with a concern for the nation’s fate is growing Christian apprehension about a few other issues as well. For example, there is virtual silence on the genocidal slaughter of believers abroad, and there are unrelenting attacks on Christians and their faith here at home.
Another battle being waged involves Israel and a campaign asserting that evangelicals are turning away from Israel to support the Palestinians and the creation of a Palestinian state on Israeli territory. (See other articles in this issue for details on the anti-Israel movement.)
Marked for special scorn are Christian Zionists who have long stood by the Jewish people’s biblical, historical, moral, and legal rights to the land of their forefathers. In fact, the conservative-Christian commitment toward the Jewish people and their eventual return to Israel has endured as a distinguishing feature of evangelical belief.
Regrettable features of this anti-Israel campaign are the repudiation of clear biblical doctrine; the endorsement of Arab revisionist propaganda that creates a fictional Arab hegemony in the region; and the claim Israel is illegally occupying Arab land and imposing draconian, apartheid-like conditions on the Palestinians.
Furthermore, Millennials (18- to 34-year-olds) are being recruited as future emissaries of the movement to fashion a decidedly pro-Palestinian evangelical opinion regarding the Israeli-Arab peace process.
Old Song, New Lyrics
Truth be told, there is nothing new in the tide of anti-Israel propaganda. A modern feature may be the inclusion of some cultural “evangelical” notables, along with social-media devices that draw more attention to the movement. But these factors do not change the failings of the argument that evangelicals may be deserting Israel en masse.
“Christ at the Checkpoint” devotees, who are clearly pro-Palestinian, are nourished by an umbilical attachment to Replacement Theology: the belief that God is finished with Israel as a nation and has installed the church as the true and legitimate “Israel of God.”
This position negates God’s promises of (1) Israel’s future restoration; (2) a literal, Messianic Kingdom on Earth; and (3) glory laid down for Jacob and his posterity, including full land rights to the inheritance in the Middle East. Incidentally, all these promises are etched in the granite of God’s Word in both the Old and New Testaments.
Undoubtedly, the Jewish return to Israel became theologically unsettling to Replacement practitioners. So much so, that one is prompted to conclude the deterioration of the culture and the developing conditions predicted in prophetic passages have fueled the militancy against biblical, Zionist thinking.
No longer is there gentlemanly disagreement on a theological playing field. Rather, there is a united front among Replacement adherents to discredit and crush opposition to their dogma.
Embracing the Incomprehensible
The April reconciliation between Hamas leaders in Gaza and Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas is a terrorist union based on an absurdity.
According to a Jerusalem Post report, a senior Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official said the agreement between Fatah and Hamas is based on Abbas’s terms, which includes working toward a two-state solution that recognizes Israel’s existence.1
Yet Hamas has fired thousands of missiles from Gaza into Jewish towns and villages in an attempt to kill as many Israeli men, women, and children as possible. Its commitment to put an end to Israel at any cost is enshrined in its charter.
As for Abbas, the former lieutenant of late master terrorist Yasser Arafat uttered feigned insistence that Hamas and the PLO embrace a two-state settlement recognizing Israel’s existence, despite his almost daily mantra that he will never recognize a Jewish state.
In addition, he oversees an unremitting incitement campaign against Israel, praising the most vicious suicide attackers who have drenched Israeli streets with innocent blood and urging Arab children to emulate them.
When the PA trumpets its stance that no Jewish foot will ever touch the ground of a future Palestinian state, people everywhere should have second thoughts about justice and what such a radicalized Islamist environment will mean for those compelled to live in it.
Theology aside, professing believers in Christ who align themselves with the worst-of-the-worst anti-Semites defame Bible-believing Christians and demonize Israelis. Extreme naїveté, failure to learn all the facts, or dosing on malevolent misinformation does not produce a superior morality.
In this day of cultural obsession with radical change and shaking up the establishment, it may seem fashionable to fight for the underdog. But first make sure the underdog is truly the underdog and not the fabrication of a slick and steady propaganda campaign.
