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  • Religious Jewish women stand near a cliff at the Jewish settlement of Bnei Adam. Photo: Nati Shohat | FLASH90
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With All My Heart

Andrew Tucker - 29 July 2020

Two young Israeli women stand proudly on a hilltop in Samaria.

This land is perhaps the most controversial real estate in the world. It has been stamped ‘Occupied Palestinian Territory’ by the international community.

And yet, many Jews believe with all their heart in the promises of God regarding these mountains.

We can read those promises in the book of the Prophet Ezekiel: “As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and all the settlements in the land. I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.”

Jews who seek to walk and live in obedience to these promises are condemned as ‘settlers’, and their communities have been declared ‘illegal’. They are accused of taking land from the Palestinians. The media and many politicians believe with all their hearts in this, and work to perpetuate the narrative. Governments form their foreign policies accordingly.

“Or do we believe that God is doing a miracle, by fulfilling before our very eyes His own promises so many centuries ago.”

But the reality is different. There is enough room for Jews and Palestinians on the mountains of Israel. And – with exceptions, of course – Jewish settlers are not seeking confrontation, but simply want to live in peace in the land and build beautiful, fruitful communities, bringing blessing to the land and all its residents.

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut. 10:12).

Which story do we believe? Do we blindly follow the images and messages of the secular media? Or do we believe that God is doing a miracle, by fulfilling before our very eyes His own promises so many centuries ago:

“I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety. They will be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me and that all will then go well for them and their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.” (Jeremiah 32:37-41).

 

(*) Information about the photo above:
Religious Jewish women hold Israeli flags as they stand near a cliff at the Jewish settlement of Bnei Adam, where they were attending a tour led by activist Nadia Matar (not seen) of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Bnei Adam is a group of shacks and other structures spread out over a few acres. The first families arrived in 2004 – long after the March 2001 deadline after which start-up neighbourhoods are included on the “to be destroyed” list of the United States government. No major attempts have been made to raze the entire outpost, but security forces have recently destroyed a few of the trailers set up there. September 23, 2009. Photo by Nati Shohat/FLASH90

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