carrythebones-deactivated201209  asked:

Not disagreeing, just wondering about your views on the nation of Israel today. I think I agree with you though. Personally, I cannot stand the constant awful fighting between Israel and the surrounding countries and just because God's chosen people were the Israelites, doesn't make it right for us to support them. Or any other country for that matter engaged in such meaningless bloodshed.

First up, I don’t believe that there is any continuity between the ancient nation of Israel and the new nation state of Israel. Many people talk about ‘Israel’ as if the two historically distinct nations were one; this is merely a fallacy of equivocation.

Also, the first issue is not so much my view of Israel, but rather my view of Zionism, and my decision to not ascribe to it. As a Christian, I think that Zionism is simply short-sightedness. All the promises of God are fulfilled in Jesus, and the promise of rest in the Promised Land refers, in Jesus, to the eternal life that God’s people inherit. Living post-Jesus (referring to his life as both God and man, on Earth), I think we should see God giving ancient Israel the Promised Land as a touchstone for knowing God’s power and faithfulness, and as a lesser picture of the promises we have in Jesus; not as something that remains to be fulfilled.

Next, is the creation of the modern nation state of Israel. That was created by the United Nations (with very strong American influence) in 1948, alongside individual migration by Zionist Jews. I take issue with this for 3 reasons: 1) The injustice to the Palestinian people: the creation of Israel has turned them into an oppressed people. It is true that Palestine was not a sovereign nation (it was a British mandate after WWI), but that surely does not declare Palestinians to be a people that can be exploited and oppressed. 2) The creation of an inevitable warzone: Israel is surrounded by Arab nations. There are already historical hostilities there, but it is heightened by the injustice to the Palestinian people (who are also an Arab people). It’s diplomatically irresponsible, and not just that; this was hardly an unforeseen consequence. 3) The real and underlying motivation behind it: jingoism. It was a self-serving move by the US to create an ally in the Middle East during the early years of the Cold War, and the US has continued to perpetuate Israeli-Arab conflict for their own gains throughout the Cold War, and into the (so called) 'War on Terror’.

Lastly, I cannot support the ongoing actions of Israel (which you’re obviously aware of). I think that Christians should have a great love and respect for the people of Israel (here referring to the historic Israel) - have a read of Romans 11, and what it means to be a Gentile Christian who is grafted into Israel; powerful stuff. I do not, however, think that the modern nation of Israel reflects the Israel referred to there. Besides, if modern Israel did reflect God’s chosen people, shouldn’t we hold them to a higher standard of morality? I would’ve thought so.

If we want to find a solution to what has been created, I’m afraid that I don’t know it; the sovereign nation of Israel obviously cannot be abolished, and I cannot see peaceful coexistence of Jews and Arabs in Palestine/Israel emerging in the relatively near future. There ain’t no ctrl+z for stuff like this.

That was probably a much longer answer than you were chasing, but I hope it answers your question. Feel free to come back on it if you feel the need.