By Shira Sorko-Ram
By November of last year, the UN did not fail to fill its quota of some 20 resolutions which it adopts each year condemning Israel. It is part of the UN’s rich tradition.
The last resolution was proposed by Egypt (which, incidentally, has a peace treaty with Israel.) It stated that Palestinian children are under Israeli occupation and are deprived of their basic rights and it condemned acts of violence against Palestinian children. So far so good.
However, the draft avoided any reference to the destructive effects of Palestinian suicide bombings and terrorism on Israeli life and Israeli children. Furthermore, the draft ignored the cynical abuse of Palestinian children for the purpose of suicide bombings. The draft also failed to mention that Palestinian terrorism since the year 2000 had killed over 900 Israelis, and injured over 6000, many of these children.
Nevertheless, the draft resolution was passed by a vote of 88 in favor, four against, with 58 abstentions. Those who voted against it were Israel, the U.S., Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.
The United States representative stated that he was concerned about the suffering of Palestinian children in the Middle East. However, he was not only concerned for them, but also for Israeli children who are indiscriminately killed by suicide bombers and terrorists.
The representative continued that as a matter of principle the U.S. could not agree with attempts to politicize the plight of one group of children over the suffering of other children. What was not mentioned is that Palestinian children are never ever specifically targeted by Israeli troops. At times they are caught in the crossfire when they are located (many times deliberately) near terrorist gangs. Palestinian terrorists, whenever possible, deliberately target Israeli children.
Micronesia and the Marshall Islands also cast their vote for Israel. Micronesia is a tiny group of islands with a population of 121,000 citizens. The Marshall Islands sustains 65,000 persons. Most Micronesians and Marshall Islanders are Christian both Protestant and Catholic. Micronesia has the distinction of being the only other country that has consistently voted in favor of Israel the only other nation in the world outside of the U.S.
“VICTORY” FOR ISRAEL
At the UN, Israel tried to put on a happy face. Daniel Meron from the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs in Jerusalem, actually considered the passing as somewhat of a victory! He noted that this time “only” 88 out of 191 UN members voted against Israel! Less than half!
“We see it as a great success for Israel that we managed to bring down dramatically [the number of those who voted with the Muslim block],” said Meron.
One can understand his “joy” because two weeks before, another UN resolution was passed against the security fence Israel is building to protect her citizens from suicide bombers and terrorists. A whopping 144 out of the 191 member countries voted to condemn Israel. The same four voted against the resolution with 12 abstentions.
One of the reasons fewer nations supported the Palestinian children’s resolution was because Israel decided that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Her government decided to also submit a resolution the first Israeli-initiated resolution in 30 years calling for protection of Israeli children against terrorism.
The Israeli resolution was, to a large extent, a mirror image of the Arab resolution concerning Palestinian children passed by the General Assembly. “We decided to initiate a resolution concerning Israeli children to expose the hypocrisy and double standards at the UN,” said the deputy head of Israel’s delegation, Arie Mekel.
Israeli ambassador Dan Gillerman stated, “In presenting this resolution, we presented a challenge before member states: could they avoid the selective treatment of Israel that so often plagues the UN and, at least on the issue of children, demonstrate the same sense of sympathy and compassion for Israeli children that has already been offered to Palestinian children?
“Perhaps someone can explain to me why the hundreds of Israeli children killed or maimed in brutal terrorist attacks deserve less sympathy and attention. A resolution that expressly recognizes that Israeli children are also suffering would contradict a worldview that Israelis are the villain, never the victim; that Israelis have responsibilities but no rights; and that the Palestinians have rights but no responsibilities,” said Gillerman.
However, Egypt mounted a fierce battle against the Israeli proposal; Egypt and her allies opposed the resolution at every turn. They changed the words “Israeli” to “Middle East,” etc., etc. In the end, Israel withdrew her proposed resolution, rather than see it turned into a meaningless exercise.
All of these diplomatic maneuverings take place in the business-as-usual, rarified stratosphere of discrete and genteel diplomatic parley. But none of that can hide the fact that Israel is alone.
HOW DOES ISRAEL KEEP AT BAY THE WHOLE WORLD?
Israel, with 5,270,000 Jewish citizens and 1,250,000 Israeli Arabs, is an isolated nation, considered to be a pariah regime by many countries, especially by the Islamic nations.
Except for the U.S. and the 200,000 citizens of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, there is not another single country that Israel can count on to stand with her.
It is our opinion that it would be very difficult for anyone whose worldview is not based on Biblical values to, at all, comprehend the magnitude of this phenomenon. How in the world can a nation of five-plus million Jews stave off the entire world?
