Commentary by Denise Bubeck
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is showing bold leadership by backing an Israeli bill establishing Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people in [their] historic homeland.”
While it’s no surprise some say that’s wrong (such as a Des Moines Register Letter to the Editor from May 25, 2017), as an evangelical Christian, I fully support Israel and am in complete agreement with Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Israel, as a political state, is unique for several reasons.
Having a homeland brings hope and security to Jewish people with a common heritage. They have a long history of physical roots and geography regarding the land of Israel.
The birth of Israel as a Jewish state in 1948 also fulfills God’s recorded promises, providing evidence of His hand in history. The recognition of a Jewish state gives Jews and Christians around the world a proclamation that God keeps His promises!
Israel also shines as a beacon of hope. People groups from around the world are being displaced because of persecution for their faith (i.e. Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, and Myanmar, etc.). Most displaced persons yearn for the opportunity to return to their homeland. Israel’s return is a promising example for all peoples, demonstrating that perseverance and tenacity can one day enable citizens to live in their native land where they can practice their faith freely.
Israel stands alone as the only state in the Middle East to protect religious freedom. Jerusalem displays diverse houses of worship throughout the city. The Jewish people are not striving for a state that only practices Judaism, but rather provides freedom for alternative religions in their homeland. We similarly are blessed in the United States to live where people of all faiths can worship.
Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed Israel’s legislative body, the Knesset, last year on Jerusalem Day, promoting peace and freedom to all religions in the city of Jerusalem. He honored the remembrance of the Temple, linking it to the roots of their faith.
In 2014, I was blessed to stand, pray, and touch the Western Wall remembering the promise that God gave to Abraham to establish his people: “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3). This experience inspired me to stand in unity with my Jewish brothers and sisters and to push back on the movement to delegitimize Israel.
The FAMiLY LEADER and I join with Israel in the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Six Day War. The Sixth Day War on June 5 – June 10, 1967, expanded Israel’s territory just as Scripture prophesied. We are thankful God’s promises are always true!
Denise Bubeck is a regional church ambassador with The FAMiLY LEADER