It was three o’clock in the afternoon and a beautiful, quiet day in Israel. Just this morning I had been thinking that there had been very few terrorist attacks since the one in Paris last week.
We were involved in a meeting and so had not checked the news as we usually do at various times during the day. The phone rang and when I saw that my son was calling, I excused myself and answered it. Evan works in South Tel Aviv and wondered if I had heard of the attack that had just occurred. A Palestinian who was employed in a nearby restaurant had just attacked some men going out of a Synagogue on the 3rd floor of the same building where Evan is located. Before the reign of horror was finished, the terrorist had stabbed two Israelis to death and seriously wounded another two. Surrounding civilians jumped on him and held him to the ground until the police arrived.
A couple of hours later near Gush Etzion in the West Bank, there was an afternoon traffic jam. Suddenly a Palestinian jumped from his car and started firing at the people in their cars. His bullets killed three and injured two more. He went back into his car and tried to speed away but instead ran into another vehicle. With his ability to escape blocked, he jumped out a second time and began to shoot at more people but fortunately the security forces stopped him with their rifles. A few minutes later, this murderer of Jews was in a Jewish ambulance being rushed to an Israeli hospital to have his life saved.
Such a day in Israel…five dead and numerous others wounded by Palestinians whose only goal is to kill innocent people. And the current horror is not a rare occurrence but has been nearly a daily event. Over the past two months, 21 Israelis have been murdered and over 170 people have been wounded. They have been shot. They have been stabbed. They have been run over while standing in crowded bus stops.
In Israel today, we are amazed and horrified not only at the daily terror against our people but also at the inability of the world to understand and condemn this situation.
The attack in Paris shocked the world. France declared war on ISIS and the world said “yes and amen”. When Israel declares war on Hamas and Hezbollah, the sources of terror in this nation, the world shouts to exercise restraint. Israel is continually set apart, judged by a different standard and its response to terror attacks generally condemned.
One of the main lies that has contributed to this phenomenon is the growing world wide deception of Israel as an apartheid state.
What is the truth? Israel is the only nation in the entire Middle East that allows all people groups to share in the blessings of the nation together. It is certainly not an apartheid state.
- If you go to any Israeli hospital, you will find both its rooms and work force filled with Muslims, Jews and Christians sharing in the benefit and privilege of Israel’s advanced health system.
- Come and visit any university in the nation. You will find the classes and faculty filled with Muslims, Jews and Christians.
- The public transportation is filled with all people groups sitting together.
- The Israeli Knesset has 17 Muslim members and the court system has numerous Arab judges.
- Israel is the only nation in the Middle East that allows all religions to practice their faith freely and openly. The nation is filled with mosques, churches and synagogues.
- Of all the nations in the Middle East, only Israel freely allows all people groups to buy real estate wherever they want. There are many mixed neighborhoods throughout the nation and it is illegal to prevent any people group from buying real estate.
The worst horrors and the greatest oppression of people occur in every nation of the Middle East except Israel. Christians are being forced by persecution and terrorism to flee their homes in every other Middle East nation. There are millions of Muslim refugees arriving in Europe and America in response to their fear and suffering from local radical Islamic forces. Untold numbers of Muslims are being executed by opposing Muslim forces throughout the Middle East.
Prime Minister Netanyahu summed up the situation when he commented on yesterday’s attacks in Israel. “Behind these terrorist attacks stands radical Islam, which seeks to destroy us, the same radical Islam that struck in Paris and threatens all of Europe. Whoever condemned the attack in France needs to condemn the attacks in Israel. It’s the same terror. Whoever does not recognize this is a hypocrite and blind.”
It’s time to get it right! We are not asking for blind support but we are condemning blind condemnation. The scriptures promise that at the end of the age all the nations of the earth will embrace the lie and come to Jerusalem to destroy it. At that moment, the One who is the truth will come and save His people and destroy His enemies.
May your right understanding of the present reality enable you to take your place and along with God be a lover, defender and supporter of Israel. We thank you with all of our hearts.
This article originally appeared on Tikkun Ministries International, November 20, 2015.