Were it not for the U.S., the UN (led by Muslim states) would immediately slap sanctions on Israel, put a military blockade on her ports and let her slide into abject poverty and misery -- a tiny ghetto surrounded by 199 enemy states.
The UN would force Israel to return to the 1967 borders and ethnically cleanse all of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) of Jews, then create what would become a terrorist Islamic state beside Israel. The UN would annex Jerusalem and vote for it to become the Islamic capital of Palestine. What’s more, with pressure from its massive block of Islamic members and friends, the UN Security Council would quickly vote to demand that 5,000,000 “Palestinians,” most of whom have never set foot in the Holy Land, would receive the right of return to “their homeland,” meaning Israel proper.
And poof! Democratic Israel would disappear into the ground as its millions of new Islamic citizens voted the Jewish State out of existence in order to rebirth her into an Islamic mold.
No doubt, this is Satan’s plan. For to succeed in his plan to completely conquer the world with evil, (has anyone forgotten that Satan is still determine to destroy the world with evil?) he must first annihilate Israel.
But the U.S. stands in his way.
The U.S. supports the existence of Israel. But who in the U.S. is generating this support?
HISTORICALLY, JEWS HAVE FEARED CHRISTIANS
Because of centuries of persecution of the Jewish people by the Church, Israelis have been extremely wary of Christians. And the more fundamental the Christian might be, the more leery the Jewish people. Was it not fanatical Christians (at least they called themselves Christians) who killed, expelled and persecuted the Jews from England in the West, through Europe, onto Eastern Europe and Russia in the East over the last score of centuries?
Many Jews still blame the so-called Christian nations of the last 1800 years for the decimation of the Jewish race. After all, Ishmael and Isaac were born 13 years apart. Yet Ishmael has 284,000,000 (http://www.dawn.com/) descendants and Isaac a mere 12-15,000,000.
When I first arrived in Israel in 1967, Christians, not Muslims, were considered Israel’s most dangerous enemy. Remember, that in 1967 it had been only 22 years since the end of World War II, during which “Christian Europe” had slaughtered 6,000,000 Jews.
Israelis had no doubt that Christian theology (the Jews killed Yeshua) was the reason that Jews had been persecuted in the world for centuries. For that reason alone, it was a rare Jew, indeed, who would consider that the One who died on the cross might be the Savior of the Jews.
Furthermore, in the 60’s, Israelis were unaware of differences within the Christian world as Christians are generally unaware of differences among, say, Buddhists. I actually had one Israeli lady tell me in the late 60’s that Christianity was the worst religion ever founded. She, of course, was basing her opinion on the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust, plus the historical persecution of Jews by Europeans, such as in Spain and Russia in the last 600 years.
ISRAEL HAS TRADITIONALLY LOOKED TO THE LEFT
So, it has been the leftists, the liberals, the non-religious and the historic liberal churches who used to support Israel. But in this 21st Century, that support is no longer there. Excepting Pope John Paul II, who himself protected Jews during WWII, many, if not most, historic church leaders see nothing in Israel with which to sympathize.
The support from the left has all but vanished. Liberal churches, the political left, universities, the mostly left-of-center TV news networks and newspapers all tend to be critical of Israel and her policies, while sympathetic to Palestinian goals and even of her use of terrorism.
So what is behind the force that keeps the U.S. supporting Israel? No question. It is the fundamentalist Christians, the conservative right, the Christian Zionists who are vocally behind Israel.
It is important for us to remember that there are Christians in Great Britain, Europe, Russia, South America, and probably every nation in the world, that love and pray for Israel. We cannot forget that it was praying men and women in England, Wales and throughout Great Britain, along with her Christian statemen and military men who were instrumental in bringing about the conception of the renewed Jewish state.
Nevertheless, the Jewish people have considered Christianity as a whole to be hostile to Judaism and the Jews. In this changing world, suddenly, the Christians of America are fundamentally important to America’s will to keep the UN from slapping sanctions on the Jewish state and to keep the Arab countries from invading Israel. There are an estimated 40,000,000 evangelicals in America. The U.S. is regarded as the most “religious” Christian country in the world! And it is this country that God is using to protect Israel’s existence at the very time most of the world is quite willing to see her demise.
WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT?
For many Jews, it is difficult for them to know even how to react. Liberal Jews bonding with conservative Christians? An awkward partnership for sure. At the very least, it is a new experience for the world’s Jewish population.
Yet American Jewish groups are finding that Israel’s staunchest support is coming from vocal groups of evangelical Christians. They realize in amazement that no group outside of the Jewish community has ever been as pro-Israel as evangelicals.
