Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Israel is near and dear to my heart for two reasons: first off I am a Christian. Whether you believe that the Church has taken Israel's place as God's chosen people, or that Israel remains the chosen ones to this day, Israel's place in the Bible is one of significant weight. They are the one's God originally chose as his people. They are the ones we make our Christian movies about, they are the source of our bumper stickers and our car Ichthys', and they are the reason felt graphs even exist. They are the same people today that lived, ate, drank, and slept in the Promise Land, and they are the same ones who helped crucify, and stand by, Jesus Christ. They've gone through near extinction, living without a nation to call home, and then the one-day-birth of that nation in 1948. Whether you like it or not, Israel has always been a big deal.
The second reason I have a special place in my heart for Israel is because I've been there- twice. I've walked the streets of Jerusalem, woke up to the beautiful sight of the Sea of Galilee, and floated in the buoyant waters of the Dead Sea. I've talked with, haggled with, sat with, and even ate with Jews and Muslims alike (my favorite dish is a falafel with unleavened bread and humus). I've been to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, The Garden Tomb, The Church of the Holy Nativity, and the location where the Last Supper is believed to have been held. I say all these things not to brag, but merely to establish context of where I'm coming from.
As of late Israel has been shed in different light. Depending on your political and social views, you probably hold a different opinion from the guy sitting next to you. Simply watching twitter and facebook during Netanyahu's recent speech showed me how varying opinions are. Some are calling it an act of "peace" and others that of "defiance." I'm of the former opinion, because I believe Netanyahu's terms are decent, and his heart is in the right place. Israel has fought long and hard to not have constant pressure from enemies. Imagine if Canada and Mexico were both sworn enemies of the US, and wanted to invade and take over our land, kill our civilians, and destroy our way of life. That's scratching the surface of what Israel has had to go through since it was birthed as a nation. It's no wonder the IDF is one of the greatest fighting forces in the world.
But what about you? What do you believe? And not just what, but why?