• Efra, Jewish village in the Biblical heartland| Photo: Flash 90 by Gershon Elinshon
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Support for Judea and Samaria?

Rev Henk Poot - 13 March 2024

Christians for Israel supports the Jewish villages in Judea and Samaria because they ask for protection. We support them with cameras and security to prevent violent infiltrations by terrorists. Many people fear that one day the same will happen as in the villages in the South of Israel. Terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians have increased in the past weeks. Al Jazeera’s propaganda machine, entering the living rooms of the Arab neighbours every day, is working at full speed.

Support to Jewish villages
It is true: there are many close relations between Jews and Arabs, but it is also true that everywhere the hate against anything Jewish can suddenly erupt. Since the Oslo Accords more than 1,400 Jewish citizens were killed in terror attacks: children in school yards, in a pram, people on the go, or walking in a nature park, waiting at a road block or at the entrance of a petrol station. Without asking who they are. Just because they are Jewish.

“We support the Jewish citizens of Judea and Samaria because this too is a part of Israel and not the least part”

We support the villages of Judea and Samaria because we are convinced that Jews have a right to live there. The land on which they have built, has been so-called State Land for centuries and they bought the remaining plots from the owners. Sometimes it is disputed, but then the Jewish state rules mostly otherwise. By the way, the Jews only live in the so-called C-areas, these are areas designated for Jewish governance in the 1993 Oslo-Accords. For the discussion it is important to note that the PLO as part of the Oslo Accords promised not to speak about “occupation” any longer.

The spiritual heart of Israel
We support the Jewish citizens of Judea and Samaria because this too is a part of Israel and not the least part. It is the geographical heart of the Holy Land, right in the middle and except some ten kilometres it bisects Galilee and the North and South of Israel, the area south of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

But beyond that: it is the spiritual heart of the Land of Israel. Here lies Hebron in the South with the graves of the patriarchs and matriarchs. In the North are Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, respectively the mountain of the blessing and the curse, where once Joshua entered the Land. In the so-called heartland lie Bethel and Shiloh, the heritage of the sons of Josef and Judah. But most importantly, here is the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives, where once Messiah will come. Here lies Zion, where the Jewish people for centuries has prayed and begged for: : ”If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill” (Psalm 137). It is the Land of the prophets and the kings. And it is the heart of the heritage of the Lord Himself.

Why did the Jews decide to live there? Well, not for the space and the clean air, but because right there are the Biblical places that remind the people so much of its unique history and calling as God’s chosen people.

Here, so say the prophets, will the Lord gather His people when they return from the exile (Ezekiel 34).

“The coming of God’s Kingdom is in the hands of the Lord alone”

Involved with God’s people
It should be noted that some journalists say that we help the Jewish people to return because we thereby would precipitate the coming of Jesus Christ. Now, there is nothing wrong with that of course, but we believe that the coming of God’s Kingdom is in the hands of the Lord alone. But we are grateful that we, as God says, are allowed to be involved in the way the Lord is going with His people to fulfil all His promises (Isaiah 60:4).

By the way, it is a lie and also an abuse of international law to say that Israel has forced its people to live  there. The so-called international law speaks about this in retrospection of Nazi-Germany that forced its citizens to live in the conquered territories of Poland and the Czech Republic. The truth is that Jordan conquered the so-called West Bank in 1948 and destroyed the Jewish villages there. When Israel liberated the West Bank during the Six-Day war, Israel offered the area to Jordan in return for peace. Instead of peace a new war began in 1973. It wasn’t before this that the first settlements were built.

“The Lord will fulfil what He promises”

God’s promises
Why do we help the Jewish citizens of Judea and Samaria? For us the promises of the Lord and everything the Lord says about this part of the Promised Land are not outdated words. The Lord will fulfil what He promises. We do not believe that we as a Church can leave Jerusalem and Israel behind as if they don’t matter at all. The Bible speaks about them as the heritage of the Lord. And we read that God is fired up with zeal for Jerusalem.