The Anti-Defamation League, which once regularly issued blistering attacks on evangelical groups, has warmed considerably in its approach to them although it also has made it clear differences remain.
“We welcome their support as long as it doesn’t come with conditions,” said Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director. “We will continue to disagree on various issues, but we can disagree agreeably.”
Evangelicals, put at 26% of the U.S. voters according to 2000 University of Akron survey, have traditionally backed Israel. But only now has the Israeli public become aware of who really are their friends. Dr. Yuri Stern, an Israeli Knesset member and a Jew from the Former Soviet Union, knows that actually the Israeli-Christian connection has been going on for decades, but believes the ideological and religious roots of those links have become more pronounced since the September 11 terror attacks on the U.S.
After all, for Stern there is much in common a shared spiritual heritage, a single-minded devotion to democracy and an abhorrence of fascism and racist theology that brought about the holocaust.
For the Jewish people, Christian partnership is a paradigm shift. Stern, together with a handful of other Israeli lawmakers, have formed what he calls a Christian Allies Caucus. This group will work on promoting Israeli-Christian relationship.
He states, “In this…situation the religious rules of the current war and conflict against terror are so clear that it’s much easier for people to understand that someone who believes in the same book, maybe reads it a little bit differently, maybe prays in another language but goes back to the same basic values and to the same stories that we do, that those people would be closer to us.” (http://www.crosswalk.com/)
Stern reminisces, “We used to be supported in America mostly by Democrats, in Europe by the left and liberal parties. Now we see everything is being changed.” Stern said. “All of a sudden we wake up in the world where liberals are against Israel, where the Left [is] deeply against Israel, and conservative groups…they are the strongest supporters. They understand the real fight that is taking place now,” he added.
Consider an Orthodox settler living in Samaria near the place where God spoke to Abraham. He pleads with the Christian tourists who have come to visit -- in spite of the dangers in order to give moral support to the Orthodox families living there.
Asked what message he would send to the Christian world, the young settler with a knitted yarmulke (skullcap) makes a simple request. Will these tourists continue to stand with them? “We can’t do it alone. We need the help of all the people who support us.”
THE FEAR IS STILL THERE
The majority of Jewish people are still somewhat afraid of Christians some more than others. They still see the Christians as wanting to convert the Jewish race to Christianity, which, they are certain, would cause the Jewish people to cease to exist as Jews. They are still convinced that believing in Yeshua would take away their Jewishness.
The Messianic Jews in Israel and in the West are seeing even this change. Now Orthodox, Conservative and Reform leaders are making contact with Messianic believers both in the West and here in Israel. Indeed, we are seeing many Israelis turn to Yeshua when they realize the their Messiah not only does not take away their Jewishness, but enhances their Jewishness in every way and makes their destiny as Jews one of supreme importance.
Rani Levy, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s adviser, sums up his appreciation for Christian support:
With such a ruthless and determined enemy within its own border, and with animosity against Israel growing all over the world, Israel is grateful to the American people for their continued support. Nowhere is that support demonstrated more passionately than among Christians.
“We are enjoying tremendous Christian support in the world, especially in America. More and more, Christians are starting to make Israel a true part of their lives. They’re traveling here, they’re investing here, they’re supporting projects here, they’re doing all sorts of things that are contributing gradually to an important critical mass for Israel.
AMERICA ALSO BENEFITS
“Whenever they burn the flags of America around the world, they burn the flags of Israel as well,” Levy said. “It’s not a coincidence. There is a reason the world especially the Arab world and the Islamic world views Israel and the United States as one. There is a calling of the people of our nations to know each other, to work together, and to work toward mutual goals. “While Israel is grateful for the support from America,” Levy said, “ultimately Israel is the United States’ only true ally in the Middle East.
“The U.S. has earned tremendous benefits in its Middle Eastern position because of Israel’s existence.” He said. “It’s a clear U.S. interest for Israel to be a stabilizing force in the Middle East. Israel is like a stable, static aircraft carrier for the U.S. It’s the only democracy in the Middle East, the only Western world society in the Middle East, the only country there that has any kind of reputable legal system, human rights system, judicial system. The whole fiber of our society is a Western one and it is the only one in all the Middle East.”
Levy concludes, “I believe that the Christian American has two reasons to support Israel: One because he’s American, and I think that it is in America’s interests that Israel will be strong and exist in the Middle East. Secondly I think that the Christian must support Israel because it is the biblical thing to do.” (Christian Examiner Sept. 2002)
SPECIFIC WAYS TO HELP BLESS
ISRAELI BELIEVERS AND SEEKERS IN ISRAEL:
Help send a member of our congregation to Colorado Springs at Ted Haggard's congregation, New Life Church, for 10 days of training in small groups evangelism. June 20-29. Each ticket : $1000
Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, and author of “The Purpose Driven Life,” recently noted that he believes the busiest pastor in the world is one who is pastoring around 200 people.
