CultureNov 17, 2016 by Josh de Keijzer
There is an increasing number of people who are no longer supportive of the state of Israel. It is not that they ignore the holocaust, or that they are not aware of the bad history of antisemitism in the West. It is not that they want to deny Israel’s unique role in history or that they want to ignore the biblical history of God’s wondrous dealing with this people group. They are not against the Jewish people. They believe that what the state of Israel represents has simply very little to do with God’s restoration of his people. Or, if it does, that this nation is trying hard to undo all the good God wants to bestow on it. Resistance against the state of Israel is a matter of justice.
1. Israel Lost the Land Because of Sin
Why did the people of Israel lose their land? Right! Because of their sin, according to the Bible (2 Chronicles 36:15-32). It happened to the Northern Kingdom first in 722 BC, then to the Kingdom of Judah shortly after 600 BC, with the third and final diaspora beginning in 70 AD with the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.
So, what do you think will bring about restoration? Precisely! Repentance. If you want to go all biblical and assert that the Bible foretells that Israel will return and that God has promised to restore Israel in its land, let’s also go biblical on the conditions for such restoration: repentance and a return to the Lord.
Has Israel repented from its idolatry? Well, check for yourself and go to Israel and you will see that relatively few people worship the Lord God as instructed by the law of Moses. If Israel wants its land back it should first repent and then wait for the Lord to bring about the return and to make possession of the land possible again. You can’t just move in and displace the people that live there. You can’t just fulfill God’s promises by doing it yourself.
2. Israel Occupies Land That Belongs To Someone Else
That’s right, there were people living in Palestine. You can’t be gone for 2000 years and then expect the house to be clean and ready for you to move in again. And when you find occupants, you can’t just kick them out or move them to a small corner in the basement.
Yet this is exactly what Israel has done. Repeatedly the state of Israel has used circumstances and opportunities to confiscate land that doesn’t belong to it. Currently, Palestinians live on less than 25% of the land. Many of them still live in refugee camps. Meanwhile, Israel has gobbled up East-Jerusalem and occupied the West Bank and the Gaza strip. And it is moving further by building settlements in the most fertile land of the West Bank. Israel is displacing the original people of the land!
3. The Church Has Replaced Israel
Another reason why some Christian’s won’t support Israel is that according to their theology Israel has been replaced by the Church. This is something that is done by Christians who hold to covenant theology. Covenant theology is a subset of Reformed theology.
This is how covenant theology goes: In the Old Testament Israel is God’s People. In the New Testament, God’s blessing is taken away from them and given to another people: the Church of Christ, which consists of people from all nations on earth. Jews can still participate in the blessings by becoming Christians and thus members of the Church.
Israel is no longer God’s instrument on this planet. Therefore there is no need to accord a special place to Israel in God’s dealings with humanity. It needs to be said that this reason is only held by covenant theologians. There are also plenty of other people who do not hold to this covenant theology but still believe that Israel should not be supported for all the other reasons given here.
4. Israel is a Pawn of Western Powers
The state of Israel is basically a continuation of European colonialism and Western imperialism. When the First World War was over, the rule of the Ottoman Empire was replaced by English rule. The colonial powers were still in control. But not for long. As the colonial system collapsed various countries in the region gained independence: Lebanon (1943), Syria (1946), and Jordan (1946). The Palestinians similarly hoped for independence, but that didn’t happen. England expressed its support for the founding of a Jewish State in Palestine without asking the Palestinians what they thought about that. This is classic colonialism.
A proposal for a division of Palestine in which 56% would be Jewish and 43% Palestinian never made it because Palestinians demanded self-determination, and rightly so. Thus the state of Israel was founded unilaterally by the Jews in 1948. By 1949 the new state had 77% of Palestine in its possession. Colonialism led to the creation of the Jewish State and a colonial mentality caused it to aggressively displace the Palestinians!
5. Israel Has a System of Apartheid
And that brings us to the next point. By 1949 Israel had destroyed 400 Palestinian villages. And it didn’t stop there. Unfair Jewish policies and nasty behavior by Jewish homeowners in East- Jerusalem lead to the departure of non-Jews from the neighborhoods. Israel actively supports the building of settlements in the occupied territories thereby displacing Palestinians from their own land (once again) and forcing them to live in the arid portions of the land. It’s basically a system of apartheid.
Israel has built a great wall of separation between the settlements and Palestinians villages on the West Bank, thereby enforcing apartheid, and creating daily hell for Palestinians who have to work on the other side of the fence. The Gaza strip is basically one big concentration camp. Israel has executed 3 military incursions in which the death toll ratio between Palestinian and Jewish deaths defy any logic. There is no justification for the awful and destructive actions of the Jewish army against civilians in Palestinians territory.
6. God Loves the Whole World
This whole notion of Israel as God’s special possession is all good and well, but it is carried to an extreme. The people of Israel have taken it to an extreme where they consider themselves privileged human beings. Even those who support Israel are completely blind to the injustice the state of Israel commits all because Israel is the apple of God’s eye.
Those who take the Bible so seriously on this point should perhaps be willing to also admit that the election of Israel by God came with a commission, a task, a purpose. Israel was to be God’s instrument of grace for the nations (Genesis 12:3; Exodus 19:5). Election does not mean you can take people’s land and displace them in order for them to rot away in a concentration camp. Racism, apartheid, and social injustice have no part in God’s kingdom.
God is the God of all of humanity and God of the whole world. God does not have favorites even though some would like to think that to be the case.
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