When you have a conversation with someone about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians it seems as though you have to draw a hard line in the sand: You either stand on Israel’s side or you stand with the Palestinians.
As I’ve spent the past 10 years studying the history of the modern State of Israel I’ve come to the conclusion that I am a Christian who is pro-Israel and not anti-Palestinian.
You may think that being pro-Israel and not anti-Palestinian is an oxymoron. How is it possible to not draw a line on this serious issue in the Middle East? Here are some reasons:
Last week I showed you why I’m NOT anti-Palestinian, if you didn’t get a chance to read my previous post you can see it here. In this weeks post I’ll show you why I’m pro-Israel.
Why I’m Pro-Israel
I am pro-Israel for two reasons. First, because the Scriptures tell us that God made an irrevocable promise to the Jewish people way back in Genesis 12, 15, etc.; an eternal covenant that promises the whole land of Israel, including the West Bank (Judea-Samaria).
I am also pro-Israel on political grounds. According to international law, they have a right to exist within the borders of the disputed territory (West Bank), but I’ll need to discuss that in another post.
While many people are busy blaming Israel for the status of the Palestinian people, they are unaware of the money, time, and energy Israel invests to sustain the Palestinians living in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Syria, and Jordan. When you add up the resources given to the Palestinians by Israel they easily outweigh those of their own people in neighboring countries.
Israel has provided citizenship to Arabs living in Israel proper and citizenship to Palestinians living in East Jerusalem as well as other areas of the West Bank, which affords them freedom of speech, freedom to worship, Israeli health care, Israeli pensions, and a thriving economy in which to do business. Much better than those living in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, or Jordan.
I am pro-Israel because I believe the Israeli government and its citizens have not only the well-being of Israelis in mind, but also the Palestinians. A recent poll shows that more than 60 percent of Israeli citizens wish to see a two-state solution accomplished, allowing the Palestinian people to create a their own sovereign state. Whether or not you agree with a two-state solution, it demonstrates that there is a large group of Israeli citizens that want the best for their Palestinian neighbors.
So can someone be pro-Israel and NOT anti-Palestinian? I think so. Why do we keep drawing a line in the sand when we could hold to our deep biblical and political convictions while still remaining compassionate for those in desperate need. The Lord Jesus never wavered in His convictions (Matthew 5:18) and He reached out in compassion to those on the fringe to show them the love of the Father.