The state of Israel and the Jewish people around the world—now more than ever—are in need of Christian support and love. That's the message some of my Jewish friends have told me after the clash with Gaza began.
"Your prayers, moral support and vocal expressions need to be heard," Rabbi Aaron Rubinger told me, "especially about how Israel defended its own civilians while opposing a cruel, terrorist regime who intentionally attacked Israeli civilians while making use of its own Palestinian people as sacrificial lambs in an effort to gain media points." Rabbi Rubinger is the leading conservative rabbi in Orlando, Florida. We became friends when we did several Nights to Honor Israel in Orlando.
Jewish communities in Europe are witnessing the worst expressions of anti-Semitism since the Holocaust, Rubinger said, and they are in need of hearing clear public denouncements of the vicious attacks on synagogues and Jewish neighborhoods.
Today there is no more "gray area" where we can comfortably stow our indecisive feelings about Israel. During and after the recent Gaza conflict, the issues have become black and white. There cannot be any more fence-sitting. The world is judging Israel harshly, and Christians must either speak loudly and act boldly in support of Israel's right to defend itself from Hamas or join the multitude of critics of the Jewish state.
Skilled wordsmiths worldwide have neatly crafted the message: "Israeli troops killed thousands of Palestinian civilians in Gaza." While Israelis ran to bomb shelters and intercepted rockets with Iron Dome missiles, Palestinians rushed to rooftops of targeted buildings used by terrorists and watched Grad rockets being fired from the heart of their neighborhoods. Christians should understand that the anti-Semitic rants and protests in London, Paris and New York, as well as throughout social media, are clogging the newspapers and TV stations with lies and darkness.
"If Christians see their role, their raison d'etre, as bringing the gospel to the world ... then their voices must be heard and their actions must be felt," said Rabbi Shmuel Bowman, executive director of Operation Lifeshield, an organization providing Israeli communities with protective air raid shelters. As a result of Lifeshield's efforts, Charisma readers and other Christians have helped place many bomb shelters in places where residents constantly need a place to flee for safety.
"I look around at the incredible ties forged between Jews and Christians around the topic of Israel support, and I am encouraged," Bowman said. "The Jewish nation is often surprised to see Christians taking a position alongside Israel. We didn't know you cared ... until you said so."
Bowman offered these suggestions to our readers:
- React to a venomous article in the newspaper by writing to the editor.
- Organize an Israel info meeting, and make sure everyone knows about it.
- Urge your pastor to devote his next sermon on the topic of supporting Israel.
Jonathan Feldstein is the Israel representative of the American Friends of Magen David Adom ("the Red Star of David")—the first responder in Israel and an organization our readers have given several hundred thousand dollars toward to help provide ambulances for victims of violence. Feldstein is an American Orthodox Jew now living near Jerusalem. When I asked him what Christians can do, his response surprised me:
"The answer comes from Scripture—Esther 4:14, I believe. First, prayer and fasting. We all, Jews and Christians, know that our beseeching God to lend His divine hand is the most important and powerful thing we can do. ... Our God is the same God. Our enemies are the same enemies. Part of our prayer needs to be that God will either cause our enemies to see their wrongs and repent, or that we utterly defeat them."
I hope you will pray and act. The apostle James says faith without works is dead. Charisma Cares donated $10,000 to help in Israel. But so much more is needed; together we can make a difference.
We will continue to write about this on our Standing With Israel website and other newsletters. We invite you to join us in responding with a generous gift. You may send a check to Charisma Cares for Israel, 600 Rinehart Rd., Lake Mary, FL 32746 or visit charismacares.com/israel. Designate your donation to Operation Lifeshield or Magen David Adom. (Undesignated gifts will go where the need is greatest.) We promise that 100 percent of your gift will go to help Israel. Please respond generously to support our Israeli friends in their hour of need.
Steve Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma. He invites you to give at charismacares.com/israel.
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