The Israel Anomaly
by Dan Juster, Director, Restoration From Zion
An anomaly is something that just does not fit into common categories. It deviates from what is normal or expected.
Israel is an anomaly, a unique and peculiar people before God and among the nations. This confirms the prophecies that promise Israel will be an instrument for the return of Yeshua and the salvation of the world.
Why is Israel an Anomaly?
Israel is the only nation whose people were exiled from their land for almost 2000 years and who were then restored and officially recognized as a country.
Israel is the only nation that can be said to be an enemy of the Gospel and yet is beloved and elect for the sake of the forefathers (Romans 11:28). Furthermore, the people of Israel have an irrevocable calling and gifts (Romans 11:29).
Israel is the only nation that has ever come into being and self-government after suffering a holocaust in which 1/3 of its population was destroyed (six million people).
Is Israel an Apartheid State?
Israel is often accused of being an apartheid state. An apartheid state does not give full rights to anyone who is not of the governing ethnicity. Yet, in Israel, Arabs have full citizenship and can buy houses in cities throughout Israel. They ride the same buses and shop in the same stores. They are doctors and nurses in our hospitals and even sit in the Knesset (Parliament) and on the Supreme Court. Israel is both a Jewish state and a democratic state.
The accusation of apartheid must in fact be about the West Bank, because Palestinians there do not have full rights. They do have local government authority, and significant rights, but they have no national passport. Most of the Palestinians are not directly ruled by Israel, but rather by self-rule of the Palestinian Authority. So this cannot be apartheid either! It is in fact a system of military supervision by Israel over land that the U.N. set aside for a Palestinian state in 1947. An interesting fact is that when the Arab states rejected the U.N. solution in 1948, and the territory was taken and ruled by Jordan, no one complained about an occupation! That seems to be an anomaly.
How is it now that this territory that was never a state is said to be occupied since 1967? Occupation by legal definition is of another state, not a land and a people who at one time were given the opportunity of a state and refused it. The real issue is that the Palestinians do not have their own state. But they never had one in 2000 years, and only in the last hundred years have they begun to view themselves as the distinct Palestinian people. Never in all of history has a land been called occupied when it was never a state and when the peoples of the region rejected the idea of that state and went to war in rejecting it. So how can Israel be responsible to act as if it had been a state? All of this too is an anomaly.
Boycott + Divestment + Sanctions = BDS
In addition, there is a movement to boycott Israel, divest from investments in Israel, and to enact sanctions against Israel. The reason? Israel has towns in the West Bank while the Palestinians do not have a state. Yet these accusations must be considered in light of the following facts:
1. The Palestinians walked away from two generous offers for a state.
2. The Palestinian Authority is a mafia-style government whose leaders get super rich on the foreign aid that pours into the coffers of the P. A. Then the P. A. only rules part of the future state, while Hamas, a terrorist organization, rules Gaza, the other part. So the Palestinians meet none of the official U. N. criteria for recognizing a state but the U. N. wants to recognize them anyway. This is an anomaly.
Christ at the Checkpoint
Recently the annual Palestinian Christian "Christ at the Checkpoint" conference took place again. Some of you may remember that I spoke at this conference two years ago. I made the best case I could in that context on the continued election of Israel and the prophetic promise of the Land as part of God's irrevocable gift and call to Israel (Romans 11:29). The fullness of the promises to Israel, including the ultimate restoration of the Land, awaits the second coming of Yeshua.
It is our desire to be people of compassion, and it is difficult to be a Palestinian Christian. In addition, the Palestinians lost a great deal upon the founding of the state of Israel. Albeit, if the Arab states had made peace in the beginning, they would not have suffered as much. Nevertheless, the pain is real and the "Christ at the Checkpoint" conference tends to dwell on and emphasize the sins of Israel against the Palestinians. It is a forum to bash Christian Zionism and to assert replacement theology, while claiming a desire for reconciliation and peace.
Wouldn't it be better to have a conference that also admitted the very great difficulty of thriving under Muslim rule? Unfortunately that is the "elephant in the room" that cannot be discussed. To address this topic openly would be too dangerous and could possibly lead to even harsher persecution of Arab Christians at the hands of extreme Muslims.
It would be more beneficial to hold a joint conference with Messianic Jews to express mutual love. We could strategize together on how to share the good news with Arabs and Jews in this Land, to seek for a revival and the outpouring the Spirit.
Instead, intellectual scholars present their learned papers and political positions against Israel. I see no fruit in evangelism and the extension of the Kingdom of God. "Christ at the Checkpoint" reveals the anomaly of Israel. The very fact that Israel still has authority in Bethlehem and yet this conference takes place is itself an amazing anomaly.
All Things are Possible
Why are things so very odd here? It is because the rebirth and existence of Israel is an impossible situation that breaks normal categories. But for God "all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26). Therefore I think this is all a mark of God's amazing hand. And for those who take Bible promises at face value, it gives great confidence that God can and will fulfill all His covenant promises - for His honor and unto the redemption of the world. Even so come Yeshua!
Tikkun International is a family of ministries.
(tee-koon) n. [Hebrew] 1 Restoration: bringing back to health, strength; rebuilding 2. Setting in order; making straight 3. World redemption [Jewish tradition] - the final restoration of the world in harmony with God.
We believe deeply in the full restoration of Israel and the Church as a central part of God's plan for the end of the age.
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