I know this is now old news, but a few months back there was a slight uproar from the religious right because the United States, under Obama administration, abstained from voting on a United Nation’s resolution condemning the Israeli’s settlements on the West Bank. (Here is an article about this from Fox News; and for balance, here is an article from CNN.) The issue for evangelical Christians is standing for Israel because the Bible is clear that God will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel (see Genesis 12:3 and Numbers 24:9, among others.) My question has been, “Does standing with Israel mean we can never criticize the Israeli government? Can we condemn the Israeli government for unjust practices without cursing them?”
I believe we can, and we must.
So, during the uproar a few months back, I contacted some friends of mine who are Christians living in the States, but are from the Middle-East. (By way of clarification, they were Christians while growing up in the Middle-East.) I asked them for their thoughts on the subject of supporting Israel, but also speaking out against the oppression of Palestinian Christians. Neither one of my friends are from Palestine. However, one of them has a roommate who is a Palestinian Christian. Below is their reply to this whole situation. I think it gives a great balance on the issue. Let me know what you think.
“Hello Kevin. I am really sorry that I took to long to reply to you. This past month has been nothing but terrible (because of the executive order by Pres. Trump and the impact it is having on the immigrant and refugee community) and busy. I just now got a chance to collect my thoughts and message you back. I talked to my roommate who happened to be a Palestinian Christian and I agree with him on what he said. As Christians we believe in the bible, and as you know, in the bible God promised that land (Palestine/Israel) to Abraham and descendants. Thus, we see how Israeli people claim the rights to have that land and build their temple. However, we both agreed that we don’t approve of how the Israeli Army is treating the Arabs that live there. Muslims and Christians are being killed, thrown out of their homes and having their lands taken away from them by force. Having the right to live in that land doesn’t, in anyway, give you the right to destroy the lives of the people who have been living in that land for so many years. All that violence is doing nothing but fuel the resistance from the Arabs living in that area and creating hatred between the two sides. I ope that helps clarify things.”
I do not know what the solution is. But I do think it is important for those of us who claim to be followers of Jesus to consider how our support of the Israeli government (not Israel itself) affects Palestinian Christians.
Again, what do you think?