As our Congregation Tiferet Yeshua’ s membership approaches 200 adults, we realize that there is no other way our leadership can continue to personally nurture each and every individual. When an Israeli comes to faith, his continued growth really depends on finding a group of believers with whom he can connect. This can only be done systematically through home groups.
With Ted Haggard's style of "Free Market Small Groups" that works best with people who have a very strong, independent personality type, we feel this system is made to order for the Israeli people.
But, as anyone who ministers in Israel will tell you, there are always mountains to remove and cast into the sea before anything takes off in this land simply because Israel is a focal point for warring forces of good and evil on planet earth. We believe by taking around 20 of our most mature believers to Colorado for 10 days of training, we will come back ready to multiply and multiply. By giving our people vision and skills they will be equipped to start up a variety of small groups that will in turn catch fire. This trip will open our hearts and minds to unlimited possibilities in the growth of the Body of Messiah in Israel. You can send a member of our congregation to this conference by purchasing their airline ticket. (Every member will have to raise $500 for hotel and food on his own. But our members do not have the possibility of paying for the plane fare also.)
Use Sar El Tours, owned by a talented and experienced Israeli Messianic believer and businessman, Samuel Smadja, if you are planning a group trip to Israel, Log onto http://www.sareltours.com/.
Help us purchase a DVD/CD duplicating machine to spread the Gospel throughout the land of Israel. $12,000 (incl. 36% tax)
We have 100 hours of teaching videos on the Great Truths of the Old and New Testament in Hebrew. With a DVD/CD duplicating machine, we can distribute these teaching tapes to believers and non-believers throughout the nation at a minimal cost.
We also have many hours of evangelism sermons in Hebrew on tape that we can put on CD's (which are cheaper to produce than tapes) and distribute them as quality "tracts" to seekers.
For years, many Israeli rabbis have had their students standing along the highways at stoplights to offer drivers sermons on tape. But now the world is "going CD." With a CD duplicating machine, we will have a much greater capacity to reach the lost with quality sermons and teachings on Yeshua the Messiah. And soon we will be producing worship music CD’s.
DVD/CD dupliator with printer produces 12 DVD’s or 40 CD’s per hour.
Purchase handmade Israeli jewelry from jewelsofisrael.net.
Through this new, small business owned by an Israeli believer, Tanya Spectorov supports herself and three other Israelis, two of whom are born again. After the holiday rush, she and her employees are praying for more orders. Tanya's work is exquisite and painstakingly done by hand. All pieces are shipped from Israel per your order. Log on to http://www.jewelsofisrael.net/.
Dearest Maoz Partner,
Nikki (name changed) was a typical Israeli. She has been a believer, but always in a “fix”. She couldn’t make ends meet. She had a “victim” mentality.
We challenged her and all of our congregation to begin the new year reading “Victory to Victory”, a daily devotional emphasizing faith. (Your giving in 2003 was responsible for us being able to print this valuable daily devotional in Hebrew.)
Nikki took home a copy. She began to read it daily. Just after a few days, she approached us grinning from ear to ear, telling us how her thought life was being revolutionized after just a couple of days of filling her mind with “faith”.
A few days later, a group of tourists stopped by Nikki’s house in 7the West Bank, looked at products from her cottage industry and bought so much of it that it completely erased her debt! Now, that’s a miracle!
YOU blessed Israel by giving to help us get that devotional out to the body of believers in Israel. Each time we present you with opportunities to bless Israel, YOU RESPOND!
In this issue of the Maoz Israel Report are four more opportunities to significantly impact lives:
- By making available evangelism messages in Hebrew on inexpensive CD’s, and by helping us distribute throughout the land, DVD teaching courses on the basic truths of the Bible, and Hebrew worship music CD’s.
- By purchasing a ticket or helping with a airline ticket for our young leaders to have the opportunity of 10 days of training in creating small groups.
- By building up the economic base of two different businesses of Messianic believers in the land.
We could tell you other testimonials of what God is doing for His people! Just know that your gift, large or small, is truly blessing Israel. Your investment is being used by the Holy Spirit to fulfill the Word of God which He spoke through His ancient prophets.
What a joy to have this kind of opportunity to serve our God!
May the God of Israel bless you. As you have done, so He will do to you and yours!
For the Salvation of the people of Israel,
Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram