Have you ever wondered why so many people hate Israel? What is it about that tiny country – smaller than Vancouver Island or many national parks you could think of – that inspires so much rage?
From day one she’s been fought over. Two thousand years ago it was the occupying Roman forces that swung their weight around and bullied the Jewish people. Moving on from there, we saw Jews being kicked out of their own land, forced to run for their lives, desperately seeking refuge in any country that would take them.
The centuries following were dark ones. The Christian church achieved new social status and political power in the 4th century, and did its best to beat down the ones known as “Christ-killers.” – Jewish people! Unbelievably, it was in the name of Jesus Himself (Jesus the Jew!) that so–called “Christians” acted out blood-curdling crimes against His people. – Against the very same race He spent 33 years with. The people He loved and hung out with. The same ones, in fact, He had said He would die for.
As the world became more ‘civilized,’ the Church – or rather the political power now assumed to be represent Christianity – moved into one country after another, impressive in power, subduing all opposition. While the people of Israel as unwanted refugees in those same lands suffered horribly under that same religious presence.
Jumping ahead in time, we reach the early 1900s, when Britain divided up the former Turkish Empire. It bequeathed huge, oil-rich lands to Arab peoples, one after another after another … until just that one undesirable parcel was left. In deciding what to do with it, a critical move was made. The tiny piece of swampland would be gifted to the Jewish people who had been forced out of it so long ago. After almost two millennia, world powers decreed the people of Israel could again have a place of their own.
We won’t dissect all the Arab-English-Jewish tensions over that transfer of land. Nor will we pass judgment on England for taking land back from the Jews afterward, to add to the Arabs’ already gigantic terrain. We weren’t there; we don’t know what kind of pressures they were under.
Instead, we’ll summarize. For now we will agree that as far as geographical territory is concerned, Israel is 10,800 square miles in size – meaning it could fit inside the United States 768 times according to one source. And in comparison the Arab nations surrounding Israel are approximately 5,368,500 squre miles altogether.
Which leads right back to our question: Why is Israel hated so much?
What is it about this one little country that antagonizes so many? How can a nation so insignificant in size – only 9 miles across in one place – stir up unprecedented wrath all over the world? You’ve seen it on television, heard it on the radio, maybe witnessed it in your workplace like I have. Israel is hated with furious passion by so many.
But why? What other country has so many enemies? Or has been hated relentlessly for so long? With the common denominator among the enemies being their goal to see that nation totally annihilated?
With world events swirling around us at mind-numbing speed, it’s easy for us to shrug it off. Too much information. So much going on with far-reaching implications. Issues discussed on tonight’s new are changing the world as we know it. So it’s understandable if many fail to grasp the significance of what’s happening now.
But especially now, we need to take a close look at Israel. Before we find ourselves caught up in popular rhetoric or pointing fingers at her like others, it’s critical we get the right perspective. It’s imperative for our sake that we figure out the most important perspective of all – which would be G_d’s take on Israel. More than ever before, we need to know what He’s thinking.
Because one way or another, whichever side we take in the upcoming days of tension, the implications for all of us will be serious.
And we need to know what those implications will be.