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Weekly Update – Israel: a country with huge challenges – and massive opportunities

14 April 2022

Israel is a Jewish State, the Jewish national home. But it is also so much more than that – a melting pot of many nationalities, and ethnic and religious groups. In one sense, it reflects the rich diversity across the region. Jews, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Armenians, Arameans, Druze, Bedouin, Circassians etc etc – they all live side-by-side, many of them working together.

Of course, there are problems and tensions, perhaps even discrimination. But that, too, is hardly surprising, and far from unique. Every country with such a wide range of cultures and nationalities experiences these problems. The USA is perhaps the best example: a country with massive problems of discrimination and tensions. But that doesn’t make America illegitimate.

The recent wave of terror attacks should not detract from the reality that in Israel there are many people of good will who are working hard every day to defend the State of Israel and make it an even better country.

On the other hand, Palestinians in the disputed territories are becoming more and more radical. Living for decades in UNRWA refugee camps, generations have grown up in an education system and culture based on hatred of Israel and the Jewish people. As Khaled Abu Toameh writes, “These Palestinians want peace without Israel, not peace with Israel. The only peace they envision is one where Israel would cease to exist. That is why — as this and previous polls have shown — most Palestinians continue to support Hamas, whose charter openly calls for the elimination of Israel.” According to Maurice Hirsch at Palestinian Media Watch, the current terrorist wave “was initiated and is being fueled by the Palestinian Authority and P.A. chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party.”

Israel – and the international community – face an enormous challenge to avoid further escalation in the short term, and in the longer term to resolve the as-yet-unresolved status of the territories captured in June 1967, and the Arab Palestinians living there.

On a more positive note, it is fascinating to see how Israel is becoming an increasingly important ally and partner in the region, and globally. One area in which Israel has a major contribution to make is energy. Although Israel’s government recently decided to focus more on renewables, and its significance in the global should not be over-stated, Israel is an exporter of natural gas. And with many European countries choosing (or being forced) to stop their supplies from Russia, alternative supplies of gas are exactly what they need.

Israel has so much to offer. If the radicalized sections of Palestinian/Arab society would only accept that the Jewish State of Israel has a right to exist, and that it is not the enemy, but a partner for peace and prosperity, then perhaps peace will flow from Jerusalem.

For that to happen, there need to be a lot of prayers that hearts and minds will be changed.

Let us take the time in the coming days, when Jews celebrate Pesach and Christians Easter, to pray even more for the peace of Jerusalem.

The Editorial Team – Israel & Christians Today

Why Palestinians Celebrate the Murder of Jews
Khaled Abu Toameh at Gatestone: “The celebrations that took place in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the recent terror attacks in Israel are yet another sign of the growing radicalization among the Palestinians and their refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist.”
> Read more..

The PA and Fatah are behind the current terror wave
Maurice Hirsch at PMW: “Ramadan is not a month of laziness but rather … a month of jihad, conquest and victory,” said the P.A.’s Supreme Shari’a judge on the first day of Ramadan.
> Read more..

An Israeli Arab explains why Israel is not an apartheid state!
Watch Israeli Arab Yoseph Haddad explain why Israel is not an apartheid state.


Israel hopes to step in as Europe looks for alternatives to Russian energy
JNS reports: “The Jewish state could definitely be a serious factor in creating more independence and a wealth of energy sources for Europe.”
> Read more..

Israel, Greece and Cyprus officials work to expand energy cooperation
JNS: “Officials from Israel, Greece and Cyprus met in Athens to expand their energy cooperation on natural-gas pipeline projects in light of the ongoing war in Ukraine.”
> Read more..

Ukraine war shifts European attitudes about energy, creating opportunity for Israel
David Isaac: “The lesson to be learned from the Europeans is that energy security comes from ‘diversity and diversity alone. You can’t be too dependent on just a single country, even if it’s your friend at that time,’ said assistant professor Elai Rettig at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan.”
> Read more..

Ukraine War: The Moral Corruption of Germany’s Political Elite
Soeren Kern writes in Gatestone: “Questions are being belatedly asked — and grudgingly answered — about many aspects of Merkel’s failed Russia policy, including her decisions to block Ukraine’s prospective membership of NATO, gut the German military, undermine the transatlantic alliance, and institutionalize Germany’s overdependence on Russian energy supplies.”
> Read more..

Joy instead of tears”

Aliyah fieldworker Nataliya shares from Ukraine: “Today, on yet another bus ride, I received a word from the Lord: ‘The oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.’ (Isaiah 61:3)

There is deep pain in every story we hear. We weep together with those who weep. We comfort, embrace and bless them. With tears in their eyes, people thanked the whole team for providing food,  hot water and a comfortable place to stay.”
> Read more..

Seven Thousand | Romans 9-11 with Johannes Gerloff #40

The second proof that God has never rejected the Jewish people comes from Scripture. Also in this case, the apostle Paul shows himself to be a theologian who bases his faith on the Word.

 

SCRIPTURE FOR THE WEEK:

Isaiah 61: 1-9

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
6 And you will be called priests of the Lord,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
7 Instead of your shame
you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.
8 “For I, the Lord, love justice;
I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people
and make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 Their descendants will be known among the nations
and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”