While it is impossible to to avoid all things "political" for the most part my focus on this blog is on things spiritual and moral. I think my level of knowledge justifies my opinions (even if wrong) in those areas. I am, however, compelled to discuss Israel today because of the extensive coverage in the news media. It is, at least in my thinking, a theologically relevant topic.
Anyone who discusses the Middle East has to deal with a complex historical and geopolitical situation. There are immense tensions which comes from enthusiastic supporters and folks with a vested interest. I am prejudiced by a Biblical attitude--I see the current nation state of Israel to be a fulfillment of the Jewish Bible and the promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the descendents. There are some who reject that and claim that the church is the fulfillment of the Promise and that the secular state of Israel has no connection to the Biblical Israel (or, better, Judah). Until the end of time we cannot know for sure who is right on that one.
The Israel of today, if I am right, is in continuity with the ancient Israel/Judah and no doubt suffers from the same limitations of sin and error. Today in Morning Prayer we read from Judge, yet another time when they were punished by God for their sins (18 years submission to Moab). In my mind, the Lord continues to chastise His people, but also to protect them. I do not agree with every act of the Jews. However, I do think that they are worthy of our support. I am distressed by the growing number of anti-Jewish sentiments around the world. The protests and desecration of synagogues around the world means that Jews must know who their friend are!
When their nation is surrounded by hostile neighbors who have publicly declared that Israel should not be allowed to exist, I am confused why anyone ignore that fact.They are a tiny nation and outnumbered. There is little room for error on their part. The US should see in them an ally and friend because we share common democratic principles.Any criticism of their decisions needs to overtly factor in their precarious situation. It is not enough to call for peace. One must fairly consider the ramifications for each decision.
I have been praying more and more for this nation. I also pray for the poor and destitute among the Palestinians. I wish "Arab" nations were more focused on improving the lives of their people and less focused on ill will toward Israel. The hatred toward Israel seems to be a distraction from the weightier issues of making the world a better place for their citizens. By all reports the Jews did came destitute land and built it up since the 1940's (I have read several books, which I assume are accurate). How I wish the same success on the rest of Palestine.
I believe the Jews belong there, by God's will. I believe they are God's chosen. I believe it is their land.
I also believe they are a natural ally, based on a commitment to democracy. As an American, a relationship with such a nation makes sense. I would hope other Arab nations would also democratize and improve the freedoms of their citizens..
I also believe they victims of this war are as much victims of their own failed governments as they are Israel's behaviors.
Whatever I may think and believe, I do know that we need to pray for God's help. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, some Psalmist wrote close to 3000 years ago. That prayer is as relevant today as ever. May God raise up a righteous "judge" to save His people, all His people: Jew, Christian and Muslim. May God come quickly to deliver us.