Pray For the Peace of Jerusalem Part 2
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This is the conclusion of a two-part series that began earlier in the week as the author spent a week in Jerusalem…
What are the long term implications of the current political environment in the Middle East?
This past Wednesday (March 23) as our group talked with a prominent member of the Knesset (the Israeli version of our House of Representatives), a terrorist bomb went off at a bus station in Jerusalem - wounding 38 and killing one. It was the first terrorist attack in many years. Although no one officially took credit for the bombing, it coincided with a rise of violence on the Gaza border. One of the Israelis that travelled with us the entire week disclosed to me how nervous he felt when he discovered that the bus that was damaged was the same bus he boards on a typical day. Ironically, escorting our group may have kept him out of harm’s way. As we talked, I had the same feelings that came to me when my dad used to talk about growing up in the south. I will never forget hearing about him discovering the “strange fruit of the south” hanging from trees - black men who had been tortured, lynched, and left dangling from trees. Imagine the terror for a teenaged boy.
In the Jim Crow South, the average African American was subject to a level of terror and personal stress that only groups like the Israelis understand. No matter what positive things were going on, blacks from the last century knew that the Ku Klux Klan could appear at any moment and abduct, kidnap, or torture one of their family or friends. In Israel’s case it seems that the nation is a victim of its own success. If they looked more like victims, instead of the self-assured champions their traumatic history has forced them to become, they might gain a great deal more international sympathy.
Excellence and creativity are at the heart of the nation’s success. For the skeptics among us let me cite a few facts for the New York Times best seller, Start-up Nation.
Israel has the highest number of startup companies per capita of any nation in the world. It also has a huge level of venture capital investment. Publishers Weekly says both of the value proposition of the book and of the nation, “... a culture of critique fostered by centuries of Jewish tradition and an open immigration policy for Jews that continually restocks Israel's population with motivated people from around the world—all of which foster a business climate in which risk is embraced and good ideas are given a chance to grow.”
Israel’s success makes many of its neighbors jealous. These poverty-stricken nations do not understand the hard work, vision, and sacrifice at the root of Israel’s sparkling success. Anti-Israeli groups think that American and European money alone props up Israel. Therefore, the nation with only a 7,695,000 person population is seen more like a bully as it stands alone against the entire Islamic and Middle Eastern world. Further, Israel is accused of being a cruel, mass murderer. Nothing could be further than the truth. They are trapped in a macabre dance in front of a worldwide audience. Israel is held to different standard than other nations.
Let me conclude with two important points. First, the US must stand with Israel in military intelligence, military cooperation, and armed conflicts as necessary. We must be wise enough not to let each conflict become a war. We must learn how to take swift surgical action militarily - with minimal loss of men and resources. More specifically during the next few years, 6 reasons that we must worked together are outlined below:
1. First, the greatest terrorist threats will continue to come after Israel and the US.
2. Multiple terrorist groups including Hamas, Al -Qaeda, and Hizballah have vowed to destroy Israel. They will never negotiate in good faith.
3. Iran provides funding and arms for groups that attack Israel
4. Syria is also a refuge for terrorist organizations.
5. US - Israel cooperation and coordination has blocked some of the financing and importing of arms and bombs into hostile territories.
6. There will be an anti-American backlash during the massive overthrow of dictatorships
In addition, we must fight international efforts to delegitimize Israel. We can no longer wink at half-hearted peace efforts that are only put forth to make Israel look bad.
1. The UN frequently singles out Israel and accuses the nation of aggression because the nation refuses to abdicate its right to defend itself, as a sovereign nation. America must continue to fight anti-Israel resolutions at the UN and to oppose measures designed to tarnish Israel’s legitimacy as a sovereign nation.
2. The US should continue to lead the way in demanding fair treatment for Israel in international forums of non-military nature as well.
3. Most Arab states refuse to contact or negotiate with Israel in good faith. Many also participate in the Arab league boycott of the nation. In addition, all anti-Israel boycotts must be opposed.
As I travelled back to my hotel by cab last night, it was hard to imagine the senseless murder of young families in this beautiful nation. The reign of terror must stop! I also could not help but think how evangelical Christians and bipartisans should strategically show their support to Israel during this season of time. The new sections of downtown Jerusalem are world class and well kept, just like Israel’s dream to be a contagiously attractive symbol of freedom and democracy.
Let’s call, e-mail or write our congressmen and senators today. Let’s let them know we want them to stand with Israel. Let them know we are not buying any “baloney” today. If we do just half of the things outlined in this article and continue to pray for the city, there will be peace.