The trip to Israel was important to me to connect with the time of Christ and other biblical eras. The trip also could not avoid modern Israel and its current conflicts. While we were in Israel there was some activity between Palestinians and Israeli settlers that flared up. We weren’t near any action, but it was certainly a concern.
Also, there were government protests going on just a few miles away from where we were staying.
A year ago I was in a conference where a speaker talked about current Israel and the issues surrounding Palestinians. He made a statement that he was “pro Israel and pro Palestinian.” I understood it at the time. I understand it a bit more now. I will never fully understand it.
Israel in this moment is incredibly complicated. We don’t do complicated in our dualistic American lives.
Israel as a nation is pressed on every side. They have very tenuous relationships with Lebanon and Syria. We were right on the border with Lebanon on one site visit and we drove up against the Syrian border on some other site visits.
The Jordan River and the Dead Sea are split with Israel and Jordan. Egypt is to the south.
I live in Alabama. Our borders here are with Mississippi and Florida, each within 40 minutes of my house. All we have to fight about are bragging rights in SEC sports.
Israelis are pressured. Our guide was a Messianic Jew who grew up in Israel. She loves Israel and yet is incredibly critical of the current government, which our conservative politicians in the U.S. love. Like I said, it’s complicated. We don’t like that.
Palestinians and other Arab groups are pressured. A village can be in Lebanese territory one month and in Israel the next. Another village can be in Palestinian control one month and Israel the next.
And the poor… No matter their ethnic or religious affiliation… it’s not as complicated. They are simply moved around like pawns on a chess board. That’s the way it is everywhere.
I do not understand all the issues. I will never understand all the issues. My only hope is I try clinging to Jesus who showed himself always to be PRO PEOPLE. He healed Gentiles and Jews. He interacted positively with Romans. He rebuked those in power.
The speaker who said he was Pro Israel and Pro Palestinian lives in a complicated world. And after a short visit to Israel, I understand a little more about what he was saying.