Dynamic pastor Perry Noble of Newspring Church shares his personal and biblical convictions about whether or not Christians should support Israel. Here are his thoughts:
One of the most controversial topics that seems to dominate the headlines today is Israeli politics, the "fight" for a Palestinian State and the apparent bullying of Israel in regards to the Palestinians.
If you know me at all then you know the nation of Israel is close to my heart. I've traveled there numerous times over the past few years and have actually seen with my own eyes the struggles these people in this part of the world are wrestling with.
It seems that more often than not, the "politically correct" thing in the United States is to take a Palestinian/anti-Israel stand when it comes to these matters. I've even seen a switch in the evangelical church in regards to which nation we support. Twenty five years or so ago in our nation there was overwhelming support for Israel; however, over time, as 24-hour news organizations with an obvious bias have dominated the conversation about this area of the world and have taken center stage--Israel, once again, seems to be fighting the world for a right to exist.
When it comes to the struggle between Palestinians and Israel--I want to share some questions I've been asking myself and wondering why some of these aren't being addressed in our media outlets.
#1 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took some heat for his pre-election declaration in regards to not being supportive of a Palestinian state: however, I've heard zero rhetoric about the fact that the majority ruling party among the Palestinians is Hamas...and Hamas is listed by Australia, Canada, Egypt, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States as a terrorist organization and literally have in their charter a call to annihilate the nation of Israel (not to mention that the Palestinians haven't had elections in 9 years) - why is no one talking about this?
#2 - Out of the 22 countries in the Middle East there is only ONE democracy (Israel), the other countries are run by democracies, but often led by extremists (at worse) and dictators (at best) - why is this issue not being addressed? Isn't America supposed to be pro-democracy? If the Palestinians do obtain a state, will it be a democracy or a dictatorship?
#3 - If the Arab countries in the Middle East are supportive of Palestinians having land of their own--then why do they not step up to the plate and offer some of the land in their countries as a possible solution for Palestinian statehood? Could it be a fact that some of the very countries who claim they are fighting for the rights of Palestinians, who have Palestinian refugee camps on their own soil, seek to ignore the needs of the Palestinians rather than allowing them citizenship in their own country? Why are there still Palestinian refugee camps in Gaza and Palestinian controlled areas in the West bank? If the Palestinians are claiming an independent state, why are they keeping a large portion of their own population in refugee status?
#4 - For those who are passionate about women's rights - why has no one mentioned in this entire argument that Israel was the FIRST PLACE in the entire Middle East an Arab woman could participate in open elections? Or that women in Israel are far more educated and employed (including in senior governmental positions) than any other country in the Middle East?
#5 - Some use the war last summer between Israel and the region of Gaza to claim Israel is a bully who was obsessed with the taking of Palestinian lives. Why has no one mentioned that Gaza launched around 4,000 missiles at Israel—all of them aimed directly at civilian (not military) targets such as schools, hospitals and residential areas, and if Israel had not have acted to defend itself, thousands of innocent people would have died?
#6 - Why has the media largely ignored the fact that Hamas used schools, hospitals and day care centers as places to store and fire their missiles at Israel?
#7 - Why is the US Government so occupied with "issues" concerning Israel when ISIS and Iran are clearly more urgent issues that will impact our lives over the next several decades?
#8 – Why does the US Government send hundreds of millions of our tax dollars to support the Palestinian Authority each year, which is an openly corrupt regime that abuses human rights of the Palestinian people, carrying out (according to Palestinian sources) thousands of political arrests and hundreds of cases of torture, as well as executions without trial annually? Shouldn't the US be protecting human rights and freedom rather than funding oppressive regimes?
Do I think Israel has some issues? Of course! Just like there are no perfect people, there are no perfect countries. I am glad that Netanyahu publicly apologized for his racist remarks on election day. Those statements were inappropriate and offensive to Israel's Arab citizens. However, when it comes to the Jewish people defending their rights to exist as a nation--I unapologetically stand with them and believe that the evangelical world should do the same.
Shouldn't Christians care about the suffering of the Palestinians? Absolutely! But I strongly doubt that by supporting the Palestinian Authority we are relieving the Palestinians' suffering. We are certainly not helping our Palestinian Christian brothers and sisters who are a minority persecuted by their own leadership.
Should there be a Palestinian state? Not right now, not as long as Hamas is the ruling party and claim they will NEVER recognize the right of Israel to exist as a nation, and must fight to destroy it.
The last group of people who openly objected to the existence of the Jewish were the Nazi's. We see what their ideology did, and the world is still haunted by the images the Holocaust produced.
I don't think we should stand aside and think that will never happen again...especially when there are countries in the Middle East that have gone on record and said they intend to wipe Israel "off the map?"
There are many things we can’t do, but right now we can:
- Pray for peace in Israel.
- Pray for the Palestinians to live in freedom.
- Hope for and pray for peace in the Middle East.
But we must not deceive ourselves into thinking that peace can be obtained by appeasing terrorists who persecute their own people as well as those who are Christian or Jewish.
Reprinted from www.perrynoble.com.