2014, The Year for Middle East Peace: Part II
In the words of historian Howard Zinn, “History is always a matter of taking sides.” The late Columbia University English professor Edward Said added, “Facts get their importance from what is made of them in interpretation." Arguably, nothing lends itself more handily to their brand of postmodernism than mere mention of the word, "Israel.”
As Socialist International designates 2014 the Year for Middle East Peace, the anti-Israel crowd details her “long record of terrorism, even against the United States.” For example, in 1954 the Israeli government purportedly plotted to blow up American installations in two main Egyptian cities and, then, projected blame onto Egyptian nationals. Once the failed Lavon Affair was uncovered, the Israeli Defense minister Pinhas Lavon resigned over the incident.
Thereafter, in 1967, Israel is said to have purposefully attacked the USS Liberty, an American Naval vessel patrolling near Egypt. Although the U.S. Secretary of State and Navy Chief Admiral blamed Israel for deliberately striking, the powerful Zionist Lobby ostensibly prevented a formal Congressional investigation.
Even biblical depictions of backslidden Israel are disparaging. For example, mourning the wayward ways of Israel and Judah, the prophet Hosea characterized them as idolatrous and adulterous harlots, rebels, transgressors, liars, murderers, stealers, and scorners. He further likened them to “silly doves without hearts.” In New Testament times, Jewish leaders actively sought ways to kill Jesus.
Precisely because of wayward ways, God drove Israelis from their land, thus rendering them homeless among the nations – yet He lamented, “Oh, how can I give you up, Israel?”
The answer: He cannot and will not.
Israel, Friend or Foe?
Why should people of faith embrace the unfaithful, those who are manifestly distanced from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Why even call them “God’s chosen (literally, ‘called out’) people”? The answer is simple. Even in their obstinacy, God loves them. He longs to gather His own as a hen musters her chicks. By foreknowledge, He sees many returned to their homeland and turned to follow Him. Then, they will “blossom like the lily” and “send roots deep into the soil.”
To bless Israel is to be blessed. Through her, all the peoples of earth will be blessed. For instance, Americans owe a debt of gratitude to Haym Salomon, George Washington’s banker from Philadelphia. In the most desperate hours of the American Revolution, this Orthodox Jew appealed to fellow Jews for financing and, without note or interest, committed his personal fortune to the Continental Congress. Doing so qualified Salomon as “Financier of the Revolution.”
Clearly, not all Jews are hardcore Zionists, “banksters,” or conspirators any more than all Muslims are suicide bombers. While Jews join the ranks of world-order opportunists, the one-world movement (which predates Abraham) is by no means an exclusively “Jewish agenda,” as some suppose.
Notably, God works for good in all things. Case in point: Christ’s enemies counted the crucifixion as their victory, but the resurrection proved otherwise! Similarly, despite nefarious world-order politics and illegalities surrounding the nation’s founding, or thereafter, believers rightly celebrate the miracle of Israel as demonstration of “the holiness of God’s great name” and His faithfulness to Abraham’s progeny.
Even through fallen humanity, God never fails to work for good. With or without blind eyes and deaf ears, the Jews were created for God’s glory, for His name’s sake, and for redemptive purposes. Throughout nineteen-plus centuries of the diaspora, God wondrously preserved unto Himself a faithful remnant. Ultimately, His “called-out ones” will look upon Him whom they have pierced and tearfully accept their Messiah as Savior and Lord.
God is Not a Man That He Should Lie
In the Old Testament, no Hebrew word corresponds to “promise.” Instead, “word,” “speak,” and “say” are used. Accordingly, God’s word is unbreakable; in fact, “it is impossible for God to lie.” Therefore, believers can trust the over 700 last-day scriptural references to God’s gathering His seed in “their own land, which He gave His servant Jacob,” and believe for God’s blessings outpoured through them.
Ezekiel prophesied God’s taking back, gathering, and cleansing the diaspora. “All Israel will be saved” and led down “a level path.” Living in the land God gave their forefathers, she will be His people and He, her God. Moreover, God will equip Israel for Kingdom work – i.e., future erection of the fourth Millennial Temple, return of shekinah glory, and salvation of “all Israel.” Prophetically, the generation that witnesses Israel’s reestablishment as a nation – specifically, the “boomer” generation – will not pass away until the whole of Christ’s Eschatological Discourse is fulfilled.
Repatriation of the Diaspora
Scriptures allow primary and secondary applications with both literal and figurative meanings. For example, references to “national” Israel (as a people and/or land) point in type to spiritual Israel (New Covenant, “called out ones”). By Old Covenant command, male Jews were circumcised in the flesh (type), which act found greater, spiritual fulfillment in New Covenant believers’ having circumcised hearts (antitype). Both truths apply.
To the contrary, Replacement Theology insists that God is done with Israel and has permanently replaced her with the church, but this is not so. In response to the question, “Did God reject His people?” the apostle Paul exclaimed, “By no means! God did not reject His people, whom He foreknew.” Indeed, gentiles are charged with the task of repatriating (not supplanting) the diaspora. In assisting the aliyah, gentiles take their part, along with Jewish pilgrims, in fulfilling God’s prophetic plan.