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The Problem with Israel
Israel - Middle East
Friday, February 28, 2014
Alf Cengia

Warning! You are now entering a Rant Zone. Please watch your step. My wife knows all about my little rants and so does my dog, Sammy. The pitch of my voice changes and I'm sure steam oozes from my ears. The sarcasm takes over.

Sammy gets nervous - he knows when something's not quite right. He immediately takes off to find his favorite soft toy elephant as a peace offering, and then goes into his irresistible wiggle-butt routine. I defy anyone to stay mad after that.

What a peace maker he is! Pity he can't read this column.

It's hard not to write about Israel on a regular basis and not be boringly repetitive when its detractors are so consistently inane in their assaults. It's like these critics have developed an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that has come to dominate their lives.

And now it's dominating mine.

But this disorder is not the sort of innocuous stuff like having to avoid walking on cracks on the sidewalk, or making sure that all the pictures are hanging just right on the wall (me), or the compelling need to correct someone's speiling mistakes. See what I mean?

This subject comes up so often that there is that danger we will become blasé about it. We shouldn't. The tireless assaults on Israel by activists - both secular and Christian - are aimed at damaging its reputation and economy. The former has been very successful and, unfortunately, empowers aggressive regimes like Iran. The latter is unlikely to have any significant effect.

Crispian Balmer argues that the threat of Israel boycotts may have more bark than bite. A casual read of Balmer's report makes me wonder whether these fanatical boycotters have lost their collective minds. Do these activists really believe the Palestinian's woes lie squarely at Israel's feet? Yes they do.

Despite all that frenetic handwringing about Israel's alleged sins, its economy is burgeoning ahead in leaps and bounds. Another report has Israel signing a gas deal with Jordan and a possible deal with Turkey looming in the future.

The real problem with Israel is that it exists.

And following that statement one can add a string of other personal gripes against Israel that one wouldn't bother applying to just about any other nation on earth. I'd be surprised if I haven't heard them all.

Perhaps one of the most inane reasons to excoriate Israel is over its alleged illegal occupation of Palestinian land in the "West Bank." Think about it. There are human atrocities constantly being committed all over the world and some people want to focus on a land dispute.

All over the world Christians are imprisoned, tortured, hung and beheaded because of their faith. Yet activists choose to vent their spleens over a parcel of land they normally wouldn't bother about if it didn't involve Israel. Isn't that just a tad crazy? What motivates this shortsightedness?

Another common complaint I get about Israel - especially from Christians - is that it rejects God as a nation. This one is inevitably raised by proponents of Replacement or "fulfillment" Theology (take your pick) in response to the affirmation by Christian Zionists that God isn't finished with Israel.

Well, God hasn't finished with Israel because He said so (Jer 31:31-37; Ezek 37:21-23; Mal 3:6; Hos 5:15 etc). Somehow, I cannot visualize God telling Israel: "I'm sorry, didn't you realize that I was employing a particular genre and didn't quite mean what you think I said."

A God who can sovereignly elect an individual to eternal salvation can do the same with a nation. Anyone who has a problem with that may want to take it up with Him. Personally, I wouldn't feel safe telling someone God didn't really mean what He said. How about you?

This isn't a simplistic case of Christian Zionists idolizing a godless nation due to some aberrant eschatology. This is about the Joy of observing God's Unilateral Faithfulness to a wayward nation. As sinful Christians we should find immense comfort in that wonderful trait of God. He is the Good Shepherd going out of His way for that one lost sheep (Luke 15:4).

If one can justify throwing Israel into the trash heap because of its godlessness i.e., atheism, abortion, pornography, secularism (pick your favorite excuse), then what of every other nation on this godless planet?

Take a good look around in your own neighborhood, Christian. Take a look at yourself. I certainly don't deserve God's mercy. How about you?

We're heading into another Christ at the Checkpoint Conference (March 10-14, 2014). Make no mistake; this is an opportunity for like-minded people to enjoy fellowship in an Israel hate-fest. Far from objective, its participants forge careers by demonizing Israel and ignoring threats to its existence. You can be sure that Hamas' violation of the human rights of its own people won't be an article on the agenda.

C.A.T.C. patron Gary Burge came under strong criticism for inaccuracies in his book Whose Land? Whose Promise? He was given an opportunity to mend these in a revised and updated edition - yet failed to do so. Sadly, Wheaton College insists on standing with Burge despite being aware of these errors.

It must be chic to be anti-Israel. One can adopt simplistic slogans about "occupation" and "apartheid" and print them on T-shirt to proudly display at the local mall. It's easy to swallow simplistic homilies like Günter Grass's poem, "What must be said":

Why is it only now I say,
in old age, with my last drop of ink,
that Israel’s nuclear power endangers
an already fragile world peace?

It's a pity Grass couldn't find room for Iran and Syria's involvement in arming Hezbollah. But that complicates matters and it doesn't fit neatly on the front of a T-shirt.

Grass is right about one thing - Israel is a threat to world peace. Yet it has nothing to do with Israel's nuclear weapons and everything to do with the hatred extended towards it.

Israel is a threat to world peace simply because it exists.

Cengia" href="http://www.omegaletter.com/content/?Bio_Alf_Page">About Alf Cengia

Last week: Cengia" href="http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=7767">Left Behind Theology



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