By Any Other Name, the Same
Accusing the Jewish people, and now Israel, of duplicity, treachery, and foul deeds qualifying them for deportation or annihilation is a story as old as time. The appellation “wandering Jew” characterized the general Jewish condition until May 14, 1948. With the miraculous restoration of at least part of the Jewish homeland, it appeared a new era of peace and stability might at last be at hand.
After World War II, few people, particularly Christians, would have questioned the propriety of recognizing a legal Jewish nation to which the children of Jacob could return after 2,000 years. Unanticipated, however, was the radical Arab inhabitants’ genocidal fervor.
The Israeli struggle for survival suddenly became a constant fact of life. But against seemingly insurmountable odds, Jewish perseverance, ingenuity, love for the land, and willingness to fight for life prevailed. In less than half a century, Israel became a model of progress, humanitarian excellence, technological innovation, and medical achievement that have touched the lives of people around the globe.
Under ordinary circumstances, one would logically expect the world to accept with deep admiration what this tiny refugee country has accomplished in so short a time. In fact, a New World Order was the flavor of the era at the United Nations. Toleration, civility, nonviolence, and respect for all characterized speeches, resolutions, and humanitarian programs. In such a progressive environment, how could Old World, hate-riddled anti-Semitism emerge?
In a world with an inexorable sin problem, old specters never die; they just lie in wait. Recent incidents offer disturbing reminders. In countries where Jewish people were murdered by the millions during the Holocaust, anti-Semitism still lingers.
Hungary, France, and Poland are prime examples. The Anti-Defamation League’s recent global survey found that 45 percent of Poland’s citizens, 41 percent of Hungary’s, and 37 percent of France’s have anti-Semitic attitudes.
In Ukraine, the recent political upheaval and accompanying anti-Semitism have sent Jewish emigration soaring. Aliyah to Israel has risen by 70 percent.
France, plagued by Muslim militancy and a bad economic situation, saw 3,280 Jews activate their Right of Return privilege and move to Israel in 2013—a 70 percent increase over 2012.
The increase of unjustified anti-Jewish, anti-Israel demonstrations and incidents underscores the necessity of a secure Jewish state.
Although the anti-Zionist left is working zealously against Israel, all is not lost. Israel is a vibrant reality and will not be going anywhere. God has made a promise, and there is reason to believe there are countless more supporters of Israel’s rightful place among the nations than some would like us to believe.
The God of the universe has issued a land deed to Abraham and his descendants in perpetuity:
And the Lᴏʀᴅ said to Abram,…“Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever” (Gen. 13:14–15).
Considering the fact that Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East and the number-one ally of America and the West, the clamor to dismantle the state appears demented.
What Israelis have asked from the beginning is that the armistice lines where fighting ceased in 1948-49 be exchanged for negotiated, safe borders so Israelis can maintain their security without the constant threat of imminent annihilation. For professing Christians to side with jihadists who vow to erase Israel from the map is, to say the least, bewildering.
Israel still has more friends than foes. Although opposition to Israel exists, we must not become unduly agitated by stories of massive evangelical defections from loyalty to Israel. Yes, it is a concern. However, the movement is a noisy, activist sliver among evangelical Christians. The mature remnant of believers, and a solid group of Millennials, stand firmly with Israel’s right to the land. They have wisely chosen truth over unbiblical fabrications. That will not change.
Mohammad is a 16-year-old Arab Muslim who is a citizen of the State of Israel. He openly declares himself a Zionist who believes Israel is the true hope for a lasting democracy in the Middle East.
In his opinion, international policymakers should stop attempting to force a peace plan and recognize peace will only be achieved when Arabs stop hating Jews.
This courageous young man quotes the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir who said, “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” Anti-Israel evangelicals would do well to take Muhammad’s advice.
- “PA assures reconciliation agreement requires Hamas recognition of Israel’s existence,” The Jerusalem Post, April 24, 2014 <tinyurl.com/JP867>.