We also support Judea and Samaria because this is a time in which it becomes publicly what we as Christians stand for. It is true that the Gospel is a stumbling block for many Jews, but what is just as true is that Israel is a stumbling block for many Christians. Today we are in one of those times in which God asks the Gentile believers: “Adam, My man, where are you?” This is the time in which we should not hide ourselves, make ourselves invisible because we are afraid of our reputation or fame, or we might not be acceptable for a world without the one and only true God.

We support the Jews, also in Judea and Samaria, against all the world’s opposition.

We stand beside them when they are vilified and we don’t turn our backs on them!

Regardless of opposition
We know that we on the path of religion will have to handle opposition from the powers, the governments, the spiritual evils in the heavenly realms. We are not fighting against flesh and blood. The ruler of the world is also the master of the lie. And we see it and hear it happening before our very eyes and ears. Words spoken against Israel are full of lies and half-truths.

It is cunning to express words like occupation, settlers and genocide over and over again. Talking about the latter: in other wars like against the Taliban and Daesh there were also many civilian casualties. Probably even more than today. Rightly people didn’t use the word genocide there. Today they do and not just like that! It is a barely concealed pointer to the Holocaust. As if the Jews are doing the same today. While everybody knows that Hamas “conveniently” adds all of its killed warriors to the civilian victims and the PA does the same by attributing all terrorists eliminated by the IDF in Jenin and Nablus to the settlers.

I hear people chanting “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and thereby saying that not only Judea and Samaria but all of Israel should be cleansed of Jews. I never hear journalists about the 23 Jews who were killed in Itamar or about drivers who were shot off the road by gunfire at Huwara. Speaking about antisemitism. Occasionally the word settler was used, as if not a human but an inhuman being had been killed.

I read how people make veiled references about East Jerusalem, as if this has nothing to do with God and Israel. God is concealed anyway. I hear them speak about Palestine, as if speaking about Judea and Samaria is a misnomer of this area. While the opposite is true. The name Palestine was given by the Romans, referring to the arch-enemies of the Jewish people, the Philistines. And for example the epithet “settlers”, as if the Jews are newcomers indicating a time in which there were no Jews in Jerusalem and in the rest of the Holy Land.

“The Arabs have their own autonomous villages and towns like Jenin and Ramallah”

We will not abandon them
Why do we support the Jewish settlements? Because we oppose Arabs from living in their own villages? Of course not. The Arabs have their own villages and towns like Jenin and Ramallah, autonomous, with their own governance and president and the much needed “police force”. And we noticed that they were the ones who helped to build the Jewish villages and cities there and how many of them are suffering from their own government. We are not against Palestinians but we oppose the fact that they learn at school to hate the Jews and aim to kill the Jews.

“The Palestinian Autonomy will not tolerate Jews in a future state”

Did the journalists ever notice that the Arab villages have no need for security cameras and fences and gates surrounding their communities? Those who know recent history know that Israel has offered repeatedly to give land for peace. One time even 95% of the so-called West Bank. But they should also know that the leadership of the Palestinian Autonomy will not tolerate Jews in a future state. And all of this while in the remaining part of Israel two million Arabs are living with equal rights.

Why do we support the Jews in Judea and Samaria? Because we were there dozens of times and looked them in the eyes. We sensed how much they loved the land as the Lord’s heritage. When they were planting vineyards and building roads they spoke about the redemption of the land and a sanctification of the Name of the Lord. We have seen how they want to live together in shalom with the Arabs surrounding them and how often this actually  happens. They have asked us to pray with them and read from God’s Word. They have invited us at their shabbat tables and told their children, like the first time I visited a settler, that these people do not hate them.

“We believe in God’s unbreakable loyalty to His Word and because we believe that Israel is His heritage”

Why do we support the Jews in Judea and Samaria? Because we believe in God’s unbreakable loyalty to His Word and because we believe that Israel is His heritage and that this must not be broken (Joel 2 and 3).

Why do we support the Jews in the heart of Israel? Because we do not want to leave them alone. We will not turn our backs on them. Too long and too much we have betrayed the sisters and brothers of the King of the Jews or shrouded ourselves in wordless silence.

Wouldn’t you like to support the communities in the Biblical Heartland as well?

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